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Old 02-27-2004, 12:04 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 14

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BigDummy needs big help

OK, as pathetic as this sounds, I work
as a systems administrator. I know
windows like the back of my hand, but
I know absolutely NOTHING about Linux.
I downloaded the Ark Linux ISO and tried
installing it on 2 different machines. One
is a crappy old Gateway GP6-333c and the
other is a Compaq 1700T notebook.
Being so used to Windows, I'm confused by
this whole install procedure and haven't found
any kind of step-by-step instructions. My main
goal is just to get it running on one of the two
machines so I can become familiar with it.

One annoying thing is that you can't create a
linux partition and then install to it, you have
to install to unpartitioned free space.

On the Gateway, if I use the crappy integrated
graphics, all I get at startup is 4 blurry desktops.
I tried putting in an ATI Radeon vid card, and it's
so blurry I couldn't see anything. How do you
configure the video if you can't even get to the

On the Compaq, it works fine, but the touchpad
doesn't work. It doesn't have a ps/2 or serial
port, would it recognize a USB mouse?

Is there a distribution that's better suited for
a moron like myself than Ark Linux?

I know these are some pretty lame questions,
but I'm sick of microsoft and if I could get one
system working, I'd learn it and quit using
windows (at least at home).
Old 02-27-2004, 12:17 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
Posts: 12,612

Rep: Reputation: 68

As for "is there a distro better suited for a beginner like myself?" probably. Beginner distros include Mandrake and Fedora (as well as many others, and of course this is a subjective question requiring a subjective answer ).

From there, things will probably make a bit more sense, rendering most of your questions no longer necessary to answer. However, for information, I'll take a stab at the mouse for ya:
Yeah, it's likely going to have a better time with the USB mouse than a touchpad, at least until things are a go, and then you can figure out how to get it working afterwards.

Old 02-27-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 136

Rep: Reputation: 15
You could have a look on Mandrake. It has an easier installation procedure, and a lot of user-friendly configuration utilities.
Old 02-27-2004, 12:31 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Arlington Heights, IL USA
Distribution: Fedora Core 1 & WinXP Pro & Gentoo 1.4 & Arch Linux
Posts: 558

Rep: Reputation: 30
How do you
configure the video if you can't even get to the

Now this is the good thing about Linux, you can configure the 'video' by editing the XF86Config(-4) file found in the /etc/X11/ directory. You can do this from a command line using a text editor of your choice (vi, nano, pico, emacs) and correct the settings to what works.

Old 02-27-2004, 12:39 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

Rep: Reputation: 30
look into Knoppix:


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