Initial Windows setup

Well, I did my Windows 7 install the other day. One day later, I'm doing pretty well. Ran into some problems, but so far the results are not bad.

Unsurprisingly, the actual install of Windows 7 was pretty uneventful. Pretty much the same as a typical Ubuntu installation - selecting partition, entering user info, clicking "next" a few times, etc. Nothing to report there.

The initial installation of my core programs was pretty easy too, thanks to Ninite. They have a nifty little service that allows you to download a customized installer that will do a silent install of any of a selected list of free (as in beer) programs. So I was able to go to a web page, check off Opera, Thunderbird, Media Monkey, the GIMP, Open Office, etc., download a single installer, and just wait while it downloaded and installed each program. Not quite apt-get, but pretty nice.

My first hang-up occurred when installing the Ext2IFS. Turns out that the installer won't run in Windows 7. You need to set it to run in Windows Server 2008 compatibility mode. And even after that, it was a little dodgy. It didn't correctly map my media drive to a letter on boot. It worked when I manually assigned a drive letter in the configuration dialog, but didn't happen automatically. It was also doing weird things when I tried to copy some backed-up data from my external EXT3-formatted USB drive back to my new NTFS partition. Apparently something between Ext2IFS and Win7 doesn't like it when you try to copy a few dozen GB of data in 20K files from EXT3 to NTFS over USB. (Actually, now that I write that, it seems less surprising.) The copy would start analyzing/counting the files, and then just die - no error, no nothing. I finally had to just boot from the Ubuntu live CD and copy the data from Linux. Still not sure why that was necessary.

I also had some interesting issues trying to install an SSH server. I initially tried FreeSSHD, which seemed to be the best reviewed free server. The installation was easy and the configuration tool was nice. The only problem was, I couldn't get it to work. And I mean, at all. Oh, sure, the telnet server worked, but not the SSH server. When set to listen on all interfaces, it kept complaining that the interface and/or port was already in use when I tried to start the SSH server. When bound to a specific IP, it gave me a generic access error (literally - the error message said it was a generic error).

After messing around fruitlessly with that for an hour or so, I gave up and switched to the MobaSSH server. This one is based on Cygwin. It's a commercial product with a limited home version and didn't have quite as nice an admin interface, but seems to work sell enough so far. The one caveat was that I did need to manually open port 22 in the Windows firewall for this to work.

The biggest problem so far was with setting up Subversion. Oh, installing SlikSVN was dead simple. The problem was setting up svnserve to run as a service. There were some good instructions in the TortiseSVN docs, but the only worked on the local host. I could do an svn ls <URL> on the local machine, but when I tried it from my laptop, the connection was denied. So I tried messing with the firewall settings, but to no effect. I even turned off the Windows firewall altogether, but it still didn't work - the connection was still actively denied.

I started looking for alternative explanations when I ran netstat -anp tcp and realized that nothing was listening on port 3690. After a little alternative Googling, I stumbled on to this page which gave me my solution. Apparently, the default mode for svnserve on Windows, starting with Vista, is to listen for IPv6 connections. If you want IPv4, you have to explicitly start svnserve with the option --listen-host 0.0.0.0. Adding that to the command for the svnserve service did the trick.

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