Thursday, September 5, 2013

Debian: A Parable

As someone who habitually hops from one Linux distro to another, I've had a wide variety of experiences, to put it mildly.

For example Crunchbang is a sweet dream: easy to install, most everything I wanted was there already, wireless worked right from first boot, crashless & fast - a real treat.

On the other hand, Fedora was a real nightmare of a bitch in heat - when I finally did get it running on a USB, the 300+ updates promptly ate the entire memory on a 16GB system, rendering it unusable. Nothing more frustrating than not even being able to remove cruft because your system is frozen solid with it. I even went to the trouble & expense of getting a 32GB stick instead ... with exactly the same sad result.

From my prior encounters with it, I assumed Debian fell into the latter camp - but I really really REALLY wanted it to work. For one thing, that dreamboat OS Crunchbang? Yeah, it's basically Debian. I'd seen other Debian derivatives that were also pretty sweet, so surely there must be some kind of trick or angle by which to make the parent distro not eat a big bag of ass.

Sooooo ... I did something a bit weird: burned Debian onto a flash-drive & did the installation from one USB onto another one, because hey, what the fuck, why not? Those last few shards of sanity aren't going to exterminate themselves, amirite?

It was a tedious & excruciating slog getting every little parameter set up, with many a red progress bar slower than hillside erosion ... but by Gog & Magog I bloody well did it - & the bugger actually works!

Hell, I even got the Xfce desktop to handle the eldritch mystery of recognizing touchpad taps (which not even Crunchbang's Xfce desktop would let me solve).

The moral: stubbornness is its own reward.

1 comment:

jim said...

A touching nursery fable, now more slapstick than tragedy as being reviewed on my much-faster sweetheart Debian 8 "Jessie" OS.