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Old 01-06-2010, 12:08 PM   #1
rowane
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How to change OS, which one? and corrupt file system


Firstly, thank you thank you thank you for this forum. I've been trying to manage more or less on my own for 6 months but don't have internet at home (can't get it easily in costa rica). I've long wanted to be MS free but have come to the conclusion that if linux performed like this NO ONE would use it. So I'm going to have to bite the bullet and try to actually understand it. I'll read the tuts etc but if someone could help me i'd be so grateful..

I have an Aspire One running what it came with - Linpus Lite V1.0.13E. Everyone says this isn't a good version of Linux and all the software the build comes with is old, and the configuration is wrong for the flash memory I have in lieu of a hard drive. I mainly use OpenOffice, net apps (firefox,skype) and audacity, and mplayer. I'd probably use Gimp if I could get my system performing ok. And some notation software, not sure what.

So my questions are:
-What system should I run? Ubuntu?
-Can I change over without losing my stuff or do I back up and then reload backups?
-Do I then go and get the apps separately or is there a build that includes the apps like what came with this system?

I'm scared of getting stuck with a non-working system (particularly the net) and being in a country where no one knows Linux and I can't get any help.

To make matters worse my file system has become corrupt and the system won't start reliably. It tells me my 16Gb drive has over 400Gb on it and when I back up there are multiple copies of directories with odd names that can't be copied. So I really need to change before it all falls apart.

Thanks so much for any help, even pointing my where to look. When I do searches for my problems I seem to mostly find questions without good answers to them. Though persistence sometimes finds helpful stuff. Quite often i don't know how to do what the answers suggest.

Cheers

Rowan
 
Old 01-06-2010, 12:15 PM   #2
Dave_Devnull
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1. Ubuntu is probably the 'easiest' Linux there is. You don't need to install it to try it, just boot the livecd and see if you are comfortable with it. I can't speak of the Linpuslite as I've not used it/don't know it.
2. Always back things up regardless.
3. There is a good mix of apps already with Ubuntu, but installing extra programs is usually so easy it laughs in the face of Microsoft. The down side to this is they will normally need to download, which could be an issue as you have no Internet access at home.

HTH
 
Old 01-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
abovett
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Hi Rowan

I'm not familiar with the Aspire One in particular, or with Linpus Linux, but here are my thoughts as a Linux user.

Quote:
What system should I run? Ubuntu?
Everyone has their own opinion on this one but if you want an easy to use system that needs minimal tinkering Ubuntu is as good a choice as any.

Quote:
Can I change over without losing my stuff or do I back up and then reload backups?
Simple answer - back up anyway! It may be possible to reinstall without losing your data (easiest if your /home directory is on a separate partition) but you never know what might go wrong with an upgrade, and if your file system is corrupt you're probably best off reformatting the drive anyway.

Quote:
Do I then go and get the apps separately or is there a build that includes the apps like what came with this system?
Some of the apps you mentioned (OpenOffice, Firefox, Gimp) will be included with most distros (including Ubuntu) and the rest can be easily downloaded and installed.

Quote:
I'm scared of getting stuck with a non-working system (particularly the net)
Have you got a CD drive? If so you can always boot from a live CD (Ubuntu again, or Knoppix, for two obvious choices) to give you a basic working system. If no CD drive some live systems will boot from a flash drive. It should keep you going whilst you get your installed system up and running again, providing you don't need anything too obscure installed for your net access - how do you connect by the way?

Hope that helps

Andy
 
Old 01-06-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
vrmartin2
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Linux on Laptops/Clonezilla

Some sites you might want to check out:

http://www.linux-laptop.net/

http://clonezilla.org/

As far as which Linux: sure Ubuntu is easy, but SUSE (imho) has the best system tools -- something a newbie benefits from the most -- and it has a fantastic look and feel under KDE. It generally integrates system components better too. And if I weren't an open SUSE fan, I'd be a Mandriva fan, but you have to pay money for that.

http://www.opensuse.org/en/
http://www2.mandriva.com/

But getting a live CD to play around with first is a good idea.
 
Old 01-06-2010, 02:20 PM   #5
rowane
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Thanks so much guys - I'm not alone any more!

Good idea about the live cd. The Aspire one is a subnotebook with no cd drive but I may be able to put it on an SD and boot from that. I'll have a look at the Ubuntu site. I think I may have to buy a smaller SD drive as the 16Gb one I have may not be bootable. I think the system my only be able to address 4Gb as a system drive?

Mostly I use wireless to connect to the net but I have also been connecting through a local area net served by a Xp machine over a dialup line. Welcome to Costa Rica in the 2010s!

Cheers

Rowan
 
Old 01-06-2010, 04:16 PM   #6
salasi
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Quote:
-What system should I run? Ubuntu?
-Can I change over without losing my stuff or do I back up and then reload backups?
-Do I then go and get the apps separately or is there a build that includes the apps like what came with this system?
I'm not the world's biggest Ubuntu fan, but there is an Ubuntu Netbook Remix which should be good in this situation.

In any distro intended for a newbie there will be a 'package manager' and using this is the easiest way of getting apps. You click a button and it sorts it out for you, over the net.

Do you have the option of using a wireless hotspot just to get essential applications?

Quote:
I mainly use OpenOffice, net apps (firefox,skype) and audacity, and mplayer. I'd probably use Gimp if I could get my system performing ok.
OO will be available in any case, as will firefox. there are other options to the Gimp (krita, for example), but the ones that are 'lighter' tend to be rather 'dumbed down' in comparison to the real thing.

Quote:
And some notation software, not sure what.
Pass, but have a look at what the package manager offers.

Quote:
To make matters worse my file system has become corrupt and the system won't start reliably. It tells me my 16Gb drive has over 400Gb on it and when I back up there are multiple copies of directories with odd names that can't be copied. So I really need to change before it all falls apart.
Primarily, you need a backup of your /home directory. Try to get that as soon as possible.
 
Old 01-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #7
rowane
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I've just found out the Ubuntu Netbook Remix will take 27 hrs to download at my local wifi!

Thanks for the /home advice Salasi. I'm onto it.
 
Old 01-08-2010, 05:07 AM   #8
salasi
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...in normal circumstances, in addition to /home, you would probably want to backup /etc, because that is likely to contain config files for services that you have configured (I'm not suggesting that you would automatically restore this, but keep the info for reference, in case you had subsequent difficulty configuring a service that had once configured), but in your circumstances I don't think there are likely to be services that you once had configured that you wish to 'clone' and which will work directly on a different distro.

It would be the 'safety first' approach, though, so I probably should have suggested it and carried on to suggest that you wouldn't want to use it.
 
Old 01-08-2010, 06:12 AM   #9
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowane View Post
I've just found out the Ubuntu Netbook Remix will take 27 hrs to download at my local wifi!
Look out for linux magazines (Linux Format, for instance), they give away CDs and DVDs with distros included - you might get lucky.
 
  


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