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[ale] Various Rambling Linux Thoughts/Difficulties

On Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 04:51:27PM -0700, Fulton Green wrote:
> I took the freebie distro that Red Hat was handing out at the Interop trade
> show. FWIW, this version appears to be "Red Hat lite": several packages that
> are included in the online FTP version of the distro were missing from this
> CD set. This is a 2 CD set, but unlike the CDs that Red Hat is selling, where
> binary RPMs are distributed throughout more than one CD, the second CD in
> this set had no binary RPMs, just the source RPMs. I think most of the
> missing packages are incidentiary development libs, docs and data files,
> though.

I noticed that too (a little too late). I went with a fresh install
because I have little to no settings that are too specific on my
workstation. I don't run any server type stuff on my workstation. One
thing I found out was missing was ldap stuff. Well, normally, not a
big deal, but I do all my authentication from ldap so I had to
download all that stuff after the fact so I could get back to working
condition. That's pretty obscure though.

> Once I got that going, I tried running with the new GNOME stuff. Some of my
> previous settings didn't seem to translate well, so I nuked my .sawmill and
> .gnome* directories and started over. Much better results. I did notice that
> xscreensaver wasn't able to initialize itself if I started X using "startx"
> from a command line. That problem went away after I switched to the GNOME
> display manager (gdm). FWIW, some of the GNOME office apps (AbiWord and Dia,
> in particular) now show up (old news for you Helix freaks).

Yeah, I've been using helixcode's build of GNOME for a while now, and
I have to say, that there are little things here and there that make
me like helixcode's gnome distribution a lot more. Everything from
theme sets to little apps here and there like eog. The biggest thing I
miss though is the helix updater. That always kept you so up to date
with very few hicups. As soon as they build for RH7 I'm gonna get it.
In the case of GNOME it's not the actual programs I miss, I could get
those installed on my own, it's the nice packaging.

> One feature of it that's pretty neat is the new devfs mechanism, which
> provides a mechanism for creating block, character and other special devices
> in the /dev hierarchy on the fly, in memory (as opposed to the current /dev
> hiearchy, which is relatively static and takes up a little bit of disk
> space). Watch out, though, because unless you can grab the devfsd package
> (which did not appear on my CD), you'll break several packages that are
> expecting old device names (most common example is /dev/mouse, which in my
> case is now /dev/misc/psaux). Since I'm using the new /dev scheme, I chose
> not to upgrade to the dev or MAKEDEV packages. The only major consequence of
> this is that I can't install mod_ssl since it requires the dev RPM.

I don't know how much you've looked into devfsd, but I've just started
getting into its configuration and it can do some pretty nifty things.
One is automatic creation of appropriate legacy links whenever an app
tries to reference a device that's not there. Plus you can get back
your module autoloading functionality. Just look through your

> All you /.ers out there have probably seen the flamewar erupting over RH's
> decision to include a not-intended-for-public-consumption version (2.96.3 ?)
> of the GCC distro. The GCC steering committee is lamenting the potential for
> ABI breakage, particularly w/r/t C++ bindings. RH's response boils down to
> having been caught between a rock (previous versions that were supposedly
> even flakier) and a hard place (the GCC 3.0 waiting game).

I didn't even realize that the compiler is not "quite ready." I've
been using it and haven't run into anything. Maybe everything will go
up in flames after I send this though :)

Glad to see there are other adventurous folks out there.

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