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At the moment I'm running a P4 2 ghz with maxtor 40gb hhd, 256 ram
mobo asus p4b266, a hercules prophet 4000tx graphic card, with a speedtouch 330 adsl modem (usb), soundcard builtin c-media.
I've heard a lot about linux, I've done some research on it, but it has made me even more confused. So hopefully someone can help me here.
I have no ideal what linux involves, I know that it comes in several guises, so which would be the best for me to start. even though I have broaadband a concideration is download time.
and any other helpfull imformation, pitfuls extra
i would like to give linux a go, mainly to see if I can do it, but at the moment I scred because there is a lot of lingo that I don't understand.
P.s I've checked that my mobo does have the linux drivers included, also I can down load driver for graphics card. Haven't checked hhd yet (not sure if I need them for this ?) so please help, but take it easy with the lingo
I've done some research on it, but it has made me even more confused.
Been there! Probably the way everyone feels when they start. Try Knoppix. You can download the iso ( a file you can burn to a cd) or you can just buy the cd. This is a full Linux distro that stays on the cdrom. You don't have to install anything. You can get familiar with Linux this way without having to tackle the install as a total n00b.
Give yourself a fair chance to get familiar with the wonderful world of Linux. And most of all, have fun!
I would say go with pilotgi's suggestion of Knoppix. Make sure when you burn it you choose an option of burn from cd image instead of just putting the file on the disc. If you think you like linux from there I would suggest starting out with an easy to distro such as Mandrake 9.1
The best flavours to start with is probably Redhat, Mandrake or SuSE Linux, they are very easy to install and you should have no problems. If you have two computers you could even look at a website that explains step by step the installation process, or buy a good book.
Also you can ask here about any problems you may encounter along the way! The best thing is just to TRY IT!!
Don't worry about all the lingo! that's part of the fun!
Are you going to have Linux as the main operating system or do you want to duel boot and keep XP?
Mandrake9.1 would be the best choise for a beginner. Dont go with RedHat, because the vital compiler libraries are broken, as is KDE, the most popular Desktop Environment.
Mandrake Power Packs are worth the extra bit if you can afford it, they have lots of non-free software, and also have nice things like fonts and graphics card drivers pre-configured more than normal 9.1 or other distroes it seems.
Can we please stop it with the "Red Hat is broken" garbage? LOTS of developers and end users use Red Hat full time around here.
I don't know what you're talking about with "vital compiler libraries". They all work fine here, and I've not heard anything about this before. I think you have misunderstood something you've been told.
As for "they broke KDE", this has been done to death on other sites, and is basically 99% hot air from KDE fanboys and a few of the less mature developers. Red Hat is a great choice for newbies, it's certainly one of the most polished desktops out there today, yes, including Mandrake with KDE.
I understand that the RedHat team took a development snapshot of the GCC compiler, thinking it would be basically the release candidate, and based their system on it. Turns out there was a problem with it, and that also makes upgrading to a newer gcc problematic.
They also made changes to KDE which will not be carried back into the source (read: useless and broke things) and installing a newer KDE on redhat is also problematic, such that there is a project on sourceforge dedicated to producing actual working rpm packages and help to avoid this.
It is by no means as bug free as other distros.
Yes, they did take a snapshot of gcc 2.96, however they had valid reasons for doing this. The only thing it broke was the C++ ABI, which was going to be broken by gcc 3 anyway, and as there are already huge numbers of binary portability problems this is moot. MPlayer bitched about it a lot, until the "gcc 2.96 problem" was shown to be a typo in their assembler.
Turns out there was a problem with it, and that also makes upgrading to a newer gcc problematic.
No more so than uprading from 2.95 to 3.2, which also broke the C++ ABI, as well as tightening the rules for C++ compilation. Basically, this is not a Red Hat issue, it's a gcc issue which affects all Linux distros.
They also made changes to KDE which will not be carried back into the source (read: useless and broke things)
Sorry, you are badly informed. The changes Red Hat have made to KDE fall into the following categories:
* Better integration. KDE as a project mostly cares about integration with itself. Red Hat care about integration between every aspect of their distro. Things like the BlueCurve theme, menu reorgansations etc do not interest KDE generally.
* New features - things like getting Qt running properly with fontconfig was a major piece of work. Red Hat 8 is widely regarded as the first distro to have non-sucky fonts, this was a major part of the reason.
* Better standards support. KDE as shipped in 3.1 is still lacking support for several standardised and agreed upon protocols and file formats. Things like XSETTINGS, vFolder menus etc. KDE as shipped in 3.0 didn't have support for the XEMBED system tray protocol either. Red Hat added these, however the KDE team have decided to reimplement some of these things in a manner more to their liking (for whatever reason).
These changes are hardly useless, in fact they have either been copied by say Mandrake (ie Galaxy) or are being merged into KDE itself.
installing a newer KDE on redhat is also problematic
Installing a new desktop into an older distro is always problematic if you want to get the same level of integration - installing GNOME 2.2 onto SuSE wasn't exactly a piece of cake either. Nonetheless, every 6 months Red Hat produce a new distro with the latest KDE. So this point is really invalid - the only distros that make it easy to upgrade such things are Gentoo and Debian which have far more loosely defined concepts of distro versions anyway.
Please, if you're going to slag something off, at least know what you're talking about.
That's fine, just remember that all is not always as it seems
Also for some reason there is a vocal minority who really dislike red hat, presumably because they are by far and away the most popular (in terms of numbers) distro out there today. It's a shame that people attack one of their own in this way.... history shows that Red Hat are usually right, though it may not seem like it a the time.
Well no matter, as long as you understand how it is now