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Old 02-16-2008, 12:54 AM   #1
radamsiii
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Help Me Decide, Linux or Not


I have been a windows user since it came out. I do remember the dos bulletin board days though. I am interested in trying out Linux. I have read some about it but have many questions. Mainly will my computer handle running it? I have a Quad Core processor and 2 gig memory but a low end video card. I understand that Linux runs better on a small older computer. Second, do the sites come up as the bulletin boards did or do they have viewable windows? Can you tell I know absolutely nothing about this???
 
Old 02-16-2008, 01:06 AM   #2
roreilly
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Linux tends to run better than windows on older computers, but it also runs VERY well on new hardware.

I have linux on several quad-core systems with anywhere from 4 to 16GB of ram, and it's smoking fast.

Linux is a very powerful and modern system. Some of the window managers have richer and more attractive features than
Windows. KDE & Gnome are the two best known, Compiz is great, and a very attractive desktop manager with many plugins.

The quickest way is go get yourself a live cd like knoppix, boot from the cd, and you'll have linux running in minutes
without installing it. That way you can test drive it without a lot of work. If you decide you like it, just pick a distribution,
download the cd(s) and off you go. Just keep in mind, live-cd's can be a little slow because they are running directly in memory and from the
cd-rom drive.

Good luck.

R.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 01:13 AM   #3
win32sux
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Why are you interested in GNU/Linux? That's probably the main question to ask yourself. That said, you lose nothing by trying a Linux Live CD to see if you like it. Yes, quad core CPUs are fine - GNU/Linux runs better on old hardware when compared to other OSes - not that it prefers old hardware or anything like that.

EDIT: Beaten to the punch by roreilly!
 
Old 02-16-2008, 01:25 AM   #4
radamsiii
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Quote:
Why are you interested in GNU/Linux?
Actually I want to learn to program in a way that will work. Unlike most of the beta testing I have done. I have been told this is the best way to learn, dive in.

I guess with the term “windows managers” that this is nothing like the bulletin boards (all command lines) and more of an application. What I am considering is to use an HDD for Linux, but still keep my windows on the other. What Linux program is the better for a newbie, I have much to learn.

Thank you for your replies
 
Old 02-16-2008, 02:06 AM   #5
billymayday
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If you are going to have a separate HDD for linux, partition it up and try a few distros out.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 02:10 AM   #6
radamsiii
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If you are going to have a separate HDD for linux, partition it up and try a few distros out.
That makes too much since. : ). I guess you can change from one to the other, unlike a windows based program, I like this already.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 02:25 AM   #7
2damncommon
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My advice to you is the same as I just gave here.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 02:25 AM   #8
billymayday
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I'm playing with VirtualBox at the moment, so I can run several distros at once (literally - no rebooting).

Not suggesting you start there, but great fun.

Thoughts on distros would be a mix of "user friendly" vs "hard core" like Ubuntu vs slackware or gentoo, "bleeding edge" such as fedora, gnome vs KDE like CentOS vs Mandriva, etc, to get a feel for what you like.

Main differences are GUI (gnome vs KDE plus others), package management (how you install programs) and cutting edgeness (no such word I guess). It's a matter of personal preference and what you are trying to do that will determine what you go with.

FYI, I run in various forms

OpenSuse
Slackware
Gentoo
Mandriva
Fedora
CentOS (both standard and with Xen virtualisation)
Solaris
plus a raft of live CD's I've tried (or perhaps use for special purposes)

Can't ever have too many version of linux. That said, I spend most time in CentOS, mainly because it's stable, and having started on RedHat, I was familiar with how it worked.

Hope that helps just a little.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #9
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billymayday View Post
partition it up and try a few distros out.
I don't think there's much point. As you learn what you're doing, the differences between distributions will matter a lot less, so whichever you have should be fine. Before you learn what you're doing, installing more than one on your disk drive will dilute your efforts and confuse you.

I did find it very helpful to try the liveCD version of several distributions. That helped me make an informed decision about which I wanted to install. I also want to learn how to use a Linux liveCD as a repair tool for sick Windows computers, so I wanted to see which weird old hardware configurations I could get each liveCD all the way into GUI mode on. You may just want to see how hard (trying a few common boot options if you have trouble at all) it is to get a liveCD into GUI mode on your one system.

I used the liveDVD version of knoppix, which was the easiest to get into GUI mode on problem systems. I assumed liveDVD gave me more software than liveCD, but there really doesn't seem to be much missing from any of the liveCD distributions other than choice of desktop manager. The knoppix liveDVD lets you easily try a bunch of different desktop managers, compared to other distribution liveCDs that have just one desktop manager. I don't know whether choice of multiple desktop managers is a regular feature of knoppix or is special to the liveDVD version. Other distributions don't seem to have liveDVD available for easy download.

I tried all the desktop managers on the knoppix liveDVD and decided I strongly prefer KDE. It lets you do a lot more in GUI mode and much less often forces you to use command mode.

After you install any distribution on your disk, you can change choices such as the desktop manager (as well as installing any packages you want that didn't fit on the liveCD). But I think you'll find things easier if you select a distribution that defaults to the desktop manager that you prefer (assuming you try liveCDs and decide which you prefer).

Knoppix is a good distribution for liveCD or liveDVD as a repair tool on problem computers and as a Linux learning tool. It isn't a good distribution to install on your hard drive.

Before I had tried enough liveCDs to know better, I installed Debian on the disk drive of a strange collection of salvaged computer parts, using a non liveCD installer (minimal boot off of CD that goes over the net to grab and install the required parts of Linux). That worked surprisingly well on a computer where prior to that every liveCD other than knoppix failed. But Debian would have been a lot harder if I hadn't learned a few things using knoppix first. Later I found the Mepis liveCD worked on that computer.

I ended up installing the Mepis distribution on that computer and on my new computer. I found its documentation much better than other distributions (which matters a lot to a newbie). It's extra GUI tools on top of KDE make it even easier to do almost everything in GUI mode. It was also second easiest after knoppix to bring up as a liveCD on a range of problem computers.

Last edited by johnsfine; 02-16-2008 at 10:30 AM.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 04:24 PM   #10
radamsiii
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I have tried multiple times to get this up and running. I did a search for knoppix live DVD and burnt it to DVD. I restarted my computer and it loaded windows. I have my DVD drive set to boot first. What am I doing wrong?

Here is the address I downloaded from http://linux.softpedia.com/progDownl...load-2621.html
 
Old 02-16-2008, 05:00 PM   #11
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radamsiii View Post
I have tried multiple times to get this up and running. I did a search for knoppix live DVD and burnt it to DVD. I restarted my computer and it loaded windows. I have my DVD drive set to boot first. What am I doing wrong?
The only things I can think of are your computer isn't really set to boot DVD first, or you burned the .iso to DVD incorrectly. The later seems more likely.

What program did you use to burn the .iso to DVD and what options did you select in that program?

I used the freeware program ImgBurn for most of the .iso files I've burned to CD or DVD. I think it makes your choices much clearer (vs. Nero and other programs I've used) so you're less likely to accidentally build a new .iso image to write to the media containing (as a data file) the .iso that you should have written. I think that is the common mistake for those not used to writing .iso images to CD or DVD.

In ImgBurn, the mode menu tells you what you're doing. Build mode is for creating .iso images. Write mode is for writing prebuilt .iso images (such as any liveCD or liveDVD) to the CD or DVD.

You can get a decent idea of whether the DVD is correct by looking at it from inside windows. I misplaced my knoppix dvd so I can't tell you exactly what to expect. But I'm looking at my Mepis CD from inside Windows now. In D:/ I see a few folders and a few files. I definitely do not see any .iso file. If there is a .iso file, you made the mistake I suggested above. One of the folders I see is named boot. The knoppix DVD definitely also had one of its folders named boot. When you open the boot folder, there are a few things, one of which is a folder named grub and at least one of which is a file named something like vmlinuz.

Last edited by johnsfine; 02-16-2008 at 05:22 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 06:07 PM   #12
masonm
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You have to use the "burn image" option and not just copy the iso to the medium.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 07:00 PM   #13
radamsiii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
I think that is the common mistake for those not used to writing .iso images to CD or DVD.
Thank you so much. Now that i have that part down, letís work on another. When I booted off the CD this time I received this error message.
Insmod: error inserting Ď/cdrom/knoppix/modules/cloop.koí: -1
Canít find knoppix filesystem, sorr. Dropping you to a (very limited)shell press reset button to quit.


Tried this twice.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 07:04 PM   #14
masonm
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Did you verify the integrity of the download and the burn with the MD5 checksum?
 
Old 02-16-2008, 07:13 PM   #15
radamsiii
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Originally Posted by masonm View Post
Did you verify the integrity of the download and the burn with the MD5 checksum?
Never heard of it but the ImgBurn software did verify
 
  


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