Update – Installed Fedora 10 on AA1

I finally had some time last night to do something with the enormous 54+ GB partition I had left over from what I consider a very fucked-up automatic installation of PCLinuxOS. Maybe I didn’t really have that much time, but I needed something to divert my mind for a while (re the most recent entry on “my new blog” linked on the side of my front page).

I’d converted the PCLOS swap partition — which it set up using 4 GB! — to my /home partition for PCLOS and was running without swap since I’d changed the inittab to start at runlevel 3 and ran mostly in console or in X using ratpoison. I’d also given up trying to get certain hardware to work. In fact, the only time I boot into PCLOS any more is to do some testing to make sure something works cross-platform.

I divided the 54 GB into a couple new Linux partitions and a Linux swap (only about a quarter of what PCLOS set up). I also have a bit left over to try out another distro or two before committing to one or another (or more).

Last night I installed Fedora 10, which makes this the first Gnome-based distro or version I’ve installed in this decade. I’d written about my impressions of KDE4 from using a preview of Fedora 11. I think KDE4 needs a bit more work before I’ll commit to using it.

Speaking of Fedora 11, I think I’ll end up clearing off the PCLOS install and starting from scratch with the non-Windows partitions on this thing when it’s released within the next couple weeks. Whether I stick with Fedora after that or switch to Debian, I think PCLOS is coming off. Nothing against it, it just isn’t going to work for me. I think it’s geared more towards people who can live with default pre-configuration. I can’t. I want a little more control over my system.

Fedora 10 installed rather quickly from the Live CD (via USB) without any trouble. I didn’t let it do any default installation — I set up my partitions, and I didn’t let it overwrite my MBR to reinstall GRUB, and I manually edited my GRUB menu.lst to add Fedora.The only things I removed were the internationalization support. I just installed OpenOffice.org and removed Abiword. I also found out what I had to do to get beyond Fedora’s/Red Hat’s doctrinaire positions (e. g., no mp3 support).

As biased as I am against Gnome, I have to admit it’s much smoother than I thought it would be given its drain on system resources. At the same time, I think I’m going to use a different desktop environment or window manager given my own small set of preferred applications. I don’t need the overhead of Gnome or KDE. I’ll most likely end up with Xfce, LXDE, or some small window manager (jwm, ratpoison, dwm, ion3, etc.). My app choices in Linux/BSD tend to revolve around OpenOffice, Sylpheed, Firefox, Dillo, and various console apps and networking tools. I don’t need a full desktop environment for those.

I don’t know if I’ll get back to using Linux more than half the time with this. It doesn’t help that libmtp is broken and my devices unsupported. I was relieved when I saw that Fedora 10 suspended and resumed flawlessly with this thing; I also had more hardware working, including the card reader (I don’t like the lack of hotplug-ability; still have to boot with the card inserted or else it doesn’t work).

I don’t know yet if I’ll install NetBSD 5 or OpenSolaris on this. I hadn’t planned on doing anything else with Linux but got a wild hair last night and most things are working better than with PCLOS. After using a friend’s Eee with Windows 7, I’m more inclined to install Windows 7 on this when it’s released. More on that shortly.

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