Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
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!


  Search this Thread
Old 11-08-2004, 04:44 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Bay Area California
Distribution: im new here
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Smile Flavor of the Month...?? Looking to start up linix

Any suggestions on a brand of Linix for a newbie that understands code well and wants to use it as a learning tool and development platform.

I have all the the compiling tools Visual C++, Visual Basic 6, MSDN and a lot of SDK's...

I want to do some work interfacing to a scsi tape drive. Ive found a lot of bits and pieces of code have already been written and almost all of it in linix or unix or Irix.

Will this older code play well with all the newer kernals out there?

I am going to fire up SLAX as well as SuSe live to get a finger typing..

I have a laptop that the linix can go on. Its an old 486 with 16 meg of ram and an 800 meg disk as well as legacy connectivity.

Im not looking to jump in full bore I just want to learn how to get stuff done a bit at a time. My windows -X-tra-P-recious box keeps me working the os as it is.

Thanks for the Output..or is it Input... uh oh .. im screwed
Old 11-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 1,991

Rep: Reputation: 76
If you want to learn how it all fits together and works, then you could try Fedora or Red Hat. But be warned: the configuration isn't as easy as more home-user oriented distros like SuSE, Debian or Mandrake.

Personally, I use SuSE which is a very nice distro that tends to make everything that's supported work with quite minimal effort (there are always exceptions, though). Other people prefer other distros; it's mostly a matter of personal preference.

All distros (with the exception of several “lighter” distros, like dedicated firewalls and suchlike) come with some variant of the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) including C, C++, Java and Fortran-77 compilers; and you can easily download and install others. I don't think SuSE Personal includes GCC, but you can download it.

If you're looking at writing drivers, then you probably want to install the kernel source-code as well.

If you're found publicly available source code for drivers for a particular tape drive, then the chances are that the driver will already be in the kernel. If not, be aware that there have been quite a few changes to the kernel's internals lately so you might need to make some modifications to your code.

One more thing: don't try and run KDE on a 16Mb 486; it will be painfully slow. Try a lightweight window manager like AfterStep or WindowMaker — these are harder to configure but run a lot faster. A distribution like Gentoo will probably fit into the available space more easily; do also be aware that most major distros need at least a Pentium to run these days.
Old 11-08-2004, 11:42 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Pocatello, Idaho, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 256

Rep: Reputation: 30
Look around on the internet. I'm not sure if the current version will but I do know that previous versions of Slackware will run on a 486 and 16. Heck version 7 will run on a laptop with only 4MB RAM.

Also I wouldn't count on even the lighter window managers like windowmaker and iceWM to work on that old of a system. You can try but just be for warned that you might have to work straight from the command line, but that shouldn't be a problem for a big programmer type like yourself.

WAIT WAIT I KNOW I KNOW!!!! Check out Damn Small Linux On there website under the FAQ they have a link to a page from a guy that got it to run on a 486DX and 486DX2 both with 16MB RAM. If you want a gui check out this distro. It's a live CD which means it runs off the cd but there are installation instructions on the site.

Also if your Laptop has a sound card and Damn Small doesn't detect it check out the ALSA Project . I used it on my latop and now it works fine.


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
transform month number to month name in php ALInux Programming 1 11-09-2005 11:45 AM
Starting day of month, month length chrisk5527 Programming 2 03-03-2004 05:03 PM
Linix WIFI YourForum Linux - Wireless Networking 2 11-27-2003 10:30 AM
Upgrading Linix help joe_dejesus Linux - Hardware 0 02-26-2003 02:51 PM
Linix and p2p mikeshn Linux - General 1 04-06-2002 10:45 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 AM.

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