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Old 05-19-2003, 05:46 PM   #1
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Question First time install - which to choose?

I'm not [totally] a newbie when it comes to *NIX.. but I figured this forum was the best fit for my thread. Lemme explain:
I have a year or more's experience dealing with *BSD and Linux systems, but only on a server level. I do a lot of remote administration, etc.. so basically, I've never used a NIX environment for home use. Also, I've never installed one from scratch.
This being said, I need some advice. I just built my box, and I have a while before all the parts come in. Since I've never dealt with installs, I need to know if there's anything in particular I should know/choose/not choose. Here's my hardware setup:
  • AMD XP 2500+ w/ Barton core and 333 MHz FSB
  • Asus A7N8X Deluxe Mobo w/ Nforce2, Raid, LAN, onboard sound, etc.
  • Nvidia GeForce4 MX 420
  • IBM Deskstar HDD (60 gig) ATA/100
  • Will be using both dialup and cable modem (I'm moving over the summer)
  • Currently using a Samsung SyncMaster 955DF 19'' monitor, will eventually switch to a flat panel
Any advice is appreciated, as I don't know anything about how the different distros handle monitors/mouses/video cards.. I've never had to bother with them

Also, Linux or BSD first-time? I'm familiar with both, but this will be a home use computer. I'm also a moderate gamer, if that helps. Thanks again
Old 05-19-2003, 06:02 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Arch Linux
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see my guide below for a lot of info on how to install using dual or multi-boot systems. I really like red hat but I am currently most excited about College Linux - it's only one cd to download, takes about 15 mins to install and comes with tons of great features.
Keep in mind that a lot of linux distros don't support modems well - you might already know that, but if not you will learn a lot about 'winmodems' (ones that are reliant on windows software to make them work).
Cheers, the link to my guide is below.
Old 05-19-2003, 10:01 PM   #3
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Registered: Feb 2003
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I usually recommend to pick up a box set of either Mandrake, Suse, or Red Hat (your choice), read the docs and give it a try.
You could go BSD if you wanted. Some hardware and programs would not be supported as they are in Linux.
Good Luck.
Old 05-20-2003, 12:07 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Red Hat Linux 9
Posts: 158

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The installation programs for Red Hat, Mandrake or SuSE are all usually able to identify what kind of video card and monitor you have. Red Hat and most of the other installation programs all identified the fact that the chipset on my videocard was a nVidia GeForce2 MX400 chipset with 64MB of RAM on the card. Red Hat did not automaically know that it as a PNY brand video card just what chipset was on it. It automatically identified all that it really needed to know about the video card.

It also correctly identificed that I have a Phillips 109B 19" monitor and knew the max and min horizontal and vertical refresh rates. If Linux is not familiar with your monitor then it will ask you for for the max and min refresh rates or will suggest a conservative default setting.

As far as I know all external modems are will work with Linux and are not WinModems. Most internal modems are Winmodems and many will not work under Linux. External modems will work even if the box does not say anything about working under Linux.

On my newer Linux box I have an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ with 333 MHz fsb. If you are a system administrator perhaps you might be interested in trying out Samba. Samba is one way of sharing folders and printers between Linux computers and Windows computers or Macs. Samba comes with both Red Hat and SuSE but if I am not mistaken is not included with Mandrake and must be downloaded and installed seperately. For that reason, in you case I might suggest either Red Hat or SuSE.

If you switch video cards after installing Red Hat linux I have found that it will recogize the change when booting up, just like Windows, and help you make the change. Other distros probably do that too. I have not yet tried out the College Linux distro by the way. Have fun!
Old 05-20-2003, 12:29 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Arizona
Distribution: Red Hat Linux 9
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I see you mentioned doing a lot of remote administration. As you quite likely already know most Linux distros also come with SSH, Telnet, rlogin, sftp, ftp, ncftp and other tools for remotely accessing other computers. I am only slightly familiar with them. You also probably already know that it is possible to connect a Linux box to a Unix box through SSH and then open a remote xterm window and run programs or do other tasks remotely.
Old 05-20-2003, 12:43 AM   #6
Registered: May 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: RedHat
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Depending if u have fast bandwidth or not i suggest u sue Debain or RedHat
Old 05-20-2003, 01:27 AM   #7
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: root@localhost
Distribution: Fedora Core 5, Ubuntu, Debian
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I suggest Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE since they are very easy to install and usually detects all your hardware....


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