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Cheesy Peas

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
Rotherham,UK
Hi all, as the title says im a newbee to linux, but have decided to give it a go.

I have read the sticky and put it in my favourites for future reference.

My question is about which distribution i should download, after looking round at linuxiso i have no clue to which one i should download.

I just want someething that will give me an insight into linux, so which one would you recomend the best for total noobs?

Thanx, feel free to give me advice also, :)

cheers!!

Kieron
 

Legend911

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Newbie Linux

I want to possible use XP Server 2003 and Linux together. I have downloaded Arklinux from a site. Is this a good version of Linux or should I get mandrake too. And where can I find a download for it?:D
 

Titan386

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
The popular wisdom is for newbies to start out with Red Hat, Mandrake, or Suse. These distros tend to assume the least amount of Linux knowledge. Some things, like the partition naming scheme, they will assume you know.

That said, you can start out with any distro. It just depends on how much you are willing to learn. Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware are considered more difficult, but if you want to learn a lot about Linux, I would suggest going with one of those. Patience will probably be required though, as there is quite a learning curve.
 
OP
Cheesy Peas

Cheesy Peas

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
Rotherham,UK
OK, thanx for the suggestions, im going to dual boot with XP and one of these. Im currently runnin a 20G maxtor for my XP and programs but ive got a 10g fujitsu im using for storage of downloads etc.

Am i better of sticking the downloads onto the main drive and running a clean partition for linux?
 

Chrisdafu

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
Location
Louisville, Ky
I would suggest redhat 7.3 I like it more than the newer versions mainly because its less bloated. Im kinda partial to it though because it was the first distro I ever installed.
 

Titan386

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
That depends mostly on how your partitions are set up and how easy it will be to make room for Linux. Remeber that installing Linux requires free, unpartitioned space, so existing partitions must either be deleted or resized. Many people tend to have one big NTFS partition, which can be resized with tools like these:
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html

I would recommend giving at least 5 GB to Linux. You may also want to create a swap partition, the size of which should depend on how much RAM you have. The rule of thumb is to make the swap double the size of the RAM, but I think that's a bit excessive if you have 256 MB of RAM or greater. On the system in my sig ( 512 MB RAM), swap is used very rarely. I could probably get away with a 64 MB swap partition, or none at all.

Another thing to consider is having a way of sharing files between Windows and Linux. Generally, this is done via a FAT32 partition, which can be read and written to by both Windows and Linux (Linux has trouble writing to NTFS).

So, it might work out well to move your files off the 10 GB hard drive, and delete the partition there. Then, during the Linux install, use ~5 GB for the Linux native filesystem (probably ext3) and the 5 GB can be formatted in FAT32. I personally usually use a Win98 boot disk to make FAT32 partitions with fdisk, but you could also use Linux tools like mkfs or parted.

Distros like Red Hat, Mandrake, and Suse should set up the bootloader in a dual boot configuration automagically. Other will probably require manual configuration.
 
OP
Cheesy Peas

Cheesy Peas

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
Rotherham,UK
thanx titan, youve been most helpfull :)
with there be any driver problems?
ive gotta radeon 8500 and the onboard sound and nic.

so i should move the files off the drive and format it all for linux?
or can i just use a partition manager and change it to two 5gb partitions?

thanx again.
 

Titan386

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Some people have had driver issues with ATI cards, as appartenly their Linux drivers aren't the best. The generic vesa driver should be enough to get you a GUI, though.

I would just remove the files and remove the partition there were on (that can be done during Linux install). Then create a Linux partition during the install, taking up ~5 GB. After that, use another tool to make the remaining space into a FAT32 partition.

My pleasure to help :)
 

Arkaine23

Captain Random Senior Evil
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Linux

Looks like Titan's got you pretty well squared away...

Here's some additional comments for you-

Linux can run many different filesystems but the ones that will best suit you to start are gonna be ext3 and vfat (aka FAT32). You can add support to read NTFS later on, but NTFS has always given linux trouble and writing to NTFS from linux can be dangerous.

Linux organizes itself a little differently than any Windows. It actually is helping to standardize UNix filesystem heriarchy.

To start, you have /
/ is the base of your system. Its at the very top, analgous to My Computer in Windows in that when you go to /, you'll see all your partitions as well as some folders. / is its own partition as well. Its where most of the OS itself resides. Your / should be formatted as ext3 which you will do during the install procedure when you make linux partitions. This should be a fairly large partition of around 5GB or more.

Some optional partitions follow-

/boot is where bootloader information is kept. Its a critical part of the OS and the files in it will tell your machine that there are 2 operating systems, where those operating systems are located, and it will prompt you at boot time to choose which OS you'd like to boot up. /boot should probably be ext3 and needs to be only 70 - 100 mb in size.

/swap is swapspace much like windows' virtual memory. Most users of linux will make this as its own partition. It uses its own swap filesystem. Luckily for you, linux is very good at handling memory and will rarely swap if you have 256mb of ram or more. your /swap probably only needs to be a couple hundred MB in size.

/c or /data or /win whatever you name this optional partition, its is going to be very helpful for you to share your files between windows and linux. This partition should be vfat (FAT32) and as large as you feel is appropriate for sharing movies or music or documents. A few GB or more will be plenty. Consider it storage space for any critical information or media. If your linux system ever dies (it can happen from user error pretty easily while you're stilll a noob), the stuff in here will hopefully still be intact. You can trash whatever distro you're using and wipe the other partitions in order to try another flavor of linux, but you can always keep this partition and the data you store on it.


Those 4 partitions should give you a pretty good system to start with.

That being said, Mandrake or Redhat are probably the best choices to start on. They have easy installation GUI's that guide you through the setup procedure and wizards which make running them pretty intuitive. They are a little bloated if you choose to install the standard array of applications they come with (linux guys call software programs packages for your future reference). So you may want to take the time to choose the custom install option which will allow you to select and deselect packages from the list. That way you can install 1 internet browser, 1 MP3 player, 1 media player, 1 ftp server, 1 office suite, and skip out on some of the server tools you might never use. You can always install something you missed later off the CD's or by downloading it. In fact, one of your first challenges will probably be figuring out how to install software, and its a good early lesson.

If you feel adventurous you could try a more complicated distro like slackware, debian, or gentoo, though you will have to print out the install instructions and do everything with text commands and it could take hours or days of frustration to accomplish the installation. However, going with the more difficult path will teach you a lot. Still, its best to start simple unless you're prepared to do a lot of reading of online documentation and linux forums, or have a handy linux guru for a friend to help you out.

Packages- Here's some common packages I've found useful: XMMS, KDE, Mplayer, ncftp, openoffice, gimp, and WINE. Others you may want to install later on after downloading them: aim, opera, fluxbox, java support, [email protected], WINEX.

Final Advice- Learn how to use the command line as you go. It will really help you out. Ask questions here or at a linux-specific forum when you get stumped. It only takes a few weeks to get acclimated and a few months to get good. :) I think it might require most of a lifetime to become a master however... :( The most important thing is to get familair enough with how linux works to be able to ask good questions. Once you know enough to explain the difficulties you're having, and the right places to ask for help, nothing can come between you and world domination, err, I mean using linux effectively.
 
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rogerdugans

Linux challenged Senior, not that it stops me...
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Location
Corner of No and Where
I will not make any suggestions as to which distro or how to configure it in this thread- Titan386 and Arkaine23 are two of the many people here who have helped ME out tremendously a number of times.
Their knowledge compared to mine is like comparing a planet to a pea :D

But I do have some advice:
stick with it.

The learning curve can be steep but it is worth it!

Once I started to really understand a bit about how linux really works it got much easier.
The time and effort is definitely worth learning how to install and configure linux.