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Old 10-08-2003, 08:33 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Slackware
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Learning to set up linux

Hi all - soooo, I've installed Red Hat (8 or so). It's a great turn-key installation, but a) I haven't learned much and b) KDE and Gnome are too much for my feeble p2-266 laptop.

I've settled on Slackware (9ish). Xcfe is great for my laptop (though in v 9.1 it doesn't seem to install correctly). Problem is, I have all these utilities installed - and I don't even know where to look for 'em! Same with X apps.

What I want to do is start with a minimalist setup, then learn to add things as I need them. Get Linux installed, booting and on the 'net. Get my sound card set up by editing the conf files (still haven't figured that out). Install and set up xfree86. Install and set up xcfe, and link it to apps. Install OpenOffice. etc.

Can anyone suggest a path to follow - what packages I should install to do what I want? Good guides for installations? (I've read many, but not all, how-tos). Etc.

I don't just want to use Linux, I want to *learn* Linux!!

Thanks in advance --
Old 10-08-2003, 10:27 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Distribution: Redhat v8.0 (soon to be Fedora? or maybe I will just go back to Slackware)
Posts: 857

Rep: Reputation: 30
The definitive resource for using Slackware is here:

As far as apps go... only you will know what you need and don't. There should be utilities for configuring sound and video and I suggest you use them. Don't try to do everything by hand.


P.S. I took exactly the opposite approach. I installed everything and then slowly uninstalled most of it after I found out what it was and saw that I didn't need it. You will run into enough problems and hurdles while learning... don't create more for yourself needlessly.
Old 10-08-2003, 11:12 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Calif, USA
Distribution: PCLINUXOS
Posts: 2,917

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You can usually find lots of information in the /usr/share/doc/ section. That may help with what you have installed. Typing the correct name for the executable (often the program's name) in a terminal will start most all programs.
Old 10-10-2003, 06:56 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 170

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If you want a small, fast desktop manager, you're looking for IceWM!
Old 10-10-2003, 09:12 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: SuSE (before: Gentoo, Slackware)
Posts: 613

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The first time I installed slack, I've installed everything.. you just don't want to miss important things. Slackware doesn't protect you against omitting dependencies, and this allows you to do the installation yourself later (from source for example) But I like the fact that you'e willing to learn a lot; just don't make it too hard for yourself. Slackware will learn you a lot already

Last time I've installed slackware somewhere else (as server), I knew what to remove. I don't think it's easy to create the best minimal install for the first time.

The entire install of slackware 9.0 costs 2GB of disk space. Note that it doesn't matter how much you install! It won't slow down your system; there are just more files. The real system slowdown is caused by starting too much programs (and network/background services) and running a big kernel, with much features you don't have/need.

installing extra packages can be done with the pkgtool (shows a menu), "installpkg <name>", and swaret (install packages/patches from ftp mirrors). If you forget something, it isn't hard to install it later.

Last edited by yapp; 10-10-2003 at 09:16 AM.


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