© Amit Singh. All Rights Reserved.
Written in Mid 2003
I have been involved with Linux since early 1994, and it has been a pleasure, mostly. Later on in my career, I worked extensively on FreeBSD and Solaris, but used Linux both as my primary desktop operating system and as a hobby.
Once I attempted to enumerate the various Linux flavors/distributions that I have used, and was aghast at the result (I believe Linux has a few hundred distributions more than these, and also that nobody in the world knows them all:-): Blue Tux, Connectiva, Debian, Empeg/Linux, Gentoo, Hard Hat Linux, Immunix, JB Linux, Knoppix, Libranet, Lindows, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, Storm Linux, SuSE, Trustix, Turbo Linux, and Vector Linux. I am certain that I am forgetting a few.
It is eminently useful to have Linux around on the Mac. In addition to experimenting with Linux itself, Linux is often a requirement (or a suitable candidate) for compiling various x86 based operating systems, mounting MINIX file system images, and so on.
Linux is a supported operating system on Virtual PC. Therefore, it is no surprise that Linux installs and runs easily under it. One useful tweak that you might want to make would be to tune the disk device driver subsystem. The following
hdparm command line should result in slightly better disk performance under Virtual PC:
hdparm -A1 -d1 -m128 -u1 -W1 -X66 /dev/hda
The parameters in the above command line do the following (for further details, refer to
- A1: Enables the IDE drive's read-lookahead feature.
- d1: Enables the
"using_dma" flag for the drive.
- m128: Sets the sector count for multiple sector I/O on the drive.
- u1: Sets the interrupt-unmask flag for the drive.
- W1: Enables the drive's write-caching feature.
- X66: Sets the IDE transfer mode for the drive.