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I'm Really Starting to Dig Debian


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#26 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:05 PM

Puppy's pretty cool, but for portable Linux, I prefer SLAX and Porteus; both based on Slackware. Maybe I'm biased. ;)

#27 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:53 PM

I ran antiX for a while on the Mini 12 but I ran into problems with the Broadcom low power wifi and WICD. I seem to be the only person who never gets WICD to work correctly. Also I was not that impressed with the IceWM-ROX desktop.
Lubuntu 32 bit  seems to work very well and with that machine if you find something that works without tweaking, you stick with it.

Edited by raymac46, 12 May 2017 - 12:54 PM.

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#28 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:39 PM

I'm not fond of the icewm-rox desktop in antix, but I'm impressed with the performance.  And the name is kinda cool.  I always use the fluxbox desktop in antix.

Fluxbox for the win!  Ever since saturnian(?) turned me onto flux, it has become my favorite, and I install it on every desktop!  Only pekwm has tempted me away, but flux is still my preference!

#29 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 07:48 AM

Sounds as if Fluxbox might be the answer to the DE problem in antiX but I am still faced with trying to get that darn Broadcom lp-phy adapter to work on the Mini 12 netbook. I suspect there are some module conflicts I haven't resolved. I end up using a wire to get connected. I should play around with a live distro again when I feel like hitting my head with a brick for a few hours.
As it is, the Mini 12 works with Lubuntu and really I don't want to use it for serious Linux work any more.
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#30 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:06 AM

Nothing wrong with using "the right tool for the job" and it sounds like Lubuntu might be the right tool for that particular job?!  I'm just sympathetic with your dilemma, from resurrecting my mom's Dell Mini10 and knowing what a crippled piece of hardware that kit is!  I also know from my own user testing that Antix is a lighter-weight distro than Lubuntu, but it required way more customization for my liking than Lubuntu.  I also went with Lubuntu (technically, it was Zorin Lite, based on Lubuntu and LXDE).  But Antix still impresses me...

#31 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 04:03 PM

Well I pulled out the Mini 12 from the archives, and wrote a USB stick with AntiX 17 386 version. I was able to configure the ugly Broadcom wifi using Ceni (a command line type interface.) It works so here is a post from it to prove the matter.
I switched over to Fluxbox. It isn't the prettiest WM I have used but it works.
Since this machine is anything but a critical piece of hardware I should probably go ahead and install AntiX again for fun.
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#32 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 08:26 PM

Nah. Back in Lubuntu on this piece of crap netbook. I installed antiX and my troubles began.
AntiX is just too unstable. The updates broke my wifi and even with constant reconfiguring the settings would not stick or the wifi would crash.
I even tried another wifi dongle (Realtek) but that didn't work either. I had to install Lubuntu with a wired connection and then enable the wifi drivers but at least it is stable.

Edited by raymac46, 13 May 2017 - 08:28 PM.

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#33 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:43 PM

Right tool for the job!  Ain't no shame in that!

#34 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 06:43 AM

Further Googling has shown that my wifi was done in by a lethal combination of bad hardware, unstable distro code and a kernel regression. The folks over at AntiX seem to be aware of the problem and if I wait a bit it'll probably be fixed. Lubuntu works just fine and it is on the 17.04 release.
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#35 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 06:55 PM

View Postraymac46, on 13 May 2017 - 08:26 PM, said:

Back in Lubuntu on this piece of crap netbook.

Ray,

A few years ago, someone here at Scot's (a young techie fellow with numerous monitors and a liking for Arch Linux) did me a really good turn by giving me a really nice Dell laptop. It was actually my first ever laptop. I fixed that baby up and loved it while it lasted. Sadly, it took a poop on me a couple years back. I still have it, though. I just can't seem to let go, sometimes. ;) I also want to mention here that my friend Frank Golden (sadly, no longer with us) also sent me a big hdd, some more RAM, and a really cool Logitech mini-mouse (wireless) to use with the above laptop. You're never forgotten, Frank... and missed.

Anyway, I'd like to do a good turn for you, as that previous fellow did for me. I have a little Dell D420 Netbook that you can read a little about over HERE. I don't remember the specs, but I'm pretty sure I added some RAM and bought a new batt pack for it (may not be any good now, though). I can get you details, if you'd like. Anyway, it looks like this...

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It currently has Slackware installed on it; hasn't been updated in a while, though. It does have one small defect, but it didn't really affect my ability to use the machine. It has some small LCD screen artifacts (blemishes). There are, if I remember, two or three little black splotches on the display up toward the top of the screen. They never really bothered me much and Slackware runs like a little scalded dog on this thing.

I would love to walk down the street and give you this thing, but you live a bit far for me to walk. However, if you'd be willing to reimburse me for shipping and insurance, I'd be happy to pack this little guy up and send it to you.

Or, there's Option #2:

Compaq Presario V2000

Processor: Celeron M (32 bit addressing)
hdd: 60Gig PATA (currently running Slackware)
RAM: 2 Gig ddr

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You can read a little history about this one HERE.

I really don't have any use for either of these little guys, but they're both good little machines. I'd like for someone to adopt them and give them a good home. :) Oh, and I think I can change the root password and create a new user account for you in the Slack installation. That way you'll be able to use it as soon as you get it. Of course, you might just want to wipe it and install the distro of your choice.

The choice is yours. If interested, PM me here or email me. We can work out details like shipping addresses, costs, etc. To reimburse me, you can just click my PayPal button at the bottom of my website.

#36 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 07:06 PM

I realize that both these machines are pretty old and obsolete compared to the one you're currently having issues with, so if you would not really be interested in them, that's OK, too.

Maybe someone else here might like them?

#37 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 07:27 PM

Awesome :thumbsup:
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#38 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 08:08 PM

Thank you for the offer Eric. I am touched by your generosity. However I am by no means lacking in computer resources even though I am jerking around with this little obsolete netbook. I just do it because:
  • I always like the challenge of getting Linux going on old obsolete hardware. Don't ask why.
  • It keeps me up to date on I386 distros (32 bit.) You never know when you might need to install one for a serious purpose.
The ones you have are quite nice compared to the Mini 12 by the way. I wouldn't even describe them as netbooks.
It probably makes more sense to give the lappys away in the US. Trying to export them to Canada will run into duties and taxes even if you say they are gifts. The customs folks take a dim view of that srategy nowadays and they can hold things up for weeks while you hassle them over it.
Surely there are some young people in your area who would be thrilled to get one of these units if they were refurbed with the latest Slackware and appropriate software.

Edited by raymac46, 14 May 2017 - 09:37 PM.

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#39 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 08:47 PM

No problem, Ray. As a matter of fact, I've experienced issues shipping things to Canada before. A few years back a lady-friend of mine, who lives near Toronto, asked me if I'd buy some nuts for her from a website in NYC called NutsOnline. They did not ship to Canada for some reason. So, I ordered her the nuts (two 25lbs boxes) and repackaged/shipped them to her via the U.S. Postal Service.

She never received them. I filed a claim with the USPS. They blamed Canada's postal service. The Canadians blamed the U.S. postal service. NO ONE WAS GIVING ME MY $$$ BACK! After 6 months of round and round and round, I sent a certified letter to the U. S. Postmaster General with copies of all my documentation, notes on my phone calls to the USPS, copies of all other correspondence, etc. I had a check in my mailbox for the full amount of the claim in less than a week. Squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that...

Oh, and she did actually receive one of the boxes about 8 months after I shipped it... no explanation from the postman.

So, yeah... I understand what you mean about shipping between the U.S. and Canada. ;)

#40 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:44 PM

Shipping here from the USA is so bad that some Canadians (my daughter for one) get parcels shipped to the UPS store in Ogdensburg NY. That is the closest border town to here. Then she drives down and picks up the stuff and clears it herself at customs. That may work OK with kids clothing but I wouldn't want to try it with electronics given the current paranoia about laptops.
BTW I have reinstalled AntiX and updated the system and the wifi is still working on the ole Mini 12. So I guess the AntiX devs solved the problem. In fact even WICD is working at the present time.
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#41 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:14 AM

View Postraymac46, on 14 May 2017 - 09:44 PM, said:

Shipping here from the USA is so bad that some Canadians (my daughter for one) get parcels shipped to the UPS store in Ogdensburg NY. That is the closest border town to here. Then she drives down and picks up the stuff and clears it herself at customs. That may work OK with kids clothing but I wouldn't want to try it with electronics given the current paranoia about laptops.
BTW I have reinstalled AntiX and updated the system and the wifi is still working on the ole Mini 12. So I guess the AntiX devs solved the problem. In fact even WICD is working at the present time.

Good info on AntiX devs solving the problem, rather than the community providing a workaround.  Shows the AntiX devs are active and paying attention.  AntiX is on my radar in my search for a rolling distro to replace Lubuntu in the future.  +1 for AntiX in the pros and cons analysis...

#42 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 10:29 AM

To be fair it probably wasn't AntiX at fault here. May have been a kernel regression that got sorted out with another kernel update. I do recall running previous versions of AntiX that were based on Debian Jessie without incident. It was only after I started running the latest release 17 that I had issues. And of course if you didn't have Broadcom chips to worry about you likely wouldn't have a problem at all.
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#43 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:56 AM

Well I have installed the latest version of AntiX on my other legacy netbook - the far more Linux friendly Acer Aspire One 110L.
As expected WICD works perfectly and after the updates everything is fine. So if you download the latest ISO you should be good to go.
AntiX is the lightest weight distro I have found for these old, slow, low memory, low storage capacity 32 bit junkers. These are the last 32 bit machines I'll likely have - or want to have. The fact I can run something as up to date and cool as AntiX on them is really quite remarkable considering they would likely have struggled with Windows XP years ago.

Edited by raymac46, 15 May 2017 - 11:57 AM.

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#44 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 01:36 PM

View Postraymac46, on 15 May 2017 - 11:56 AM, said:

Well I have installed the latest version of AntiX on my other legacy netbook - the far more Linux friendly Acer Aspire One 110L.
As expected WICD works perfectly and after the updates everything is fine. So if you download the latest ISO you should be good to go.
AntiX is the lightest weight distro I have found for these old, slow, low memory, low storage capacity 32 bit junkers. These are the last 32 bit machines I'll likely have - or want to have. The fact I can run something as up to date and cool as AntiX on them is really quite remarkable considering they would likely have struggled with Windows XP years ago.

they likely struggled with WinXP when they were new OOTB!  o:)

#45 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 02:14 PM

Hard to believe I know but both of these were Linux machines from the get-go.
The Acer I got as a refurb because someone had purchased it thinking it would be like Windows. The guy at the store seemed almost apologetic until I told him yes I really wanted something that ran Linux. Later models ran Windows XP but they came with a larger hard drive.
The Mini 12 you know as a bigger version of your mother's Mini 10. My daughter bought it to try Linux. She always hated it and I can see why. Bad design - what was Dell thinking? The Windows version of this pig ran - wait for it - Vista.
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#46 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 09:17 AM

I've decided that running Debian testing is probably a poor choice for me on the Thinkpad. Debian testing will very soon become Debian stable and as a result is now frozen solid as far as updates go.
Since the whole purpose of having a testing machine is to...well...test, I decided to live a bit closer to the edge and start following Debian unstable. It'll be interesting to see how that goes compared to Arch Linux - which is remarkably stable so far if actually installed rather than run in a virtual machine.
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#47 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 12:25 PM

I'll tell you this much, Ray... Debian Sid (unstable) is probably more stable than 90% of the "final" versions of the other distros out there.

If you like Sid, you might want to check out Aptosid. I'm not sure if it's still actively supported (Roger - Sunrat may know) these days, but it is a pretty cool distro that is based on the unstable branch of Debian. There may be others, too (again, Sunrat may know more). :)

#48 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 02:16 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 27 May 2017 - 12:25 PM, said:

I'll tell you this much, Ray... Debian Sid (unstable) is probably more stable than 90% of the "final" versions of the other distros out there.

If you like Sid, you might want to check out Aptosid. I'm not sure if it's still actively supported (Roger - Sunrat may know) these days, but it is a pretty cool distro that is based on the unstable branch of Debian. There may be others, too (again, Sunrat may know more). :)

Aptosid's last release was in 2013. However looking at the forums it seems that it is still being used and you may be able to do an install from the 2013 release but there will be tons of updates.

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#49 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 02:16 PM

I don't know if Aptosid is still around but there is a fork of it called Siduction which is actively maintained. I have tried it in Xfce and Plasma variants and I agree it is pretty cool.
Of course running Siduction has one huge advantage - you can actually get a live ISO to use for testing and installation. As far as I know there are no actual Debian Sid full ISOs, You would need to install Stretch ad then fiddle with sources.list to get pointed to the unstable repos. I suppose you could use the mini ISO (netboot image) and then go from there.

Edited by raymac46, 27 May 2017 - 03:25 PM.

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#50 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 07:41 PM

View Postraymac46, on 27 May 2017 - 09:17 AM, said:

I've decided that running Debian testing is probably a poor choice for me on the Thinkpad. Debian testing will very soon become Debian stable and as a result is now frozen solid as far as updates go.
Since the whole purpose of having a testing machine is to...well...test, I decided to live a bit closer to the edge and start following Debian unstable. It'll be interesting to see how that goes compared to Arch Linux - which is remarkably stable so far if actually installed rather than run in a virtual machine.
If you have "testing" in your sources rather than "stretch", it won't become stable but continue to be constantly updated. You will be in for a flood of upgrades after Stretch is released. Immediately after stable release can be a turbulent time for testing users.
Aptosid is close to dead afaik. Most of the devs jumped ship a few years back and started siduction. I use and recommend siduction, it's my No.1 system now with KDE Plasma 5. I'm amazed how reliable and bug-free it is considering it has an "unstable" base. I think the only issue I've had is getting Conky to display with a transparent background but haven't really tried to fix that yet.
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