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Old 06-26-04, 11:00 PM   #1
obsy
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Smile Plz Help with my first linux os

Hi i'm a bit like this when it comes to linux

I'm really interested in getting to learn somethings about linux. I don't know where to start

I have a nvidia nForce 2 EPoX motherboard with everything on it including an intergrated GeForce4 MX. I have XP on the first half of my os hardrive ( another hd for ntfs files) and have space for an appropiate linux system on the latter part.

I know stuff about partioning and installing systems ( i've installed mandrake 10 but discovered the drivers from nvidia weren't available - i'm a bit unsure about kernels and compatiblity etc)

I want to know what linux OS's will work for me. I don't require it for anything like image processing or networking. I just wanna learn.

Can i have some recommendations and guidance on what OS and what steps i should take with installing the drivers and ther like ( i'm not too sure about this kernel and rpm stuff - an explanation would be great)


thank you very much (in advance)
linux newbie - obsy
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Old 06-27-04, 04:55 AM   #2
LordMorgul
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

For a good easy to learn system I would recommend Fedora Core 1 or Mandrake 9.2. Both of these are similar in many ways and are solid systems (my preference is Fedora but Mandrake is an excellent second option). Fedora Core 2 will be more difficult for you at this stage... as will Mandrake 10 (stick with the slightly older version for your first install).

For installing the nVIDIA drivers on Fedora you can install the RPM released on their own driver download page to get the nForce drivers, and install RPMs from rpm.livna.org for the video. Both of these are simple RPM installs to get things going.

You cannot learn linux without some reading.. practice or 'jumping in' will help you cement the knowledge you gain when you read but its absolutely necessary to spend time reading FAQs, How-Tos, and Forums. I suggest LinuxQuestions.org for basic Linux 'how do I do..' things, www.tldp.org to find some how-to articles on basic topics. For Fedora specifics you should visit www.FedoraFAQ.com and www.FedoraNEWS.org for how-to info, visit www.FedoraForum.org to ask questions. The question you have asked here is far to vague btw (I know you're fishing for basics on how to start learning), try to ask the most specific questions you can since you are likely to get much better answers.

Whether or not you want to use Fedora Core as a first distro you may find some useful short articles to read at those sites -- I'm serious.. the key to learning Linux is reading first, then trying it.

For instance, this is useful, FC1 installation notes: http://fedoranews.org/contributors/o.../installnotes/
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Last edited by LordMorgul; 06-27-04 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 06-27-04, 05:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

i would even suggest using some of these LiveCD's that some disto's have.
i believe Suse has one, mandrake also, could be wrong, but it would give you a good fell of all the commands and what not to some extent and also what the base system will look like.
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Old 06-27-04, 07:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

If you just want to get your feet wet then you might like to take a look at Cygwin, linux running in windows. It's slower than a native linux installation, but allows you to get to grips with the command's without leaving your comfort zone. If you get stuck then it's no hassle to search for help on the internet etc. since it's just another application in windows to switch to/from.
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Old 06-27-04, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

my best suggestion for any linux newbie in the world is to go to their local library and check out a book about linux. when i first was interested in linux, i realized that not many were willing to help me learn from the very beginning, but most were really only willing to help those that knew atleast a little. i quickly realized that finding help by hear-say and begging etc on the internet was not only no fun, but proved fruitless many times.

i actually read the "Linux for Windows Nt/2000 Administrators: The Secret Decoder Ring" as my first linux book. the book takes a rather interesting approach to learning linux by using prior windows knowledge. maybe it didn't do the best job, but it did get the job done. (http://all-computer-books.co.uk/0782127304.html)

as for what flavor/distro of linux to use, for a new beginner it's gentoo hands down. i know a lot of people will warn you "that distribution is for professionals" etc, but it really isn't. maybe if they did not include a step by step installation guide, then it would be very hard to figure out on your own. in order to install gentoo, all you have to do is follow the installation guide, and you're set. also once you have gentoo up and running, if you want to install something all you do is type emerge program -- so in my personal opinion, i think it's far simpler than any other distro for newbies. here's the installation guide if you would like to look over it and see if you think the instructions are thurough enough for you to be able to follow or whatever:
all in one page: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handboo...x86.xml?full=1
split into chapters: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml

well, i suppose that's about all i can say. i really hope you enjoy your experience with linux. i know that most people who don't give up, like myself, usually enjoy linux a lot and learn it well. any problems you have along the way, feel free to post here or contact me personally on aim. some last words of wisdom; use IRC. if you don't know what irc is, it's internet relay chat. if you need any help at all with the installation of gentoo, you can always join the irc channel by typing irssi into a console of gentoo live cd; then you can type /server irc.freenode.net and then /join #gentoo -- be sure to create a regular user (as it says to in the guide), and use it to log into the channel.

good luck
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Old 06-27-04, 05:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

I sing the praises to Gentoo to those who have some experience, personally I love it (even though I do not run it). I regularly reference the gentoo forums for good technical info as well. My only qualm with recommending gentoo to a beginner is the time and effort it takes to get it running. The installation guides and help available is second to none in the Linux world right now. However, for ease of use (speaking about portage) one can use Yum or Apt for RPM based systems now as well, and for the beginner it can be alot easier to deal with binary installs. There are plusses and minuses to any option of course, so I have to agree that gentoo *could* be a very good introductory distro, but portage isn't the reason, its the documentation that is so superb.

A Live CD is an excellent option for getting your feet wet and I'm glad it was brought up guys. There are many Live CD options out there now, just a few are: knoppix (KDE and debian based), gnoppix (GNOME and debian based), Gentoo (several types), PHLAK or knoppix STD (worth mention.. but these are not for a newbie). There is a Fedora Live CD project underway as well as Suse and I believe Mandrake as well... tho I haven't actually seen the last two in action.

Still, there is no substitute for reading -- when I started out I spent the first 4 months of my 'wanting to learn linux' time reading books instead of installing it. I went into my University library and grabbed a book here and there to read when my homework was all done. I cannot recommend enough that anyone really interested in learning get several books that are written toward a more advanced level than you understand now... and keep reading them until you understand, then repeat! There is alot of good solid information available on the internet, more about Linux than any other subject in fact.. but picking the good info out of the simplistic (or plain wrong) can be difficult. I think less incorrect information gets published in books (they do get obsolete quickly tho).
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Old 06-28-04, 11:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

Gentoo takes time and effort to get up and running. But that will only help in understanding some of the stuff that goes on when you install linux.

After installing its the easiest distro to maintain.
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Old 06-28-04, 03:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashayh
Gentoo takes time and effort to get up and running. But that will only help in understanding some of the stuff that goes on when you install linux.

After installing its the easiest distro to maintain.
you are going to kill him recomending such a hard first distro, it can take hours to install and can be very frustrating, if i had to start with that i wouldnt be using linux. I recomend mandrake 10 its easy to use. When ever you install any distro remember to install the kernel source code. good luck.
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Old 06-28-04, 08:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

yea i'd have to agree, gentoo def isn't noob friendly, i've made several attempts to simply install gentoo after coming from slack9.1 as my distro and have yet to install it without messing up the install (somehow i never get the packages that i want/forget to include them, lol)

i started on mandrake, but have since crossed over to slack, mandrake is definetly one of the best place to start, simply learning how to install and extract files from the command line is difficult enough without knowing what -xzvf stands for, so i'd say give mandrake a shot
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Old 06-28-04, 09:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

It really depends - gentoo might be well suited for someone who really wants to dig into Linux. I started with SuSE 6.4, the first system I really had up and running was SuSE 8.0, and I switched to gentoo when 1.4 was in beta - maybe, if I would have started with gentoo, I would still be using Windows - but I think gentoo would have been easier for me (I have some uncommon hardware, it's hard to compile drivers or setup unsupported hardware on SuSE)...

SuSE is a great overall distro for noobs, but it has one fatal flaw (the same as FC or Mandrake) - it tries to hide the system from the user. If something breaks _badly_, like glibc or rpm, you are seriously f*cked - the problem is not that it couldn't be fixed easily, but the common user can't do it 'cause he knows nothing about the low level.
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Old 06-29-04, 06:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

Gentoo is not a distro for beginners, I'd recommend Fedora if you want to get some work done. You can install apps just as easily with either up2date, apt or yum.
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Old 06-30-04, 03:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Plz Help with my first linux os

I feel compelled to add this note since the three large RPM based distros have been mentioned, and all are 'easy to install and use'.

RE: Fedora -- GNOME is the default / preferred desktop (others included) -- it is considered 'cutting edge' and for hobbyists much like gentoo is, alot of the software, including the low-level basics, is very new. Its not 'buggy' but expect to find bugs.

RE: Mandrake -- KDE is the default desktop, best to stick with it -- probably the most polished (pretty, nice layout) user configuration tools available anywhere, finding odd or very new software to install will be more difficult than Fedora.

RE: Suse -- Buy it, the biggest available pro box they offer... or use something else.
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