Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yellow Dog Linux release 6.2 (Pyxis)

My computer, my partner in crime for six years, died. The motherboard went bad. So I used my wife's old computer, and the hard drive went in that one. Then I got a used one from a friend. That one broke, too (I suspect it's the motherboard, but who knows?).

All I have left is my trustworthy Playstation 3.

I've messed around with Linux on the PS3 before, but I've never had to use it as my only desktop. This time around, I had to make it work (I'm out of a job right now, so buying something else is not an option).

I installed Yellow Dog Linux 6.2. It definitely feels more responsive than 6.1 (the swap performance improvements are certainly noticeable). In addition, they have now added many more packages to the yellowdog-extras repo.

After a fairly quick install, I installed all of my favorites from the YUM repositories, namely Fluxbox, LaTeX, and Emacs. The base install had already chosen Firefox and Pidgin, so I was ready to roll. I've been relying on Google Docs for some time as my office suite, and it continues to work well within Firefox. Audio worked out of the box, so no issue there. I do admit to being a little old and crotchety in the audio player department, so I compiled XMMS 1.x from source and installed it in my home directory.

The only thing missing? Printing. I had never really used CUPS before, but now I'm glad that I did. It was a total snap! My particular wireless printer didn't have a driver with the base CUPS install. I pointed Firefox to the CUPS configuration server at http://localhost:631 and began to add a printer. It was no big deal to download a PPD file from the OpenPrinting database. Minutes later and I was printing out my documents.

I sincerely LOVE Linux! It even works for poor people.