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So yeah, I don’t think it’s wise to share partitions between distros anymore, except for swap, just too many headaches when they don’t agree, especially when an OS’s /etc/fstab file deals with partition UUIDs instead of pathnames… So I just reformatted the entire disk, I now have:

/dev/sda1 : /boot : 2 GB, exclusive to Linux Mint.
/dev/sda2 : swap : 2 GB, for anyone.
/dev/sda3 : extended : 100 GB, five 20 GB logical partitions with one OS in each.
/dev/sda5 : ext4 : 20 GB, Linux Mint.
/dev/sda6 : ext3 : 20 GB, Slackware.
/dev/sda7 : ext3 : 20 GB, unused.
/dev/sda8 : ext3 : 20 GB, unused.
/dev/sda9 : ext3 : 20 GB, unused.
/dev/sda4 : ext3 : rest, for Linux Mint, but mounted by other systems and put in their /etc/fstab as necessary.

After yet another failed attempt at installing Debian I tried my hand at Slackware, having been too intimidated and lazy to attempt the CLI-based install. Luckily, the only command-line operations you actually have to perform are partitioning the disk, which I had already done when installing Linux Mint. The Slackware install is actually a breath of fresh air. Can’t connect to your college’s wireless Internet? Slackware doesn’t care (unlike Debian). You only want to install selected packages? Go ahead! You don’t want some programs running at startup? You’re the boss! It’s like a pleasant midpoint between overwhelming configuration (Gentoo, Arch Linux, LFS) and exceedingly little (*buntus). It’s like a lovely development suite you can get up and running on a Sunday evening, when your brain’s fried and you just want to have some light fun (in the form of coding, no less).

Categories: Linux, Review Tags: , , ,
  1. pankromatic
    28/01/2011 at 19:03

    Interesting notes on Slackware. I would have thought Slack was very close to Arch, config wise.

    Also, odd you stumbled on Debian…was it just wireless drivers? Debian is much easier than slack/arch/gentoo.

    Gentoo has been the most fun of any of the half dozen distros I have tried.

    Nice article. Keep up the good work and have fun.

    • 28/01/2011 at 19:39

      In fact, all of the distros I’ve been trying, with the exception of Linux Mint, have had great difficulty in detecting my new wireless card, and it is even turned off whenever I boot into Mint. lspci on Mint states that the device is using r8192se_pci. The funny thing is though, this is present by default on every other distro I’ve used, yet they do not even start the module when I boot up, and the module doesn’t recognise the device when I start it manually… Ah, ce la vie I guess.
      As for Arch/Slack, I haven’t played with them much since college work is piling up, but I think the main difference is Arch has little or no GUI support and minimal functionality (which is the whole point of the distro). But as far as I can figure out, a base Arch install is equivalent to the final product of LFS, although I’m guessing that’s what they’re going for. Thanks for the comment.

  2. pankromatic
    31/01/2011 at 06:09

    I really wanted to make LFS work,but I found I need a lot more knowledge before I could tackle that project. This is a huge difference between getting a minimal Gentoo installed, compared to a minimal LFS.

    The only GUI you will have in Arch is one you compile yourself. That said, XFCE and many other are available for Arch.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. 31/01/2011 at 12:03

    Don’t lose heart, it took me three attempts to finally install it, and even then I didn’t understand everything. The second time I attempted it I actually compiled the kernel and set up the boot loader and got a kernel panic whenever I booted into it. It was frustrating but I just left it for a month or two and I finally have a working LFS install, soon to be a BLFS install, hopefully. So even if you don’t think you have the knowledge to start working on it now, you can still attempt it, because you really learn a lot from the experience.

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