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Old 06-26-2009, 03:49 PM   #1
asp22
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Registered: Jun 2009
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Copying configurations (LAN and WLAN) from one distro to another


Hello,

I'm a Linux newbie and in need of some help. I'm working with an old laptop (Intel P3). I've tried out a few distros (ubuntu, linpus lite, vector) and then tried to get a working internet connection.

From the three I liked the simple feel and speed of linpus (the laptop will be a internet machine), however I struggled to get a working internet connection.

ubuntu required a bit of work (To be honest I didn't know what I was doing, just followed an online tutorial), but soon got it working.

Vector Linux on the other hand worked straight away (out of the box).

The laptop I'm using has 2 PCMCIA slots that provide for network connections. One card provides for a wired connection and the other for wireless. ubuntu picked up the wired card, so i could establish an internet connect and download a tool and new driver to help with the wireless connection.

Linpus, however wasn't so smooth. When typing "lspci", the system only registered the wireless card, but not the wired card. Because I've got another laptop I thought i'd try to install a driver for the wireless card. I downloaded ndiswrapper, and the correct driver .INF and .SYS files and transferred them to the old laptop.

I found a tutorial for ndiswrapper and followed it. It was all going well until I had to use a "make" command. using the new laptop I tracked down the "make" tool and tried to install it (with the help of a tutorial). I got to a point (./configure) and then it said I didn't have a C compiler. I went looking for the GNU developement download and tried to install that. Without a tutorial I was hopeless and didn't get far.

So I tried another distro; Vector this time. To my suprise it recognised both cards first time.

I gather that Linux does alot of work with files and so I was wondering, is it possible for me to copy the configuration files and driver files from Vector and transfer them to Linpus lite? to get it working?

If so, would someone be so kind to walk me through the steps?

Thanks in advance

Anil

Last edited by asp22; 06-26-2009 at 03:51 PM.
 
Old 06-26-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
tredegar
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You are doing OK so far - [+] points for trying things out yourself, searching, and experimenting.

Code:
(To be honest I didn't know what I was doing, just followed an online tutorial), but soon got it working.
That's how we all started: "Err, don't know quite what I am doing, but I'll follow this HOWTO I found. Hey! It works!!"
Then:
Ooops, I didn't quite understand what I was doing, and I hosed my system. Time to reinstall (X 3, over a couple of weeks, in my case).

Quote:
I gather that Linux does a lot of work with files and so I was wondering, is it possible for me to copy the configuration files and driver files from Vector and transfer them to Linpus lite?
Well, the answer is "Yes & No".

Different distros do things differently, especially how they manage package-managers, connectivity and the default desktop environment.

Basically, it seems that there are several "Grand daddies": fedora (AKA Red Hat), debian, slackware .. the list goes on. These beget children that beget further children, but they maintain their inheritance (for updates and improvements).

Your distro will either be based on one or another. Then there are (many) further subdivisions. This is generally a "good thing" (Eg it makes it very difficult to write a virus for linux - too much diversity, and therefore innate immunity).

Text files may, or may not, be interchangeable, it depends on your distro's parentage. If you read the file that is working in one distro and compare it to the equivalent in another where it is not working, you can probably work out what is wrong and fix it.

Code:
I got to a point (./configure) and then it said I didn't have a C compiler.
We cannot help you here unless you tell us the distro you are trying to inatall gcc on. Because the package managers are all different.

Quote:
So I tried another distro; Vector this time. To my suprise it recognised both cards first time.
Great!
You sure are distro-hopping! Good: Experiment and you'll learn.

Quote:
I gather that Linux does alot of work with files and so I was wondering, is it possible for me to copy the configuration files and driver files from Vector and transfer them to Linpus lite?
Maybe, maybe not. The problem comes when you are trying to transfer a config file from Eg a debian-based distro to a Red Hat based one - they do things very differently (config files have different names, locations and formats).

Linux does a lot of configuration with text files because it is "open".

You are supposed to read the text files (they are usually well commented) and edit them if something is not working. (Windows never offers you this option, it just says "Unexpected error 0ffe3:449F" or somesuch. Linux errors are quite verbose and specific. If you don't understand them thay can be put into an internet search engine, and you'll probably find the answer you need).

Many modern distros offer a GUI for configuration, but often it is much easier just to open, read and edit the appropriate text file, as the GUIs don't always do this correctly. This way you also have a better understanding of what is really happening underneath your pretty GUI. (Quite the opposite of windows).

My advice is:

- You are doing well, and I completely understand your confusion.

- Too much "distro-hopping" may lead to further confusion, so stick with the same "breed" for a while. Eg Debain-based = all the 'buntus, mint and many others.

- Install a distro that works for your hardware (looks like it's "vector" for you). Vector is based on Slackware (traditionally awkward to configure, but stable and reliable: "Once you Slack, you never go back").
Play with your chosen distro until you begin to understand how it works.

Then try another, and play "spot the differences".

Soon you'll be comfortable with your chosen breed.

I have had good experiences with kubuntu 8.04 (and it has "long term support"). Most things "just work", and there's a huge 'buntu community out there to help with problems.

Mint also seems to be gaining in popularity.

Hope this helped. Have fun, and don't give up too soon.
 
Old 06-27-2009, 02:40 AM   #3
asp22
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Registered: Jun 2009
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Hey tredegar,

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'll take your advice and stick with one distro (Vector) for awhile and once I know more I'll work on getting Linpus to work.

You talked about opening text files and just reading them. I had a go yesterday, and you are correct in that they are informative. However, you need to know where to start. Could you or anyone else suggest a starting point for network configurations?

On a side note, I liked the bit about viruses. I'm gonna save more money! I was always under the impression that people wrote viruses for MS Windows because because they want too bring down the super power. I guess some people get kicks from attacking anything.
 
Old 06-27-2009, 03:49 AM   #4
tredegar
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Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Jessie"
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Here's the link that helped me get started on networking:
http://www.yolinux.com/TUTORIALS/Lin...etworking.html
It explains pretty much everything.

And don't forget the special linux searchengine at http://www.google.com/linux

Last edited by tredegar; 06-29-2009 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Malformed link
 
Old 06-28-2009, 09:11 PM   #5
chrism01
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This is very good: http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com/
 
  


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