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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've often thought that Arch's install media is amongst the worst in Linux, but always persevered because once it's installed it's very little maintenance. However this time round might be a problem too far. I've tried two install ISOs, one doesn't output via my display port and the other does some weird stuff to me ethernet NIC (the NIC shows up, but refuses to connect via DHCP). Both the graphics and network adaptor are Intel, so there's really no excuse for compatibility problems
rolleyes.gif


Anyhow, since this is my workstation, I can't waste much more time on it, so if ArchBang doesn't work either (I'd rather install vanilla Arch if I could) then I either need to use another distro of give up and run Windows
mad.gif


Advice please
 

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Can't help with the Arch NIC issue, but is there anything wrong with the cookie-cutter suggestions like Ubuntu (and variants), Mint or Fedora? I use Fedora on my workstation, it works well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shub View Post

Can't help with the Arch NIC issue, but is there anything wrong with the cookie-cutter suggestions like Ubuntu (and variants), Mint or Fedora? I use Fedora on my workstation, it works well.
I really don't like Ubuntu. Fedora might be a consideration though. I was thinking Debian unstable, but there's no reason why I couldn't go down the Redhat route instead.

I basically want something that's going to run for years, easy updates and a lots of software in the repos.

I'm actually considering FreeBSD tbh. But that might cause bigger issues as I'd need Virtualbox and/or VMWare
 

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You could consider Linux Mint Debian Edition, too -- it's based on Debian testing, not Debian unstable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ahh, it was testing I meant before rather than unstable.

I managed to get ArchBang installed now anyway. So I'll just remove the "Bang" bits and make it more my own
smile.gif


thanks for you help anyway
 

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Hello
I see you have a workable solution so this is just idle curiosity but if you were willing to go to BSD which has less hardware support and fewer available packages, why wouldn't you consider Slackware with it's BSD init system and vanilla nature lending itself to fewer customization limits?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Hello
I see you have a workable solution so this is just idle curiosity but if you were willing to go to BSD which has less hardware support and fewer available packages, why wouldn't you consider Slackware with it's BSD init system and vanilla nature lending itself to fewer customization limits?
Hardware support isn't an issue (it's all intel gear) and FreeBSD has a very impressive number of packages (you'd be surprised at just how good it is - its better than many Linux distros).

The reason I discounted Slackware was the same reason I always discount Slackware these days; because it's source based and because upgrades are a pain in the arse.

I do love Slackware as a distro; I genuinely do. But it's too hands on for an office PC where productivity is the first and foremost priority. If Slackware offered a decent binary repository and a way to mix that with sources like FreeBSD and Arch do, then I might have installed it ("might" being the keyword. because I'd have still tried Arch before Slack and I did manage to get Arch installed in the end)
 

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I thought I read somewhere (possibly comment on Slashdot) that suse was a good workstation distro. Just curious if you had opinion on that one way or the other? Was suse (OpenSuse, whatever) a consideration? I've never tried myself.

Note: posted from phone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by subassy View Post

I thought I read somewhere (possibly comment on Slashdot) that suse was a good workstation distro. Just curious if you had opinion on that one way or the other? Was suse (OpenSuse, whatever) a consideration? I've never tried myself.

Note: posted from phone.
Yeah it was a consideration. I do like OpenSuse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari8608 View Post

PC-BSD would probably have been a decent choice. You get the best of both worlds, FreeBSD (with ZFS if you want it) on the back end and a modern desktop UI right out of the box.
tbh if I was bothered about a desktop out of the box then I wouldn't be installing Arch
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Well, you did say you can't waste much more time on it. In my limited experience, installing and configuring Xorg with a desktop environment is the most time-consuming task. I don't know what you do with your workstation though. If it's all CLI/SSH then I can see how that wouldn't be a concern at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari8608 View Post

Well, you did say you can't waste much more time on it. In my limited experience, installing and configuring Xorg with a desktop environment is the most time-consuming task. I don't know what you do with your workstation though. If it's all CLI/SSH then I can see how that wouldn't be a concern at all.
I've probably touched Xorg's config files maybe once in about 3 years. I can't speak for other distros, but on Arch Xorg seems to be pretty good at managing itself these days.
 

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Yeah ArchLinux uses the main Xorg branch and isn't very far behind being latest straight from source. They've been putting a lot of work into auto detection and multiple displays for the past couple years which leads to a very pleasant experience.
 

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Agree with both of you. Haven't needed to touch my X.org config files for ages on my Arch machines. Only time I had to was when I set up my 6*1280x1024 display setup, and that was more because it was easier for me to make a template for the first display and simply copy+paste the other 5 and adjust the coordinates where needed ( +/-1280 left -or- right starting from the center, along with the center top ). Could have done it from the GUI, but things aren't always as nice when done through the GUI. Lot of un-needed settings get added and it gets messy quick.

But for most of my systems it's as simple as installing xorg, video drivers ( if needed ), and wm or de... quick restart and off to the races.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Hardware support isn't an issue (it's all intel gear) and FreeBSD has a very impressive number of packages (you'd be surprised at just how good it is - its better than many Linux distros).
My bad. I thought display port and nic issues were at the heart of the problem. Do you mind explaining what Linux distro not only has but can possibly have substantially fewer packages than another?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

The reason I discounted Slackware was the same reason I always discount Slackware these days; because it's source based and because upgrades are a pain in the arse.

I do love Slackware as a distro; I genuinely do. But it's too hands on for an office PC where productivity is the first and foremost priority. If Slackware offered a decent binary repository and a way to mix that with sources like FreeBSD and Arch do, then I might have installed it ("might" being the keyword. because I'd have still tried Arch before Slack and I did manage to get Arch installed in the end)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but why do you consider Slackware to be "source based"? It is neither like Gentoo or LFS and there are many Slackware users who never issue "./config&&make&&sudo make install" , ever. Slackbuild scripts are in great abundance on repositories (and they are incredibly easy to make if you can't find one) to automate the the building of a package, which gets placed in /tmp and then installed with "installpkg". Upgrades a pita? It's as easy as 1, 2 , 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slackware Upgrade.txt

#Note this is an exerpt but is all that is required to do a complete version upgrade

1. Upgrade your glibc shared libraries. This is important, or things
might go haywire during the next part of the upgrade:

upgradepkg /root/slackware/a/glibc-solibs-*.t?z

2. Upgrade your package utilities and related tools:

upgradepkg /root/slackware/a/pkgtools-*.tgz
upgradepkg /root/slackware/a/tar-*.tgz
upgradepkg /root/slackware/a/xz-*.tgz
upgradepkg /root/slackware/a/findutils-*.txz

3. Upgrade everything else (and install new packages):

upgradepkg --install-new /root/slackware/*/*.t?z

DONE !
QED

If you prefer easier, closer to rolling release, and very solid (already has enterprise version) SolydXK is amazingly good. I keep trying to break it or uncover weaknesses and it keeps standing up. The install is also quite lean. I hate to admit it, but on SolydK, the KDE version, it uses substantially less resources than my Slackware installed KDE does though naturally it has had time to "put on some belly fat over the years" (haven't done a clean install on my main in almost 5 years). Just yesterday I checked and the default SolydK KDE desktop with one plasmoid and a fairly complex conky running averaged 2.5% CPU and 630MB ram at idle, and that's with "The Evil Few" fully enabled!. It's fast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

My bad. I thought display port and nic issues were at the heart of the problem.
Ahh sorry, yes I see where our wires crossed. Yes you're right that there were hardware issues at the heart of the problem, but since all the hardware is Intel, there should be decent enough drivers already. I suspect it was just systemd / whatever being crapola.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Do you mind explaining what Linux distro not only has but can possibly have substantially fewer packages than another?
I was talking more about the stuff in their repos. I think you're talking about in general. You're right that pretty much all FOSS will compile on pretty much all desktop distros (bar the more experimental ones perhaps), but since this is a work PC I'd rather have most of the stuff pre-compiled (and a ports repository or yauort type thing for the stuff I'd have to compile because then I don't have to waste time with dependencies and what not).

I do a massive amount of manual compiling of software for my job - so it's not an ability thing. I just can't justify spending as much time keeping my workstation up-to-date as I do the servers I manage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Not to put too fine a point on it, but why do you consider Slackware to be "source based"?
Because it is. Granted I've not used it so much lately, but I used to run it as my main desktop back in the 90s and 00s, so I have some idea what Slackware is and isn't
tongue.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

It's as easy as 1, 2 , 3.
QED
Still more involved than FreeBSD and Arch.
tongue.gif
So it comes back to my point about wanting something that keeps out of my way as much as possible without being dumbed down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

If you prefer easier, closer to rolling release, and very solid (already has enterprise version) SolydXK is amazingly good. I keep trying to break it or uncover weaknesses and it keeps standing up. The install is also quite lean. I hate to admit it, but on SolydK, the KDE version, it uses substantially less resources than my Slackware installed KDE does though naturally it has had time to "put on some belly fat over the years" (haven't done a clean install on my main in almost 5 years). Just yesterday I checked and the default SolydK KDE desktop with one plasmoid and a fairly complex conky running averaged 2.5% CPU and 630MB ram at idle, and that's with "The Evil Few" fully enabled!. It's fast!
I might give that a try one day in the future.
I do like Slackware - a lot. More so than Arch in fact. But I have to be pragmatic about this since it's a work PC and not something I'm building for the love of Linux.

Plus part of the incentive of running Arch at work is that I'm running it on one of my personal laptops too. So I can guinea pig any breaking changes on that (and learn how to avoid / fix them) before risking updates my work.
 

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I'm glad you got Arch Banged and de-Banged and are back up and running. It is no fun having to "change horses midstream" on a work PC. Although it has evolved away, and as I'm sure you know, Arch originally was forked from Slackware which is one reason I asked.

Regarding "source-based" either we define that differently or you don't consider a package manager that doesn't resolve dependencies for you a "real" package manager since, although Slackware does come with all the source files on the DVD (as an alternative) the installer uses nothing but .tgz and .txz packages, requiring nothing but the PkgTool suite to install it all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Arch originally was forked from Slackware which is one reason I asked.
Arch seems to disagree with you...

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/FAQ#Q.29_What_distribution_is_Arch_based_on.3F
Quote:
Q) What distribution is Arch based on?
A) Arch is independently developed, was built from scratch and is not based on any other GNU/Linux distribution. Before creating Arch, Judd Vinet admired and used CRUX, a great, minimalist distribution created by Per Lidén. Originally inspired by ideas in common with CRUX, Arch was built from scratch, and pacman was then coded in C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To be honest, dependency management is the must have feature of a package manager in my opinion. But everyone has their own preferences when it comes to Linux
smile.gif
 
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