Deutsche Linux Distribution DLD

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 partition, 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.