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Old 04-15-2009, 04:05 PM   #1
MaxxPower
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Total Newbie


Well hello there everyone, I'm new here, and a total Linux newbie.
I'm looking at putting Linux onto my laptop in a dual boot with Windows Vista, basically just to get used to it and to try and expand my skillset, making me a little more employable in these troubled times.

Basically, I'm wondering what's going to be the best Linux distro for me to go with, and how to go about getting it all set up. For ease, I'll list the hardware specs of my laptop below.


CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7800
Motherboard Chipset: Intel PM965
Graphics: Nvidia 8700GT
HDD: 200GB SATA
Wi-Fi: Intel 4965AGN
LAN: Realtek RTL8168/8111 Family
Bluetooth
Webcam: BisonCam, NB Pro
IrDA Fast Infrared Port
SD Card Reader
Protector Suite QL Fingerprint Reader
HD-DVD ROM/DVDRW Drive
Motorola SM56 Data Fax Modem
HD Audio Device


So basically I'm gonna need some help with drivers too to get things up and running, I'm particularly interested in getting my LAN and WiFi up and running as the main priorities, along with some sound. The fingerprint login would be nice, but not essential. Whilst the Graphics drivers would be nice for higher resolutions.
Bluetooth isn't essential, and neither is the webcam.


Any help would be very much appreciated ^_^
 
Old 04-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #2
ceantuco
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Hi MaxxPower and welcome to LQ!

Ok, there are a lot of Distros (Linux flavors) that you could get. I will suggest to visit www.distrowatch.com then decide which distro you wish to download and see if you find a live CD version of it.
I would recommend distros like Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Slackware, Linux Mint; however the distro you choose is a personal option.
Good Luck!
 
Old 04-15-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
repo
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Hi,

Welcome to LQ

For a beginner, I would suggest ubuntu.
Your hardware should work, except

Code:
SD Card Reader
Protector Suite QL Fingerprint Reader
Motorola SM56 Data Fax Modem
Which could pose problems.

Grab a live cd (ubuntu)from the net, burn it to CD, and boot from it, to see if the hardware is supported.

Later you can install it to your HD
 
Old 04-15-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
Disillusionist
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Probably one of the most frequently asked questions here is "Which Distro is right for me?"

Most up to date Linux Distributions should meet your stated needs, the best way of finding out which is right for you is to try a few.

You might want to download a couple of live CD's before you do your first install, it can give an idea of what the look and feel is and whether it's going to recognise your hardware before you go throught the install process.

EDIT: darn my slow typing!
 
Old 04-15-2009, 04:15 PM   #5
MaxxPower
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Thanks for the quick responses guys ^_^

I'm currently downloading the 64-bit ISO for Ubuntu, which I'll whack on a CD and give a whirl. Or am I better off just sticking with the 32-bit version? Or unlike windows does it not make that huge a difference when it comes to driver/hardware support?


I'm not really too bothered about the SD Reader, Fingerprint Reader or the Modem (Heck, I haven't used a 56k modem in years....) so they shouldn't be a problem.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 05:33 AM   #6
maresmasb
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If these are your first steps with Linux, then you shouldn't be so pre-occupied by the idea of finding the perfect solution on your first day. Linux has started as an experiment and it is still evolving - change is the only constant in this game. So just evaluate whatever Live CD or distribution you have available. The beauty of Linux is diversity. Why lose it on the first day by sticking to your first random choice?

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 04:15 PM.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 06:41 AM   #7
MaxxPower
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Well I'm playing around with Linux for the moment, then I might give some others a try later on just to play around, though Ubuntu does seem pretty good so far when it comes to hardware. My Sound, WiFi, LAN and even Bluetooth were all picked up right away without needing to download/install anything additional, so it seems a nice friendly way to get started at the very least.

Thanks again for the advice guys, and I'm sure I'll be needing plenty more in future, hehe.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 07:47 AM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxxPower View Post

I'm currently downloading the 64-bit ISO for Ubuntu, which I'll whack on a CD and give a whirl. Or am I better off just sticking with the 32-bit version? Or unlike windows does it not make that huge a difference when it comes to driver/hardware support?
Had I had chance to reply before you started downloading anything, I might have advised 32 bit (except if you have a lot of ram); from where you are now, try 64 bit. The only real difference that you are likely to see is with proprietary apps (things like flash); for everything else (in theory) its just a matter of the distro feeding the same code through the compiler once to get a 32 bit version and once to get a 64, but for prorietary apps, you are entirely at the beck and call of the proprietary supplier. that said, I believe the sitautation with flash has now -eventually- changed.

Wouldn't know myself; I avoid it like the plague.

Quote:
I'm not really too bothered about the SD Reader, Fingerprint Reader or the Modem (Heck, I haven't used a 56k modem in years....) so they shouldn't be a problem.
The SD reader will propbably 'just work', the modem depends on the chipset, it may just work or it may be a bit of a hassle (should be possible, but if you don'r actually intend using it...), the fingerprint reader probably won't work without a bit of hassle (although some ThinkPads do, apparently, just work under SuSE, for example).

Quote:
So basically I'm gonna need some help with drivers too to get things up and running...
Just for emphasis, your experience here has been typical; most of the stuff for which in some other OSs you need to find drivers, in linux, in most distributions, it just happens out of the box. There will always be a residuum of problems with particularly obscure peripherals or with distros that take a particulalry trucculent attitude to this kind of thing, but at least 80-90% of the time it is actually less hassle than other systems.

Its only that remaining few percent that can be a bit of a pain, particularly as many hardware suppliers find no reason to provide decent Linux support.

And the most important tip; get to know the package manager app for whichever distro you choose; have a look in, eg, synaptic and just click on some program you want to add. Just a short delay and it does everything for you. Isn't that an order of magnitude better than what you may have become used to, even if it does mean abandoning a 'skill' which you have spent some time learning.
 
  


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