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Old 03-27-2006, 05:25 AM   #1
stmdk
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Advice about which distro to start with.


Which distro should I start with? What is most stable and least problematic?

I've used Linux in the past with horrible results. The installer often doesn't work right or the system doesn't boot. I've tried Suse, Ubuntu, and getting Slax on the HD today with no success.

Suse 10 - Won't suggest partition. Custom partition doesn't work either. It won't show any of the changes I make. Tried other hard drives as well.

Suse 9.1 - Won't suggest partirion. Custom does work but then the installer bails in the middle of CD 1. No message, just reboots the machine. I tried a fresh reburn of the CD image too.

Ubuntu - Installs fine but then won't boot. Grub Error 10.

Slax - Tried to install it to HD with a step by step instruction. Upon booting it tells me that I have to add "boot=root" to the lilo.conf. Tried it.. no dice.

I'm really looking to learn linux. I'm bored with Windblows and looking for an excuse to use Linux but the fact is that WinXP installs and loads with no problems. I've tested out many distros over the years just to check on the progress of Linux. I've tried Mandrake, Red Hat, and a Gentoo. Typing in a few commands here and there is fine but 50 lines everytime you want to get something to work is kind of excessive. The point of Windows or a GUI is to get away from that.

So, I can either give up again or I can sit down and grind out some Linux learning. I have many computers and I've succeeded with installs in the past but they've always blown up down the road. Linux seems to have all the features and options that I want in an OS but I just can't seem to get it to install without problems or remain stable when it does install.

Please help me excape from the Windows Matrix!! I'm ready to take the red pill. lol
 
Old 03-27-2006, 05:34 AM   #2
Agrouf
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That's just my personal opinion, but Ubuntu seems to be easy for beginners because it is less confusing (only one soft per task). Please try Knoppix as well, it is a live CD that you don't have to install and that just work right off the CD (it brings you straight to the point).

Grub error 10 : Unsupported Multiboot features requested
This error is returned when the Multiboot features word in the Multiboot header requires a feature that is not recognized. The point of this is that the kernel requires special handling which GRUB is probably unable to provide.

Please post your /boot/grub/menu.lst

Last edited by Agrouf; 03-27-2006 at 05:41 AM.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 05:45 AM   #3
pilatus666
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My first linux was mandrake 10.2 and now I'm running Mandriva 2006 I installed it yesterday in max 20 minutes witout any problem...(on a dual boot machine with win xp as the second os(I need that for some games))
 
Old 03-27-2006, 06:19 AM   #4
stmdk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agrouf
Please try Knoppix as well, it is a live CD that you don't have to install and that just work right off the CD (it brings you straight to the point).

Grub error 10 : Unsupported Multiboot features requested
This error is returned when the Multiboot features word in the Multiboot header requires a feature that is not recognized. The point of this is that the kernel requires special handling which GRUB is probably unable to provide.

Please post your /boot/grub/menu.lst
I've used Knoppix. Works fine but I want something on the HD. LiveCD's tend to run too slow.

I'm re-installing Ubuntu right now to get the error back. I wiped the hard drive clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilatus666
My first linux was mandrake 10.2 and now I'm running Mandriva 2006 I installed it yesterday in max 20 minutes witout any problem...(on a dual boot machine with win xp as the second os(I need that for some games))
Yeah if it wasn't for the games, I probably would have done away with Windows all together by now.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 06:20 AM   #5
pixellany
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First, pick one distro and stick with it until you get it working. Any of the popular ones WILL install with the right steps, no hardware problems, etc.
Are you trying dual-boot, or just Linux?
What is your current setup? Hardware, SW, etc.?
 
Old 03-27-2006, 06:24 AM   #6
ethics
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Knoppix is installable to the hard drive, Pixellany gives some good advice in
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
First, pick one distro and stick with it until you get it working. Any of the popular ones WILL install with the right steps, no hardware problems, etc.
Some more info on your HW would also highlight any 'special' circumstances that require 'special' steps, you say you have tried redhat, was that Fedora or their enterprise stuff? Fedora is pretty good at hard ware recognition.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 06:24 AM   #7
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stmdk
I'm re-installing Ubuntu right now to get the error back. I wiped the hard drive clean.
good choice---stick with it until you get the bugs out. I use ubuntu at home with 3 users.

Here is a good resource:
http://easylinux.info/wiki/Ubuntu

There is also a Ubuntu subforum here at LQ
 
Old 03-27-2006, 06:36 AM   #8
Michael_aust
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http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

this may of some help in deciding on a distro. In my opinion is best to stick to a high profile distro for your first e.g. suse, mandriva, fedorora etc because finding help is much easier, iknwo each distro has its own irc rooms and forums or what not, but the sheer number of users for say suse makes it much easier to et an answer and getting it quicker. If you want a small distro yet still suitable for a first tiem users id say pclinuxos.

Michael
 
Old 03-27-2006, 07:05 AM   #9
stmdk
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I'll head over to the Ubuntu forum here on LQ and post this as well.

I'm currently trying to get ubuntu on an old spare system:

I'm not doing dual boot. Linux only on the HD.

Mobo: Pinegroup PT-VP41-17
CPU: K62 500MHz
HD: WD 313500 (13GB) IDE
CDROM: 52X Liteon 525 IDE
Memory: 256MB PC100
NIC: 3Com xx905B PCI
Graphics: Onboard Trident 3D Blade

I get an Error 18 this time when grub is loading. Locks up.

Here's my Menu.lst

# menu.lst - See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
# grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
# grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
# and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.

## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
#
# You can specify 'saved' instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command 'savedefault'.
default 0

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout 3

## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)
hiddenmenu

# Pretty colours
#color cyan/blue white/blue

## password ['--md5'] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line) and entries protected by the
# command 'lock'
# e.g. password topsecret
# password --md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret

#
# examples
#
# title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader +1
#
# title Linux
# root (hd0,1)
# kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro
#

#
# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST

### BEGIN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST
## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specifiv kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=(hd0,0)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
## alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
## lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
## altoptions=(recovery mode) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single

## nonaltoption boot targets option
## This option controls options to pass to only the
## primary kernel menu item.
## You can have ONLY one nonaltoptions line
# nonaltoptions=quiet splash

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
## memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.12-9-386
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.12-9-386 root=/dev/hda1 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.12-9-386
savedefault
boot

title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.12-9-386 (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.12-9-386 root=/dev/hda1 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.12-9-386
boot

title Ubuntu, memtest86+
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin
boot

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

Last edited by stmdk; 03-27-2006 at 07:13 AM.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 07:52 AM   #10
Agrouf
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Suggestion : partition your hard drive.

from http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/..._and_solutions :

Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS
This error is returned when a read is attempted at a linear block address beyond the end of the BIOS translated area. This generally happens if your disk is larger than the BIOS can handle (512MB for (E)IDE disks on older machines or larger than 8GB on others.). In more practical terms this means the BIOS is unable to start executing the kernel because the kernel is not located within the block it can access at boot up time.

This can be circumvented by creating a boot partition at the beginning of the disk that is completely within the first 1023 cylinders of the harddrive. This partition will contain the kernel.

The kernel it self does not suffer from the same limitations as the BIOS so after the BIOS has loaded the kernel the kernel will have no problem accessing the whole harddrive. Newer BIOSes will automatically translate the harddrives size in a way that it can be completely contained within the first 1023 cylinders and hence modern computers do not suffer from this problem.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 08:23 AM   #11
stmdk
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Thanks, I was just reading an article on that and making chages based on it.

I went back to reinstall. This time I partitioned the drive manually. I made a /boot and put it first. Then I created a 500MB /swap, and a 13GB /root.


The grub loads now. However upon bootup of the kernel it tells me that it can't find /dev/hda3 and thus drops to busybox.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 08:47 AM   #12
Agrouf
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I suppose you mean / and not /root? (I believe you need a / partition).
I suggest you make smaller partitions (<8mb) (maybe one for datas?).
 
Old 03-27-2006, 09:14 AM   #13
stmdk
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Yes I meant /

<8mb?? Why so small?
 
Old 03-27-2006, 09:15 AM   #14
Agrouf
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I meant to say 8Gb, but I'm drunk. Sorry about that. I meant that because of your BIOS limitations.
 
Old 03-27-2006, 09:23 AM   #15
stmdk
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I'm gunna retry again keeping under 8GB. Thanks.

How much space is required for the /boot?

It never dawned on me that I'd have this problem because Windows XP installed no prob with full drive size. If I would have gotten a failure in the XP install it might have clued me in earlier.

Last edited by stmdk; 03-27-2006 at 09:26 AM.
 
  


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