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Old 04-09-2005, 09:28 PM   #1
Michael_C15
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Mandrake Linux


Hello, Im new to linux and would like to try out Mandrake 10.1 i think it is. I would like to now if its compatible with my system and how to dual boot with Windows XP.

Dell Dimension 8400
Windows XP
Pentium 4 - 3.60Ghz
1GB DDR2 533Mhz
71GB SATA Harddrive
Intel 925X Chipset
Onboard Ethernet Card
Nvidia 6800GT

Thats all i can think of at the moment if you need more info please ask.

Last edited by Michael_C15; 04-09-2005 at 09:29 PM.
 
Old 04-09-2005, 11:57 PM   #2
bigrigdriver
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For hardware compatibility issues, read the Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO.
For Lin/Win dual boot issues, search these forums. That kind of questions comes up almost every day.
 
Old 04-10-2005, 05:06 AM   #3
heema
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when you install mandrake it will detect windows and it will install a bootloader so that you could choose which OS do you want to boot to
 
Old 04-10-2005, 05:23 AM   #4
samael26
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Hi,
Before you install anything, there is a version of Mandrake, it is called a live CD. It runs on RAM only
and allows you to see if your hardware is properly detected. Just boot on it, that means hitting F12 or whatever key is set to boot options, choose boot from cd-rom . With your specs it should run like a breeze (I also have a Dell, but Dimension 2400 with same processor and Ram). You should try it first before anything else.
Go to Mandrakeclub.com (now Mandriva) for further info.
Cheers

The NVidia card should be a bit of a problem (make sure you get the appropriate drivers)

Last edited by samael26; 04-10-2005 at 05:25 AM.
 
Old 04-10-2005, 05:24 AM   #5
bigjohn
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Personally, I usually recommend (from experience) that I might be a good move to see if you can afford "boxed set" discs from mandrake to start with, because it has proprietary things (specifically the nvidia driver) preconfigured and "ready to go".

Sure, it's not so difficult to install the driver, but it could make you initial linux experience more straight forward to start with.

Mandrake has a partitioning facility that should work ok with your system, if you already have some space on your hdd for it, then even better. for ease of use/understanding/room to do stuff, the full version of mandrake takes up about 3 cd's/about 3 gigs, but you'd have to have some room to "work" in, so it's up to you, but my initial partition was a nice round 10 gigs and it worked well with that.

There's lots of things that are "choice" based, and also depend on how much research you are prepared to do before you start getting ready to install "it".

Like, the nvidia driver issuer already mentioned (they're free, but they are proprietary - but still have just about the best linux support, see the nvidia site for more info). Also, if you have the space, it's often a good idea to have a seperate /root and /home partition, but it can make things a little more confusing when you start - but there are good reasons for this if you feel that you are gonna want to have a "proper" go at linux.

There's also the issue of how you connect to the internet. If you have dialup, then you'll want to check the winmodems site, to make sure that there is a driver available for your system (especially if the modem is internal).

You should be able to just have the 1 partition to start with, and install the distro there, then accept all the defaults. If this is happening on 1 hard drive, then you should be able to look into your windows install without any trouble and then you can usually drag/drop any stuff from the windows partition to the linux one (the other way, is a different issue). But if you have connection problems, you can get stuff from the web (modem drivers, nvidia driver etc etc) under windows, then drag/drop (though this might have to be done as root/sys admin account).

Hope that helps some, and points you in the right direction.

Good luck

regards

John
 
Old 04-10-2005, 06:57 AM   #6
thomas56
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mandrake install /partitioning

Hi, I'm another newbie who had a similar problem, I downloaded the iso files burnt them to 3 CD's and used the partitioning included in the installation disc to divide my 30 GB into two 15GB's, the installation was a breeze. I would have to agree with Bigjohn the bought CD's would make installation easier, I'm not familiar with command line text commands and downloading drivers is a little terrifying!. I have an Optima Centoris C series laptop, the CD recognised my Synaptics touchpad during installation. Welcome to Linux, hope you get it all working. Cheers Thomas56
 
Old 04-10-2005, 11:52 AM   #7
Michael_C15
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Well i dont know about buying the Boxed set but i did download the DVD ISO which is about 2gigs Is that good or should i have went with the 3 CD's? How much space is needed to install linux?
Thank you all very much for your help.
 
Old 04-10-2005, 12:25 PM   #8
masonm
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The DVD is fine. As far as how much disk space, that just depends on how much stuff you want to install. I'd recommend at least 10Gb, but that's pretty much up to you and how how much free space you have available.

Just remember, the more space you allocate for your Linux install, the more stuff you can actually install. Basic common sense.
 
Old 04-10-2005, 04:24 PM   #9
Michael_C15
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Quote:
Like, the nvidia driver issuer already mentioned (they're free, but they are proprietary - but still have just about the best linux support, see the nvidia site for more info). Also, if you have the space, it's often a good idea to have a seperate /root and /home partition, but it can make things a little more confusing when you start - but there are good reasons for this if you feel that you are gonna want to have a "proper" go at linux.
What do you mean a /root and /home partition?
 
Old 04-10-2005, 05:21 PM   #10
bigjohn
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Well, for example, my fstab (/etc/fstab), which I believe means file system table, looks like this

Quote:
/dev/hda1 /mnt/windows ntfs defaults,ro 0 3
/dev/hda2 /boot ext3 noauto,noatime 1 2
/dev/hda5 / reiserfs noatime 0 1
/dev/hda6 /home reiserfs noatime,user,exec 0 2
/dev/hda7 /mnt/fat32 vfat user,rw,exec,uid=1000,gid=1000 0 0
/dev/hda3 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/cdroms/cdrom0 /mnt/cdrom iso9660 noauto,ro,user 0 0
#/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto 0 0

# NOTE: The next line is critical for boot!
none /proc proc defaults 0 0

# glibc 2.2 and above expects tmpfs to be mounted at /dev/shm for
# POSIX shared memory (shm_open, shm_unlink).
# (tmpfs is a dynamically expandable/shrinkable ramdisk, and will
# use almost no memory if not populated with files)
# Adding the following line to /etc/fstab should take care of this:

none /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
It shows that I have a single hard drive, called /dev/hda, split into partitions (for the moment, it doesn't matter what size they are). It is showing that the first part (/dev/hda1) is my windows partition.

Then you'll notice the rest is /dev/hda's 2 to 7, excluding 4, but that's because of some partitioning issue whereby, you can only have 4 actual primary partitions, but what I did, was to make the last (what should have been the 4th) primary partition extended. Then the 5, 6 and 7 are logical partitions i.e. the 4th primary split up (and yes it can be done easily with linux, but I used partition magic 8, just because I had a copy and had used it before).

Don't worry about most of this, it's just explainatory info, mandrake would do most of it for you.

But, the idea/suggestion is this, when you install a linux distro, you install it to the /root partition (which in my case is /dev/hda5). It's show in my fstab by just a / sign. But my actual work space for my user account is in the /home partition.

The reason for that, is so that any data/files/personalisations etc that I do, stay in the /home. This means that if I wanted, I can just install a completely different distro into the /root partition, and provided that I install all the same software packages that I've done stuff with and don't touch/meddle/reformat/anything the /home partition, then I can just carry on from before. Otherwise I'd loose all data, email address book stuff, files, customisations etc etc.

Sure, I could probably learn how to back it up properly (which I should really do), but I can just get away with things just as they are, so it's quite easy.

Whereas, if I had installed onto one partition (which coincidentally, I couldn't do with gentoo, but that's just a distro thing), if I then wanted to try a different distro, I'd loose all my data. Because under that scheme, the /home is just a user files location, but it lives inside the /root partition. So the re (or new) install would have overwritten the lot.

it just so happens that with gentoo (which isn't really a newbie distro, even though the instructions for install/handbook are quite good/clear) it has a default partitioning scheme that requires /boot, /swap and /root (the default scheme has the /home stuff within the /root, but I already had a seperate /home, so I just had to show that in the fstab and I could do things that way).

About the only thing you probably couldn't do with mandrake all put into one partition, is to produce files/data etc etc and then move it to the windows partition if you XP (or whatever) is formatted as NTFS. The NTFS write facility is still being developed (as I understand it). If by chance, the windows install is formatted as FAT32, then that's not a problem.

In my fstab example, don't worry about the stuff below /dev/hda3, different distros have different ways of sorting that out/laying it out, though any fstab that mandrake install generates, will show a few things other than whatever actual partitions you have.

I hope that explains it reasonably clearly (I think it does anyway).

Worst case scenario, is that if you just made a seperate single linux partition and put the mandrake in it, don't try and do too much to start with, just get used to linux, installing stuff, uninstalling stuff, how things work, how the file system is laid out and so on.

then as you pick it up, you'll want to make changes, get more adventurous with it, do more stuff etc etc.


By then, you should have got used to things and the way they work.

Hell, it can't be that hard, because I did it, and I'm not any kind of IT professional. I'm not really even an hobbyist type. I'm a truck driver (big 'uns @ 44 tonnes) who has ethical/moral/social views about MS and their nasty devious monopolistic attitudes.

Hence, I've HAD to learn something about this "linux lark"!

regards

John

p.s. The only real downside, is that you end up having to read loads of stuff off screen, and I for one, hate reading large texts off my monitor - printed paper (books) are good!
 
Old 04-10-2005, 06:05 PM   #11
Michael_C15
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Thanks for explaining that to me. Ima do what you just said and just go the easy way then once i get famailier with everything im going to make some changes. I cant wait to get my DVD burner tuesday so i can get started. And about the Nvidia driver issue would this link HERE
help me out? Thanks again for your help. Im glad i came to these forums.
 
Old 04-11-2005, 02:29 PM   #12
bigjohn
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Yup, though it looks basically like a rehash of the readme that you should find at the nvidia site with the driver.

i.e. the nvidia driver install doesn't like having an x server running, so you have to stop it (the init 3 bit, or some systems have ctrl+alt+delete configured to stop the xserver).

thats why you download the driver, save it somewhere easy to get to (like I'd put it in /home/john), so that when I shut down the X, I can just do a cd /home/john command as root, then run the install script (which is also shown in the readme file - I always print of the actual page with the instructions - not all the notes, appendixes etc) and just follow the instructions to uncomment (delete the # before the lines I want to use) and change from the "nv" generic driver which works crap for me anyway, to "nvidia" save it all and then just try startx, then when I see the nvidia splash screen I know it's gonna work ok.

regards

John

p.s. you should find the nvidia driver for your system here

Last edited by bigjohn; 04-11-2005 at 02:31 PM.
 
Old 04-13-2005, 09:47 PM   #13
Michael_C15
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Well i used the 3CD's and i got linux installed, but when i start it up i get to a command promt like DOS and it askes for username and password which i put in then it show something like [michael%????] or something along those lines. I tried typing startx but it didnt work... i remember seeing something like (EE) no device? i think that was it.. and during installtion when i tried to test video card config but it failed.. Can someone help me?
 
Old 04-14-2005, 03:10 AM   #14
bigjohn
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You have to read the "readme" file at nvidias site. It will tell you exactly what you need to do - oh and when you boot the system, you would probably have to log in as root with the root password.

Sorry, I really can't explain it any clearer than that (which might not be much help).

regards
John
 
Old 04-14-2005, 03:30 AM   #15
kencaz
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael_C15
Well i used the 3CD's and i got linux installed, but when i start it up i get to a command promt like DOS and it askes for username and password which i put in then it show something like [michael%????] or something along those lines. I tried typing startx but it didnt work... i remember seeing something like (EE) no device? i think that was it.. and during installtion when i tried to test video card config but it failed.. Can someone help me?
Well, looks like it's installed... Your at the command line. Probably a problem with your video card or monitor selection during setup. do a

cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf | more

look under "section screen" and "section monitor" see if they corrospond with what you actually have...

You can edit the file manually or as I would suggest using "xorgconfig" Either way you will have to type "exit" and re-logon as root to run xorgconfig or save changes to the xorg.conf file.

post any info you can... about your configuration. There are lotsa people here to get you going....

KC
 
  


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