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Problems installing a distro

Discussion in 'Linux - General discussion' started by PeaInAPod, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    I must start off by saying I know this is the wrong forum but this is the forum most closely related with my topic. I have downloaded and burnt the newest version of PC-BSD (a.k.a FreeBSD) to disc. And no matter what I do it always fails on install. I have tried using a old harddrive i formatted, and a partition on my current harddrive. But to no avail it always errors out and closes. I believe it says it can't mount the install image correctly. But any help would be great.
     
  2. chardi

    chardi Member

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    Have you checked out the file integrity on the cd, on problem could be that you have burn it in too high speed. I would suggest that you try to burn the new image on lower speed. That sounds more like problem with the cd than in the installation process.
     
  3. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    I'm tempted to agree with chardi.. The only other thing that comes to mind is how you have the drive formatted.. bsd goes on a dos partition. (it fooled me a couple of times, and errored out in strange ways before I worked it out) It helps to make the right kind of partition first, but I honestly can't remember how without installing it all again. My only spare pc is currently running puppy 2.13.. As most freeBSD doesn't even install a desktop, and I never did get round to setting up a UK keyboard layout..are you sure it's the right choice?? seeing as most linux distros are getting really easy to install and use. I found bsd old-fashioned and awkward, so unless you have a real pressing need, or are just experimenting I'd be more likely to use something that has less compatability issues.

    BTW..freeBSD..well it's the only forum where it even begins to fit so no need t apologise..it's named wrong really.. it should be "Linux...and other strange things" because it's the home for us more esoteric computer users.

    FreeBSD running gnome desktop..some time ago.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2007
  4. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I do not remember what speed I burnt at but I do remember that I had bad burns with some of these discs early on so it is very likely the disc itself was bad. Anyway Ill post back later school bus is coming!!
     
  5. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    I did a little searching and came across this install guide.
    http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/bsd/2006/05/11/FreeBSD_Basics.html
    One thing jumps out at me seeing as the error is "unable to mount install image" Perhaps you have the VM ware version?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Review: PC-BSD 1.3

    Wednesday January 10, 2007 (03:01 PM GMT)

    By: Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier

    Last week iXsystems announced the release of PC-BSD 1.3. The operating system has made some progress and changed ownership since we reviewed version 1.0 last year, but it still has a way to go.

    The PC-BSD 1.3 release is based on KDE 3.5.5 and FreeBSD 6.1. PC-BSD's system requirements are modest: You'll need a Pentium II or better, 256MB of RAM, 4GB of hard drive space, and a network card and sound card. I ran PC-BSD using the supplied VMware image, with 512MB of RAM, and installed it on a Pentium 4 laptop with 1GB of RAM.

    PC-BSD's installer is easy to use, and requires very little user interaction. Using the basic setup routine, a user only needs to pick the type of install (server or desktop), the user's name, password, and shell, and the root password. If you choose the advanced setup, you can have additional control over disk partitioning, network setup, and firewall settings. You can also choose to encrypt the system's swap space, if you're paranoid about security.

    PC-BSD's hardware support is good, but not quite on par with that of some Linux distributions. Part of this may be that BSD lacks some of the drivers available for Linux, and part of it seems to be related to the configuration utilities for PC-BSD. For example, PC-BSD seems to see my wireless card, but doesn't provide any tools (at least that I could find) to manage the card, supply a WEP password, or otherwise change the card's configuration.

    In general, I'm not crazy about PC-BSD's network configuration tools. You have two configuration tools, Network Devices and Network Settings, but if you actually want to configure a specific device you need to use Network Settings. To make matters worse, when I was trying to configure my laptop's wireless network connection and went looking for the documentation, I found it's non-existent. Clicking on the help button in the Network Settings tool brings up a KDE Help Center window with the message "There is no documentation available for /index.html" -- not exactly useful for folks trying to get a device up and running.

    The PC-BSD desktop
    The PC-BSD desktop - click to view

    On my Ubuntu desktop, I can plug in a USB soundcard and configure it to handle certain tasks (such as running Skype) and use my system soundcard for other tasks. I didn't see any way to manage multiple soundcards through the tools provided by PC-BSD.

    In short, PC-BSD is a bit behind Linux in hardware support. For standard desktops, its hardware support is probably sufficient. For some laptops or more complex hardware scenarios (such as multiple soundcards) it may require some advanced configuration.

    The PC-BSD desktop

    The sparse PC-BSD desktop displays a single KDE Taskbar at the bottom and a minimal selection of software pre-installed, if you start from the PC-BSD installer disk. All of the apps that ship with PC-BSD are of the KDE variety. That means no GIMP, Gaim, OpenOffice.org, or Firefox, for example.

    I have a nagging suspicion that the PC-BSD folks ship their release a few apps short of useful just to show off the PC-BSD Installer (PBI). Quite a few applications are packaged as PBI files, which just require the user to download the file, double-click it, and provide the root password, to run the installer. A few seconds later the application is installed.

    Still, many of the typical desktop tasks are covered. PC-BSD includes KMail for email, Konqueror for Web browsing, the Kontact PIM applications, KPDF for reading PDFs, and so on. However, the package selection is a bit weird.

    It's not surprising that OpenOffice.org is not installed by default, but it would be nice to have KOffice installed by default. The PBI available for KOffice lags behind the upstream version by a bit. KOffice 1.6 was released in December, but the most recent version of KOffice available via the pbiDIR is KOffice 1.5.2.

    No office suite is installed, but the OS does ship KPovModeler -- which makes me wonder how many users have need for an office suite versus the number of users who plan to do 3-D modeling.

    Last time I looked at PC-BSD, I dinged it for lacking multimedia applications. This time around, Kaffeine is installed by default, which can handle most media that you'd throw at it. Unfortunately, Kaffeine isn't a great music player, so I tried downloading Amarok, my music player of choice.

    Amarok is in the PBI directory, but it's an outdated version; the PBI file is Amarok 1.4.1, while the Amarok folks released 1.4.4 back in October. After installation, Amarok failed every time I tried to start it, saying that xine could not initialize any audio drivers.

    I had better luck with K3b. After installing K3b from a PBI, I plopped a CD-R into the laptop's CD burner and successfully made a few test CDs. PC-BSD was also well set up for ripping CDs -- I dropped in music CD, which was automatically mounted, and then PC-BSD launched the KAudioCreator utility. The first time out, you have to choose which format you want to rip to, but all the encoders (including Lame) are installed by default.

    I also installed Firefox, OpenOffice.org, and the GIMP, and browsed through the directory to see how current the packages are. For the most part, the PBIs I looked at are up-to-date with the upstream version, though the GIMP lags behind a few versions, and the localized versions of OpenOffice.org are also a bit behind -- though the English release is at 2.1.

    Packages installed via PBIs are put in a PBI menu, rather than being listed under the appropriate KDE menu. For instance, if you install the GIMP, it will be found under PBI Programs, rather than under the KDE Graphics menu. You can remove PBIs by going to Settings -> System Administration -> PC-BSD Software Manager. If you want to update PBIs, you need to go to Settings -> System Administration -> PBI Update Manager. To update the system in general, go to Settings -> System Administration -> PC-BSD Online Update. While you can get things done in this manner, the PC-BSD folks really need to consolidate software management into one application.

    The online update utility is simple enough to use, though no updates were available when I tried the check for updates function. The default for the update manager utility is to not check for updates, so if you install PC-BSD you might want to make sure that you change the settings to check automatically; I changed mine to daily.

    One of the features touted with the 1.3 release is the inclusion of Packet Filter, the BSD firewall. At install time you can configure PF rules for incoming connections, but as far as I can tell there's no GUI admin tool for dealing with firewall rules after installation. Firewall Builder is available as a PBI, a couple of versions behind the upstream, but it'd be nice if you could use the same interface that it uses during advanced setup to configure the Packet Filter firewall.

    Final thoughts

    If I wanted to run a BSD-based desktop, PC-BSD would probably be a good choice. However, it's still rough around the edges, and lacking in functionality in a lot of ways compared to distros like Ubuntu and Fedora Core. It's a good OS for die-hard BSD users who want a simplified BSD-based desktop, but not so much for users who are seeking ease of use and hardware compatibility.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have a few concerns reading that review, mostly about the limited applications and out-moded stuff.. Plus I really don't like KDE.. It always seems very resource heavy and slow. Other concerns are in the firewall department. I'm not rubbishing it, but the beauty of FreeBSD is the fact it comes clean, without lots of un-necessary junk bundled with it.

    Final thought.. after reading a few things, and that review.. I'm not going to bother downloading it to test.. It won't do what I want without far too much messing trying to remove obsolete and pointless apps. It's not mature enough yet and doesn't seem to be a real BSD experience, more an attempt to be another one click windows type thing. Looking in the forums there seem to be lots and lots of issues with hardware compatability, lack of graphics drivers and weird post install issues.

    If you ever get it going please let us know what you find with it.. I'm interested to hear other opinions, just not interested enough in another KDE nightmare to take the time installing it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2007
  6. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    Ok, from that article and my unlucky attempts at installing PC-BSD I am just going to forget about it. Maybe look at it later on in the future to see how things have progressed. As for now I am still interested in installing a BSD/Linux System along with my default windows xp. I know some very basic linux such as apt-get and GNOME/KDE and such but otherwise I am lost. So what are your recommendations for a linux OS that has wide hardware support and is fairly "stable" (unlike PCBSD :))
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
  7. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    I went to distrowatch.com and took a quick look through the top 10-15 distros of some sort and have found 2 distros that catch my attention 1 being Mandriva Linux and Fedora Core. I am leaning towards Mandriva Linux 2007 but am "swayed" by two things. One being that Mandriva has a page to "Buy Mandriva" but I couldn't seem to find a page just to download it. And 2 there are SO many versions, I read that Mandriva had the Cedega gaming engine built in and I thought this would be a good feature to if I want to install my most used game in Mandriva, the part that confuses me is that I am not sure if all Mandriva versions have this feature or only paid ones? So I'm leaning towards Mandriva if A)its free & B)Cedega is built in. Anyone got any info on it? Thanks for the help everybody :)
     
  8. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    Creaky swears by mandriva, but last years for his own reasons. Myself I'm on debian sarge (out of date but suits my hardware) and I think tocool is running suse. The choice really depends on your hardware. I tried the new suse distro November last year and I was honestly impressed. It found all my old hardware and connected to my network with no problems at all. Unfortunately from my point of view it's another rpm based distro with kde. debian etch is supposed to be sorted now, but ubuntu is to be avoided for various reasons security related. On balance and newbie friendly..suse... the free one.. Don't download heaps and heaps of cd's..just the first one..network install, and get the rest off the suse servers.
    This is suse 10.2 remastered..on a p3 with 256 ram..

    [​IMG]
    From my distro testing month...

    BSD is far too server oriented to ever make a good desktop, and it took me a few days to get anything at all working to take a screenshot. The only plus to it is the minimal hardware needed to get something workable. I take it by your response earlier that you had a look at some of the other pc-bsd links and maybe a bit of google just like I did.. There seem to be some very experienced bsd users tripping up with it, and it's such an immature distro things haven't got into full flow yet, and probably never will, judging by the downloads counter. FreeBSD is good for learning raw unix, it's not linux and shuldn't try to be. As a glance in the freeBSD forums shows.. inexperienced linux users get a very steep learning curve, they expect an above average knowledge of command line use and machine management skills.. Last time I looked somebody was trying to install a package and all they got was a curt RTFM!.. Not unpleasant and I see the point, but not exactly helpful to a complete newb (who was treated..IMHO..like he shouldn't have been there if he didn't know the basics) I didn't dare ask my question, and instead went off and found the answer by myself.
    I'm happy to share what I know, which with suse is minimal, but that doesn't stop me recommending it for a first timer..
    Have fun, and if you need to ask fire away..
    I may find PC-BSD and have a play, but my test hardware doesn't come up to it's minimum specs.. all my p2 series machines are in use at the moment.
     
  9. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    Yeah my pc specs are 1gb of kingston ram,Athlon 64 CPU (2.0ghz), Asus A8N-SlI mobo, and a nVidia 7900. So I can run many linux distributions just fine. I took a look at openSuse (i presume thats the one you recommended to me) and I like the look of the program and it looks fairly user friendly. However I did just finish downloading a copy of Mandriva so I am going to try it out first, and if I dont like it then I will give openSuse a shot. And yeah I swore off Ubuntu awhile ago, for the same reasons you listed. One question, my entire harddrive is formatted as NTFS and I have PartitionMagic so I can dice up my harddisk. My question is is their a certain way I have to format my drive before installing either Mandriva/openSuse or if I leave it as NTFS will the installation manager format those drives accordingly during the install? Thanks for all the help JanRocks :)


     
  10. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    Okay, I was able to successfully install Mandriva Linux 2007 on a old IDE drive and I really like it. The only problem I have left is one I have had before. How do I get either A) the windows bootloader to recognize my linux install on the other drive or B) Have the GRUB boot loader boot windows?

    Thanks for all the help so far JanRocks.
     
  11. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    **Update

    Thought I would add this bit of information as it may help simplify your reply. Ideally I would like to have windows and linux on separate discs, using either the GRUB or LILO bootloader. I have Partition Magic and can quickly uninstall and reinstall Mandriva if need be.
     
  12. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    Hmm.. I don't dual boot with windows (don't have it at all), but from what I remember during the install there should be an option to install grub to the MBR and for linux to co-exist with another OS. This is where the distro's all differ, they have different ways of setting that up, and TBH I don't know anything about mandriva or it's bootloader setup. We need creaky for this..
     
  13. creaky

    creaky Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi, just read the PM (been busy for ages). Anyways, let's have a look at your lilo config, it's /etc/lilo.conf.

    Not sure when i can check in again, am travelling all over the shop with limited net access for a few days
     
  14. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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    Thanks for the help creaky, I actually got it working. I ended up overwriting my Windows XP MBR with the GRUB bootloader. I was hoping for a different option but it works and I can always do the restore disc option of fixmbr to restore the Windows MBR. So yeah I've been having some trouble with Mandriva 2007. After I update any package, the next time I boot Mandriva wont load it will freeze about halfway through. So I'm going to keep exploring the world of linux I downloaded openSUSE and am going to try that and a couple other distros that have caught my eye. So thanks everyone for the help :)
     

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