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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Free as in cost nothing to obtain? All of them.
Yes, you can operate server apps, from all of them.
Check out Distrowatch for low-spec distros.
Or why not stop running two windows boxes and install linux on one of them?
a computer like that would most likely function best as a low-grade server only... considering you have only 41MB of RAM, you won't be able to run KDE or GNOME... and i'm not sure about fluxbox/openbox/blackbox, or any of the other light-weight window managers. Yes you can download many linux distributions for free, as in free of charge and free to distribute however many times and to whomever you like (and you may also sell them ). Servers should be fairly easy to setup on that computer, but if you do i'd recommend that you dont' install a graphical user interface for it - it'll be WAY to slow.
Though... an idea just came to my head: you could turn that computer into a router/switch/hub with SmoothWall (though to do that you'll need more than one ethernet card, or some combination of a modem and an ethernet card, etc). It turns your computer completely into a router with a firewall and nifty other things. You can manage it without a monitor or keyboard (after installation is complete) via the internet (it has a web-based interface). You can even run servers on it, i believe.. it has DMZ, port forwarding, and a bunch more. I've wanted to try it out but haven't been able to get my hands on an old box. I'd say it's perfect for that computer, but if you want to learn about linux and want to ease your way into it.... I guess i would also have to agree with zexter and glalejos in that you should put a little bit of money into a more advanced computer - not necessarily top of the line. Something like a p3, p4, amd athlon xp 2700+ or above would do nice with at least 192MB of RAM. And a 20GB hard drive is more than enough.
And not to forget to answer your question , I'd say that Damn Small Linux would fit wonderfully on your computer; it's only 50MB! and has a window manager...
However, some distributions to try to make life in linux (at first) simple are mostly the bloated ones that require more resources than what you've currently listed: Mandrake Linux, Fedora and SuSE of course.. but that you've already tried on the computer, and it didn't work, right?
Originally posted by somedude88 ok, of these, which are free?
And can I operate a server from them?
Yes this is an old computer but the two computer I currently have are windows systems...
866mhz pIII, 195 ram
1ghz athlon, 388 or something like that ram
I don't have the money to upgrade, it I do my oldest computer will replace this old old on.
Somehow i managed to skip over this post
Those computers are PERFECT - just the specs i suggested. You pick one of them to use, and remove all of the windows stuff on it, and try out a linux distribution on it. Though this i'd only do if you don't _urgently_ need those two computers to have windows and to be functioning properly 100% of the time.
Originally posted by somedude88 I am not looking for a server to handle streaming video or audio, just normal html, in fact, I don't want it to hog my slower dsl connection up.
That can be managed, just download and install apache. *edit* actually i just noticed that it does have a webserver installed already - monkeywebserver. Just download the dsl cd and boot it up, and check it out.
Originally posted by somedude88 You say non-graphical user interface, you mean I would have to use prompt? Or do you mean something more along the "windows 95" compared to "Windows XP" terms?
No i meant no graphics at all. But if you can get DSL (which has fluxbox as a window manager) working then just install it to the hard drive. It is a bootable cd, like knoppix, but you can also select to install it to the hard drive.
Originally posted by somedude88 Now for the third challenge!
This bios is SOOO OLD it wont boot from cd-rom.
What can I use to do this, or how can I?
Maybe you could upgrade it? If not, can you boot from the floppy? Most likely you can - i would look around on dsl's website for ways to get it running from a floppy, and then onto a cd, or install completely from floppies.
Originally posted by somedude88 About this DSL, where can I get this free, can I run a server on it?
Actually i gave a link to it when i mentioned it on my previous previous post. I'll just give it to you again: http://www.damnsmalllinux.org . Though you could've googled it, too . Yes you probably can run a server on it... just that i don't know how you'd do that. It is debian based, so you might be able to install a .deb package of apache for it.
Originally posted by dns21 Student04 - I commend you for actually helping, I was getting aggrevated at the lack of direction.
Thank you very much.
Aggrevated? I didn't read you're aggrevation anywhere on this thread.... you hadn't posted at all. Please do clarify.
As for the floppy installation, here is a list of ways to install. There are three ways for installing via floppies, but i'll let you choose which is more appropriate for you, and the situation (2.c.1 2.c.2 and 2.d). If you need anymore help, just post here or start another thread (preferably here, as i get email notifications whenever someone posts ).
The author of the tutorial does hint towards the process of installing via floppies is a long one (over 3 hours) and does not suggest someone with a lack of patience do it. But that might be a bit overexaggerated, and i'd say it's worth a shot, anyway!
For old bioses, my favorite tool is the SmartBoot Manager. I always keep a copy handy. It may be simpler than working on a full-blown floppy install.
You can find it here: http://linux.simple.be/tools/sbm