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Turbolinux 10F: Turbolinux is Alive and Well - page 2

Rediscovering Turbolinux

  • April 4, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Nowadays, installers are graphical and "just work," so I'm not going to spend too much time discussing it. Installing Turbolinux 10f was easy and painless on the two systems where I tested it, vanilla boxes featuring a 3.3-GHz P4 and and a 1.7-GHz Athlon, respectively. Turbolinux comes on three CDs and uses its own installer, known as Mongoose, which is reminiscent of Red Hat's Anaconda installer.

As you'd expect from a Linux distribution targeted for the Asian market, the installer first prompts you for the language that you want to use during installation: English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, or Traditional Chinese. This isn't going to make it popular in Europe, but luckily English was an option (or else this review would be very short indeed).

Next, the Turbolinux installer offers three installation options: Standard, Turbo, and Upgrade. The Turbo install option pre-selects "appropriate" defaults and requires little use interaction, while the Standard install provides a nice checklist for each installation step and lets you customize the installation to suit your tastes and hardware. The standard install also provides you with three disk partitioning option: automatic, TFDisk (Turboxlinux' own disk partitioning tool), and Loopback, which enables you to install Turbolinux into an existing DOS/Windows partition. I didn't have a Windows box with enough disk space handy, so I didn't test this, but the idea is certainly cool.

The TFDisk tool tool me a little while to get used to, but was quite powerful. Some of its options seemed almost too flexible--for example, it supports a huge range of support partition types, including NFTS and PPC PrepBoot. NTFS is not something that I would use for a boot partition given the early 2.6-vintage kernel used by Turbolinux, and PPC PrepBoot is primarily irrelevant on x86 boxes unless you're sharing drives with a PPC box. However, Turbolinux used to have a PPC distribution, so perhaps this is an artifact.

After partitioning the disk and answering a few other questions, you can choose between various default system types with associated package sets: Standard Workstation, Development Workstation, or Everything. "Everything" is always my choice on modern systems, since disk space is cheaper than my time if I find that I neglected to install some package that I wanted to use.

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