Distributions! (and possible hard disk partition table corruption!)

Tuesday 22. May, 2007

(You don’t have to read this)

This weekend I ended up removing “the” Windows installation from my laptop to free up some space from hard disk for other purposes. Firstly I downloaded GParted live iso so I could tinker with the partition tables of the hd. Before I had a 40 GB partition for Windows and the rest of the 80GB disk partitioned for Ubuntu, Prospekt Linux and home partition, now I have a 12 GB primary partition at the beginning of the disk and after it a new 38 GB home partition. I also changed the place of my swap partition which required moving my Ubuntu by 1 GB. Everything seemed to be okay after reboot and then I downloaded the installation DVD for openSuse 10.3 Alpha 4 just to see what’s it like.

(Later I noticed that cfdisk refuses to start due to fatal error in disk, says something about enlarged(?) partitions, so I guess gparted is not all-safe. fdisk complained about partition cylinder boundaries on the last partition and after removing it no complaints from fdisk)

The dvd was only(?) available as a bittorrent download, which made me wonder which client is the best for downloading. Opera didn’t seem to archieve very high download speeds which probably was due to NAT-network that I’m in, I did change the only bittorrent settings Opera offers (selecting port for incoming connections) but it didn’t seem to help at all. Next I installed Azuerus from Ubuntu’s repositories, but it seemed to be even worse.

Azuerus said that configuration was ok, but the download speeds variated between zero and ~100 kB/s and after some time I got frustrated as the client was also slow (didn’t suprise me though, I have always had prejudices concerning Java software) and yet again changed the client. Next in line was KTorrent, which is quite simple bittorrent client for KDE. It actually worked quite well, it didn’t take very long until download speed was around 400kB/s and it could keep it at that level ’til the end of the download. So the best BitTorrent client I have ever had is KTorrent (it kept high speeds on both downloads, of which I write something somewhere below).

The installation of openSuse went smoothly and didn’t have any problems, except that internet update wasn’t offered but that’s mentioned in most hated bugs so it wasn’t a problem. I did have problems with configuration of X, though. For some reason it had problems with corepointer (usb-mouse) device and it just refused to start. I commented out references to the mouse and X started. Then it hit me. My weird objection of tweaking desktop environments… I have always hated the cursor theme in openSuse (cursor should be either white(ish) or the black ugly block). Now I feel awfully superficial, but I didn’t quite like the new K-menu either. I played around the desktop for some time and started to wonder how Arch Linux is like these days…

I rebooted to Ubuntu and downloaded (with KTorrent 🙂 ) the latest ArchLinux iso. I didn’t bother to create or format a new partition for it, so I just sent openSuse to binary heaven. We may meet again in the future.

ArchLinux has a nice very non-automated installation program, I must say. It’s not just clicking next as in other distros (especially the ones using Anaconda), it’s complete opposite for Ubuntu’s installer. Sure Arch Linux requires work to get it set up but it requires it a lot less than LFS :-). It was very interesting to note that Pacman seems to have gotten a lot faster or I have been using Ubuntu for too long (apt/dpkg seems quite slow). My Arch base was installed in no time (excluding time used to edit configuration files) and I was happy to see that Pacman was still fast after the first boot. After installing KDE and creating a personal account, I started a KDE-session. I was a bit confused as the desktop look somehow different from Ubuntu’s (I use KDE in Ubuntu too). Of course themes were different too (missing). The taskbar looked too big even when its size was set to Small. I don’t know, it was just weird. After setting up mostly used software (pidgin (and gfire), thunderbird, opera and so on…) I just reboot to Ubuntu.

God dammit, Ubuntu! It has had an effect on me…

I wonder what’s Mandriva like these days…

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