Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
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 09-18-2003, 02:03 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Question I want linux. Lots of questions.

So, I finally got a copy of Knoppix and I love it. I'm ready to make the switch from Windows XP to Linux but have a few questions.

1- I really like Knoppix 3.2. Any distributions out there that resemble it?

2- Any recommended distributions of linux for a newbie? I hear good things about Mandrake but have never used it.

3- I still need Windows XP for a few games and want to put Linux on another hard drive. Are there ways to switch between the 2 hard drives via software? I've seen boot managers before but it was always 2 operating systems on one hard drive. Is this possible?

4- I'm also confused about adding applications later on. If I see something that says, "for Windows 98, SE and XP" then I know I'm good for windows XP. However, when I see software for Linux, it always says "for Linux." Isn't that kind of vague? Will the same applications work for Redhat, Mandrake, Slackware, etc? This may seem like a stupid question but I really don't understand the whole Linux o/s.

Any and all info is appreciated. Thanks!
Old 09-18-2003, 02:23 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Tampere-FINLAND
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
Posts: 105

Rep: Reputation: 15
1-) I didn't use Knoppix before, so I don't know if there is any distrubition resembles that.

2-) I use Red Hat9.0 I like it, it is fine But I also used Mand. 9.1 for a new Linux user, I think difference in distrubutions won't change alot. According to my experience, Mandrake's configuring the system interfaces are designed very user friendly. I mean you can set almost everything from Mandrake control center, however in RedHat there isn't such a use friendly complete environment, so you should usually set things by different programs, which is more sophisticated then doing the same job in Mand.

I wish other people would add more to first and second questions! that a long task.

3-) It will be no problem to use two hard-drives one for Linux one for Windows (I guess). You cannot change your operatin system instantly of course but when your computer starts there are booting manager which enables you to select your OS. Most popular ones are Lilo and Grub. In fact during installation process you configure your boot manage, so you don't have problems. Dual booting a very common done thing and so simple use and configure. Do not worry about that By the way Linux can handle FAT partitions very well, so you can use your FAT partition also from Linux. So that you share data with your XP. But be careful writing to NTFS from Linux can damgage your drive, don't do that. Use FAT partition for such a share.

4-) You won't have problem in finding software. There are many softwares written for Linux, and they are done for various Linux distributions. If you cannot find such a package you can also install from source. I mean don't worry about that business also
Well don't worry about anything on Linux Once you install you will see that, it is not less than XP

Good Luck...
Old 09-18-2003, 02:38 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: East Coast
Distribution: OpenSuse 11.1 x64,Debian 5.0,PCBSD 7.1
Posts: 22

Rep: Reputation: 15
Well if your gonna switch pick a distro with a really simple install. i know Red Hat and Mandrake have full graphical and really smooth installs.With all the distros around theres probably a ton more with easy installs . Slackware ,Debian and again probably more i havent tried have more complicated installs.

Still cant get X to run right on Debian. But i scrapped it in favor of Slack.

I do like Slackware Linux the install is a bit of a pain but overall its a great distro.

Last edited by Sonik21; 09-18-2003 at 02:44 AM.
Old 09-18-2003, 02:58 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Asheville, NC
Distribution: SuSE 8.2
Posts: 20

Rep: Reputation: 0
Your question about what software runs where is not stupid -- it's actually very perceptual. Linux for the most part uses a common set of compilers and interpreters across all the distros. A lot of programs are compiled using GNU gcc since C/C++ is so widely used in Linux. In fact, Linux is really GNU/Linux. You can even get gcc for Windows and compile a lot of the open source programs to run under Windows.

From what I understand you pretty much either need to get binaries that are compiled for your distribution or you need to compile them yourself from source. The latter is pretty advanced though that's always a relative thing.

Some of the distributions are much friendler and robust than others. For example, SuSE 8.2 has a zillion programs that I can install from either DVD or CD and it automatically checks for and resolves dependencies for all the necessary supporting components. It also has a setup tool called YaST (Yet Another Setup Tool) that makes configuration much simpler. Eventually you will find yourself digging deeper into what information is held where but in the early going -- and even later just for convenience sake -- it is nice to have a GUI for this stuff.

Some distros are more popular in different regions than others and this is important because you will greatly benefit from distro-specific peer support. For example, I think SuSE is out of Germany and there is a lot more support for it in German. I'm in the US so this is a detraction for me. Redhat and Mandrake seem to be well-supported in the US. Debian is not a commercial distro but from what I can tell is extremely well-supported and gives you a nice tool for snagging new programs with dependency checking.

As far as Knoppix goes all the major distros have either Gnome or KDE for desktops (or you can be a real dweeb and go with a simple window manager running on top of X-windows). They also all have the same stuff such as I think I saw Debian had 8000+ binaries just to give you an idea.

The main killer apps that Linux can't provide are state of the art games and I doubt Wine (a Windows emulator) can run current ones given it's such a nightmare just getting games to run reliably under Windows in the first place. I'm an old fart (41) and love all the old classic games that you can get with Linux. Stupid stuff like Kolf (putt-putt) will keep me amused for hours. I prefer the consoles for heavy-duty games since you just stick a disc in and they work everytime with no fuss.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun playing with Linux especially if you've been able to get a lot out of Knoppix already.

Old 09-18-2003, 03:07 AM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Haarlem, The Netherlands
Distribution: Slackware, FreeBSD
Posts: 178

Rep: Reputation: 30
Well, Knoppix is Debian based, so it -sort of- resembles Debian. Personally I love Slackware, but I don't think it is a good distro to start with (unless, off course, you are willing to do a lot of reading).
I started with Mandrake, which is really easy to set up and lets you learn the Linux basics easily.
Choosing a distro is a personal thing. Just try a few and see which one you like best. Personally I'd recommend starting with one of the easier distro's, such as Mandrake or Red Hat. As naeric pointed out, SuSE is an easy distro as well. It has one major disadvantage though, they don't provide ISO images for download.
Old 09-18-2003, 04:21 AM   #6
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Durham, UK
Distribution: Slackware 9, Mandrake 9.1
Posts: 163

Rep: Reputation: 30
you can install Knoppix directly onto the hard drive, so that it acts like any other Linux distribution

im not too sure how to do it myself, but take a look around these forums or on knoppix's site -

(it isnt actually shutdown, just click the knoppix link in there )
Old 09-18-2003, 06:09 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
If you like the Knoppix "live" evaluation CD, why not just install it to your hard drive, you'll then have a full-blown Debian based GNU/Linux system straight out of the box, no need for downloading ISO's, youv'e got everything you need on that Knoppix CD, loads of software to get you started, and the installation is a breeze.'s how it's done



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
lots of questions istratos Conectiva 4 10-12-2005 09:30 AM
Lots of questions about linux Bonu Linux - Hardware 7 07-19-2005 01:53 PM
10.1 Linux Noob Needs Help lots of Questions ddrfreak Mandriva 2 12-06-2004 10:46 PM
Lots of questions, please try to help. TX_metalhead Linux - General 5 04-03-2002 10:33 AM
Lots of questions Carrot Linux - Newbie 4 04-08-2001 01:33 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:47 PM.

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
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration