i tried to install the new progeny componentized linux on my notebook, but the kernel of the installation cdrom crashed when probing for pcmcia support (most kernels fail at this point, my notebook seems to have a wacky pcmcia implementation). unfortunately even the “noprobe” kernel option didn’t help. a componentized, debian-based linux is a nice approach however.
astonishingly most linux livecds easily detect and correctly configure the hw of my somewhat special notebook whereas most distros already fail when booting the installation cdrom. and if they don’t fail at booting, they usually require the administrator/user (iow: me) to configure most things manually. obviously it’s not the linux kernels but the distros’ installers which are responsible for the installation nightmares.
[update: installation of mandrake 10.0 rc1 failed. its installation routine was rather buggy and quite many essential (base-)rpms couldn’t get installed for unknown reasons. the gnustep livecd failed to recognize the ide controller as, even in expert mode, i couldn’t supply the required ide2=0x180,0x386 kernel option. i know i could supply it using grub’s fallback-menu, but this would be bad style for a livecd..]
an ideal linux installation would be: boot knoppix, then let it install itself (including the configuration!) to the hard disk. good news: it can be done, though i’ve never tried it myself. it’s described in the knoppix faq, last question! uhm.. i think i should give it a go :)
[update: the livecd distro morphix seems to be suitable for persistent installation :) ]