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Old 06-20-2006, 08:11 PM   #1
tsunamikitsune
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Location: Dubuque, Iowa
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Want to get into Linux, haven't installed anything yet


Ok, I'm getting sick of Windows XP and I'm looking to make Linux my main OS. I've backed up anything valuable to me and started looking around the internet to learn more about Linux. I want to partition my hard drive so I can keep Windows as my main OS until I get adjusted to Linux. I want to install Linux, but I don't know too much about it or about the different distributions, so I came here for advice on what I should use. The computer I use is a personal desktop computer. I surf the internet, listen to music, watch videos, and play games. I would like to use a free version of Linux (Debian looked good to me, although I wouldn't really know what to look for in a distribution). I have a decent understanding of computer software and hardware. (I've partitioned a hard drive before) Here's the specifications of my computer (If they matter):

Dell Dimension 4100
-Windows XP Professional System Pack 2
-Pentium III 800MHz Processor
-256MB RAM
-160GB Hard Drive
-Nvidia GeForce4 MX 4000 (128MB) Video Card
-2 DVD Drives and 1 Floppy Drive
-2 Ethernet Network Cards

I use Mediacom cable internet which requires a external modem that runs through ethernet or USB. I read that modems are usually a problem with Linux, so I thought I should include this.

I'm sorry if I gave more information then needed, but I'd really like to get Linux up and running as soon as possible, so I wanted to make my computer setup easy to understand. I hope someone can help me and guide me through this. Thanks in advance.
 
Old 06-20-2006, 08:33 PM   #2
xpromisex
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If youd like to see what ones fit you try this:
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
 
Old 06-20-2006, 08:44 PM   #3
tsunamikitsune
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Thanks, I took the test and Ubuntu looks good to me. Could someone tell me what the difference is between Ubuntu and Kubuntu? Is it better than Ubuntu, or should I just get Ubuntu?
 
Old 06-20-2006, 08:59 PM   #4
xpromisex
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Kubuntu is just Ubuntu with the KDE desktop instead of GNOME. KDE is a bit "Larger" as far as the amount of supplied programs go, but it is much heavier on the eye candy and tends to be easier to transition to(at least from most Micro$oft products. GNOME is easier if you're used to the Mac OS9 look though.)
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:02 PM   #5
mcmillan
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For what you want to do with your computer, you shouldn't have too much problems getting linux to do what you need. The only problem area is in games. There's native linux games out there, but anything you already have is probably just for windows. It's possible to run some things using a program called wine, or you can pay for a cedega, which does the same thing, but is geared more for getting games to work. I don't use either, but I've heard it can be a bit tricky to get things working, so I'm basically keeping windows just for games and the occasional other program that only works in windows.

For your hardware, nothing looks too usual so I doubt you'll have problems. For your modem, I think I've heard there's fewer problems if you connect using ethernet rather than usb.

For your distro, the link xpromisex gave is useful. If you're interested in debian, I'd recommend starting with ubuntu instead. It's based on debian, but has a bit more configuration by default. You'll still need to do some on your own, but it will at least give you a basic system pretty quickly and there's pretty good documentation available online to get whatever else you need working. Kubuntu is basically the same as ubuntu, but it uses KDE as a desktop by default instead of Gnome. There was just a thread discussing the difference between these two if you want to find some more information about what people think of the two. There's also Xubuntu, which uses XFCE, a more minimal desktop. You can install any of these after your initial install, so it's more what's on there by default.

Another good guide I've found is Getting Started with Linux and there's a lot of good information at The linux documentation project. I've also learned a lot just by browsing forums like this one or official distro forums.
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:10 PM   #6
tsunamikitsune
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So it just has a more Windows-like interface? I can do without that, I'd rather have something that looks different.

I'm downloading the Ubuntu CD ISO right now, and it says that it's the LiveCD (the one that runs the OS from CD, right?) version and the hard disk install. So does that mean I can play around with it only using the disc, and install it to my hard drive whenever I'm ready?

Depending on how well I can adjust to Ubuntu, I may just wipe my hard drive and install only Ubuntu (and no Windows). Is that a wise desicion? Can I drop Windows completely and use Ubuntu as a fully functional replacement? What will I do if I have a game or something that doesn't support Linux?
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:17 PM   #7
tsunamikitsune
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmillan
For what you want to do with your computer, you shouldn't have too much problems getting linux to do what you need. The only problem area is in games.
Ok, your post helped clear some things up, thanks.

So basically I should keep a small partition with XP on it? That's not a big problem, but would kinda suck to restart my computer and boot up XP each time I want to play game......
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:19 PM   #8
mcmillan
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People say kde looks more like windows, but I think they're both different. If you want to get an idea of what some of the desktops look like take a look at gnome-look.org or kde-look.org. These are also good websites to download ways to customize how things look.

The liveCD is a good way to check out ubuntu without messing with the hard drive, though it will be a bit slower. The newest version of ubuntu also will let you install using the liveCD, which I think a really nice advantage.

I'd recommend against completely dropping windows. As you said, there's a possibility that somethings you won't be able to use in linux, so you might as well keep windows around as long as you have it. But you'll probably be able to do most things in linux that you want to, I haven't even booted windows on my computer since sometime in March I think.
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:19 PM   #9
xpromisex
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Some games can run without Windows installed, but many can't. If you need "intense" games (3d acceleration and the like) you may want to keep a minimal windows install. However, if you only play Worms and Tyrian 2000 (both of which I reccommend, by the way) you can remove windows completely.
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:42 PM   #10
chrism01
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Another good overall Linux guide is: http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:45 PM   #11
tsunamikitsune
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I'm typing this post through Firefox on the Ubuntu LiveCD. This is amazing.

The second I saw the desktop I was sold. I'm going to partition 10-20GB of my hard drive for Windows, but the rest is going to Ubuntu.

Thanks xpromisex and mcmillan for your help. This looks like it'll be a million times better than Windows. ^_^
 
Old 06-20-2006, 10:35 PM   #12
NoStop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunamikitsune
I'm typing this post through Firefox on the Ubuntu LiveCD. This is amazing.

The second I saw the desktop I was sold. I'm going to partition 10-20GB of my hard drive for Windows, but the rest is going to Ubuntu.

Thanks xpromisex and mcmillan for your help. This looks like it'll be a million times better than Windows. ^_^


Another Linux convert.
 
Old 06-22-2006, 11:00 AM   #13
xpromisex
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Glad to hear I could help you!
 
  


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