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Old 11-21-2008, 11:06 AM   #1
pslacerda
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Question A linux begginer and your family


I had installed the Fedora 9 for AMD64 sucessfully few days ago and it runs without major problems. My family only wants a system simple, fast and easy with few clicks. But i want a very very fast configuration, that runs a email server and be the simplest.

Hard configurations not scare me. But i like configure only once. Slackware seems good to me.

So my Linux Questions are:
  • Can i setup with little experience the system to my family in few hours?
  • Will be my family imported to use a advanced distro like Slackware or they will not notice?
  • Gui absence is so difficult how the people says?
  • A linux begginer can be a Slackware user? I had read this excelent post.

obs: sorry for my confused english, i'm brazilian

 
Old 11-21-2008, 11:17 AM   #2
r3sistance
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You can set-up a system which can do the basics (Browser Internet, Listen to Music, watch videos), fairly quickly. Just install a browser if one is not included and download and install codecs for music/video as/if required. I don't know enough about slackware however to say how long or exactly what you need to set-up.

It'll probably be noticable it's not Fedora 9 anymore, yes.

You can always use Control+Alt+F6 I think within X to co to a console without closing X, forget the shortcut keys to return back to the X GUI enviroment however.

I can not say I know enough about slackware to answer the last one, sorry.

I would suggest however that Fedora might be the better choice if you are after a server since it's based off of Red Hat which is a tradionally based server distro, but again I do not know much about Fedora either, CentOS is simular since it's near enough a direct RHEL clone but alot of codecs and other things will not work correctly under CentOS since it's not really a Desktop distro.

Last edited by r3sistance; 11-21-2008 at 11:23 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
pixellany
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My users have seen maybe ten different distros over the years. They see the basic icons for web, e-mail, word processor, etc. and sometimes never know that the underlying OS has changed.

I of course hear about it when I forget to configure things for PDFs to open automatically, or some such thing.

Taking this farther, there is a large segment of the computer-using public that might never know they were using Linux unless you told them.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
Tinkster
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Hi,

And welcome to LQ!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]Can i setup with little experience the system to my family in few hours?
Little experience doing what? If it's a mail-server,
and you've never set one up, you're gonna take more
than a few hours I'd say.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]Will be my family imported to use a advanced distro like Slackware or they will not notice?
How are they going to be using it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]Gui absence is so difficult how the people says?
Depends on what you're trying to use the machine for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]A linux begginer can be a Slackware user? I had read this excelent post.
I think they can. I'd like to compare learning about Linux
to learning to ride a bike. Slackware doesn't have the support
wheels; that means that you may fall off a couple of times.
But on the upside, you won't fall of it when you're trying
to take a tight corner quickly ;D

Fedora, Ubuntu ... they have the support wheels tacked on
to the sides ... easy - no need to balance; you gain confidence
quickly, but boy are you in for a nasty surprise on that
corner ;P


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 11-21-2008, 11:55 AM   #5
pslacerda
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thank you

My family use only a browser, a office suite and a music player. Meet those needs should be easy, but i need know if its fast. My mother depends it to work and her head are very confused with so many changes in so few time. My concern is about this. Email server and other *details* less important for my family can wait.

I stay hours on computer without MSN, Orkut; only computer and reading. My little experience is about linux, because i'm a hard user from windows. In general, servers aren't a novelty for me.

Last edited by pslacerda; 11-21-2008 at 11:57 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
lakedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
My family use only a browser, a office suite and a music player. Meet those needs should be easy, but i need know if its fast. My mother depends it to work and her head are very confused with so many changes in so few time. My concern is about this. Email server and other *details* less important for my family can wait.

I stay hours on computer without MSN, Orkut; only computer and reading. My little experience is about linux, because i'm a hard user from windows. In general, servers aren't a novelty for me.
There seems to be a big difference between what you want, and what your family wants.

My suggestion, if you can afford it is 2 computers. One configured with a lite speedy distro like Slack for you and a second computer with an easier distro like Kubuntu, Mandriva, or Mephis for them.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 10:44 AM   #7
pslacerda
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thank,lakedude

2 computers it's not to me. Yesterday I got an idea. It's possible auto start a virtual machine when a user log in? Slack can be the default OS when other distro are serving others users. How difficult it are?

My computer are an 2.4Ghz 64 bits dual-channel processor with 1Gb memory. Old for it?


This forum is amazing
 
Old 11-22-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
ErV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]Can i setup with little experience the system to my family in few hours?
With no experience it will take time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]Will be my family imported to use a advanced distro like Slackware or they will not notice?
Untrained user can use any distro, if it has good desktop environment, and was properly configured. But please note, that YOU will have to spend time to configure the system, your other family member most likely (98% probability) will never attempt to learn anything, no matter how simple distribution is.

Here are strict requirements for "family-friendly" system:
1) has ICQ client, e-mail client, video player, audio player, dvd-player, browser, already installed and configured.
2) DVD should play automatically when you insert it. No exceptions. Kaffeine works nice for that.
3) CDs and DVDs should mount automatically. They should unmount when you press eject button on CD drive. No exceptions.
4) Flash drive should be recognized immediately, it's icon should appear on desktop. User should be able to unmount flash drive by right-clicking on icon and selecting action from meny.
5) Everything should be localized.
6) Every program should have icon/shortcut on desktop or be easy to fidn using quick-launch bar or menu. Desktop is the best solution.
7) If other users are required to run scripts, scripts should be put on desktop with explanation what it does and when to run it. Explanation should be used as script name, and should be written in your native language.
8) User should be able to do anything using mouse/GUI. They won't learn scripts or even keyboard hotkeys.
9) They won't use CLI.
10) Be prepared that you'll have to show (dozen times, at least) how to do one thing or another and explain how it works.
11) Desktop environment should be very windows-like. This means KDE or GNOME. KDE is better.

As long as those requirements are met, "untrained" users will be able to use your machine, no matter what is installed. But they still will complain that they are unable to install windows acquarium screensaver.

I can honestly say that maintaining machine for your untrained family members is a headache (or "pain in the \"behind\""), no matter what OS is installed. If other family are experienced with windows, using two computers, or dual-boot will be much simpler for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]Gui absence is so difficult how the people says?
NOt difficult, but takes time to get used to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
[*]A linux begginer can be a Slackware user?
Yes, he can. But be preapred to read/search/learn a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
2 computers it's not to me. Yesterday I got an idea. It's possible auto start a virtual machine when a user log in? Slack can be the default OS when other distro are serving others users. How difficult it are?
Dual-boot will be much better idea, but it won't allow to run email server.
You could try to assemble "weak"/"cheap" (without monitor, keyboard, mouse) computer from used parts, make a network, then login into that machine remotely. But if you are novice, this might be too complicated for you.

Last edited by ErV; 11-22-2008 at 12:22 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
lakedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErV View Post
Dual-boot will be much better idea, but it won't allow to run email server.
You could try to assemble "weak"/"cheap" (without monitor, keyboard, mouse) computer from used parts, make a network, then login into that machine remotely. But if you are novice, this might be too complicated for you.
Looks like dual boot is out because I'm guessing the server needs to be up and running during the same time frame that the family would be using the system.

2 systems would really be the ticket. If a headless remote login setup would be too complicated you could get a KVM and do more or less the same thing. You would have 2 computers but only 1 monitor, 1 keyboard and 1 mouse.


The system within a system is a cool idea. That way the main OS can be running all the time and the family could use the virtual machine. My friend set his system up this way (with windows but the general idea is the same),he used the main OS and is girlfriend used the virtual machine. A virtual machine has the advantage that if it gets screwed up it will not goof up the primary OS.

Unfortunately I have no idea how to set up a virtual machine in Linux (or Windows for that matter).

Best of luck, regardless.

Last edited by lakedude; 11-22-2008 at 06:03 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
pslacerda
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obrigado, luckdude

Since this idea is possible, i'll try. I'm downloading the Slack and, in some time, you all will have a reply.

Ideas and info are wellcome.

off:
are my english ok?
 
Old 11-22-2008, 06:44 PM   #11
jstephens84
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Another possiblity could be to do the reverse. Use the main distro as the family pc while having a vm run in the background, which would be slackware running your email server. That way you are not forcing your family to try to figure out which system to use on boot up if you where to go with the dual boot config. But I do agree that two pcs are the way to go.
 
Old 11-23-2008, 10:58 AM   #12
pslacerda
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So I'll do it. Ubuntu as main distro and a vm on background, like jstephens84 says. But...
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
My computer are an 2.4Ghz 64 bits dual-channel processor with 1Gb memory. Old for it?
[an slow machine]

Should be remembered that the vm will be my main system. So when I'll using the vm, the main distro "will be as background" and vm as foreground, correct? And a heavy distro as Ubuntu running parallel to vm will depreciate my experience, unlike reverse. Someone agree with me?

But as I'm very newbie to put Slack as main the set-up realy will be as was said at first. At first.

Last edited by pslacerda; 11-23-2008 at 11:00 AM. Reason: bad expression. incomprehension
 
Old 11-23-2008, 11:11 AM   #13
ErV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedude View Post
2 systems would really be the ticket. If a headless remote login setup would be too complicated you could get a KVM and do more or less the same thing.
Depends on location where you live.
In my location KVM switches are rare and their prices are very high. With a bit of luck you could assemble or buy old used PC for same amount of money. (IT would be "weak" PC, of course)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedude View Post
The system within a system is a cool idea.
Looks like terrible waste of resources for me (but it is matter of taste), and if family plays 3d games, it isn't acceptable solution.
I'd try to get cheap machine from used parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedude View Post
Unfortunately I have no idea how to set up a virtual machine in Linux (or Windows for that matter).
Easy. Get vmware, virtualbox or qemu, read manual, create "virtual hdd" for machine, install operating system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pslacerda View Post
off:
are my english ok?
Mostly. As long as people can understand you, do not worry about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstephens84 View Post
Another possiblity could be to do the reverse.
If there are several user profiles on that machine, this (linux in VM) might not work, because email server may get stopped when someone logs off.

Last edited by ErV; 11-23-2008 at 11:14 AM.
 
Old 11-23-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
i92guboj
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I don't know *why* would you use a VM for such a trivial thing.

That's what user profiles are for. The underlying distro really doesn't matter. Just create a separate use account for you, and another (or many) for your family. Then configure those accounts as you wish. Each user can use a different desktop, and each user can configure it to his or her pleasure. I don't know why using a different distro would help at all. A VM will just add an unneeded overhead.

Of course, the thing is different if you plan to use Windows, then you need an VM, but note that on a regular VM you will not get direct access to the hardware, this can be a problem is what you want to is it for is gaming. You are not going to be able to use 3d acceleration using Windows under a VM. I think that vmware was developing some kind of bridge for that. But I have no idea how is that going.
 
Old 11-23-2008, 01:58 PM   #15
pslacerda
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Smile Obrigado

Ok, you convinced me.

VM is bad for it. I'll study how to execute quickly the requirements for a "family-friendly" system posted by ErV, before install Slack.

Feeling that's a good decision.

Thanks to all
 
  


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