Captain Packrat (captpackrat) wrote,
Captain Packrat

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Adventures in Linux!

This company is in desperate need of a way to backup the user's e-mail and other important data.  Unfortunately, the new file server that's been desperately needed is a long time off.  So I have to come up with an interim solution.

There were two computers in my office, an old IBM NetVista and a Dell Dimension.  I'd asked my boss to buy me a KVM switch so I could work on these machines without having to unhook my own machines, and the biggest hard drive available.   Naturally, he buys the cheapest possible units, a 160G hard drive, and a KVM with no cables or anything.  I drive off to Fry's and buy a usable KVM, with cables, that costs only $10 more (the cables would have been $10-20 per machine).  Fortunately I can generally file expense reports for small stuff without needing approval.

I hook up the IBM, and get nada.   It's dead.  I open the Dell, and bingo, no hard drive.  I try to hook up the 160G drive, and the computer goes gaga.  OK...  I try hooking up a new IDE controller, and discover the BIOS cannot boot to an offboard controller.   D'OH!   So I pull the 10G drive off the IBM.   Success!  I hook up the 10G onto the motherboard, and hang the 160 off the IDE card.  That seems to work.

Since Windows Server is so insanely expensive, and Windows Professional can only handle 10 users at a time, I decide to try out the Ubuntu disk I picked up from flinthoof  at FC.

I get it to boot up with no problems, so far, it's as easy to install as Windows.   But then it wants me to partition and format the hard drives, and that when everything falls apart.  I suppose if the machine had only a single drive, it wouldn't be a problem, but I had two drives.   I tried to figure out how to get Ubuntu to use the little drive for system files, and the big drive for user data (specifically, a Samba share).  After fighting with the partitioner for nearly half an hour, I finally managed to get the 10G drive set as / and the 160 partitioned into swap and /usr (which I learned later was a HUGE FREAKING MISTAKE).  The installer went on its merry way, and then got to the update part.   Shiva H. Vishnu, that almost makes Windows Update look easy.  72 updates.  Nearly an hour of downloading.

I finally managed to get everything updated, and went about setting up Samba.   Which actually went realtively easy.   And then I discovered that Samba stores everything in /home, which was on the 10G drive, not the 160.   ARGH!   After fighting with the OS for another hour to try to make the 2nd hard drive /home, I gave up, rebooted to the install disk, blew away the partitions, and reinstalled the OS from scratch.  It's currently in the middle of the "update" thingie, with another 1/2 hour to go.

Personally, I think I'll be sticking with Windows.

Tags: geekery, work

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