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cmkennedy124 10-19-2006 12:50 PM

Help with Choice
 
I can't stand Windows and need to know what Linux OS would be best for my two teens and I.

My girls and I like to download music and use Itunes now.
I use a Kodak easy share C310 camera and Printer Dock 3 combo that I got from my husband for Christmas.
My girls like to chat on IMVU.
I use online banking and love Money or Quicken Basic 2007 to download banking statements and use it like a check book.
We have my husbands computer on a network and he uses Windows XP.
We also like to watch DVD's and burn Music/Files on an LG 16X Internal Super Multi DVD/CD rewriter.
Lastly, I like to be able to customize my desktop and download updates for the system and drivers.
I like to have a system that uses all the above or lets me use things like them, uses my camera and printer dock, updates system and drivers, watch DVD's, record CD's with music or data, chat, manage my banking statements/checkbook, and more. I also like anti virus and something to block nasty websites from my kids seeing.
I use OpenOffice right now so that's a fixed issue.
Which Linux is best for me. There are too many to choose from. Is anyone doing all the above on a linux system that is user friendly? If so, which one. Xandros and Linspire do not support my camera. Linspire would not see my husbands computer. Neither would let my kids use IMVU chat program. I have not tried watching movies on either.

What do I do to get away from Windows. Which Linux do I use for this?

drewbug01 10-19-2006 01:30 PM

I had great success with Ubuntu/Kubuntu, although I had to install "libdvdcss2" in order to watch dvd's. With the automatix script for Ubuntu, it was fairly simple to get working.

iTunes: well I haven't found a great replacement, but Amarok and Banshee come close. As far as
connecting to the store, I don't know if thats possible. the iPod is well supported on linux,
however. GTKpod is great for managing it.
IMVU: not supported on linux or mac yet. its still in beta testing for windows.
Husbands PC: I'm not sure how to work it, cause I have never used it, but people rave about SAMBA
for connecting to a windows pc
Quicken: try GNUcash. I'm not personally experienced in it, but it seems good.
Customization: You've found the right OS. linux is easily the most customizable OS that I have ever
used. If you run KDE, check out http://kde-look.org
if you choose to run GNOME. check out http://gnome-look.org. BTW, KDE and GNOME are just different desktop environments. KDE feels similar to Windows, and GNOME feels similar to a mac. There are alternatives to those two, though.
Burning CD/DVD's: Easily accomlished. GnomeBaker is simple to use, and there are many others.
Camera: I don't know exactly what to tell you there. the dock MAY not be supported. However,
purchasing a memory card reader will probaby work just fine.
Anti-virus: Not really needed, but there is ClamAV
Internet Filter: i ran a google search and found DansGuardian. Not sure if Kubuntu will have a
package for it, but I'm sure there will be something similar.
Updating System: Ubuntu/Kubuntu makes it ridiculously simple. However its not hard on any
distribution

Over all I recommend Ubuntu or Kubuntu, as they are both easy to use and stable. However, if you choose another distribution, all of the above should be able to work.

this distro chooser couldn't hurt

--Drew

cmkennedy124 10-19-2006 02:14 PM

Thanks, I never thought of a Memory Card Reader *hits head*. I think I can print pictures from the camera using the printer dock without having it hooked to the PC. I will try that as well and buy a memory card reader for the PC. Are there any you know of that work with Ubuntu/Linux well?

I looked at both Ubuntu and Kubuntu and am downloading the Ubuntu 6.06 iso right now.

My husband is also asking about Dual Core and if it is supported. He and I want to update my whole PC and put a dual core processor in it. What will we need to do to make this work?

My kids said they can live without the IMVU and just use their website for posting and whatnot. Both my teen girls said that Linux "looks cool" so that's a plus.

Thanks for the reply.

Christina

drewbug01 10-20-2006 11:48 AM

The Linuxquestions.org hardware compatability list had a Memorex universal card reader for ~$23. The reviewer gave it a 10.0, althought thats not a guarantee that it will work. Should though.

Ok, as for dualcore, I know it IS supported, and hopefully Ubuntu should automatically detect it. Once you install it, I would honestly advise posting in a diff. forum. I've never had one before :-)

And you're welcome for the reply, I don't mind!

greengrocer 10-20-2006 10:21 PM

Hi Christina,

Welcome to LinuxQuestions

First, congratulations on taking the first steps away from Windows and Welcome to the Linux Community in general.


I recommend that you should try Ubuntu aswell. I am using Ubuntu and found it to be the easiest to setup of the Linux distributions that I have tried.

If you run into any difficulties with Linux, do not get disheartened as there are people here who can help you work through them.

I say this because I have seen people go back to Window$ because they think Linux is difficult (essentially it is only because it is new to them and they failed to spend a little time initially).

What you will find is that after you have spent a few months using and learning Linux you will get the hang of it and you will never go back to Windows.

I suggest you also read Linux is not Windows article at http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

I beleive the above article is an essential read for those who are just starting out with Linux as it helps with the mindset.


As far as the dual core question is concerned, you can test your husbands PC with an Ubuntu Live CD and see if it boots. If the Live CD boots then you should be able to get it all working if you were to install it.

I did find that Ubuntu 5.4 and 6.06 live CDs will not boot on a new HP dx7300 desktop with Pentium D Dual Core, a Kernel Panic results. However Ubuntu is supposed to work with Dual Core. So my advice is to try the Live CD first. The Live CD will not affect Windows in any way as it is running from the CD, not your hard disk.

craigevil 10-20-2006 10:26 PM

Your best bet is to download a few Livecds, you can run them without installing or touching your existing system.

I would try PCLinuxOS, Kanotix, Knoppix, Ubuntu for starters.

FrozenTech's LiveCD List
http://www.livecdlist.com/

If things work with a Livecd then you can install that particular distro to your hd, you can even dual boot so you don't lose windows.

cmkennedy124 10-21-2006 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drewbug01
The Linuxquestions.org had a Memorex universal card reader for ~$23. The reviewer gave it a 10.0, althought thats not a guarantee that it will work. Should though.

Ok, as for dualcore, I know it IS supported, and hopefully Ubuntu should automatically detect it. Once you install it, I would honestly advise posting in a diff. forum. I've never had one before :-)

And you're welcome for the reply, I don't mind!

We planned on updating the systems in Feb or March with our tax refund. Thanks for the link for the hardware compatability list; we will look at this when updating the computer.

Christina

cmkennedy124 10-21-2006 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greengrocer
Hi Christina,

Welcome to LinuxQuestions

First, congratulations on taking the first steps away from Windows and Welcome to the Linux Community in general.


I recommend that you should try Ubuntu aswell. I am using Ubuntu and found it to be the easiest to setup of the Linux distributions that I have tried.

If you run into any difficulties with Linux, do not get disheartened as there are people here who can help you work through them.

I say this because I have seen people go back to Window$ because they think Linux is difficult (essentially it is only because it is new to them and they failed to spend a little time initially).

What you will find is that after you have spent a few months using and learning Linux you will get the hang of it and you will never go back to Windows.

I suggest you also read Linux is not Windows article at http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

I beleive the above article is an essential read for those who are just starting out with Linux as it helps with the mindset.


As far as the dual core question is concerned, you can test your husbands PC with an Ubuntu Live CD and see if it boots. If the Live CD boots then you should be able to get it all working if you were to install it.

I did find that Ubuntu 5.4 and 6.06 live CDs will not boot on a new HP dx7300 desktop with Pentium D Dual Core, a Kernel Panic results. However Ubuntu is supposed to work with Dual Core. So my advice is to try the Live CD first. The Live CD will not affect Windows in any way as it is running from the CD, not your hard disk.

Thanks, I tried a CD Rom boot for Kubuntu and Ubuntu and stuck with Ubuntu as my choice; it had more software to choose from.

I am having a few problems though.
First, I can see my husband's Windows XP computer on my network and can even get into files but, he can't see me. I used Samba. Is there a trick to this?

Second, I have a lot of music I bought off of Itunes and Windows Media Player that I can't get to play with any of the choices for music players on Ubuntu. Any tips here or am I out of luck? If there a player like Itunes for Ubuntu for my kids and I?

Lastly, I am running 3.0 DSL and mail/internet seems to be VERY slow. How do I tweek this??

I, at first, could not play a DVD but fingured this out in the package manager; I needed to check off a few things missing for the player to work. I just can't figure out the rest.

All-in-all Ubuntu is just what I was looking for and I am so happy to have come here to find it. No more paying hundreds for Windows software and Anti-Virus, no more lock ups, and no more fixing Windows problems; defrag; or clearning junk files (do you do that in Ubuntu?).

Thanks for the help,

Christina

greengrocer 10-21-2006 08:09 PM

Hi Christina,

Regarding Samba, I am certain that is the software you need to use in order for Linux to share its files with Windows computers on your local area network. However, I have never used or configured Samba so I personally cannot assist on that point, someone who can is bound to visit this thread at some point. If not, post a new thread with the word "Samba" in the title and someone fluent with Samba will spot it and answer.


Regarding playing audio media like WMA, and MP3 files, you will need to install the codecs. For Ubuntu this is relatively easy.

Open a terminal (command line) window and enter the following two lines:

wget -c http://packages.freecontrib.org/ubun...1plf1_i386.deb

sudo dpkg -i w32codecs_20060611-1plf1_i386.deb


The first command fetches the win32codecs package and the second command will install that package. You will need to enter your password after you give the second command.


The next thing I would do is install all of the Gstreamer plugs in for your system. If you open the Synaptic Package Manager (click System, Administration and then Synaptic Package Manager) and then within the Synaptic program find the Gstreamer packages. I usually mark them all and then install the lot of them which will cover as many of the possibilities there are for gstreamer based media players.


The next thing I do, is I install additional media players such as xine and Mplayer.

Installing Xine is a piece of cake, as all you need to fetch is the xine-ui package, you can do this within the Synaptic Package Manager or you can type the following into a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install xine-ui


For Mplayer, it is a little more complicated, you will need to visit :

http://www4.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/design7/dload.html

and download it from there. You should search here at LQ for specific assistance on how to get Mplayer to work (i found it a bit of a pain but not enough to loose hair or sleep over).

There are also additional codecs that you can get at the mplayerhq link I posted above.


I hope this helps out. I think its a start for you anyway.

Regards,
Greenie

greengrocer 10-21-2006 08:32 PM

For the DVD playback issue, I like to use Xine to play DVDs but after installing Xine there are two things you must do in order for DVD to work nicely.

The first thing is to get the CSS library which tells Xine how to work with the security mechanisms of a DVD movie. (Basically DVD movies have a security mechanism which only players who have been licenced normally know how to deal with).

To get the css library, you need to visit:

http://packages.freecontrib.org/ubun...s/dapper/free/

and download the "libdvdcss2_1.2.9-lplf4_i386.deb" package. then cd to the directory where you saved the downloaded file and install it using the command:

sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.9-1plf4_i386.deb

** Keep the above libdvdcss library file archived for your own use when ever you need it, I have noticed that some websites that used to have this file have had to remove it for legal reasons.


The next thing to do is try and play a DVD movie. If the playback is chpppy, then you may need to enable DMA for your DVD drive. To do this, enter this command into a terminal window:

sudo hdparm -d1 -dma -c1 /dev/dvd

Then try and play the DVD again. If playback of the movie is improved then you will want this command run everytime your system boots (saves you having to use the command each time you want to play a DVD movie).

So, to switch DMA on for your DVD drive every time Linux boots, use the following commands in a terminal window:

cd /etc/init.d

sudo pico bootmisc.sh (this command will bring the file into the "pico" file editor)


scroll down to the end of the file and insert the following as the second last line (above : exit 0).

hdparm -d1 -dma -c1 /dev/dvd

save the file using CTRL+O and then exit the editor CTRL+X

and your done.

Good luck,
Greenie

craigevil 10-22-2006 02:53 AM

"Unofficial Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) Starter Guide"
http://easylinux.info/wiki/Ubuntu_dapper

UserDocumentation - Community Ubuntu Documentation
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UserDocumentation

Documentation for Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake)
https://help.ubuntu.com/

The above links especially the first one should give you everything you need to get the most out of Ubuntu. Good luck and welcome to the fun world of Linux.

DeusExLinux 10-22-2006 11:17 AM

A side note on the dual core that people are forgetting...

In order to get the dual core to work properly and take advantage of all your chip has to offer you need to either download and use, or compile yourself, a SMP kernel (symmetric multi-processor).

If ubuntu doesn't have one, you should be able to do this by downloading and compiling a kernel from kernel.org. It's a big step, but a custom compiled kerenel is always a plus. :) By the way, I use Arch. While it doesn't have all the fancy GUI config tools as ubuntu, I feel it is easier to config and use (plus I like the package manager pacman much more than apt-get).

chrism01 10-22-2006 09:16 PM

To check if your kernel is SMP (multi-core) enabled, open a terminal window and enter:
uname -a
and you'll get something like:
Linux mybox 2.6.10-1.770_FC3smp #1 SMP Thu Feb 24 14:20:06 EST 2005 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
Look for the letters 'smp' and/or 'SMP' as in the above example.


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