Bad, vile and meaningless: Ubuntu from Alan's clob


Ok, so I got tired of running my bunch of Debians, and decided to try running a bunch of Debian-based not-Debians.

My choice was Ubuntu Linux because I was curious of the artwork, concept, and when I noticed that the current Ubuntu unstable "Hoary" has the X server, which means transparency and window shadows for those not in the know. I could have installed those .debs on my Debian sids, but I decided to go all the way and switch.

Knoppix install #1

Ok, so my first install was a debootstrap from KNOPPIX. I got a Hoary. After some extra work I managed to start X -- but it just got broken in unstable, so I discovered package called xserver-xorg-dbg that still worked. Don't try transparency at home, kids, unless you have ATI or Nvidia proprietary drivers running.

Real installs #1, #2, #3 (which took 5 retries)

But I liked it anyway, so I thought I'll try the stable which is called "Warty". It seemed to work best with my oldish Thinkpad laptop. No troubles worth mentioning. In fact, it seemed to have preconfigured the system perfectly.

My two other boxes didn't go so well, however. So here are its warts:

Other packages of interest in the universe:


This distribution has a pretty good out-of-the-box experience. Where it fails is mostly due to strangeness of my setups, like having both VGA and DVI connected to the same TFT. You have to tune X configs manually in order to use DVI-D. I turn on TwinView with orientation clone. That seems to do the trick. It's as if the DVI output wasn't the primary display, which I find distasteful.

Another such peculiarity is software-RAIDed system disks. It can't install grub for you, because grub doesn't know how to install itself on RAID. Well, that is primarily a fault of grub that doesn't handle a situation that would have a reasonable strategy.

First it should check the RAID level of the target array and in case of 1, just pick the first drive (from BIOS's viewpoint) and install on that. Then write an identical copy on the second harddrive. So in case the first drive crashes, second is a perfect substitute for the system drive -- or in case the second crashes, you can still boot with the primary.

The fatal error is destroying the W2k. Had I known that, I'd have never touched the damn distribution. :-( Before I worked out what has happened, I had already fucked the distribution up from w2k install cd rescue attempts and therefore I deemed clean reinstall best.