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Old 08-25-2003, 08:50 AM   #1
noclue_menew
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Durham, UK
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1 , XP Pro, Knoppix on CD (for those "moments")
Posts: 24

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question Getting started....


Firstly... apologies to those of you who are fab at using Linux... this is my first main foray into the unknown.



I am looking for a bit of advice...

So far I have managed to load (I think...) Slackware 8.1 which a guy I used to work with gave me as a "here this'll get you started with Linux" type affair...

Only it hasn't! I'd like to start with a GUI based system (which I believe I have loaded both Gnome and KDE) as I don't know very much at all... this way I see the transistion from Windows to Linux being a little bit easier...

Here's the crux... I cannot seem to get ANYTHING loaded or do anything... I've tried some of the simpler commands from the Help listing to get nothing...

If I am to persevere with this it seems that I am going to need a bit of advice as to how to run everything through the command line.

Could you fine people please give me a heads up as to the following...

1. If I have to run from Command line, recommendations for a site / publication that is going to get me going?

2. If I can run from GUI, how do I get it?

3. I believe there are issues with Video drivers being needed for my card (NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX 420) so how can I get round this?


If you can help, this would be great... and if I can I'd like to go straight into GUI, I don't need to become a hardcore command line editor at this point in time, though in the future this may change.

Many thanks for your help in advance!!
 
Old 08-25-2003, 08:54 AM   #2
arunshivanandan
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Registered: May 2003
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try 'startx'.
if there is some problem,try 'xf86config' to (re)configure X.
try installing the nvidia drivers.(download them from http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_d..._1.0-4363.html).
doubts??post them.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 09:14 AM   #3
noclue_menew
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Durham, UK
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1 , XP Pro, Knoppix on CD (for those "moments")
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
ok, tried both of those.

'startx' threw back error messages saying no device found??

'xf86config' went through ok, 'startx' kicked back similar error messages...

I think downloading the drivers is a good bet, but then how do I get them loaded... sorry for being so dumb!!
 
Old 08-25-2003, 09:19 AM   #4
dmx9595
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you may want to try Redhat 9 for your first linux distro.. its a lot easier.. more gui's n what not.. if thats what your looking for, you dont have to at all but if you want to you can, you can get it at www.redhat.com

when you encoutner problems, have questions, you should search google.com and you will find answers

Last edited by dmx9595; 08-25-2003 at 09:24 AM.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 09:30 AM   #5
maroonbaboon
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Registered: Aug 2003
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I'm not sure what slackware 8.1 looks like, but in the last year or so the big distros (RH, SuSE, Mandrake) seem to have got much better at detecting hardware correctly and simplifying setup.

Unless you have a fair bit of unix experience already you can probably save yourself lots of time and frustration, as the previous poster suggests.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 09:48 AM   #6
Skyline
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You could always check out some of the other distros aswell at Distrowatch:

Click here to go to Distrowatch
 
Old 08-25-2003, 11:35 AM   #7
mhearn
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Yeah, drop Slackware. Some people give it to newbies because they are sick and perverted, but Slackware is for people for whom Linux is a hobby - NOT newbies

Try Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE. You will find them far easier (though still plenty to discover as it is still a new OS) than slack
 
Old 08-25-2003, 12:01 PM   #8
slakmagik
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Um. Beg to differ. Though nobody gave me Slack - I chose it. Maybe a newer Slack might help. Or maybe some more doc-reading. But, no, I suppose Mandrake's a fine newbie distro of sorts. Of course, when he can't play mp3s or DVDs or read his NTFS filesystems he's going to wonder what sick perverted dude told him to try Red Hat.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 12:36 PM   #9
noclue_menew
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Durham, UK
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1 , XP Pro, Knoppix on CD (for those "moments")
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
OK, your views are all interesting and seem to support the same logical "conclusion (?)"...

Maybe, if I explain my current situation a bit better, then a pinned down suggestion for a distro might be in order.

Currently running XP Professional, with NTFS file system. I would love to be able to access the current files that I have built up, MP3's, .pdf's, .doc's etc, so does this mean that Mandrake will be suitable for these purposes.

I also want to run a server (in the future) on an xDSL line including print server, sharing two PC's, a laptop and a desktop. (The main reason that I chose Linux now...) and I just happened to have the slackware disc. so don't need to go hunting around...

Ultimately, I have the time and drive to learn, just haven't used a command line system in a while...

I look forward to further advice on this basis...

A BIG thankyou to all of you out there that have contributed so far, it really is appreciated :-)
 
Old 08-25-2003, 01:00 PM   #10
slakmagik
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In fairness - you can get RH to do all that stuff - it's just not anything out-of-the-box friendly. Mandrake probably gets along with NTFS better than any other distro and any distro but RH can handle your mp3s. With OpenOffice, I think, you can use your .doc files. .pdf's are no problem for anybody. I'm not sure how Mandrake would do as a server. Most seem to prefer Slack, Debian, RH, or BSD for that. If you have time and drive, Slack and you should get along. That's how I'd figure it - most of your immediate needs and an easy XP transition would probably be handled by Mandrake. But Slack or Debian might handle your long-term needs better. And... *g*... I'm not trying to push Slack dishonestly - I just think it would cover *both* those bases best. And you've already got it. Though I would go for Slack 9.

As far as your current X situation, I wish I could help with that. You might try to configure for basic VGA just to see if *anything* will load. It'd look like crap and be a waste of your card but you could maybe cut down on the list of possible culprits. But have you downloaded the drivers like arunshivanandan said? I haven't downloaded any drivers for my display - but I'd gather there's either an easy installer or you just untar them, read the docs, and follow the directions.

-- Oh - and they assume you're running an xterm but maybe linuxcommand.org would be an okay first stop to pick up some CLI basics.

Last edited by slakmagik; 08-25-2003 at 01:03 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 01:32 PM   #11
vgascon
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I also recommend http://www.yolinux.com as a great reference site.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 02:33 PM   #12
dmx9595
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dont take those above posts in the wrong way, all distros can play mp3s, all distros can play dvds, all distros can read your ntfs filesystem, its just some distros come with those programs to do those things and some dont ( you'll just have to download and install the program after you install, to play your mp3s for example ) so dont get discourage or take those posts the wrong way
 
Old 08-25-2003, 02:57 PM   #13
noclue_menew
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Durham, UK
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1 , XP Pro, Knoppix on CD (for those "moments")
Posts: 24

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Don't worry, no major discouragement going on with this PC user...

Since I last spoke, have installed the latest NVIDIA drivers for my system (including learning the script to do it!!) So thankyou Digiot for the link :-)

Still not loading anything other than command line, so, in the true spirit of BBC B (that's where I started computing life btw) gonna crack on and have a go!!! What's the worst that I can do?? It's only plastic and metal after all, and sure as egg's are egg's, it'll be fun going for it...


Once again, thankyou very much for your kind words and helpful advice. It is much appreciated!

I'll let you know the outcome of the distro debate in due course.
 
Old 08-25-2003, 03:19 PM   #14
bigjohn
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Erm,

Just for my limited input,

Out of the box (as opposed to downloaded) mandrake will/should get you up and running straight away, this would include pre compiled nvidia drivers and things like the speedtouch microcode (mandrakes french/eu origins showing through).

The bootloader default is lilo and gui default is kde.

Haven't tried the download version, as I tend to get the "boxed" ones from mandrake - I feel the distro is good enough to warrant them receiving some of my "hard earned".

The server stuff is all on the disc - I couldn't really say, but suspect that server management isn't done so much with mandrake, because those with enough knowledge would be running RH/Slack/LFS/debian/whatever - they may feel stigmatised about using what has the reputation of being a "newbie" distro. Though I would say that if someone felt that, then there are definitely those who will argue.

It handles my dsl connection faultlessly. The rpm's (mandrake specific, on the disc(s), or via the mandrake site) that are available should enable you to do whatever you want.

The office stuff has already been mentioned. Oh, and while I don't mean to criticise redhat, if you check it out, you will see what it DOESN'T come with i.e. no mp3 player, that's available, but not default as you might think, and you would have to install the ntfs read capability as an extra as well.

I think that there are a couple of other minor things as well.

While it sounds like you are pretty "au fait" with things IT there is a nice link to installing mandrake here that seems to just about cover everything.

regards

John
 
Old 08-25-2003, 10:51 PM   #15
arunshivanandan
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what was the error startx gave??what does your /var/log/XFree.0.log say??try running xf86config again.(i am writing this assuming that you are still staying with slack).
 
  


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