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He's so mean he wouldn't light your pipe if his house was on fire.

9 March 2010 21:50

By the time this blog entry goes live I'll be running upon my new machine. The migration process was mostly straightfoward and followed my plan:

  • Using my existing desktop system as a PXE server to install Lenny over the network.
  • Copied over important directories.
  • Restored backups.
  • Turned off old machine.

Of course it wasn't that simple in practise, as previously mentioned the whole reason I was looking for a new machine was because the software RAID upon my old desktop was failing - One of the two drives was completely dead.

As I'd feared the second drive failed partway through my migration. But thankfully I'd copied off the important stuff before then, and the backups I have off-site mostly covered everything else. (The things I lost were things I can find again such as ~/Music, ~/Videos. On the one hand they're too large to backup, on the other hand I should probably do it next time as they never change.)

Unfortunately the version of X in Lenny refused to work with the GeForce G210 video card I had. To be more correct using the Vesa driver I could get a picture and a smooth desktop, but when watching videos with xine I got maybe two frames a second. Both the open nv driver and the closed nvidia driver failed to support the card - so I swapped hardware, and I'm now running with the GeForce 7300 GS card from my previous desktop. This allows me to watch videos at full-screen with no issues. (Desktop size is 1600x1200 FWIW).

So now it's just a matter of tweaking the system. I've installed enough to be useful:

  • miredo - So I have IPv6 connectivity despite Virgion.
  • squid - So that I have a decent cache for surfing.
  • pdnsd - So I have a caching nameserver and am not at the whim of Virgin.
  • kvm - So I can setup scratch machines for play.

I've still got to setup pbuilder, but that'll be done shortly, and I've installed backported packages such that I can watch youtube videos. I'm currently running firefox from lenny but I expect that will change soon enough - not least because that version fails to support "adblockplus", only "adblock".

Two partitions md0 for /boot and md1 used as LVM, from which I've taken /, /home, etc:

Filesystem                      Size    Used    Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/birthday--vol-root   9.9G     2.8G   6.6G  30% /
/dev/mapper/birthday--vol-home   22G      4.3G  16G    22% /home
/dev/mapper/birthday--vol-music  127G    43G    78G    36% /mnt/music
/dev/md0                         988M    38M    901M    4% /boot
/dev/mapper/birthday--vol-kvm    22G      8.8G  12G    44% /mnt/kvm
/dev/sdg1                        163G    143G   12G    93% /media/disk


skx@birthday:~/hg/blog/data$ sudo pvs
[sudo] password for skx:
  PV         VG           Fmt  Attr PSize   PFree
  /dev/md1   birthday-vol lvm2 a-   464.82G 274.51G

Update: Three irritations with this machine:

  1. As supplied the BIOS was set with "USB Mouse" and "USB Keyboard" set to "disabled". I had to beg the loan of a keyboard from a neighbour.
  2. As supplied the BIOS had virtualisation set to "disabled". Not a huge shock, but it caught me out regardless.
  3. As supplied the system had only a single SATA power connector. Annoying given that the motherboard is advertised as having "onboard RAID" and I'd purchased it with two hard drives. Happily I had a spare adaptor to hand.

I'd still recommend Novatech, but the last point had me swearing for a few minutes until I realised I did have a spare adaptor in the house.

ObFilm: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang



Comments on this entry

icon Füley Istvan at 09:27 on 10 March 2010

I think, you need the nvidia vdpau closed source driver for GT210. At least my Geforce works fine with it.

icon Steve Kemp at 10:00 on 10 March 2010

Thanks for the pointer.

For the moment I'm not in any hurry, although it is a little annoying to have bought a card I cannot use right now it could always go to a new home.

icon someone at 09:31 on 14 March 2010

nouveau is the future for free software support of nVidia cards, it would be great if you could try it and report bugs etc.