A little background: I started using Unix V7 on a PDP-11/70 back in 1983, even modifying some existing kernel drivers for the Cambridge Ring local area network. After that I dabbled in system administration of various Sun and Apollo systems until 1991, and HP boxes up until 2000, but my main task has always been application software development, nothing on the hardware or kernel side. Since 2000 we've had dedicated system administrators at work. We had switched from NCD X-terminals over to Linux desktops (first RedHat, but then Lunar) and I realized that what little I knew had become well out of date. I installed RedHat on an old 90MHz PC at home more than five years ago, but without a LAN or modem connection it was too difficult to keep up to date, I lost interest, and that died. Since then I've had an itch to develop a spiffy FLTK user interace for some old command line tools using Cygwin/Mingw on a WinXP laptop (with modem) but the machine is (a) painfully slow, and (b) painfully Windows. The time had come to get some new hardware, install an operating system that doesn't thwart you at every turn, and set up a programming environment of my own choice.
Why Lunar? Well, my desktop at work is running Lunar - and it has been very stable - and so I could always ask the sysadmin if I got really stuck. Sofar I've been trying to work it out for myself.
Basic Installation for Newbies: well, believe it or not, the Installation guide is actually fairly good! However, while waiting for the connection to the ISP to be set up, I did install 1.5.0, 1.5.1rc1 and 1.5.1, each one a bit better than the last, and the guide made more sense to me every time. So, if you are new to Lunar, just give it a try, make the mistakes, reformat the partitions and try again! There are a couple of points that might help other people:
- I used the partitions mentioned in the guide, albeit bigger, which are really intended for server systems, whereas desktop systems could use a simpler system as described in the FAQ. Make a note of the partitions and sizes so that you can enter the info quickly when you re-install.
- The 'Install a pre-compiled kernel' step happens so quickly, and without any real feedback, that I didn't believe that it had actually done anything. I then made the mistake of compiling the kernel(s) again myself, and it's completely unnecessary and wastes time.
- Unless you are really sure that you want to override the default values, don't. Play with the simplest system you can to start with - you can always configure something extra later.
To be continued...