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Old 12-10-2009, 08:06 PM   #1
ahr8tch
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Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Distribution: Not sure. Whatever came on the Asus Netbook.
Posts: 21

Rep: Reputation: 15
Finding Out What Distro and GUI Is Installed


Be prepared to witness ignorance in the extreme.

We have an Asus netbook that came with a Linux distro installed. I know next to nothing about Linux.

How do I find out what distro and GUI are installed? I only have a GUI displayed and can't find an icon or option that will allow me to shell out to a blank screen; so I can't enter any command line info. I'm kinda stuck here.

Perhaps with your answer you can also point me to some good online tutorials on Linux.

TIA
 
Old 12-10-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
MadHatter21
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Registered: Jul 2009
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Most every self respecting operating system has some sort of about page or something. Try to look around for it. Is there any chance you can take a screen shot? Why do you need to know? You could always just download and install a new operating system.

Madhatter21
 
Old 12-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
jhwilliams
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If you type "about:" (without the quotes) in your Firefox URL bar, it will bring you to a page with some summary information. On my Ubuntu Linux system, I see the following at the bottom of that page:

Quote:
Build identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv:1.9.1.5) Gecko/20091109 Ubuntu/9.10 (Lenny) Iceweasel/3.0.6
 
Old 12-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
ahr8tch
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Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Distribution: Not sure. Whatever came on the Asus Netbook.
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks for the response MadHatter21!

I went through HELP for all the tabs and while doing so noticed that the address block contains "file:///usr/share/doc/xandros-online-help/en/settings.html" (I was looking at help for the Settings tab). I guess that means that my distro is Xandros, maybe? I haven't found a clue yet about the GUI, but I did see that CTL-ALT-T will open an console/terminal. When I press those keys, a panel opens titled "user@asus-.........." where the dots represent numbers. In the terminal panel is predisplayed "/home/user>". I'm guessing that is Linux for a path, but I don't know enough for that to be much more than a guess.

Now I need a tutorial that will teach me some basics about Linux command lines and terminals.

Again, thanks for the response. It led me to do things I wouldn't have done without your help.
 
Old 12-10-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
ahr8tch
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Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Distribution: Not sure. Whatever came on the Asus Netbook.
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No Linux Distro Identified

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhwilliams View Post
If you type "about:" (without the quotes) in your Firefox URL bar, it will bring you to a page with some summary information. On my Ubuntu Linux system, I see the following at the bottom of that page:
Hi Jameson!

Thanks for the response!

I get a build identifier line in Fx but it doesn't include a Linux ID after the Gecko information.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 
Old 12-10-2009, 09:05 PM   #6
smeezekitty
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Open FF and click help the about.
 
Old 12-10-2009, 11:08 PM   #7
MrCode
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There should be a menu item somewhere that will allow you to open a graphical terminal (like Command Prompt on Windows)...is this what you're looking for, or do you want a full-screen text-mode terminal?

If you want to get to a genuine text-mode terminal, try hitting Ctrl-Alt-F(x) where x is any number between 1 and 6. This should temporarily take you out of your graphical environment and put you in a text-mode terminal. Hit Ctrl-Alt-F7 to return to graphics mode.

As for obtaining distro information try:

Code:
uname -a
in the terminal.

Last edited by MrCode; 12-10-2009 at 11:11 PM.
 
Old 12-10-2009, 11:58 PM   #8
syg00
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Have a look at this wiki - looks pretty good for an absolute beginner. It'll explain about the basic mode and how you can work around its limitations. I found it a PITA when I had one to play with for a couple of hours.
 
Old 12-13-2009, 01:39 AM   #9
ahr8tch
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Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Distribution: Not sure. Whatever came on the Asus Netbook.
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The Eee wiki is helpful and I will complete it, but first I got to a terminal screen and entered from the /home/user> prompt uname -a as recommended and received the following:

"Linux asus-nnnnnnnnnn 2.6.21.4-eeepc #2 Tue Jul 8 12:00:00 EDT 2008 i686 GNU/Linux"

where the nnnnnnnnnn represents what I think is an unique ID for my system (not knowing its significance I did not type the actual values lest I disclose something I should not). From the last phrase in the response "GNU/Linux", may I infer that the distro is GNU/Linux? If not, what does this tell me?

I also entered a /bin command and received the response: "bash: /bin: is a directory. I infer from that information returned that my shell is bash. But I'm lost as to how to find what GUI I'm running when not at a command terminal screen.

Still open to suggestions.

TIA
 
Old 12-13-2009, 03:01 AM   #10
MrCode
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Quote:
From the last phrase in the response "GNU/Linux", may I infer that the distro is GNU/Linux? If not, what does this tell me?
GNU/Linux is simply a "more appropriate" term for a Linux distro that has GNU tools installed/included (most do, if not all...).

Quote:
I also entered a /bin command and received the response: "bash: /bin: is a directory.
/bin is the directory where all the main system tool executables are (e.g. ls, grep, sed, etc.). You can find out what console shell you're using by typing "echo $SHELL" in the terminal. As you said, you're probably using bash (which is pretty much the standard shell in Linux anyway), so that command should return "/bin/bash" which is the location of the bash executable.

I'm not sure about the types of GUIs that netbook distros use, but can you describe what your graphical environment looks like? Maybe we can get some idea of what your desktop GUI is from a description of the interface... Or better yet, post a screenshot.

Maybe "lsb_release -a" has the information you're looking for on the distribution...? I'm not absolutely 100% sure this will work for you, as while it does work under my native Ubuntu system and a virtual Linux Mint machine, it doesn't work under my virtualized Slackware machine. (Maybe it only works in Debian-based distributions?)

I do hope I've helped at least some

Last edited by MrCode; 12-13-2009 at 03:34 AM.
 
Old 12-13-2009, 03:13 AM   #11
NetLife
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Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 3

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Does this help?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Ee..._on_the_Eee_PC

Is this not your netbook?
 
Old 12-13-2009, 02:20 PM   #12
ahr8tch
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Texas
Distribution: Not sure. Whatever came on the Asus Netbook.
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
I'm not sure about the types of GUIs that netbook distros use, but can you describe what your graphical environment looks like?
From what I've read on the Eee wiki site, the GUI is KDE and the look and feel is a special set developed by Asus. There is a how-to that includes installing a downloaded app that will let you change the look and feel to customize it to your own tastes.


Quote:
Maybe "lsb_release -a" has the information you're looking for on the distribution...? I'm not absolutely 100% sure this will work for you, as while it does work under my native Ubuntu system and a virtual Linux Mint machine, it doesn't work under my virtualized Slackware machine. (Maybe it only works in Debian-based distributions?)
I tried the command and it comes back with an error message. I am typing this from my laptop which is still running XP while I learn about Linux. It makes posting a screenshot a little difficult; however if you scroll down a couple of screens from this page (http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:beginners_guide) you will see an example screen (the top one; the bottom one is after user customizations). [BTW: How does one post pics here?]

After much probing around and with much help from you guys, I'm convinced that the EeePC is running Xandros, a variant of Debian, and uses the KDE GUI and the bash shell. Asus sites mention Xandros and KDE and the echo $SHELL command returns /bin/bash.

I guess that pretty much answers this question. (Am I supposed to close the query? If so, how?)

Thanks to all who responded. My education about Linux has begun.
 
  


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