new Debian release!

A new version of Debian stable has been released! My firewall machine, entropy, is currently running the “old” Debian stable (etch). Sometime soon I’ll update to the new stable release, Debian 5.0 Lenny.

Just for reference, here is how I will update:

edit /etc/apt/sources.list, change all occurrences of etch to lenny, then run these commands as root:

aptitude update
aptitude install apt dpkg aptitude
aptitude full-upgrade

when it is done, then I’ll have to reboot to start using the new kernel. It will be interesting to see how long the upgrade takes.

Entropy is an HP Vectra business workstation with a 90MHz pentium (i586!), 128MB of RAM, and a 4GB hard drive. The RAM and hard drive sizes would have been incredible when the computer was new; I slowly increased them over time as they got cheap. Entropy would have shipped with 8 or 16MB of RAM, and possibly a 1GB hard drive. I acquired the machine in 1999 for $100. I wanted a second machine so I could try out connecting two machines together via ethernet. I used it as a development workstation for a brief period! I believe it would have been new around 1994. I hope to retired it sometime this spring. My goal is to get a brand new, energy efficient machine so I can run one machine constantly instead of the 3 or 4 I run now.


so debian etch is totally rocking.

It was a fun experience just reading the installation manual. The manual was impressive, I’ve not seen a work which conveyed so much information in so little words. Let me explain what I mean by that; I, as an expert Linux user, found the directions extremely helpful, easy to follow, with just the right amount of hints along the way. However, a Linux newb would be hopelessly lost. almost every phrase in the manual evoked whole volumes of knowledge, which it was assumed, nay, required, that the reader already possessed. :) No wonder Debian has the reputation of being elitist!

At the end of the directions, the manual stated I now had a running Debian system, albeit somewhat lean. I’ll say! upon first boot, and logging in, I noticed the kernel was using about 5mb of ram for itself, and all running applications were taking up about 10mb! yep, only 15mb of ram for a full blown, non-embedded linux system. that was with a system logger and cron daemon running.

Then I installed the things I planned to actually use the computer for: a caching DNS server (bind9), ssh daemon, and typical stuff like zsh, screen, and darcs. The darcs install went ahead and pulled in exim, an SMTP server.

after I got screen going, with a couple zshs, and those other servers, ram usage ballooned all the way up to 22mb. 😀 Boy do I feel silly now, with the 1gb swap partition I created for this setup!