I am a great believer in Free/Open Software, so for this machine I’d really like to have it be based on GNU/Linux. The goals are :
- support any programming I want to do
- support media, movie watching, multiple screens etc
- play nice with my wireless network and windows machines
- be relative easy to setup new software
Here’s some of the trials I experienced in a couple of nights of hair tearing with various Linux distributions :
Boots up ok.
Only works with my old NVidia GeForce
GNome works good
Couldn’t install NVidia 6629 drivers
Couldn’t get samba to do anything (maybe not supported in LiveCD kernel?)
– smbtree works great on my laptop with debian
Ubuntu Install CD
Hung during install, but indicated a bad CD.
The Debian install images I found didn’t support SATA, so I was screwed on that. I do like Debian, and have it setup on a laptop using Knoppix, but they need to update the install images.
Mandrake 10.1 booted but failed in the install at the detecting my SATA drive. I think this is pretty common in 10.1.
– Mandrake 9.2 apparently is fine in this situation
So with all those problems, and I can’t be that unusual in having these kinds of problems, you’d think most people would be scarred for life, and not able to look at a Linux installation again… enter …
Gentoo GNU/Linux is a ‘from-source’ distribution. The install CD includes a *very* slick and polished boot up, a comprehensive kernel build that seems to detect everything (except prism wireless cards – doh) and the best documentation of any of the GNU/Linux’s.
It took a couple of evenings of doc reading, but I finally had a bootable kernel, stable OS and a very basic gnome installation running.