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Bought a new machine today. should arrive in the mail in a few. Just a couple questions before I dump an OS on there. This is a middle of the line IBm thinkpad (1.7Ghz, 512 MB RAM, 60GB hard drive, Intel 3945-Wireless, Intel 950 Video, and all the other fancies)
I have been running FC5 on my desktop machine for about a year now, so I feel fairly comfortable with linux (certainly far from l33t) This machine will basically act as a remote workstation. Internet, email, SSH, and basic office stuff. I have been looking at Debian for a while now. I suppose my main questions would be. Do you think Debian will be the distro I need. Something Lightweight, small footprint, usable, stable and not too much hairpulling to get up and running. And if not Debain, what would you reccomend to meet my requirements? Whatever Distro I run, I plan on either using FluxBox or XFCE for X.
Any advice to be offered would be greatly appreciated.
You will probably find that getting the system to a comfortable running level will take more work with Debian than you are used to with Fedora. A good analogy would be Fedora is Linux with training wheels, Debian you're on your own.
The problems you may run across will have been asked about in the past however. That laptop is fine, but it is not brand new hardware, and there is much written about getting that wireless card up and running. All of that will help you, just search well, using the model number of individual parts and the laptop itself in any search you do.
What you won't find that will take some getting used to is that Fedora would install everything for you, and configure things to work with no help from you. You may have found an rpm to install your 3945 wireless card that installed the modules, put the firmware where it needed to go, and setup the card within the network stack. It won't be quite that easy in Debian. You'll need to download and put the firmware where it needs to go by yourself, you'll need to set up the networking, and handle all of that yourself. It isn't hard, it just isn't the hold your hand method of Linux that you may have gotten used to.
So dive into Debian. There are plenty of people around here that are more than willing to help you out. One of the great benefits of Debian is that it has been around for a long time, and is very well supported in terms of how-to's and just general info on the net.
Debian installs beautifully on a thinkpad. IBM has been a big linux supporter for a very long time, and they don't have any garbage in a thinkpad that is win-only. I have had 3 thinkpads, one of which came out after Lenova bought the thinkpad line, and it still is excellent. Many of the wireless cards are even supported by the kernel, like the ipw2200 in the T42 model I'm on now.
There certainly may be plenty of good to be found on other forums, that there is no point in debating. Just don't feel that you have to go the Ubuntu route.
Hey, cool stuff. Up and running flawlessly thanks to a buddy of mine. Lovin every minute of it. I have all my hardware installed and configured how I want it (I think) wireless, sound, ect ect. From what I have read by poking my head around in different places is that I now want to recompile my Kernel for optimal use on my system. Something about stripping off modules I don't use/need/(Have hardware for) so things run a little cleaner.
Thanks for all the help. Everything has been going really smooth. Fluxbox is quite possibly my favorite thing ever......
I decided to convert my desktop machine over tonight. Just got everything all loaded up when I realized I still had another question.
My Desktop machine has a GF6800 Nvidia card. What is the best route to go about getting the right drivers installed? Which driver package do I want? Do I clean up my Kernel Before or AFTER getting the Nvidia Driver installed?
Last question and somewhat of a strange one. Running uname -r gives me this "2.6.18-4-K7"..........K7? I am running an "AMD Athlon 64x2 4400" I thought the k7 was for Athlon, Duron, and such.....just not of the x2 breed....just seems strange.
but when I cat /proc/cpuinfoIt seems to show both CPU's running at top notch.....
Getting the NVidia drivers is very easy, as long as you have the kernel headers/sources installed for your kernel. Did you compile your own kernel? If you did, then all the things the NVidia installer will need are already there. You can download the driver from NVidia at this page - http://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp
Pay attention to the architecture. I see you have a 64 bit processor, but did you install the 64 bit version of Debian, or the 32? The 64 bit version will need the 86_64 driver, the 32 bit version requires the 32 bit driver.
If you don't have the kernel sources/headers, you can use apt-get/aptitude to download those. There are tons of guides here on LQ and across the net on how to install NVidia drivers, and all cover this, so I won't rehash it.
The K7 line from AMD includes the Athlon processor, which you have. The X2 is a subdivision of the Athlon family, so you still have a K7. I have the Athlon 64 X2 4200, but build my own kernels so I don't know what name Debian gives to it. In any case, it can be called a 286, if it works, the name is unimportant.
In regards to kernel tuning, you may find that is more difficult than you thought. Taking something out of the kernel that you need will cause problems. There isn't a very good way to figure out if things are necessary without experience, and solid googling. It's a classic catch22. You don't know what you need without compiling your own kernel, and you also can't compile your own without knowing what you need. To be honest, with the system you have, shaving a few Mb out of your kernel is not going to have a profound impact on your machine. Yes, maybe you'll get the boot down from 3 minutes 20 seconds to 3 minutes 10 seconds, but on the desktop itself, you won't see much difference.
quick update and a question. All is running well. got the Nvidia drivers installed. Seems to be working flawlessly. Loving deb more and more every day.
Small issue while compiling a program.
I am trying to compile "libprojectM" (a visualization similar to winamp's "Milkdrop") the ./configure seems to go without a hitch, but when I go to 'make'
I get this spit back out at me.
Hey Chupacabra, do you know how your buddy got your wireless working? I tried Debian, but was deterred when I saw the complicated wireless setup Intel gives on their website. But yes, I also have the 3945 wireless adapter, so I'm just wondering if there's an easy way to install it (or, a way that is easier to understand than what Intel has on their site), as the wireless adapter is my only piece of hardware that doesn't want to work on Debian.
Last edited by Pandemic187; 04-19-2007 at 11:27 AM.