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Re: [linrad] RE: Which distros are free?

leif@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I am also suspicious to RedHat (as well as SuSE) but I am thankful to
> both companies as well. I would certainly not have been capable of 
> starting my Linrad project without them:-)
> Even now when I have acquired a little knowledge of Linux, Debian is 
> too complicated for me. I tried to install it last week and found
> many things in the installation process very satisfactory compared
> to what I have been used to. It was quite a bit more complicated
> though and I had to guess many things (that may have been unimportant 
> to me) Finally, when I had a working installation I found out that 
> svgalib did not compile because the kernel files were for another 
> kernel..... (several kernels actually, but not the one I had had
> to select to boot from the CD on my computer)
> I tried to compile the kernel and moved the new one into the boot 
> directory which destroyed the system completely. I did not want
> to go through the process of learning Lilo and the boot process 
> again because the whole Debian installation is not for Linux novices
> like me or any MS Windows using radio amateur who is going to set 
> up his first Linrad system. SuSE, RedHat, Fedora and Mandrake can 
> be installed without prior knowledge of Linux or Unix and for that
> I am grateful to the companies.

Dear Leif,

I am not a linux expert. My first distro was Mandrake and I am also 
grateful to them because they let me know the Linux world and abandon 
the windows one. I started with Mandrake 6.1, which came with a nice 
text based installation. The most important difficulty I had with my 
first installation was understanding the partition scheme of the Linux 
world. I abandoned Linux for a while and returned again with 9.1 version 
and I liked it. It was a very nice graphic install and everyting went 
ok. I noticed that some KDE programs were not too much polished, and had 
frecuent crashes (not the system). But suddenly I heard about Debian in 
a magazine, I liked its phylosophy and installed it. The first impresion 
was poor: a text based installer, the X window system did not work, nor 
the sound card,  and I was in from of a system with the text console. 
But as soon as you start to know the basic commands, how to install, 
remove and configure packages, and where to look for help, I got in love 
with it. Every installed program was solid rock, no segfaults, 
everything was running smoothly. The documentation was superb!

Well, I do not want to continue evangelizing   ;-)

Installing or compiling kernels in Debian is very easy (you install the 
package kernel-source-2.x.x and you can use the "Debian way" or the 
"traditional way"). The Debian way  (with I do not use) compiles the 
kernel  and generates a package ready for installation. The traditional 
way is the make menuconfig, make bzImage..... as it is explained in the 
README file on the kernel source (as every Linux user have done ). Then, 
you have to copy the /usr/src/kernel-2.x.x/arch/i386/bzImage to the 
/boot directory. Then edit your /etc/lilo.conf file and ensure that 
there is not "initrd entries" and that lilo points to the right bzImage 
file. Then you run "lilo" to update the new kernel and that is all.
The most common mistake is forgetting to run "lilo" or to use a wrong 
kernel file name.

The best thing is NOT using Lilo, but GRUB. GRUB is for me the best and 
more versatile boot loader. Once installed, when the computer reboots 
from the hard drive, you have the chance of using an interactive program 
from with you can enter commands and boot every OS in your hard drive. 
It is impressive.
When you install a new kernel, you do NOT have tu run "grub" as we did 
with "lilo". This step is frecuently forgotten when using lilo. With 
GRUB, I always have a GRUB floopy or a GRUB CD for booting in emergencies.

Now I am very busy and I do not have enough free time to experiment with 
SVGALIB 1.9.x issues in Debian, but in the next months perhaps I will 
investigate it and you will know the results here. In Debian I did not 
have to compile any SVGALIB program, because there was a Debian package 
for that. But it seems that SVGALIB 1.9 is not in the Debian 
repositories, even in the unstable branch.

Anyway, many thanks to Leif for his beautiful Linrad. If you were able 
to create such a compicated C source code you can learn how to use GRUB 
in a few minutes....  ;-)
I am amazed when I look at that enormous C programs. I have been able to 
do a few lines C programs and I get sick inmediately......  :-/

73, and enjoy

> 73
> Leif / SM5BSZ