Deutsche Linux Distribution DLD
DLD is a German distribution of Linux from Delix Computer in Stuttgart, Germany. It comes with two handbooks,
both in German, that provide more than enough information to get you up and running. The menus during the
installation process, many man-pages, and some of the system messages are in German. For the most
part this is good thing, but the documentation and menus appear to have been translated by someone
who does not have much experience in UNIX.
Many of the terms are simple word-for-word translations of English and are not commonly used German
words. In addition, there is no consistency as to what is in German and what is in English.
With the package I received, there were two additional CD-ROMs that contain a larger number
of applications, programs, and archives from various sites that I could install later. There were also
two floppies that I could boot
from so I didn't have to create them myself. A version with the Accelerated X-Windows server is also available.
One major advantage that I found in this distribution was that it not only recognized my existing Linux
but when I went to install on that partition, I was prompted to save the system configuration onto a floppy.
I was also asked whether the previous configuration should be used to configure the DLD installation.
Unfortunately, not all aspects of the configuration were saved.
Also, when I went to remote format
this partition, I was reminded that a Linux system was already installed there and I was prompted to confirm
the fact that I wanted to reformat the partition. Other distributions would simply go ahead without asking.
During the course of the installation, it automatically recognized that I had a DOS
partition and asked me if I wanted to mount
it at system startup. DLD went so far as to identify that it was really a Win 95 VFAT file system.
Selecting a kernel
to load on the hard disk was rather confusing. Other distributions give you a menu from which you
select the components you have. The installation script then picks the appropriate kernel. With DLD, you
have a fixed list from which to choose and it is not very clear.
At this point, two annoying problems
cropped up. First, when LILO was configured, it installed Linux under the name linux1 and DOS under the
name dos2. Afterward, you have to reboot to continue with the installation. Because I expected to be able to
type linux to start up, I was unpleasantly surprised to find that only linux1 worked.
One very exciting
aspect of the installation was my ability to install the shadow password facility, which we talked about in the
chapter on system administration. Some distributions don't even provide it, but here you can configure it
automatically during the installation!
During DLD installation, you have two choices: standard and
expert. The expert installation is similar to that of Craftworks in that you can choose from a couple of
predefined installations or pick and choose features to suit your needs.