Saturday, June 13, 2009

Installing OpenSUSE 11.1 on a Dell OptiPlex GX270

Ouch! June 14 update

Bad things have been happening. The box reliably(!) freezes. More in a follow-up.
OK, call me a Luddite, but after some years, I'm finally going to update this machine to OpenSUSE 11.1. So I got the image and burned a DVD-R.

Today I popped the DVD into the drive, shutdown the box, and rebooted.

Oops, can't boot from the DVD drive (/dev/hdd)! That's an annoyance. The BIOS didn't seem to give me a way to do that. It was willing to boot from the CD drive (/dev/hdc)

Well, I had to open the box and pull the drive out so I could see the legend. The jumper was set to "CABLE" (as in "cable select"); based on an old prejudice I moved it to "MASTER". I also put the end of the cable onto the DVD drive, so the cable and the jumper would agree.

Now I could boot! OK, first thing, it complained about my fstab; it said the root partition on /dev/sda6 had things like "/dev/hda1" for the device; they wanted me to do "LABEL=blahblah". or maybe the uuid thing, which I am just not gonna do. Why? Alert readers will notice that the new OS calls the root partition /dev/sda6 (as in SCSI) whereas the fstab used /dev/hda1 (IDE). Harrumpf.

OK, I humored it; I switched the non-root partitions to the LABEL thing. Next was a conflict with kernel-default-nongpl-; I told Yast2 to just deinstall it.

What's next? OK, it added a whole boat-load of other packages to resolve dependencies. And that was it! I pulled the trigger.

Man, I feel like a twitter-er, but I'm gonna stop here because the other computer (the one I'm typing this one on) wants to upgrade ffox to 3.0.11

Other issues

Yes, there were several:
  • we had avahi-daemon taking up just about all the CPU; "chkconfig off" took care of that. also "/etc/init.d/avahi-daemon stop"
  • I typed "startx -- :1" but I got no WINDOWMANAGER because the path to fvwm2 is now /usr/bin not /usr/X11R6/bin. Not only that, but the .fvwm2rc has paths like /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fvwm2/ -- that's right, doesn't exist.
  • sound doesn't work!
  • emacs doesn't do what I'm accustomed to.
  • NFS server was turned off! "/etc/chkconfig nfsserver on", then "/etc/init.d/nfsserver start" Whew!
  • autofs was turned off. they also moved my auto.master aside (auto.master.rpmsave). Arrgh, there was a reason for that -- syntax has changed! Gotta puzzle through that too, as the NFS client won't mount any of my (now all automounted) remote filesystems.
    • NEVERMIND. The problem was I had an extra parameter on the line. It wasn't "all" that couldn't be mounted, just the one that had the (bad) extra parameter. The bad file had:
      pres15content  -rw,hard,blahblah pres15:/content --timeout 60
      The desired line was:
      pres15content  -rw,hard,blahblah pres15:/content
      i.e., everything except the "--timeout 60". So that was my fault.

I'm going to have to get used to emacs. It's got all this gtk stuff! But not having sound... that's annoying.

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