Joined: Oct. 2003
||Posted: May 17 2005,07:59
Good Work, Chris..
I have been following this thread with interest, and I hope to see
continuing feedback on this subject from both new and seasoned users here..
I'm especially pleased to see the positive feedback in some of the posts that
describe the appreciation of the power and flexibility in these types of installs..
And to see it coming from seasoned HDInstallers, who have used a variety
of Linux distros, makes it even more noteworthy..
I also began my "journey" into Linux by installing and poking around in
numerous HDInstalled distros, noting the parts I liked about some,
and disliked about others.. ( speed, managability, eye-candy, enhancement )
In the past, a "LiveCD" was usually nothing more than a "test drive" ..
Just another way to get a "safe" peek at a distro,
without jeopardizing the data already installed to your hard drives..
If you liked what you saw, then the "full" version was available for download,
or the HDInstall could be started from the LiveCD itself, and added onto later..
I feel that DSL is breaking out of that " image" , and filling a new niche..
It is not just "another knoppix knockoff" anymore..
( kudos to Knoppix and Klaus for the base from which this is built.. )
DamnSmallLinux is doing things today that simply would not work
with a fresh, downloaded copy of knoppix.. There is a great demand for
a distro that can work on anything from "atticware" to more recent
hardware offerings.. DSL fits in where others won't, or can't ..
DSL can do this because of it's size, speed, and flexibility..
The number of ways it can be installed, run, and transported ( nomadic )
make DSL a powerful tool , anytime and anyplace , on any box..
I feel that the key to using the power in these numerous options,
and it's ability to travel "while remaining customized, appended, upgraded, and tweaked",
are in the frugal/poormans/liveCD methods of operation/installation..
With a HDInstall, your locked into one box. Ok for a server, where you've
done all the prep work, set it up static, and now it sits and serves...
( data , files, web pages, music, whatever.. )
It needs little more than management and maintenance..
[ ..although I'm discovering that using a mkmydsl CD or frugal setup
for a server is actually more bulletproof, nearly as easy to manage,
and much more easily upgradable than a HDInstall..]
..That will be for another story, some other time..
But with the frugal/poormans/ installs, for an everyday desktop environment,
the creativity and flexibility built into it is just mind-bending...
All the effort a user puts into personalizing their environment,
adding the tools they like, their own colors and themes, choice of apps, etc..
all follow you persistantly from box to box, place to place, and day to day,
which is incredible, coming from what starts up as a "read-only" distro..
I'm at work, and there is 'my' desktop, with all my tools..
( could be from a USBkey, a custom mkmydsl cd, other USB storage.. )
I'm in my jeep, and there is 'my' desktop..
( and all the files I wanted to listen to, or my maps, or looking at fresh photos )
I'm at home, on one of my laptops, and again, there is 'my' desktop.
( and look, there is my backup from work, with some new stuff, on my FTP ! ..
I quickly download and restore it, now I've got it here at home too )
In my home office, there is another one of 'my' desktops..
My kids have 'their' desktops, here at home, at friends homes, at school..
( along with their music files, and a few new ones, I'm sure ;) )
Where are they? They are on USBkeys, or bootable DVD's, or CDRW's,
or IRivers, or cameras, or miniCD's, or card readers, ... whew..
They are NOT stuck on some hard drive, in a CPU case, under my desk...
I am NOT dreading what might happen if a hard drive fails..
I am NOT dreading upgrading all this stuff when the next new version
of DSL comes out, in fact, I'm eagerly awaiting its release !
I am NOT worried about losing all my personal files,
or all the time I spent tweaking this one 'so schweet' ..
I am NOT spending any time or effort backing up entire partitions or
images to some large media or format to have an updated backup of my
stuff, like I try to remember to do with "other OSes" ..
Folks, it's ALL about the OPTIONS..
Whether they are stored on your backup, or typed in "on-the-fly" ,
or installed onto whatever media you have, they are the
innovative additions that give you such creativity and customizing ability
to mold this little distro into whatever you need, wherever you need it,
on whatever hardware you have to do it with..
I feel that you lose, when you choose to use a typical hdinstall.
" but I don't want to have to type all that in every time I bootup"
You don't have to, it can do it all by itself.. but if you want to , you can.
" but I'm lazy, and don't want to have to backup every time "
You don't have too, it can do it all by itself, but if you want to , you can..
" It's so much faster when I install it to HD"
Come play with my toram installed version..
" I only have XX ram in my box "
Tiger Direct is selling 256 meg sticks of ram for $1.99 , go get one..
" How do I make XYZ run automatically? It's easy with a HDInstall .. "
Chances are , there are 3 or more ways to do this with a frugal install.
Yes, there are circumstances where a typical HDInstall is smart,
or even necessary, when ram and cpu are minimal , or at a premium.
But for everyday users, who want to keep current, try new things,
experiment, or just want to personalize it with every tweak there is,
my opinion is that over time, the hdinstall will become pain and drudgery,
as errors, both human and software/hardware, begin to accumulate..
...I have not yet had to e2fsck any of my custom CD's, or USBkeys.
due to power outages, too many reboots, or improper shutdowns..
...A persistant /home or /opt directory can be placed on a ext3 or USB..
...I can upgrade all my laptops, desktops, office machines, USBkeys,
Compact Flash cards, etc.. , to the latest version of DSL by
copying over ONE FILE from a USBkey or CD..
...I can share my personalized DSL environment with others anywhere..
...I can personalize a custom environment for others anywhere, anytime..
...I can easily change my boot options at any time..
...I can easily restart after a bad application faults, or a wacko app install..
...I can easily recover from "dependancy hell" ..
...I have no issues with 'uninstalling' apps..
For more good reading , try this blog.. or search the forums for "frugal"