Linux?

Monkee

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Bought my old comp back to uni with me (PII 450), and want to put Linux on it so i can start to teach myself different languages etc...

I know there is hundreds of different Linux operating systems (if i can call it that, dont know much about it), but could someone give me some suggestions on one to download for a novice such as myself :worthy:

So far one of my m8's suggested Suse, any others??

Ta
 

Xavier

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Monkee said:
Bought my old comp back to uni with me (PII 450), and want to put Linux on it so i can start to teach myself different languages etc...

I know there is hundreds of different Linux operating systems (if i can call it that, dont know much about it), but could someone give me some suggestions on one to download for a novice such as myself :worthy:

So far one of my m8's suggested Suse, any others??

Ta
Hi Monkee,

I've moved your thread into the appropriate forum, hopefully one of the geekly gurus of *nix will have chance to give you some form of advice later this evening.

Xav
 

fatbusinessman

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SuSE is pretty reasonable, especially for those unused to Linux.

Fedora (an offshoot of Redhat) is also apparently quite good, although it is reported to have a few bugs resulting from being a new distribution.

Shovel is also experimenting with Gentoo, which is apparently also geared to be friendly to Linux newbies. He may be able to give you his impressions at some point...
 

inactionman

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fatbusinessman said:
Shovel is also experimenting with Gentoo, which is apparently also geared to be friendly to Linux newbies. He may be able to give you his impressions at some point...
I would not recommend Gentoo to a newbie, as you have to compile everything yourself, and on a PII 450, that may take some time. It's great for experts with fast machines though!

SuSE, or Mandrake, would prob be best. I personally prefer SuSE, as I don't really hold with anything French, and Mandrake have this annoying habit of begging people for money, not a good business plan I think!

SuSE is now owned by Novell, so no chance of them vanishing!

Remember that most linux distributions have a free version for download, so you can always just try a bunch out.

I prefer using BSD myself (Free on the desktop, and Open on anything critical), as I find it a lot more logical, but it's a matter of personal choice.
 

Shovel

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Just to calrify Fatty:

Gentoo has excellent documentation for an 'advanced Linux newbie', as in, if you're compiling for the first time, Gentoo's documentation is the dogs for guiding you through it :)

For actual newbie distributions, SuSE is my recommendation - you'll need to follow the instructions to do an FTP install since they don't offer CD images, but that should be easy enough so long as there're no horrid firewall settings to negociate ;)

I had the benefit of a Janet connection last year, so actually downloaded the entire SuSE mirror to install from, most people aren't in such a lucky position though ;)
 

tRoG

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I tried SuSe as my first Linux distro last year, and found it pretty easy to setup (I ran out and bought the CDs). Tried slackware after that, 'twas a little trickier, but better, never the less ;)
 

Monkee

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christ thats some fast responses, thanks a bunch guys!

i'm on Janet as we speak Shovel, but dont fancy putting it on me main comp until i know a little more about it :) so bought in me old comp!
Am downloading the CD bootable version at the mo, Live-Eval 9.0, just to try it out! Then when i can be bothered to buy another network card, i will download the ftp version.
 

Gurnox

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Monkee said:
christ thats some fast responses, thanks a bunch guys!

i'm on Janet as we speak Shovel, but dont fancy putting it on me main comp until i know a little more about it :) so bought in me old comp!
Am downloading the CD bootable version at the mo, Live-Eval 9.0, just to try it out! Then when i can be bothered to buy another network card, i will download the ftp version.
I had some problems with system hangs with the live eval. If you get the same, don't write of Suse out of hand. It is a very good, and very stable, Linux distro. I think the problem was/is more with the live eval than anything else.

My personal recommendation would have to be Debian. Best package management around which, especially if your a newbie, is worth its' weight in gold. And they have downloadable ISO images!

Check out:

www.debian.org
 

inactionman

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Gurnox said:
My personal recommendation would have to be Debian. Best package management around which, especially if your a newbie, is worth its' weight in gold. And they have downloadable ISO images!
Except due to debian's 'conservative release strategy', to have all the nice new stuff in debian, you generally have to modify it, or use the 'unstable' code. So you don't get things like the 2.4 kernel (a bit odd since 2.6 is out now), or the lastest version of KDE, etc. by default, so I would not recommend it to a newbie! I like debian, it's my recommedation for a linux server install, due to it's conservatism, as change is not always good in security!

Anyhow, it sounds like you've got a nice fast link to the net, and CD-R's are cheap these days, so just download a bunch of distributions and see which one you like the best! Just make sure that you select the option to 'secure' your installation if it's given, we don't want any more zombie's on Janet!
 

Monkee

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is there anyway of getting hold of ISO's for Suse rather than doing their FTP installation!?!?
 

Shovel

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Nope. It's just something SuSE don't do.
You can download the mirror on your Janet connection and specify a hard drive location (or run an FTP on your other machine or something, if you want things more local) but SuSE don't do ISOs.

Whether Novel will change this policy remains to be seen.
 

inactionman

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Monkee said:
is there anyway of getting hold of ISO's for Suse rather than doing their FTP installation!?!?
Well yeah, if you want to be rather dodgy, there's always ways to get software, not that they are legal!

The GPL says you have to give away the code, it doesn't say how! It's similar with OpenBSD, FTP install, but if you want CD's you have to buy them.
 

Stimpy

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Reading this thread I decided to install Suse on my spare machine to have a little play but I'm a little confused, is the FTP install for computers on a network or something?, I was thinking from the CD boot I would beable to detect my modem, dialup and connect to their ftp and it would dl the files and install that way, but now I'm thinking I need to network both my machines to get this to work, is that right?

Forgive my Linux noobiness :m00:
 

inactionman

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You will have major troubles getting the SuSE FTP install working over dialup, in fact I'm not sure any FTP install will work over dial! Also it would take forever as I think the FTP install is at least 200Mb!

I take it you don't have Broadband? If not, probably the best thing for you to do would be to get a friend with broadband to burn you an ISO of Mandrake or something.
 

Stimpy

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Yeah I do have broadband, I just meant I made a boot CD then when you get to install options I thought I'd beable to detect my modem, connect to the internet and then to the ftp and the install would work that way, all I can see though is the option for cdrom, harddrive & network cards, maybe I should just dl mandrake then if you can get the iso for them of their site :)
 

inactionman

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Generally you can only get it working with network cards, stuff like USB modems, or PCI modems & PPPoA are a bit too complex for a ftp install!

Mandrake is probably the best option for you.
 

Whipped

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I'd definately recommend SUSE (Even though I'm currently messing around with Fedora). As has been pointed out though, SUSE will only install over FTP unless you have the CDs. If you are doing this and you have a JANET connection, then I'd install from the ftp.mirror.ac.uk servers. Very fast and should be installed in no time at all.
 

strangely brown

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After the last round of viri I went linux...

About 2 weeks ago, after receiving dozens of the Mydoom Virus attachments (albeit Norton did pick them up so no harm was done), I decided enough was enough and plumped for Linux.

Now, I've installed Linux a few times in the past (think Redhat 4 was the first time...) on desktop computers (just to have a play with - nothing serious), but never on a laptop (Sony Vaio). In the end I plumped for Mandrake 9.2.

I chose this distribution mainly for ease and speed of installation reasons in terms of getting your hardware up and running... Although I'm sure that other distributions are just as good now. I've used Suse in the past, and probably would've used it again, however I'm not a fan of their current method of "free" distribution...

I have to say that I've been most impressed though with Mandrake - So much so that I use it now as my main desktop. I only go back to windows to play games that do not run under Linux, or for one application that I need for work that doesn't run under Linux (or wine either).

I only came across one issue when installing:

I had to pass a couple of kernel parameters (noacpi and noapm? Can't exactly remember what they were now) during the setup otherwise I'd get an "interrupt lost" message over and over again when the main setup program was trying to load.

Also, I had used Partition magic to re-size my windows partitions, rather than use the mandrake tools, however I let the mandrake tools configure the linux partitions.

Oh, one final thing, if you do decide to install Mandrake, be careful if you have particular models of LG CDROM drives...
 

fatbusinessman

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strangely brown said:
I had to pass a couple of kernel parameters (noacpi and noapm? Can't exactly remember what they were now) during the setup otherwise I'd get an "interrupt lost" message over and over again when the main setup program was trying to load.
ACPI and APM are power-management standards for motherboards. Bit odd that you'd need to disable them, unless you've got a particularly esoteric motherboard...
 

strangely brown

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Yes it was a bit strange, and since the install, I don't have to pass them at all during a "normal" linux boot from the harddrive - It was only when I booted from the CD-ROM. I guess it's one of those dodgy Sony laptop things... I'd read about the install problem on some messageboards somewhere before I installed, so I knew what to expect.
 

Gurnox

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inactionman said:
Except due to debian's 'conservative release strategy', to have all the nice new stuff in debian, you generally have to modify it, or use the 'unstable' code. So you don't get things like the 2.4 kernel (a bit odd since 2.6 is out now), or the lastest version of KDE, etc. by default, so I would not recommend it to a newbie! I like debian, it's my recommedation for a linux server install, due to it's conservatism, as change is not always good in security!
Hmm, didn't realise Debian had been dragging their feet to that extent. That is behind the times. That being the case, SuSE would probably get my vote as well.
 

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