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ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Yes, that's right, it's time for LINUX N00B QUESTIONS(®) again :D

To cut a long story short, i decided to try linux (i've tryed before, giving up in 1-2 days, but i've got lots of free HDD space so i can afford to leave it on here for a while).
So i downloaded redhat 9 this afternoon (thank god i'm not still on 56k :D) and installed it to a 10GB partition next to windows2k.

I've just got into it now, and i have questions :D

The first that i'm going to ask is probably the hardest to answer: what now? Where do i go from here? what are the possibilities and/or limitations of linux?

If that's a bit of a biggie:

#1: In the boot loader, i have three entries. One is windows 2000, one is called "Red hat linux (2.4.20-8smp)" and the third is called "Red hat linux (2.4.20-8)" (basically without SMP). So what's the differance? i had a problem during the first install, and did it again. Is one of these options the bad install? and if so, how do i get rid of it?

#2: I notice on the desktop there's items called "arbital24's home" and "start here" (my user name is arbital24). What are these? I.e. if comparing them to a windows system, what would they be equivalent to?

#3: How do i access the CD-ROM and floppy drive?

#4: How do i get it to pick up my internet connection? (it's a cable modem through ethernet lead)

#5: it had a problem installing sound. I don't think my sound card's yet compatible (audigy2). Is there any way i can get linux drivers for it?

#6: how do i get drivers for my printer?

#7: once i'm online, is there an update feature like "windows update" that i can use to get the latest drivers and patches, etc?

#8: Does it matter if i'm logged in as arbital24 or root? are there things i can't do as arbital24? can i give arbital24 the same access rights as root?

i'll add any more if i find them

Thankyou for taking the time to read this post. Please help me :)

Thanks, ArBiTaL24.
 

Titan386

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
ArBiTaL 24 said:
The first that i'm going to ask is probably the hardest to answer: what now? Where do i go from here? what are the possibilities and/or limitations of linux?

Well... what do you want to do? Linux is quite verisital, and there is quite a lot of open source software available for download. To see a good amount of it, check out:
www.freshmeat.net
www.sourceforge.net

One thing I suggest is to learn the command line. It will become your best friend.

#1: In the boot loader, i have three entries. One is windows 2000, one is called "Red hat linux (2.4.20-8smp)" and the third is called "Red hat linux (2.4.20-8)" (basically without SMP). So what's the differance? i had a problem during the first install, and did it again. Is one of these options the bad install? and if so, how do i get rid of it?

Those are two different kernels. I'm not sure exactly why they are both installed, but it doesn't really hurt to leave them both their. I always try to keep a 'backup' kernel around in case I break the main one, because other wise I'd have to boot off a CD.

They can be removed by editing your bootloader's config file. Are you using LILO or Grub?

(note that removing them isn't really a big deal, having two doesn't break anyhting)

#2: I notice on the desktop there's items called "arbital24's home" and "start here" (my user name is arbital24). What are these? I.e. if comparing them to a windows system, what would they be equivalent to?

Well, the home thing is your home directory. This is the place on the system where your user should store at its files. Unlike Windows, were you can just randomly run around the file system saving things where ever, on Linux, your user tends to only have write access in its home directory (and in a few other places, but that's not relevent, so I won't go into it).

The Start Here thing isn't really of much importance. I think it basically gives you access to a bunch of settings of the desktop environment, but nothing you can't find through the control panels. I've never bothered with this feature.

#3: How do i access the CD-ROM and floppy drive?
Well, there are several answers to this question, namely the Red Hat way, and the Linux way. The Red Hat way is probably much easier coming from a Windows background. I don't remember precisely how it is done, but I think you can add icons to your desktop (if not already there) that should allow you to access either the floppy or CDROM. Try right clicking on your desktop, might bring up a menu that let's you create the icons.

And now for the Linux way. In order to access any filesystem, you must first mount it. This is done via the mount command (at your command line, or terminal window). Normally, you'll need to be root for this (but not always, I'll get into that later).

There are two things you need to tell the system when you goto mount something: what device you want to mount, and where to mount it. Once mounting is complete, you will be able to goto a directory, know as the mount point, and see all the files on the mounted filesystem. The basic syntax of mount is as follows:

mount /device/here /mount/point/here

Traditionally, mount points are in the /mnt directory, although they can go anywhere and any empty directory can function as a mount point. So, in order to mount your floppy, you would do:

mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

Then if you do the following, you should see all the files on the floppy:

cd /mnt/floppy
ls

You mount a CD ROM drive in a similar manner. However, since there are often more than one IDE device on your average system, you have to understand how Linux names its IDE devices before you can continue. The basic structure is as follows:

/dev/hdxy

where:

x = a letter, indicating which IDE device you want to mount.
a stands for the primary master, b the primary slave, c the secondary master, d the secondary slave, and so on.

y = a number, indicating the number of partition you want to mount. 1 is the first partition, and so on. Since we aren't talking about hard drives here, you don't have to worry about partitions (but you'll want to know soon enough, probably)

For example, my CD-ROM is my secondary master. If I want to mount it on the /mnt/cdrom directory, I would do:

mount /dev/hdc /mnt/cdrom

Let's say you've written a file to a floppy, and now your done and ready to take it out. You can't simply take out the disk, because Linux does not write data to a disk right when you tell it to, it insteads waits until it has nothing better to do. So, you first must unmount the disk, which is done as follows:

umount /mnt/mountpoint/here

Take note that there is no 'n' where you would expect it to be in umount.
For example, to unmount the floppy drive mentioned earlier, you would do:

umount /mnt/floppy

After that command has finshed and you get your prompt back, you can safely remove the disk.

Now, it would seem like an awlful lot of effort to have to enter these commands ever time you wanted to access a certain filesystem, especially if its a commonly used one. That's what the /etc/fstab file is for: it contains a list of all the filesystems that will be mounting on boot. It also allows a non root user to mount a filesystem, which is usually disallowed.

I don't want to overwelm you with information, so I'm not going to do into detail about /etc/fstab just yet. However, I'll take this oppurtunity to introduce a very important thing in Linux: manual pages. This is a system of documentation, whcih allows you to get information on many commands and files. To view the man page on a command, just type 'man command'. Read through the file, and press q to quit.

If you would like to learn more about /etc/fstab, just do 'man fstab' to read the man page.

#4: How do i get it to pick up my internet connection? (it's a cable modem through ethernet lead)

Usually Red Hat configures this during installation. Have you attempted accessing the internet yet, and if so, did you get an erorr message?

I think Red Hat includes a GUI configuration tool for this, look around in your menus for it. If you still have trouble, get back to us with the chipset of your NIC and we'll try to point you in the right direction.

#5: it had a problem installing sound. I don't think my sound card's yet compatible (audigy2). Is there any way i can get linux drivers for it?

I'll let someone else tackle that one, not exactly my area of knowledge.

#6: how do i get drivers for my printer?
Red Hat has a GUI configuration tool for this as well, try looking for it. If that fails, take a look at http://www.linuxprinting.org/ .

#7: once i'm online, is there an update feature like "windows update" that i can use to get the latest drivers and patches, etc?

Yes, Red Hat calls it 'up2date' and it can be run from the command line. You have to register with Red Hat before using it, however. Its free for one system at a time.

#8: Does it matter if i'm logged in as arbital24 or root? are there things i can't do as arbital24? can i give arbital24 the same access rights as root?

Yes! root is intended for system maitenance and administration purposes only, and it has unlimited control over the system. This means it has unlimited potential to destroy your system and your data, so use the root account carefully.

Mistakes as root can be really nasty. For example, the following command would normally remove the user "test"'s home directory:

rm -rf /home/test

But, if you typed it too fast, and put in an extra space, like so:

rm -rf / home/test

You would wipe every file on the system. Only as root, however. Running that command as a normal user (not recommended!) will destory plenty of files, but not important system files.

I highly suggest not using the root user when not necessary, or giving your regular user root privledges.

i'll add any more if i find them

Thankyou for taking the time to read this post. Please help me :)

Thanks, ArBiTaL24.

My pleasure, welcome to Linux ! :)
 

klingens

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Xanadu
1) The SMp kernel is one for PCs with more than one CPU, Athlon MP and Intel Xeons. If you have only a single CPU, you can delete that entry. delete the other one if you have a SMP PC. The grub config file is supposed to be somewhere below /boot. For me (Debian) it´s /boot/grub/menu.lst

2) Arbitals home is the home directory of arbital. it´s your c:\documents and settings\arbital but in linux this home is more important: it´s the only place (by default) where the user arbital can store his files. this is a good thing since it makes backup of user data much, much easier. Windows applications scatter user data all over the place in comparison. The Start here is some simplified start menu I think

3) you mount the cdrom and floppy disks, then you access them. The basic mount command is: mount <device file of drive> <mountpoint>
e.g.: mount /dev/cdrom /cdrom If you need more info, "man mount" give it to you

4) It´s probably using dhcp, so setup dhcp on your ethernet connection. there are various howtos for that on places like tldkp.org. ask google. If all fails come back and ask us, but have more specific questions than "how do I make internet work"

5) http://sourceforge.net/projects/emu10k1
Not totally sure if it´ll work with an audigy2 since I never used such a card. They claim it does tho

6) http://www.linuxprinting.org/printer_list.cgi

7) It´s called Redhat up2date. YOu have to register for it. Can´t say anything more about it since I never used it. If you google for redhat up2date you should find it pretty fast.

8) yes it does matter. root can do all sorts of nasty things, either by accident or by malicious intent of an attacker. Linux is designed so that you can run everything without root privileges, the reason you can´t do the same in windows is cause it was never really designed as a multiuser environment. linux is
 

rogerdugans

Linux challenged Senior, not that it stops me...
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Location
Corner of No and Where
Congrats on trying yet again ;)
I am far from being one of the linux answer guru's here, but I will take a stab at some of these, anyway; anything I get wrong will be corrected in short order by one of the "pros" ;) and we can both learn from it!

ArBiTaL 24 said:

The first that i'm going to ask is probably the hardest to answer: what now? Where do i go from here? what are the possibilities and/or limitations of linux?
Anywhere and everywhere. Where do YOU want to go today :D
Apps from linux.org
Sourceforge


#1: In the boot loader, i have three entries. One is windows 2000, one is called "Red hat linux (2.4.20-8smp)" and the third is called "Red hat linux (2.4.20-8)" (basically without SMP). So what's the differance? i had a problem during the first install, and did it again. Is one of these options the bad install? and if so, how do i get rid of it?
Boot selection screen:
Windows
Dual cpu enabled kernel
single cpu kernel

Both linux kernels are there for the same reason Windows has "SAFE" mode- if you break one you can use the other and fix or remove/replace the bad one. Great for experimentation too

#2: I notice on the desktop there's items called "arbital24's home" and "start here" (my user name is arbital24). What are these? I.e. if comparing them to a windows system, what would they be equivalent to?

arbital24's home is your HOME directory- similar to but better than the my documents folder

Start here- been a while since I did an install (and I have not done RH9 yet) but I think that has some links to software downloads

#3: How do i access the CD-ROM and floppy drive?

If automount is running then the drive will automatically be connected, but to get to it.....dev/mnt/cdrom0 or dev/mnt/floppy0 is where they are mounted I THINK. You can navigate to them using the gui tools or command line.

#4: How do i get it to pick up my internet connection? (it's a cable modem through ethernet lead)

If you are directly connected to the modem and the nic is the one your ISP recognizes it is just a matter of setting your nic up to use the correct settings for DHCP and DNS. If you use a router....it's the same :)

#5: it had a problem installing sound. I don't think my sound card's yet compatible (audigy2). Is there any way i can get linux drivers for it?

Maybe, maybe not. I am not familiar with that card- did you check RedHat's compatibility list?
I have sound working on my briefcase pc and my onboard sound is not really compatible with linux- but there is software that can use it and work in linux (sucks in UT2k# though:() Can't recall the name right now, but SOMEONE will.

#6: how do i get drivers for my printer?

Check RedHat and try google: "linux (your printer) driver"
Google is your friend.

#7: once i'm online, is there an update feature like "windows update" that i can use to get the latest drivers and patches, etc?

RedHat Network: works pretty well too, IMO. The demo (no purchased license) is good for one install and times out periodically if not used, but they email you with a survey to get it active again.

#8: Does it matter if i'm logged in as arbital24 or root? are there things i can't do as arbital24? can i give arbital24 the same access rights as root?

Yes
Yes
Yes, but don't do it!

root access can destroy the install in a heartbeat (go ahead- ask me how I know! lol) when you make a mistake. Its there for YOUR protection.
Anything you NEED root access for can be done a few different ways- using su root at the command line is one.

Arghhh!!!!!!!!!! Took so long that instead of being the FIRST response, I am third- and those before me are some of the pro's!
 
OP
A

ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Titan386= wow! cool, thanks:)

1: i dunno if it's grub or lilo. I think it's grub, but i'm not too sure...
2: how do i create the desktop icon for the CD-ROM? all those mount commands seem very complex...
3: Is there anywhere i can get a list of all the commands that i can use at the command line, and a description of them?
4:I try loading a page in Mozilla or conquerer (sp?) and it gives me an error. However, it says i'm online... ?
5: Thank-you :D

klingens- cool thanks :)

does the fact that i have a 3.06 with hyperthreading enabled matter? (2 logical processors- maybe linux picks this up as dual proc?)
 
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ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
rogerdugans- Cool thanks :)

1: AGH NO! i want to be free from that phrase when working in linux :D

2: do i just type that into the adress bar to access the cd-rom?

3: yea the cable modem plugs into the PC via ethernet (onboard). NTL supply software for getting going but i don't think it's linux compatible :( Plus, i didn't even use it on this win2k- it just set it'self up :)

4: I know. I like google :D

Thanks for the help :)
 
OP
A

ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Oh one more thing:
I know this is probably a stupid question, but i just wanna see:
Is there any way of running linux in a window from withing windows?
 

Titan386

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
ArBiTaL 24 said:
1: i dunno if it's grub or lilo. I think it's grub, but i'm not too sure...

Well, the multiple kernel entries don't hurt. The file you'd probably want to edit is /boot/grub/menu.lst , but I would just leave it as is for now.

2: how do i create the desktop icon for the CD-ROM? all those mount commands seem very complex...

I don't know, haven't used Red Hat in a while. Try looking at www.redhat.com .

Mounting isn't too bad once you get used to it. When you have a good fstab set up as well, its painless.

BTW, you can refer to your cdrom as /dev/cdrom or /dev/cdrom0, which is easier than identifying it by its IDE device name. That slipped my mind when I first replied.

3: Is there anywhere i can get a list of all the commands that i can use at the command line, and a description of them?

Here's some basic ones:
http://www.justlinux.com/nhf/Command_Reference

One cool thing about bash (the bourne again shell, the program you use to communicate to the system via the command line) is that is has tab completion. Type in the first part of command, and hit tab, and it will attempt to fill in the rest. If there are multiple commands that could fit, it will beep, and pressing tab again will give you a list of each one. Then you can look up each one with man pages.

There is also apropos which let's you search man pages for a topic, and it gives you a list of commands and a describition that might be relevant. The syntax is:

apropos topic here

For example:
Code:
[email protected] matt $ apropos floppy
Gfloppy [gfloppy]    (1)  - a simple floppy formatter for the GNOME
fd                   (4)  - floppy disk device
fdformat             (8)  - Low-level formats a floppy disk
setfdprm             (8)  - sets user-provided floppy disk parameters

You can then use man pages to look up interesting ones to get more detailed documentation.

4:I try loading a page in Mozilla or conquerer (sp?) and it gives me an error. However, it says i'm online... ?

Could you try to get us the exact error? That will help us figure out what the problem is.

Also, try running 'ifconfig eth0' (as root) and posting the results in here.

BTW, to switch between your root user and your regular user, you can use the su (stands for switch user) command. Just type su at the command prompt, and then your root password when prompted. You can then run commands as root. Type 'exit' to return to your normal user account.

Remember to exercise caution while using the root account.

does the fact that i have a 3.06 with hyperthreading enabled matter? (2 logical processors- maybe linux picks this up as dual proc?)

Sounds likely. I've never had a chance to use a hyperthreaded CPU with Linux before, so I can't say for sure.
 

Titan386

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
ArBiTaL 24 said:
2: do i just type that into the adress bar to access the cd-rom?

Provided automount is running, yes. Give it a try, I'm pretty sure Red Hat uses automount by default (at least they did with 7.3)

Oh one more thing:
I know this is probably a stupid question, but i just wanna see:
Is there any way of running linux in a window from withing windows?

I think VMWare can do that. http://www.vmware.com/
 
OP
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ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Cool, i'll just reboot in a few and try it.
How do i enable automount if it isn't enabled by default?
 

litghost

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Location
CA
if automount doesnt work, then you can use usermount (its on my system). it is a small gui that allows you to mount and unmount removable drive such as cd-rom and floopys. i think it mounts them to /mnt/cdrom and /mnt/floopy.

oh and note about root. i recommend never loging in as root, but loging in as your normal user and then using the su command. typing su and pressing enter it will ask for your root password and then that terminal will have root properties. then when you are done you can just type exit and the terminal will return to normal. i find this saves alot of time.

hf
 
OP
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ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
K i got the cdrom mounted, that's OK.
Thing is, every time i try to open a file it says "nautilus has no installed viewer capable of displaying "blah blah"". Is there any way i can get linux to automatically recognise files and open them with the correct program??

Oh you someone asked, the error i'm getting in mozilla is "www.whateverurlitypehere.com cannot be found", but the little thing in the bottom right says it's connected...

Got the printer working BTW :)
 

litghost

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Location
CA
linux is pretty dumb about understanding extenstions.(really its gnome thats the problem). the error your getting is just the thing in windows that is the Open with... dialog window. if you arent getting that then i would suggest using kde, because i know kde does that. also trying just opening the file with the right software
 

SickBoy

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jan 13, 2001
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Ummm.... why do you want to run a Windows executable in Linux? What are you trying to do? Usually there are equivalent Linux apps that can do the same thing. If all else fails, Wine works for running (some) Windows proggies. However, installing and configuring Wine is somewhat more advanced because you have to build from CVS. I'd suggest keeping Windows around for now and booting into that when you need to do Windows oriented tasks.

Also, for Audigy2 drivers, I **think** the ones you'd want to use would be the emu10k1 project which works on Live, Audigy and Audigy2 cards.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/emu10k1

I have a Audigy and I need to get around to trying these on my system.
 
OP
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ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
1: I am trying to get the installer running on my motherboard disc to install the drivers for my LAN ethernet port to access the internet connection.

2: I've heard of that. Is it installed by default?

3: what's CVS?

4: cool thanks :) (linky)
 

klingens

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Xanadu
1.Your windows drivers won´t work with Linux, and if the manufacturer gave you a Linux driver on your CD, he surely provided it in a Linux-format (a shellscript, rpm or tar.gz file). Tell us what kind of network card you have (or the brand and model of your mainboard) and we will tell you what driver you can use.

2. I´m sure redhat comes with some version of wine, but for wine it´s usually best to get it directly from winehq. You don´t need to access cvs since they provide pretty recent rpms and debs usually, so you don´t have to compile it yourself. Winex, a special version of wine for running directx games is a different story: the free version is CVS-only.

3. CVS is a way to store source code for programmers. CVS stands for "Concurrent versioning system" which means it will let you get old versions of your software as well (in case anything new breaks)
 
OP
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ArBiTaL 24

There is no spoon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Cool thanks.

I am using the Asus P4PE, and the linux drivers are located at:
D:\Drivers\Lan\LINUX
however, from here, there branches 3 folders:
ANS
e100
e1000
PROCFG
All of these have a differant file in .tar.gz format, except the PROCFG that has 3 differant ones.

Like i said, the mobo is a P4PE and the lan is:
ASUSTeK/Broadcom 440x 10/100 integrated controller

Thanks :)