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Linux Problem solving for all open source distributions of Linux, such as Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat, Suse, Mandriva and other proprietary unixes such as Solaris, SGI Irix. Newbie friendly too!

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  #1  
Old March 28th, 2004, 03:51 AM
Hoosier Hoosier is offline
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Most newbie friendly version of Linux?

I just bought a cheap older comp. and Windows isn't running. So, is it feasible to use it as a platform to learn Linux, and if so, which version is the easiest to learn and use? And do I need Windows to run Linux?

Keeping in mind, I'm not very techno savy.
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  #2  
Old March 28th, 2004, 04:19 AM
restin256 restin256 is offline
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Nah, you don't need windoze. Since it's an older compy, I would look into Debian. If by old, you mean below P3, you might want to run simple window managers like Fluxbox, Window Maker, or FVWM.

Since it's old, if you're getting it to learn about Linux, and you have a lot of dedication, I would look into Slackware, or even Gentoo. Gentoo compiles everything on your system, and you have to know a whole lot to install it. Slackware was designed to teach people a lot about using their computer, too. You have to probe for your sound yourself.

Otherwise, Fedora, SuSE, Slackware, Debian, Vector, DamnSmall, or something of the like.
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  #3  
Old March 28th, 2004, 05:37 AM
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twistedcranium twistedcranium is offline
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For a newbie on an older machine, Fedora/Redhat, Mandrake, or SuSE, would be my suggestions in that order. If the machine doesn't have a lot of RAM ( < 64MB) then you're going to fare better with a slightly older version of one of the above mentioned distribution.

I haven't seen Debian's install lately but I don't believe it is 'newbie friendly'. I'm not slamming restin256's suggestion, I just don't think Debian is what a 'newbie' should start with, Linux is slightly tough enough to get used to if one has used Windows for a while and one little stumbling block is sometimes enough to sour one's linux experience.
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  #4  
Old March 28th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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twistedcranium twistedcranium is offline
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For some more background on the different distros and getting started with Linux, you will want to read through the first few threads in the Linux forum that are marked "Sticky". A definite read for a newbie to Linux!
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  #5  
Old March 28th, 2004, 06:36 AM
Hoosier Hoosier is offline
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Thank you, both. I'll spend this weekend reading the links you suggest, and whatever I can find on the web and I'll let you know which I go with by Monday!

I'm getting pretty excited actually, I've wanted to try Linux for a long time and it's starting to look like I'll finally break from the Microsoft teat!

*count on my hounding you all unmercifully in the coming days,lol.*
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  #6  
Old March 28th, 2004, 07:57 AM
restin256 restin256 is offline
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Actually, disk 5 has a graphical installer. Otherwise you can install Debian from Knoppix.

An older version of a popular distro wouldn't be as good, as the newer versions aren't made to take up more recources, but often have bug fixes. Taking Slackware or Gentoo is going to teach you a lot about using Linux. If you just want to use it (which I doubt you do, as it's probably not going to be your primary computer) then I would choose slackware or Gentoo, to try it out.
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  #7  
Old March 28th, 2004, 02:35 PM
kjbunete kjbunete is offline
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www.Distrowatch.com
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  #8  
Old March 29th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Hoosier Hoosier is offline
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Thanks all. I'm in the process of downloading Knoppix now, and I'm still debating, Slackware or Fedora but I'm down to those two.
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  #9  
Old March 30th, 2004, 04:17 AM
restin256 restin256 is offline
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Fedora sux0rz. The only advantage is the ability to use www.freshrpms.net , but your resolution can't go over 1024*768, and often times sound doesn't work even on the most generic-ist sound cards (like my AC '97). But you can use www.freshrpms.net !
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  #10  
Old April 1st, 2004, 06:30 PM
kjbunete kjbunete is offline
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I do not have those problems. I have the AC '97 audio in my computer, and I get sound. (Just because it says that it does not support you audio, is not always true). Plus my video is at 1280*960. I'm using an old voodoo3 2000 PCI videocard. Works like a dream!
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  #11  
Old April 7th, 2004, 07:26 AM
bAdWaYz bAdWaYz is offline
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New user linix

I haven't posted in here in a while so I reckon its about time First of all to the newbie wanting to try linux...yay!!! Congrads on breaking away from the MS crowed and trying something new. I hope you will find the install as painless as you hope. I would suggest knoppix for the new user personally. While Slack, and Gen are awesome and very powerful there is his a huge learning curve. I do understand thats its an older box meaning you have cpu and memory issue's to think about but before you try and run something like Slack or Gen think about just running a bootable distro. Use knoppix for a while see how it loads and runs on your system. Take some time to learn how to get around in linux and understand how it boots and look at the file system. After you are comfortable with that then you might want to try Slack and Gen. Heck if its a really really old box then just throw a copy of FreeBSD on it heheh. Well thats my two cents take it for what it is.
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  #12  
Old April 9th, 2004, 07:35 AM
nhaas nhaas is offline
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suse is straight forward and is easyily learned. Though depending on how old your computer is try suse. I run it on a couple of P3's 800 mhz 256 meg ram it runs fine.
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  #13  
Old April 9th, 2004, 08:32 PM
kjbunete kjbunete is offline
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I'm going to install mandrake 10.0 on a machine of Celeron-A 501Mhz with 320 MB of ram. This should be interesting. But I have 9.2 on this machine and it runs better and 6x faster than win98 on a 800Mhz machine!
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  #14  
Old April 10th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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30111987 30111987 is offline
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i'm in the process of downloading feather linux
i'm on 56k so at 60mb it's the quickest for me to download
it's one of those versions that runs off cd, I am right in thinking it will boot off the cd and will not touch my hard drive at all (got win xp home on that)
i just want to see what linux is like, ok so feather doesn't have much on it at 60mb, but it's a start
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  #15  
Old April 10th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Katayamma Katayamma is offline
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Thumbs up

Personally, I recommend Slackware for people to learn on, and here's why.

1) It's fairly easy to install, though it does require some actual though on the part of the end user.

2) The install utility will let you be as broad or as speicifc as you want, within reason. Good for novices and genius's alike.

3) No GUI!

"WHAT?" I hear you cry, " NO GUI?"

Yep. That's right.

Here's the deal. If you're going to learn linux. You don't want to use a GUI. X-Windows and X-Utilities for managing the system are there to hide the actual nitty gritty stuff from you so you don't have to learn how to administer the OS. This may make it easy for you to get the box up and running, but it won't necessarily help you with learning the actual guts of the machine, which is something that I believe anyone who uses Linux should do.

Learn on a command line. Go to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Linux for Dummies and Learning the BASH Shell by O'Reilly books. They'll get you started on the road. Once you've learned how to use the basics of the Linux system, then go nutz. Try everything. Break the system as many times as you can, learn from your mistakes, learn to fix the mistakes and actually understand what happened and why.

I can't emphasize enough that the only way to truly learn an OS like Linux is to destroy it repeatedly on accident. Nobody has ever become an accomplished Linux admin without nuking their box on accident at least once. God knows I did it often enough when I was learning, and that was in a business environment. (It was a lab, fortunately, but still!)

Once you understand the guts of Linux and how things work, then start playing with X-Windows and all the neat toys that come with the world of GUI. You'll have earned a break from the command line. However, should something break and GUI not want to work, you'll have the ability to fall back to your old command line learning and a chance to fix it, rather than having to reinstall because you didn't really know what to do.

Don't forget: Man pages are your friend. When in doubt, use "man -k {keyword}" to find possible help!

Cheers!
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