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Old 01-20-2004, 11:50 PM   #1
B4UTRUST
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Windows User/Linux ubernewb seeking to convert


Okay right now I'm running an old Gateway box of mine that I've tweaked a bit and is running 512mb of ram on a 1.2ghz athlon with win2kpro.

This is nice, good, wonderful, etc. Pretty stable and all and it works for me. Buuuuutttt...

I want linux. I've always been fascinated with linux and wanted to use it. I wouldn't consider myself a power PC user, I'm not a hardcore programmer or graphics design guru or anything like that. Just your typical run of the mill desktop dweller.

What distro should I use that would be easiest to install with my hardware that would allow me to connect to the net (running an ethernet cable modem connection). Just after running a regular desktop environment. Watching movies, playing some games, listening to some tunes maybe coding a web page every now and then and just generally chatting and surfing the net. And if possible, retaining a dual boot setup with Win2K so if I totally fubar it down the line again I can format, unpartition and go back to windows without a lot of fuss...

I've tried Redhat in the past as well as Mandrake but everytime I install I end up having to format my system because I totally fubar something or other and dispite reading tutorials on these I seem to screw up somewhere. Inevitably I switch back to windows. I want that to stop and I want to progress to linux. Any help here? Distro choice with ease of use and thats dumbed down enough for the Linux Illiterate? If there's a choice out there where can I grab it and is there an easy to follow step by step let me hold your hand there little billy so you don't accidently touch the hot stove and burn yourself tutorial?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help.

-Scott Taylor

System Specs:
AMD Athlon 1.2Ghz
512MB PC133 RAM
nVidia GeForce FX 5200
Soundblaster Live
NEC CD-RW 12x8x42x
DVSKorea DVD-ROM
Maxtor 80Gig 7200RPM HD(currently got about 7gigs free, looking to free up more as soon as I write more files to CD...must go buy more CDs...)
Running Windows 2000Pro
 
Old 01-21-2004, 01:30 AM   #2
twilli227
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Here are two places you can download from. The first site is live-linux distros. Burn an iso, and run it from your cdrom drive. No installation necessary. Try knoppix or slax-live. There are others, but these have worked well for me. When you get comfortable using them, download any distro that you want to try and go for it. When you have a question(s), come back here and post away. On distrowatch, you can also go to another page and find many different distros to install.

http://www.distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=cd
http://linuxiso.org/
 
Old 01-21-2004, 01:52 AM   #3
B4UTRUST
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I picked up a copy of linux format magazine earlier this week and is says it comes with a dvd with slackware 9.1 and SuSe 9.0 in what is refered to as a live eval of suse. Boots from a CD? Is this the same thing? Basically running the OS from the CD instead of loading it from the HD? Or am I really confused on these?
 
Old 01-21-2004, 09:27 PM   #4
GT_Onizuka
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Yeah, it will boot from the CD and comes with loads of software. Rather impressive that they can fit it all on one CD. Also, if you like that version/distro, most have the ability to install it to the HD, which is nice ^_^. I'd give that a try first
 
Old 01-21-2004, 10:10 PM   #5
Tuvok
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Go SuSE 9.0. I understand you got broadband; just do an ftp-install (search forum on how-to). Try to stay with one DE (desktop environment). SuSE 9.0's Kde 3.1.4 is great, so ftp-install only Kde.

After you get familiarized, get apt-rpm to download and install the latest must-have (smaller) applications; like gaim, dvd player, browsers and etc.

The other thing you don't have to format and install Windows over and over; dedicate on primary partition for it, and keep other partitions (including 1 swap) for future Linux installs. If at anytime you decide to have back the Windows' boot loader (so to take a break from Linux), just use cfdisk to set the Windows' partition to boot (and unset the Linux partition), and then use your Win2k cd to FIXMBR.

Good luck.
 
Old 01-21-2004, 11:58 PM   #6
B4UTRUST
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Cool, thanks for the info GT. It's a DVD so it came with the latest version of Slackware, the SuSe live eval and misc software, etc for linux. The magazine just doesn't give a very...comprehensive guide to installing either assuming that the user is at least more then marginally linux savy. Their only bit on it was porting from Microsoft to Linux whic just included "Yes, you can use Star Office instead of microsoft office, you can use MPlayer instead of Media Player you can use Y instead of X." Didn't really help.

Tuvok, I heard somewhere that SuSe is like the only distro you actually have to pay for? I never seem to be able to find a current release of it online. Am I mistaken in that or just not looking in the right spots?

Oh and is it easy to get Linux to recognize an nVidea card? I've read a few reports that it's somewhat difficult on some cards. Mine is a Geforce FX 5200, I guess you could say a newer card for the most part.

Thanks again,
Scott Taylor

Last edited by B4UTRUST; 01-22-2004 at 12:19 AM.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 01:19 PM   #7
B4UTRUST
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Tried out the SuSe Live eval last night/this morning and it seemed pretty easy once it got going though I tried to download Gaim and it only offered the redhat version the mandrake version the windows version and the source. Not knowing a lot about linux I downloaded them all in series and tried to install but none seemed to work correctly each stating I was missing a lengthy series of files. Well save for the windows version which wouldn't even run right. Didn't have a file association to run the .exe file. What do I use for that anyway?

Any help here?
 
Old 01-22-2004, 05:37 PM   #8
Tuvok
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B4UTRUST,

SuSE isn't "the only distro you actually have to pay for"; there are others, like Lindows, Xandros, Libranet and few others I don't recall now. SuSE doesn't offer isos. However, SuSE offers a free ftp-install that's exactly what's in the cd (minus few applications and plugins).

Ftp-installing is pretty straightforward and easy; it takes few minutes to setup, and the installation takes under 2 hours (depending what you install; the default takes a little more than 1 hour). SuSE always offers the most current release for ftp-install a few weeks after the official (cds/dvd) release.

With SuSE, it offers to download and install nVidia drivers from nVidia site during the ftp-install. I have an nVidia card in one of my pcs, and have had no problems with SuSE. Now, what you need is to grap the boot.iso (about 21mb), burn it and beging installation. This is a link on how to ftp-install:ftp-install

Good luck.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 07:02 PM   #9
B4UTRUST
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Take into account I've never heard of any of those others save for Lindows which I heard was rather poorly made, unless they've drastically improved it from the initial release. Thanks for the link and help though.

Sounds almost like mission impossible. Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to download the boot.iso file, write it to cd and then execute it. You are to then download the data from the ftp server and install it on the computer. This is cruicial as even the slightest screwup could result in your untimely death. Good luck team. LoL

Any word on Gaim or anything or should I try Jabber?

Last edited by B4UTRUST; 01-22-2004 at 07:05 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 09:42 PM   #10
Tuvok
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Quote:
Originally posted by B4UTRUST
You are to then download the data from the ftp server and install it on the computer. This is cruicial as even the slightest screwup could result in your untimely death. Good luck team. LoL

Any word on Gaim or anything or should I try Jabber?

Nothing hardly screwsup during install. I have done tens SuSE installs, all successful. Once you have set the install to go (with me it takes under 2minutes), it automatically downloads and installs everything. When the install ends, it reboots, then hardware configurations begins. With several clicks, you're done with the configurations and are set to go online, chat, play games, do programming and etc. I like Gaim, though Kopete is also ok. I have tried Jabber some years ago, but the point is there many things that work (give a try and keep what suits you).
 
Old 01-22-2004, 09:59 PM   #11
B4UTRUST
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like I said I tried to get SuSe to accept Gaim last night but it didn't want to...said I was missing a buttload of stuff. So I guess I'll try it again.
 
Old 01-22-2004, 10:17 PM   #12
Tuvok
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Go to this link, download Gaim and install it.

Good luck.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 02:30 AM   #13
B4UTRUST
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Okay...

Just got SuSe installed on my comp...more or less...

apparently I don't have enough space or memory or something(64mb?) to run a gui so every time I try to load suse it dumps me to command prompt and I have no clue how to load the gui from there...or even if I can...

another thing when I was installing all the stuff it found my nic and set my dhcp as 0 which should let it access the 'net but during the net test it failed it. Erg this is going to be a nightmare I can see already...
 
  


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