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Re: Hesitating to take the plunge in Debian

> On 11/1/2000 Renaud Dreyer wrote:
> >Can't remember the last tiem I even used my floppy drive on my Mac...
> >Probably about 30 months ago when I bought it and transfered some old
> >stuff from my Powerbook...
> well when I say boot floppies for the powerpc, I am not entirely 
> literal, you need not boot from a floppy (assuming that even works) 
> but you do need to boot a linux kernel SOMEHOW and have it load a 
> compressed ramdisk for a root filesystem, this ramdisk is 
> root1440.bin, which on intel we dd to a floppy and stuff it in the 
> floppy drive when the kernel asks for it.  on macs you have yaboot or 
> bootx hand the ramdisk to the kernel.   still its nice to have a 
> bootable floppy if you want to blow away that `other' OS and fully 
> dedicate the disk to GNU/Linux.

Ah... Well, I do have BootX  and the Linuxppc R5 install on my Mac
OS partition so it shouldn't be a problem.

> >Such as the broken CD-ROM link and other little annoyances that add up.
> Yup ;-) that happens to be one of my favorite nits because its so 
> dumb, but other things too, like ever since y2k it reads my hwclock 
> as the localtime (broken macos) and decides it should reset the clock 
> to sometime in 1931... (yes i have checked the localtime links and 
> such) but there is endless problems I could report, I have totally 
> given up on fixing that pile of mess and will blow it away as soon as 
> I have 2 things:  a 2.2.14 kernel that boots with yaboot, and 2) boot 
> floppies that don't abandon ship the moment they notice my machine is 
> a blue g3.

There are a lot of things that worked better on my ancient MkLinux
system for example. I never had any problems with the keyboard
with MkLinux for example, but under Linuxppc, seemingly random
problems pop up with certain applications.

> >  > dunno about that one there was some recent discussion about Xpmac...
> >
> >I assume I can just download it and then link it to my X server, like
> >in Linuxppc.
> pretty much, except debian handles the server differently, instead 
> you edit /etc/X11/Xserver to choose the real server.  no symlinks. 
> and i think Xpmac requires a kernel option or hack...

Yeah,  there's a "xpmac legacy" option when configuring the kernel under 
Linuxppc, I assume it is the same under Debian.
I really hope the accelerated Xpmac works under Debian because going back
to the unaccelerated Rage Orion will not be fun... And the
accelerated Xfree86 is not as stable or fast as the Xpmac.

> >
> >ah, something I forggot to ask... How well does the Debian package system
> >work with tar balls? In my old MkLinux system it soon became an
> >incredible mess, with RPM's and tar ball files fighting it out. Is there
> >some kind of safeguard to, for example, prevent a make install from
> >deleting files from a Debian package, and vice-versa?
> sounds like Mklinux is broken (what a surprise) Debian packaged 
> software by policy MUST be installed in the /usr/* hierarchy /usr/bin 
> /usr/share/man and so on, anything you install yourself, unless the 
> makefiles are horridly broken will default to installing under 
> /usr/local/* such as /usr/local/bin /usr/local/man and so on, debian 
> packages are forbidden to touch /usr/local (its been mounted readonly 
> for monthes on my potato box and i have never had a package error due 
> to it trying to muck with it.)

What a relief... How easy is it roll one's own Debian package
from a tarball?

> for proof that this works, I disliked how debian compiled rxvt, I 
> want the bloody NeXT like scrollbar not that ugly motif thing, so 
> rather then muck around making my own package that will inevitably 
> just interfere with the next debian official version I just got the 
> sources configured compiled and installed (in /usr/local as any non 
> braindamaged Makefile will do by default) and boom the next time i 
> ran rxvt i got mine because the default PATH puts /usr/local/bin 
> before /usr/bin anyone who wants to use the official debian rxvt can 
> still do so, and my installation did not damage or modify in ANY WAY 
> the debian packaged version.  perfectly clean. no interference.

Extremely elegant! Since I want to Nextify my box as much as possible, this
is very important for me. 

> >That sounds wonderful. Keeping a system up to date with Red Hat is quite
> >a challenge. I was getting sick of chasing RPM's all over the place.
> its amazing, I was not convinced this kind of upgradability would 
> ever work but it does for the most part.  (i had problem going from 
> slink to octoberish potato on a few packages but i was brand new to 
> debain, and potato was still not totally baked yet)
> I just upgraded the compiler on linuxppc to see if i could get a 
> kernel to compile and actually work and i tell you I don't know how i 
> ever stood using that rpm crap(*), downloading .rpms manually and 
> fetching all the dependencies yourself, figuring out what package 
> libfoobar.so.5.0.2 belongs to is just so primitive after using 

Ah, something else I wanted to ask... I assume it's easy to chase down
a specific library after a compile aborts and asks for it?

> (*) I know this is harsh but what can i say, unless you hate package 
> management in general, once you use apt/dpkg there is just no 
> comparison.  I hope the LSB gets off on this `lets make RPM standard' 
> rubbish...
> -- 
> cheers,
> Ethan who is iching to blow away this linuxppc mess.

I wish I'd knew all of this a month ago, when I installed Linuxppc and 
started to slowly try to fix and optimize everything...  Ciao and thanks


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