I've been a windows user for many years, but due to a hardware failure in my home server box I now have everything i need to keep running on my main pc. So I thought that now I have resurrected my server, I have the option of playing around a little, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to try out Linux... so here I am
I've downloaded knoppix, which is really what got me started on this path as I was amazed that just booting from the cd got me into the full windowed environment.
So I had a look around at what distributions are available and downloaded Debian 3.1r2. This is where things started to get more interesting.
I am using a P4/celeron socket 775 motherboard that has an integrated video and sound card. The video card is an ATI radeon express 200. I am also using a usb keyboard and mouse. The mobo is new as it was the thing I had to replace to get my pc back up and running.
Debian installs fine, and i have been messing around with the shell, and going through tutorials, but then i move onto x-windows and things stop working.
I get the no screen attached error after installing the x-window-system-core and x-window-system packages, i guess because it doesn't have my video card drivers.
Looking at the ATI website for the drivers for linux looks a little daunting, and I also looked on the packages site for debian for ati drivers, which there is a package, but it's not in the stable release. Also the ATI drivers require a specific version of XFree86 and XOrg, and I understand that XOrg is not in the stable release of Debian.
My starting questions about all this are:
1) Is there anywhere that explains the difference between all these bits of x-windows, what's xfree86 and xorg, and what they all do?
2) What would you recommend I do about getting x-windows going with my card and I guess also the mouse and keyboard? Most tutorials I have looked at seem to talk about serial or ps2 mice and keyboards... should I go dig out some old ones?
3) Have I made the right choice with debian? I've been browsing some of the other distributions, and starting to wonder if I should try a different one...
Sorry about the length of this post...