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Old 08-09-2004, 05:11 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Super newbie - where to start?

Hello! I'm sorry if this is the kind of thing that gets asked all the time...

I have just bought a pc that I intend to use as a media xpc type thing - sat under my tv giving internet access etc. Although I've been working with PCs for years I have never dabbled with linux so I thought that this would be a good chance to start. What I would like to do is get my new PC up and running with Linux as simply as possible and put mythtv on it. Then when I have got used to the environment a little I will have a go at doing a more complicated install.

My question is - where do I start? I have looked though reviews of distros and they all seem to have pros and cons - there doesn't seem to be an obvious one for my needs. Everything I have seen thus far seems to assume the reader has at least *some* knowledge of Linux. What I really need is to start from the very beginning.

Any suggestions, help, places to look for super-newbie answers or anything would be much appreciated!


Old 08-09-2004, 05:36 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Myanmar
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian
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You might want to try Live CDs. Boot from the CD and enjoy Linux. Knoppix, I guess, is a good place to start.

Please check for more Linux Live CDs.

Old 08-09-2004, 05:38 AM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Australia
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knoppix is a good start for testing the water... Mandrake is an easy distro if you want to install.
Old 08-09-2004, 07:40 AM   #4
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Mepis, Ubuntu, Slackity slack
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Mandrake or fedora core are by far the easiest for a new linux user to install, once you get used to the terms and stuff you can move up. I wouldnt start with a live cd, they are a pain and you dont get the full package. I would go to and download the ISO's for fedora core 2.

Old 08-09-2004, 09:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I'll get hold of both knoppix and fedora core 2 and have a play with each.

Old 08-09-2004, 10:51 AM   #6
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Registered: Oct 2003
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i suggest you become aquainted with "info" so you can browse thru its help files, and "man" for its help files (i do like "man" better, as it just errors out when it cant help, where "info" just gives me a big list and forces me to exit manually (ERR))

anyways, also

erm, that should do it
Old 08-09-2004, 07:58 PM   #7
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Newfoundland
Distribution: Mandrake 10 Official
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I didn't know anything about LInux and VERY little about computers in general when I bought my system in February 2004. I had NO programming knowledge, NONE.
Think of me as the newest noob you have ever heard of then multiply it by 10.
After I did a little searching I decided to try Mandrake 10 CE.
Then updated to Mandrake 10 Official.

I am still using it and am very happy!!

No problems with sound card, video card or Internet. (cable)

I recommend anyone new to linux try it!!

Installing Fedora Core 2 now with Mandrake 10 official and XP (windoze just for cakewalk)
everything else I do I use Linux.

Last edited by Jacksenflamed; 08-10-2004 at 11:18 AM.
Old 01-29-2006, 03:10 PM   #8
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: johannesburg south africa
Distribution: SUSE 9.3
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All the advice above is good
I am a newbee that has arrived at the point of total enthusiasm and entrancement with LINUX andIf you put in a good few hours of batteling you will get to where I am now at
What I did is get a whole bunch of distros and installed them and re installed them
I strongly recommend you stay well away from UBUNTU or KUBUNTU
I have eventually settled for SUSE linux
It has an installation and management program called YAST
Yast seems to be able to handel RPMS and just about every other type of LINUX installation package sytem there is
For your information there are hundreds of applications available and often these software packages come in a version or model that needs specific other support programs to be available.
YAST stops installing and tells you there is a DEPENDENCIES problem-- What that means is that your sytem does not use the version of a certain subroutine or library that is required by the new software you are trying to run -Yast usually tells you what you need and you can go online and use google to find a download for it.
The easiest form of program installation is a AN RPM or something similiar but I am now just strating to try to compile from so called source code.
SOURCE code is a sorof english like program written line by line and you can actually read what the computer is going to do once the code is compiled for your particular machine - unfortunately although most of these source codes are written in a language cllaed "C" there are also severalother languages used
This does make life a bit difficult because to become really competent at doing everything you want with linux you are going to have to learn a bit about these languages.THE LINE BY LINE CODE IS CONVERTED to machine readable BINARY code by a compiler program. Fortunately for us the COMPILERS are all built in to your LINUX system regardless of which distro you install.
First start playing with your linux running with a GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (what is refered to as a GUI. A GUI makes linux look just like windows and most of the time it behaves exactly as windows does -- but then you start to find that in your windows look alike there are little fine touches that make it far superior to windows .These little refinements show up more and more as you go along and in fact get you more and more pleased that you changed.
NEXT step I can recommend is to start learning how to give the computer direct commands at shell level. read the help files that are on board your computer .
Start playing with BASH commands YOU will find it seems to be so VERY VERY difficult at first but I promise you it will eventually click and then you start learning more and more very rapidly.GOOD LUCK I HOPE YOU GET TO WHERE I AM AT AND DONT GIVE UP.I nearly gave up several times and that all happend because I started wit a free give away cd of UBUNTU distro --stay away from it,its bad news for NEWBIES.BY the way at my present state of knowledge i can make UBUNTU AND KUBUNTU run beautifully and they are very nice distros BUT NOT FOR A NEW CHANGELING FROM WINDOWS.
Old 01-31-2006, 09:03 PM   #9
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You know MEPIS is another good distro I have had no problems with it and you can try it as a live CD first.
Old 01-31-2006, 09:16 PM   #10
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: CentOS 5.3, Mac OSX 10.6.8
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another is slax at
it is very good by my standards


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