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bitsnpieces 09-25-2006 09:41 PM

Switching to Linux soon. What should I do?
I didn't really read the tutorials as they're too long and confusing.

So simply, just a few questions. I'm switching to Linux soon, as the title suggests.

Security: Are their firewall programs or do I have to manually set it up? If there are programs, what would you suggest? Unless manually setting it is a better option.

Drivers: Like graphics cards and motherboard and sound and such. Is it the same as how Windows works? I'll have to go to the main site and download the Linux versions?

Um... I can't think of anything else at the moment, but what are the basic things I need to do to have my Linux running safely as though you would with Windows and it's protection and drivers?

cybersponge 09-25-2006 09:57 PM

Firewall response
Hi. Answering your question about the firewall, linux does come with a firewall and when installing your distro it will ask if you would like to enable it. Linux also comes with a feature called SELinux (Security Enhanched Linux) which you can also enable during install (go to the NSA website and look for SELinux for info). Sorry but I do not know much about how these features actually work though. About the drivers, Linux usually recognises hardware but if you have an uncommon card you may need to contact the manufacturer about linux drivers.

titanium_geek 09-25-2006 10:51 PM


Originally Posted by bitsnpieces
I didn't really read the tutorials as they're too long and confusing.

please don't be lazy... :)

check out for good tutorials on stuff you might be stuck on.

RE Drivers- Linux is actually more intelligent than Windows- it fully supports most things- though good luck if you have something brand new and the manufacturer doesn't support linux.

Linux is much nicer these days than it used to be, don't overthink and worry too much- just go ahead with the install and the wonderful community here at LQ will be ready to help you if you get stuck.

Welcome to LQ!


Electro 09-25-2006 11:18 PM

Security in Linux is a lot better than Windows. Linux comes with iptables/netfilter which is handled by the kernel. There are some projects that can help setup iptables/netfilter such as shorewall, firewall builder, firestarter.

In Linux, software that controls hardware is called modules, but they can be called as drivers too.

If you are using on-board sound, it will work, but a software mixer needs to be used like ALSA dmix library, esound, arts in order to handle multiple PCM or sound streams.

Most PATA or IDE/EIDE/ATA controllers are supported. In some cases like ATI, it works better in Linux. I do not recommend using SATA controllers from nVidia, VIA, ALI, SIS, ULi, Intel, Promise, and ATI. The software for these hardware have to be reversed engineer which is an endless battle.

If you have an nVidia graphics card, its installation and setup process is very, very easy just like it is in Windows. ATI's installation and setup process needs more work. I suggest do not use their config utility to edit Linux GUI file because neither ATI and nVidia configurer are not smart. I recomend editing the file your self which is very easy because it is all plain text.

Video Capture:
Most of them are working, but they are trial and error processes that are SAA713x or cx88 based. I prefer video capture cards with SAA713x because it provides clearer picture than others. PVR cards are supported too.

Windows Games:
You can either use WINE (WINE is not an Emulator) and Cedega. I finally made the plunge into Cedega waters. Somes it is bath water and other times it is freezing. Actually WINE is an emulator in a sense that it translates the Windows API commands into Linux GUI commands (X11).

Just about any motherboards works even SIS and ATI. If ATI boards are giving you trouble in Windows, than Linux is the right choice even though it has been reversed engineered.

Wired NIC/Wireless NIC:
I strongly recommend using wired NICs because Linux supports them well. Most Wireless NIC have to be used with a ndis wrapper which slows the computer. I suggest wired to wireless bridges (aka access points) to make it easier for you and take the load off your computer when doing conversion and encryption.

You can pick any Linux distribution that you want. I read that Ubuntu is easy to use. I have used Mandrake Linux (now it is Mandriva), but I only like Mandrake Linux 9.0 and hate their latest versions. They had a screw loose when setting up version 10. Most everybody uses Fedora. IMHO, Fedora uses their own langauge to config it self which is dependent with GUI. There SUSE that is proprietary utilities. People argue that OpenSUSE is not priorpetary, but they are still priorpetary. Slackware, Debian, and Gentoo are the next distributions that are good. If you really want to learn Linux, then either one of these are good. I prefer Gentoo because it is organized, compiles programs, customizable, handles nVidia and ATI libraries correctly, and only have to look at one place to browse and get programs. If you do not have any space or you still do not want to jump in, Knoppix is good starter distribution that runs from the CD or DVD.

bitsnpieces 09-26-2006 11:15 PM

I would have read the tutorials but as I said, too much. Just reminds me of the history assignment which I have to do and due soon. LOL...

Anyways, thanks everyone for answering. I can switch to Linux rest assured now. Prob do it in a month or so time once exams are over. :)

Electro 09-27-2006 12:15 AM

Try using Knoppix when doing your assignment. Programes like Abiword, Kword, and OpenOffice are good word processors, but OpenOffice feels like Word Perfect and MS Word all in one. You will get a feel of Linux when using Knoppix with out ever having to commit to Linux at first.

bitsnpieces 10-01-2006 03:49 AM

After reading some info on different distros, I've decided on VectorLinux.

Mainly because it's said to run at very good speeds.

I've already downloaded the ISO for standard edition 5.1. With installation, I can just pop in the CD, and install it right? It'll have an option to format C: (where my Windows is installed) and install onto C:, rather than D: (I have partitioned my harddrive, C: D:)?

Because one problem I've always had with Windows is, I pop in the CD, I tell it to format C: and re-install onto C:, but it'll install onto the second partition. That won't happen when I try to install VL will it?

titanium_geek 10-01-2006 06:58 AM

Read up about partitions. Linux needs a different kind of formatting to "live" on than windows. You should be able to do all of it in the install, but read up (key words: partitioning, grub, lilo) so you know what is going on.


That said, a linux install is used to living next to other OS's, windows is greedy and wants the whole computer.


bitsnpieces 10-02-2006 04:30 AM

Ah, OK. Thanks.

Oh and, keyword partitioning, I get it, but grub and lilo? LOL

The odd uniqueness of Linux I'm guessing? :P

titanium_geek 10-02-2006 05:40 AM

grub/lilo are bootloaders- they get started first (when the computer starts) and lets you decide which OS you want to start.

(which you would know with a little exploratory reading ;) )


digital8doug 10-02-2006 03:33 PM

DL & read GNU Grub 0.97 man or Boot XP CD R=Repair, fixmbr helps alot system no boot
Sections of Grub manual are very informative for migrators, esp 3, 4.12. When you start computer & stare @ grub
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
Voila you can get back into windows OK, but then must read more.

Originally Posted by bitsnpieces
keyword partitioning, but grub and lilo? The odd uniqueness of Linux I'm guessing? :P

LILO is older Grub newer.
I found FC5 & Kubuntu easier so far than others I tried. check my tag. d8d

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