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Re: NFS install? (and other install problems)

On Thu, 19 Oct 1995, Ian Jackson wrote:


> > How come NFS is soooooo... much slower than FTP ??
> Because it was designed by Sun, who didn't think anyone would ever
> want to use it over anything but a nice fast big Ethernet.  They were
> right - noone in their right might would want to use NFS over anything
> else, but that's because of the way they based it on UDP.

Actually, I installed debian into a notebook using a paralel cable with 
the PLIP driver and it was reasonably fast. I NFS-mounted the directory tree
where I keep my debian packages and the installation was more or less smooth.

I only had a few problems:

	1) After installing the base disks, I connected  the paralel 
cable so that I could run dselect in the notebook. However, since the 
monitor in my desktop is easier to read than the LCD in the notebook, I 
telnetted to the notebook. It took me almost 15 minutes until I 
discovered that telnet was failing because it was commented out in the 
config file. I just could not think such a choice would be the default.

	2) In the initial installation dialog there is a question to let 
the user choose between a monochrome or a color dialog. However there is 
no indication (in words!!) telling you in which mode you are initially, 
so if you use an LCD mono screen you have to choose at random and hope 
for the best.

	3) PLIP is not very slow, but it's slow compared to a local disk 
or ethernet. For installation over slow links it is important to have an 
estimate of how long it would take so that you can use that time for 
something else (like going to a movie :-) ). At least there should be a 
way to find the total amount of kbytes selected so that one can make some 
calculations. That's important when disk space is limited. By the way, 
what happens if dselect fills the disk before finishing, does it crash?

	4) I got a seg fault while selecting packages. What I did is: I
installed a few packages. Then I selected a few more and installed. Then 
I selcted a few more again and dselect crashed.

	5) dselct is nice in a color monitor. However, in an LCD it is 
just plain awful. Too may characters filling the screen with no clear 

	6) After installing to the notebook I run dselect in my desktop 
so that I upgraded my desktop to the latest versions. Everything went 
fine until I rebooted. Then a message saying that I was trying to boot an 
unconfigured system and I needed the boot and root disks to start, then 
go to expert mode and select "configure system". Whaaat? I configured my 
system seven months ago and don't want to reconfigure it again. 
Fortunately, I had those disks handy (but it was just good luck!!) and 
could boot with them, go to the shell and remove /sbin/unconfigured.sh.
Not everybody who upgrades base.deb wants to reconfigure the system. 
There should at least be warning telling you not to reinstall base.deb.

	7) My friend was disappointed that X by default came with twm as 
window manager and no menu for even opening an xterm. That's no good for 
a dumb user.

I think that my friend does not trust me anymore. I told him that Debian 
was easier and better than Slackware and convinced him to remove his old 
Slackware and replace it with a brand new Debian, but after so many 
glitches he got the idea that you really have to know a lot if you want 
to install Debian. "However", he told me, " I was using Slackware for 
more than a year and never had to edit a config file". He was referring 
to system.twmrc; that file was really skinny.
What I regret most is that it was not difficult to install, it just 
_looked_ difficult compared to Slackware.

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