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Hey everyone. I was looking around the n00b area, and it seems like everyone else has quite a handle on Linux. I however, know almost nothing. I am still using windows, but would like to try out Linux. I was planning on putting it on an old computer, because I don't want to screw anything up on my good one. The old computer, however is a pII with a 20 gig hd. I am wondering if that computer would even give me an accurate impression of what linux is like and what it can do. I was also wondering what a good version of linux is to start out with. Someone said that Debian was good because it forces you to not treat it like windows. I was also thinking about picking up The Red Hat Linux 9 Bible or Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! Anyway, I was wondering what kind of suggetions you guys have for a complete n00b such as myself. Also, I am ashamed to say I am still using aol, which as far as I know cannot be used with linux, so I was wondering if something like wine would work for using it.
I started out with Mandrake and got comfortable before
switching to Slack.
Get the iso's from linuxiso.org and play with the old computer.
It may be slow on that machine, but once your an expert you'll
figure out how to optimise things.
Read everything you can get your hands on. Books, magazines (back issues too!) HOWTO guides, official distribution FAQ's & documentation & Linux forums etc etc are all valuable sources of information and will help you greatly in your choice of distro. A lot of it probably won't mean much until you actually get a distro up and running, but you can never know too much, right?
Do your research before choosing a distro and installing it.
Check for hardware compatibility with your old system and whichever distro you like the look of.
Mandrake is particularly user friendly and I recommend it whole heartedly to a Windows user that wants to change over to Linux.
OK, i was checking out mandrake and the screenshots they have make it look like windows, in terms of it being a GUI. However, I keep seeing coding windows which is what I originally thought linux was all about. How much coding knowledge is involved with using linux? Also I am a big LAN gamer, so it is difficult to think of giving up my windows system. (although I know you can partition in order to have linux and windows) I was wondering how far emulators such as WinE go. Will I be able to play all of my windows games? Also some other questions I have are things like word processing. I have to write papers for school, so do word processors come with linux, do I have to buy/download them, and just in general, where do I get linux programs from? Thanks for all of your help. Oh, BTW, I keep seeing people with multiple versions of linux listed as what they are using. How does that work? Do they have them on seperate computers, seperate partitions, or do they somehow work together?
What you need to do is a bit of research. Use the search facility here because your sort of questions are asked ALL the time. Also, google is your friend.
Just quickly though, there are plenty of word processors and they are free. Abiword is my editor of choice and it can open and save ms word documents. There is also Openoffice.org which is a free DTP suite.
Wine will most probably not play all your games, but many games have linux versions.
I have also just started out with linux, and I have found Knoppix to be a great place to start, because you primarily just boot it from a CDR, but if you like it, then you can install it to your hard drive. The forums there are also great for answering your questions. You can get it from Knoppix.net.
I think Red Hat 9 is easy. I am a 99% windows user but I want to be able to run Linux for certain things. I run both Linux en WinXP from the same machine with 1 hard disk. Here is how I did it:
(Try at your own risk. I've seen 11 year old kids rendering their HD unreadable. But common sence usually does the trick.)
Have 2 partitions:
-NTFS primary partition for WinXP
-FAT32 partition for both Linux and XP so you can share MP3 and stuff
be sure to have at least 4 gig unallocated space on your HD.
Download 3 Red Hat 9 iso's for free.
Copy the iso's to the FAT32 partition.
Download the Red Hat 9 install bootdisk (rawrite and .img) and make this disk in Windows.
Boot from the disk
Choose 'have RH9 iso's on HD'
Select the FAT32 partition (probably named 'hda2' or something)
Use Disk Druid to make 2 more partitions out of the unallocated space. Say 1 gig for SWAP and 3 gig for linux (format as ext2 or ext3. I don't know the damn difference but ext3 sounds cooler )
voila, installation can begin.
Be sure to use GRUB as bootloader (lilo is lame) and make it use the Master Boot Record or it won't load.
Now when your comp starts you got 10 secs to choose between linux or XP.
If you need to download stuff from Windows but use it in Linux (eg. nVidia drivers for linux) simply copy them on the FAT32 partition since you can read it from linux when mounting it. (mount /dev/hda2 /mnt -> makes the drive available from /mnt/)
Welcome aboard Enfer Singe...that old computer should be fine for Linux. I have read that Linux likes older hardware anyways. I say just make sure you got a good amount of RAM (for graphical) or compensate with moderate graphics card (like a 16MB or 32MB one). As for distributions, I'd say Red Hat or Mandrake. I never cared much for Mandrake but liked RH. Of course, I'll be honest, I used both for a limited time before ditching em (not even long enough to really learn em actually) Now I am using Fedora Core 2 and have learned tons...of course that has to do with my frame of mind moreso than the distributions. But I'd recommend Fedora too as it's sort of based from RH anyways.
Ya know what, keep your Windows box for gaming and use the Linux one as a server for your LAN gaming? LAN party, all right hehe. And I would think a lot of the easier distros (RH and mandrake) will come with OpenOffice (just make sure and select it when you do the installation) so you can do your papers and what not. I know Fedora came with OpenOffice. What I have found with documentation...read it mainly for the terms and what not so you have a grasp on those. There might be times when you need to read to see how to do something in particular. But you need not read it all as all may not apply to you. Just my 2 cents, when you want to accomplish a specific task, that's when you break out the docs and what not. I've been pacing myself more with Linux and I find it's better for me. I think some people go too fast, get frustrated, and quit. Which is why I recommend taking it easy with docs....besides, there are heaps of docs out there!
And yes, Linux's art IS around the command line...what I have learned over the past month, is the Linux command line (terminal as it's also called) is the most powerful command line I have come across...beats DOS easily. So reading on it eventually and getting familar with it would be a good idea.
Ok, I have just started up my OLD computer and am looking at the specs, and really, it is a POS.
Here is the info:
PII 398 mhz
128 mb RAM (Yes, mb)
8 mb video card
So, it truly is a junker, but the good news is that the filing system is already FAT32 (thats good, right, because linux doesn't use NTFS, or am I wrong). The only thing I was not sure about though, was that I have XP pro on here. Does it not automatically make it NTFS, or is that something deeper within the HD? Anyway, I went to my local library and picked up the only 2 linux books they had. They are both pretty old (1999-2000) One of them came with a cd that has Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 on it. I would install this, but I don't see much about it online, and the big thorn in my side is that I still use aol. Should I just let my computer run to get mandrake? (BTW, I decided to go mandrake over Red Hat because Mandrake shows screenies, which I like, and it seems like it has more of a community than Red Hat.) Also, I was looking around the Red Hat site and it said it would take about 27 hours of download per disk on 56k.............crap. Anyway, I might ask for more help with partitioning this old hard drive, as I have never done it before.
Dude, I am running Windows 2000 Server on a PII 233mhz so your setup isn't THAT bad. I think with 2000/XP you can choose FAT32 or NTFS. I've seen XP machines with FAT32, I'd recommend NTFS anyways. Linux uses different file systems anyways...ones I have come across are ext2 and ext3. I think there's another called reiser or something...can't remember the name off hand. The only recommendation I can make is maybe adding a little more RAM if you can, but it MIGHT be able to run with that...could be a little sluggish in graphical. Here are the requirements for Mandrake:
To download the ISO's you need a fast connection and obviously a CD Burner. I couldn't imagine downloading Linux dstro's on dialup. If you don't have those see if you have a friend who does and would be willing to do it for ya.
Partitioning...well, once you run the installation of Mandrake (asusming you go with it) it will do hte partitioning and formatting for ya. I think there's a utility that will give you a default partitioning scheme, for starters you can just do that.