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Old 11-08-2004, 04:44 AM   #1
Dberlier
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Bay Area California
Distribution: im new here
Posts: 5

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Smile Flavor of the Month...?? Looking to start up linix


Any suggestions on a brand of Linix for a newbie that understands code well and wants to use it as a learning tool and development platform.

I have all the the compiling tools Visual C++, Visual Basic 6, MSDN and a lot of SDK's...

I want to do some work interfacing to a scsi tape drive. Ive found a lot of bits and pieces of code have already been written and almost all of it in linix or unix or Irix.

Will this older code play well with all the newer kernals out there?

I am going to fire up SLAX as well as SuSe live to get a finger typing..

I have a laptop that the linix can go on. Its an old 486 with 16 meg of ram and an 800 meg disk as well as legacy connectivity.


Im not looking to jump in full bore I just want to learn how to get stuff done a bit at a time. My windows -X-tra-P-recious box keeps me working the os as it is.

Thanks for the Output..or is it Input... uh oh .. im screwed
 
Old 11-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #2
rjlee
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Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
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If you want to learn how it all fits together and works, then you could try Fedora or Red Hat. But be warned: the configuration isn't as easy as more home-user oriented distros like SuSE, Debian or Mandrake.

Personally, I use SuSE which is a very nice distro that tends to make everything that's supported work with quite minimal effort (there are always exceptions, though). Other people prefer other distros; it's mostly a matter of personal preference.

All distros (with the exception of several “lighter” distros, like dedicated firewalls and suchlike) come with some variant of the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) including C, C++, Java and Fortran-77 compilers; and you can easily download and install others. I don't think SuSE Personal includes GCC, but you can download it.

If you're looking at writing drivers, then you probably want to install the kernel source-code as well.

If you're found publicly available source code for drivers for a particular tape drive, then the chances are that the driver will already be in the kernel. If not, be aware that there have been quite a few changes to the kernel's internals lately so you might need to make some modifications to your code.

One more thing: don't try and run KDE on a 16Mb 486; it will be painfully slow. Try a lightweight window manager like AfterStep or WindowMaker — these are harder to configure but run a lot faster. A distribution like Gentoo will probably fit into the available space more easily; do also be aware that most major distros need at least a Pentium to run these days.
 
Old 11-08-2004, 11:42 AM   #3
Zuggy
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Pocatello, Idaho, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Look around on the internet. I'm not sure if the current version will but I do know that previous versions of Slackware will run on a 486 and 16. Heck version 7 will run on a laptop with only 4MB RAM.

Also I wouldn't count on even the lighter window managers like windowmaker and iceWM to work on that old of a system. You can try but just be for warned that you might have to work straight from the command line, but that shouldn't be a problem for a big programmer type like yourself.

WAIT WAIT I KNOW I KNOW!!!! Check out Damn Small Linux On there website under the FAQ they have a link to a page from a guy that got it to run on a 486DX and 486DX2 both with 16MB RAM. If you want a gui check out this distro. It's a live CD which means it runs off the cd but there are installation instructions on the site.

Also if your Laptop has a sound card and Damn Small doesn't detect it check out the ALSA Project . I used it on my latop and now it works fine.
 
  


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