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Old 01-08-2004, 10:53 PM   #1
VinTSS
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Going to try Linux.. a few questions.


I already have WinXP on my computer and want to install Linux as well. I decided after some research to go with Mandrake since I'm a complete newbie and it seems this is a good choice to start off with.

First of all, I am downloading the ISOs right now, and there are 4 of them. They're very large files, probably one CD each. Does it really take 4 CD's to instal? After all it is an entire OS, but I remember my Windows systems were always on one disc. Anyways.. next question.

I know that I have to create a partition for Linux. Here's the problem. I dont have a huge hard drive. It's 80GB. It is respectable, but if I had a 40GB partition for Linux and 40 for Windows, I would be lacking space in both departments. I'm assuming it's not possible for one OS to retrieve files that the other has in it's partition? I mean, I wouldnt be able to use MP3's I downloaded with Windows in Linux, would I? So therefore I would have to kind of do everything twice.

So my main question is, If I intend to use Linux as a secondary OS, but still want to be able to get a lot of use out of it (I need my music, all the main programs I use on Windows and a few games at least), how big would you suggest I make my Linux partition? And while we're on the subject, how do I go about making one? Does Mandrake do it itself during the installation or do I have to do it from Windows beforehand?

Third question. I've heard a lot of people say they've had problems installing the drivers for their Radeon cards. Considering that I have a 9700 Pro in my system I was a little worried reading all these things.

Fourth.. setting up my drivers and internet connection. Is it fairly self explanatory, or is it going to take me a lot of work? I'm obviously going to need soundcard, videocard (mentioned above) drivers. I dont know if I should also be trying to install my motherboard (Nforce2) drivers, or if they even make these for Linux?

Things like the extra buttons on my keyboard (Mute and volume are the only ones I really use), is there any way to get these installed? And how would I go about getting my mouse wheel working? I've heard that this isn't quite automatic either.

My motherboard has built in ethernet, and that's what I use for the internet, so I'm probably going to have to install that if I want to connect to anything. Assuming that it doesnt automatically detect all your connection settings and get you up and running like Windows does, what do I have to know (settings and such) before setting up my internet connection? I use Road Runner cable.

Next.. I'm assuming a GUI comes packaged with Mandrake 9.2? If not how do I go about installing one? And if you are still reading this and haven't been turned off by my endless questions and newbness (Hey, it's the only way to learn!), I would appreciate some general advice. I.E. differences from Windows, basic commands I might want to know, etc.

And finally... this isnt really a question at all. I would just like some recommendations. What are the best alternatives for the following.. web browser, ftp program, paint program (similar to PSP if possible), mp3 player, CD burner, CD ripper, file sharing.

Thanks in advance and I appreciate the fact that you got this far in my lengthy inquiry
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:09 PM   #2
slakmagik
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I think the Mandrake 9 or whatever it was I tried was three disks. Maybe it is four. Mandrake's larger than some.

Writing to an NTFS partition is problematic. You only need a few gigs for Mandrake and a few for Windows. If you wanted to make a big FAT32 partition, both OSes could read and write to that partition and you could keep the data you wanted to share there.

Mandrake will automatically partition for you, but you may not like how it does it. You do have the option of 'advanced' or something and can exercise more control if you'd prefer.

Dunno about the Radeon part. I have nVidia on one, i810 on another, and worse crap on the rest.

Most of your driver stuff should - should - be taken care of by Mandrake. And if you use dhcp, the net connection should work.

There is a way to enable special keys but I've never bothered to figure it out. Point is it can be done. Mouse is 'ZAxisMapping" "4 5" in /etc/X11/XF86Config (I think - Mandrake might keep it somewhere else, but I doubt it.

Mandrake comes with lots of GUIs. You should figure out Gnome or KDE without much trouble if you're used to Windows while the window managers are what I actually prefer and are much simpler, though possibly strange from a Windows viewpoint.

Assuming gui...
web browser - mozilla (many will say firebird)
ftp program (gftp, maybe - I use ncftp (console)
paint program (similar to PSP if possible) - there isn't one yet but the GIMP is the premiere Linux program. You just have to get used to the interface or wait for the next version which is going to be more PSP-like, I think.
mp3 player - xmms
CD burner - well, I like xcdroast but most would say k3b, which is also okay.
CD ripper - dunno - I use cli - cdparanoia and so on
file sharing - dunno

Hope that helps. (And I wonder how many replies have come up while I've been typing.)

I understand having a lot of questions - and ask away - but it might be better to break them up a bit. Most important commands - 'man command' - such as 'man man' - and http://www.google.com/linux and this site. In other words, there's a zillion commands and the best thing to learn is how to learn.
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:09 PM   #3
ryeman
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First of all, welcome..!

To answer your first question, no. You don't need all 4 CD's, It depends on how you intend to use your system. You can get away with downloading the first 2 or 3 ISO and use your burning program to burn them to CD's. The first is the most important though..

As for your next question, you really don't need a huge HD. I've heard of people installing linux on memory..! I personally have installed Mandrake 9.2 on a 5gig HD with 3gig free space to use

Next, Mandrake does a pretty good job with partitioning (from what I've heard).. My comp is Mandrake only so (of course) I didn't have to worry about windows.

IMHO I would personally download knoppix ISO and burn that first. It runs off the CD only (unless you choose to install it to your HD)... but this way you can get the 'feel' of Linux first. That way, if you have any problems with drivers, you can find out before installing to a partition.

And to conclude, this forum is very responsive with questions, so have at it..!

Good luck
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:10 PM   #4
synaptical
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Re: Going to try Linux.. a few questions.

linux can read the files on your windows partition/s, but windows won't be able to see the files on your linux partition. linux can even write to your windows partitions, as long as they're not NTFS. so no, you will not have to "do everything twice." with good planning, you should be able to figure out the best configuration.

i haven't installed recent versions of mandrake, but probably the essential part of the OS will be on one or at most two of the disks, with the other 2 or 3 being extras. just guessing, but you can probably have a full install with gui and a full set of programs on less than 5GB. 10GB is probably a good minimum size, or a very good size if you plan to mostly write big media files to the windows side. if you think you will start spending more time in linux, maybe make it 20GB. but don't worry about that aspect too much because you can just make more linux partitions later.

mandrake "comes with" a bunch of different GUIs, you can choose what to install during the installation.

i haven't had success in installing radeon drivers for my 8500 in my limited attempts to install them. but i don't need the 3D acceleration now, so it's not a big deal. from what i've read, it can be tricky, but not impossible by any means.

internet should be easy with mandrake. i think most of that is done for you automatically. i have onboard lan with an nforce2 motherboard and road runner cable and have had no problem with any of that in any distro.

synaptical's quick picks:
web browser: there are many to choose from. mozilla is the best, imo.
ftp program: command line (lftp, ncftp, ftp) or gFTP
paint program: the gimp
mp3 player: xmms
CD burning: cdrecord with k3b or xcdroast
file sharing: giFT with fasttrack and other plugins

have fun
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:13 PM   #5
itsme86
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Re: Going to try Linux.. a few questions.

Quote:
Originally posted by VinTSS
First of all, I am downloading the ISOs right now, and there are 4 of them. They're very large files, probably one CD each. Does it really take 4 CD's to instal? After all it is an entire OS, but I remember my Windows systems were always on one disc. Anyways.. next question.
Mandrake, I believe, is the biggest distribution of them all. It comes with tons of software. Whereas a distribution like slackware is still 1 CD.

Quote:
I know that I have to create a partition for Linux. Here's the problem. I dont have a huge hard drive. It's 80GB. It is respectable, but if I had a 40GB partition for Linux and 40 for Windows, I would be lacking space in both departments. I'm assuming it's not possible for one OS to retrieve files that the other has in it's partition? I mean, I wouldnt be able to use MP3's I downloaded with Windows in Linux, would I? So therefore I would have to kind of do everything twice.
Linux supports full read/write support to FAT32 partitions and full read support for NTFS partitions. So to answer your question it depends on which file system you used for Windows XP. Either way, you could listen to mp3s that are stored on your Windows partition. Adding to the collection from Linux could only happen if you formatted your Windows partition as FAT32. (note: there are 3rd party drivers that claim to allow full read/write access to NTFS partitions from within Linux. I haven't researched/used them so my above note assumes that you won't be using one of these.)

Quote:
So my main question is, If I intend to use Linux as a secondary OS, but still want to be able to get a lot of use out of it (I need my music, all the main programs I use on Windows and a few games at least), how big would you suggest I make my Linux partition? And while we're on the subject, how do I go about making one? Does Mandrake do it itself during the installation or do I have to do it from Windows beforehand?
If you already have Windows XP installed then you're pretty screwed unless you repartition your drive. You could try something like Partition Magic to resize the partition to free up from room for linux. I'd probably recommend about 20GB for linux, the rest for Windows. If you start to run out of room you can always put non-essential stuff on the Windows partition (assuming you can write to it; see note above).

Quote:
[B}Third question. I've heard a lot of people say they've had problems installing the drivers for their Radeon cards. Considering that I have a 9700 Pro in my system I was a little worried reading all these things.[/B]
ATI has just recently started publishing linux drivers for their video cards. I'm not sure if the horror stories you heard were from before ATI started doing this, but people seem to be able to use ATI's drivers without many problems.

Quote:
Fourth.. setting up my drivers and internet connection. Is it fairly self explanatory, or is it going to take me a lot of work? I'm obviously going to need soundcard, videocard (mentioned above) drivers. I dont know if I should also be trying to install my motherboard (Nforce2) drivers, or if they even make these for Linux?
Wish I could help you with this one, but I've never used Mandrake and each distro is a bit different. It should be pretty self explanatory (linux auto-detects your NIC and you tell it to use DHCP or whatever).

Quote:
Things like the extra buttons on my keyboard (Mute and volume are the only ones I really use), is there any way to get these installed? And how would I go about getting my mouse wheel working? I've heard that this isn't quite automatic either.
Never dealt with that stuff.

Quote:
My motherboard has built in ethernet, and that's what I use for the internet, so I'm probably going to have to install that if I want to connect to anything. Assuming that it doesnt automatically detect all your connection settings and get you up and running like Windows does, what do I have to know (settings and such) before setting up my internet connection? I use Road Runner cable.
Try a search in the Linux - Hardware forum using your NIC and/or motherboard model as the search parameter. If you don't really find anything then chances are not many (no one?) has had problems with it. If you do find some posts about it then maybe they'll have answers to whatever problems you'll run into so you'll be prepared.

Quote:
Next.. I'm assuming a GUI comes packaged with Mandrake 9.2? If not how do I go about installing one? And if you are still reading this and haven't been turned off by my endless questions and newbness (Hey, it's the only way to learn!), I would appreciate some general advice. I.E. differences from Windows, basic commands I might want to know, etc.
Mandrake definitely comes packaged with a GUI. Look for something called Xfree86 during the install process. The Xfree86 system is probably a little different than you're used to in MS Windows. Xfree86 is just an underlying infrastructure upon which several groups have built "window managers". Each window manager has a unique look and feel to it. A couple of popular ones are KDE and Gnome (there's no harm in installing both and I'm sure Mandrake has at least these two packaged and ready to go).

Quote:
And finally... this isnt really a question at all. I would just like some recommendations. What are the best alternatives for the following.. web browser, ftp program, paint program (similar to PSP if possible), mp3 player, CD burner, CD ripper, file sharing.
web broser: Mozilla or Konqueror
ftp program: ncftp for command-line, haven't used enough GUI ones to recommend one.
paint program: Probably The Gimp. It should be on one of those Mandrake CDs.
mp3 player: XMMS (http://www.xmms.org). It has a look and feel very similar to Winamp.

Last edited by itsme86; 01-08-2004 at 11:19 PM.
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:14 PM   #6
DrOzz
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ok i am going to take a stab at this, and try to get every question, but believe me i may miss some cause they are all mixed in that lengthy speech, but your right you have to learn somehow

ok first ... it depends on what you select during the installation phase if your going to use all the disks, but i would suggest since its your first time and you don't know what everything is, that you do somewhat of a complete install, so yes you more so will need all 4 ...

as of the partitioning... if you don't have it set as one big partition for windows, and you do have free space out in the open non-partitioned, then yes mandrake will do this for you during the setup ...

as of your music being on the windows drive and the such, yes you can retrieve them on linux, and this gets into mounting the windows partition to access them ... we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, but for now, just know you will indeed be able to get them ..

as of how big you want the partition, well thats completely up to you ... but i will throw out a minimum approximation of 20gigs just to give a ballpark figure, but personally i would make it 80gigs heheh

as of your video card, yes some people have problems, and some people don't ... thats just how the ball rollls... you'll just have to wait and see if you do have any problems, its hard to say if you will or not, but in the end, i would have to say problems or not, you will be using your graphics card to its full potential before the end of it ...

i can't really comment on the rest of your hardware, cause all you said was sound card and network card etc.. so without the actually name of the hardware, i can't comment, but again i am sure in the end it'll work... and mandrake anyways picks up allllot of stuff, so 9 times outta 10 it will detect and install it for you ... and as of the nforce, nvidia has great linux support, and they nforce and nvidia drivers are always available ...

as of your extra buttons on your keyboard, the only thing i can think of that will get you access to use them is something call -> LineakD
and your wheel mouse will also probably work off the get go, but if not, we can take additional measures later, as thats not really a big issue, and get other things working is more important ...

the built in ethernet i assume is a part of the nforce, so more so when you grab the package of nvidias site, that will take care of that ... and obviously for your inet connection to work, your NIC will have to be installed, so when thats done, then i can't see why you wouldn't have internet access...

as of the GUI, yes it is packaged with Mandrake and you'll have a choice between different environments, most popular being GNOME and KDE ... basic commands will be stuff like tar -zxvf program.tar.gz or tar -jxvf program.bz2 to extract tarballs (equivalent to a zip file in windows), and if you download *.rpm files something like rpm -ivh packagename.rpm should take care of it, and the others are basically the same, but some with a slight difference such as
cd -> change directory
ls -> same as dir in windows, to get directory listing
rm -> same as del in windows, to remove a file
mkdir -> same as md in windows, to make a directory

they are as basic as it gets, but you will get into more detailed commands, that really aren't worth mentioning just yet, cause like you said your only downloading the ISO's now ...

as of all them apps, i guaruntee there will be equivalents installed when your done and you won't even worry about downloading and installing any of them ...
but just to make some comparisons, read below :

web browser --- konqueror, mozilla, mozilla firebird, galeon
ftp server --- ProFTPd
ftp client --- gftp
paint --- GIMP
mp3 --- XMMS (exact as winamp)
cd burner --- K3b, arson
file sharing --- too many to mention
go to www.sourceforge.net and go to the software map and look up p2p clients or a site such as www.zeropaid.com has a nice little list ....


*PHEW*
i think i got most of it, and i hope it was informative enough


*EDIT*
hahah, like 4 posts made er first....none when i started ahh well, now you have hand fulls of information

Last edited by DrOzz; 01-08-2004 at 11:16 PM.
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:14 PM   #7
synaptical
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digiot nice picks
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:17 PM   #8
J.Q. Monkey
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Re: Going to try Linux.. a few questions.

Quote:
I already have WinXP on my computer and want to install Linux as well. I decided after some research to go with Mandrake since I'm a complete newbie and it seems this is a good choice to start off with.

First of all, I am downloading the ISOs right now, and there are 4 of them. They're very large files, probably one CD each. Does it really take 4 CD's to instal? After all it is an entire OS, but I remember my Windows systems were always on one disc. Anyways.. next question.
Yes, lots of CDs. Make sure you don't just burn the ISO to the CD, make your burning program unpack and then burn.


Quote:
I know that I have to create a partition for Linux. Here's the problem. I dont have a huge hard drive. It's 80GB. It is respectable, but if I had a 40GB partition for Linux and 40 for Windows, I would be lacking space in both departments. I'm assuming it's not possible for one OS to retrieve files that the other has in it's partition? I mean, I wouldnt be able to use MP3's I downloaded with Windows in Linux, would I? So therefore I would have to kind of do everything twice.
I have ten gig for linux and that is planty. Remember you will need swap and boot partitions and the like. But those shouldn't take up much space. Linux can read fat32 file systems. So if you have your windows partition in fat32 then you can read and right to that drive in linux. From what I understand NTFS is very questionable


Quote:
Next.. I'm assuming a GUI comes packaged with Mandrake 9.2? If not how do I go about installing one? And if you are still reading this and haven't been turned off by my endless questions and newbness (Hey, it's the only way to learn!), I would appreciate some general advice. I.E. differences from Windows, basic commands I might want to know, etc.
KDE and Gnome should both come packaged with Mandrake.

Quote:
And finally... this isnt really a question at all. I would just like some recommendations. What are the best alternatives for the following.. web browser, ftp program, paint program (similar to PSP if possible), mp3 player, CD burner, CD ripper, file sharing.
I like mozilla for the browser. Gimp for photo editing, XMMS for mp3 player. They should all already be included in the mandrake distro

Thats about all I can help with....


***edited for bracket issues
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:17 PM   #9
Demonbane
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Last time I checked Mandrake 9.2 only has 3 CDs, you don't need the SRPM CD, its the source codes.
The reason why it needs so much CDs is the amount of software packages that comes with it. The full openoffice suite, c compiler, graphics editor/viewers, GUI environments such as KDE/Gnome, heaps of games and much more. Windows basically comes with nothing(unless you consider notepad/wordpad/solitaire etc to be 'something'). IMO in most cases the softwares that comes with the CD will be sufficient for most people, not to mention they're free to begin with. Besides, a minimalistic linux installation can even fit on a floppy disk.
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:19 PM   #10
J.Q. Monkey
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Holy hell, like 5 replys while I was typing mine.....I hate being worthless
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:21 PM   #11
vectordrake
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Choose anything but the easy install and partition the drive yourself. If you wanna share files between OS's do as ryemann suggested. I'll give an example from my (now dead - thank you kids!) 40 gig hard drive. WindowsXP 4G, Mandrake 10G(I knew where I'd be spending my time), Playspace (Where I tried BeOS, etc) 2G, rest FAT32 (about 25g) for files. The only thing you'll miss is password protection of files in the FAT32 partition, as it doesn't do that, like WinXP and Linux. One hint when you partition: make the Mandrake partition use the Reiser file system instead of EXT2. You'll not have to worry about waiting for a 3 or 4 minute fsck (equivalent of scandisk) every 20ish boots and the puter will jump to attention a bit faster.(Its journalled as well, so a power outage won't hose your data, same as XPs NTFS5)
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:22 PM   #12
vectordrake
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9 for me!
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:24 PM   #13
vectordrake
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9.2 includes the 2.6 kernel, doesn't it? It has Radeon drivers installedright in the kernel if so. Good luck
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:28 PM   #14
DrOzz
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quote from mandrake site :
Quote:
Mandrake Linux 9.2, which is based on Linux 2.4.22 (and ready for Linux 2.6.0)
but 2.6.0pre is packed in the contribs.
 
Old 01-08-2004, 11:29 PM   #15
vectordrake
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That'll change very soon. Its in Debian unstable now, so just a matter of weeks, I bet. If no luck now, 3D'll be available for the Radeom folks very very soon from Mandy
 
  


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