Hating the Gnome

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I Like the roaming Gnome. I like the non dwarven/pixie/hobbit little people of the underground dwelling variety that get +1 CON bonuses. I even like the non roaming lawn variety that hangs with pink flamingos. What I do not like, however is the creeping gnome that keeps trying to install bits of itself in my Linux machine.

I've spent the last four days of my life trying to install Fedora 3 onto a pc. I know, it shouldn't take more than one day, and in fact I've done it in less than five hours on a slapped together box --the one I use for my production system to be exact.

Alas, the reason why I've spent four days in self implemented torture, is because somebody told me that I would get a lot more speed and efficient processing power if I had put my /usr directory into its own partition. "By the way, here's a sim-box from Mahi you can use to do it."

"What's all this got to do with Gnomes?" You ask. Well, it seems that like turd flavored icing on a turd flavored cake, Gnome just makes my head want to explode just a little more than the whole process of ferreting out the hardware/software issues involved in repurposing a Mahi sim box into a working Fedora 3 system.

Many people like Gnome, and I figure that they're welcomed to it. I found in the past that the Gnome desktop interface is very convoluted and overly complicated for what it accomplishes. Gnome has always seemed slower than other desktops, such as KDE. It may just be that I've never had a computer that's fast enough to not notice Gnome's slower response speed. But I think that even if I had the world's fastest PC, I would want to use the extra clock cycles to do something I wanted done, rather than making the screen (in someone's opinion) pretty.

Why not just NOT install Gnome?

Of course I chose to NOT install Gnome. It seemed like a brilliant and yet simple to execute plan, except for the creeping little bits that are peppered throughout the other packages in the Fedora 3 installer. You'd think that I could live with little Gnome bits that did useful things, and in fact I could. But for some reason, every time the installer decided there was a problem with a package, it was trying to expand some Gnome bundle that did nothing special, but just happened to be included in something trivial, like Printing, or Graphic internet, or System Tools.

If these little problems just resulted in "this little piece of junk won't work, continuing with the install", I'd be happy. Instead, these problems lead to "You're disk may be malformed or dirty, please clean your disk and start over. We're now returning you to the beginning of the tedious and long process of screwing with Disk Druid, selecting half a million install packages, and swapping multiple CD's in and out of your PC, only to be told that some little buggy piece of Gnome has made you do this all again."

You think it was just dirty CD's or a problematic download and malformed CD? Actually, when I finally got all the little Gnomes out of my install process, everything went pretty smoothly, and I got through all four Fedora 3 install disks without a problem. Is it just a coincidence that I don't have problems with other little parts of the install like PERL, or KDE?

Of course, just because I got the installer to work does not mean this is the end of my woes. There's another big issue I'm dealing with involving Fedora's ability to span an install across two drives, and it's use of Logical Volumes.

Apparently there is some problem getting in the way of putting /usr on a partition on a second drive. Also, a standard install using Disk Druid's default settings for two drives results in a non working box that can't find multiple partitions, and thinks it has two /boot partitions.

I may be crazy, but I think Disk Druid may be a Gnome.