[nSLUG] Suggestions for Distro

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Sun May 31 01:31:42 ADT 2009

2009/5/29 J. Paul Bissonnette <jpaulb at eastlink.ca>:
> I am also having issues hdd order. every hdd is sda, sdb, sd* no matter
> whether if it is ata, sata or scsi. Booting from chosen disk is a pain.
> I had a mixture of SCSI, SATA and ATA. The order the BIOS sees the hdd
> and the partitioner orders the disks are different.

> I really do not care where the issue is. Debian follows the BIOS and
> Ubuntu has another way.
> If I have to upgrade my hardware every time I upgrade Ubuntu; I been
> there, have done that with Windows. I have much better things to do with
> my life.

You are making big generalizations. How does the BIOS "order" ATA,
SATA, and SCSI? I have never seen one that does this -- unless you
mean "BIOS boot order", which is really something different. In what
way is choosing a disk to boot a pain? I admit that managing grub
manually is a nightmare (I use LILO so it's really a breeze nowadays)
but Redhat- and Debian-based distros I've used automate the
installation of grub, so it's typically just a matter of copy/pasting
some lines in /boot/grub/grub.conf in order to add extra choices.
Given that Ubuntu is based on Debian, what specific experiences are
you referencing when you suggest that Debian and Ubuntu order your
disks differently? Are you comparing an old Debian with a new Ubuntu?
And finally, where did the issue of "upgrading hardware" come from?
One of the best advantages of Linux has always been that you *don't*
need to stay on the upgrade treadmill -- Linux generally still works
fine on truly ancient hardware (fancy graphical environments being the
main exception, but that's expected).

I completely sympathize with the concern that Linux distros are
churning out software that looks (and behaves) more like Windows every
day, but I point the finger of blame firmly at the all-singing,
all-dancing "desktop" environments, brain-dead black-box systems like
CUPS, and the steaming pile of crud that is GTK2. Apart from Redhat's
monstrous "disk druid", I find the installers are really improving
(and thankfully, always offer you a shell, so you can easily save time
by simply using (s)fdisk instead). Luckily, popping open a shell is
also still an option for the fully-fledged OS as well. The only darn
shame is that nowadays, when googling for the solution to a problem, a
large number of unhelpful pages need to be ignored, as they target a
point-and-drool approach to particular distro's custom
pkgmgr/wizard/control panel, instead of giving you the "real" answer.


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