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Old 10-24-2008, 07:39 AM   #1
unix1adm
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Newbie to Linux question


Hi I am new to Linux and am looking to install it on my laptop. I have an AIX background.

I have been researching for the "right" solution for me.
I was wondering a few things about SUSE and Fedora Ubuntu.These are the few I am considering. I am also considering RedHat but that's not free

How hard is it to get wireless/network working ? Security etc. I use WEP 128 on my network now. Can Linux accommodate this?

I have a Verizon wireless modem card. How would I get that to work. I looked on their site but did not see a Linux client for this device.

Is there some SW that works on Linux?

What about my IPOD. I see things for other MP3 players but not Apple ITunes. Or do I need to convert my files etc.

I also have a WinCE palm 700W phone that sync with my outlook. Is there a client that will work with Linux?

I would like to get off Windows but have to keep it around for various apps like the ones mentioned above. I will run dual boot for now unless I can find a viable solution to these apps.

Some other questions I have....

I have a network attached drive that has 2 usb drives off it. They are NTFS and FAT32 formats. Can they be seen by Linux? Also if I plug in a USB drive/stick will it be seen?

I use SD cards for my camera with a SD reader will that be an issue?

Sorry for so many questions just trying to figure this all out before I make the leap.


Thanx for any info you can share.

CJ
 
Old 10-24-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
Spudley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unix1adm View Post
Hi I am new to Linux and am looking to install it on my laptop. I have an AIX background.
An AIX background will probably help. Takes you well clear of the complete-newbie rung of the ladder, at least.

Quote:
I have been researching for the "right" solution for me.
I was wondering a few things about SUSE and Fedora Ubuntu.These are the few I am considering. I am also considering RedHat but that's not free
If you really want Red Hat, check out Centos -- it's basically an identical clone of RHEL, but distributed for free, and without the support. (They can do this because it's all open source - yay!)

However, for a personal computer, Fedora or Ubuntu is probably a better bet -- RHEL [and thus Centos also] is more geared toward the corporate server environment, where hardware specs can be clearly defined, and where older-but-rock-solid-stable versions of apps are preferred over newer-but-possibly-slightly-buggy versions.

In other words, Fedora or Ubuntu will give you a more up-to-date desktop and apps, and is more likely to work with unusual hardware.

Quote:
How hard is it to get wireless/network working ? Security etc. I use WEP 128 on my network now. Can Linux accommodate this?

I have a Verizon wireless modem card. How would I get that to work. I looked on their site but did not see a Linux client for this device.
Not an expert on wireless, but when I have used it, it's worked out of the box -- just needed to configure the encryption, etc, and it worked. I don't even know what card I've got installed.

All the hardware drivers I've needed have come included with the distro, so there's a very good chance that your card will just work when you install Ubuntu or Fedora. If it doesn't, Verizon is probably the wrong place to look - they won't have manufactured it; just branded it, so you'd need to find the manufacturer. If all else fails, google the model number plus linux, and see what comes up.

Quote:
What about my IPOD. I see things for other MP3 players but not Apple ITunes. Or do I need to convert my files etc.
I don't have an IPod, but I do know that there are ways to get it working. I have a feeling that Amarok has Ipod support, and probably other apps too.

Quote:
I also have a WinCE palm 700W phone that sync with my outlook. Is there a client that will work with Linux?
Sorry, not a clue on this one.

Quote:
I would like to get off Windows but have to keep it around for various apps like the ones mentioned above. I will run dual boot for now unless I can find a viable solution to these apps.
Yep, that's a very common solution. If you can't find alternatives, Wine is a good way to get Windows apps working under Linux. And of that doesn't work, you might also want to look into virtualisation software, which will allow you to run one OS within another.

Quote:
Some other questions I have....

I have a network attached drive that has 2 usb drives off it. They are NTFS and FAT32 formats. Can they be seen by Linux? Also if I plug in a USB drive/stick will it be seen?
Yes, yes and yes. USB sticks work exactly the way you'd expect.
The windows-format drives will be seen and can be worked with. FAT32 doesn't have any permissions mechanism, so you won't be able to restrict write access. NTFS -- I haven't had an NTFS-formatted drive for about seven years now. When I was using it, which was a problem, the driver was read-only, but I believe that's all been sorted for a while now.

Quote:
I use SD cards for my camera with a SD reader will that be an issue?
I haven't had any problems with this, but you should check the hardware model of your reader to be sure.

Quote:
Sorry for so many questions just trying to figure this all out before I make the leap.
No worries -- always good to ask.

But also, don't be afraid to experiment; you're much less likely to break anything than you think.

Above all, have fun!
 
Old 10-24-2008, 09:37 AM   #3
unix1adm
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I was talking to a co-worker about vmware and I will most likely go that route once I figure things out.

I have used virtual box with xp and opensolaris.org and like that concept very much. Faster booting etc.

I think the vmware is more mainstream so will try that first.

I have an old disk laying around so I may just go and load Linux on it and play with things for a while before I put it on my laptop for real.

I do have a really old machine that once ran Redhat early version. From may be year 2002. I am guessing it is a 486 so I may try to load some Linuxs on it.

I am sure Ill be posting in the next few days. Weekend is coming and its gonna rain and I'm on-call so I guess Ill be playing with Linux this weekend

Im looking fwd to playing around with this stuff finally.
Thanx again for the info
 
Old 10-24-2008, 09:37 AM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
How hard is it to get wireless/network working ? Security etc. I use WEP 128 on my network now. Can Linux accommodate this?
It can be trivial; it can be a bit of a fight (but usually still do-able); depends on the hardware. As you will have noticed, while, for devices needing a separate driver, Windows drivers are almost universally made available by the manufacturer, this is not quite the situation with Linux. You are more dependant on the community/the distro itself to supply you with 'stuff'.

As a suggestion, can I suggest that you try out a small number of live CDs? If hardware 'just works' with the live CD, chances are very, very strong that it will 'just work' with the installed software (and its a good way to have a quick look at the distro, anyway).

Quote:
They are NTFS and FAT32 formats.
FAT32 should be no problem; the NTFS read/write driver is an add-on and, I think, is still in the 'marked as experimental' stage - in this case, this means; it works, its probably very reliable or reliable-ish, but we aren't quite prepared to 'guarantee' that yet.

So NTFS read should be problem-free as should both read and write on FAT32. And you'd be very unlucky to have problems writing to NTFS, but it might happen.

Spudley wrote:
Quote:
If you really want Red Hat, check out Centos -- it's basically an identical clone of RHEL, but distributed for free, and without the support. (They can do this because it's all open source - yay!)

However, for a personal computer, Fedora or Ubuntu is probably a better bet -- RHEL [and thus Centos also] is more geared toward the corporate server environment, where hardware specs can be clearly defined, and where older-but-rock-solid-stable versions of apps are preferred over newer-but-possibly-slightly-buggy versions.
It sounds as if you are dismissing SuSE for a Personal Computer - I don't think you meant this (but maybe you did...?), but;

The comments about the enterprise versions are right on the money; you get more testing (but potentially, less 'stuff') and you stay away from the bleeding edge.

The more 'consumer' distros, in this case the *buntus', Fedora and OpenSuSE are that bit more bleeding edge, but are that bit more set up for end user friendliness, tend to have more 'stuff' (stuff in the sense of having, say, a choice of several apps for one specialism, rather that the just-one-well-tested-app of the 'Enterprise' variants) available and are generally that bit more dynamic in their policies for adopting new applications. In some cases, the consumer variants are actually used as test beds for things that could, eventually, make their way into the enterprise versions.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the 'enterprise' variants (RedHat, Centos, Sles/SLED) are somehow inherently better; its more 'horses for courses'. (For example, this would be a different discussion if you were setting up a 'mission-critical' server.)
 
Old 10-24-2008, 01:02 PM   #5
jf.argentino
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Quote:
I think the vmware is more mainstream so will try that first.
I'm far to be a VMWare guru, but I use it and it's quite disturbing since every time you're updating the kernel (something like once per 2 months), you need to "re-install" it, and sometimes it doesn't work since VMWare have to compile its own modules, and if something in the kernel API have change, you have to wait that the VMWare team reports the change, or find a workaround on the web...

Quote:
do have a really old machine that once ran Redhat early version. From may be year 2002. I am guessing it is a 486 so I may try to load some Linuxs on it.
What is great with Linux is that you can run the last kernel on an old computer. The problem is to get the right distribution for this. So forget UBUNTU and other FEDORA distro since they're compiled for 686 arch, and use windows manager which are resources eaters for such an old PC. Try something like "Damn Small Linux", this is the only one I can remember the name, but if you take a look to "distrowatch.com", you'll can find plenty of lightweight distributions.
 
Old 10-24-2008, 03:49 PM   #6
onebuck
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Hi,

I've used both VMware & Virtualbox. I prefer VirtualBox for ease of use and the support documentation. Try it you'll like it.
 
  


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