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Old 09-06-2003, 04:27 PM   #1
Aeon
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Jumping Into Linux- Some Newbie Questions


I installed Linux Mandrake 9.1 on my laptop, and given an upgrade in Ram I recently performed, it runs somewhat smoothely.

I do have some questions however:
1) Is there a way I can make a default user have root privilidges or root abilities? I currently have root set up without a password.

2) Is there a way to actually run stuff without the command prompt? I tried to run a tar.gz file with GZIP, and double clicking on the file. The only thing that happened was it loaded, but then just didn't appear at all. I was however able to uncompress it at the command promt. Also, I am not able to run binary files. Double Clicking on them, they don't load at all.
At first I thought this was because I did not have root privilidges, but even using file manager with root power nothing happens. I can however run them using the command prompt.

3) HDPARM. I tried running a HDPARM command to speed up my hard drive but I am not able to actually convert it. I always get an error that is something like NO Permission. I searched around the forum but all I found was that i would have to recompile the Kernel. If you need more info about this problem I will post it.

4) Enough with the Dependencies! It's fine when I need to install or uninstall from a disk with Mandrake, as the dependencies get automatically installed, but when I download a file off the internet, I have to actually manually install each file. Is there a way to run a command to automatically download dependecies?

Luckily, I know I am few of many newbies, I was able to set up my sound card, internet connection and everything else. I really would like to keep Linux on my laptop, but if I cannot sort out these problems I might as well resort to M$.
 
Old 09-06-2003, 04:35 PM   #2
DrOzz
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1-) its not a good thing to be running as root, let alone running as root without a password....so i first suggest you set a password on your root account, and then make a normal user account using useradd and then you can look into sudo to give normal users access to some of your commonly used root commands if you like.

2-) when you have a tar.gz file you open a terminal and type:
tar -zxvf filename.tar.gz
cd into extracted directory and then type::
./configure
make
su -c "make install"
type root password


3-) when you are trying to set things think 32bit and dma on harddrives/cdroms sometimes it will say permission denied, even as root, so what you will do is type that command into a startup file, it could be your rc.local or rc.sysinit, and upon bootup it will pass that command you want to use...so for example if you wanted to enable dma for /dev/hda you could add:
hdparm -d1 /dev/hda to the startup file you choose....

4-) well when it comes to dependancies i use apt-get as all i have to type for example if i wanted mplayer would be :
apt-get install mplayer and it will install both the mplayer progarm plus all its dependancies....i think there is something more popular for the mandrake aspect which i think its called urpmi.... someone can confirm or correct me on that, as i don't use mandrake at the present time, so i am a little fuzzy on that....but i am 99% positive that apt-get will run fine on mandrake also, if you wanted to look into that anyways....
so i think i covered anything, if there is anything else, or anything i missed, just ask away
 
Old 09-06-2003, 04:36 PM   #3
Mara
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Re: Jumping Into Linux- Some Newbie Questions

Quote:
Originally posted by Aeon

1) Is there a way I can make a default user have root privilidges or root abilities? I currently have root set up without a password.
You can add your main user to the 'root' group and it should work in most cases (from the security point of view, it's a bad idea, the same as having root password empty ). You can also configure 'sudo' to give your main user certain permissions. There are different possibilities. It's hard to say without knowing why you need the permissions.

Quote:
2) Is there a way to actually run stuff without the command prompt? I tried to run a tar.gz file with GZIP, and double clicking on the file. The only thing that happened was it loaded, but then just didn't appear at all. I was however able to uncompress it at the command promt. Also, I am not able to run binary files. Double Clicking on them, they don't load at all.
At first I thought this was because I did not have root privilidges, but even using file manager with root power nothing happens. I can however run them using the command prompt.
In KDE, yes. Double click on a .tar.gz should start Ark. Which window manager do you use?

Quote:
4) Enough with the Dependencies! It's fine when I need to install or uninstall from a disk with Mandrake, as the dependencies get automatically installed, but when I download a file off the internet, I have to actually manually install each file. Is there a way to run a command to automatically download dependecies?
Before downloading, look, maybe the program is included into Mandrake Cooker. Then you con install it with urpmi.
 
Old 09-07-2003, 09:15 PM   #4
Aeon
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Well Okay. After ranting, a cpl of nights rest, and some renewed faith in Linux, I reinstalled Mandrake as I went nuts uninstalling some stuff:

Here are the specs of my PC:
Laptop:
Compaq Presario 1235
Ram: 96 MB
CPU:
AMD K-6/266Mhz
Display:
12.1 inch HPA with a NeoMagic128 suppling 2 Megs of power with 800x600 resolution.
Storage:
4.x Gig harddrive.
Removable Media:
1.44Mbyte Floppy drive & 24x Cdrom
Sound System:
ES 1869 (Claims SoundBlaster compatibility)
Input/Output:
Touchpad with 2 buttons, 88(?) Key Keyboard.

I am currently running KDE 3.1 as my window manager. Yes, I know my specs might not be perfect, but hey, I really want to run it.

Here is my HDPARM output:
/dev/hda:
Timing buffer-cache reads: 128 MB in 4.18 seconds =30.62 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 17.43 seconds = 3.67 MB/sec

I cannot enable DMA as it gives me a permission denied warning. I heard this can really speed up Linux. If there is a way to configure DMA at startup, how would I go about doing so?

Besides disabling start up services, or running a different graphic manager, is there a way to speed up KDE/Mandrake somewhat?
 
Old 09-08-2003, 06:12 AM   #5
Mara
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All hdparm modifications must be done as root. Not sure if you can get much from DMA, probably it's on...But check it.

KDE is hard to speed up. It works faster when it's compiled from source, but it takes much time (approx a week on your machine, so it's rather not an option).
 
Old 09-08-2003, 07:19 AM   #6
crashmeister
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You wont get that speeded up.The RAM you got in there is definitely the absolute minimum for gui stuff.You could try gnome - supposedly eats a little less resources.
 
Old 09-08-2003, 05:16 PM   #7
Aeon
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Well, I know that I may be scratching the requirements for the GUI and hardware and Ram and what not, but what I would really like would be some advice HOW to speed up if at all possible, HOW to resolve problems and not WHY I can't or shouldn't or better not.

Truth me told, I still have some faith in Linux. I heard great things, and it has a lot of potential. I myself like it, I really do. But when I encounter so many problems that I can't run a machine properly, when I can't run programs properly, and post for help to recieve a reply from the "great linux community" and get shot down with WHY I shouldn't do this and that, it really frustrates me.

I am more than willing to give linux a chance, downloading various distros until I find my "flavor". But if I can't even fix some of the greatest problems I have, how can I even consider using it as an OS, never mind as a main OS.

I apologize if this was more of rant than anything else, and I apologize if I seem a selfless MS brat. But it's all I know, and I truly am willing to learn. Yet, how can I when I get shot down every time
 
Old 09-08-2003, 07:44 PM   #8
Aeon
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Well, I tried to install Vector Linux Soho, and the mandrake linux installer just pops up. Well, I guess I'll just have to go back to Windows.
The hardware reqs are just to high for a decent graphical interface.
 
Old 09-08-2003, 07:45 PM   #9
Abe_the_Man
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To speed up your gui you can try fluxbox or ice, i hear they are supposed to be much faster (though i haven't tried them myself, been to busy). I don't know the urls, so just google for them. As for distros, you may want to check ou gentoo. It's really cool, although it is a BITCH to install (but the 30 page instal guide does help[make sure you know your hardware!]). But don't take my word for any of this, try it out for yourself. That's why linux is great. Mix and Match.
 
Old 09-08-2003, 11:06 PM   #10
Scruff
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I would like to know just what version of windows you were running on 266mhz/96mb?? Mandrake 9.1 with the new KDE are every bit as cpu/ram intense as Windows XP. Why shouldn't they be? It looks as good (or better), and has as even more great features. It is not that people are trying to shoot you down, it is a mathematical certainty that your system will be slow as hell running that combination with that hardware. Period. I mean seriously, I boot up @ 100mb in Mandrake, and 120mb in Win XP.

If you want to come over to reality and see what Linux might be able to do for you, forget about all that eye candy on that machine, and check out some lighter window managers like Blackbox, or WindowMaker (both included in the Mandrake distro). Nothing you can do will allow you to efficiently run apps in KDE 3.x with those specs man, sorry. No sense getting aggravated about it cause Linux has many other choices to suit many different needs
 
Old 09-09-2003, 04:52 PM   #11
Aeon
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Well it's not that KDE doesn't run at all, because it does and fairly well. My only beef was whether I could speed it up. And yes, I admit my system is below par and crappy and what not, but I am not about to try out Linux on a serious system. Right now, I just want to play around with it. I realize that I should run it on more capable hardware, but all I asked was if there was a way I could run HDPARM, and if it helps to speed up.

However, people are quick to point out my lacking hardware.

As for Blackbox and Window maker, well...I am not very impressed. They're like rectangles with a white border for crying out loud! I want a graphical interface for mandrake, a clean looking one.

I would like to know where the hardware req's are for KDE, as I can see them nowhere.

As for my pc, i'll keep mandrake and KDE just to mess around, while boot in ICE WM when I need to do any serious work.

I was using Win 98 SE. Somehow, I feel that linux was never intended to be graphical at all, so it has to run all these programs to allow it to have an interface that Microsoft already has "built in".

I like experimenting with it, but I am defenitly not ready to make the full conversion to Linux.
 
Old 09-09-2003, 05:22 PM   #12
Scruff
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I don't know... I don't think anyone is trying to point out that you have crappy hardware. Lots of people here run Linux on old PII's and stuff. Thats the beauty of Linux, you can use it on almost anything! But, the people who run it on older hardware such as yourself use either very light window managers, or the command line. Take a look through this thread: .Screen Shots and see how many very cool looking things are being done with Blackbox, etc. I am currently looking for an early PIII laptop that I plan to use Linux/Blackbox on so I can be mobile @ a decent price. It all comes down to having reasonable expectations.

The GUI you see in Windows is just an app running over the Windows kernel just as the GUI in linux. The Windows kernel loads at boot, and that in turn loads the GUI. It is just implemented a little more seamlessly, but then M$ has had 1000's of developers getting paid 6+ figures round the clock to develope it since the dark ages of computing. A lot of people writing code for the apps we all use in Linux make nothing for their work
 
Old 09-10-2003, 05:00 PM   #13
Aeon
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Well, I tried installing Blackbox, Window Maker and Gnome, and even though they all seemed "lighter" at least graphically, I didn't notice any improvement in speed. So, I guess I'll settle with KDE, experimenting a bit and such.
Does anyone know where I can find a description of the Mandrake Services that run at start up and whether one needs them or not?
 
  


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