Posts tagged with " distro"

Installing Slackware 12.2 on the Thinkpad T-30

Sunday, 25/01/2009 ≅11:43 ©brainycat

I decided it was time to move on from LinuxMint. LinuxMint is a great distro... for people who view computers as tools that make music, video and the internet happen, and I recommend it wholeheartedly for firsttime linux users. It comes with absolutely gorgeous themes; I'm partial to dark themes and they had a great dark grey theme with green accents. However, as a ex-sysadmin, sometimes developer and all around geek, I found the lack of libraries, development tools and applications too limiting. Additionally, I discovered I'm not very impressed with gnome. The most important thing I wanted gnome to do, manage my network connectivity with clickety-magic, was entirely beyond it's aegis. Also, when I tried to hibernate after tethering it would usually just wake itself back up. And the best subversion and cd/dvd copying/burning software is built against the KDE libraries, so I decided to go back to my beloved slack. Finally, I was not able to install a package that could rip my BOUGHT and PAID FOR cds to mp3. My blackberry doesn't play ogg or flac, so this was a critical issue.

Then I found the notice that slackware had  updated to 12.2, and included some new tools for laptops. I downloaded and burned the install disks, then backed up the following directories:

  • /home/[user]
  • /etc/apache2
  • /etc/ppp
  • /etc/hosts
  • /etc/pm
  • /usr/share/fonts
  • /usr/share/icons
  • /usr/share/themes
  • /usr/local

When I did the original install, I did a monolithic partition so it was imperative I backup EVERYTHING. Also, I didn't back up any dotfiles from /home/[user] except .xchat2, .purple and .afterstep. I use foxmarks, so I wasn't concerned about my firefox bookmarks. I did make a list of my installed add-ons for referance. I exported my Newsfox feeds as an OPML file. Also, I did "lsmod > ~/lsmod.txt", as the linuxmint distro did a fantastic job of finding all my hardware. Next I sat on it for a couple of hours to see if I would remember anything else to backup. I didn't.

The install went very smoothly, slack hasn't changed their install procedure since I started using it years ago. I broke up the partition table into /, /home, and /usr/local. I installed everything on all three disks, and the whole install took around 45 minutes. I selected the framebuffer video driver and KDE's native window manager. When I rebooted, I was greeted by a nice splash screen that disappeared once I selected an OS (IBM laptops have a WinXP rescue partition that I leave alone), then it went to the scrolling dmesg. Everything was detected normally. I created a user account for myself and logged into another virtual console.

Startx brought up X without any problems, at my full 1024x764x32bit. KDE provided me with a setup wizard with some basic options about the themes. The first thing I noticed is that this install is VERY NOTICEABLY faster and more responsive than LinuxMint. The process table is a lot cleaner too; when LinuxMint boots and I'm in my windowmanager, it's running ~125 processes. I'm in the KDE WM right now, with 4 applications running and a USB drive connected, and it's showing 118 processes. KDE is very easy to use, but I'm looking forward to installing AfterStep. More applications are installed than with LinuxMint, too. The install takes 9.3GB of diskspace.

I like KDE a lot more than gnome. It's snappier and has a more polished feel to it; the UI just works. I was not able to configure my wireless network, but I didn't consult any instructions either. I'll try again now that I've set it up via CLI. Firefox has no extensions, and I haven't installed flash yet. Also, the themes that come with KDE are all pretty standard, I'm going to have to find a darker theme to match my AfterStep theme. I was able to plugin my USB drive, and it was automagically mounted. Konqueror is a FANTASTIC file browser.

So far, I'm extremely pleased with this installation. I still have a lot to do for the workstation:

  1. Get the networking to work via the KDE tools.
  2. install AfterStep, configure for KDE
  3. get the scroll/button3 working on my mouse (that's what I wish I had backed up: Xconfig)
  4. Find a better theme
  5. get suspend/hibernate working (enable ACPI)
  6. get the ThinkPad button to work
  7. figure out why I can't set my font smoothing to do sub-pixel rendering

Also, I need to get the following applications working:

  1. setup apache, php and mysql for my development environment
  2. sync my software projects out of my SVN depot
  3. setup xdm

LinuxMint – Liveboot try before you buy

Tuesday, 10/06/2008 ≅14:06 ©admin

After years of using slackware through it’s various stages, I came to a point where it wasn’t meeting my needs anymore. I bought a refurb ThinkPad T-30 with a p6 1.8G/.5GB RAM. Output is handled by the ATI Radeon 7500/16MB driving a 1400×1050 LCD. For a console junkie like me, this is heady stuff. I [...]