Just Can't Configure Linux..I'd PAY For Someone To Show Me How
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Just Can't Configure Linux..I'd PAY For Someone To Show Me How
About a month after my first Install now. So it's been about a month of nothing. Oh, other than frustration that is.
I installed Slackware 9.1, without too many problems. I got a lot of video/device errors at boot up each time. I finally got my Windows partition recognized under Lilo, that's how I've had internet access at all, using Windows. I got KDE up and running with xf86config, and that's about it.
I have a winmodem, so I couldnt connect to the internet. Recently I bought a new video card (Radeon 9200), mostly to play a game on my Windows partition, but now..I can't use X at all under Linux. I ran xf86config like 90 times to no avail. I found the drivers for Linux at ATI's site, but..yeah right @ installing it. Only comes in RPM, can Slack even USE RPM's? You have to install kernel headers, whatever they are, and however you do..it sounds mighty complicated. Compiling a kernel? HA! It took me enough time to compile a GUI Firewall from source in Linux. Not that I needed it, I can't get online .
I got my sound working atleast, using alsaconfig..it started right up. I found out how to mount my CD and Floppy drives (under KDE, that is) , so I can atleast get files from Windows to Linux. I have no USB support, so I can't use my USB CD-burner or optical mouse. I know I need to update Slackware, for security patches and stuff..but I'm clueless on how to do that..and unless I download them under Windows, save them to a CD, and then go under Linux..I can't download them..cause ya know..the stupid Winmodem problem.
So let's review my frustration:
No USB which I HAVE to have
Can't use KDE, because of video issues..I guess I have to install the drivers
Don't know how to install the drivers, cant even follow the most basic of installation instructions
So, like I said..I'd honestly pay someone to install, configure, and update my system and let me watch while they do it. I have a Linux In A Nutshell book, I've read many many tutorials, and guides..but..I must be missing the layman's guide, or something.
So..the point of this thread would be to either A.) Ask for some assitance in either helping me configure it, B.)Asking for the link to the layman's guide, C.)Asking for direction to where I can find someone to configure it for me and let me learn from them or D.)Asking if I should give up or not.
As a side note, I considered a different distribution, but I'd like to get straight to the good stuff, rather than slowly backing away from Windows by using a similar OS (Mandrake?). I'd really like to learn as much as possible about computers, and Linux is a must-know, atleast for me...so I hope I don't have to take the option D.
Thanks for reading, sorry for bitching so much..just really frustrated at this.
I agree with Tinkster's suggestion about finding a local Linux Users Group (LUG). Some LUGs occasionally even have install fests. The LUG where I live is getting ready for its third install fest. At each install fest several people show up with their old computers wanting to have Linux installed. The install fests usually last for several hours and they sign a disclaimer that releases us from responsibility for what happens. Several of the most experienced members of our club usually do the installing (not me). At most other meetings we just socialize and drink a beer or two.
I have recently moved to Slackware 9.1 and noticed that it did not automatically detect and set-up as much of the hardware for me. I had used Red Hat for about three years before moving to Slack. With Red Hat 9 I once changed video cards and then after rebooting it automatically detected the change and used another driver instead. It also automatically detected some other hardware changes that I made. I stopped using Red Hat because they recently stopped supporting and issuing security updates for their free Red Hat 9 product. With Slackware you would need to be able to learn how to configure more those kinds of things yourself. Slackware also does not automatically configure its firewall for you. By default it also uses security setting that are more appropriate for a file server than for a desktop computer. I had to change the security settings before it would allow me to use a floppy disk or the CD-ROM while logged in as a normal user. Don't get me wrong, Slackware is now my favorite distro but, I hesitate to recommend it to newbies.
Have you considered installing more than one distro. I have several installed on each of my two computers. If you have enough hard disk space you could install something like SuSE or Mandrake and also Slackware. You would then have both easier disto like SuSE and also Slackware. Vector Linux might also be a possibility. I have never used it, their website claims that it is based on Slackware but is easier to configure. Perhaps you could start with a distro like that and then eventually move to Slack after you have more experience. Some of the easier distros are Mandrake, Red Hat, SuSE, Xandros, probably Lycoris and probably Vector Linux. If you do not have enough hard disk space for an extra distro you could add a second hard disk.
Internal winmodems are frequently somewhat hard for a beginner to configure. When I first started using Linux several years ago the first thing that I did was to buy an external serial modem (not an external USB modem). External serial modems are much easier to configure. With an external modem you do not need to install a special driver.
You could try to get help using VNC. If you can't boot into your X windows server then maybe you can use a PC with Windows on it and download RealVNC for it, then find someone who is nice enough to let you connect to their computer and show you how to complete certain tasks. For money, I'm sure you'l find someone who will help you.
Or.. in the other hand you could post here specific questions to specific problems and I am sure there will be people willing to help you.
For instance, your xserver is not working probably because you are modifying the wrong file
To my knowledge xf86config will modify the file /etc/X11/XF86Config, wich has been deprecated. The new configuration file used by the xserver is /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
If you are having a headache installing the new drivers for your video card you can always use a generic VESA in the settings for the meanwhile.
I use Debian so I would be willing to help you in a kernel compilation but I only know the 'Debian way', I could at least help in the configuration using 'make xconfig' though (you would need your Desktop working for this).
Hey, thanks for the suggestions.
I found there are two LUG's near me, one (2 hours away) that do installfests. I'll keep it in mind, for sure.
About XF86Config. I booted into Linux again (have atleast 200 lsmod errors..something i801_rng?), and did everything as usual (mouse, keyboard, refresh rates, etc)..but this time selected Generic VESA Compatable, and when asked to write the file to ect/X11/XF86Config, I put 'n', and continued saying no until asked where to write the file, at this point I tried /ect/X11/xF86Config-4, and..damn, I forgot what the other path was , but it had two directories before /ect/X11, so that may give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Anyways, both times I tried writing it there, I got "file writing failed", or something, and it killed XF86Config.
To my knowledge xf86config will modify the file /etc/X11/XF86Config, wich has been deprecated.
That's not entirely true. If Pose has upped his Slackware to the current branch, then yes, X is now handled by X.org. However, it still reads XF86Config. However, if Pose is working off of a strict 9.1 install, then xf86config is absolutely the way to configure X.
and when asked to write the file to ect/X11/XF86Config, I put 'n', and continued saying no until asked where to write the file
May I ask why? I've always let xf86config put the file in the default location and never had problems.
No USB which I HAVE to have
As far as I know, Slack supports USB out of the box. Why do you think you don't have USB support?
I have just a 'strict' 9.1 install. I tried writing the file to that location, because of the previous posters comment about /ect/X11/XF86Config no longer being valid.
I don't think I have USB support because, well, I see nothing about USB under devices, and I've had no indication that it's functioning.
So, what could my problem be with XF86? I've tried every single video card listed under XF86Config, and everything else is as it's always been. I'll try to post a more accurate error message when I boot Linux up again, if that'd help.
I have another question, now. I just reformatted my HD, and installed XP (on a 10GB partition, leaving 30 for Linux), and I'm about to reinstall Slackware. If Slackware isnt properly functioning, is there a way I can repair my MBR (where I install Lilo) for XP, so that Lilo doesn't run when I turn on my computer?
Oh, and one other thing. How do I find/download/install the Slackware security patches/updates when I get a serial modem? Is there a database that gives you the packages automatically when you connect?
I'm not sure about the security updates, but you'll have plenty of time to figure that out as most things aren't targeting linux. Anyways LILO should work find and find your XP by default, but if for somereason you do want to get rid of it you need to get a Win98SE boot disk from bootdisk.com and in DOS run the command "fdisk /mbr" that will erase LILO and make XP bootable. The Other way would be to make an XP bootdisk and run the command "fixmbr"...the XP bootdisk is a little more hassle and not even called a boot disk...Emergency Repair Disk I think.
The DOS way is much easier and should work. And like I said slack has no trouble autodetecting XP.
The X server config problem is easily solved by running xf86setup (or xorgsetup for -current users) as root. Answer the questions in a nice ncurses interface and hopefully everthing will work out.
To install the ATi drivers search LQ for how to compile them on Slack (I use Nvidia so I can't help there ). You say you need the kernel headers to compile them; they are included on the Slackware CD. Just go for a full install and everything you need will be there.
The winmodem situation is a little tricky because it depends on whether that company provides Linux drivers. You'll probably have to compile them but doing that shouldn't be too difficult.
USB is supported out of the box in Slackware, you just might have to setup more. EThitop's signature has a good tip on the mouse, and the CD-RW you'll probably have to change some symlinks, load modules, etc. (again, search LQ).