Weekend Fun: Workstation Upgrade

The project for my spare computer time this weekend was re-partitioning and then re-installing Debian GNU/Linux on my main workstation. I run VMware and then several virtual Windows or Linux virtual computers on it.

I’ve been practicing Debian installs for another project, so I know exactly what I want to install how, and it goes pretty quickly. Debian comes in three levels of freshness/stability: “stable”, “testing” and “unstable”. Lately “unstable” is actually pretty solid, and it has the latest best stuff, so I grab a recent minimal network-install CD (either beta 2 or a daily build), then during the install I change the sources.list file to point to “unstable” instead of “testing”, and get an “unstable” system. (For those who aren’t used to Debian: this isn’t really a bad thing.)

After the base system was up, I was sort of surprised how few packages I installed to get a pretty solid basic system (no particular order):

  • gnome
  • x-window-system
  • kernel-image-2.4.25-1-k7 (want the latest!)
  • kernel-build-2.4.25-1 (so VMware could build its modules)
  • emacs21
  • ssh
  • samba
  • smbclient
  • make
  • gcc
  • libc6-dev (needed the include files for compiles when installing some CPAN modules)
  • mozilla-firefox
  • rsync (how I backed up/restored before/after the partitioning)
  • libberkeleydb-perl (for POPFile)

Now, with a decent Linux desktop, I’m thinking about moving my email off of Eudora and onto Thunderbird or Evolution (anybody have an opinion?), and maybe even start using IMAP, with say Dovecot, which looks like a pretty nice IMAP server.

I dunno about GAIM or EveryBuddy/Ayttm — I still really like Trillian Pro. Maybe I’ll have to dust off my Win4Lin license for it — although then I’d have to patch the kernel…..