Re: Etch is REALLY fast! :-)
Gustavo Franco wrote:
Since Etch is nearly ready to be released, I decided that my best
bet was to keep the new kernel and replace everything else! ;-) I
chose to dist-upgrade to Etch.
I've been using Etch now since Sunday night, and everything is
working really smooth. Everything seems a lot faster, too. No doubt
some of that is due to the improved video card, but boot time is
faster and everything I do when working without X also seems faster.
You feedback is really appreciated. Btw, if you want to install the
same set of packages as the default (GNOME) desktop environment, i
recommend you: aptitude update && aptitude install desktop
gnome-desktop (there are xfce-desktop and kde-desktop too). Keep in
mind that desktop and gnome-desktop aren't metapackages but tasks (as
in tasksel). In other words, d-i uses tasksel to install set of
packages and not metapackages or a 'hardcoded into d-i' list of
Well, it's much too late for me to be able to follow this advice.
In fact, I carried out my upgrade to Etch in a bizarre sort of way:
1. The 'apt' tools were so easy to use when I first started learning
about Debian that I just installed tons of packages that I either only
looked at once or never used at all.
2. Selecting "desktop system" when I first installed caused both
Gnome and KDE to get installed, but I ended up preferring Gnome and
wanted to remove as much of K as possible.
3. I read the _Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible_ and a lot of Martin
Krafft's _The Debian System_ during 2006, as part of my long-term
project to learn how Linux (Debian in particular) works under the
hood, ramping up to develop my own software (or maybe become a DD in
This combination of factors led me to modify 'sources.list' and
'apt.conf' to point to Etch, then run 'aptitude' -- with which I was
able to pick over my entire Debian system one package at a time,
watching the effects of upgrading one important package, removing
unwanted cruft, seeing the list of "broken" packages jump to nearly
100, then counting down to zero as I continued to mark stuff for
upgrades (or purges). It took hours and hours... I was reading masses
of documentation as I discovered new and interesting things about what
really goes on inside a Debian OS.
In the end, I realized that the process that took me about 9 hours
could have been carried out automatically by
in about 40 minutes -- for it took only 25 minutes to download 663MB
of packages and 15 minutes for the debconf questions and setups -- but
I would not have learned nearly as much, and would have not felt
nearly as satisfied! ;-)
I thought it was particularly hilarious that I had to recompile my
entire kernel, whereas my original decision to upgrade to Etch was
intended to allow me to preserve it. Sarge runs XFree86, but my new
video card required a new driver blob and kernel module. The Etch
upgrade, of course, installed XOrg and the module I had compiled for
Sarge was targetting XFree86. I thought I could just compile a new
kernel module, but then realized that I had just installed a new
version of 'gcc'. I got "gcc version 4.1.2 ..." when I ran 'gcc -v',
but I had compiled my kernel with gcc 3.3.5.
So, I had a fresh '.config' file to use, and just recompiled the
whole kernel along with the ATI module -- it only took about 15
minutes. Later, I realized that there is also a 'gcc-3.3' package on
my system, and probably could have just compiled the ATI module alone
after all. (Sometimes ya gotta learn the hard way!)
I've a question on behalf of the Debian Ombudsman Team:
- Is there any current issue you would like to see solved into our
post-etch release (Lenny) ?
Well, I have been pretty busy since upgrading on Sunday. I'm more
familiar with peeves I had with Sarge, such as:
- 'fam' often refusing to let me unmount my USB drives until
I ran '/etc/init.d/fam restart'.
- 'gdm' going postal if I tried to log in more than once -- solved
by adding "AlwaysRestartServer=true" in 'gdm.conf'. (I guessed
this had to do with the proprietary ATI driver, though.)
- the font called "Cursor" causing much of Gnome to go apopleptic
if you tried to use it.
I haven't had time to put Etch through the ringer since upgraded on
Your question seems sort of open-ended. Did you mean to narrow the
range of "issues" at all, or are you inviting comments, criticisms,
and gripes in the broadest possible sense?
BTW, the constructive criticism from Wim de Smet is a good one. I
noticed that myself, about 'info' giving manpages instead, but I
either assumed I was doing something wrong or that the documentation
was out of date. Reading the bug page for #139569 makes,
unfortunately, for hilarious reading. It's like a cat chasing its own
tail... imagine the Debian swirl!