Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pardus -- a Turkish Linux OS on my EeePC 901

Pardus has a very good reputation and is considered underestimated. So, I thought I'd try it out.
First thing is that Unetbootin doesn't work as it does with, say, Ubuntu.
Instead you need to use what's described here. However, this seems to be only available in Turkish but can be easily, if terribly accurately, translated with Google Translate. In particular you need to be careful with commands and it's best to take these from the Turkish original.
In any event, the steps to preparing a bootable usb-key from which tyou can install Pardus are as follows:
1. Download the Pardus iso from here.
I, however, found the download rate to be abominably slow (20-30 kB/s) but downloading a torrent from here was very much faster (150-200 kB/s)
2. Format a 1GB (or bigger) usb-key to FAT32 (exactly why it needs to be FAT32 is not clear to me but it does work).
3. Assuming the Pardus.iso was downloaded to the Desktop, make a new directory here called pardus
4. Now loop mount the iso with (I did this in Ubuntu)

# mount -o loop pardus.XXXXXX.iso pardus

5. Now copy the files from the iso to the usb-key with
# cp -Rf pardus/* /dev/sdc1

(where /dev/sdc1 is the usb-key partition)
6. Use an editor (I used gedit) to get into the usb-key.
7. Change the name of the folder /boot/isolinux to /boot/syslinux and the file within this folder called isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg
8. Edit the syslinux.cfg file to make the following changes (in bold) in the first few lines:
prompt 1
timeout 200
gfxboot /boot/syslinux/init
label pardus
kernel /boot/kernel
append initrd=/boot/initrd root=/dev/ram0 mudur=livedisk vga=791 splash=silent quiet yali4=debug

9. Save the file syslinux.cfg
10. In a terminal run the following commands (where, again, /dev/sdc1 is the usb-key)
syslinux /dev/sdc1

cat /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin > /dev/sdc

11. Boot to the usb-key and install Pardus.

Now you can see that this is quite complicated. However, some guy in the Turkish forum provided me with a much easier method in this thread (see post by Buba) which is as follows:
Burn the Pardus iso to a usb-key with Unetbootin. Now, use an editor to get into the /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg file. Here change the second stanza (only) to read
label unetbootindefault
menu label Pardus Usb
kernel /boot/kernel mudur=livedisk vga=791 splash=silent quiet
initrd /boot/initrd

Leave everything else unchanged, save the file and now use the key to install Pardus as before.
Pardus 2009 uses the KDE 4.2 WM and looks very good. A disappointment is that the desktop effects are quite pathetic compared to Compiz-Fusion. Other than that, based on only a very brief experience to date, it looks and , in general, works fine.
However, can't say as yet that I've seen anything to make me want to separate myself from Ubuntu as my principal Linux distro but let's see what happens.


  1. Did you overlook the ENGLISG wiki pages then? (as you are referring initially to the turkish wiki)?