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Old 08-29-2006, 10:59 AM   #1
Woozle
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Question Want to install SUSE 10.1 desktop - general advice for first-time installer please


Hi. This is my first question on here.

After years being very conversant with Windows, but knowing nothing about Linux, I have decided to take the plunge. So I've got hold of an off-the-shelf HP desktop PC with an existing Windows install and wish to rebuild it from scratch with SUSE 10.1, completely doing away with Windows.

I know zilch about Linux and hope that by building a machine initially as a desktop Linux OS then I will do a lot of learning along the way ! I have chosen SUSE 10.1 because as far as I can tell it is well supported in the community, is generally a stable product and is more installer-friendly than most (which seems a good place to start). Having made that decision I recently obtained 10.1 on a DVD from the front of a mag. I ran the Live version just to try it out and it basically seemed ok, although I realise a proper install is a different issue - but at least I know in principle it should run on this machine.

So I am hoping to end up with a stable SUSE desktop that my family can use (for email, web browsing, doc writing etc.), with me as Admin and everyone else as standard users (of course I will have my own standard account as well for non-admin use).

So my question here is fairly wide, but basically:...

"What are the major issues to consider when installing SUSE 10.1 ?"

I am absolutely brand new to Linux, so words of 2 letters or less in your reply would be appreciated, e.g. please try to avoid jargon words - thanks.

I am very happy to spend time reading up on the details of what I need, but some general pointers of what to look out for would be appreciated.

Some of the issues I would like guidance on are:

1. Specific security checks/actions I should perform e.g. file security, user access rights, online security
2. What hard-disk file format should I use ?
3. What hard-disk partitioning and partition sizes should I use ?
4. Memory & performance tuning
5. What file tree structure should I use ?
6. What useful general admin tools are there ?

The bottom line here is that I want to learn about Linux and build a desktop PC that is secure. I also want to avoid having to rebuild the machine 2 months down the line because I took a fundamentally wrong approach on Day 1. Once I am reasonably conversant with Linux, and how this desktop ticks, I will migrate my family across to this machine (away from the existing Windows machine).

Many thanks for all feedback
 
Old 08-29-2006, 11:33 AM   #2
rshaw
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suse is a good choice, but 10.1 is broken due to a late, novel imposed change to the package manager. they continue to patch it, but it is nowhere near as stable as version 10.0 is. so in short , use version 10.0

1. Specific security checks/actions I should perform e.g. file security, user access rights, online security

suse will leave you with a secure system out of the box, so no need to worry about those details at install time. read up on it later.

2. What hard-disk file format should I use ?

it will suggest reiserfs, which is a good choice.

3. What hard-disk partitioning and partition sizes should I use

use the suggested defaults

4. Memory & performance tuning

accept the defaults

5. What file tree structure should I use ?

pretty much dictated by the FHS, nothing you need to consider at this point.

6. What useful general admin tools are there ?

on a suse box, yast is the swiss army knife of config. tools, it's installed automagically.
 
Old 08-29-2006, 12:27 PM   #3
swagner7
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SUSE 10.1 advice

The package management issue in SUSE 10.1 has been fixed. If you install SUSE 10.1 and then allow it to install updates (which is part of the installation process), the issue with the package manager that the person in the previous post mentions will be moot.

I would advise you to select the default settings and for security and partitioning the hard disk, etc. SUSE does a good job with the defaults. Especially since you do not plan to have the machine as a dual boot system.

If you want everything to work out of the box and depending on what you want to use the machine for, you may want to consider using Mepis 6.0 (Mepis 6 is based on Ubuntu dapper). I have used a variety of Linux flavors over the years and as you are new to Linux I can highly recommend it. Ubuntu/Kubuntu are also easy to install and use, but you still have to download and install the codecs in order to play MP3s, movies, etc., and you will need to install Firefox. This isn't hard to do and they also have a strong user community if that is what you want. Mepis, out of the box, will play MP3s, comes with Firefox, email clients, Open Office, Skype and a variety of other useful programs. As you are brand new to Linux, I would recommend Mepis or Ubuntu/Kubuntu first. It's your call.

I would also recommend listening to some podcasts for new users that Chess Griffith has done. They are geared specifically to the new user. You can find them at http://www.linuxreality.com

Welcome to the Linux world! Once you install Linux, you will enjoy security, stabilty, choice and the freedom to control your computer as you see fit.

Last edited by swagner7; 08-29-2006 at 12:30 PM.
 
Old 08-29-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
rshaw
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it has _not_ been fixed, but it does function better than it did.
it still downloads the repo data multiple times (when zmd wakes, when yast opens,when zen updater is checked, etc. when only once would do. when running, it runs with no indication it is doing anything other than hogging the cpu and net connection.

if it is working for you i'm happy, but you are the exception, not the rule.
 
Old 08-29-2006, 01:02 PM   #5
swagner7
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I agree with rshaw, that SUSE's package management not perfect and could still use some work. The other option is to install the SMART package manager and use that instead. I have had good sucess with that on another machine.

I also thought of this. I think before you install any version of Linux (SUSE included), you have to ask yourself some basic questions, such as, what do I want to primarily use this machine for? If you are a programmer and general technogeek, then SUSE will have all the stuff you could ever dream of. If you want a basic machine for a family (which I think you mentioned) for email, web surfing, office applications, music then SUSE will also work, but you may want to consider some other distros that are geared for those new to Linux.

Last edited by swagner7; 08-29-2006 at 01:05 PM.
 
Old 08-29-2006, 01:13 PM   #6
rshaw
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yeah ,have been using smart here as well. had to de-install rug/zmd as it was hammering my net connetion at unpredicable times.
 
Old 08-29-2006, 04:37 PM   #7
PatrickNew
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As a Suse 10.1 user, I can tell you that it does have a quite friendly graphical installer, good hardware detection, and provides with a usable desktop out of the box. I have very important advice, no matter what distro you wind up with.

*Don't forget this webpage.*

No matter how much advice anyone gives you now, you will still need help. I've been at this a year and a half, and I still ask in the newbie section a decent amount. But start installing, and when you need help - ask for it here. This is an excellent community and, fear not, I've never posted a problem and not had it resolved.

Just post more information than you think is relevant, use descriptive subject lines, and good spelling and these folks will guide you through. I know. They guided me, and I'm grateful.
 
Old 08-29-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
mjolnir
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Quite a few new linux users, my self included, have ended up at the CLI wondering what to do next. Since you already have a working LiveCD you might go to /etc/X11 and copy the xorg.conf just for insurance. Chances are you won't need it but you never know.
 
Old 08-30-2006, 11:06 AM   #9
Woozle
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Thank you to all your replies so far. Sounds like I made a reasonable choice with SUSE.

I was aware of the installer issue in 10.1 but have decided to ride that one out and see what happens.

Someone recommended this site to me, so I've already had a poke around and it does look the 'apiatic patellae'. I shall certainly be back here more than once.

Although I currently work in IT Security I have a development background, primarily in C++, Java & HTML/XML.

By the way...what does xorg.conf do for me, as mentioned in post #8 ?
 
Old 08-30-2006, 02:34 PM   #10
rshaw
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configures the xserver. but you will want to use sax2 instead of xorgconfig on a suse machine.
 
  


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