Linux Step By Steps

Libranet 2.0 Debian: A review

    From: "Leon A. Goldstein"

    Libranet 2.0 is now shipping.  This is a Debian worth trying.

    Installation from the two CD's took exactly one hour on a Celeron 850 box with an ATA100 HD.

    Detection and configuration of mouse and video card was automatic and correct.  The monitor was set to a very conservative default and consequently I could not get anything above 640X480 until I edited the scan rates. It also detected the IDE burner and set up SCSI emulation. You can also set up a network or dial-up during the install.  The provided installation note is a bit sparse, and would probably not provide a newbie much comfort. Libranet is easy to install if you know the mechanics of partitioning, but a neophyte will need some help.

    Although the new Libranet's "semi-automatic" installation greatly simplifies installation, I suspect Libranet deliberately distances itself from the promise of a painless fully automatic install, leaving that niche for the yet to appear Xandros, heir to the late and unlamented Corel Linux.

    (It remains to be seen if Xandros can succeed where Corel and Progeny failed in sustaining a Debian for the newbie.)

    Libranet 2.0 comes with 2.4.16 kernel, KDE 2.2.2 (as well as Gnome) It installs Reiser FS as default.

    If you are installing Libranet 2.0 on a multi boot system and do not want Libranet to take over booting, you can create a boot floppy before Libranet reboots to finish its installation. Otherwise, you need to edit your LILO or GRUB beforehand so you can reboot into it.  I use GRUB on my boxes, and simply add a chainloader line for other Linuces. Libranet now uses GRUB too, but LILO is still there if you want to use it instead.

    Libranet 2.0 does not have Kpackage.  This was a bit of a nuisance because I find it useful for examining packages (Deb and RPM; Libranet supports both).   It does provide Gnome package, but warns not to use it for installation or removal of packages.  I had a bit of a problem with Libranet's own package manager until I figured out it was looking in my CD-RW (slave) rather than the CDROM for packages.  I have installed Kpackage 2.2.2-5 and it works fine with Debs, but is a bit unreliable with RPM's.

    Another irritation was leaving out libc5, so WP8 users are out of luck. However, WP8.1 (the full version that came with Corel Linux deluxe) can install since it has its own libs..

    I have posted an interim how-to to the slowly dying Corel WP8/Linux news group,  I have found the libs needed to get WP8 to run, and will post a new how-to to the SxS site later when I have finished monkeying around the WP8 personal and download versions installation as well as printing, which is now with CUPS.

    For $50 ($30 if you bought an earlier release) plus postage you get a very slick Debian. There are a few rough edges, but they are manageable. It boots up faster than any other Linux I have experienced, and KDE 2.2.2 also starts fast.  This is an excellent distribution for an RPM'er who wants to give Debian a try.Libranet 2.0 Debian