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The well-tempered Debian desktop

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Linux
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I recently reported on my good results with migrating an old server from RH7 to Debian Sarge, beginning with the network-install CD. Responding to my comments that an install of a Sarge desktop on my old Thinkpad left me less than impressed, several readers admonished me for not installing Etch.

I've now done an Etch install on the same Thinkpad I recently used for evaluating seven single-CD distros, and this article explains what I did and how it worked out.

The install

I began by downloading RC1 of the Debian "testing" net-install CD (aka "etch RC1") iso file from here. It's a quick download, being a 100-150MB file. I like that.

After burning the CD from the iso, I popped it into the Thinkpad, and booted it up.

Full Story.

installing Debian Etch

A few days ago I installed Debian/Etch on my Thinkpad. One of the reasons for converting from Fedora to Debian is that I need to run Xen and Fedora doesn't support non-PAE machines with Xen. Ironically it's hardware supplied to me by Red Hat (Thinkpad T41p) that is lacks PAE support and forces me to switch to Debian. I thought about just buying a new dual-core 64bit laptop, but that seems a bit extravagant as my current machine works well for everything else.

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