[Haskell-cafe] OT: Good Linux distro for netbook + Haskell?

Arkady Andrukonis grazingcows at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 24 23:26:58 EDT 2009


I've recently tried several different distros on legacy and not so old hardware: AMD 266 MHz Pentium box with BIOS from circa 2000 with 192 MB RAM, AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 MHz box with 1 GB RAM on ASUS mobo, and Centrino 1600 MHz 5 year old Toshiba notebook with 512 MB RAM. I liked PuppyLinux for old hardware, but was disappointed with Ubuntu 8.10, it just would not boot on pre 2001 BIOS unlike Debian Etch. I tried number 2 SuSE 11.1 and was equally not thrilled. It is not suited for dual-boot environments and the Novell/MS partnership is "experimental." Linux Mint 6.0 gave the best overall notebook experience, everything works, WiFi was very intuitive and setup was very quick. It took 2 minutes (right click enter network name and passphrase, click ok), as opposed to 45 minutes for counter-intuitive SuSE (launch YaST to enable network manager, good luck finding network manager, run network manager to configure, re-run YaST for the settings to "take"
 effect). Linux Mint features a lot of innovative bleeding edge software. Kanotix Thorhammer a bit dated has probably the best hardware recognition for dual boot environments Windows/Linux (for writing to NTFS partition) for some hard to get working notebooks, but not recommended for old hardware. It always, absolutely always configures ethernet networking (incuding my neighbor's open WiFi) unlike SuSE and sometimes Debian which need manual intervention from time to time. Thorhammer is ready in under 60 seconds flat on Toshiba, but its package manager is so-so. Ultimately the choice is personal preference and intended use, if you need very specialized applications an out-of-the-box experience of Linux Mint may not be ideal. Ultimately community support and experience will help you decide. Try out the LiveCD versions first to test the hardware compatibility before installing. I settled on Debian Etch which does not have the latest and the greatest, GHC
 6.6 will allow you to build the latest version. You can build most of the latest software on it. I do recommend seperate /home partion for future upgrades.

For building GHC 6.10.2 from sources you will need gmake >= 3.81 which any recent distro will have, including Debian based ones, and at the very least GHC 6.6 binaries to get started.

With kindest regards,


--- On Fri, 4/24/09, Magnus Therning <magnus at therning.org> wrote:

> From: Magnus Therning <magnus at therning.org>
> Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] OT: Good Linux distro for netbook + Haskell?
> To: "Adam Turoff" <adam.turoff at gmail.com>
> Cc: "Haskell Cafe" <haskell-cafe at haskell.org>
> Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 4:55 PM
> Adam Turoff wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 4:43 PM, Magnus Therning
> <magnus at therning.org> wrote:
> >> I've decided to shop around for other options
> when it comes to a Debian
> >> distro to put on my Eee PC 900.  Since it has no
> HDD I want something
> >> that isn't too bloated (some is all right) and
> ideally leaves up to me
> >> what to install and what not to.
> > 
> > I got an Eee PC this winter and I started playing with
> Arch Linux on it.
> > Seems nice in theory, but the hardware is weird enough
> that you'll
> > need to spend a lot of time fiddling to get the right
> modules installed properly
> > to get things like wifi working.  Quickly turned into
> an exercise in yak shaving
> > instead of haskell hacking.
> > 
> > Eeebuntu is a good choice.  The base install supports
> everything without
> > configuration, and doesn't install a whole mess of
> stuff you don't need.
> > Based on the 8.10 release and includes the Array
> kernel that supports
> > all of the funky hardware.  Might be slightly out of
> date, but that's
> > easily remedied.
> Interesting, but how is it when it comes to availability of
> up-to-date
> Haskell packages?  If it's based on Ubuntu 8.10 then
> I'd expect out of
> date GHC and a need to use cabal-install extensively.
> /M
> -- 
> Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP:
> 0xAB4DFBA4)
> magnus@therning.org          Jabber:
> magnus@therning.org
> http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter:
> magthe
> Haskell is an even 'redder' pill than Lisp or
> Scheme.
>      -- PaulPotts
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