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Old 11-05-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
slickhare
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Complete Linux Newbie in Need of Help


so i'm tired of the bloat and lethargic nature of windows, and i'd like to feel more in control of my box, so i'm hankering to try out linux.

the distribution i chose is Puppy Linux because i like how small and fast it is. (i downloaded and burned the Seamonkey and xorg drivers iso)

but i need some help:

- did i chose the right distro, being a complete beginner?

- my hard drive is already partitioned (not specifically for linux), will this interfere with the Puppy install?

- i'd like to dual-boot Puppy and Windows, since a dual booting software is not included with the distro, what tools should i use to do it? and how do i set it up to do so?

- a friend of mine told me that Puppy is an insecure distro, and that it is possible to get viruses on it quite easily unless you know how to configure it correctly. is this true? if so, how can i fix it? is there another, more secure, yet small distro?

thanks in advance
 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:03 AM   #2
Old_Fogie
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Puppy is a good distro, but I cannot say if you did the correct thing.

What are your pc spec's that might help.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:04 AM   #3
Old_Fogie
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oh..

"a friend of mine told me that Puppy is an insecure distro, and that it is possible to get viruses on it quite easily unless you know how to configure it correctly. is this true? if so, how can i fix it? is there another, more secure, yet small distro"

Your friend is completely wrong.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:08 AM   #4
slickhare
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Fogie
Puppy is a good distro, but I cannot say if you did the correct thing.

What are your pc spec's that might help.

Pentium 4 2A Ghz Processor
512mb DDR
60 GB Ultra ATA/100
DVD/CD-RW combo drive
40x CD-Rom drive
10/100Base TX Ethernet
 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:16 AM   #5
craigevil
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Install a more complete begnner distro like PCLinuxOS, MEPIS, Fedora, SuSe.

Or better yet download a couple livecds to get the feel for things, like Kanotix, PCLinuxOS, Knoppix.

Then decide on a distro to actually install.

Puppy is a nice small distro if you want something to boot off a usb key.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:24 AM   #6
farslayer
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Personally with those specs I would go for one of hte mainstream distros. Software will be more readily available and with more people using them it will be easier to get support.

I would suggest taking the time to look at and try out a couple distros.. heres a list of suggestions.

Suse
Ubuntu
Fedora Core
and I'm a Debian fan so I'll say Debain Etch as well..

but at least take a look at the first three.. then you ca make your own decision. as you use different distros you will discover they do some things differently, you need to find the one that works the way YOU like.. you will know when you have found the right distro.

Theres also a quiz around here somewhere that helps you choose a distro based on your answer to some questions.. http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/in...firsttime=true

take a look over at http://www.distrowatch.com./ for a nice overview of any disto you are interested in

Which distro is for me linuxquestions.org

Debian sales pitch linuxquestions.org

Last edited by farslayer; 11-05-2006 at 03:25 AM.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:51 AM   #7
Old_Fogie
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If you're really gun shy, and with those spec's (you could run anything with those spec's) I'd say play it safe for now with the one of the debian derivatives: ubuntu, kubuntu or mepis; whereas the last two will have more of a windows feel as they use KDE as the window environment. Those three distro's have live cd's that you can play with too, which is a good thing, as you can see if they pick up your hardware correctly for you right out of the bat. Once you get your feet wet you can always venture out and try your hand and the not so beginner friendly, but more user controlled typed of linuxi out there.

You didn't post your video card manufacturer, that helps to know too. I've found, that the three I mentioned are pretty good with the nvidia driver's, but for some reason, and I dont know why, Mepis seems to have a hard time for me with the special ATI proprietary drivers. Those drivers are used on cards in the 9XXX series mostly FWIW.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 04:28 AM   #8
teebones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Fogie
oh..

"a friend of mine told me that Puppy is an insecure distro, and that it is possible to get viruses on it quite easily unless you know how to configure it correctly. is this true? if so, how can i fix it? is there another, more secure, yet small distro"

Your friend is completely wrong.

is he? puppy is NOT AS SECURE as other distro's, and that's a fact, which has been discovered many times now by many reviewers and users. Even the creator has admitted it!!
 
Old 11-05-2006, 05:23 AM   #9
Old_Fogie
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Well, he said "get viruses on it quite easily".

From here, there are ( 7 ) known viruses for linux, tho I read somewhere there were eight.

http://www.viruslibrary.com/virusinfo/Linux.htm

These vulnerabilitie's have been take care of by the sources.

And yeah, there's alot of ways to beef up a distro, but let's not forget security starts with the user's practices ya know.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 05:30 AM   #10
teebones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Fogie
Well, he said "get viruses on it quite easily".

From here, there are ( 7 ) known viruses for linux, tho I read somewhere there were eight.

http://www.viruslibrary.com/virusinfo/Linux.htm

These vulnerabilitie's have been take care of by the sources.

And yeah, there's alot of ways to beef up a distro, but let's not forget security starts with the user's practices ya know.
Granted, I share your opinion about the virus part.
 
Old 11-05-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
pixellany
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OP now getting more help than he bargained for....

I second the comments about Debian-based distros. My current favorite is Mepis (Based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian) The #1 reason is the package management system. I consistently have the best luck with synaptic.

BUT: For the beginner--ANYTHING in the top ten on the distrowatch "hit list" will be a good starting point.

For dual boot:
All the top distros will set this up automatically. Install Windows first (make 1 NTFS partition--~10-15GB, and LEAVE THE REST BLANK) Then install Linux and let the installer set up the Linux partitions. (Leave ~ 20GB blank if you can (spare))
 
Old 11-05-2006, 01:26 PM   #12
slickhare
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thanks for all the responses so far

i actually have an ubuntu live cd that was given to me. when i tried to install, however, the fact that i already had a partition froze the install. i don't know how to do it manually so i ended up giving up on that one. but is there a way to get it to inhabit my existing partition? does it automatically set up a dual boot when i install?

would you recommend any of the other small distros like DSL or Vector over Puppy for the beginner?

and @ person who asked about graphics card: i don't have one, unless one came installed...
 
Old 11-06-2006, 01:03 AM   #13
Old_Fogie
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In an ideal world for a one hard drive you should have something like this if windows is already in there:

Partitions of hard drive /dev/hda Total size = 60 gig (given from thread author):
  • /dev/hda1 windows (current size you have ?)
  • /dev/hda2 swap (double your memory no more than 500 meg tho, unless your doing servers.)
  • /dev/hda3 linux (ubuntu/mepis/kubuntu/xubuntu install here. make this at least 6 gig for room for growth for programs. when prompted for "partition type" I'd recommend ext3
  • /dev/hda4 linux ext3 type, use this as "home" this would be of size the remainder of the hard drive. this way if you ever use a different distro, all your data is on a different partition, that will not be overwritten by overwriting the /dev/hda3 with a different distro.

You'll note that I have windows there on /dev/hda1. Windows can get flakey when you move it about on the hard drive, I've read that it's due to the boot sector changes; but I personally think it's got alot to do with the product activation thingie MS does. But that's probably my paranoia lol.

I'm shocked that ubuntu didn't work to be honest. Is that the latest ubuntu? I know the 6.06 dapper worked swell for me when I gave it a shot. But I also recommend you grab Mepis CD and give it a whirl. That has really good partition detection.

You asked about a light cd. DSL is debian based, and you get the option to do a full debian install which is really neat (especially given that the current debian installer is a real pain for me as they limit resolution size on the installer) and you get to use their repositories of pre-packaged software, and it's in the thousands, and runs dependecny checks and all.

Vector is slackware based. I personally like vector alot, it's really lean and mean. Their "soho" edition is cool too. They have some nice tools in their for setting things up, called "vector-admin" it's really lightening fast the whole distro is 2b honest. Slax is another one Slackware based distro, it just rox! Every linux user should have that in their arsenal IMO. You can even run it off of a usb thumbdrive, or zip drive.

The only thing with the slackware & the slack based distro's is, that for a true true beginner, you could be lost, I know I did. Mepis actually got me into Linux. I'd recommend giving them Slackware based distro's a shot after you get a debian/derivative in there and get some time under your belt. The slackware's and derivitaves are not as easy to go grab software & it do the dependency checks. But ironically, that is exactly what us Slacker's want. Slack uses KISS, "keep it simple stupid" and that mentality is taken throughout the distro, which has helped it to be the oldest running linux distro to date.

And lastly don't forget about Fedora. Tho it's not a light distro, you can grab the DVD it's bootable (as I see you have one there on your list) Fedora has a ton of stuff running in the background on install but you can easily disable items you really will not use. But like debian, they offer a ton of pre-packaged software, a well done partitioner, and a proven in place security models out of the box. It has very good gui tools as well, and their is a good support community for it.

Regarding the video card type: go to your computer manufacturer's site and grab that. The video card is something you will need to pay attention to, it really helps the whole experience ya know.
 
  


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