Quick poll

Collins Richey crichey at gmail.com
Sun Oct 5 10:46:23 PDT 2008

On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 8:37 AM, David A. Bandel <david.bandel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Folks,
> A couple of quick questions:

Let's divide this into $DAYJOB and home.

> 1.  How many of you run servers (vice desktops)?

$DAYJOB yes, home no.

> 2.  How many servers? (1, 2-10, more than 10)?

> 3.  How many are headless?

All, except for multiport console used for debuging, etc.

> 4.  How many run X (headless or not)?

All are installed with X (gnome) for occasional use. All run normally
in non-gui mode.

> 5.  How did you install them? (Graphical install/text install, local
> install/network install/internet install)

Mostly install from local copy of RH installation media via
PXEboot/kickstart. Occasional installs from CD. No intenet

> 6.  Did you d/l all the CDs/DVD.  If so, what percentage of programs
> did you install?

Yes, needed for the PXEboot/kickstart setup. Don't know the
percentages. We need all the development packages and the occasional
PHP Apache series.

> What I'm looking at here is how odd am I?  Having run Debian for so
> long (even before I started w/ Caldera), I might be spoiled.

I'm even older, arrived in Debian land quite late, and am here for the
duration as far as my home system is concerned. No choice at $DAYJOB -
only RHEL will do. My installation was from CD/DVD (sidux), but I
won't ever need a reinstall unless there is a hardware failure.

> My
> recent foray into FC has me wondering if any of the developers there
> have any gray matter or incredible tunnel vision -- or again, is it
> that everyone but me has 100Mb Internet, unlimited DVDs to burn and
> throw away (very carbon), and of course all systems (even headless
> servers) with Terabytes of RAM and running X (because who cares with
> that much RAM)?

No tunnel vision, just economics and customer demand. All major
businesses have high speed internet, and most run servers that need
many gigabytes of ram to support the application load (not for X). I
doubt that many are actually running X on a regular basis. The servers
are most all headless, although I'm sure (as we do) most installations
have some sort of a shared connection for those times when a console
(or even more rarely X) is required.

As far as burning CD/DVDs is concerned, we almost never do that since
the CD/DVD images can be downloaded.

> All my installs are text mode (FC is doing away with text mode
> installs, FC 10 Beta's text mode is so borken you have to know the
> secrets to get past the disk partitioning, and I expect no text mode
> in FC 11).  All my installs are PXE/TFTPBOOT installs of a network
> (internet) load -- mostly to limit bandwidth usage and start with a
> 100% up-to-date install.
> I'm afraid I fail to see the sense behind installing servers with X.

Occasional use, as above. Installing X ties up a few MB, and you don't
have to run it constantly.

> I also see little sense in burning a DVD just to throw it away after 1
> install and d/l a newer one 2 weeks later for another install.

I would agree, but we never do that. I do occasionally at home to try
out yet-another-distro.

Back to the original post.

The major distros and hardware manufacturers are not producing
products for the third world. You have to go to the niche distros and
manufacturers to find stripped down systems that will run on 10 year
old hardware or that third world users can afford. Now that Vista has
taken over the retail PC market, you aren't going to find any PCs at
the local retailer with less than 2G ram and 150G disk, and by next
year everything will be quad-core processors.

There are organizations that support Linux on older hardware (I
haven't kept track, google for info), and there is the OLPC movement
to produce laptops for the third world, but that's about it. I
understand your position and your needs, but very few in the Linux
community are working towards that type of support.

We just had a lengthy thread (40-50 posts) on our local LUG on this
very topic. The primary complainer appears to be a complet Luddite
when it comes to Linux. He seems to think that Linux has gone straight
downhill since about the RH6/7 days when you could run Linux on the
ancient hardware available in places like Panama. It doesn't matter
that Linux now supports modern hardware. If you can't run it on a
64-128M PC, it's no good.

Collins Richey
     If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries
     of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.

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