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Old 05-20-2015, 11:25 AM   #1
micropup
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Question New to Linux *again* - I have some questions about making better distro installs


I am a basic computer user as far as operating systems are concerned. I do a little programming here and there but nothing special yet.

I have tried Linux many times, but I'm always left to getting *another* distro, after I fail to properly install Linux. Basically I resort to simple installs and found that Linux Mint and Ubuntu, most of the time work out of the box. However, after an installation, ... here and there I get error messages and sometimes crashes and i understand that my installation is not stable, simply because I did not properly configure some conf file or similar.

Another even more important problem I have is device drivers. Working from the command prompt (console) and the GUI is very confusing to me. I'm not sure if I'm setting something right with one and then unsetting it with the other. So basically I'm here with some noob questions and a couple specific ones.

1. Can someone recommend a good distro to learn to correctly configure drivers with manually. Remember, that I understand that there are distros that work out of the box mostly, but I actually am not worried about complexity as far as someone can guide me through errors. Which will lead to more questions of course.

2. After an installation there are sometimes a dozen errors during bootup, but no stops. Since it all scrolls by fast (most distros), where can I check after bootup what I need to fix?

The Goal is an *error free* stable installation of a linux distro, with enough common sense learned to take it to other distros.
 
Old 05-20-2015, 11:55 AM   #2
erik2282
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OpenSuse, Mint, Black Lab, Fedora...

error free... you wont know until after you install and test
 
Old 05-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #3
mralk3
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You will not find an error free Linux distribution, just like you will not find an error free Windows or OS X installation. You will need to search the internet when you find errors. You will need to troubleshoot. With anything related to technology, there is no easy button. What I can tell you though is some basic ideas on how to troubleshoot errors in Linux.

Log files you should pay attention to are located in the /var/log directory. The log files you should pay attention to are:

* /var/log/syslog
* /var/log/messages
* /var/log/dmesg
* Or type dmesg | less and use page up and page down
* In most cases you must be the root user to access these files.

To log in as root, type the following in a terminal window:

Code:
su -
You can use the following text editors at the command line, which should come installed in most Linux distributions:

* vim or vi
* nano
* ed
* emacs

I recommend using nano as it is the easiest to use for beginners. To open say the syslog log file type:

Code:
nano /var/log/syslog
You should really familiarize yourself with the command line first and avoid using GUI applications to administer Linux whenever possible- at least until you know more about how Linux works. After you are able to access those log files, wrap your error in code tags and create a new post on Linux Questions asking for help.

As far as Linux distributions go for new Linux users, I recommend Ubuntu. Most drivers will be installed, your internet connection, video card, mouse, and keyboard should be recognized out of the box. From there you can delve deeper into the Linux world. After you familiarize yourself with package management, compiling a Linux kernel from source, the different pieces of software that are installed, I suggest switching to a Linux distribution like Slackware, Debian, or Arch Linux.
 
Old 05-20-2015, 12:40 PM   #4
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micropup View Post
Working from the command prompt (console) and the GUI is very confusing to me. I'm not sure if I'm setting something right with one and then unsetting it with the other.
There's a tendency here to recommend the CLI when the GUI would actually be better. If a distro gives you a bundle of GUI configuration tools, often concentrated in a configuration centre, its designers obviously expect them to be used! Personally I don't mind a distro like Slackware, which expects you to edit files, but I do hate Debian's frequent use of dpkg-reconfigure, where the command is often completely obscure.

Quote:
1. Can someone recommend a good distro to learn to correctly configure drivers with manually.
If you don't want the very latest versions of everything and like Gnome, then CentOS is good for GUI tools. If you don't mind bleeding-edge and like Gnome, the same goes for Fedora.

If you want a hands-on approach and stability, then look at Salix: Slackware with twice as much software ready to install. For hands-on and bleeding-edge, try Arch (use Bridge to install it, or it takes all day): that has probably the best documentation of any distro.
 
Old 05-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #5
beachboy2
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micropup,

It would be helpful if you told us the exact specifications of your laptop/desktop including graphics card, wifi etc.
An external link to the model would be handy.

Two distros that spring to mind for Linux beginners are Linux Mint 17.1 and Zorin OS 9.

Linux Mint 17.1 with MATE or Xfce are generally less problematic than Cinnamon with regard to graphics.

This guide refers to Cinnamon but the installation procedure is the same for Xfce or MATE:
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/l...on-nvidia.html

Zorin OS 9 is also a pretty straightforward installation out of the box.

Review:
http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.co.uk...-as-linux.html

I don't understand why you are getting error messages. You refer to configuring .conf files, yet in my experience, there are no modifications needed to the basic Linux Mint system apart from routine software updates.

You should have no need to modify .conf files.
 
Old 05-20-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachboy2 View Post
I don't understand why you are getting error messages. You refer to configuring .conf files, yet in my experience, there are no modifications needed to the basic Linux Mint system apart from routine software updates.

You should have no need to modify .conf files.
I am a bit suirprised by the mention of errors also and, also, the mention of crashes. I've not known a modern OS (Windows included) to crash more than once in a few months.
Not that I think Linux doesn't show errors or crash, I just wonder what the errors are and what they relate to?
 
Old 05-20-2015, 02:35 PM   #7
John VV
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Never had any issues with
Fedora ( other than normal issues being fedora)
OpenSUSE
centOS
Scientific linux
Debian 7 and 8
Arch

they all install easily

BUT

YOU DO NEED TO READ THE INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS !!!!!

now if you are using Virtual box

well VM's can be a problem

just use a normal install to the drive

Last edited by John VV; 05-20-2015 at 02:40 PM.
 
  


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