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Old 09-12-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
zdonc
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Choosing a version of linux.


Tried dipping a toe into the linux world recently and found some of the 'live' versions I liked but went off them when I did, or tried to do, a proper install of them so can anyone tell me if there are versions of linux that are simple to install, do not need 'grub' and that can be configured not to constantly nag you for passwords.
I'm not bothered about them coming with loads of office software (or firefox, as they all seems to) I thought 'Slax' was OK at first but then I started having problems with a network adaptor driver and found using the terminal a bit of a nightmare.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
snowpine
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Welcome to the forums, here is a very easy tutorial for running Ubuntu without installing GRUB, configuring your wifi/graphics, or making any permanent changes to your Windows: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/virtualbox

Last edited by snowpine; 09-12-2012 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
zdonc
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Thanks for the suggestion, perhaps I should have mentioned that linux will be the only operating system in use and I did not want to have anything to do with grub as it has been a bit of a headache in a couple of the installs I have tried recently and when there are no other OS's involved I don't see the point in it but all the versions of linux I have tried so far seem to install it automatically then leave you to it when it doesn't work.
I also had problems with the disc formatting part of various installers, they are quite good at trashing existing partitions on drives without informing you what they are going to do and usually have no help system.
And the password business is just silly sometimes, 'Mint' seemed to be asking for one for just about anything I clicked on and openSUSE would not accept my password after I had installed it.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
suicidaleggroll
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VirtualBox is a great place to start learning Linux (if you have the resources) without having to re-partition you drive or risk killing your Windows install if you mess something up.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
snowpine
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My advice is to lose the indignation; Linux is not Windows and you must learn some new concepts and habits. I'm happy to help with specific questions, but it sounds like you are just venting.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdonc View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, perhaps I should have mentioned that linux will be the only operating system in use and I did not want to have anything to do with grub as it has been a bit of a headache in a couple of the installs I have tried recently and when there are no other OS's involved I don't see the point in it but all the versions of linux I have tried so far seem to install it automatically then leave you to it when it doesn't work.
I also had problems with the disc formatting part of various installers, they are quite good at trashing existing partitions on drives without informing you what they are going to do and usually have no help system.
And the password business is just silly sometimes, 'Mint' seemed to be asking for one for just about anything I clicked on and openSUSE would not accept my password after I had installed it.
What didn't work with Grub? I have been using Linux almost exclusively for the last 10 years or so and have never had Grub/Lilo fail on me.

I have also never had an installation trash an existing partition without telling me it was going to (usually there's a check box next to the partition telling you whether or not it will format it, and several warnings about what partitions it's going to format before it actually does it).

Mint/Ubuntu work differently than other distros. The root user is hidden, and everything is done from the regular user as sudo. So in those distros, when it asks for a password, it's asking for your user password so it can run the task using sudo. Just about every other Linux/Unix system out there uses a real root user to do administrative tasks, so when OpenSUSE asks for a password, it's asking for the root password you set up during installation, not your user password.

It honestly sounds like you just trucked through the installation clicking next, next, next, next, without actually paying attention to what it was going to do and what it was asking you. Then when you ran into a problem, you just gave up and installed another distro. As snowpine said, Linux is not Windows, it will never be Windows, and if you WANT it to work like Windows, then what you're going to end up with is Windows.

The fact that you want something different than Windows means, by definition, that it will not work the same as Windows. You will need to push through the learning curve, Googling problems as you encounter them. You didn't just sit down with a Windows OS one day and figure out how to do everything on the first go...it takes years of learning how to work in it properly to become proficient, and Linux is no different...nor is Mac.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 09-12-2012 at 12:33 PM.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
zdonc
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Taking Mint as an example, I did not just click through all the options, I spent quite some time searching the internet trying to find out what it was wanting in the disk format part of the install as it is far from helpful, I set it to use an existing partition and to leave the format as ntfs and clicked next and got a message saying I had not selected a boot partition so I selected the install partition, click next - you have not selected a swap partition, lots of head scratching now as it wouldn't let me select the same partition again, I finally had to abandon the install and put a linux swap partition on the drive with parted magic, then back to the install which I finally got through only to be presented on the reboot with a blanc screen saying 'error 15' being presented with something like this is wonderful for a new user! I spent several hours looking this up and trying loads of suggested fixes but I never did get it to work and after all this I found the drive file system had been trashed somewhere in the process.
And I still think all the passwords are a pain in the bum, I'm not interested in all the justifications for them or reasons why I am asked for them I just want to be able to disable them or at the very least only have one when I log on. And I still maintain that openSUSE would not accept the root password I set up during install, I remember them clearly as I have been using the same ones for all the trials I have done recently.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
snowpine
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We could have helped you with any and all of those questions if you had asked.

I don't understand the purpose of joining a new community only to rant about the core features of the thing we're all here to discuss. Kind of like joining a sandwich enthusiast forum to say "I hate BREAD!" what does that accomplish?

Last edited by snowpine; 09-12-2012 at 01:32 PM.
 
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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Stick with Windows for the time being and, if possible, use Linux in a VM for a while.
When you feel you are ready to use Linux you should read some instructions carefully, such as:
http://www.howtoforge.com/dualbootin...-linux-mint-12
Then ensure you know exactly what they are telling you before proceeding. If you're unsure then you can always ask somewhere like here and people will be only to happy to help.
As far as asking for passwords goes -- either live with it or stick to Windows. You seem to know there are reasons for this, so I won't go into it, but if you're not willing to put up with a little inconvenience for security you're better off using an OS that panders to that.
Besides, there are lots of things you can't do on Linux, or take more messing around, and they will frustrate you far more than being asked for a password.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
qrange
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partition is either swap or install (or something else). it can't be both at same time. if you want windows-style swap file, its possible to configure it.
you need some patience and time to learn linux. grub is 'unavoidable'. well you could use lilo, but you'd probably have same problems. I can recommend Debian as its stable and has a huge repository of software. but, in my opinion, there is no big difference between various Linux distros from windows user perspective.

Last edited by qrange; 09-12-2012 at 01:30 PM.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 02:06 PM   #11
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdonc View Post
Taking Mint as an example, I did not just click through all the options, I spent quite some time searching the internet trying to find out what it was wanting in the disk format part of the install as it is far from helpful, I set it to use an existing partition and to leave the format as ntfs and clicked next and got a message saying I had not selected a boot partition so I selected the install partition, click next - you have not selected a swap partition, lots of head scratching now as it wouldn't let me select the same partition again, I finally had to abandon the install and put a linux swap partition on the drive with parted magic, then back to the install which I finally got through only to be presented on the reboot with a blanc screen saying 'error 15' being presented with something like this is wonderful for a new user! I spent several hours looking this up and trying loads of suggested fixes but I never did get it to work and after all this I found the drive file system had been trashed somewhere in the process.
And I still think all the passwords are a pain in the bum, I'm not interested in all the justifications for them or reasons why I am asked for them I just want to be able to disable them or at the very least only have one when I log on. And I still maintain that openSUSE would not accept the root password I set up during install, I remember them clearly as I have been using the same ones for all the trials I have done recently.
First problem is trying to use NTFS as the filesystem for the system. NTFS is a windows file system, Linux does support it but things will work MUCH better if you use a native filesystem like ext2/3/4. This is probably the cause of your error 15 after rebooting, Linux only supports NTFS after installing the necessary drivers for it, which likely didn't get installed during installation.

Second problem is not reading up on how to partition the system for Linux. You can do all of this within the installer, there is no need to quit out, switch to parted magic, partition it there, then switch back...just do it during installation. Nearly every Linux installer I've seen even gives you an option to select the default partitioning layout, in which case it will format the drive as ext and set up a swap partition for you. Since you didn't know what you were doing, why didn't you try this, at least to see what it chose as the default?

If you don't want to have to type in a password, then you're better off switching to an operating system with no regard for security, such as Windows. When you end up getting infected with virii and malware, you might want to revisit the whole password situation...
 
Old 10-06-2012, 03:41 AM   #12
boy_China
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I also like slax.Maybe you can find a packages on slax.org.
Then you network adapter will work
 
Old 10-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
guyonearth
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Grub/Grub2 is the standard boot loader for most Linux installations. You WILL be entering passwords with Linux, it is a Unix-like system with segregated privileges for users, that's the way the system is designed.
 
Old 10-06-2012, 09:27 PM   #14
Knightron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdonc View Post
simple to install, do not need 'grub'
Quote:
Originally Posted by zdonc View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, perhaps I should have mentioned that linux will be the only operating system in use and I did not want to have anything to do with grub as it has been a bit of a headache in a couple of the installs
Grub is a bootloader. You need a bootloader, whether you have one operating system or more. Windows has a bootloader too, but many users are just to ignorant to know about it. In Linux there are quite a few bootloaders that you may use, but i suggest you use the one that comes default with your distribution, which will most likely be Grub2. I make this suggestion because the distribution will have put the most effort into it and you'll be more likely to get help for it when needed.


Quote:
that can be configured not to constantly nag you for passwords.
Quote:
And the password business is just silly sometimes, 'Mint' seemed to be asking for one for just about anything I clicked on and openSUSE would not accept my password after I had installed it.
Quote:
And I still think all the passwords are a pain in the bum, I'm not interested in all the justifications for them or reasons why I am asked for them I just want to be able to disable them or at the very least only have one when I log on. And I still maintain that openSUSE would not accept the root password I set up during install
As guyonearth said, this is just the Unix (and there for Linux) way. Generally you have a user password, and a root password. Your root password should be very secure, and only used when you absolutely need to. On some distributions they only have one password and they use the 'sudo' system. The same rules apply: the user password should be very secure and you should only run a command with 'sudo' in front of it when you absolutely have to.
When you say passwords, are you talking about logging in ect? You can configure you graphical login window to automatically log you in if that's what your talking about. If this is what you are talking about, just say so and we can help you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
so when OpenSUSE asks for a password, it's asking for the root password you set up during installation, not your user password.
This is not really correct. Opensuse sets up sudo by default, and is more like Ubuntu for this. You have to say during the installer if you'd rather have a root account.

Quote:
I also had problems with the disc formatting part of various installers, they are quite good at trashing existing partitions on drives without informing you what they are going to do and usually have no help system.
I'm not even going to quote the details of your partitioning process, there is so many thing you did wrong.
You obviously have little or no experience with partitions on a hard drive. Before i explain a few things, i want you to throw your whole previous ideas of partitions you may have made from windows away. What i'm talking about is c drive, d drive ect. That's all imaginary crap that doesn't exist.
First off; you say in your second post, that Linux will be the only os, so there's no need to worry about windows. This is great because it means we won't have to worry about all the hard part that many noobs encounter.
You need to learn a few basic concepts about partitioning.
A partition is a section of your hard drive. Imagine you have a pie, and you cut it up into slices. If that pie was a hard drive, each slice would be a partition.
You are only going to want to install one operating system per a partition, otherwise you will create all kinds of issues and likely be unable to boot your system. Judging by what you described, i believe you installed Linux onto your Windows partition without reformatting the partition. When you ran windows, you may have needed to format a usb drive or something? if you did you may be familiar with 'ntfs' and maybe even 'fat32' formats. These are Windows formats. You need to format a partition before you can install anything on it (unless it's already formatted). Linux can be installed on many formats, but the Windows 'ntfs' and 'fat32' are not the best options, i suggest you use the format 'ext4' until you learn a little more about all of them.
Your computer came pre installed with Windows. Windows these days has more than one partition, a boot partitoin, the Windows partition and a recovery partition. You want to erase all of these. and create only two partitions. One will be only about 4gb and the other will be the rest of the space you have available. The 4gb partition, you need to allocate to 'swap'. The other partition you allocate to '/'.
Swap is a partition that get's accessed if you don't have enough ram to do something. Ram is so cheap and computers these days usually have lots of it, so swap will be rarely used. Because of this some users don't even have a partition for it, but i suggest you use one for the time being. When you select you want to use this partition for 'swap', you may notice you can't format it; that's ok, just select ok and it's time to move onto setting up the next partition.
The partition for '/' is where all the important stuff is going to be installed, the file system. You need to say you want to use it for '/'. There may be a box to tick, if you want to format it or not. You need to say yes i want to format it, and select ext4 as the format.
The bootloader, Grub2 (most likely). I don't care if you don't like, just install it. If you have no other operating systems, it will be safe to install it to the mbr. If there's a box or a question that asks where you'd like to install the boot loader, make sure the mbr is selected, and proceed.

That is only a basic coverage of the partitioning for you. I hope that's helped, and i highly suggest you look into all these things i've talked about to learn what you're actually doing ect. If you need more assistance, just say so and us volunteers will do our best to help.

(If you found this helpful, don't forget to leave me a reputation point, took me a lot of patience to type this.)

Thankyou

Last edited by Knightron; 10-06-2012 at 09:29 PM. Reason: screwed up one of my quote tags
 
Old 10-06-2012, 10:05 PM   #15
damgar
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Slackware. Easy to install, start as root, so there's no issue with a lot of password typing. It's not recommended to run as root, but I'll save that speech for somebody else.
 
  


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