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Old 12-07-2008, 01:00 AM   #1
bwhealton
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Question Was going to go with Ubuntu but...


Hello all,
I remember reading about Ubuntu in one of the Computer magazines that I get. It seemed that this was the best choice for me at the time. It seems that Ubuntu is the most popular choice. I have a Pentium 4 2.3GHz system that has 500M Memory, and have had lots of trouble with this system running Windows XP. Numerous trips to the repair shop never resulted in a system that would run anywhere near what I would expect from such a fast, modern cpu. Sure, the Pentium 4 isn't equal to today's top CPU's but it is relatively fast. I was told with great confidence that running Ubuntu (10.4 - or was it 10.2, this was just a week ago), as my Linux version, would have this computer running real fast, amazingly fast compared to what I was seeing trying to run Windows XP on that computer.


Finally, I did download Ubuntu and put it onto a DVD and installed it on that computer. I ran ethernet cable so that I'd have a wired connection to the internet during installation. It was locking up several times during installation and I had to start from the beginning several times. I did select to have it format the drive and thus remove all the data before the installation. I'm fairly certain it did format the drive during the installation. So, at the end, I was seeing problems. Mainly I look at multitasking as something important to me. This system now with Ubuntu was hanging quite often when I tried to use it after installation. This creates an enormous problem when trying to learn something new. I didn't know if it didn't like some hardware item... had I not formatted the disk first? (no that couldn't be it, I did that)...then what? I'm seeing it hang quite often and then it will suddenly it would execute a whole bunch of responses to my mouse and keyboard gestures, all at once.

So, can someone suggest another Linux that I might want to try? It couldn't hurt to try something else and I just don't know what other Linux OSes do best. I would like a Linux OS that will be best with multi-tasking. Isn't that Red Hat that needs to be able to run different processes in parallel, or rather somewhat concurrently? An OS that would support and recognize a range of hardware... One that is somewhat easy to learn... something that would allow me to run server apps, like a web server, mail server, etc., in parallel with desktop apps... If there are differences in the software apps that can come included with the OS that is important to know too. If it is just a matter of installing whatever apps one needs onto whichever Linux I choose, then that is not a relevant issue. I'm just not sure though. Please send links to where to get the OS also.


I might also want to put this OS onto my other computer as a Windows application. Can that be done without having to purchase a product such as what VMWare offers? It would be good to be able to learn Linux on my main system, (which is not the Pentium 4 system I mentioned above) without having to reboot into Linux separately, as that is inefficient for me with what I do. If you could send suggestions that include web addresses as to where to get the software (OS and such) that would be most helpful.
Thanks,
Bruce
 
Old 12-07-2008, 01:24 AM   #2
jay73
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You put it onto a dvd? But didn't you download a cd iso? This alone could account for the problems your are mentioning. And did you check the md5sum to verify the integrity of the iso?

The thing is that at the heart of all Linux operating systems is the Linux kernel. Some use a newer one, other ones an older one; some add some patches to extend functionality and some keep things at "factory default". At the end of the day, Ubuntu is one of the systems that has the most up-to-date hardware support so there is no guaranteeing that your experiences will be different if you try a different distribution, whether that is Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, ...

As for virtualization, you can use free vmware server or virtualbox; I believe that MS have their own virtualization software but, from what I hear, it has not gone out of its way to make running Linux a pleasant experience.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 02:53 AM   #3
Chronothread
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It certainly sounds like you got off to a rough start with linux, which is extremely unfortunate because linux is amazing (as pretty much everyone on this forum will tell you).

Like jay73 was saying, you shouldn't have needed to put it on a dvd. If you just did because you felt like it, that probably shouldn't have been a problem. But if you were suppose to put the iso you downloaded on a dvd, you may have downloaded the wrong thing. Also, make sure you aren't downloading the 64-bit Ubuntu.

I personally believe you should try Ubuntu again. It's wonderful for someone who's new to Linux because it fixes most stuff for you and is very easy to use. It's still my main operating system. I'm still new to Linux compared to most, but I've definitely learned a lot since I've started. Ubuntu also helps with this a lot since the community is so huge it's easy to figure out what you need to do to fix something on Ubuntu just by asking almost anywhere.

However, if you do want to try a different Linux OS, I would suggest checking out www.distrowatch.com. It's got popularity ratings, descriptions, and a bunch of other information on pretty much any distribution of Linux there is.

Anywho, I hope your bad experience doesn't scare you off from Linux. If you get it to work on your computer I can almost guarantee you you will be happy.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 03:18 AM   #4
MoonMind
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Quote:
Hello all,
I remember reading about Ubuntu in one of the Computer magazines that I get. It seemed that this was the best choice for me at the time. It seems that Ubuntu is the most popular choice. I have a Pentium 4 2.3GHz system that has 500M Memory, and have had lots of trouble with this system running Windows XP. Numerous trips to the repair shop never resulted in a system that would run anywhere near what I would expect from such a fast, modern cpu. Sure, the Pentium 4 isn't equal to today's top CPU's but it is relatively fast.
That's true; 512MB is plenty for running modern GNU/Linux distribution - though 1024MB will enable you to use all graphical bells and whistles even more easily.

Quote:
I was told with great confidence that running Ubuntu (10.4 - or was it 10.2, this was just a week ago), as my Linux version, would have this computer running real fast, amazingly fast compared to what I was seeing trying to run Windows XP on that computer.
Equally true; you're most certainly talking about Ubuntu 8.10, though. I'm running this distribution (yes, the original - with Eee kernel from Array.org) on an Asus EeePC 701); this small machine's got a CPU that runs on a quarter of the speed yours is capable of and has 512MB RAM as well. The performance is satisfactory.

Quote:
Finally, I did download Ubuntu and put it onto a DVD [...]
I agree with jay73; it'd be much more sensible to use one of the standard CD isos on a CD, before all since you have network connection during install.

Quote:
[...] and installed it on that computer. I ran ethernet cable so that I'd have a wired connection to the internet during installation. It was locking up several times during installation and I had to start from the beginning several times.
Again, jay73 is right: This sounds like a botched ISO image; use dsMD5 (link goes to a .EXE!) to verify the ISO you've downloaded.

Quote:
I did select to have it format the drive and thus remove all the data before the installation. I'm fairly certain it did format the drive during the installation.
It has if you selected the right options - that is, if you selected to use the whole drive OR if you had it resize an existing drive.

Quote:
So, at the end, I was seeing problems. Mainly I look at multitasking as something important to me. This system now with Ubuntu was hanging quite often when I tried to use it after installation. This creates an enormous problem when trying to learn something new. I didn't know if it didn't like some hardware item... had I not formatted the disk first? (no that couldn't be it, I did that)...then what? I'm seeing it hang quite often and then it will suddenly it would execute a whole bunch of responses to my mouse and keyboard gestures, all at once.
Either some hardware's broken or the system's flawed - not Ubuntu but the actual installation. I'd recommend re-downloading the correct image (the "32bit" version of the "Desktop" variant), check it an re-burn it, then re-install; check your network connection first, too.

Quote:
So, can someone suggest another Linux that I might want to try?
Since you're new to GNU/Linux, I'd stick with Ubuntu; there are plenty of other great distribution, but in my experience, Ubuntu's one of the most rounded and consistent ones. Many of those that are also recommendable are based on Ubuntu or Debian, on which Ubuntu in turn is based.

I have limited experience with other distributions; I quite liked Fedora. If you feel courageous, you might want to try something like sidux - really bleeding edge, but pretty well stabilised.

Quote:
It couldn't hurt to try something else and I just don't know what other Linux OSes do best. I would like a Linux OS that will be best with multi-tasking. Isn't that Red Hat that needs to be able to run different processes in parallel, or rather somewhat concurrently?
All modern GNU/Linux distributions excel at that kind of task(s) - you've been unlucky or a little unexperienced - but then, who wouldn't be the first time?

Quote:
An OS that would support and recognize a range of hardware...
That depends on the kernel - Ubuntu's is really good, the latest Fedora 10 is even more recent, but a little more limited (not in bad way, mind, they just don't ship non-free drivers - Ubuntu acts a little more liberally). I personally don't think that you'll find a more suited kernel for a desktop system like yours than Ubuntu's.

Quote:
One that is somewhat easy to learn...
Ubuntu.

Quote:
[...] something that would allow me to run server apps, like a web server, mail server, etc., in parallel with desktop apps...
Ubuntu - or, in fact, every non-specialised GNU/Linux distribution!

Quote:
If there are differences in the software apps that can come included with the OS that is important to know too. If it is just a matter of installing whatever apps one needs onto whichever Linux I choose, then that is not a relevant issue. I'm just not sure though. Please send links to where to get the OS also.
My opinion is that you should (for a little while, in any case) stick with Ubuntu, get a working installation (your hardware's fine for that!) and than start to experiment. Every major distribution (you can find a very good list on DistroWatch) offers comprehensive package selections and easy management for installation and updating those packages.

Quote:
I might also want to put this OS onto my other computer as a Windows application. Can that be done without having to purchase a product such as what VMWare offers? It would be good to be able to learn Linux on my main system, (which is not the Pentium 4 system I mentioned above) without having to reboot into Linux separately, as that is inefficient for me with what I do. If you could send suggestions that include web addresses as to where to get the software (OS and such) that would be most helpful.
VMware offers a free (as in free beer) VMware player that is enough for your purpose. But there are lots of other, truely free virtualisation products;s I'd recommend VirtualBox - the GPL version's plenty for your purpose. If you don't intend to change the installation, you can also run the ISO like a live CD using QEMU on Windows - that's useful for testing, but surely not for performance, though. I always carry a couple of live CDs on a USB storage device - it's dead useful if you're not allowed to boot something decent somewhere.

M.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 05:31 AM   #5
Disillusionist
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VMWare player doesn't let you create new virtual machines, just allows you to run pre-existing ones.

You can download and use VMWare Server for free (as in beer) although you do need to register (at no charge) to get your license keys, this version allows you to create new virtual machines.

Last edited by Disillusionist; 12-07-2008 at 05:33 AM.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 07:04 AM   #6
bwhealton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
You put it onto a dvd? But didn't you download a cd iso? This alone could account for the problems your are mentioning. And did you check the md5sum to verify the integrity of the iso?
Ok, well, I put the CD into the drive on the computer and nothing was happening. I remember then for some reason, choosing a DVD as the medium for the ISO image. Ok, since that might have been a problem, what should I do now? Burn another copy of the ISO image and then run that on the computer in question?

How do I check the md5sum to verify the iso? When I went to the Ubuntu site it didn't mention anything special like that needing to be done. How do I do that?
Thanks,
Bruce
 
Old 12-07-2008, 07:08 AM   #7
bwhealton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronothread View Post
It certainly sounds like you got off to a rough start with linux, which is extremely unfortunate because linux is amazing (as pretty much everyone on this forum will tell you).

Like jay73 was saying, you shouldn't have needed to put it on a dvd. If you just did because you felt like it, that probably shouldn't have been a problem. But if you were suppose to put the iso you downloaded on a dvd, you may have downloaded the wrong thing. Also, make sure you aren't downloading the 64-bit Ubuntu.

I personally believe you should try Ubuntu again. It's wonderful for someone who's new to Linux because it fixes most stuff for you and is very easy to use. It's still my main operating system. I'm still new to Linux compared to most, but I've definitely learned a lot since I've started. Ubuntu also helps with this a lot since the community is so huge it's easy to figure out what you need to do to fix something on Ubuntu just by asking almost anywhere.


Anywho, I hope your bad experience doesn't scare you off from Linux. If you get it to work on your computer I can almost guarantee you you will be happy.
No, this won't scare me off from Linux or Ubuntu. So, you said not to use the 64-bit Ubuntu, but isn't a Pentium 4 64-bit? I did choose the 32-bit version. I am not sure why I chose a dvd other than the cd wasn't seeming to work.
Bruce
 
Old 12-07-2008, 07:18 AM   #8
Duck2006
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http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/iso
 
Old 12-07-2008, 08:43 AM   #9
jay73
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Quote:
VMWare player doesn't let you create new virtual machines, just allows you to run pre-existing ones.
I have to disagree there. If you visit easyvmx.com, you can fill out an on-line form that will create a vm configuration file. Then all you need to do is point vmware player to the iso and to the configuration file and it will build just any image.
However, vmware player can run only one guest at once and setting up vmware tools is a bit of a PITA.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 12:05 PM   #10
thorkelljarl
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A map is a good thing.

I would first follow Duck2006's psychocats guide and secure myself a good Ubuntu 8.10 live-cd, run it and see how it goes. Just remember to use a good quality cd and burn at a low speed.

There are howtos on changing your "boot sequence" either in your "BIOS" or as a one time boot. You can look at your "startup" or "post" screen, hitting the "pause" key if neccessary, to see if there is a key to press to enter a boot menu to have the system choose the CDROM.

Linux with its different structure and terminology may require a bit of patience and tolerance in the beginning. Welcome and Good Luck
 
Old 12-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #11
Chronothread
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I could be wrong since I'm certainly no expert. However, I was under the impression that the 32-bit works smoother even on a 64-bit processor for some reason or another. But who knows, maybe that was part of your problem and you should have a 64-bit OS. Someone more experienced then I should be answering that.

I would suggest to redownload the OS from the Ubuntu website and make a new CD. The easiest way to install it is by using the CD as a live OS, so you're running the OS completely off of the RAM with nothing installed yet (there's a good chance you already knew what that meant, but just in case) and install it from the desktop. And make sure you take all the right steps during the installation.

Did you try running Ubuntu live before you tried installing it? If so, was anything working wrong while you were doing that? The only other thing I could think of that maybe could have caused a problem would be if you accidentally did something wrong during the installation.

I would suggest to try redownloading and reinstalling.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 01:03 PM   #12
nyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhealton View Post
I have a Pentium 4 2.3GHz system that has 500M Memory, and have had lots of trouble with this system running Windows XP. Numerous trips to the repair shop never resulted in a system that would run anywhere near what I would expect from such a fast, modern cpu.

...It was locking up several times during installation and I had to start from the beginning several times....

...This system now with Ubuntu was hanging quite often when I tried to use it after installation. This creates an enormous problem when trying to learn something new. I didn't know if it didn't like some hardware item... had I not formatted the disk first? (no that couldn't be it, I did that)...then what? I'm seeing it hang quite often and then it will suddenly it would execute a whole bunch of responses to my mouse and keyboard gestures, all at once.
Honestly this sounds more like a failing hard drive than a shortcoming of either Windows OR Linux. I'm surprised nobody else came to this conclusion.

I'm running Mandriva 2009 (bloat!!!) on a Pentium 3 with half the memory of yours and it runs satisfactorily; it's *slow* but doesn't constantly *lock up.*

Have you/your repair shop tried replacing your hard drive?

Last edited by nyle; 12-07-2008 at 01:11 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 01:21 PM   #13
lazlow
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Since this machine has problems on multiple OSs I am thinking a hardware problem too. I have seen a lot of odd things come from flaky ram. I would grab a copy of memtest86 and leave it running over night. A lot of times problems with ram will not show up until a couple of hours of testing, which is why it can be such a bear to track down.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 05:37 PM   #14
bwhealton
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Problem: with installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronothread View Post
Like jay73 was saying, you shouldn't have needed to put it on a dvd. If you just did because you felt like it, that probably shouldn't have been a problem. But if you were suppose to put the iso you downloaded on a dvd, you may have downloaded the wrong thing. Also, make sure you aren't downloading the 64-bit Ubuntu.

I personally believe you should try Ubuntu again. It's wonderful for someone who's new to Linux because it fixes most stuff for you and is very easy to use. It's still my main operating system. I'm still new to Linux compared to most, but I've definitely learned a lot since I've started. Ubuntu also helps with this a lot since the community is so huge it's easy to figure out what you need to do to fix something on Ubuntu just by asking almost anywhere.
Ok, everyone, I'm running into a problem. For some reason, my Pentium 4 system is not booting to the cd for some reason. It seems to boot right into the installed Ubuntu, 8.04. I checked the cd on my other desktop system and it verified that the image that I burned to the cd is right. It didn't just write the iso onto the disk, it wrote the files and folders/directories to the cd.

This pentium 4 system does have Ubuntu 8.04 on it. I followed the directions in this thread and downloaded the iso again. I verified the hash, or checksum, or whatever and it matched.

I did verify that I didn't choose the 64-bit version.

So, I go to the system and it says
Boot from CD:
I tried hitting return, and I tried doing nothing. It just boots to the installed ubuntu 8.04, which I wanted to try reinstalling according to the directions on this thread and to choose ubuntu 8.10 this time.
I did check to see if the CD/DVD drive is the primary boot device and it is.

I did at one point get to a point where I was at the GREB prompt and I hoped that I could then change directories to the cd/dvd drive and run a setup or something like that. However, from that prompt, I could find nothing that seemed to let me do that. In Windows command line, I'd enter e: to go to the dvd/cd drive and then I could do dir to get a list of files and folders.
Maybe there is something someone could explain or suggest.

Oh, I think, at this point previously, I did burn the image to a DVD and this seemed to work. I think I just ended up trying that for kicks and got it to work. My download certainly did fit on a CD, so I shouldn't need a DVD.
Thanks for any info/tips/ideas,
Bruce
 
Old 12-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #15
lakedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
You put it onto a dvd? But didn't you download a cd iso? This alone could account for the problems your are mentioning.
Really? Why?

I've burned a CD sized ISO to DVD just to see if it would work (and because I was out of CDs at the time). Surprisingly it worked fine for me.

I didn't think it would work but it did the one time I tried.

What makes an ISO a CD image instead of a DVD image?

Obviously if the ISO is larger than could fit on a CD it must go on a DVD but what about smaller ISOs, like Puppy?
 
  


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