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OK - been doing some reading of this forum - now totally confused... lol!
I'll begin by saying that I'm TOTALLY new to anything Linux related - never run it in any shape or form before - and may ask the stupidest of questions... so please bear with me. (I've been told that I can be a fast learner when it suits me...lol!)
Please also bear in mind that I moonlight as a PC tech for the local PC repair shop - so PC's in general are not alien voodoo boxes, and I am reasonably au fait with hardware and 'Doze OS's...
I am also 37 years old, and so may have a slightly slower learning threshold due to the rigours of old age... hahahaha! Oh - and I'm of the female persuasion - but don't hold that against me...
Now that's all out of the way... here come the idiotic questions....
OK - have the following PC that I'm bloody determined to install MY choice of linux OS on...
Intel P4 2.8 on a Gigabyte GA-8SG800 mobo SiS 648 chipset
Onboard Realtek ALC650 sound (AC97 basically)
Realtek RTL8139 nic (for internet/LAN access)
GeForce 4 MX440 vid card
Seagate 60gb HDD (x 2 - 2nd drive is in a removable drive bay and is full of backed up 'doze stuff - currently disabled)
Lite-On 52x CD/RW
...and all the other standard crap like floppy, USB, etc
Monitor, mouse, and keyboard are connected to a MyPico 2-port KVM switch on 2nd port
Now that's also out of the way... here's the problem...
I have a very nice copy of Fedora Core 3 here that I test installed on my antique laptop (Toshiba Satellite 4090XCDT) and thought that I'd rather have it on one of my desktop boxes... so I partition/format my HDD on the P4 and off I go and the thing says it's installed fine - recognised all my devices etc... but the darned thing hangs on the boot checks... first it was on eth0 - fixed that with a reinstall and set the IP etc... then it didn't like cups - reinstall without cups... then it started baulking at either the console mouse or crond...
So I got totally disheartened at that little adventure and fished out a copy of Mandrake 9.2 which installed fine and actually boots up and works like a charm! OK - a few small problems with the sound under KDE - but otherwise all seemed to be working fine... until I decided to have a play and messed in drakconf Update and installed some of the extra games from the install CD's... now I've lost 90% of the darned Menu links....grrr!
Now - what I'd really like to do is to install Fedora Core 3 on this box and get it working - but if that's not going to happen, am I better off trying to install Mandrake 10?
Another thing that makes me prefer to get FC3 happening here is the abundance of literature available for RedHat/Fedora - something I'm having trouble finding in relation to Mandrake 9/10... I like books OK...lol!
I also have a copy of Suse 9 Pro here that I could try if all else fails - but I'd like to save that for when I've learned a bit more about the OS in a more newb friendly environment - god only knows what trouble I could get myself into with Suse 9... hahaha!
First off, welcome to LQ. You've found a great place to look for answers and ask questions.
In general, it is usually best to get the latest versions of distros. If nothing else,later versions like Mandrake 10 are going to have more security fixes/patches than earlier versions. And to be honest, with a rig like yours, you are not going to have any problems running the latest versions of anything.
I can understand wanting to use Fedora due to the abundance of literature, but with a place like LQ, you'll be able to find help for a variety of distros. In general, the similarities between distros are greater than their differences. I've got a personal distaste for Red Hat distros because they seem to do things just to be different, so I have difficulty recommending them. So if I were choosing, I'd go the Mandrake route. However, you may want to consider some alternatives. A more "difficult" distro like Debian or Slackware will probably teach you much more about how Linux functions than Mandrake.
So in the end, it really depends on your goals. If you want to get Linux up and running just to see if you like it, Mandrake is a good choice. If you want to get some dirt under your fingernails, try Debian or Slackware.
Another welcome from a fellow user who would feel very lost without LinuxQuestions!
Mandrake distros are probably among the user-friendliest, but they are known to have problems with menu handling. I'm not expert enough to be able to give any advice on this, and besides, it's a many-faceted subject since so many things can go wrong.
I myself don't rely on menus very much, but what I do use is IceWM as a window manager--very, very fast, and very, very stable. It has a nice toolbar that you can make double-height (to accomodate a start-app field and extra stuff), you can make it disappear if you wish, etc., etc.
And with IceWM you can easily configure your own menus either by editing a simple (well, fairly simple...) text file in the "hidden" ~/.icewm directory where all your user prefs are, or by using a third-party control panel, of which there are a couple available.
I much prefer that to messing with Mandrake's already messy menu handling. Things certainly do disappear. With IceWM it's easy to put them back if desired.
I know that other lightweight WM's offer the same convenience, though possibly their configuration files are not quite as easy to edit.
KDE is a beautiful and extremely popular interface, but it's bulky and complicated in the extreme. For speed and, finally, for convenience, I certainly prefer something lighter.
I do apologise for the rambling first post - but I thought I would be best off giving all available info up front... saves questions later...lol!
I hear you on the Mandrake Menu thing jonr - I have managed to screw mine up already - not bad for my first attempt... grrr!
I think I will have to give Mandrake 10 a shot... pity I FC3 will not play nice - but I suppose I can always give it another go when I have a better idea of what I am doing with Linux... then again - I might even get more adventurous and try a different flavour even...
I am still open to any other advice anyone wants to throw my way...
In all honsety - I find Slackware to be MUCH EASIER to use than Drake. Sure, you might have to edit a config file or 2, but because it installs everything from source installation of programs is much for uniform. Also, it's much faster than any other linux distro I've tested. May want to think about giving it a run...
If you do decide on Mandrake, please consider 10.1 Official Edition instead of 10.0. Supposedly a lot of things got fixed in 10.1 OE that were wrong in 10.0 and 10.l Community edition.
I'm pretty happy with 10.1 OE now after a few bumps the first day or two.
Not meaning to detract from the Slackware suggestion, though. The leaner things can be, the more I generally like them; I just don't feel confident enough to cope with Slackware, having had a rough time even experimenting with some friendly Debian-based distros!
I found a page by Google search that offered official edition download; since I feel a bit uneasy about this, I'm not going to quote the link. If Mandrake isn't officially offering it that way yet, I dunno... Of course, what I installed was obtained by download by that CD distributor! Hmm...
Anyway, you should find the same link as I did on the first page of a Google search's results.
I am reasonably comfortable with how Google works and could probably find the Official 10.1 release for free download somewhere... lol!
Mind you - if its only a week off from official free release from legit sources - it may be a better idea to wait? Maybe....
As for my current 9.2 install - looks like the KDE and Gnome parts have merged... I have Galleon as the only browser option in my KDE menu here... most disconcerting...lol! I may just have to reinstall 9.2 again...lol! see what I can break next?
Strongly encourage you to try Firefox browser--very quick download, very easy installation (well, with one exception: the dialog box where you choose where to install it is really crazy and doesn't work right till you have tried EVERY way to get it to work!). If you do, I also suggest you put (finally, see last sentence) the program files in your home directory, in a "firefox" subdirectory. That way, if/when you upgrade all you have to do is rename that directory in order to save it in case of emergency, and install the next version the same way you did the prior one.
By the way, the Firefox user's files are, very disappointingly, kept in the ~/.mozilla directory in a subdirectory called "firefox." I have no idea why they chose this insane option. But they did. It caused me no end of grief when I moved from 9.2 to 10.1 recently. I finally got things straightened out.
By contrast, the Thunderbird mail client (partner to Firefox in the new Mozilla projects) keeps ITS user files sensibly in a directory called ~/.thunderbird.
(In case you're not familiar yet with some naming options, the tilde "~" means /home/<your user name> directory. And the dot before a directory or file name simply means "hidden" not in the sense of secret or dangerous but only to avoid seeing tons of file/directory names when doing a listing, unless you want to see them all.)
Wow! Thanks for the conventions - they will come in handy...
I use Firefox 1.0 on my Windows box - it works pretty well...lol! Will definitely have to look into that when I finally get this darned linux box working... I cant even get up a console right now... not that I would know what to do once I got there...lol!
Originally posted by tdierikx I cant even get up a console right now... not that I would know what to do once I got there...lol!
I suspect you'll really enjoy Linux once you get it going, whatever distribution you decide on finally. Since you're a technically minded person, I bet you'll end up using Debian or Slackware. But Mandrake is as good a way as any to start out, I believe.
And you found the right place to get good answers to questions along the way.