On Fri, 11 Jul 2008, Ian Lord wrote:

I have to install a linux machine and don't know which distribution to take.

I tried debian ubuntu and fedora and didn't like them.

I want:

- A basic install (not 900 packages installed by default

- No gui, I like my flashing cursor

- an equivalent of ports. I want to easily compile my ports I don't like
  prebuilt package. Want to retrieve them by cvs.

- an equivalent to portupgrade.

Could you tell me which distribution you are using when you have no choice
and need to go to linux ?

Well, sort of. In my case I did have a choice. I just recently switched my home PC from Linux to FreeBSD after having been a Linux user since the 1.xx kernel, not to mention the i486, days. I've tried many Linux distros over the years, some source based and some binary package based.

From the above it sounds like you want a source based system. I've tried
several. I ran Gentoo for a few years before I got fed up with it and moved on. I think of the completely source based distros I've tried my favorite was SourceMage.

As others have suggested, CRUX or ArchLinux might be good choices for your requirements. Although I think the CRUX ports system uses rsync instead of CVS to update the ports tree. I forget what Arch uses. If you don't want a GUI installer, you can't get much less GUI than CRUX. Quite a bit of the installation process is done "by hand." One first uses fdisk and mkfs to partition and format their hard drive, mounts the partitions, then runs the setup script to install packages. After the packages are installed, one exits the installer, chroots into the new system, edits fstab, rc.conf, etc., by hand, compiles/installs a custom kernel, then installs a boot loader. I ran CRUX for a while followed by ArchLinux for a while and liked them both.

The Linux distro I was running just before switching my home PC to FreeBSD was Debian, and I think overall it's the one I liked best. It has a text based installer, and one can install a minimal system via the installer, then install other needed packages later. Although it is binary package based rebuilding packages from source isn't too difficult, once one gets the hang of it. There were a few Debian packages I found the need to rebuild. For example, the ffmpeg package available from debian-multimedia.org has mmx disabled. Enabling mmx roughly triples it's performance. My notes on rebuilding the package can be found at:


Bruceville, TX

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.
Longum iter est per praecepta, breve et efficax per exempla!!!

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