Progeny 1.0 mini-review
tengel at sonic.net
Tue Apr 24 16:59:01 PDT 2001
Downloaded Progeny 1.0 ISO(s), decided to give it a whirl. Test machines are:
1) Celeron 650, 128meg RAM, 3 scsi LVD disks (2 9gig and 1 18) using the onboard adaptec controller, Linksys ethernet, ATI Rage IIc video, no sound
2) PII-300 Dell Inspiron 3500, 128meg RAM, 4.6gig disk, Neomagic video/audio
The first test was the tower machine; this beast is a loaner from a linux company and was formerly running linux just fine. The first boot of the progeny CD went well until it went into the ncurses-based graphical mode; it says "wiggle the mouse to aid in detection". So, being a good little trooper I did just that, and for my troubles I got no mouse in the interface (just plain didn't work). Hrm.
Well, the interface doesn't support 'tab' based non-mouse control, so I rebooted again. This time I disconnected the mouse during detection, and then reconnected - bingo! we have a winner, I now have mouse control.
I walked through the installer - partitioned a 30meg /boot, 128meg swap, and the rest on / for simplicity. NOTE: the installer partitioner offers only Linux and Linux swap types (82 and 83); if you need more power you're kinda out of luck. I have been told you can alt+f2 to another console and run cfdisk, but didn't try it.
Ok, so it partitioned, installed the base system, and then rebooted. Or, it tried to reboot - I got all sorts of garbage all over the screen and no boot! Uh oh. So, I took a trip to #debian on OpenProjects, and was informed that "Grub" (lilo replacement) doesn't like you making /boot a seperate slice. Ooops; one would think the installer should stop me. ;)
Ok - redo it again, use my mouse hack and then don't make a /boot - bingo, the initial install works and reboots into stage 2. At this point it's pretty much a standard debian install, wrapped up in an X GUI - you go through pretty much the same choices and options and have a nice day.
The second machine (laptop) had a different problem; after booting, paritioning, and installing the base system it repetatively froze on "post configuring...50%" before the reboot. Multiple, mutiple tries got me nowhere. So, I instead: A) installed debian 2.2r2, B) apt-get upgraded, then C) followed the instructions on the Progeny website to upgrade from Potato.
The upgrade went smooth -- only one segfault in dpkg the entire time, and a quick restart of it again and it picked up where it left off. The sucker had a minor problem with one or two packages on my system, so a little apt-get remove on them (they weren't essential) allowed the upgrade to proceed to Progeny.
At this point, both machines are on par with each other - you get a very Ximian-ish looking desktop with Progeny eye candy. However, what's missing from this "commerical" debian variant are graphical configuration tools. If I'm going to pay for it, that's what I'm expecting - somthing like 'control-panel' (RedHat) or DrakConf (Mandrake). Instead I'm stuck mucking with config files in the classic debian way. :-)
Other than that, there's not to much to say - everything works as expected, I experienced nothing abnormal (other than my unfamiliarity with Debian in general, but that's neither here nor there). If you're new and want a little more user-friendly Debian, this may be the package for you. However "newbie" and "debian" are always a angerous combination....
Next, we do RedHat 7.1 and Mandrake 8.0...
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