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*NIX: Relatively Minimal Host OS for VirtualBox Use

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He he -- I'm about to try to use them again -- nice to have notes to consult
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That must be contagious.  This round I did the net-install of Debian non-advanced, and then did without sudo.  I had to install gdm3 for my startx, but now all is working otherwise perfectly from your steps.  I ruined my first try by uninstalling too much after adding the Desktop Environment.  My startx would freeze with only a cursor on a black screen, but I wasn't going to tackle those forums.  I'd almost be better off attempting Gentoo.  Thanks ewemao.

@Tuxman Thanks for the head's up!

For me, at least the Arch install was mainstream enough that it felt comprehensible and somewhat familiar. (The excellent docs helped a lot too!)
-40hz (May 24, 2014, 06:29 AM)
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I often find that Arch docs are more helpful than other things I encounter -- my impression is that they tend to have just enough but not too much.

It may just be my background, but I found the Gentoo installation procedure to be more familiar.  In any case, following the installation instructions for either seems to have the side effect of giving one quite a good start in learning how to look after one's system.

A stage-3 Gentoo install, on the other hand, will probably always look and feel weird to me.  :huh:

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When was the last time you tried?  I think I originally tried Gentoo 7 or 8 years ago (remember stage 1 and 2?) with much less powerful hardware and this time around it definitely felt much easier.  One thing that seems to help for both distributions is knowing what you can ignore in the instructions -- as the quote Tuxman posted demonstrates, depending on one's specifics, what steps one follows may not be too much.

In the meantime don't neglect to create a disk image backup of the install. It will easily fit on a DVD or a modest USB key too.
-40hz (March 09, 2014, 06:57 AM)
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Tried this out using dd and partclone for comparison.

For dd, I shrank the partition before gzipping.  The result was about 1.7 GB.
For partclone, I tried gzipping with and without shrinking.  In either case the result was about 500 MB.

dd's result is certainly bigger, but access to its contents seems a simple "mount -o loop" away, whereas partclone seems more involved (e.g. partclone-utils or restoring the image to a file before mounting)...

I ruined my first try by uninstalling too much after adding the Desktop Environment.
-mateek (May 24, 2014, 07:03 PM)
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Yes, the remove pieces bit-by-bit approach has this sort of risk in addition to ending up with cruft -- building up from less seems to work out better for me.

In any case, good to hear things are working for you :)

For making the environment a bit easier to use for pointing and clicking, tried the following additions:

apt-get install xfce4 # relatively light-weight desktop environment
apt-get install slim   # graphical display manager
apt-get install wicd   # contains gui for configuring wired and wireless network

df shows disk usage to be about 1.7 GB now.

Also disabled IPV6 by appropriately adding ipv6.disable=1 to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line in /etc/default/grub and running update-grub.

separation of system from data...Hmm, if I pick up the wireless usb module mentioned in:

may be I can remove the internal wireless module and put some small form factor small capacity SATA SSD in to put this system on...


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