Early morning drowsy mistakes
Oops, so yesterday morning I went to replace a dead HDD and re-install the OS on it. I thought I was being careful and unplugged the other, working HDD with a different OS on it so when I came to partition the disks I just deleted everything (the replacement disk had previously had CentOS on it).
Only i'd unplugged the wrong one, and ended up deleting the working OS and not the spare drive i'd just installed! Unfortunately that OS's installation partitioning tool writes every change immediately, so it was all gone even though I realised before i'd moved to the next screen. The installation disk for that OS is pretty crap too - it kept refusing to install on the disk I just formatted using the installer: it took a couple of resets before it was happy with it's own formatting ...
I tried recovering the partitions using testdisk, but either because of the filesystem types or the partition layout I had no luck with that. Just an hour down the drain waiting for it to scan the 1TB drive.
Fortunately I had made a full backup, so I lost nothing apart from half a day re-installing everything.
This time I installed Fedora 15 using the 'minimal install' option; and apart from some strange package selections (e.g. ssh client isn't installed, but server is), it actually took me a lot less time getting a comfortable and working system than it did when I just let it install GNOME and then had to remove all the crap (pussaudio, notworkmanager, and similar crud). What is also strange? It boots, logs in, and runs much faster than it did the day before. And now Thunar opens immediately the first time rather than pausing for a few seconds.
I had some weirdness with systemd and it not starting X after I installed it - which seems to be much more fucked and complex than I could possibly have imagined - but that just magically fixed itself after enough reboots. Also with thunar's auto-mounting stuff, which I think I fixed by installing gvfs, but it might've just been enough reboots too ...