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Old 05-17-2006, 03:51 PM   #1
Sir Meowdengalf
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Lack of Networking Knowledge to get a Linux machine on a network.


I recently set up a computer laying around just for kicks. I thought it'd be fun to try a small distrobution of Linux on it that had practically nothing with it. (A mini distrobution) So I downloaded Grey Cat Linux and installed it on the machine. (The version of Linux doesn't exactly have an official site anymore due to someone taking it down or something. It's a neat little distro that can be booted from DOS. If you need information, it'd be best to Google it.)

Now, being a newbie to Linux and all, this wasn't very smart of me seeing as I live on the internet. I have a router connected to a modem and one other computer (running Windows). However, after plugging in the new Linux machine to the router, I don't even know where to start in order to get it on the Network, or even directly on the net if I directly hooked the modem up to it. In fact, I know like nothing about Networking at all, even with Windows. (Yes I'm using ethernet cards. :P I didn't mix that up with a Dial Up modem)

Grey Cat Linux is based off of Slackware 3.5. That's about all that I know really... unless I'm missing something important. So my main goal is to get this baby online and browsing the web.

Feel free to ask questions if there's something you need to know in order to help. However I don't guarantee that I will be able to answer them.
 
Old 05-17-2006, 04:55 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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Okay, basic networking --

1) On one of the windows boxes, right click on Network Neighborhood and select "Properties"
2) Right click on "Local Area Connection" and select "Properties"
3) Click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click "Properties"
4) If it says "Obtain IP address Automatically", this means that your router is handing out address like they're candy. This is called DHCP and will be easier to setup.
5) If not, make a note of the IP address, subnet mask, and gateway

Don't know much about your distro, but most use DHCP by default. So you should be able to just plug the machine in to the network and turn the machine on (or reboot) and it should get assigned an address. During startup, you should see some text scrolling off the screen. One line should say something about "trying to acquire network address" and should work. That should be it. If you have any problems, come back here and try to post some of the errors you might have seen during boot up. If you want to read them again after boot, go to a command prompt and type dmesg | more (the vertical line is above the enter key on the keyboard, shift+\).
 
Old 05-17-2006, 05:03 PM   #3
pljvaldez
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Sorry, a little googling turned out that you might have to have one of three specific network cards to make the networking work on Grey Cat.

How old is the machine (i.e. processor speed and ram)? If it's got 16MB or more of RAM and a CD drive, you might try Damn Small Linux, which can be run from the CD until you're comfortable with linux, then installed to the hard drive.
 
Old 05-17-2006, 05:23 PM   #4
Sir Meowdengalf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez
Sorry, a little googling turned out that you might have to have one of three specific network cards to make the networking work on Grey Cat.

How old is the machine (i.e. processor speed and ram)? If it's got 16MB or more of RAM and a CD drive, you might try Damn Small Linux, which can be run from the CD until you're comfortable with linux, then installed to the hard drive.
You mean in a document that says something like...
Quote:
3com59x network card
ne ISA network card
ne 2k PCI network card
...this? I might have a 3com card sitting around here somewhere... but there must be some drivers kickin' around the net, correct? It is based off of Slackware... and I'm sure drivers for Slackware would work, wouldn't it?

As far as oldness, I found this thing in a dumpster. It's got a Pentium 166 MMX processor (I'd guess that it ran at 166MHz?) with 64MB of RAM. I have tried Damn Small Linux in the past for about a year (Hard Drive install on a AMD K6, 266... how sad...) but learned nothing from it really. Everything was done for me. I just want to learn how to use something that's fast (because believe it or not but DSL ran slow on the 266) and small so I could slap it on a laptop in the future, providing I can learn the whole thing inside and out. (Not for a while though) But thanks for the suggestion anyways! Most appreciated.


And as far as what you said in your first post, I'll try that... but would my Linux machine auto-detect regardless? Or are operating systems just programmed to auto-detect a connection? (Hopefully it's programmed in or does what I want)


EDIT: Yeah it's set to "Obtain IP address Automatically". Ya know what's next?

Last edited by Sir Meowdengalf; 05-17-2006 at 05:31 PM.
 
Old 05-17-2006, 05:32 PM   #5
pljvaldez
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I assume there could be drivers out there, but I've never spent much time compiling drivers to get them to work. Not sure what this undertaking would involve, but people do it.

I would say that if you really want to take the time to learn linux, install a basic slackware or debian install (i.e. command prompt only) and then build your system on top of that. That's how I learned (I picked Debian). On an old machine, my (somewhat limited) experience has shown that short of getting more RAM, a kernel recompile is a good way to speed up your machine.

If you decide to go this route and try out Debian. Follow this guide to setup a base system. It's a bit outdated, but should work fine for Sarge. Just remember if you want a newer 2.6 kernel to type linux26 at the boot prompt.

For Debian kernel recompiles, I followed this guide. After a few tries, you get the hang of it. Just remember to keep your original kernel around in your grub menu in case your recompile goes badly. Then you can just reboot and recompile again.
 
Old 05-17-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
Sir Meowdengalf
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I might try that in the future, but I think for now I'll stick with Slackware (or Grey Cat Linux) and see if anyone else can help me.

Thanks a lot anyway though! I will definetly check that out, but much later. (When I get another computer set up)
 
  


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