Sunday, December 30, 2007

Failed Attempt with Mepis

Simply Mepis 7.0 got released on December 23rd. The release announcement proclaims it to be a holiday present and surely it looks like one.
A quick look at the packages reveal a detailed list containing kernel, Xorg 7.1.0, KDE 3.5.8, OpenOffice 2.3.0, Firefox, Thunderbird, Digikam 0.9.2, Sun Java 6.00, Amarok
1.4.7, mplayer 1.0.rc1, fuse driver 2.7.0, ntfs-3g 1.710, madwifi-ng
Atheros driver, wpa-supplicant 0.6.0, ALSA sound drivers
1.0.15, libglib2.0 2.14.0, libgtk2.0 2.10.13, and QT 4.3.1-1.

Some of the additional packages in the MEPIS 7.0 pool include:
acroread 7.0.9-0, icaclient 10.6-1, evolution 2.10.3, NVIDIA driver
100.14.19-1, NVIDIA legacy drivers 1.0.9639 and 1.0.7185, AMD fglrx
driver 8.43.2-1, libgnome2 2.18.0, compiz 0.6.3, and compiz-fusion

After reading all this I got excited and decided to try it myself. Little did I knew that it will be a disaster. It was easy to download and burn the iso. Problem started immediately after that. The boot screen has many thoughtful options like

  1. Default Boot
  2. Run CD with r/w more
  3. Boot with 60 Hz ( for digital Monitor)
  4. Boot with 75 Hz
  5. Boot with Vesa drivers
  6. Failsafe, and
  7. Memtest

I tried the default Boot but got some problem with my monitor VSYNC/HSYNC and got a black screen. Then I tried all the remaining ones and every time the HSYNC was not proper and I was never able to get a GUI. Whenever KDM tries to start, it would result in a Monitor HSYNC out of range error. I have NVIDIA 6200 256MB card, which no distribution supports out of box, however, in (K)Ubuntu the vesa options worked perfectly. Looks like Mepis shifting from Ubuntu was not welcomed by my desktop.
Interesting thing is that on the command line I can see Mepis complaining about not finding 915 chipset and saying that the current chipset is "wrong". Comeon is this Mepis release only for 915 chipset.

Anyhow this was not a big deal, I added HSYNC=30-60 in the kernel boot line and booted with VESA drivers. I was greeted with a good looking KDM login menu.

The KDM gives an option to login as either demo or root. Mepis does not believe in tell the passwords of the users, though the passwords are an easy guess. The password for user demo is "demo" and user root is "root"
I logged in as root.
The default wallpaper of root user has a warning icon to indicate that the user is root and can perhaps cause damage to the system.

I wanted to install Nvidia drivers so that I can evaluate Mepis with all the cool effects. Opening Synaptic resulted in a pop up errot.

I thought that maybe I should refresh the Synaptic repositories and get fresh package lists. However, this resulted in further errors.
and .

You can see that my network was properly configured and this was simply an error with Mepis repos.

The last thing I tried was to install Mepis on my hard disk. Check out the cool looking installer.

The Mepis installer resembled the Windows installer a lot but was easy to navigate. Sadly, whenever I tried to install, the installer froozed the entire system and I could never get Mepis installed on my system. Maybe this error is because I do not have intel 915 chipset.

My wife has a Dell 6200 Laptop which has intel chipset. I decided to try Mepis on that and Met with even more errors. The Live CD would not reach KDM no matter what boot options I choose. It gave some error about hard disk spinning too fast ???

In a nutshell my experience is like
  1. Problem while booting
  2. Had to guess user password
  3. Synaptic not working
  4. Hard drive installer not working
  5. System hangs while running.
  6. Would not boot on Dell 6200 Laptop.
This is end of Mepis trial for me. Maybe I'll try another of their release if it gets good reviews from users.

NOTE:: Thanks to The Coding studio for a few screenshots.

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Anonymous said...

Man, what a lousy piece of writing.

1. Synaptic doesn't work on the live CD.. No kidding! Did you even boot with the aufs option?

2. CD does not install on two different machines. Wow. Did you even verify the md5sum?

Patrick V said...

I had no problems installing Mepis 7 on my PC and I have a NVidia 6200 256MB LE, which is what is almost a minimum for Mepis 7.

The user/password has always been demo/demo and root/root for every Mepis distro.

I was able to run Mepis 7 on a ThinkPad 770Z, even though it was slow it still worked with the Intel graphics engine.

Dells are not the best Laptops to run Mepis. 7.0 is best ran with NVidia based chipsets.

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