LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 05-12-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
Mose_
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2006
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
Question Newbie looking for a starting point.


Where do I begin? Well thats the what I have been trying to figure out during my many attempts a linux.

1. I am not sure which distro to run, and which one will provide me the most optimum performance and support all of the features out there. I've been trying to start out with SuSe since they have heavily invested into development of linux. Right now I installed a distro of Vector Linux after reading an article that said benchmarks very well, and is one of the fastest performing distros. I want a distro that is slimmed down and optimum, but can be added onto, and integrated into any enviornment. Speed and the ability to run graphics, media, as well as games would be a deciding factor.

2. Which GUI: KDE and Gnome are the 2 biggest players that I've seen, however currently I am running XFCE, and I like the look and feel over both KDE and GNOME so far, though I did find out about Vectorlinux by wanting to give Enlightenment DR17 a test drive. Can I get rid of KDE and GNOME altogether and just have XFCE/Enlightenment installed?

3. Window Managers: With Vector Currently installed I have Gnome, KDE, windowmaker, and X11 as options. Is each manager dependant to the next or or other programs? Can I remove ones I don't use without having an ill effect on Desktops/Applications?

4. Software: How to install it? There are RPM's, binary's and god knows what else out there. I haven't had a problem so far with the RPMs using applications, however I want to learn how to do everything via CLI and have programs as options rather than depending on them. Also by looking at filenames like cvs-12.0.1-i386.tar.gz what can I learn? I know that the first part is the program, the second the version, the iX86 would be relevant to the processor, but what is different between i386-i686 and how does it effect my choice on which on to install?

5. Programs: How to manage them? SuSe has Yast which seems to be a decent untility thus far, but as a newbie it is to early to tell. Is there a distro independant way to track what is installed, where it is installed, as well as the version installed in the event I elect to not use SuSe?

6. How to work it. Everytime I want to install something I have to research a method. When I find that method I then have to research to figure out how that method works and so on, in short this turns into a snowball effect.


Goal. I've been working with computers for a number of years, and since Microsoft is basically the standard of any business that is what I know. I'd like to personally make the switch to Linux and integrate with windows where/when I have to. Right now I am using an HP nw8000 as a personal computer, I'd like to configure it to support all of my personal needs, and enable it to integrate into my work enviornment.

I am looking for a way to authenticate my machine vs Microsoft AD controller, and I've had problems getting linux to authenticate vs Sun Solaris DNS, though it was more a problem with KDE and GNOME than the actual Linux distro (NLD9 and SuSe 10.0). Instead of having a stand alone machine that can communicate, I'd rather use my work login credentials, and leave my work on the work servers, and my personal stuff under my local linux account.

I am going to try and take a linux course at community college to learn it more in depth this fall if everything works out, however I'd like to start making choices on how I am going to approach setting up my system now rather than later. I definately want to know how to do everything via CLI, but all of the books I have for the most part are written by Captain Obvoius who tells me to use a Red Hat app this, as SuSe app that, and this particular feature of Mandrake here. I haven't found the "Linux from Scratch via CLI" book yet.

At anyrate, I hope that you guys can provide me a good starting point, because I am not sure how to find it.
 
Old 05-12-2006, 03:45 PM   #2
Michael_aust
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Lancashire (United Kingdom)
Distribution: Debian Etch, on 686 machine.
Posts: 509

Rep: Reputation: 31
1.

2. Of course you can run any distro you want without having KDE or Gnome installed. KDE and Gnome are only included with most distros as they tend to be the most new user friendly. A lot of distrbutions ship with xfce xubuntu ships with xfce as does zenwalk. Enlightenment 17 is still under development so I wouldnt use that as the main desktop enviroment, I would stick with xfce out of the two.

3. Gnoem and KDE depended on libraries in order to run, KDE needs various qt libraries, while Gnome uses various GTK libraries. xfce however requires these libraries as it is built using GTK just like Gnome. You can remove each desktop enviroment and it wont have any affect on the others (in most cases they shoudlnnot unless there were problems at the time they were packages).

4. The way you install software varies slighly between each distrobution as an example, Fedora, Suse, Mandriva, PcLinuxOS all use RPM as there package format. While distributions such as Debian, Gnome and other Debian based distributions all use DEB packages. Slackware uses tgz package which is slightly confuseing as most source code is compressed in tgz files.

If you install software from the distributions repositories then you will not have to worry about package formats, unless you want a program that is not in the repositories.

Binaries are pre compiled applications designed to run on almost all distrbutions, an example is Quake4 or Doom3. These can simply be run rather then installing in the way you install an RPM or DEB.

4. The majority of the new user friendly distrbutions use there own graphical tools for managing software. Mandriva has the mandriva control centre, Ubuntu and PClinuxOS have Synaptic, Fedora has Yumex.

I cant really help with the rest. However all the things that can be edited with graphical tools such as setting up your network card, printer sharing, apache, mysqlserver can all be edited by via a text editor, most people take the time to learn emacs or vi so they can do it from the command line. I personally like nano.
 
Old 05-12-2006, 03:51 PM   #3
IsaacKuo
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Distribution: Debian 8 Jessie
Posts: 1,688
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 163Reputation: 163
[QUOTE=Mose_]Where do I begin? Well thats the what I have been trying to figure out during my many attempts a linux.[quote]

Sounds to me like you've made a really good start--just go in and try some.

Quote:
1. I am not sure which distro to run, and which one will provide me the most optimum performance and support all of the features out there. [...] I want a distro that is slimmed down and optimum, but can be added onto, and integrated into any enviornment. Speed and the ability to run graphics, media, as well as games would be a deciding factor.
I can think of only two popular linux distributions which satisfy ALL of your criteria out-of-box--Debian and Gentoo. Choose Debian if "integrated into any environment" is more important. Choose Gentoo if "optimum" is more important.

OTOH, only choose Gentoo if you have a pretty fast computer and/or you don't mind long compile times.

Quote:
Can I get rid of KDE and GNOME altogether and just have XFCE/Enlightenment installed?
Yes, you can get rid of KDE and GNOME, if you want (or not install either in the first place). However, this isn't necessary unless you have a very small hard drive (like, less than 4gigs). There's no performance downside to having them sitting on the hard drive.

One thing I like about Debian's package management system is that when you install/remove desktop environments and window managers, it automatically adds/removes options for them in the login screens (for gdm and kdm).

Quote:
Is each manager dependant to the next or or other programs? Can I remove ones I don't use without having an ill effect on Desktops/Applications?
They are completely independent. However, if you remove KDE or GNOME, you might also be removing some KDE or GNOME applications you actually wanted to keep. This depends on what package management system you're using and/or how you remove KDE or GNOME.

Quote:
4. Software: How to install it?
This is dependent on the flavor of Linux distribution you use. There are basically two ways to install software:

1. The "traditional way", which means unpacking a .tar.gz "tarball" and manually compiling and installing it. This is the universal method which is used by all Unix-like operating systems. Unfortunately, it can be really hard to get this to work, and it never does any nice post-install configuration like adding software packages to menus.

or

2. Using your linux distribution's favored package management system (if any). Some are based on .rpm files. Others are based on Debian; they use .deb files. Others like Gentoo go their own way.

Quote:
5. Programs: How to manage them? SuSe has Yast which seems to be a decent untility thus far, but as a newbie it is to early to tell. Is there a distro independant way to track what is installed, where it is installed, as well as the version installed in the event I elect to not use SuSe?
There is no universal way. The closest to a universal package management system out there is Debian's. However, the only reason it might be considered "universal" is because so many other linux distributions are directly based on Debian. Of course, there's a reason why so many linux distributions are directly based on Debian--and that's its excellent package management system.

Quote:
6. How to work it. Everytime I want to install something I have to research a method.
Well...you can get pretty close to worry-free package management in Debian, but you still have to go outside Debian's package management system to install proprietary closed source software.

Also, when installing new hardware...well, either Linux just plain detects it in which case it's trivial or you're going to have to do some research and work.

Quote:
I haven't found the "Linux from Scratch via CLI" book yet.
You may be interested in the "Linux From Scratch" distribution, which is basically you following a bunch of instructions to install linux from scratch.

Beyond that, if you want to become a real hardcore linux expert, use Slackware.
 
Old 05-12-2006, 04:46 PM   #4
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738
Now, THAT is one heck of a Newbie....
Seriously, you already know more than most of us...

If you want to get your hands dirty, but not get hopelessly frustrated, take a look at Arch.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 09:06 AM   #5
Mose_
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2006
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Right now I have SuSe 10.0 disks, and YaST gives me the options of which GUI's to install (KDE or GNOME) Enlightenment is buried in there, but I haven't figured out how to install it and have it run as a solo act.

I reformated and tried Vector Linux which is Slackware based. I read an article and the author said that this particular Distro is almost completely bloat free and is extremely good at handling/freeing up resources.


The only reason I want to remove KDE/Gnome and any other unused/redundant program, is so I can focus on the necessities of the OS rather than the plethora of options it offers. Obviously I can add/remove at anytime, but I'd like to start of extremely slim and install programs (SAMBA, CVS, etc) from the base up so I can get familiar with every component. When I have my system up I will be familiar with all of the programs that I need to run Linux, as well as the config files.

Enlightenment DR17 looks nice, but it is still in Development I only wanted to take a crack at it to see if it is something I'll be interested in running. But for now I think that I am going to stick with XFCE.

IsaacKuo: I'm currently looking at Linuxfromscratch.com (Funny: I googled Amazon.com for books by that name, but never thought to google for a distro Can you or anyone else give me insight as to how a scratch build differs from a managed distro? IE is this distro Slackware, SuSe, or Fedora based when you get down to its guts, or are this distros a derivitave of Scratch?


Thanks everyone for your help. I'd also like to know what anyone/everyone thinks of the VectorLinux distro compared to others, from what I've read its extremely fast, but then again that is one authors opinion.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 09:56 AM   #6
IsaacKuo
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Distribution: Debian 8 Jessie
Posts: 1,688
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 163Reputation: 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mose_
IsaacKuo: I'm currently looking at Linuxfromscratch.com (Funny: I googled Amazon.com for books by that name, but never thought to google for a distro Can you or anyone else give me insight as to how a scratch build differs from a managed distro? IE is this distro Slackware, SuSe, or Fedora based when you get down to its guts, or are this distros a derivitave of Scratch?
I've never used Linux From Scratch, so I can't offer any firsthand experience. I do know that it's not derived from any other linux distribution.

I think you should keep in mind that having the user/administrater manage everything manually is merely yet another package mangement strategy (it's merely the least user-friendly strategy). If you learn how to do it the manual way, there's still much to learn about how various package management systems work.

I'm of the opinion that it would be more important to start with something like Debian or Slackware, so you can see how things have been laid out according to a particular well-proven overall strategy. Then you can make reasonable choices about where to put stuff if you decide to try it from scratch.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 10:45 AM   #7
KimVette
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Lee, NH
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS, RHEL
Posts: 1,794

Rep: Reputation: 46
On top of what everyone else suggested, when you run into various issues you might want to try the "search" feature (you'll see it in the menubar at the top of this page). You will find that practically every question you asked is covered exhaustively for nearly every distribution.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 11:58 AM   #8
soldan
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2006
Distribution: slackware 11
Posts: 110

Rep: Reputation: 15
i switched from Fedora Core4, to Vector linux5 about 2 months ago, and the difference (to me, a noob) is immense. in actual fact, FC4 nearly put me off linux altogether, nothing would compile for me, Gnome was bloated and sucked (just my opinion) and no mp3 support out of the box (no mp3 due to patent problems apparently). ive got a p3 800mhz, 128mb ram machine and vector is pretty fast on it, mp3 and video ready to go, while at the same time i had to learn some CLI to mount floppys and do other basic things, which has given me the confidence to dig deeper, i think its great

Last edited by soldan; 05-15-2006 at 12:03 PM.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 02:07 PM   #9
Michael_aust
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Lancashire (United Kingdom)
Distribution: Debian Etch, on 686 machine.
Posts: 509

Rep: Reputation: 31
I ran vector for a week but it was not particularaly fast infact Mandrivs 2006 was quicker to boot and in general they were both the same speed. Now Debian on my machine just flies compared to vector.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 09:32 AM   #10
Mose_
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2006
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
KimVette, I've just recently regestered as a user on this site, only because in most instances I've found sufficiant answers to the questions that I have had over the past year or so of reading posts. While there are tons of questions that are of the same subject as mine, I thought it easier to pose my particular situation rather than delve through every thread of the same subject hoping to find which one suited me.

IsaacKuo, I downloaded the LFS book and printed it. I have a box at home in which I am going give it a spin with. Just from thumbing through the pages I like what I see. I'm not looking to make my own distro per se, but it has alot of information on what programs and libraries are required and how they work. I've only worked with NLD9, Suse, and very recently Vector and everytime I need to install something I have to concern myself with dependencies, which wouldn't be a problem IF I understood what the dependencies DID. LFS is step by step on what to install, what order to install it, and describes what a particular program does.


Thanks for everyones advice, and for anyone who found this thread by means of a search, I would recomment www.linuxfromscratch.com since it has a great documentation on core files and programs needed to run Linux, even if you have no interest in compiling the OS from source.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
i need a starting point :l ach1lles Linux - Newbie 3 08-29-2005 12:06 PM
Best Starting Point rickseiden Linux From Scratch 5 11-30-2004 04:34 PM
Need a starting point fits666 Linux - Networking 1 10-31-2004 06:27 AM
Need a starting point halzg Linux - Newbie 1 08-02-2003 09:47 PM
Need a starting point halzg Linux - Hardware 1 08-02-2003 12:28 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:00 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration