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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 10-07-2006, 07:09 AM   #1
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Novice Seeking Knowldege On Linux and Dual boot with XP Pro

Computer Specs

1. CPU – PII 300MHz
2. RAM – 384MB SD-RAM
3. HD - 80GB Seagate attached via a PCI SATA Controller Card to the IDE port in the card
4. Sound card – SB16 or AWE compatible connected via ISA Slot

Hi friends,
The above said are my computer specs. I would like you guys to help me with a few things for my Linux installation please. Many thanks in advance.

1 Currently I am running WIN XP Pro and its works fine. I would like to dual boot Linux with my XP. Please advice me the best, the latest and the easiest distro to use with my ‘old computer specifications’. How much space will I need to run programming, business, servers and multimedia functionality and which distro offer all these functionalities?

My intention is to divide the 80GB into four or more partitions. E.g WinXP 25GB, Linux 15GB, other two or more partitions to hold data, which can be accessed and manipulated by both XP and Linux. Should I create all these partitions in Windows XP prior to installing Linux or leave the remaining 65GB after installing WinXP for Linux to play with. Please also advice what sort of file system to use to play with both XP & Linux to play with one system from the other and common data like mp3.

2. Using Linux I would also like to connect to my Windows network, can it be done using NetBEUI/NetBios? Please tell me how to do this.

3. Up to now I have tried various live CDS, (Mandriva 2006 One, Knoppix, DSL, PCLinux OS, Ubuntu) but I have never been able to listen to any music so far. Is this because the SoundCard is the ISA type? Please help me solve this problem.
a) In Mandriva 2006 One Live CD - when I type alsancof in console - it says the command not found.

if I type urpmi alsaconf to install alsaconf - it says the package is not found.

b) In SimplyMepis 6.0 Live CD - my Logitech serial mouse doesn't work eventhough the mouse's arrow key is on the desktop it doesn't move.

4. Since my HDD is connected via the Controller card (VIA - VT6421)will there be any problem installing Linux or dual boot?

a) where can I get the Linux driver for this card and how to install the driver while istalling Linux?

Please help me for my above questions.

Thank you very much in advance!!!
Old 10-08-2006, 02:41 AM   #2
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So, I'm fairly new to Linux myself and prior to my resent format and install of Ubuntu I was doing the whole dual boot thing with WinXP & Ubuntu.

I would recommend Ubuntu which you can download the latest from their site.

When I set my computer up for dual booting I had WinXP installed already and 2 previous partitions (Apps & Data). The install was pretty easy just put the disk in and reboot your computer Ubuntu walks you thru the rest of the setup.

BTW...if your looking at a "close to windows" interface I've found that KDE is the closest in my opinion and made the learning curve alot easier. Which means for the sake of ease you'll want to us KUBUNTU instead of the standard Ubuntu install disk (though you can install KDE manually after the fact if you want if you use the Ubuntu install disk)

During the install Ubuntu will install GRUB which will allow you to choose which OS you want at startup.

As for browsing your windows network and files you can access them by using Samba and other programs that I haven't explored yet.

That is about all the questions I can answer at this point although I think you'll have to work with your xorg.conf file to get past some of your hardware problems.

One last thing is I recommend getting yourself use to using the command line it's a bit of a challenge at first but, you'll soon learn that it's the best and fastest way to get things done.
Old 10-08-2006, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Danteleo,
for your reply which is very helpful and encouraging for me to try Linux. BTW, when I used Ubuntu-6.06.1-desktop-i386.iso LiveCD it freezes when the Desktop is loaded, the mouse doesn't move (Logitech serial mouse), however the screensaver and the clock works.

Please help me if you can.

Old 10-08-2006, 12:55 PM   #4
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I never used the Live cd so, I'm not sure if there is something different tht is going on or not. If it's possiblle you can open up your xorg.conf file in a terminal and look and see if you mouse is in there. Heres how.

Open a Terminal.

type: sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

This will open a text editor that will allow you to look @ the xorg.conf file. If you look @ Input Devices one of them should say mouse; check and see if your mouse is in there.

One last idea that will eliminate the Live Cd as the problem for hardware. You could install VMware and run Ubuntu as a Virtual Machine on Windows. That would allow you to test out and troubleshoot your setting prior to making the leap.

Goto and download VMware server for Windows then follow the instructions. Pretty easy to use...good luck
Old 10-08-2006, 11:31 PM   #5
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Location: County Durham, UK
Distribution: SuSE 10.0/10.1
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Not sure I would recommend VMware with a 300MHz PII, though.

We've used a 300MHz AMD to run our network (really just a printer and internet server) since SuSE 6.3 whenever that was (1996?). It' still going strong and serving us well day and night.

We had SAMBA on it for a while but then I couldn't be bothered to configure it, because Windows networking wasn't that great anyway. It was easier to put BulletProofFTP on each Windows box and use FTP.

And I would definitely second the use of KDE. Versions 1 and 2 were not that great, but v3.5+ is getting to be a mature system.

You might consider OpenSuSE 10.1 as a distro. They have a good upgrade path and often named as 'supported' but without the Red Hat price tag. Not quite so good since they went open source, but while Novell continue to use it as the base for their 'Professional' distro, it probably has a good future.

Last edited by Javalava; 10-08-2006 at 11:39 PM.


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