The EBN is moving. Not physically, since it's going to be on the same hardware, but conceptually, from FreeBSD 8-STABLE to OpenSUSE 11.2.

There's a pretty simple reason why I'm trying to do this on OpenSUSE: KDE's sysadmin team will support either OpenSUSE or Debian, and I happened to have a SUSE install CD lying around. The end goal is to turn over administration of the EBN machine to KDE's sysadmin team. The recent stability issues suggest that there's some subtle problem between FreeBSD 8-STABLE and the hardware. Combine that with my lack of time to actually fix stuff when the panic hits the screen, and you have a bad situation. Hence the move.

Before the move, though, I do need to set up enough of a machine to be able to test that it's going to work.

I'm a total Linux n00b (in a way: the skills I had in RedHat Linux 4.2 administration no longer apply) so things like installing a database server are once again a challenge for me. On FreeBSD or OpenSolaris I know where the documentation is and which knobs to twiddle. It's either in /etc/rc.conf or using svcadm(8), and I can deal with both. I'm taking notes while I get the same bits done on OpenSUSE.

The installation notes and prerequisites will end up in KDE SVN where the rest of the EBN code and material is hosted, as part of the instructions on setting up your own instance; I won't bother blogging about which users to add and how to set up groups. That's boring.

I had a bit of a rant (along the lines of "OpenSUSE is just terrible") written up, too, about inconsistencies in the interface, difficulty of finding the applications I need, finicky web searches needed to weed out the useless results for ancient versions of the distro when trying to find out how to set up RAID1 -- that kind of stuff. But it's not terrible. It just takes a few days getting used to, like any tool. Gut-level and immediate responses shouldn't color my use of a tool that is eminently successful. Heck, I tell my kids the same thing when they need to eat their vegetables. So no rant (except maybe that the Search bars in YaST are wildly inconsistent).

There was some good stuff, too: I liked the installer, and the disk setup tool, once you find the right documentation (er .. where did I put it?), is quite nice to use. So in the end I've got a test machine at home booting OpenSUSE off of one disk and storing data for the EBN on a RAID1 pair of 500GB drives; PostgreSQL, Apache, Mercurial, Git, Subversion is all up and running, and next up is getting the regular tools to go.

And then hopefully the EBN will be up and running again once the disks move to the server.