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Old 01-25-2005, 08:13 AM   #1
tttstarr
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General Linux questions


There seems to be at least dozens of different versions of Linux. In regard to programs that run on them, are they compatible with all the different versions? If they aren't then who is compatible with the most programs?

Installation instructions on most of these seem to be a hassle unlike windows. Eventually I would love to dump Microsoft, I don't like them, however; I am not willing to cut off my nose to spite my face. I would like to settle on a Linux OS that is user friendly, easy to install, and updated. Once I choose a Linux system and install it (I would like to be able to dual boot or at least have a icon on my desk top to switch to Linux - I have to consider my wife, she will never switch ) I would like to "get on with life". I don't think I want to be a Linux expert, just a user.

I am using Windows 2000 professsional and have added an additional HD. The original HD is now E: drive (19GB). I would like to use it for my Linux, if I can find one that I can install and live with.

If anyone can help I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Tracy
 
Old 01-25-2005, 08:46 AM   #2
sgood1971
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Generally speaking, packages (Programs) are compatible across all distro's. Someone has more than likely packaged the program that you are looking for to run on just about any given distro. I would like to take this opportunity to reccomend Ubuntu as a great way to get your feet wet in Linux. It has a live CD, so you can try it without changing your system, it is easy to install if you decide you like it, and once installed boots into a great useable environment. Who knows, once your wife sees how much fun you are having, she may just convert. As far as dual booting goes, just search this forum or G4L it you will find way more information than you need. Good luck.
 
Old 01-25-2005, 09:03 AM   #3
atom
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For such a user, I would recommend Libranet [ http://www.libranet.com/trial_download.html ]. Don't get scared by the "trial" label, it's just the previous version. Once you update it it's gonna be the newest. I would suggest donating though, my friend never regretted it .

This distro was installed and used by a complete n00b without assistance. I would say it's even easyer to set up than windows. It has a good, graphic package manager front end so you will not have to deal with the command line ever, but i still would suggest learning at least the basic commands, because they save time. You can do as much as fast as in windows with the GUI, but the console is a real speedup.

Cheers!
 
Old 01-25-2005, 09:13 AM   #4
tttstarr
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Guys, it is so great to receive such quick and accurate answers. Man am I impressed. I have been at this research level for to long and now I believe I can go from research to actual use! If anybody else has any thoughts I am all ears!

Tracy
 
Old 01-25-2005, 09:26 AM   #5
atom
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Let us know what you choose ok?
 
Old 01-25-2005, 09:28 AM   #6
harken
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Quote:
This distro was installed and used by a complete n00b without assistance
I'm myself a n00b and I did the same thing, the difference is that I used Debian sarge rc2. Previously I took a look at Knoppix and after a week I decided to go with Debian.
Now, I'm not saying that Debian is the best (although many say so) but I wanna point that you shouldn't let yourself misleaded by some guys that say "hey, this/that distro of Linux is very difficult to install". They just want to look cool in front of us, the n00bs.
I recommend you to decide on a distribution (no matter which, the one you like the way it sounds), read (thoroughly if possible) the install documentation before and go ahead. You'll see that if you're patient enough you'll succeed.
And if you don't like the first distro you can always choose a 2nd, a 3rd one, etc. After all, it's free and you have plenty distributions out there!

Good luck!
 
Old 01-25-2005, 09:46 AM   #7
Padma
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I just have to add a plug for my favorite distro: Mandrake.

Also Fedora Core 3, SuSe, Debian, Knoppix, the list of good, easy-to-use distros goes on and on.

And as was said earlier, most apps are available pre-compiled for most distros. And even if it isn't for yours, you can always compile from scratch, and *make* it yours. That route isn't for everybody, but it really isn't too hard. Still, most distros have "repositories" of software available, and I generally recommend using your distro's repositories, to ensure compatability with the rest of your system.
 
Old 01-25-2005, 09:47 AM   #8
atom
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Sorry to be rude but even ppl who have had linux a while and have installed gentoo stage 1 have to get our egos up from time to time ...

I'm not saying installing any distro is hard to install, because it isn't.
I'm saying that some distros take more time / skill / knowledge / bandwidth / patience / trial and error / etc. to install than others. No distro is hard to install, (yes, not even slackware) if you actually know what you have in the beginning and what it looks like in the end. It's just newbies (yes, i admit, i like it sometimes too...) want to learn nothing in the beginning and just let the nice GUI toys do everything for you. And then you (Not in most cases, but in some) wake up with a headache and decide you want to get rid of redhat because it doesn't have Gimp 2 after two months since it's release and so on.

I like Gentoo for that reason. You have to install it via commandline, and I had to do it on a SATA drive from a SATA cd-rom. Hack, no distro even recognised itself. Gentoo booted and panicked and (!) didn't reboot. It threw me in a standard bash shell. I knew I only had to mount the /dev/scd instead of the normal /dev/cdrom and substitute the /dev/hda with /dev/sda and it worked. I am now happily running it for the 6th month and it has never given me problems save recompiling the NVidia module every time i recompile the kernel.

I don't think that couldn't be done by a n00b. I think that if the n00b was smart, he'd have gone to LQ.org and asked around and he'd get the help he needed. He would eventually have succeeded and would not be a n00b anymore. He would be able to start working on his machine at once, and he would not puzzle himself with trivial tasks like "what's the copy command again?" or "how do I copy all the files that end with .txt but not the mother\'s_diary.txt?". Sometimes you are a lot better off just starting hard, throwing yourself into the cold water, if you will, and just swim, err, install the distro.

Clearly, that is not for some people, and I respect their decision that it is not important to learn the innards of the system, they just want to be ordinary users. I respect that. Heck, such ppl will pay my salary some day. They already do, to a certain extent.

If this rant makes you think, I have succeeded.

Gasper
 
Old 01-25-2005, 10:57 AM   #9
harken
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Quote:
Clearly, that is not for some people, and I respect their decision that it is not important to learn the innards of the system, they just want to be ordinary users. I respect that. Heck, such ppl will pay my salary some day. They already do, to a certain extent.


That's a good one. Seriously, you are right.

I ment that no distro is hard to install if the one who does it wants to really learn something and not just play around and then say "I'm cool, I once installed Linux" and in fact, if you ask him to move a file or rename it he'll start yelling at you. No offence, but those people should stick to Windows.

If one is aware that he/she might hit his/her head against the table a few times while trying to install Linux and is willing to accept that...it's ok...go ahead.
If you wanna play...that's what games are for.

Ok, I'll stop as this goes off topic. Good luck once again, tttstar!
 
  


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