My HP laptop with 160GB harddrive was getting full and I wanted to upgrade it to a bigger one. Found that 2.5″ 500GB was relatively cheap so I bought one and detailed the procedure of upgrading with all data intact. I bought a 2.5″ USB-SATA chassis as well for the old drive to sit in. As I hit a few snags when doing this I thought it could be useful for others to read about.
I evaluated all tree major BSDs and would have gone with FreeBSD if it wasn’t for me being so used to Linux and that I couldn’t get it to run fully on my hardware. So I chose what seemed to be the closest Linux distro, Gentoo Linux. I maybe give FreeBSD another round some time in the future. When I separate my firewall (modem-ppp-internet) and server (file and web) from other stuff like jukebox I will probably go with OpenBSD for the firewall. pf seems really nice.
If all this seems to be excuses they are. I would really like to have most of the functionality I have on my Linux workstation but with a BSD. If I get filthy rich I might go for a Mac (as well).
I now run
- XFree86 4.3.0
- I will look into X.org someday if it supports nVidias drivers and my Wacom table
- GNOME 2.6
- I really recommend an upgrade. It looks a little better, has nicer features. I run the SmoothGNOME theme (except for the icons). Be sure to apply this patch to gtk-smooth-engine 0.5.6 if you use GTK 2.4 or later
- Kernel 2.4.25 + Gentoo patches
- I tried to get 2.6.4, 2.6.5 and 2.6.6 to run but X hung a lot and I couldn’t find what was causing it so I gave up and reverted to 2.4 (and installed ALSA).
… and more.
I’ve started trying FreeBSD. It seems nice and is less hyped than Linux. Also I know my way around Linux, FreeBSD is a new challenge. If all of my hardware is supported odds are that I depenguinize (manually by reinstalling it) my Linux boxen. I run Red Hat Linux 9 on it now and after looking around for another distro trying Debian, Gentoo and Mandrake Linux, Gentoo was the one I liked the most. After learning that it used some concepts of BSD I gave the three free BSDs a go. FreeBSD was the one I found to my liking so I am now giving 5.2 a beating. I hope it goes well because I’d much more like running FreeBSD than some dead hat distro.