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User Journal

Journal Journal: And just as the industry goes gaga for flat UIs...

After my fstabbing post a few days ago, I eventually solved the problem in the somewhat illogical manner of attempting a reinstall of M12 on top of M11's (much larger) old partition. For a short while, most of my drives started failing to auto-mount at bootup, but thankfully, this time around it turned out to be because my old fstab configuration references had led me to make a serious error: they advocated the use of umask to set base file permissions without mentioning that it's not an ext* option. Past versions of Linux had never really responded to it (that I noticed), but this one reacts by refusing to automount the drives.

After getting Mepis 12 Beta all installed, marveling over how much faster it boots up and runs on my old Thinkpad T43, I discovered something useful in "upgrading" my account to the new version of KDE... When a substantially new version of KDE opens an existing account for the first time, it resets most preferences to the default, as if the old prefs were incompatible...but if you log out and restore them from a backup, almost everything works & looks just as it did before.

After getting that straightened out I went into the desktop effects to see if there was anything new, and was very pleasantly surprised to discover that I can finally blur translucent backgrounds! Yeah, everyone else with newer computers has had ample time to become bored and eventually repelled with things like blurred translucency, but I've wanted this ever since I first saw how neat it made titlebars look -- especially since most window decorations & desktop themes for KDE4 are dull without translucency and near-unusable if translucent but not blurred. I find it funny that this happens just as everyone else moves on to thinking flat decor is awesome (and if I start seeing colorful decorations/themes/icons rather than monochrome up the arse, I'll agree), but I always have marched to the beat of a non-percussive instrument...

User Journal

Journal Journal: fstabbing it to death

When Linux is good, it's very, very good...but when it's bad...

I've been using Linux for 5 years now, and 99% of the time, I'm perfectly happy telling others how easy it is to use, about the stability, lack of need to rely on the console. The other 1% of the time, though, it manages to come up with problems out of left field that are a serious bitch to make sense of even with the console, let alone fix. You know, those fun ones where either there's no error filed or displayed, or it's in such an obscure place that your chances of finding it listed on the web are slim at best.

For example, my current issue: for seemingly no reason, my Mepis 11 install developed an old KDE bug where kworker randomly maxes out the CPU until the system is rebooted. So, last night kworker misbehaved yet again, I rebooted, and none of the partitions mounted other than root -- big problem considering /tmp, /home, and all customization stuff (icons, fonts, wallpaper, color schemes, etc.) are on separate partitions.

Fought with it, then reinstalled M11. This time, root could manually mount them from the console, but users were refused because the drive/partition *is* listed in fstab. Another reinstall produced a setup where, thanks to a wonky Mepis script, fstab was reset every boot to a default mounting all partitions (other than /) at /mnt/sd*#, and users still couldn't mount.

So, I reinstalled it again, and all fstab lines with /dev/[part] or LABEL were ignored (and of course, that's what I'd lazily used). I just booted a live session and re-edited the damned fstab to use UUID, so now I get to reboot yet again and see if that helped.

If it fails, well fuck it -- I'll install Mepis 12 beta and find out what *that* does to my system. Of course, this means dealing with GRUB2, aka the Metro/GNOME3 of system booting... *shudder* (If you're wondering why I'm not just installing 12B, it's because it's missing a number of KDE things I'd miss and, of course, uses GRUB2.)

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You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page