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Want to switch over to linux but have a few q.

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Jul 20, 2002
Lake Oswego, Oregon
I currently have windows 2k which is starting to become unstable. I want to try out linux, but i don't know anything about it and have never used it before. I have a few questions

1) Which version should i get? It should be fairly easy to use
2) Since linux is free, where can i download it?
3) How should i go about installing it?
4) Will linux read fat32?
5) Is there something i can add on to linux so i can use programs made for windows? (photoshop, and mic games.)
6) What word processer/spread sheet/slide show program would be able to read and write the same files that office uses?
7) How would i go about configering my computer to my network? I have a linksys 4 port router connected to a cable modem.
8) How would i check if the hardware i have is compadable with linux or not?


BTW, here is my comp specs. I think it can run linux

Intel P3 750mhz
Asus P3V4X
512mb ram
Nvidia Geforce 2 GTS
2 gig Fuijitsu Hd
5.34 gig Maxtor HD
10x4x32 acer cd burner
Netgear Fa311 nic
Sound Blaster pci64

1) Redhat, Mandrake, or Suse are all fairly newbie-freindly and easy to install.

2) www.linux-iso.com

3) Several GB of unpartitioned space should do nicely. If you want to dual-boot with windows, that is also possible. I recommend using LILO as the boot manager or else just using a boot floppy.

4) Yes. It can also read but not write NTFS. A shared Fat32 drive is a good idea for sharing files between Windows and Linux in a dual-boot environment.

5) Wine. Some games work fine under wine, but not all. Not sure about Photoshop although there is an equivalent program... forgot its name though. There are many clones of windows programs. Apparently there's even a way to run windows inside a window while in Linux. :eek:

6) There are a few and at least one can read and edit MS word documents. Kedit, abiword

7) It should be able to connect to the internet immediately after the install. To let it join your windows network, you will need to configure Samba.

8) Most distro's have hardware compatability lists on their websites. Your hardware looks fine to me.

Understand that you will have some trouble figuring out a few things: like OpenGL for gaming, Samba for your network, and wine. Each of these could take a few frustrating hours to get going. But presistence will be very rewarding as you learn more and successfully accomplish the tasks. And there are plenty of places to seek help online.
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Regarding office applications there is a distribution of OpenOffice that comes with Mandrake 9. I have using the Windows version for a while and am very impressed with it. It handles all the MS Office file formats. Have only used Mandrake 9 for a few hours and perhaps its just getting alll its file systems organised but I have found it about 50% slower than Windows and a bit frustrating. I found the Corel Linux very comparable with Windows but it is very outdated now.
about the photoshop thing . . .
well most distributions come with the gimp its a good lille graphics program that has most of the functionality of photoshop it does take some getting used to .. . .

to run games on linux i suggest winex www.transgaming.com or wine www.freshmeat.net

wine is harder to configure but is free

allso I would sugest getting a book a general one such as "Runing Linux" from oriely also I would strongly sugest keeping windows around and slowly integrating linux in . . .
those would be the source rpms.

unless you plan on modifying the source code (doubtful :D) to your own specifications, then youwon't need this at all. its meant mainly for developers and the uber geek who has to have it all.

Jeff Bolton said:
those would be the source rpms.

unless you plan on modifying the source code (doubtful :D) to your own specifications, then youwon't need this at all. its meant mainly for developers and the uber geek who has to have it all.


Sometimes if you compile applications from source that you download you will need the source code for related programs.

Eg, if you want to compile KOffice you will need the source code and headers for some parts of Qt and KDE.

You dont _need_ it, but it may be worth downloading just in case.