Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Using Debian Squeeze

Last Friday I downloaded a daily build of Debian Squeeze and I have been using it since that time. I was not very happy with the default graphical installer; it got into a loop when I attempted to start it in the default settings. I did not attempt to figure out what was happening; I used the text based installation instead. I was not very happy with it either. When I tried to reuse an existing partition to load Squeeze, the partition handling routine failed. I had to remove the data on that partition, delete the partition, then create a new partition in the same spot, then it worked.

That had other undesirable side effects, because it renumbered the partitions after the partition that was recreated. This caused me other problems and even temporarily caused one of my existing systems to have a kernel failure, probably due to its initrd file no longer reflecting the correct disk identification, so more work is needed to get things back in order. I have copied the contents of that system that I want to retain to an external USB disk, so that when I reinstall that system or reconfigure it, I will not lose all of the information that I had saved.

Once past these annoying issues, Debian Squeeze has proven to be a solid system, and I have not encountered a single problem with the installed system, and in fact, I have been using it ever since.

There have been a modest number of changes since Friday to Debian Squeeze, so it has not been quite as volatile as the Debian Sid based systems that I usually use.

I'm not happy with the state of the Debian Squeeze installer, but to be fair to the Debian project, it is not final, and in fact, this was only a daily build that I installed, so I expect the final version not to have the issues that I experienced. I will check it out again later, and also see if others have encountered the issues I faced, and if not, report them as installation related defects.

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