Linux distro install exercises: part 2

Well, I installed CentOS 5.4 just to try it – with XWindows, etc. – and liked it. Installation was quick and painless, my very own RAID array was automatically recognized and partitioning was intuitive and easy.

Then I re-installed CentOS with minimal configuration (no XWindows – just very basic install).

Then – for the sake of science and curiosity satisfaction – installed Debian 5.0.3 to try. Partitioning process was quite a nightmare among other things, even though RAID was successfully recognized as well: I could not figure out how to specify partition sizes or how to let the installer use existing partitions, etc. And on top of that – as soon as you click “Back” button the installer crashes so you have to re-start the whole process. Another thing I do not like after going through CentOS setup for a couple of times is that the installer is too intrusive and babysitting: it has too many steps instead of combining some stuff into a single screen. As an example, for network configuration you have to go through three or four screens: there is dedicated view for hostname, IP address, network mask, and alike.

Gnome desktop was quite cute though – I forgot how cute it is :-)

Then – once again for the sake of science and curiosity satisfaction – I tried to install Windows 2003 Enterprise Server and it did not recognize redundancy disk array. I poked around but got bored quite quickly: don’t care about Windows on this machine (Dell PowerEdge T100).

I also tried to install Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu Server 8.04 but those did not work at all: I got completely black screen immediately after boot.

So – for the last time I installed CentOS in minimal configuration and started configuring for production. It all went well for a while: no problem with Apache, MySql, or PHP setup, but then I needed to install Gallery2 picture hosting package and – surprise! – it was not found in CentOS repository. This incident made me re-think that whole “six thousand packages for sure include all I want”: out of five packages that I wanted 20% were not found. Of course one can always search and prepare things manually but if that were the case we could have successfully stayed with Windows. You don’t realize how spoiled you become after a month of working with yum…

As a result – here’s new plan: I am going to put Debian on this server :-) So what that setup is raw and crashes during partitioning? its expert mode must include all that one can need, right?

We’ll see how it goes :-)

[Postnote: Debian install kept crashing and crashing so I gave up and installed Ubuntu server edition. In the first couple days I was really missing 'service' and 'chkconfig' commands but on the positive side - had to learn direct access to /etc/init.d area daemons. Here are server specs by the way (it's a x64 system):

PowerEdge T100
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® E3110, 3.0 GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, No Operating System

PowerEdge T100 Dual Core Intel® Xeon® E3110, 3.0 GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB

Memory 4GB, DDR2, 800MHz, 2×2GB,Dual Ranked DIMMs


Primary Hard Drive

160GB 7.2K RPM SATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive


Floppy Drive No Floppy Drive


Operating System

No Operating System


Network Adapter

On-Board Single Gigabit Network Adapter


CD/DVD Drive 16x DVD Drive, Internal


System Documentation Electronic System Documentation, OpenManage DVD Kit with DMC



2nd Hard Drive

160GB 7.2K RPM SATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive


Hard Drive Controllers Add-in SAS6iR (SATA/SAS Controller) supports 2 Hard Drives – RAID 1


Hardware Support Services

1Yr Basic Hardware Warranty Repair: 5×10 HW-Only, 5×10 NBD Onsite





Installation Services No Installation




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