Lessons learned from running Linux install fests
Downloading software updates took a significant amount of time, even on NMSU's internet connection. For Ubuntu/Debian, setting up a local apt mirror of the entire archive would be useful, though it would consume much disk space. Alternatively:
apt-zeroconf can be used to share packages between machines automatically over the network, with little configuration
- A USB key/CD could be made containing all updates. On the morning of, Synaptic can be used to generate an .deb download script. After downloading the updates (outside of apt), they can then be copied to a sharable disk, and then pre-loaded into Synaptic.
Users who want to dual boot (most people) should:
- backup important data
- defragment their hard disks (this is required before partitions can be resized).
- run chkdsk /f (from within Windows) to make sure FAT/NTFS filesystems are consistent
All the above are best practice before resizing partitions.
VirtualBox-based installs were popular. VirtualBox supports import and export of virtual machines. Pre-made installs should be available on DVD or sharable hard disk. Virtual Box import feature requires the files to be writeable, you cannot import off of a dvd. Copy files to hard drive first.
- Coffee can be donated by Starbucks if you call them ahead of time. 1 Traveller of coffee this time, not sure if it'll feed everyone.
- Five Large Pizzas worked perfectly. Call Pizza Hut by 10:30, takes 1 hour for pizzas. Pizza from Zeffiro's Pizza is expensive.
Non-LiveCD-based install media
LiveCDs have become the new way to install Linux, especially with Ubuntu. Unfortunately, many people bring in computers that are slow, and it takes a very long time to load all the software on the LiveCD, most of which is gratuitous and unnecessary. Ubuntu distributes an alternative/server/expert install disc for installations on these machines; this disc should be on hand for people needing it. Some installer volunteers are also more familiar with these CDs.