First Time Linux

Not 2008.0 or 2009.0?

I've been pretty happy with my 2007.1 installation and was reluctant to upgrade it. 2008.0 came out but didn't appear to offer anything significantly enticing, and even when 2008.1 came out several months ago, it still wasn't enough to tempt me (although I did try out the live version and liked it).

Then, just weeks before 2009.0 came out, I got a new webcam and discovered that although it didn't work on my 2007.1 (failed to initialise), it did work using the 2008.1 live CD. So it looked like I needed to upgrade, but I wasn't brave enough to rush into 2009.0 - there are always lots of annoying issues in the first few weeks, and I didn't want to have to fight through them. So figuring that 2008.1 is pretty mature and as I already had the One CD anyway, I used that to upgrade.


But not so fast. Another incentive to upgrade was to take the opportunity to reorganise my hard drive partitions, because my /home was chronically full but my windows partition was languishing neglected with less than half of it occupied (and lots of that just reference documents). So by shrinking the windows partition and also allocating less space to the root partition, I could claw back lots of extra space for /home.

Step 1 was to back up everything from /home onto DVDs and also to an external hard drive, because moving the start of the partition inevitably involves losing all the contents. And of course checking the backups. Step 2 was to remove as much as possible from the windows drive, deinstall programs and move data so that shrinking that partition didn't wipe anything. An iterative process of removal and defragging until none of the second half of the partition was being used, but it eventually worked. Then I could shrink the windows partition using the Mandriva One CD and create a new FAT32 transfer partition immediately afterwards. Rebooting windows brought a recheck but everything was ok.

The most painful step was to wipe the 3 Mandriva partitions (/, swap and /home to leave just unused space. And from then the Mandriva install tool could be used to set up the new partitions, allocating more space to /home than before.


The install process went very smoothly, and apart from a few rogue "wizcancel" messages, very painlessly. The core system got installed from the CD of course, and then I set up the repositories (much easier than before!) and did a full update to get all the bugfixes. In retrospect I should have checked the package list before doing this, because the update needed to download lots of packages I didn't really need, such as Brazilian locales and spell-check files, graphics-card-specific packages and so on.

Following that, I reinstated the old contents of my /home from the backups and started adding the other packages I needed. In particular I installed Sun's JDK 1.6 and eclipse from the official repositories rather than downloading from their websites. I reinstalled the old version of Google Earth instead of their latest due to the much better navigation.


No earth-shattering changes here, but it hangs together well on the whole. There were a few gotchas though, for example: