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Old 08-21-2007, 02:18 AM   #1
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Linux Newbie - Questions Regarding Internet Setup

Hey there,i'm a newbie to Linux i mean i just started using it for like 2 days.I got Toshiba Qosmio F20 with WinXP Home and i am using Linux[Red Hat 9.2 or something i am not sure of that ] as dual boot.Now my questions are

1)Where can i download the drivers for my soundcard,graphics card[Nvidia 6600]?
2)When i contacted with my ISP regarding the internet they said i need to get a driver for network device to setup internet.In WinXP i am using a router[Zyxel]where my IP is configured,so where can i download the network driver for Linux and please help with with the basic things to know in internet setup?
3)How can i setup my audio and video files in Linux,like hearing music or watching movies etc?
4)Which is the best distro in Linux for a beginner like me and where can i find it?Also please help me with some tutorial for Linux.

I am really sorry to bother you all out there but i am a complete newbie and will really appreciate all your help

Thanks in advance

Old 08-21-2007, 02:23 AM   #2
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You should really check what distro you're using (did you install it yourself? If so, you should know). If you're using Red Hat 9, get a newer distribution because that version is no longer supported by Red Hat and as such doesn't get updates and stuff.

1. Sound card drivers are likely to be in the kernel and there are generic graphics drivers as well (but if you want Nvidia drivers, you can get them from (and this shouldn't be a surprise)

2. What kind of network card do you have? Again, you shouldn't really need to download a driver because it should be in the kernel.

3. Shouldn't really need to do much, just start playing music with whatever application you like. As for video, you'll probably need codecs. You can use the MPlayer codecs available from

4. Some recommendations are Ubuntu, Fedora Core and Mandriva.
Old 08-21-2007, 02:38 AM   #3
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I agree to the recommendations above (maybe even in that order). Another point in installing a newer distribution is that newer ones have easy-to-use package management systems with which you can easily install new software from the internet reposities, sometimes with just a few clicks. For example Ubuntu offers a "Add/Remove" software tool that basically has a list of software available, sorted by categories (and a search box for easy finding), where you can just click on a desired piece of software (like codecs, or a media player, or an email client or anything) to mark it to be installed (or uninstalled) and hit a button to make the program install/remove all the software you selected - automatically. If extra software is needed in order to install those you want, the program deals with that too. It's a very good example on how easy things could be; not every distribution has as easy manager as that, but the others are hardly much more difficult either. Most modern distributions have software managers like that, so picking up any recent distribution is "safe" in that sense. Installing nVidia drivers, 3d desktop or upgrading your kernel works as easily too (but after getting display drivers working, it's not the best idea to upgrade them right away, because it _might_ cause some more work & trouble).

Your internet connection..well, if you use a router with IPs configured and all, you should be easily on the web unless it's connected via USB cable. An ethernet-connected one should work without problems (ethernet card - eth cable - router). In RH9 you might have to configure some things manually, but like said, if you decide to install a newer distribution (for example one of those Fedoras, which are the successors of the previous RedHats, or Ubuntu), it's probably just "plug and play": plug the cable in, and if the router has DHCP service, you're on the web before you know it. If you need to use username/password combination, you can use one of the network tools available in the System/Administration/similar menu, or a commandline utility like adsl-setup, pppoe-setup or pppoeconf depending on the distribution.

EDIT: two top choices among media player stuff, in addition to MPlayer, are Xine or GStreamer backends added with any player front-end that can use either of those engines. For both engines there are their own codec/plugin packages, usually easily available trough the package manager system of a distribution. On Ubuntu, for example, if you play a file that there is no codec installed for, the system may even ask you if you'd like it to install one for you - and in a moment you're playing it. Just an example, not saying Ubuntu is the "best" distribution (there isn't one), but anyway.

There has really happened a lot after RedHat 9, things have got a lot easier and can be more automated for "newbies". I strongly recommend installing a more recent distribution if you really have RH9 installed - it saves you from some headache.

Last edited by b0uncer; 08-21-2007 at 02:40 AM.
Old 08-21-2007, 05:24 AM   #4
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I agree with Nylex and bouncer. Your laptop is sufficient to take advantage of most of the latest developments. Download and burn a DVD with either of those distributions. Fedora also has a graphical package tool to install software called Yumex, which is similar to the ones provided by Ubuntu, opensuse and others. Yumex has improved lots in the latest Fedora 7.

You should also be able to try the new 3D desktop (Beryl or Compiz). To do that you probably need the Nvidias own driver. I think the major distros has that in their online repositories that the package tools uses. It might also be on the DVD. So try that first and get the driver from Nvidia only if the other opens fail (its slightly more hasle to install it yourself from the download).
Old 08-21-2007, 08:01 AM   #5
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Step 1 is to determine exactly what distro you are using. "I think" and "I'm not sure" are not good enough to get you any real help.

As mentioned, if it's an older release you need to install a currently supported release. Odds are good the drivers for network and sound are indeed already present, as mentioned, but simply need to be configured. But your first recourse is to get a current release.


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