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Old 12-03-2003, 05:50 PM   #1
WarrenWright
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Location: Dallas
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Switching to Linux...practical for my situation?


Hi all,

I'm a software developer from the windows world, but would really like to run linux on one of my machines at home.

I'm normally more than happy to just pick different distributions and see how they work out, except when you take into account the "wife whom I love dearly and 1 year old daughter who takes up all our time" factors, so I present my dilemma to you!

I'd like to take my old Pentium II 400 mHz box, and replace Windows 98 with a linux distribution.

No problem, right?

However, that box is currently connected to three printers, and, more importantly, it shares those printers over a wireless network with my wife's high-powered Windows XP-running Dell laptop.

The printers my linux solution would have to work with (seamlessly), and share out to my wife:
  • HP Deskjet 3820 - B/W & color printer
  • Lexmark x80 - copier, printer, scanner
  • HP Photosmart 7550

The Photosmart and the 3820 are the important ones.

Questions for you:[list=1][*] How difficult is it to (using Samba, I presume) network (wirelessly) with XP laptops?
[*] How about given the fact that my wireless router is a Dell Truemobile 1184?
[*] Is printer sharing from a linux box to XP very reliable? It is NOT very reliable with my Win98 box right now, so this could be a very decisive factor!
[*] What linux distributions are best to increase the likelihood that this venture will be successful?
[*] Finally, given that I haven't used unix since college, but am a software developer (C++ mostly, C# & .Net as well), what kind of effort and how much time would you estimate for me to do this?[/list=1]

Looks like a great forum. Thanks for your help!

Warren from Dallas
 
Old 12-03-2003, 05:58 PM   #2
2damncommon
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http://www.knoppix.org/
 
Old 12-03-2003, 06:18 PM   #3
burnpile
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Re: Switching to Linux...practical for my situation?

Quote:
Originally posted by WarrenWright
[B

Questions for you:[list=1][*] How difficult is it to (using Samba, I presume) network (wirelessly) with XP laptops?
[*] How about given the fact that my wireless router is a Dell Truemobile 1184?
[*] Is printer sharing from a linux box to XP very reliable? It is NOT very reliable with my Win98 box right now, so this could be a very decisive factor!
[*] What linux distributions are best to increase the likelihood that this venture will be successful?
[*] Finally, given that I haven't used unix since college, but am a software developer (C++ mostly, C# & .Net as well), what kind of effort and how much time would you estimate for me to do this?[/list=1]

Looks like a great forum. Thanks for your help!

Warren from Dallas [/B]
1. Not hard at all. Samba is a popular subject, so there's a lot of info on the net as well as here about it.
2. Shouldn't matter. As long as the router adheres to standards that is. All you are doing is exchanging packets with it .
3. I'd reccomend Vector Linux http://www.vectorlinux.com/ since you're using less than blazing hardware.
4. I'd set aside a Saturday just in case. Realisticly, barring any troubles you'll have a couple hours installing and setting up, and a couple more customizing to your liking.

Good luck with it.
 
Old 12-03-2003, 06:18 PM   #4
Mara
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It looks like the Deskjet and Photosmart work. One is in LQ HCL (http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl/showcat.php?cat=205) and both are listed in Mandrake Hardware database (http://www.linux-mandrake.com/en/hardware.php3) as 'known' (what means they were reported to work).
I can't find info about your Lexmark this way. But it doesn't mean it won't work.

2damncommon gave a very good suggestion. Knoppix is a distibution you boot from the cd, without installation, so you can check everything.

Questions 1-3 I don't know the router model, so I don't know how is it with its compatibility. I can tell you one thing: when you have it working, it just works.
4. Distribution usually doesn't matter. All use the same kernel, the same drivers and so on. COnfiguration programs are different, so you may choose the one you like best.
5. It depends on drivers. Minimum is one day (especially because you have little experience).
 
Old 12-03-2003, 07:30 PM   #5
swiftnet
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Best option is a second drive or partition

As I understand the situation you need:

A Linux Distro with GUI config options, because you are you are time challenged and used to Windows.

A Linux Distro that can work with wireless. Is the current box directly connected to the router or does it have a wireless card? If it is a wireless box, what brand of adapter is being used?

A linux distro that'll work with all of your printers.

What I suggest is Mandrake 9.2, although it is big and bloated, so more ram/faster pc would help. It works very well with both atmel and prism2 wireless cards/usb devices. It has easy to use graphical config tools for the printers and server setups. A second partition or hard drive will make your life much easier. If you have the second partition/disk you could load Mandy on that and have a dual boot while you got up to speed on Linux, the only printer I've never used is you Lexmark MF unit, the others work perfectly.

MDK 9.2 will share all the configured printers automatically with the default samba install.

http://www.mandrakelinux.com

Last edited by swiftnet; 12-03-2003 at 07:32 PM.
 
Old 12-03-2003, 08:22 PM   #6
Tinkster
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Re: Switching to Linux...practical for my situation?

Quote:
Originally posted by WarrenWright
The printers my linux solution would have to work with (seamlessly), and share out to my wife:
  • HP Deskjet 3820 - B/W & color printer
  • Lexmark x80 - copier, printer, scanner
  • HP Photosmart 7550
1. http://www.linuxprinting.org/show_pr...P-DeskJet_3820
2. Nope
3. http://www.linuxprinting.org/show_pr...hotoSmart_7550

Quote:
The Photosmart and the 3820 are the important ones.
Pheeeew :}

Quote:
Questions for you:[list=1][*] How difficult is it to (using Samba, I presume) network (wirelessly) with XP laptops?
[*] How about given the fact that my wireless router is a Dell Truemobile 1184?
[*] Is printer sharing from a linux box to XP very reliable? It is NOT very reliable with my Win98 box right now, so this could be a very decisive factor!
[*] What linux distributions are best to increase the likelihood that this venture will be successful?
[*] Finally, given that I haven't used unix since college, but am a software developer (C++ mostly, C# & .Net as well), what kind of effort and how much time would you estimate for me to do this?[/list=1]
1. If the WiFi card is supported it should be all good.
Check Linuxhardware.org to make sure, though.

2. Yep :} http://lkml.org/lkml/2003/6/8/76

3. At my old workplace we've been serving Novell &
Windows-Clients with Samba and CUPS ... no worries.

4. It's more a matter of taste than one of being possible.

5. I haven't installed Mono (Ximian/Novell version of
.NET) so I wouldn't be able to say anything about it. If
you're happy with a great editor, makefiles and a highly
ANSI compliant C/C++ compiler, out of the box :} ... as
for the entire process ... as Mara suggested, it depends
on many factors ... anything between 2 hours and 2 days ;)


Cheers,
Tink

Last edited by Tinkster; 12-03-2003 at 08:24 PM.
 
Old 12-03-2003, 10:51 PM   #7
WarrenWright
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Dallas
Distribution: Fedora Core 1
Posts: 21

Original Poster
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thanks for the great suggestions so far. It sounds like I have less to worry about than I feared, since I'm willing to make time for this happy conversion, and am more than willing to work with command lines when GUIs don't cut it....heck, I barely use the mouse on my Win2k box at work between hotkeys, the run prompt, and the command prompt.

I'm happy to have stumbled (googled) across a good forum like this the first time out looking, as it is saving me a lot of time, I can guess.

Now to do some reading, read further responses here, and choose a saturday to scrap that old win98 installation!

WarrenWright
 
Old 12-03-2003, 11:10 PM   #8
tearinox
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go with slackware, it forces you to learn about linux it worked for me. and you probly know your going to need to read a lot. you'll find "man" to be a very useful command

but in anyway, congratulations on getting moving over to the light!
 
Old 12-03-2003, 11:52 PM   #9
WarrenWright
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Re: Re: Switching to Linux...practical for my situation?

Quote:
Originally posted by Tinkster
2. Yep :} http://lkml.org/lkml/2003/6/8/76
That's brilliant!

Warren
 
Old 12-04-2003, 12:19 AM   #10
Whitehat
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For your needs I would suggest something like Redhat version 7.3 to 9.0 (I would use 7.3 if it would work with your printers and stuff).

Please stop back and let us know what you selected and how it went.

Also feel free to come by any time and just chat, or ask for help.....or help others.

Welcome to LQO

Peace,
-Whitehat

Last edited by Whitehat; 12-04-2003 at 12:20 AM.
 
Old 12-04-2003, 01:41 AM   #11
Tinkster
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Re: Re: Re: Switching to Linux...practical for my situation?

Quote:
Originally posted by WarrenWright
That's brilliant!

Warren
That's what I thought, you're already using Linux ;)


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 12-04-2003, 02:03 AM   #12
Azmeen
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Quote:
Originally posted by tearinox
go with slackware, it forces you to learn about linux it worked for me. and you probly know your going to need to read a lot. you'll find "man" to be a very useful command

but in anyway, congratulations on getting moving over to the light!
I use Slackware myself, but I don't recommend it in this situation. The man needs it up ASAP, and Slackware is not suitable for this situation.

Go with Knoppix for testing, and Mandrake for actual hard-drive residing Linux ... and don't worry about learning too much for now.
 
Old 12-04-2003, 09:19 AM   #13
balam
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ok
here is my word
samba is so easy once you know about, while your are lerning it it may become a bit hard ( but the harder thing to learn you never forget and you will always helpfull) linux is not like your windows os. linux is 90% full control, ( the other 10%) is if you know how to work the kernel)
I am from central america, English is not my strong in life, the first time that I got my hands in linux was the time that installer were not so user friendly, and documentacion was en English, ( and docs were 100% techy head) I was not a techy head by that time and I had to learn English to read bout linux. due to that I learn not just linux but also English and the new way of think about software ( whay pay if there is better free)

hope that it helps.

go linux and do not be afraid of it. you will find it very usefull.
 
Old 12-04-2003, 04:10 PM   #14
WarrenWright
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Dallas
Distribution: Fedora Core 1
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
balam,

Thanks for the advice. Aside from picking a good free weekend day this month, I'm already decided to put linux on the box. It will turn the machine from something good only for printer sharing (and it does that badly as well), into something I intend to spend a lot of time on...learning and playing.

Later,

Warren
 
Old 12-04-2003, 04:18 PM   #15
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally posted by WarrenWright
Aside from picking a good free weekend day this month, I'm already decided to put linux on the box. It will turn the machine from something good only for printer sharing (and it does that badly as well), into something I intend to spend a lot of time on...learning and playing.

Later,

Warren
Good luck mate, keep us informed how it
goes, what distro you chose and such :)


Cheers,
Tink
 
  


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