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I have been playing around with linux for a little while now, and I think I am almost ready to install it on my main box. Though I want to be sure about a few things first.
1) If i want to use a program like wine, do I need a fat partition? Or will windows programs install and run off of the linux partition? How well does it work? I want to use it mainly for M$ Office (I can't stand open office) and Games.
2) How do I customise my desktop to a level like this: www. lynucs.org/index.php?screen_id=188760293940858c1c56cff&p=screen
Do I just install gnome and enlightenment and they will work together automatically? How do i get that player iin the corner (is it xmms?) Lastly, I am a fan of that cool panel on the right, what is it?
3) What distro should I use? Ive played around with debian and knoppix. I am interested in using gentoo. Any recomendations?
4) This may sound silly, but is apt-get a feature in all distros?
wine install onto the Linux partitions ad creates a "fake windows" file system to fool win apps into thinking they installing on WIndows.
Cross Over Office (which costs) is great for running Office on Linux (I've never tried with Wine)
gnome and enlightenment are seperate window managers, they wont run together.
xmms runs on any window manager
the cool panael to the right may well be gkrellm
again, it runs on any Linux window manager and has loads of add ons and themes
apt-get can be installed to most distros but doesn't come as a default component
1. No, you don't need a FAT partition to use wine. Though I think you won't be able to make MSOffice run on raw wine, you will probably end up having to pay for CrossOverOffice.
2. Contrary to what Mr.salparadise thinks, enlightment will run with gnome, though I think you'll be better off with the gnome's default sawfish window manager. The panel on the right is gDesklets, I don't know what is the player in the corner, might be xmms with some extravagant skin.
3. gentoo is not very suitable for a beginner. Try debian (and you'll have apt-get by default).
Apt-get was developed by the Debian guys, to work with Debian .deb packages. After that, Conectiva ported apt-get to use rpm packages in their distro. This version was adopted by several suse supporters and developers - tough not official suse team. Now apt-get works with suse also, and installs loads of suse rpms. Google for "apt4rpm" and "apt-get for suse".
I heard fedora has its own apt-get also.
While the original apt-get is a fantastic utility in Debian, its utility in other distros varies according to the amount of people devoted to build packages for it, and maintain repositories.
These days quite a few distros have apt or apt-like programs, HOWEVER the main issue is that only Debian and Gentoo have very large package repositories. Ironically these are also the least suitable for beginners. I use Fedora which strikes a good balance between ease of use and package repository size. On Fedora the relevant tool is called "yum", but you can use apt as well if you really want.
The programs in the screenshot are as follows:
* The desktop is GNOME
* The panel to the right is a gdesklet, ditto for the calendar and newsfeeds. GDesklets looks nice but is kind of a pain to set up. I played with it for a bit then got bored.
* The player on the bottom right is another gdesklet that remote controls XMMS
* Enlightenment is not featured in this screenshot, as far as I can tell
On Wine: you do not need a real Windows drive, and in fact using your Linux disk is the recommended way to go. CrossOver is more reliable than Wine, but costs money. Pick your poison. Office XP does work in WineHQ as well, but by purchasing CrossOver you are directly funding the Wine project, and so supporting the Linux community.
Finally on which distro to use, I'd recommend Fedora. Everybody will recommend something different but IMHO Fedora is currently ahead, because:
- It has a good GNOME desktop by default. Some people prefer KDE but KDE has not really focussed much on ease of use in the same way GNOME has, and I find that even though I'm a developer and power user, I appreciate the slick design of GNOME which is more Mac like. However, you may totally prefer KDE which is fine. In that case you may prefer SuSE as they put a lot more effort into KDE.
- It's popular. Some statistics place it as the most popular of them all, so you'll find it easy to get support and help
- It has pretty artwork and an excellent installer
- It gets a lot of new features first, by virtue of Red Hat having a several-hundred strong engineering team (think execshield, nptl, prelink, dbus, selinux etc)
You can start there, and once you found your feet try others of course. YMMV, just do whatever works for you.