Going Scientific

july 30, 2007

I was running CentOS 5 on my work "beater" P3 notebook for a day or two before I found a nasty error with the X and gdm (someone posted about it on the CentOS forums here). Basically, when my notebook boots up, it arrives at a text login prompt instead of the gdm login prompt. From the forum thread, it looks like it is a problem that is happening to a good chunk of CentOS 5 using people. I have never seen it happen with my RHEL5 install, so I wanted to see if it happened with a Scientific Linux 5 install. After using SL5 for two weeks, I have yet to see that problem crop up. I am not sure how it can happen only with CentOS though. What I do find nice about SL5 is that it has drivers for my Atheros wifi card on the DVD. That means that I don't have to mess around to get my system up and running, I just install SL5 and my system is working (it is kind of the "Ubuntu" version of RHEL, heh). There looks to be Intel Wireless Pro 3945abg support also, so one of these days I will try it out with my other notebook which is currently running RHEL5. Today, I also futz around and installed Firefox 2, Thunderbird 2, and OpenOffice.org 2.2. Yea, it is nice to have a system where everything is updated through a single updater (yum), but I really do like having the latest versions of those three applications. The built-in updater in those three applications should be enough to keep me up-to-date. Update:  It took me about an hour (including install time) to get SL5 installed, configured, and tweaked to my liking on my Celeron M 420 notebook at home.  Everything runs great and the setup is exactly like that on my P3 notebook.  The Celeron M notebook is working great with SL5 and it wasn't that bad to setup since everything I needed was on the SL5 DVD (including the ipw3945 drivers).