suse question

Michael Halcrow mike at halcrow.us
Wed Dec 14 19:19:47 MST 2005


On Mon, Dec 12, 2005 at 11:11:34AM -0700, Stuart Jansen wrote:
> On Mon, 2005-12-12 at 11:01 -0700, Bart Whiteley wrote:
> > Why would I have meant that?  You weren't trying to build your own
> > repository.
> 
> Mostly because I'm in a bad mood at the moment. You have just
> revealed an un-documented (as far as I've been able to tell) mirror
> providing exactly what I want. Why the files on the apparent mirror
> doesn't just appear on ftp.suse.com and why this has to wait for
> mysterious "future versions" is beyond me. SUSE has a history of
> being a walled garden.

I just installed SuSE 9.3 on one of my test boxen at work this
week. This looks like an appropriate time to gripe.

I had first installed Fedora Core 5-Test1. I left half of the space in
the LVM volume group open for SuSE.

The link for the net install CD boot ISO image was broken on the SuSE
site. A SuSE-using co-worker pointed me to an FTP server with
boot.iso. I burned that and started the installation.

Then I was asked for an FTP server IP address. I searched Google for
``suse net install ftp server'' and this page came up:

http://www.linuxgazette.com/node/9052

I found this link in that page:

ftp://mirror.mcs.anl.gov/pub/suse/

Okay. I can handle that. It's a little silly that I have to ask Google
for this sort of thing though in the middle of an install.

So I manually resolved the IP address on my other box, punched in the
path/to/current/ and was promptly booted out with an error that the
path could not be found/did not contain image/whatever (current/ was a
valid link on the server...?). Tried again, this time with
path/to/9.3/, and I was in business. Why didn't the current/ link
work in the first place? Maybe it pointed to 10.0/, but I really don't
care whether it's 9.3 or 10.0 for that box.

Well, I had a sane source for my packages, but I had to set up a
logical volume (SuSE was ready to blow away my FC5-Test1 that I had
just installed earlier that day). I found that the logical volume
management tool interface was unintuitive, so I dropped to shell and
use the lv* tools to create the partition. I could not coerce YaST
into detecting the newly created logical volume. Fine; I just told
YaST to create the volume anyway, and then moved on. Then YaST freaked
out about the fact that the volume already existing (who woulda
thunk?), but I safely ignored its complaints, and it was on its way.

As a background task, installing SuSE 9.3 via the net install took two
full work days to complete.

And it blew away Red Hat's grub/menu.lst; I had to manually recreate
the entries for the Red Hat kernel and root partition. And it
SuSE-ified my grub splash screen (grrrrrr).

Minor annoyances, but I eventually was up and running with a dual-boot
SuSE 9.3/FC5-Test1 test box. The experience could have been improved
by:

 - Providing a set of mirrors in the installer

 - Playing nice w/ existing grub configurations (rather than just
   blowing them away)

 - Re-probing the LVM info when entering the partitioning tool

Mike
.___________________________________________________________________.
"Aristotelian ethics, Aristotelian definitions, Aristotelian logic,  
Aristotelian forms, Aristotelian substances, Aristotelian rhetoric,  
Aristotelian laughter... ha-ha, ha-ha."                              
 - Robert Pirsig 
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