LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 04-05-2004, 03:55 PM   #1
voltare
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: alabama
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
Finding an install for a newbie


Ok....This may have already been asked, But I am extremely new to Linux,and am going to do an install on my machine( this is my wife's----my windows crap isn't working on mine)I am sick and tired of windows crashes, errors etc..
Is Debian the best free choice?
I want to program, not just "use" it. I'm going to make 3d games( some with euphoria---later with c++)also, going to try to port something called " Reality Factory " to linux , and make a simple to use 3d modeler.I am a huge proponent of opensource/freeware....and am just wondering.......
 
Old 04-05-2004, 04:10 PM   #2
devinWhalen
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Distribution: Red Hat, openBSD,Mandrake,freeBSD,SunOS
Posts: 168

Rep: Reputation: 30
If you have never used Linux before, Mandrake and Red Hat are really stable and are easy to use plus they come with all the programing utilities (I program as well). I find Mandrake and Red Hat very easy to install. I am not trying to start a flame war here, as I have never used Debian, but when I first started out I started out on Mandrake and it worked out great for me.

The thing is Mandrake and Red Hat have built a lot of GUI interfaces to many of the command line programs, which make it easy to ease into Linux and the command line. Now, I use mostly the command line...but it is nice to have a GUI for those commands you don't know.

Maybe someone who has used Debian can let you know if it is great to start out with or not.

Later
 
Old 04-05-2004, 04:18 PM   #3
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 472Reputation: 472Reputation: 472Reputation: 472Reputation: 472
IMO, Debian is not the best to start out with - especially if you need it up and running easily. I've always had...issues...with Debian installs. If you want something easy and quick to install, that has all the gui stuff you need, I'd go with RedHat/Fedora, Mandrake or SuSE.

All 3 are "aimed" at the new user and are ready to go 'out of the box' with little tweaking or adjusting.
 
Old 04-05-2004, 04:45 PM   #4
bigjohn
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
Posts: 2,682
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 45
Additional to XavierP's comment, Mandrake, Fedora/redhat and SuSE are easier (IMO) to start for newbies, because they have so much stuff set up for graphic input, but whatever anyone else says, they are "proper" distro's.

You get all the stuff/app's/facilities that you get with distro's that need some prior knowledge. Whichever one you try, I'd suggest doing the basic default install, and then look at the software installer and see what additional packages you think that you might require.

It's my view that because these distro's do so much stuff automatically, that you get a better "Linux experience" straight away (which was important to me, because I'm such and impatient git).

If you did something like repartition you pc so you can get your windows (a safety net initially), with maybe linux partitions for boot, swap and 2 (or more) linux formatted partitions (well the boot would also be formatted as a linux partition, whereas the swap would be linux swap as opposed to any other file system formats), then you just install the root system into one of the main partitions (nominating the swap and boot during install as well), then just leave the other partition as spare, so you can get another distro installed as well when you've learned up a little.

I used partition magic to resize windows, and then split the rest of the space up.

regards

John
 
Old 04-05-2004, 04:56 PM   #5
devinWhalen
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Distribution: Red Hat, openBSD,Mandrake,freeBSD,SunOS
Posts: 168

Rep: Reputation: 30
You make a good point bigjohn, but seeing as he only has a 20 gb hard drive (according to his sig) having a 'spare' partition is probbably not an option. However, having a root partition and a home partition might be. Save all your important stuff in your home partition and then if you want to give another distro a try you just install it over your root partition. Keeping your home partition with all your files and preferences in it. Just a thought

Later


P.S.

Quote:
but whatever anyone else says, they are "proper" distro's.
I whole heartly agree! Just because they are aimed at mainstream computer users and they are trying to make Linux easier to use they seem to get a bad rap from a lot of Linux users.....unfairly so.

Last edited by devinWhalen; 04-05-2004 at 04:58 PM.
 
Old 04-05-2004, 05:09 PM   #6
voltare
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: alabama
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I'm tossing windows......so that's not a problem. what is....is getting past the partition stuff:| i tried redhat about 2 years ago, and that turned me off of linux, the partitioning seems like a chore...........
i'm also looking for a good desktop/ide that isn't kde or gnome........

Last edited by voltare; 04-05-2004 at 05:11 PM.
 
Old 04-05-2004, 05:18 PM   #7
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 472Reputation: 472Reputation: 472Reputation: 472Reputation: 472
Desktop - try Fluxbox

The install is much much more simple than it was 2 years ago. Grab a recent distro and you'll find that the install is very straightforward - kind of 'Windows like'.
 
Old 04-05-2004, 05:28 PM   #8
devinWhalen
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Distribution: Red Hat, openBSD,Mandrake,freeBSD,SunOS
Posts: 168

Rep: Reputation: 30
I found partitioning to be a chore a few years ago when I first started as well. But this year I have partitioned with Red Hat 8 and 9 and Mandrake 10 and I found it really easy...don't know if that is because I am getting use to it or if they are getting better at it. I really think it is both. BTW, windows partitioning is no better. In fact I just saw the Mandrake 10 installer the other day....and it is beyond any installer I have seen yet.

You can just let it choose your partitioning for you. Or you can get fancy and set up some partitions. First a root partition the / partition where all your programs are installed. A home partition, where all you preferences are kept and files. And a swap partition for extra memory. Again you don't have to do this, you can just let the installer create one partition of the entire harddrive. Trust me, it is a little intimidating at first, but once you get into it it is not that bad...actually gets easy. Also, ext2 is the best filesystem to choose, IMO.

As for desktops:
xfce4
fluxbox
enlightenment


I use xfce4, but I think they are all really really cool. You have a lot of different preferences and hundreds of different themes and looks. Plus, KDE and GNOME have come a long way in the last few years...don't count them out


Later
 
Old 04-05-2004, 06:29 PM   #9
bigjohn
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
Posts: 2,682
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 45
Curious really devinWhalen,

There's a chap at work, who's a "linux monster". A real hardware nut (a 2 up, 2 down type house, with a scsi server type device, 6 or 7 scsi drives, networked/shared to 4 or 5 pc's etc etc etc i.e. enough hardware to manage the European Space Programme) anyway, he also mentioned about having a seperate /home partition.

As we were busy at the time (his job is similar, but works in a different area/section), he didn't have the time to expand on the "why's".

So, I was wondering, as I normally have mandrake and gentoo installed, would there be any problem of incompatibility i.e. would they have to have the same version of everything like kde and the various app's/lib's and so on?

Because I like to meddle with eye candy, and usually have lot's of theme's, background's, font's, iconsets etc etc, most of which I have under mandrake, because you can get load's from the various contrib sources and places like the "PLF", but these are mandrake specific, if I had a common /home, would I still be able to use them, in fact keep all my preferences irrespective of whether they came via gentoo or mandrake ???

regards

John
 
Old 04-05-2004, 06:42 PM   #10
kcender
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 30

Rep: Reputation: 15
oh yeah, voltare, RedHat and Mandrake installs nowadays are a breeze, they do the partitioning for you.
 
Old 04-05-2004, 06:43 PM   #11
bosewicht
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,380

Rep: Reputation: 47
fdisk and cfdisk are not that hard. just sit down take ur time and it's as easy as delete, new, and write

IMHO, i don't think there would be compatability issues. themes, icons, and the like, the ones that are in ur home dir are usually in ./kde/* or whatever desktop u are using and they are still pngs and svg's so i would think it would be as simply as setting things the way u like them. But i may be wrong here

Last edited by bosewicht; 04-05-2004 at 06:45 PM.
 
Old 04-05-2004, 07:09 PM   #12
voltare
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: alabama
Posts: 10

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
thanks guys.....i'm having to d/l linux on my wife's machine( she wants windows on here) and then make cd's to transfer it to mine.....i'm going to get all i can, e.g. every desktop environment there is, and all kinds of other stuff as well....just to try things out and find which i like best....thanks....
 
Old 04-06-2004, 01:01 AM   #13
kcender
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 30

Rep: Reputation: 15
you should really go with RedHat Fedora, it comes with Gnome and KDE.
 
Old 04-06-2004, 10:36 AM   #14
devinWhalen
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Distribution: Red Hat, openBSD,Mandrake,freeBSD,SunOS
Posts: 168

Rep: Reputation: 30
Hey bigJohn,

Sorry for the lateness of my reply but after I leave work I don't usually check my email.

Quote:
Because I like to meddle with eye candy, and usually have lot's of theme's, background's, font's, iconsets etc etc, most of which I have under mandrake, because you can get load's from the various contrib sources and places like the "PLF", but these are mandrake specific, if I had a common /home, would I still be able to use them, in fact keep all my preferences irrespective of whether they came via gentoo or mandrake ???
I haven't run into any problems and the guy I got the idea from went from an old version of red hat to mandrake to freeBSD to openBSD and back to the new Mandrake...and no problems. However, you can run into problems because you have preferences for an old version and they change the way they deal with preferences for the new version....but this is just something you have to deal with when upgrading. As an example, I upgraded my evolution a while back and I lost some of my preferences. Nothing could be done about it because they changed the way the program worked. But 97% of the preferences for evolution where still there and worked great, so it wasn't that bad.

If you had a common home directory and switched between mandrake and gentoo, I wouldn't foresee any problems. KDE on gentoo is still KDE on mandrake. And any preferences that are gentoo or mandrake specific will be stored in a different folder under your home directory and won't effect each other. For instance, I have preferences for fluxbox,xfce4,kde, gnome and enlightenment all in my home directory. And when I log into any of those desktops under any linux distro I will see the same thing. Unless of course say fluxbox has completely changed they way they store and use preferences since the last time I upgraded but that is rare and is not solved by having your / and /home directory on the same partition. That is solved by either just not upgrading fluxbox or just updating your prefs.

Hope this made sense as I have not had my morning coffee yet.

I am not saying that this is a perfect way to go, but it just seems to make great sense to me. Maybe someone else has a better way....I don't know. It just makes upgrading a hell of a lot easier and safer. And lets you try different linux flavours. As a side note, the next time I partition a harddrive I am not only going to have a / and a /home partition but a /var/www/ partition. That way any websites I make are saved when I upgrade.


Later
 
Old 04-07-2004, 01:24 PM   #15
bigjohn
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
Posts: 2,682
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 45
Ok, that explains it so I just about follow. I was thinking along these lines because I've found that more often than not, gentoo release updated/upgraded packages long before mandrake do.

I'd imagine that's because gentoo prefer getting the latest/greatest stuff up and running, not forgetting that the developer circle sort a lot of thing's when new stuff is released, whereas mandrake, being a commercial entity, have to prioritise things differently.

The one thing that still lingers, is that say when it's released, kde 3.3 (or 4 or whatever the next version is) is released, if I just did the "emerge" under gentoo, it would just "suck it in" with the various dependencies etc, then would mandrake manage to run it, or would it default to the most recent version that mandrake have, or worse still, start being a pain with X not starting and stuff like that?

I'm asking because your suggestion about having /, home and var/www seems like a good way forward, I just don't want to fall flat on my face (again ).

regards

John
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finding Right Build for Computer Saavy linux newbie.... and his unsaavy wife :) Morfedel Linux - Newbie 7 05-29-2004 10:35 AM
Newbie trouble finding/starting x General Dude Debian 11 02-29-2004 09:53 PM
help finding ip address for suse install ryan1 Linux - Newbie 1 10-07-2003 04:39 PM
newbie question: finding the CPU type? deepika Linux - Hardware 3 09-03-2003 04:18 PM
Quick simple newbie question: finding my ip...how? rivethead Linux - Networking 5 01-12-2003 12:32 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration