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Lord Yupa

February 2010

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Hard drive woes.

Ugh, this is frustrating. I've got 4 different hard drives in my primary server. It started out with just a single one, and now the file system flows all over the place, covering something like 11 partitions on the 4 drives.

I'd really like to reorganize and consolidate everything in a more logical and less ad hoc manner, but that is really gonna be a pain in the butt. I'd also love to change over / to use ReiserFS, like most of the rest of the partitions are using, but that also is a good bit of work (especially with the messy way things are set up).

On the other hand, maybe it is time I backed things up, wiped the drives, and reinstalled everything. I'm running on the same debian installation that started out as a Debian 1.3 (Bo) release, in late '97. It's been updated (thank God for apt-get update && apt-get upgrade, making life so much easier;-) numerous times since then, but I've never had to reinstall. It is prolly getting a little crufty. ;-)


Re: Ugh, no way. ;-)

Hrm. . . you must have come in at a bad time. Around that time, there was still a fairly small number of developers, and only a few hundred packages. There's now almost 1,000 Debian developers, almost 10,000 Debian packages, and they have much stricter and better organizaed policies and regulations for packages. I don't know that I've found anything anywhere (on PC hardware) that I would rank above Debian's Stable releases for rock solid stability and reliability.

I've used all three of the BSD's, and I do have an appreciation for them (particularly NetBSD, which is my prefered of the three), but I've still not found anything anywhere that is as slick as apt-get. ;-)

Additionally, even more important than just the apt-get tool, is Debian's system policies. I find it better organized than just about any other free *nix, because all packages follow the same rules for file placement (config/binary/data/etc), and use standard facilities for installation, upgrade, starting/stopping services, etc.

As for a truly minimal install, Debian has an unofficial "netinst" CD, with a 35MB ISO which includes an ultra-minimal installation, and grabs everything else desired from the net. ;-)

Of course, what could be really interesting soon, is the Debian GNU/NetBSD (with the other BSD's starting to get worked on, too), which is in progress. ;-)

Re: Ugh, no way. ;-)

Ah, yeah. . . the libc4 -> libc5 transition was a little messy. Although, I actually found the libc5 -> glibc2/libc6 transition to be surprisingly smooth. I didn't have any major problems with it.

As for the GNU/BSD license thing, there's actually no conflict at all. Debian has it's Debian Free Software Guidelines (which is what the Open Source Initiative took nearly verbatim for their original "Open Source" Guidelines). The BSD license (sans-the obnoxious advertising clause, which has been removed from most of the BSD's since Berkeley stated it could be) is a perfectly acceptable license for Debian, and has been as long as I can remember (even if it has the advert clause, it can still be included with Debian. . . it just has to be placed in the 'contrib' or 'non-free' section, and can't go in 'main').

Basically, the goal is to take a BSD kernel (initially NetBSD) and the required low-level utilities, and port the entire Debian userland (all (nearly) 10k packages) to it. I won't disagree that BSD ports are nice, but it just doesn't compare to the quantity (and sometimes, quality) of Debian packages. Debian has a standardized set of installations scripts, configuration scripts, policies, etc, that offer it easier upgrades that work more often than just about any system I've ever seen.