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Fun with XFirst Linux defect encountered

Upgrading to Redhat 7.1

Prelude

After a long quiet period, I decided I ought to upgrade the 1Gb disk in crimson to something a little larger. The rather meagre size was stopping me from installing pretty much anything interesting.

Given the BIOS of the Compaq was old, I purchased a disk just under 8Gb (Quantum Fireball). I'd had a bad experience trying to install a 17Gb disk with a similarly old machine under Windows 95, and I didn't want to have to mess with disk address translation software again.

After installing the drive, I first reloaded Windows 95, on a 1GB partition, leaving the remaining space for Linux. I re-installed Linux, using the following filesystems: /, /home, /usr, /usr/local, /var and swap. I wasn't sure which filesystems needed the most space, so I left about 2Gb of space unused - for future eventualities.

Sometime later...

I decided to upgrade to Redhat 7.1 (kernel based on 2.4.2-2) - now I probably had enough disk space to manage it OK. On the first install, complaints were levelled at the amount of swap I had. This was probably due to the fact I'd put in a little bit more memory since I'd re-installed Redhat 5.2 (total memory now a massive 48Mb). I also found that my /usr filesystem was not large enough to take the new 7.1 /usr.

Using the spare disk space, I extended swap to 130Mb (overkill, just to make sure the 7.1 install didn't complain again), and created a new partition (/dev/hda11) for the new /usr at a size of 1.5Gb. Now I had to convince 5.2 that my /usr filesystem was on /dev/hda11. I used cpio -p (pass-thru) to copy the old /usr tree to the new /dev/hda11 filesystem (on a temporary mount point). Then I modified /etc/fstab to mount /dev/hda11 on /usr at boot time. Rebooted while crossing my fingers. Yep, came up OK! Retried the upgrade to 7.1, which completed without problems.

Filesystems are now as follows:

Well, I thought the upgrade went OK. However, I found that all my samba configuration files had to be redone, as the location for these files in Redhat 7.1 was /etc/samba. Not a major problem, as I had squirrelled these away some time ago. Something had changed in samba. In my old scheme, I had a smb.conf.WinNT file, which turned on password encryption for my NT laptop from work. Now, I could no longer access samba shares. After a little digging around, I found that I had to setup a smb.conf.%m file; i.e. a configuration filename based on the machine name, rather than the operating system name. It seemed that Windows 2000 was translated into an operating system name of UNKNOWN. I never followed this up, so my diagnosis is uncertain.

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Fun with XFirst Linux defect encountered