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Old 11-01-2003, 01:54 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 41

Rep: Reputation: 15
Where to start?

A a few days ago (yes that soon) i put my foot down and decided to start using linux.. I have been using windows since it came out (well almost) and im very famliar with it.

I know the jump to linux is huge and i would like to know where is the bst place to start.. what districution.. etc..?

I know some things depend on system specs, so ill give mine.

Current Operating System = XP Home Edition, Service Pack 1 (5.1 - 2600)
CPU = 1-Intel Pentium 4, 2783MHz, 512KB
Memory = 1024MB RAM
Video Card = Geforce 4 ti4600
Monitor = Dell 2000FP

Help would mean a lot and suggestion are very welcome.
Old 11-01-2003, 02:11 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Montpellier, Milano
Distribution: RedHat
Posts: 81

Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi fellow "rebel"

For distributions see
I would advise to try a few before choosing your definite distro.

For help, well you'r in the right place... it may take a while *sometimes* for an answer &/or solution, but everybody is trying his best.
The most important things to remember are,
Search the answer in this forum and using a search engine.
Try to give the right description of the problem and spec's of the HW/error.
Don't give up, in linux you'll find that there can be more than 1 solution for a specific problem.

Hope this helps

Old 11-01-2003, 02:27 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Calif, USA
Distribution: PCLINUXOS
Posts: 2,894

Rep: Reputation: 90
The Knoppix run Linux from CD is a painless intro.
Old 11-01-2003, 02:48 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Posts: 748

Rep: Reputation: 31
Distrowatch is also a good place to read about some different distributions. There are hundreds of Linux distros, as you've probably noticed, but I'd suggest that you stay with one of the more popular ones, at least until you're more comfortable with Linux. This serves a couple of purposes. There is a lot of help out there with the larger distros, while some of the smaller ones might make it harder to get a hand. While most of Linux works fairly similarly across different distributions, it's always nice to be able to see something like "mydistro version 8 help for LAN's".

Also, though some distros are "better" than others, using a mainstream distro tends to shield you from some wrong ideas about Linux. For instance, sometimes you'll see someone recommend Gentoo to a newbie. Gentoo is a nice distro, but it can be a multi day project compiling all that software from scratch. Debian is also really nice (and my personal distro), but the installation can be a real bear, even to someone that's used Linux for a while (this is going to get better pretty soon, but for now Debian's install is a little archaic.). Same with Slackware.

Take this with a grain of salt, but in order of preference, I'd use these:

Mandrake (unless you have an LG cdrom (comes with some Dell computers)--there's a manufacturer defect with those, and Mandrake can overwrite the drive's rom). Try for more information on this.




All four I've used and installed on a number of different PC's, and they are reasonably easy to get started with. If you just want to get used to Linux before you commit to it, you might want to look at Knoppix too, because it just runs off the cdrom.
Old 11-01-2003, 08:39 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
Posts: 2,690
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Well, as some of the "chaps" (probably), have already pointed you in a couple of directions too look, then I'll tell you a couple of suggestions.

As you can see from my spec on the left, I'm currently running eckspee, mandrake 9.1 and knoppix. 2damncommon has already suggested a good start with the knoppix idea. Well, I don't know your level (apart from what you've said in the first post), if you download and burn a knoppix disc, then as already stated it should run from the cd, but you can also install it to hard disc.

And as someone, who doesn't really have much of a clue, and has tried to install "proper" debian, then I would recommend this. When it boots, you should see it detect most, if not all of your hardware (though it depends on your connection method for net access i.e. check out your modem, to see if it's a "winmodem" because if it is, I don't know if you will be able to connect knoppix from the cd, I have an adsl modem/router so it was just a case of putting the LAN config in and I got connection) and although I have been "playing" with linux for nearly two years (and thought that I knew enough) I found debian to be quite hard work.

Once installed, it basically becomes a debian install (though it will probably give you better settings for monitor, graphics, etc that you will be able to config yourself - in the first instance anyway). It should also set up other stuff like making sure you've got "scsi emulation" for a cd burner, and so on.

In fairness, I found it ALMOST as easy to install knoppix to my hard drive as it was to install mandrake.

Mandrake is reputed to be one of the easiest, if not the easiest of "proper" distro's to install/setup. All I know, is that as a truck driver it was a "piece of piss". If you try mandrake, then to start with, I would suggest that you got yourself a "boxed set" from mandrake, as they tend to come with some of the commercial bit's that you can download, but they are ready compiled/included as part of the system e.g. the nvidia drivers. If you search here at LQ, you would be able to see how many people have had snags sorting them out.

As you're a Swiss, it wouldn't matter too much (depends which your native language is) because there's native support for mandrake in french/english and for SuSE it's german/english.

Redhat is also supposed to be good, though I found it to be a little too "businessy" when I looked at it at my brothers.

I have also previously tried SuSE, and again, that was really easy to install - the only downsides being that the download versions don't tend to be the latest version (you have to buy that - though it's not expensive) and that for a "desktop/n00b" type distro, I found a lot more help, a lot quicker for mandrake.

So there you go, it's now in your "ball court".

Welcome, good luck and success



p.s. Here's a good mandrake link and here's a good knoppix link.

Last edited by bigjohn; 11-01-2003 at 08:42 PM.
Old 11-02-2003, 03:11 AM   #6
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 41

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks for the advice guys.

I downloaded Knoppix last night, burned it, ran it, and used it for a couple hours. Seems awesome. There was a lot for em to take in but im guessing its just something that passes with time. Everything seemed fine except i was mising sound (im guessing there are some drivers or something) I have a soundblaster audigy 2. Anyway Im gonna kep playing around with knoppix and learn a bit more.

Oh and Im english
Old 11-02-2003, 03:35 AM   #7
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chennai
Distribution: Slackware 12.1
Posts: 165

Rep: Reputation: 36
Thumbs up Welcome buddy

Hey welcome to the club

And trust me you dont want suggestions now. Get ur hands on any linux, start installation, run into rough weather, tear out ur hair,
install again, get another distro, run into rough weather, debug.......
the cycle moves on , just make sure u keep us posted over here though !!

enzoi and good luck
Old 11-02-2003, 05:03 AM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
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Did you manage to get a connection ? if so, that's an excellent start. The sound card that i've got is a straightforward soundblaster live 5.1 digital, but when I have had to re-install mandrake, it always defaults to the Audigy () driver, fortunately the emu10k1 driver is always loaded as an additional driver (which is good seeing as it's the correct one). Though I don't know if the Audigy() would do the #2 version.

While you're playing with knoppix, have a look at the start menu, I think it's in "toys" or "amusements", for BB, just click to run and tell it no sound, then just sit back and watch - personally, when I was shown it, I'd heard of it, but never seen it in such incredible detail.

Finally, If you checked out my knoppix link you can see that there's a "goodly amount" of help/assistance. But while it's easy enough to install to a hard drive, it doesn't quite do the "hand holding" that mandrake offers for n00bs.

Like British Rail, you'll get there eventually




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