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Old 06-23-2009, 05:48 PM   #1
sorrylinuxnewb
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Question New and I have a question about what version to use and how to install


Hi, I have decided to abandon all faith in Vista and make a move to linux. Only thing is I have no idea what im doing. I have an acer desktop that is fairly new and came equiped, sad to say, with windows vista. I wanted to install XP and discovered that I could not because my bios is not compatable, and the lovely machine I thought was mine because I paid for it, really belongs to Microsoft. So I did what any other reasonable individual would do and I formatted my hard drive. A small victory but one that I am regretting because now I am without operating system on my beefiest PC. I was wondering if there is a version of linux I can use as my primary operating system, and how can I install it without an existing operating system? I have a copy of windows I can use, but I would rather not. I wanted to use linux mint to get started, but I had a hard time creating a boot disk for install. I extracted the boot image from my copy of vista, and burned the linux iso file with the boot image, but still no dice. I have high hopes for linux, and I am greatful for any feedback!
 
Old 06-23-2009, 06:07 PM   #2
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrylinuxnewb View Post
I was wondering if there is a version of linux I can use as my primary operating system
Probably almost any of them will be usable. I prefer Mepis.

Quote:
how can I install it without an existing operating system?
Normally you use a bootable CD or DVD to install Linux or when desperate a bootable floppy or other media. It is much harder to directly use an existing OS (if you had one).

I assume you don't mean how do you burn a CD without an existing OS. You do have another computer, right?

Quote:
I had a hard time creating a boot disk for install.
ImgBurn is a great freeware Windows program that makes it easier to understand the processor burning an .iso file to a CD or DVD.

I don't know what "had a hard time" really means. Many people get confused, which is one reason ImgBurn is better than the typical CD burning software (less likely to confuse you).

Quote:
I extracted the boot image from my copy of vista, and burned the linux iso file with the boot image,
I can barely guess what that means and my guess is "boy were you confused!".

The Linux .iso file is already a bootable image. You probably copied it to CD as a file, not an image, which wouldn't be bootable (nor usable anyway). Making that CD bootable is just getting even further from correct.

Burning a .iso to CD is a simple process if you do the right simple process.
 
Old 06-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #3
lazlow
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Just to be clear, you do understand that almost all your software will NOT run under Linux? There are equivalents in most cases(Open Office for M$ Word, etc). Most M$ games (action type) do not run well in Linux at all. I am not trying to discourage you, just making sure you understand.
 
Old 06-23-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
sorrylinuxnewb
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Thanks for the help

I did use imgburn to burn the image, but still didnt work. I think im nuking this deal out. Maybe the image of linux mint I downloaded was not bootable. I am aware that I will have software limitations, but I see it as more of an adventure than a hinderance. Can anyone suggest an easy to install, easy to start with version of linux. I am willing to put the time in to put Microsoft in my rear view mirror for the most part.
 
Old 06-23-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

'The LiveCD List' would be a place to start. You can test drive and find out what fits you.

I think that I'm a reasonable person and I know that I won't format the drive until prepared for another install. What issue were you having with the XP install? You know that a multiple install of OS is doable. You could also utilize a 'VM' like VirtualBox to allow you to have different OS operating on the machine via host/client.

These links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 06-23-2009, 07:06 PM   #6
johnsfine
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I think Mepis is more beginner friendly than other Linux distributions.

"still didnt work" doesn't tell us much, so we can't tell you much.

I assume you had ImgBurn write the .iso as an image (not "files and folders") to a CD.
I assume ImgBurn finished and reported success.
I assume you configured your BIOS to boot from CD and/or pressed whatever key gets a BIOS boot menu and selected CD.
I assume the Linux CD was in the drive at the time.
I assume something then went wrong, but I can think of several possibilities, some of which mean the CD didn't boot and some of which mean it did boot but not all the way into a Linux GUI.

But even without the final unknowns, I assumed far too much. I'm guessing at too many things you didn't tell us.

BTW, since you have another computer, try booting the CD in another computer. It doesn't install Linux nor damage Windows just because you boot it. Destroying the previous contents of the hard drive comes quite a few optional user steps later. So you can safely boot the CD on systems where you have no intention of installing Linux. That often tells you which Linux startup problems are general (incorrectly burned CD etc.) vs system specific (strange video card or you don't really know how to make the BIOS boot a CD, etc.)

Last edited by johnsfine; 06-23-2009 at 07:15 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrylinuxnewb View Post
I did use imgburn to burn the image, but still didnt work. I think im nuking this deal out. Maybe the image of linux mint I downloaded was not bootable. I am aware that I will have software limitations, but I see it as more of an adventure than a hinderance. Can anyone suggest an easy to install, easy to start with version of linux. I am willing to put the time in to put Microsoft in my rear view mirror for the most part.
What about the 'md5sum' for the downloaded ISO(s) image? You did check it, right? If not then it's possible the ISO image is not valid therefore you won't get a clean install from your burn.
 
Old 06-23-2009, 08:44 PM   #8
sorrylinuxnewb
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I apologize for not being clear

Sorry for not being clear on all issues. I did burn the file as an image, and I did set my cd/dvd rom to be the primay boot device. I only ment the reasonable thing as a sarcastic pun to my hasty action. I did try to boot the cd in another computer. The only thing that went wrong was that the disk did not seem bootable since no prompt to boot from cd was given. I even put a valid operating system cd in just to see if the propt would appear and it did. Imgburn did report success. So at this point I think im going to try to download again. Does anyone have any suggestions on which version and what site would be the best. Again, I apologize for not being more clear and I truly do appreciate the assistance.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 12:56 AM   #9
NightHorse
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I started my Linux journey with Ubuntu. It's one of the easiest Linux distros. I haven't tried many distros tho. But many would agree that Ubuntu would be a good start. It's just a suggestion tho.

And may be as onebuck said, you can try couple distros throw virtualbox and see which one would you go with. But if you really want to learn it, once you decide which distro you like, install it as ur primary OS. May be installing windows on Virtualbox. but that will help you so much on learning Linux. Someone lazy like me had to do that so I don't pick the easier way to do things throw windows rather than learning how to do it on Linux.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 03:49 AM   #10
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrylinuxnewb View Post
I did burn the file as an image, and I did set my cd/dvd rom to be the primay boot device.
The most usual problems are not burning the CD in the correct mode to be bootable (burning programs vary in their terminology used for describing this) and not setting the CD to be the first bootable device.

You have eliminated the second, so double-check the first.

You don't say where you are located, but in some regions of the world there are Linux magazines that come with a bootable CD on the cover. These can be an interesting way of trying out a distro if an appropriate one available at the time that you looking.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #11
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrylinuxnewb View Post
Sorry for not being clear on all issues. I did burn the file as an image, and I did set my cd/dvd rom to be the primay boot device. I only ment the reasonable thing as a sarcastic pun to my hasty action. I did try to boot the cd in another computer. The only thing that went wrong was that the disk did not seem bootable since no prompt to boot from cd was given. I even put a valid operating system cd in just to see if the propt would appear and it did. Imgburn did report success. So at this point I think im going to try to download again. Does anyone have any suggestions on which version and what site would be the best. Again, I apologize for not being more clear and I truly do appreciate the assistance.
The 'md5sum' or 'hash is very important to learn to use and too regularly get in the habit of utilizing it. You can get a sum checker for M$ if need be; 'md5sum.exe'.

If the cd/dvd is bad it will be bad on another machine.I would check the md5sum. If you downloaded the cd/dvd iso then be sure to check the md5sum for the original iso. From the cli;

Code:
~#cd /downloadisolocation      #cdromiso.iso cdromiso.md5 

~#md5sum -c cdromiso.md5       #substitute the correct name to check
If the iso md5 is ok then you should try 'CdromMd5sumsAfterBurning''.

This way you will know if the burn was OK!

This will check the download iso with the known md5sum that you also get with the iso.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 08:11 AM   #12
linuxlover.chaitanya
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You were on the right path for starting with Mint. It is based off Ubuntu and is as easy as Ubuntu itself. I use Ubuntu Hardy and I take its side on it being newbie friendly. It is quite easy to install as well. Just put the cd in drive boot from it and wait till it gives you the desktop. Click the install icon and go through the 7 steps and in about 20 mins you have a working system with most of the applications installed. And many many more in the repositories.

As far as your iso image goes it could be faulty if you think you burnt it right and still does not boot. Try downloading another image. May be also try Ubuntu. But then the list of newbie friendly distros do not end here and you can look at http://distrowatch.com for the complete list.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 09:24 AM   #13
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorrylinuxnewb View Post
the disk did not seem bootable since no prompt to boot from cd was given. I even put a valid operating system cd in just to see if the propt would appear and it did.
Linux CDs usually don't have that prompt. With a Windows CD, when you get the prompt that I think you mean, you have actually already booted from the CD. In case you left the CD in the drive when you didn't intend to, the code that runs first from the CD gives you the choice to switch to booting the hard drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxlover.chaitanya View Post
You were on the right path for starting with Mint.
I had more trouble with Mint than other distributions I tried, but unless he left out some very important details, the OP is having a different problem.

Quote:
Just put the cd in drive boot from it and wait till it gives you the desktop.
You're very optimistic and/or you've been very lucky with the systems on which you tried Linux CDs.

Most Linux CDs start in a program called GRUB. So when you boot the CD, you look first for the prompt from GRUB. What it looks like totally varies by distribution, but it should be obvious that something is giving you some kind of prompt before Linux has really started. If you don't get that far, that is one class of problem. If you get that far, then something else goes wrong it is another class of problem.

That prompt usually has a short timeout if you press no keys. But if you press keys, you can change various options used to boot Linux. Again the details vary a lot by distribution. As a beginner, I found those options confusing in Debian, far more confusing in Mint and less confusing in Mepis. Depending on how strange your hardware (especially video) might be, you may need to get some options right at that point in order to allow the rest of the boot process to get all the way to a Linux desktop. With Mint, I generally couldn't. With Mepis 7, a video option was generally enough on most computers I tried. With Mepis 8, some systems that needed a video option with Mepis 7 worked with no options (so just wait for the desktop would work). But even using no boot options the first time, you should pay attention to when/whether you were given the opportunity to put them in.
 
  


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