Friday, August 28, 2009

Mepis on USB: my experience so far

This is a continuation of yesterday's post about using Mepis 8 installed on a 4GB Kingston Data Traveler USB key on my EeePC 901.
As I reported, I suddenly could no longer boot from the key as it continuously froze just briefly after the Desktop background opened.
I thought this might be something to do with the ext3 fs which once or twice had corrupted on the key although, in each case, it was easy to repair using "fsck -y /dev/sdc1".
So, I tried reiserfs which is the only other fs available for installation of Mepis 8.0. Well, once again the install went fine, although it seemed considerably slower than with ext3. However, I was amazed to find that the boot froze at almost the same point that it previously did wwith the ext3 install.
Incidentally, running "fsck -y /dev/sdc1" on the reiserfs formatted partitions was slow as was mounting these partitions with "sudo mount /dev/sdc1".
Next I installed Mepis 8 again but this time with ext3 fs. However, once again it froze during the boot at more or less the same point. Now it started looking like my pendrive was corrupted
So, I re-installed Mepis 8 with ext3 but this time I chose "check for bad blocks" on each of the pendrive partitions.
This time it booted to completion and I was able to install compiz-fusion and avant-window-navigator from the repos.
Up to now, I haven't had a problem although on one occasion the journal system corrupted on the pendrive but I got ext3 back using the fsck check. However, I'm wary that this may be the beginning of the end. For this reason, I've adopted the expedient of running "fsck -y /dev/sdc1" after every shutdown of Mepis.
On Mepis 8 in general, it's working well although just that little bit slower because of the usb key. However it's still a very acceptable way to gain some experience with an untried distro providing the boot-freeze problem I had doesn't recur.
On the negative side, up to now I haven't been able to get emerald installed within compiz-fusion because Shame's repo doesn't seem to provide workable download.
Additionally, Yakauke from the repos doesn't work well for me in that F12 doesn't open the drop-down terminal.
But I haven't given up on either.

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