OK, this really won't be a total review. Essentially I'll describe
the install process in an abbreviated manner. For those of you who
want to install Linux for the first time, or if you've used other
distributions before and want to know what to expect, this page
tries to lay that out. If you want a full review of Corel Linux,
check Google or a Linux magazine
like Linux Journal or Linux World. Note that the URL for
Turbo Linux is http://www.pht.com since
they used to be called "Pacific HiTech."
First I'll describe my setup, then I'll describe the physical aspects of
doing the install, and lastly describe each screen in the installation.
The hardware is a VMWare Virtual
Machine. It should be similar to a real PC, but with one difference
(hopefully): So far all Linux installs I've done on a VM have failed
to recognise the video card. I don't really find fault with the XFree
people or the installation programs - I'd rather they work on getting real
cards working first. Each new release and distribution of Linux seems
to have more supported cards so it's obvious they're moving forward there.
Otherwise it's a pretty standard setup. A cdrom drive, and a 800m hard
disk. The system is set to boot off the floppy, cd, and then the hd.
The VM has 32megs of RAM.
The Physical Labor
Put the cd in the cdrom drive, power on! Pretty simple, eh?
This seems to use the Red Hat text based install program. Since it's very
similar to the LinuxPro install I'll just point you to those images when
they are the same. Obviously the Turbo Linux screens say Turbo Linux
in the upper left hand corner. The first difference is at boot time -
the option of a 50 line screen differs from
other text based installers. No option to install in an Asian language
of some sort though, I was thinking that would be nifty.
Next there's the color/mono choice and then a screen giving a blurb about the manual. Next there are the
standard set of screens in a RedHat install: keyboard (but with a
larger number of them) and PCMCIA query. At this point it wants to autoprobe for hardware which like any lazy
person I accept. Happily it seems to work.
Do I use Parallel Port IDE? No. Now it
probes and failes to see my network card.
There's a chance to fix that later it says, and then it moves onto a
media selection screen like other Red Hat text installers (hereafter
refered to as RHti). By the way, while the text based installers are
kind of old and clunky these days I do think it's great that people are
using the code. The usefulness of free software lies in it's reuse,
so I don't think Turbo Linux are lame in the slightest for reusing Red
Hat's work. Never having used SuSE I've heard that they have a nify
ppp configurator/interface (wvdial) that it seems Red Hat has picked up.
Anyway, enough commentary, the install now wants
to know how talkative it can be. I'll take the quiet default;
I talk enough for the both of us. Network
types follow, and I bravely pick LAN. Two RHti questions follow
wanting to know if I have any SCSI devices (no) and how I want to
partition the disk. The last one is a bit different because I can
choose cfdisk. The partition scheme from
LinuxPro is still there so I'll go with that. A host of RHti screens
show up here: formatting swap partition, choosing a root partition,
other mount points, making an ext2 fs on the partitions (formatting),
network configuration (no bootp, just static), and the install log
info message. Now I get to pick packages.
It gives a list of canned installs so I just
pick the File Server. It asks me to confirm
and then starts installing.
Next you get a range of choices for a kernel.
That seems nice. Next your standard LILO screens come up - placement
and args. The timezone screen offers a time
server choice, again a nice touch. A standard printer install screen,
replaced afterwards with an isa pnp screen.
I select yes, and the machine doesn't hang, but it doesn't say what it
found. It does let me know how to configure
them in the future.
No idea on what will start this up post install, but the Service Status Board is next. It configures
which services start. This is nice since I get a chance to turn sendmail
off and avoid the two minute addition to boot time it can cause if my
network isn't set up just right. After this it requests a root password
which I dutifully submit. It then let's me add
users. I do wish these screens would let me enter a uid. In a
networked UNIX office it seems easier if each user has a unique uid across
platforms. Then again in a networked office you'd probably use NIS.
Finally it finishes with some useful info.
On reboot I see it boots into framebuffer mode and finally get to
see the infamous penguin with a beer image.
That caused controversy? A quick peek around finds a pretty normal system
- and since I only installed it as a file server there's no X installed.
Another "old fashioned" install. For some reason I seem to feel more
secure with that. A lot of trickery needs to be employed to get Intel's
aging architecture into graphical modes so early. Text based installs
seem to focus more on the install process rather then the graphics.
But then I'm an grumpy old 28 year old, so I'm probably just reacting
oddly here. The GUI installs do seem better on detecting hardware and
in the end you can tweak to your hearts content.
Anyway Turbo Linux seems to present a rather straight forward install,
though again it's not as simple as the Caldera and Corel's of the world.
The package installs offer 98m to 800m+ systems so there seems to be
a range of choices for deployment even before customizing the canned
systems. The one failing here seems to be the inability to spot my
network card (I think VMWare emulates an AMD card of some sort).
email@example.com. Thanks to Linux Mall
for the cheap CD's.
You may find the following helpful:
About the author, Kevin Lyda.