LinuxQuestions.org
Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 04-10-2009, 08:55 AM   #1
matrixxx
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Want to Learn Linux but Which and How?


I am not an IT professional or an 'Expert' but I can build, repair upgrade etc computers and small networks running Microsoft Windows. I do this as a hobby and am self taught.

My desktop PC runs Windows XP Home and I have an Acer Aspire Laptop running Windows Vista on AMD Turion 1.6Ghz, 1Gb of DDR2 RAM and which has a DVD+/-RW drive and I connect to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Ideally I wanted my laptop to dual boot Vista and a Linux Distro so that I still had a laptop I could use whilst I was learning Linux. However, even though I have a 70Gb D Drive with more than 40Gb free, the Vista disk management will not allow me to free up any more than 2.5Gb to install Linux. I have done a lot of research on the internet and it would appear that this is an inbuilt limitation with Vista.

The next option is to take the plunge and format my laptop and install Linux but this begs many questions for a newbie as follows

1 I know there are many different distros but is there a website anywhere that lists them all with the software that is included with each and what use each is best put to i.e. home use, business use, web surfing etc?

2 Will all parts of my laptop work after installation of my choice of Linux especially DVD drive and Wi-Fi?

3 Can I install more than one type of Distro?

4 I've heard of Gnome and KDE interfaces, they are GUIs I think and does each Distro come with both or does each Distro have only KDE or only Gnome?

5 Am I right in thinking that unlike in Windows, I may have to search for and install such drivers myself?

6 Am I right in thinking that if I do install Linux then my desktop would have View Only access to my Linux folder tree and vice versa?

7 Bearing in mind all the above, does anyone have a recommendation for my first Linux install as I have already downloaded Ubuntu 9.04?

Thanks

Last edited by matrixxx; 04-10-2009 at 09:19 AM.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
unixmen
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Posts: 39

Rep: Reputation: 16
normal burn it with nero of other burnning tools . burn the iso file , after that reboot your laptop with cdrom .


the Ubuntu may be a good choice for you because is supporting full laptop hardwars .
 
Old 04-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
jdkaye
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, UK
Distribution: Debian Testing Amd64
Posts: 5,464

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixxx View Post
I am not an IT professional or an 'Expert' but I can build, repair upgrade etc computers and small networks running Microsoft Windows. I do this as a hobby and am self taught.

My desktop PC runs Windows XP Home and I have an Acer Aspire Laptop running Windows Vista on AMD Turion 1.6Ghz, 1Gb of DDR2 RAM and which has a DVD+/-RW drive and I connect to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Ideally I wanted my laptop to dual boot Vista and a Linux Distro so that I still had a laptop I could use whilst I was learning Linux. However, even though I have a 70Gb D Drive with more than 40Gb free, the Vista disk management will not allow me to free up any more than 2.5Gb to install Linux. I have done a lot of research on the internet and it would appear that this is an inbuilt limitation with Vista.

The next option is to take the plunge and format my laptop and install Linux but this begs many questions for a newbie as follows

1 I know there are many different distros but is there a website anywhere that lists them all with the software that is included with each and what use each is best put to i.e. home use, business use, web surfing etc?
Yes. http://distrowatch.com/
Once you've narrowed down your selection a bit you can visit your candidate's website and find out what is included. Generally you get an enormous amount of choice on what to include at the time of installation. Linux is all about freedom so it means you can pretty well do what you like. You can always add and remove stuff freely after installation.

Quote:
2 Will all parts of my laptop work after installation of my choice of Linux especially DVD drive and Wi-Fi?
DVD drive? Almost certainly. For me wifi is a black art but most people manage to get theirs working. It all depends on which wifi adapter comes with your laptop. You can find more information about drivers and other stuff here:
http://www.linux-laptop.net/

Quote:
3 Am I right in thinking that unlike in Windows, I may have to search for and install such drivers myself?
No, you're wrong. Most drivers install automatically. For many people all the drivers install automatically. In my case everything was automatic except my video driver and my webcam driver.

Quote:
4 Am I right in thinking that if I do install Linux then my desktop would have View Only access to my Linux folder tree and vice versa?
I don't understand this question. If you install linux you have complete access to linux folders. Some are accessed as a normal user and others only as root, but you will always have a way to acess any file/folder if you need to.
Quote:
5 Bearing in mind all the above, does anyone have a recommendation for my first Linux install as I have already downloaded Ubuntu 9.04?
I won't go near this question. Linux is about choice and taste. Everyone is different. I'd suggest trying a few live CD's and see which ones suit you. I started off with Debian because I found it the most natural for me, but I am a strange person (perhaps).
Quote:
Thanks
Above all, have fun and enjoy your freedom.
jdk

Last edited by jdkaye; 04-10-2009 at 09:22 AM.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
Robhogg
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Old York, North Yorks.
Distribution: Debian 7 (mainly)
Posts: 653

Rep: Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixxx View Post
...Vista disk management will not allow me to free up any more than 2.5Gb to install Linux. I have done a lot of research on the internet and it would appear that this is an inbuilt limitation with Vista.
Wow - Microsoft must be really determined to dominate the PC. You could try a third-party disk management tool, such as the gparted live disk.*

Quote:
1 I know there are many different distros but is there a website anywhere that lists them all with the software that is included with each and what use each is best put to i.e. home use, business use, web surfing etc?
I don't know about all of them, but you could try distrowatch.com or Zegenie's distro chooser. The latest issue of Linux Format has an extensive article on this, as well.

Quote:
2 Will all parts of my laptop work after installation of my choice of Linux especially DVD drive and Wi-Fi?
DVD - yes, although to watch encrypted commercial DVDs you will need to download extra libraries (for legal reasons). Wi-Fi support is improving in Linux, but depends on your chip set.

Quote:
3 Am I right in thinking that unlike in Windows, I may have to search for and install such drivers myself?
For some, yes (particularly Wi-fi drivers 3D video drivers). Other drivers come ready-installed in the major distros, and you can install the devices without needing even a disk (unlike in Windows).
Quote:
4 Am I right in thinking that if I do install Linux then my desktop would have View Only access to my Linux folder tree and vice versa?
Linux now has reliable read-and-write drivers for NTFS. Vista might not even see your Linux partitions without additional drivers.
Quote:
5 Bearing in mind all the above, does anyone have a recommendation for my first Linux install as I have already downloaded Ubuntu 9.04?
Ubuntu is very popular, and generally a good choice for a first install. Or you could try out Knoppix first, without need to install.

* Of course, remember to back up your important data first (just in case).

Last edited by Robhogg; 04-10-2009 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Caveat
 
Old 04-10-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
netman4ttm
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Distribution: FreeBSD 8.0 xubuntu
Posts: 49

Rep: Reputation: 16
Try Sun's Virtualbox, on your Vista install. That way you can have Linux, Sun, BSD or what ever and still have the OS you are most comfortable with.
http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
 
Old 04-10-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
johnsfine
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2007
Distribution: Centos
Posts: 5,286

Rep: Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixxx View Post
even though I have a 70Gb D Drive with more than 40Gb free, the Vista disk management will not allow me to free up any more than 2.5Gb to install Linux.
If you defragment your Vista partition inside Vista, you can then use the gparted (a graphical partitioning tool) in almost any Linux liveCD to shrink the Vista partition to make room to install Linux.

Quote:
I have done a lot of research on the internet and it would appear that this is an inbuilt limitation with Vista.
I don't know much about Vista. If that is just a limit in the disk management program, probably Vista could still run after gparted has shrunk Vista's partition below that minimum. But I'm not at all sure.

Quote:
I know there are many different distros but is there a website anywhere that lists them all with the software that is included
I never found distro comparison websites very informative.

Popularity is a bad measure of quality, and distro comparison websites are at best a bad measure of popularity and no meaningful measure of characteristics that matter.

As for what is "included", that tends not to be a real issue. Especially with Debian based distributions (such as Ubuntu or Mepis) every common package is effectively included because the distros repository is only needed for binaries that differ from Debian. They automatically use the Debian repository for binaries that don't differ and Debian has almost every popular package (and a LOT of unpopular ones).

If you manage to want a package that isn't in the repositories, it still isn't very hard to install.

Quote:
with each and what use each is best put to i.e. home use, business use, web surfing etc?
That also tends not to be meaningfully different between distros, though there are exceptions (Centos, for example, seems to be a lot harder to set up as simple single user system than many others, while it has advanced features to make setting up software raid and other common server features easier).

Quote:
3 Can I install more than one type of Distro?
I think that would make the learning process harder, and your available disk space would also need to be managed much more carefully.

Quote:
4 I've heard of Gnome and KDE interfaces, they are GUIs I think and does each Distro come with both or does each Distro have only KDE or only Gnome?
Many come with just one. Some come with both. Most that come with just one allow you to easily add the other and use whichever you prefer for each session.

But generally it is best to use the one that the maintainers of the distro are using (just in case they make one of the occasional mistakes that can be made in distro maintenance that causes some package they aren't actively testing to get caught in the cracks between contradictory dependencies).

Quote:
7 Bearing in mind all the above, does anyone have a recommendation for my first Linux install as I have already downloaded Ubuntu 9.04?
I think you would like KDE and Mepis better, but Ubuntu (default Gnome) isn't a bad choice.

Last edited by johnsfine; 04-10-2009 at 10:32 AM.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 11:34 AM   #7
jay73
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 130Reputation: 130
Quote:
6 Am I right in thinking that if I do install Linux then my desktop would have View Only access to my Linux folder tree and vice versa?
Yes and no, linux can read to and write from ntfs (Ubuntu should be able to do so out of the box, other distros require you to install ntfs-3g manually); all distros should give full access to FAT. As for windows, meh. The higher you raise the fence, the less likely the sheep are to pass over, understand what I mean? Fortunately, some people in the OS community have written drivers of their own to access ext2/ext3 from windows.

Last edited by jay73; 04-10-2009 at 11:36 AM.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 01:35 PM   #8
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,061

Rep: Reputation: 893Reputation: 893Reputation: 893Reputation: 893Reputation: 893Reputation: 893Reputation: 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixxx View Post
Ideally I wanted my laptop to dual boot Vista and a Linux Distro so that I still had a laptop I could use whilst I was learning Linux....
You should also consider trying out one (or several) Live CDs.

Quote:
However, even though I have a 70Gb D Drive with more than 40Gb free, the Vista disk management will not allow me to free up any more than 2.5Gb to install Linux.
In general, the only space that can be used for a new partition is contiguous space at one end of partition. So, the first thing that you have to do is defragment the data that you have, and shuffle it up to one end of the partition. Then, you should have a chance of making a worthwhile partition.

Quote:
The next option is to take the plunge and format my laptop and install Linux but this begs many questions for a newbie as follows
...or, to get started, you can try a live CD...

Quote:
1 I know there are many different distros but is there a website anywhere that lists them all with the software that is included with each and what use each is best put to i.e. home use, business use, web surfing etc?
Distrowatch, mentioned earlier, is the best summary of what version of which app is in what and general distro news, but it isn't going to totally satisfy your requirements. I mean, if you see that one has samba 3.3.3 and the other has 3.3.2, will you know whether that matters to you?

Probably, the most obvious distinction is betweeen 'server distros' and 'desktop distros', even though there is not a clear line separating them. Server distros are often primarily command line, but there is no reason that you couldn't take a server distro and add a GUI (but its not altogether clear why you should, given that you could just use a desktop distro and not have to make as much effort yourself).

Probably by 'business use' you mean one of the enterprise variants. Really, there doesn't seem to be any reason for you to consider one of those.

Almost anything will do what you need for home use/surfing. Some of the smaller distros (DSL, Puppy, etc) will have a poorer/smaller choice of apps, but you probably only need to consider them if you have a lower power computer, where the more compact apps are an advantage.

Quote:
2 Will all parts of my laptop work after installation of my choice of Linux especially DVD drive and Wi-Fi?
Potentially, yes. Wi-Fi is probably one the more problematic things; it is unlikely that your Wi-Fi cannot be made to work, but it may take a bit of fiddling. The chances are probably rather better than 50:50 that it will work without any hassle, but that's not a guarantee.

Sound (again almost certainly can be made to work, but the issue is after how much hassle?), webcams and fingerprint readers are probably other stuff that may offer you 'education' on the way.

Quote:
3 Can I install more than one type of Distro?
I don't know what you mean by 'type of distro', but assuming that you just mean 'distro', yes, if you've got room. But you could also try a few Live CDs, to see which you are likely to like...

Quote:
4 I've heard of Gnome and KDE interfaces, they are GUIs I think and does each Distro come with both or does each Distro have only KDE or only Gnome?
Well, to make a useless distinction, they are full blown environments and a bit more heavyweight than a simple User Interface. But, to your question:
  • most of the bigger distros give you choice of two, or more, UIs
  • many of the smaller ones 'specialise' in just one interface
  • in the case of the Ubuntus, Ubuntu is really 'Gnome Ubuntu' and there are also Xubuntu (XFCE Ubuntu) and Kubuntu (KDE Ubuntu). And although it doesn't sound like it, it doesn't matter which of these you install, as, if you want to try another you can just go into the package manager and add the bits of the other UIs and then be able to select which one you want at login time
  • there are other UIs as well (Enlightenment, Windowmaker, LXDE and many more), but Gnome, KDE and XFCE seem like the ones to start with. But I wouldn't try KDE 4 just yet, unless you are prepared to put up with a slightly unfinished UI for a few months yet. KDE 3.5.x is still good, though...


Quote:
7 Bearing in mind all the above, does anyone have a recommendation for my first Linux install as I have already downloaded Ubuntu 9.04?
Ubuntu isn't my favourite, but does have some excellent points. Probably as good as any as a starter distro and you may want to stay with it. Although I note that 9.04 hasn't had its formal release yet, so you probably have a beta release. I'm guessing that pressing the 'update' button once the release has happened will be a good idea, although you may want to give it a couple of days after release, as the servers may be a bit overloaded immediately.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 12,712
Blog Entries: 27

Rep: Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055Reputation: 2055
Hi,

I would suggest that you use the disk management tools for M$ Vista.

Code:
1st: Start > Right Click Computer > Manage > Pick Disk Management > Pick Drive > Properties > Defragment Now

2nd: Start > Right Click Computer > Manage > Pick Disk Management > Pick Drive > Shrink
I've not had a problem with the M$ disk management tools. You should try the tools and not use qparted or the like on a 'M$ Vista' hdd. If you do use something other than the M$ tools then you will likely have problems. Lots of people have successfully resized their volume(s) with the M$ tools to accommodate their needs.

Once you have the space then use qparted or whatever to create your partitions.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 07:19 PM   #10
thorkelljarl
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,796

Rep: Reputation: 213Reputation: 213Reputation: 213
Vista, Vista...

The advised procedure is to use Vistas own partitioning tools to shrink Vista after it has been defragmented. If you can't get it to shrink as you want it to, you may use another tool, but there are consequences.

http://liquidat.wordpress.com/2007/0...ta-partitions/
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How did you learn Linux? jamescow Linux - General 32 03-19-2009 12:13 AM
Best way to learn Linux? dmmoran Linux - Newbie 12 06-28-2008 01:33 PM
How did you learn Linux? Inlovewithmymac Linux - Newbie 55 01-16-2008 06:33 PM
Learn Linux sumithnc Linux - Newbie 6 05-18-2006 02:01 PM
What's the best way to learn linux? Tech1 Linux - General 19 04-15-2003 09:36 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:22 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration