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Old 07-11-2003, 09:27 AM   #1
excaliber
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Angry Questions


Firstly, hi. Im brand new to the linux scene, and yes, i picked slackware.

I know its the most user unfriendly, but i want to learn and it looks interesting.

Anyways...after about an hour of bashing my head against the wall, i figured out what mounts were, and therefore understood enough to partition a drive off and install. Not sure if i did it correctly or well. i have 3 Gig drive:

2 Gb Linux ext2 for OS isntall
700 mb Linx ext2 for /home (heard it was a good idea to seperate those two)
200 mb for Linux Swap

The machine is an old Pentium 200 Mhz with 32 Mb of RAM.

I loaded KDE as my X windows manager, but appears to be to proc intensive, so i switched it to xFce (which was another nightmare trying to figure out)

BUT i accidently screwed up my resolution settings in KDE, and now it wont boot back into X, regardless of the manager (KDE, GNOME, xFce, etc) So...how do i fix it? Im guessing there is a config script somewhere that will let me change the resolutions back to default. But i dont know where it is.

Also, i have several programs i'd like to install, as the current ones are too heavy for the old machine. But the apps are in source code, and i have no idea how to compile them.

They are gzipped tarballs. I know how to decompress them, and unarchive them. What now?

What are RPM's? Do i use them, or are they for other distro's?

What steps do i need to take to setup a network connection to my lan?

How can i start fine tuning it so it runs smoothly on my old machine?


Thanks for putting up with all these questions. Im still new, but have alot of expierence with programming and windows in general. I think i can catch on quickly.
 
Old 07-11-2003, 09:41 AM   #2
fancypiper
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Add more memory, most new distros require 128 mb to run smoothly.

You ned to reconfigure your X server. I don't know the slackware tool.
# Configuring X
Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO - video cards
The Linux XFree86 HOWTO
Common X configuring tools:
You may have these tools:
XF86Setup
XFree86 -configure
Xconfigurator
xf86cfg
xf86config
xconf
ATI Linux drivers
If you need the nVidia driver, most likely, you want the Linux IA32 driver

For software management:
# Guides to software and installation and uninstallation
LNAG - How do I install a program I downloaded from the Internet?
Rute Guide's software explanation
You might want to check out CheckInstall to manage source code installations/uninstallation

RPM=Redhat package manager. Lots of distros can use these. See Maximum RPM

Networking:
Networking HOWTOS

For fine tuning, I suggest a search on google for "fine tune linux" or similar terms to that effect.
 
Old 07-11-2003, 09:58 AM   #3
carboncopy
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Cool Re: Questions

Quote:
Originally posted by excaliber
BUT i accidently screwed up my resolution settings in KDE, and now it wont boot back into X, regardless of the manager (KDE, GNOME, xFce, etc) So...how do i fix it? Im guessing there is a config script somewhere that will let me change the resolutions back to default. But i dont know where it is.

Also, i have several programs i'd like to install, as the current ones are too heavy for the old machine. But the apps are in source code, and i have no idea how to compile them.

They are gzipped tarballs. I know how to decompress them, and unarchive them. What now?

What are RPM's? Do i use them, or are they for other distro's?

What steps do i need to take to setup a network connection to my lan?

How can i start fine tuning it so it runs smoothly on my old machine?
1.0. to fix resolution you have to edit this file => /etc/X11/XF86config
under Section "Screen"

1.1. check the to see the DefaultDepth 24 is supported by you video card. 24 meaning 24bits colour display.

1.2. check the Modes under SubecSection "Display"example
Modes "1024x768" "800x600"
XF86server will default to the highest you set in the Modes. So don't set it higher then your monitor capabilities or at this moment I think it is set to higher then your video card cap.

2.0. What do you mean to heavy for your machine? It would be almost the same if you compile it yourself or maybe even worst (take up more resources).
Anyhow
2.1. Most of the time, there is INSTALL or README or equivalent in the base folder of your sources. READ it. Basically it follows this general rule of thumb.
2.1.1. ./configure
2.1.2. make
2.1.3. make test (very optional, depending on the source)
2.1.4. make install
Yup it is that easy. Hahaha...

3.0 RPM stands for RedHat Package Manager. Yes we can use the .rpm packages but you need to convert them to tgz using rpm2tgz (already installed on slackware) command. Read the manual by typing man rpm2tgz.
3.1. Use rpms at your own risk. HEhehehe

4.0 LAN, do you already have a network card installed? If yes, just type
netconfig
at the console and it will bring you through the settings. Saying this, I mean that your NIC is a pretty common one and it is supported by the kernel.

5.0 GET MORE RAM for your comp. It is like turbo charging. The more the better.

Hope that helps.
 
Old 07-11-2003, 11:31 AM   #4
excaliber
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Wow! Thanks for the replys.

That guide on installing programs was very helpful. I'll try it out in a bit

Thanks for the info on the config script and modes. Before i saw your posts, i checked an error log i found. My size i set (1600x1200) "exceeded video memory", and that there were "no valid modes" Which i now know how to fix. the log also told me my max supported "Vesa' (?) res, which was 128-x1024 at 75 hertz. I'll try that first.

Too heavy. Stuff like KDE and Konqueror. They have more features than i need and are very proc intensive. I'm going to replace KDE with either xFce or IceWM, and Konqueror with XWC. Stuff like that.

Yup. The card is installed. It might be plug and play though, so i think there is a setting i have to change to enable that in the kernel, right?

As to ram, im not going to. This is just a test bed to see if i can get it to work. I have another good machine (AMD Athlon XP 2000+, 512mb DDR, Win2000 Prof.) that i want to duel boot later, once i get some expierence. But i dont want to ruin that box because im new to slack.

Thanks for the help! I'll probably be back with more questions!
 
Old 07-11-2003, 11:41 AM   #5
fancypiper
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You can pick up 32mb sticks of ram for dirt cheap. Fill the memory slots up and you won't regret it.
 
Old 07-11-2003, 12:43 PM   #6
excaliber
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Ha! Got it to work. I edited the config script, and after trying a bunch of combinations, found one that worked.

It would boot at a slightly higher res, but there were tons of "bands", and you couldnt tell what anything was. It looked like there were several mice, but i could tell for sure.

I checked the Horizontal and Vertical sync and fixed those. Same problem. So i was forced to lower it to 640x480

Any ideas? Or is it just the card (its really old)

Anyways, that as fun. Despite bashing my head against a wall, it was kinda cool to be able to go and edit the script, and change the way it boots. Couldnt do that with Windows (have to boot into safemode, which is always a problem and very buggy.)

 
Old 07-11-2003, 12:52 PM   #7
fancypiper
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Hmmm... I can't see the mfg or model of that video card from here
 
Old 07-12-2003, 03:19 AM   #8
Cerbere
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First off, to fancypiper, you're killing me, man. rotfl

Secondly, to excalibur, fancypiper is dead on. You've got to give more info about your problem if you expect anyone to give you any meaningful help. And you really should throw some more memory in that box, even if it's just for tinkering around. You can't get an accurate idea of the capabilities of Linux when it's running under that kind of handicap. (Just think how well M$ XP would run on that box). Besides, if I recall correctly (which is rare) Linux won't use more than about twice the physical memory for swap space, so about two thirds of your swap partition is just sitting there.

Finally, I'd suggest you give Fluxbox a try for your window manager. It's really lightweight and it's available from Slack as a package (look in slackware-9.0/extra/fluxbox-0.1.14/), so you can just use pkgtool to install it. Of course, I'm assuming you're using slack 9

Enjoy!
--- Cerbere

[edit] You may also want to check out http://www.linuxpackages.net for pre-compiled Slack packages, although that would deprive you of the joy of rolling your own. They also have the second-best Slackware forum on the web. [edit]

Last edited by Cerbere; 07-12-2003 at 03:25 AM.
 
Old 07-12-2003, 07:01 AM   #9
excaliber
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Thanks for the replys.

Im stilly trying to figure out what card i have under Linux. The SuperProbe command doesnt work, and i dont know how else too.

I guess i'll have to go back to that error log file and hope it lists it.

But theres got to be a better way. How do you check that kind of thing?

Anyway i can make it use more swap? Configure some scripts, recompile the kernel (im just itching to do that....just for fun. Not sure it would help any, but hey..)

I'll look into buy new memory then, since you all insist. How can i tell what kind of memory i have through linux?


Fluxbox? Ok, i'll give it a look. Im using xFce right now, but tend to use the Command line more often anyways Funny how that works. Itd be oppostie in Windows. But linux is much easier to get around without a gui. Except for networking. Thats stillkilling me. But thats a different story.

How do you "roll" your own package? Grab the source and compile it? (which, btw, i can now do. I configured and compiled my first app last night )

Last question. Where are the Samba files kept? I think i can figure out how to configure it (the man docs are great, and online documentation is good), but cant find the actual files! Thanks.

Is there a search command in linux?


Thanks again! I'll get back to you when i find that vid card specs.
 
Old 07-12-2003, 07:18 AM   #10
fancypiper
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You could open the case and look......
 
Old 07-12-2003, 07:58 AM   #11
excaliber
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Lol. Ok, i understand. No more newbie questions from me.

I'll attempt to dig around the old beast. I bet its integrated graphics though...
 
Old 07-12-2003, 08:10 AM   #12
MasterC
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You could try catting /proc around a little? I'd also look at lspci too, it might have a few things about your system to help you out.

I'd also plug through dmesg:
dmesg | less
And see any mention of graphics (vga, agp...) "stuff".

Cool
 
Old 07-12-2003, 08:17 AM   #13
fancypiper
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The Savage IX AGP video card is running about $12 now. I run it in 1024X768 with no problems.
 
Old 07-12-2003, 09:07 AM   #14
excaliber
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Dug around my case and BIOS. Heres what i came up with:

Savage3 Trio 64v2/GX (2mb vid memory)
Pentium Proccesor MMX 200Mhz (512kb L2 Chache)
32mb System Memory (proprietory, 60ns)


itll be expensive buying new memory for this thing, because its proprietory. a 64mb stick for this thing will cost 45 USD.

Any ideas about the banding and low resolution?

EDIT: Its an Dell Optiplex Gn+ 5200M...in case you care.

Last edited by excaliber; 07-12-2003 at 09:08 AM.
 
Old 07-12-2003, 02:57 PM   #15
tincat2
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do the memory. i've got an old pentium 130(i think) which came to me w/32mb edo(think expensive) ram and a 2gb hd. i added 64mb ram and a 20gb hd. the ram made a big difference and the hd let me spread out a bit. i've dual booted win2000 and mandrake as well as had beos on the win partition for years and it's been workable even w/kde(it is slow, so mostly i use blackbox). the point is, you've got a perfectly useful machine that within it's limitations can be good at a number of purposes. good luck and enjoy linux.
 
  


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