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Old 03-03-2006, 11:07 AM   #1
Plan-1130
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Smile Can't wait to install


Hey,

Quote:
(...)
Recently I bought a brand new pc, and so I decided to try to install Linux on my old pc.
(...)
(you might need to read the introduction first in Newbie section. "Drums please... " is the topic title)

Ok, I have some things that kinda prevent me from installing Linux.
First of all, I don't know wich distribution I want, I was thinking of SuSE personally but I'm open for other suggestions. I don't mind if it's a bit too hard for me and it will take ages for me to understand it, so I don't want/need the easiest one. I love to learn new things and so I think I will learn pretty fast.

Another thing I'm not sure of what to do is whether I want to install Windows XP too. I have 2 164GB disks in it.
If I install Windows too I thought I was going to do it like this: ½ disc or less for Windows XP, ½ disc or more for Linux, and the other disc should be accessible for both Windows and Linux, and that brings up another problem, wich File System? Some people say FAT32, others FAT16, others say don't do it at all.

I want the old computer to be a server for/in our network, is it possible not to change anything on the other computers but still being able to have a working network with 4 WinXP systems and the Linux system? If not I'd like to hear the solution anyway

When I've solved these things above I still don't really know how to install it, but I'll save my question for installing Linux for when I solved the things above
A good tutorial might also be a great help, anyone?


Thanks,
Sander
 
Old 03-03-2006, 11:46 AM   #2
pixellany
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The answers to these questions multply like rabbits.....

Choice of distro: Pick any of the common free ones--you may try several before settling down. I like Ubuntu.

Dual-boot and drive utilization: You have lots of space so why not??
My preferred scheme:
~10-15 GB for each of Windows and Linux---both on the same drive
Big (eg the whole drive) FAT32 partition on drive #2--this make sharing data easy.
Use the remaining space on the first drive for more data, backup*, etc.

*Primary backup should be more remote--at least an external USB HD
 
Old 03-03-2006, 12:20 PM   #3
toreric
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I would probably make the old computer being a plain Linux file server, running Samba for the XP boxes. Depending on the need for disk space for the XP users, the second disk could be a FAT32 disk. FAT32 should be the preferred Windows file format in this context.

Next, if XP is really needed on the old box, your idea to divide the boot disk between XP and Linux seems very good. I cannot imagine another solution (maybe if the disks are removable there might be some benefit having Linux and XP separated?).

As regards selecting distribution, I would recommend Debian, since it is very complete and a kind of 'mother' of many other distributions. It also offers a lot of such training possibilities that you seem to like! I have no experience of more than Debian.

For anyone with 'little need for training' that I would introduce to Linux I would probably recommend Ubuntu, or rather Kubuntu (in spite of the fact that Gnome is nicest to begin with, KDE will win in the long run; Ubuntu comes with Gnome, Kubuntu with KDE gui). Personally, I sometimes when time lacks wish a little less training than Debian demands!

Regarding Samba, don't forget SWAT that is a web-gui for setting up and administration. Without SWAT you may get lost. Good luck!
 
Old 03-03-2006, 12:32 PM   #4
titopoquito
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Consider creating one more primary partition, they come in handy if you want to try out FreeBSD (don't know if NetBSD and OpenBSD require this too). And maybe several linux partitions so you can switch between them and see which distro flavour you like.
Having this said I'd recommend to install quite different distros at the same time to check them ... like slackware vs. suse or gentoo vs. mandriva or freebsd vs. ubuntu or debian vs. ... you get the idea I guess.
 
Old 03-03-2006, 02:36 PM   #5
IceChant
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Plan-1130 you said "old computer" so how old is it ? seeing you got 2 big hd's on it it's prolly not very old, it can effect your distro's of choice.
 
Old 03-03-2006, 03:42 PM   #6
pljvaldez
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All good points above. I'll throw in my :

Take the quizes in my signature and they might help you pick a couple of distros to try out. If you really want to learn a lot about linux, most guru's have told me to pick one of the big three: Slackware, Gentoo, or Debian.

You only need a FAT32 partition for sharing files between XP and linux on the SAME computer. Samba operates as a network share and thus all data is translated to TCP/IP packets and is therefore un-translated by each machine into formats suitable for their hard drive.

How is your network setup? Do you have a dedicated router already setup? Are you planning on using your old box as the router/firewall? Or is it just going to be a server for webpages, ftp, files, games, etc?

And like someone else mentioned, how old is old? A really old box (like a P 133MHz) can act as a file server just fine, but probably won't have much in the way of useable windowing system (i.e. it would have to be command line only).

Good beginning linux guides are the RUTE guide, "in the beginning was cli", and for debian users, http://aboutdebian.com/
 
Old 03-03-2006, 04:04 PM   #7
Ptrs!OP
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I currently run openSuse 10.0 OSS and I recommend that or Ubuntu. Suse works best for me but Ubuntu has a way better package manager, it will not give you any trouble at all. Any distribution is great anyway, just make sure to read and ask as much as you can.
 
Old 03-04-2006, 02:11 AM   #8
Plan-1130
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Smile

Thanks for the many great answers, the've been very helpful
pljvaldez: I took the 2 tests and the first chooser (the best looking one) told me to take Mandrive or SuSE, so I'll stick with SuSE.
Also I think I will try Debian, even tho it might not be that easy.

What i want the "old" one to be is mainly a server for the network (not a main server, but mainly a server), and for the web also eventually (http, ftp, maybe smtp/pop3/imap, etc.). But I might also want to do small things as surfing the web or something but not really playing huge games or other things like that. It's just I want it to have a nice (very) early retirement after a life working hard for the unstable, a lot demanding, unwanted, but very easy to use W*nd*w* *P

Maybe the word "old" was chosen not very wisely, it is in fact a pretty new one. It has a brand new motherboard and CPU in it (mobo: ASUS K8V SE Deluxe. cpu: AMD Sempron, i believe 2200+, but im not sure, it wasn't boxed when i bought it. mem: 512 + 256 MB. The graphicscard is very old in fact, Chaintech TNT2 32MB) I hope it's all supported by Linux.

And the network configuration is pretty simple, I already have a dedicated router installed, 1 cable is going upstairs, one is at same level as the router (and one is going to the neighbors) (very important...), the first 2 both end up in switches wich both have 2 computers attached to it (that's 4 pcs in total) and I have 1 computer wireless, so that makes it 5 computers in total now. All 5 mentioned pcs are in same workgroup*. The neighbors have almost the same (5 computers, 1 wireless), but they are in a different workgroup*.(that makes 10 pcs in total)
I hope at least someone understands it

*I'm not sure of the word workgroup, but winxp support that, or a domain.

Maybe I'm confusing a lot of people here but together we can work it out, can't we?

Thanks,
Sander

PS: I still have 50GB unpartitioned space left on the new one, maybe...
 
Old 03-04-2006, 02:27 AM   #9
Nylex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-1130
ASUS K8V SE Deluxe. cpu: AMD Sempron, i believe 2200+, but im not sure, it wasn't boxed when i bought it. mem: 512 + 256 MB. The graphicscard is very old in fact, Chaintech TNT2 32MB) I hope it's all supported by Linux.
That hardware should be OK under Linux. If you can't use the generic drivers ("vesa", or "vga") for the graphics card, then NVIDIA have their own drivers for Linux. If it does work ok when you install, then you don't need to bother with NVIDIA's drivers .
 
Old 03-04-2006, 05:43 PM   #10
Plan-1130
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Thanks, that's quite a relief. But I now realise I have a Wireless Network card, and it only has a w*nd*w* installer. It's a Sweex Wireless PCI Card 11G (LC700030), 54MBPS wireless 32bits PCI card.

Anyway, Debian has like 16 CDs in total, do I need all these CDs, and if not, what exactly is on these CDs?
Maybe I can skip downloading some CDs, or at least not burn them on a disc.
If there is a possibility of downloading them all, burn the core CD, and the Network installer, and later mount the rest as virtual CDs, I'd really want to hear it, because at the moment I can't afford buying 16 (Debian) + 5 (SuSE) = 21 CDs.
All cheaper solutions will be greatly appreciated.

Another thing, I'll strive to start installing Linux as soon as possible, but the current situation over here isn't quite that encouraging. My new PC isn't running very well, and is not what it should have been. I have ordered an Asus A8V-SLi Deluxe and i got an Asus A8V-SLi, wich isn't quite preventing me from installing Linux, but the fact is that the Asus A8V-SLi is broken. I can't download files bigger than 50MB because any bigger than 50MB will end up corrupted.
Putting in a Network Card won't help because it keeps saying the cable isn't plugged in. Something the Deluxe edition doesn't seem to have.
This all means downloading the Linux CDs is quite a problem for me now as you might have guessed.

Getting the A8V-SLi Deluxe will probably take a while, so for now I have to postpone the installation of Linux, but I will find a way to install it anyway. I'll keep you informed.

Bye,
Sander
 
Old 03-05-2006, 12:34 AM   #11
Nylex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-1130
Thanks, that's quite a relief. But I now realise I have a Wireless Network card, and it only has a w*nd*w* installer. It's a Sweex Wireless PCI Card 11G (LC700030), 54MBPS wireless 32bits PCI card.
There's nothing wrong with Windows, you don't need to use those asterisks! Do you happen to know what kind of chipset your wireless card has? If there is no native driver for that chipset under Linux, then you may be able to use your Windows drivers with software called NDISWrapper.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 03:14 AM   #12
toreric
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Sander,

Of Debian CDs you need only a single one (like debian-31r0a-i386-netinst.iso or corresponding, investigate the Debian website for net-installation tools) assuming you have a broadband connection (cable in card, non-wireless!) to the computer to be installed on. The first install with the CD will immediately connect you to the Internet with (probably) no need of your help (!), and you will directly go on working in a net-connected environment. I would recommend to postpone the wireless setup until you are a bit aquainted to the system, since if you have not very good luck it may be a bit tedious.

P.S. You should always be able to download and burn just one CD (not full, just around 200Mb), or ask some of your friends if you don't have equipment immediately ready for that yourself!

Last edited by toreric; 03-05-2006 at 03:37 AM.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 05:42 AM   #13
Plan-1130
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Thank you very much, I managed to download both (SuSE & Debian) netinstall CDs. I think I can manage to put my PCs so that my permanent Internet connections is no longer wireless.
However, I'll probably have to use the LAN plug on the motherboard, and I have an Asus K8V SE, wich came with a LAN plug, is that supported too?
If so I'd really want to learn how to install Linux using the netinstall method. I've heard that you need to have the server, password and directory of the server containing the packages, is that true? If so, could someone please tell me where to get that information?
Once I have that information I think I can start installing (tell me if not).
Once I know enough to install Linux I'll let a friend of mine burn the CDs, and I'll start installing (I can't wait to, seriously)

Thanks,
Sander


EDIT: I've managed to get my old PC (the one I'm installing Linux on) connected to the network wired. If Linux supports the motherboard with LAN thing, and someone tells me how to install using netinstall method, I'll be installing very soon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nylex
There's nothing wrong with Windows, you don't need to use those asterisks! Do you happen to know what kind of chipset your wireless card has? If there is no native driver for that chipset under Linux, then you may be able to use your Windows drivers with software called NDISWrapper.
The installer says: "Ralink RT2500 Wireless Lan Card" Does that help? On the site it says: "Ralink chipset", so I guess it should

Last edited by Plan-1130; 03-05-2006 at 06:38 AM.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 07:09 AM   #14
toreric
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I don't know details about hardware such as you describe it, but you need (1) an ethernet (card) connection on the PC, and a (2) broadband outlet to connect it to. If you have that, forget about any more CDs, since all that you need will be downloaded at your choice from public program libraries, in Debian as .deb packages (CDs will also soon get outdated if you choose to keep your system up-to-date in the future, and most they contain you'll probably never use).

You need no passwords and the url:s are already put in /etc/apt/sources.list of Debian after initial install, for full automation. To begin with, program selection for download and installation for Debian is probably easiest done with 'aptitude' in console mode or 'synaptic' in gui mode (Gnome or KDE). Just have a try, and don't hesitate to start the process over again from the initial CD until you feel like comfortable with what is happening. You are ready to start!

Also thoroughly investigate documentation (at the distribution's Internet site) about Linux versions (stable?, testing?) and program management software (like, for Debian, 'aptitude', 'synaptic', and maybe 'apt', 'dpkg' and 'select'). Confused? Have a try!

Note 1: Do not hesitate before the Linux 'man' command that displays program manuals in console mode - it is a better system than you may think at a first glance if you formerly have worked with 100% gui tools only. Start to experiment, it's free and open!

Note 2: The better if you have a friend to consult for details, that should shorten the process substantially.

Don't worry, good luck!

Last edited by toreric; 03-05-2006 at 07:11 AM.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 09:02 AM   #15
Nylex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-1130
The installer says: "Ralink RT2500 Wireless Lan Card" Does that help? On the site it says: "Ralink chipset", so I guess it should
That's good, you can get Linux drivers for those but I've never used them myself (my card has the same kind of chipset), or use NDISWrapper as I mentioned above (which is what I do).
 
  


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