Bad experiences with distros (was Re: [H-GEN] CRUX (A programmers linux distro))

Greg Black gjb at
Fri Aug 6 04:47:09 EDT 2004

On 2004-08-06, Sandra Mansell wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 05, 2004 at 06:03:00PM +1000, Greg Black wrote:

>> The idea is that you come along and help him get X working as he
>> wants it.  You then, as part of those automatic backups I was
>> talking about, keep a copy of the XF86Config file (or whatever
>> your system uses).  Then, when it's time to upgrade, you just
>> suck the backup into place and bingo.
> If that were always the problem, I would have done that for him.
> Unfortunately he has this annoying bug every time he installs Debian.
> His installs never seem to install an xserver for him. Every other X
> package is there except the server. I usually have to trawl through
> package lists until I find the missing package and install that for him.
> It's really rather irritating and I'd hoped it'd be gone by version 3
> but it seemed to get worse. (He was missing 4 or 5 packages this time
> iirc.)

The solution I've been describing is an iterative process; you
repeat until you have all the ducks in a row.  In this case, you
figure out how to do a full install correctly and make that part
of the setup.  Every package system allows you to test for the
packages you need and to fetch and install them if needed.  Just
add that knowledge into your scripts.

I can't give details for this specific case[1], but they're not
at all important; you know how to set the thing up, so you just
have to make sure that process can be repeated.  It's really
only painful the first time; after that, modulo vendors[2] who
go out of their way to make life impossible, it's easy enough.

Cheers, Greg

[1] I have played with Debian installs, but abandoned it once I
    had determined that Debian did not have support for the
    hardware I wanted it to run on.  Since then, I've stuck with
    BSD variants.

[2] I'm not singling out any vendor here, honestly; just making
    the point that you don't want to waste time on vendors who
    play badly with you in your goal of simple system setup and

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