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Old 10-26-2002, 06:43 PM   #1
Wapocalypse
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Registered: Oct 2002
Posts: 26

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Many Questions


I'm new to Linux (Redhat 7.3) after using Windows 2000 for quite a while. I got it because I'm a computing student and it's what we use at university.

I have quite a lot of questions...

1. Hardware drivers - do I need to search for them or is my system OK as it is? Sound on my Creative SB Live doesn't work but I haven't looked into that yet. I tried running the KDE Tux game but it ran really slowly - I tried installing the NVidia drivers (it's a GeForce 4 MX440) and now Tux doesn't run at all.
I'm used to installing all the latest drivers for everything. The point here is how do I know what's up to date and correctly set up? With W2K it was easy to find out. Now I don't know if my hard disks are using UDMA or not, and lots of other problems like this.

2. Why is stuff so difficult to install? Granted, KPackage on KDE makes life so much easier but it's still bad! There's always dependencies to go searching for! WINE for example just put me off bothering at all since knowing what I'm meant to do is so confusing.

3. I installed Netscape 7 under KDE, but it seems to be running 4.7 on all other configurations? Opera on the other hand has successfully appeared on all of them.

4. Can you easily leave the XWindow system and get back to a pure shell? How?

5. Can you access an NTFS hard drive without extra software? I haven't been able to yet but I've not put a lot of work into this one.

6. Any advice or sites you can recommend? I can do the very basic stuff like move the mouse and use cp, mv, ls at the shell etc., but after that I'm just guessing.

Please help with as many of the above as you can! Thanks in advance! And then I'll come back and ask some more

Rob Pridham, wapocalypse.com
 
Old 10-26-2002, 07:00 PM   #2
JimKyle
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Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
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I'll tackle number 4, leaving X and getting back to a console. You've got a number of choices here. If you use Control-Alt-F2, for instance, you'll switch out of the virtual console that's running X and find your self at a login prompt for virtual console 2 (I'm assuming that you launched X from VC1, which is the default virtual console at a plain login). To get back to X, use Control-Alt-F7. If that doesn't work, use F6, and work your way back down as needed. Normally most distributions set up six virtual TTY console processes. When you launch X, you get a new VC where X runs. This lets you switch on the fly with the C-A-FunctionKey hotkey combination.

It's especially handy when you manage to get your X window locked up to the point you can't do anything in it. Just use the C-A-F2 to get a new VC, login as root, type "ps -ax" to get the list of all running processes, identify your X process which will be near the end of the list, then type "kill " followed by the PID number for that process. This will kill the X VC, and you'll pop back into VC1. No more need to reboot when things go sour, as we had to in Windows when the task manager wouldn't come up, or would lock.

However, what I do is even simpler: I launch a terminal window from inside X. I'm running the IceWM window manager to avoid the bloat that both KDE and Gnome have, and I've configured the menu to let me choose from four different terminal programs (aterm is the one I normally use). That lets me do anything that I would at a separate console, except killing the X process, and I still have the capability to watch what's going on in other windows on the desktop...

As for the best site to get advice, I think you're on it right here. After more than 35 years experience with system admin, software development, and troubleshooting that started with mainframes and migrated eventually to MS-DOS and Windows, I came to Linux last November and found myself almost as lost as your post indicates you are. The people here were quite patient with my questions and helped me get up to speed in a hurry!

Since I'm not running a sound card in my Linux box (it's my router/firewall/FTP server) and don't play many arcade-style games, I can't help with most of your other questions. I'm sure, though, that the rest of the group here will chime in...
 
Old 10-26-2002, 07:09 PM   #3
Wapocalypse
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Registered: Oct 2002
Posts: 26

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Thanks, that was exactly what I wanted for that point!

As for this site, from what I've seen I think you're exactly right - after all, you replied after 5 topic views which says something!

And I've fixed the sound issue now...
 
Old 10-26-2002, 07:09 PM   #4
dorward
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Registered: Sep 2001
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 760

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(1) Almost all hardware drivers come with the kernel, if you have a recent kernel then you have recent drivers. The main exception is Nvidia graphics drivers. There is more to setting this up then installing the RPMs, read the README file very carefully.

For finding out about UDMA you should use hdparm -d /dev/hd?

Using google should help you track down ways to identify other hardware queries.

(2) Limitation of RPM, and the reason I don't use Red Hat. I hear that apt is available for RPM now so you might like to give it a try.

(3) Sounds like you didn't update the menus for all your applications, my guess would be that you didn't install Netscape 7 with a Red Hat package, so only the installers KDE menu item adding function would have had any effect.

(4) You can switch to a consol with Alt+Ctrl+F1 (and return to X with A+C+F7). X will still be running though. If you started X from the command line then quiting your window manager will usually return you to the prompt. If you have a graphical login, then switching to runlevel 3 (type "init 3") will shut down the X session (runlevel 5 to start it again).

(5) The kernel supports NTFS nativly, but only in read only (write support is dangerous). Your distro may not come with support compiled in so you may need to load a module (modprobe ntfs) or (if the worse comes to the worse) compile your own kernel.

(6) http://www.google.com/linux
 
Old 11-05-2003, 12:18 PM   #5
qwijibow
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Registered: Apr 2003
Location: nottingham england
Distribution: Gentoo
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There is a reason that rpm can be annoying, with all its depepdencies..

in windows...
i have Real-player, (to play rm files, but it can also play mpegs mp3's and wavs)
i have windows media player for wmv's (but it can also play mp3's mpegs and avi's)
i have a dvd pllayer for dvd's, but it can also play mpeg's

such a waste, many programs, each carrring its OWN mp3 decoder...
in linux, everything is modular, you would download the ability to play mp3's the ability to play mpegs ect ect, then a program to act as an interface to the decoders.

that way nothing is dont more than once...

(that was just an example, dont take it literally)

also, look at firebird, a browser that does everything IE does, but only a quater the download size.

and dependencies are easy enough to download and install.

and yeah, linux cannot write to ntfs... but windows cant even read ext3 (a far superior fs in my opinion)
 
  


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