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DimWit Kid
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Linux OS / Distributions

Postby DimWit Kid » Sat, 10 Jan 2009 2:58 pm

I'm having more time than I care to with the travel ban imposed by the company - so I'm gonna use it to refurbish the old - almost thrown away - IBM laptop with Linux.

For this moment I'll just want to familiarize myself with the OS and as I go along, to learn how to use it efficiently both as desktop and as server. No - I'm not IT professional, just a hobbyist. So in the end probably I'll just use the Linux OS to surf - and install it on my home server - nothing else I have in mind.

I've read a few articles, books, and websites and have downloaded the huge debian package. However, I'd be grateful for opinions: which distribution package is the best, most user friendly for my purpose? Mandriva, Debian, SUSE? I know Debian is (real) free package, but is it well supported? Don't see many DEB extension on my searches (lots of RPM). But Redhat is not free and as I'm the early adoption stage I don't really want to splash money on it.

Thanks for responses!

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Postby durain » Sat, 10 Jan 2009 8:39 pm

dude, checkout www.ubuntu.com. it is as easy as pie. once you burn the iso on a CD, you can run ubuntu linux "live", meaning it will run on the CD and not install anything on your HDD. so perfect if you want to checkout linux.

ok, so the "live" will take a while to load coz it is running on the CD. but even if you where to install it on the HDD, it is pretty straight forward.

i installed the ubuntu desktop linux on a thinkpad x31 and it works OOB (out of the box). all drivers were installed - NIC, wireless, VGA, etc. openoffice and firefox are also installed as part of the install.

i have played with other linux but nothing come close to ubuntu for ease of install. give it a try. it is dead easy.

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Postby DimWit Kid » Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:24 pm

Thanks man, I'll try it. My old one is a T23 laptop (I think of year 2001) hence simplest system is exactly what it needs!

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Postby bigfilsing » Mon, 12 Jan 2009 2:19 pm

It's also so easy to add things later in Ubuntu so remember to keep it minimal to start with. The less fluff, the better and faster linux works
There are so many live CD's out there it's worth burning a couple with alternative desktops ( KDE or Gnome) to see which you prefer before the HDD install.
Good luck

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Postby DimWit Kid » Mon, 12 Jan 2009 3:49 pm

Okay tried the distributions on the weekend: Debian, Ubuntu, Mandriva....

I have a 5 DVD worth of Debian - which is so over I think, since as bigfil mentioned it's easy to d/l and install any additional packages. 1 Ubuntu CD - initially Gnome, and then I continued on to install the Kubuntu and Xubuntu... Then also Mandriva One.

In my T23 (256MB memory, Pentium M - III 1.3MHz) - KDE from whichever distribution doesn't work well. Very patchy, and can't even slide my pointers smoothly as it seems the file swapping is always active (HDD light always on). Gnome runs much better, but in the end I think XFCE desktop module is the one that this laptop will run well. :P

Mandriva is the most unpredictable one, crashing, not to mention downloading from their Singapore mirror is painful - got lost connection 2-3 times (and starting over) before I decide to do it via bittorrent (which I probably should have done much earlier!)

Overall happy with the way Xubuntu desktop work. Now time to learn to administer networks with Linux and setting up linux server! :D

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Postby durain » Tue, 13 Jan 2009 9:30 am

glad you enjoying linux. :)

i digged out an old hp laptop - PII with 160mb and ubuntu will only run in command line. i even managed to install windows xp but it was running like a dog. windows 2000 was better. i think time to move on!

next project will be installing ubuntu on a thinkpad 570 and a T30. i use linux to run proxy. i did have a T23 running windows xp but gave it to a friend. he is still using it today for basic surfing, email and word. works a treat!

i have tried others linux but ubuntu seems to be the easiest to install and works OOB.

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Postby BodyBlitz » Tue, 13 Jan 2009 8:47 pm

Theres a CloudOS which works like Asus Express gate.
Boots in a second for websurfing and simple applications.

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Postby DimWit Kid » Wed, 14 Jan 2009 9:52 am

A question for linux users: If I have one installed alongside a windows OS, if I want to uninstall or otherwise "delete" the linux OS / partition, can I just format it from within Windows OS Disk Manager? Would the RAW format of linux be visible?

Thanks!

Edit/additional questions: I know it's a somewhat lazy question and I'll try it out later myself, but I wonder if Linux can easily access NTFS formatted disk without limitation? So for example I can "share" a data HDD/partition between Linux and Win if that partition is NTFS formatted (as apparently windows has some trouble accessing data to a Linux formatted disk).

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Postby eyeFone » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:59 am

for the less techie person (i.e. me) the most easiest way to get into linux is via here;

wubi.com <---- wrong address, as so eloquently pointed out in the next post

it will launch the browsers downloaded, then you just run it like a programme. it partitions and allows you to dual bot automatically, fool-proof!

what's more, if you don't like it, you can uniinstall it through your 'remove programmes' page. simple.
Last edited by eyeFone on Thu, 15 Jan 2009 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby DimWit Kid » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 1:58 pm

eyeFone wrote:for the less techie person (i.e. me) the most easiest way to get into linux is via here;

wubi.com

it will launch the browsers downloaded, then you just run it like a programme. it partitions and allows you to dual bot automatically, fool-proof!

what's more, if you don't like it, you can uniinstall it through your 'remove programmes' page. simple.


Are you a troll or what? That wubi.com is a spammer's website. I sure hope you have an explanation for that otherwise I'll report you to the admins and ask for your ban.

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Postby eyeFone » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 2:29 pm

yeah, sorry about that. honest mistake, seriously.

here is the correct link;

http://wubi-installer.org/

Please, keep your knickers on.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 2:53 pm

Fair enough.

We depend on our regulars to give us a hand here to keep this board free of clutter, trash, spammers, advertisers and other undesirable types. Like us, they try the links provided by others here. If they work or are useful, fine, otherwise, like this time, I or another Mod will get a PM about the poster & link and check it out. You have made an honest error and have corrected the link. No problem - Thanks.

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Postby eyeFone » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 3:19 pm

yup yup, understood - cheers :)

was excited that the link suited people like the OP to a tee, and in my haste posted the wrong link!

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Postby durain » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 6:57 pm

DimWit Kid wrote:A question for linux users: If I have one installed alongside a windows OS, if I want to uninstall or otherwise "delete" the linux OS / partition, can I just format it from within Windows OS Disk Manager? Would the RAW format of linux be visible?

Thanks!

Edit/additional questions: I know it's a somewhat lazy question and I'll try it out later myself, but I wonder if Linux can easily access NTFS formatted disk without limitation? So for example I can "share" a data HDD/partition between Linux and Win if that partition is NTFS formatted (as apparently windows has some trouble accessing data to a Linux formatted disk).


yes to both questions. and just to add a bit more info for the second question, file sharing between ntfs and ext2/3 is not "reliable", OK for readonly but not so with write. i suggest you trash windoze and install linux fully and not fart about with dual boot.

but if you really need to share-share, then have 3 partition, windoze on ntfs, linux on ext2/3 and third partition as fat32.

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Postby DimWit Kid » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 9:07 pm

eyeFone - right. Apology if I jumped on it .... and good link in the end.

durain, thanks for the direct answer. I'll try to see how using FAT will work. The reason I don't want to delete windoze is that for work, I need that for the proprietary (or semi-proprietary) solutions and I'm not sure how well they work with Wine or any emulators.

Itching though, to actually put Linux in the machine, but I'll need to clean it up just in case I return the machine to the cos ;)


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