Live Linux today

February 2, 2009 – 21:42 by Adnan Hodzic

Since, from time to time I use FoolControl as my best hate catalyst … well I’m gonna go ahead and hate one of the things I love the most.

Couple of years ago, I did one pretty unusual thing, my hdd died and I didn’t swap “my computers”, instead I actually powered it on without hdd using live linux distributions and used my usb stick to imitate my hard drive. Since it took awhile to get my new hdd, I went through many live linux distros and what I did is I tested their uptime :)

Now I thought I had these results recorded/stored somewhere, but sadly couldn’t find them. All I can remember is that among many I think Knoppix scored the best results and managed to stay up for 8 days. I disliked Knoppix back then and I still dislike it today, but I remember at the time I was “full time” Slackware user and that Slax “scored” the lowest results. Which compared to today … isn’t bad, far from it, I still may not be able to check my mail with that same Slax, but hey it’s gonna keep its uptime.

Now, what happened is that I sent my X300 back to Lenovo customer service right after I got it after it was there for two monts. Now it’s making funny noises, and I had to send it to Lenovo, let me give you a word advice on all of this. Never, never buy the most expensive notebook there is, once they take it away from you, I feel like I lost a child or something. I love my x300, it’s too perfect and it’s all, but after I’m left without it … I’m hating, and I got the blues :(

Back to the topic, I’m left without my x300 (again), and I didn’t take my other notebook with Lenny on it, instead of I picked up Thinkpad R50 with Windows on it, with sole idea of using live linux until I don’t get my x300.

And after I’ve been doing this for 3 days … let me ask all you a question, what do you use your live distributions for? And if you say I use them to “boot ma backtrack up and root some machines” I’ll just slip into manic mode. I didn’t do it one third throughly as I did when I was testing them couple of years ago and I won’t repeat the same thing, got more important things to do now.

But I have come to a single conclusion, Live linux today … it sucks big time! Maybe it’s because there wasn’t YouTube and stuff like that before, but I can’t even make it to 12 hours without everything just crashing down followed by my death metal growls. To be more objective, you can’t make it past 2 hours unless you’re not doing anything but just simply “surfing the web” and not surfing it too much.

I personally use gparted and Clonezilla (reasons are self explanatory) and Debian Live when I don’t want to do “important stuff” via this “foreign” windows machine and the work I’ll do on them live distros rarely go over half an hour or so.

I find Debian live to be the best live distro, it’s just clean, slick, not bloated … it runs just fine, if you want YouTube without installing anything it’ll be done via open source “variant” of flash player swfdec. Iceweasel will break to point of interuptible, you say so what? Ok I’m left with Epiphany, which will break to the same status as well, and what are you left with? Of course you can kill them via kill -9, you can kill anything via kill -9, but after couple of crashes, you just get bored.

Ok ok, Debian live is one of the few live distros where you can normally install new stuff, for example if you try this on Ubuntu … game over. but again, my third package and it was lost … so it’s best not to try to install anything, also to mention this works via console/terminal, synaptic will just go mad right away.

And I’m not just talking about, not being able to watch YouTube or such, I’m saying that I couldn’t do such a simple operation as copy things, X couldn’t stay as long as the transfer time which is equal to ~2 hours. Since as soon as you fired up lite thing such as gedit, and my gftp or god forbid fireftp … you’re waiting for disaster.

Again, maybe I’ve used wrong words when I said “live distro today … suck”, maybe live distros on desktop suck, but again it all brings us to the question, what do you want to use your live distro for. Maybe I’m just being foolish by trying to use my live distro as my everyday system, but what I think is foolish is to let such advantage/technology to just rott away.

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