Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Yesterday I started to install Redhat 4 on a temporary fileserver. I started with enthusiasm, thinking I would install via a Kickstart file. After a bit of a look on the web I couldn't really find much about reinstalling using Kickstart, so instead of wasting hours of trying to work it out, I thought I'd go for the manual installation via Anaconda.

I started by doing it in the way that I usually install linux. Thats to set up a bare bones facility and then add the packages I need. So I configured Anaconda and started the install and it died. So I started again. Second time lucky it worked.

I went into the gnome package manager and selected the packages that I wanted to install - Samba for the file server. Clicked the update button and got the dialogue box that tells you you need extra packages providing you with a list of the missing items. Great. Tried a couple more times, reducing any superfluous packages that I didn't really need. Not much luck there either kept getting the same box with things I had checked off. In the end I thought well I can either download the spare packages or chance a reinstall at a server config, which I eventually chose.

Would it have been quicker to get the dependancy packages from the web? Well at the moment I have so much trouble installing new software on linux that I avoid it like the plague! I've tried with some software and after about a day or so of trying to install it I just chuck in the towel. I really need to brush up in this area. I need some sort of best practice method for install programs. It's not like windows, files go all over the shot. Where's the best place to put them - theres no program file folder, you could put them in your home folder for all I know. Especially in those compile from source things. They are the worst! You go about from the command line. I've managed to get files from one end of town to the other with those things and given up in the end. That's why its listed on my wishlist ( see previous post ).

Anyway, I started with the second install. There were a few retry dialogue boxes for installation of various software but fortunately on each retry it continued installing instead of having to reboot and start all over again.

So I got my RH4 up and going and am now configuring it network and samba wise. I had this idea that I'd use the network setting files from temporary server version 1, so I had copied my config files over from that to my laptop. Having no other way to transfer these files other than floppy or cd first up I went for floppy. RH4 would not recognise the file system that my floppy was formatted as. RH3 on my laptop had no probs. Not wishing to stuff around with this any further and it being almost the end of the day I thought, oh well I'll configure the network by gnome.
Did that, stopped and started the network just to see what I could see, knowing that sometimes you have to do a reboot so that it registers round the local network. Ended up having to reboot.
When I went to log off, the log off dialogue box took ages to pop up. Guess the computer didn't want me to go home. So by the time I packed my bags and got ready to leave it finally was nice and was able to shutdown, with the hesitation that things were going awfully slowly.

Got in today and had to do an interactive boot to get the RH4 server up after a couple of stalls on the boot up. I know linux doesn't like to start up network daemons when there's not network cable available from experience with my laptop set-up. So this didn't really worry me. Finally the login came up and I logged in. It took about a minute to load up my preferences and left the loading preference dialogue box on the screen up while I was getting down to work out why I couldn't see the network. I had noticed that last night after using the terminal from a right click on the desktop that it took ages to initialise. I have noticed though, on previous installations of RH that for a few initial boots, linux seems to be a bit vague. I'm crossing my fingers that this is the case.

Any comments appreciated.


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