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Debian on Laptop

Dear developers,
I've been running a Slackware Linux distribution on my desk top computers for
one year now. Now I intended to install Linux on my laptop too and was
recommended by a friend to use the Debian distribution.
I ordered the distribution from Linux System Labs and I tried with 1.3.1
but unfortunately I finally had to give up. I then tried to install Slackware
3.3 and it went on without any problems and the system worked at once including
the network interface (PCMCIA 3c562). Even if the Debian system may be more
advanced in several ways it does not yet seem to be mature to be installed on
laptops. The installation procedure is also very tedious and not at all for
non unix experts. The slackware user interface is very easy to understand.

These were the problems I had:
1) First the README file was misleading. It was said that in 1.3 there was
an error which caused XF86Setup not being able to configure the system. It
was said that this will be fixed in 1.3.1. As I HAD 1.3.1 I understood that
this was fixed and I went on with the installation.

Obviously this was not fixed. When I came to the configuration of X it failed
and it continued to fail. I even tried to uninstall the X packages and install
xbase, quitting, installing rest of X but it failed and the system mostly

2) After this I initialized the partitions (50Mb /root and 1200Mb /usr) but
forgot to explicitly say that I wanted /usr on another partition, which caused
me one more failed installation.

3) The third attempt to install succeded, i.e. I could configure my X server
(ok I still have problems with the CL7543 TFT server but that's another issue)

4) I never got the network to work. Well, the PCMCIA package recognized my
board but I never got any eth0 so the network was unreachable. I tried to
look on the net for hints on this but failed. Not even sendmail from one
user to another within the machine worked.

Then I tried with the Slackware distribution just for testing and that
worked immediately, just out of the box. I got contact with my eth0 and
could configure my routing etc.

Another thing with the Slackware distribution that I think you also should
do is to provide a nice default X-environment. At least if you have configured
e.g. a certain window manager to be installed then you should get that when
you startx too, without having to hack in the etc/X11 files immediately.

I wish you good luck with the next distribution.

	Best regards
	Roland Ore
Roland Orre                   | O---O---O Studies of| orre@nada.kth.se
SANS, NADA, KTH               | |\ /|\ /  Artificial| 
S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden    | O-O-O-O   Neural    |Wph:+46 8 7906984
------------------------------+ |/ \ /|   Systems   |Fax:+46 8 7900930
Dept. of Computing Science    | O---O-O  +---------|Mob:+46 70 8269748
Royal Institute of Technology |          |http://www.nada.kth.se/~orre

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