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Old 10-26-2003, 07:19 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
Unhappy TOTAL noob -> Difficult time adjusting to Linux

Hi guys, well it's my first post so go easy.
My problem is I just can't get Linux to work, Simple as that. I'm an idiot I know, but anyway, here's the story. I got hold of a copy of Linux Mandrake 9.2 this morning (incidentally my first ever attempt at linux) , and thought "hey why not give it a go?". So I did, I installed it without a hitch to dual boot with Win XP, once I got to my Shiny new Linux desktop then I got majorly stuck. Now it's easy to say 'Read the f*$#ing Manual', but I did and I dont understand it . I've been trying to get it to work all day. Basically the problems I'm having are:-

1/ My ADSL Modem doesn't appear to be supported - (BT VOYAGER 100)
2/ I havent a clue where to start when it comes to XFree86 and GL Drivers
3/ I can't seem to install any programs (every time I install a program then try to start it, it says program not found)
4/ I haven't a clue when it comes to script editing.

I'd appreciate any help
I wouldnt say I'm not ready for Linux, it's just that I'm having a very difficult time adjusting from XP.
Incidentally I'm using a Laptop, which doesnt make things any easier for me, here's the specs:

Compaq Evo N1020v
1.6ghz Celeron
256mb Ram
ATI IGP 340M Radeon
ALi Audio

(if there's anything you need to ask me just go right ahead)
Old 10-26-2003, 07:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Debian/other
Posts: 2,104

Rep: Reputation: 45
Hi no1sos

Which programs are you trying to install and what format are they in?

In general - to run a program or command in Linux, it has to be in your PATH - The PATH is just a list of directories in which the shell looks for the relevant comamnd or program - to see your PATH, type

echo $PATH

To edit a script or configuration file you'd typically open it as Root user from a command line using an editor like gedit etc etc - ie

gedit /etc/fstab


editor path_to_file
Old 10-26-2003, 07:46 PM   #3
Ken Ju-On
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Unstable
Distribution: Slackware 9.1, Mandrake 9.1, SuSE 8.2, Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 108

Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi no1sos and welcome to the community.

My Alcatel SpeedTouch ethernet modem didn't work the first time round either, but I went into Mandrake Control Center -> drakconnect, fooled around a bit with the settings and hey presto, got it. I'm a newbie to the max as well, but if there's one thing I've learned about Linux, it's that you need to read a lot if you want to get it working.

1/ I popped into Google and found the following link for ya:
It should contain the info you need to get your modem connected.

2/ With a lot of help from this community site and from reading the readme file for the drivers, I got my nVidia drivers and got them working. I think what you need to do is download the Linux drivers for your graphics card and read the readme file carefully for instructions on how to install it.

3/ There's a lot of help here at LQ and on the Internet that'll show you how to install programs. If you have an RPM packed in a tarball (compressed file, like a .ZIP file) then be thankful - the readme will tell you all you need to do. A simple Google search will do wonders as well. State what program you're trying to install and we'll be able to help you better.

4/ Me neither. Let me get back to my Linux newbie guides now.

5/ I know, this number doesn't exist. Just want to tell you to NEVER login as root and type "rm -rf". Oh no, now you're already tempted to. Why don't you pop into Windows and type "format c: /q as well?"

I hope you'll receive replies from other people here at LQ who're more knowledgeable than me about Linux. Oh, and don't try anything in number 5 unless you're on a computer whose owner you bitterly hate.

Last edited by Ken Ju-On; 10-26-2003 at 07:48 PM.
Old 10-26-2003, 07:49 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Washington DC
Distribution: debian sid
Posts: 78

Rep: Reputation: 15
1. i'm sorry, i know nothing about modems, i've always used ethernet.
2. hmm... your video drivers should have been detected automatically, though if you want to install a non-free (non-free as in speech--don't worry, you don't have to pay for it) driver from ati, you should be able to find directions for doing so on ati's website. just for the hell of it, though, let's see what driver mandrake decided to use for your card. get to a command prompt as root somehow (vt, xterm, doesn't matter) and type
cat /etc/X11/XF86Config |less #that's a pipe symbol, a vertical bar--sorry if i'm talking down to you, but i didn't know that when i first converted
now scroll down to where it says Section "Device" what's it say after Driver?
(incidentally, if that command doesn't work, try /etc/X11/XF86Config-4... i don't know what mandrake calls its xconfig file.)
3. hmm... how are you trying to install the programs, and what type of programs are they? are these rpms that you downloaded from someplace off the web or stuff coming from the mandrake cd? (or, alternatively, stuff from mandrake's urpmi, about which i know NOTHING other than that people say it works) further, what are you doing to try to execute the programs? are you selecting them from some sort of menu-based gui, or typing their names at the command line? if the latter, are you sure you have the right name and/or filepath? (sorry if i'm running at the mouth, i'm just throwing out ideas.)
4. hmm... it might not be such a good idea to start mucking around with scripts until you have a little more experience--you can really screw stuff up. though if you're committed, a good intro book is "learning the bash shell" published by o'reilley.

(unless by scripts you mean config files, in which case it is essential that you learn those. pick an easy editor like pico and you should be okay. they make a lot of sense once you get used to thinking in the sort of telegraphic way they're arranged, and once you've gotten over the initial "help-it's-not-a-gui" mentality that we all inherited from mr gates, it becomes fairly easy. until then, stick to following how-to, ariticles and the like telling you specifically what to edit.

as for generally getting stuff to work, here are several in-depth articles about configuring various compaq laptops. i'm bet one of them might be able to help you with your modem, too, come to think of it.
Old 10-26-2003, 08:30 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
hi guys, sorry about the delay, I've been switching between OS'es

To Skyline: I'm using a GUI to navigate through the folders, I really dont get the command line as of yet. I'm trying to run a game, Quake 3 to be exact, I've installed a RUN file and extracted files off the CD (It was a Windows CD, I downloaded Linux Binaries) and put them into my /home directory (this is what came up when I typed echo $Path). The file once extracted is an x86 executable, but when I run it, I'm told 'Could not find program quake3.x86' or something similar. Thanks for your help Skyline.

To Ken Ju-On:Thanks for the the link, appreciated, but unfortunately thats a different model, the problem with the BT Voyager is that there are two versions, the standard Voyager and the Voyager 100, I checked out the eciadsl website and my modem was listed as 'probably supported' so I guess it's a matter of checking it every now and then. You're right that the people here are very helpful, it's unusual to find a board where there are people who are willing to help you, so this is great! Thanks Ken Ju-On

To dbkluck: I've not tried the commands yet, I'll try it shortly, however, when I installed mandrake it gave me the option to choose my display adapter, Radeon was already highlighted so I went along and chose that one. However it seems as if I'm getting really bad results in glxgears (175fps in 24-bit and 220fps in 16-bit). I presume this is because I musn't have GL Drivers installed, I don't have a clue how to install those though heh. As for the programs, it's the same as I told skyline, it's an x86 file. Cheers man.

Thanks for all your help so far, I know I'm a total noob, but I really have no experience in linux
Old 10-26-2003, 10:53 PM   #6
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 269

Rep: Reputation: 30
You got the easiest Distro, and the most up-to-date version.

Now it's just a matter of time...(grin)

I have been playing with Mandrake & Linux for several years, and I still consider myself a newbie.

Try some of the links in my sig...and good luck. Linux has a real steep learning curve...but it's worth the trouble.
Old 10-27-2003, 01:34 AM   #7
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kerala,India
Distribution: RedHat,Mandrake,Debian
Posts: 643

Rep: Reputation: 30
About ati drivers,i had posted a link to the ati IG340 in another thread not so long ago,just search the forum for it. also,you can see the full path name of an installed program with
which <program_name>
also,try 'whereis' and 'locate'(when you do locate,do an updatedb before running it)
Old 10-27-2003, 05:10 AM   #8
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks for your replies,
I'm gonna try some of them now, although I broke my startx now, so thats another problem I need to fix, oh well.
Cheers Guys


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