I've been using Linux for about 5 months, mainly worked with Slackware. I am considering moving to Arch, but I'm not quite sure what is needed to do so. I've read that using the installer would require you to select which modules you want to be loaded manually, and frankly I'm not quite sure what I do have or not. However, reading the docs I did not find any reference regarding module loading as setup. Does it really exist or not? If so, will lsmod on Slackware reveal all the module names I need?
And another question, I'm pretty much familiar with the way Slackware ticks, configuration wise. Is Arch a lot different from it? I might need to use some other linux distributions at a job place or so, and so I'd like to know how, let's say, general, Arch Linux is.
If all of your hardware is working under Slack, an lsmod should tell you the names of the modules you'll need under Arch as well. It might be a good idea to hold onto your XF86Config-4 file from Slack if you run X.
As far as loading the modules under Arch, the easiest way to do that is add the list of names (emu10k1, eepro100, etc.) to the MODULES line of /etc/rc.conf.
In terms of how to install, your best bet right now is to grab the Arch-0.5-base iso (the small one) and install that. You configure your network by editing /etc/rc.conf (if you use dhcp, add eth0="dhcp"). Once you have your network up and running, the next thing is to sync your local package database; type 'pacman -Sy; pacman -S pacman; pacman -Su'.
That will get your base system upgraded to the 'pre-0.6 release'. From there, you can start adding any other packages you want.
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actually a net install is the best way to go.
I am not your friend
If you have room....maybe a dual boot till you get set up 8)
Well I don't have too much space available, but maybe if Arch is as light as they say I could manage something. I've never ran more than one linux distro at once, can both use the same /boot partition?
You can't use the same /boot partition, but it doesn't matter anyway because /boot partition is very small and besides, most modern systems don't need a separate boot partition.
You can however, use the same swap partition.
I got base Arch install, then I added kde with some kde addons (kdemultimedia, kdevelop, ...), mozilla, xfce4 with most goodies for xfce4, gimp, mplayer, openoffice, acrobat reader and some other progs. It all takes only about 1.5 GB + packages in /var/cache/pacman/pkg/ which are safe to remove.
Well then, looks like I'm gonna take the dive... Printed the manual, pacman's docs, my lsmod and backed up a few files.
I guess I could always go back to Slackware in case something goes wrong, frankly the only thing I missed in Slackware is nice package management, and looks like pacman is definately it.
Wish me luck.
Chinese proverb say "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step"
How to hear from you soon running Arch 0.6
Keep important etc-files such as fstab and XF86Config. I backed up my kernel as well.
Well, unfortunately my transition failed. It appears that the packaged kernel is not quite generic enough, couldn't load the 3c59x module for my network card, looks like it's not included there, and so it's pretty much useless for now. I guess the only way would be to compile the kernel myself, unfortunately I don't have too much time now so I'm back on slackware for now.
Have I done anything wrong during the installation or is this module truely non-existent? If so I hope newer Arch Linux version will include more generic kernels if possible.
Any more tips and tricks would be most welcome really.
You can't use the same /boot partition
Yes you can. At least with Grub you can make a menu with multiple choices so that you can choose which OS to start. You can even use the same kernel if you don't use modules, if you do then you need to copy them to /lib/modules/ in the new root partition (although the links in that dir won't work anymore if you don't copy the kernel source too). I also use different menu options in Grub for different kernel versions, so that it's easy to fall back to a working version if the new one doesn't work (e.g. 2.4 and 2.6 kernels). You can set the default boot options with a timeout. I think that this all is also possible with Lilo, but I never used Lilo.
It is also possible to resize existing partitions, that is what I did on my pc with a reiserfs partition. What I did is first resizing the filesystem with the reiserfs tools, and then resized the partition with cfdisk (I made the partition a bit too large, so there's an unused gap, but better safe than sorry). The filesystem can't be mounted when resizing it, and because it was the root fs I used a livecd. For most other filesystems you can also use Parted (http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/parted.html). I didn't use Parted because although it supports Reiserfs, it needs the reiserfs libs which aren't included with the boot floppies, so resizing a root reiserfs partition is a bit hard with Parted.
You can use your current XF86Config file without problems most of the time. You can also use most of your current home directory in Arch, including most settings as long as the config files of the different versions of the programs are compatible with eachother.
Only if archlinux files from packages don't conflict with the ones that are already there.
I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal
Well, I'm now writing this message from Arch Linux running GNOME. I gotta say the installation sequence looked a bit tricky to me, perhaps it's just innovative, but I think I got over it. Now it's time to start all the other configurations.
I must say that Arch has extremely fast package installation, so that's the first advantage I find. Hope there's more to come
So thank you all for your help and support, I'm very likely to bother you again, though