Well, my computer parts came in today as planned. I spent the morning assembling everything and installing the base system. I tried to go with Ubuntu, but it became problematic. Here’s why:
- I wanted to have separate partitions for /boot and /tmp. This nice development, once I worked it out, still screwed up the install of GRUB and the computer would not boot from the hard drive unless I put the install CD and manually made it boot from the hard drive.
- The madwifi (atheros chipset-based wireless cards) driver would not cooperate with wpa_supplicant (the binary for wireless cards to use WPA encryption).
- After getting #2 to work, the clock was screwed up (set to October 2006!) and would not let me use sudo (to correct the time).
- Of course, there is no root password, so trying to use su resulted in yet another problem.
So, I ditched Ubuntu and popped in dvd disc 1 of Debian Etch (the newly released isos with the RC for the debian-installer). It has a new graphical installation, but that’s over-the-top as the text installer is more intuitive and easier to use (I ran both for the hell of it!). My only difficulty was getting madwifi to work because it is not included on the dvds…I had to download it on another computer, save it to a disc, then install it manually. After installing it, it had some problem at first resolving the IP address from my router (small user error in configuring wpa_supplicant). But, it’s running nicely now (after manually building the alsa and madwifi modules). So, Ubuntu may be nice for those who don’t have a clue as to what they’re doing, but it also restricts what one is able to do if one knows what one is doing and likes root. Sorry (k|x|ed)Ubuntu, it’s just not my cup of tea.