View Full Version : Linux for an absolute newbie!

03-31-2003, 09:33 PM
though i m quite scared to do it but i am in for learning something new.
i would like to install Linux on one of my spare HD's thats been lying around safely in my closet, so what do you suggest? i am an absolute newbie as far as linux install is concerned and would like to know that what should i go for.
Red Hat...Mandrake...Slackware? (yup i have heard a few names too :p)
another thing is that i will be adding the new HD as Primary Slave. so what should i do with this thing? should i put WinXP and Linux on partitions on Primary Master or should i dedicate one HD to each OS i.e. WinXP on Master and Linux on Slave? Will I have to make any hardware settings too?

Any links that can help me in installation and all the chores (if-any) after that will be highly recommended too. Thanx in advance guys!

04-01-2003, 03:18 AM
I have been using linux on and off since the end of last summer. It's nice, and I believe it is 100% ready for desktop usage! Redhat IMHO is much better than Mandrake! When you first go to linux many people will tell you either Redhat or Mandrake. My suggestion is go with Redhat as you can get a better understanding of the basics faster than if you go with Mandrake. I found it was easier to get things to work with Redhat, and as of now it's probably my favorite distro. The only thing that kind of stinks is it's rather slow. Not sluggish, but noticable slower than a tweaked out WinXP OS. Since Redhat is so big, it's easier to get help for, and I would recommend you start with it! So wait for Redhat 9.0 to come out and buy it or download it! J.A.M.D. Is a distro that not many people know about, but it's packages are i686 compiled which means that they are made for pentium pro processors and above. This speeds things up significantly, and therefore it becomes a little faster than Redhat. J.A.M.D. Is a pretty good distribution, but less compatible than Redhat. Slackware I havn't used but it's definetly not 'newbie' friendly, unless you are willing to spend mucho time on it. Debian is great, but it's packages are outdated... However Debian is very stable, but not exactly for new users. Once you get used to linux and use it for a while, you can use an 'Uber-1337' distro such as LFS, or Gentoo where you compile everything for your system, and can get added speed, and you end up with a completely customised system, which is uber-fast :afro: . These distro's are pretty difficult, and require a LOT of time. Compiling takes a while on new hardware, and on older hardware can take you [b]DAYS]/b] to get what you want. SuSe is a distro that many people in England like, but it doesn't appeal to me any more than Mandy or Redhat. Redhat can become quite fast though once you recompile the kernel, and replace the window manager. Not uber-fast, but faster than out of the box. I was thinking the other day to download Knoppix, which is a fairly new distro that boots completely from CD, and has auto hardware detection. It is based heavily upon Debian, but is supposed to have newer packages, and be easier to use. Knoppix sounds awesome, a matter of fact I might download it now...

Hope I helped you a little bit :thumb: All that blog above simply means wait for Redhat 9.0 which will come out definetly by the end of this month, and get that!

EDIT: Redhat 9.0 just released check redhat.com or www.distrowatch.com for details!!! Screw Knoppix I'm going to download this biotch!

04-01-2003, 05:26 AM
I really want to install a linkux OS but its all so damn confusing. When they make one where there is just one file u download and then it will run i'll get that:laugh:

04-01-2003, 06:52 AM
I'd recomend SuSe or Red Hat

you can run SuSe (Live-Eval) off a CD to see if it's really for you...without creating any partitions or screwing your current OS


imo, SuSe is is easier to use than RH or mandrake...and has better harware compatabiity

but redhat 9 is comming out in a week (I think)...so that may be something to check out

a few other links:


04-01-2003, 03:35 PM
well so it
RedHat - 2
SuSe - 1

btw minibubba what do you say about knoppix? i read about it and it is also when of those Linux OS that can be used from CD.

thanx for the help guys...though more suggestions are always welcome. :)

04-01-2003, 05:24 PM
If ya lookin' at real beginners stuff (the others are only a download away or a PC mag cover disk anyway) then start with Lycoris (very XP'ish) or Mandrake to get the feel of it and then progress up the scale till ya get to Slack (that's how I'm goin' start anyway, once I get my rooms built in the garden shed, which should be fairly soon I hope). :beer:

04-01-2003, 06:41 PM
I am downloading Redhat 9 right now through a program called Bittorrent. It was mentioned on /. so I am trying it... My download is going at 111 kilobytes. Not bad :clap:. It has resume support an all! Just go here http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/download.html and get the windows installer, and save target as the Redhat 9 iso .torrent file. Run the installer, and then move the .torrent to the Bittorent directory, and double click it, and then locate the same Bittorent folder your in. Simple as that!

UPDATE: Download going at 153 kilobytes per second!!! :afro:

04-01-2003, 08:42 PM
simple for people who get download speeds of 153 kilobytes per second.
not so simple for people with speeds of 6-7 kilobytes per second :rolleyes2
hey wiggo does that mean RedHat should wait for sometime? :?:
suddenly coming out of nowhere mandrake tops my list now. someone else told me that mandrake is quite beginner kinda thing too.
its getting confusing now.

04-01-2003, 08:55 PM
RH is getting very business like (similar to NT and 2K server in a way) and is really classed as mid range of the Linux distro's and I certainly don't plan on startin' in the middle plus I'm on dailup to remember atm till I get my ISDN connection later this month but here in Aussieland PC mags also have cover CD's that come with these oses on them and that's how I got the latest of Lycoris and Mandrake versions (plus RH but I'll save that one for a bit). :beer:

04-01-2003, 09:07 PM
well with RH launching 9 yesterday i feel the same way that u do. lets wait for the review of RH and see how people like it.
i might not be able to get my hands on lycoris but mandrake is surely in reach. i think i'll get my hands on mandrake then.
anyother options available guys or should i go for mandrake?
man i m sounding picky. :p
but on the serious note i don't want to bump in a wall and end up deleting linux off my drive. i really want to learn this stuff and the only way i think of is to start with an easier thing. till now most of the people have told me to go for mandrake or knoppix and madrake is really catching up.

04-01-2003, 09:25 PM
well so it
RedHat - 2
SuSe - 1

btw minibubba what do you say about knoppix? i read about it and it is also when of those Linux OS that can be used from CD.

thanx for the help guys...though more suggestions are always welcome. :)

I love Knoppix. i use it as a Linux system recovery disk. boot from the knoppix CD and make any repairs you need to make to your system so it will once again be workable. Knoppix is also great for when you just wanna try linux but don't really know what you are doing [I have recommended it to many people who otherwise would probably lose all the data on their hard drives if they had to partition]. You boot from the Knoppix CD and it mounts your hard drive as read only so you have access to all your files you just can't change/add any files to the drives unless you mount the hard drive so you can write to it.

One caveat an older slower system isn't so great for Knoppix unless you are planning to run it without a window manager [no GUI]. You can also use knoppix to check out a new different window manager [my current favorite is fluxbox which i discovered while booting knoppix on my laptop]..


04-01-2003, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by rugbydude
[B]I really want to install a linkux OS but its all so damn confusing. When they make one where there is just one file u download and then it will run i'll get that:laugh:

Just one file to download? here it is (ftp://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/slackware/slackware-9.0-iso).

04-02-2003, 05:15 AM
Well I am just about to start burning the Redhat 9.0 discs, and I have one thing to say... BitTorrent ROCKS! :D. I just verified the md5sums using some 3rd party program, and all 3 discs were correct. Even better BitTorrent verifies the files automagically after you download! Well this is awesome, and I am about to get burning... Hopefully next time I talk to you I will be in RH 9.0 :O) I just hope friggin-darn linux likes my new ASUS A7N8X mobo :afro:

04-02-2003, 07:35 AM
I just hope friggin-darn linux likes my new ASUS A7N8X mobo :afro:

it should...that was one of the problems with RH8, and was fixable by upgrading the kernel. So RH9 should work with it just fine...and most nforce2 mobos as well

I have the A7N8X Deluxe too and I certainly do not want to modify the kernel again so let us know how it is since it will be a week before most of us can download it =)

04-02-2003, 08:27 AM
Well... Sound is auto-installed an sounding great! It seems everything is going well, then I click on Mozilla. When www.google.com can't be found I realize that there is no internet connection. So I go to the internet connection wizard, and my card isn't even there! I go to the asus site, and get the all-in-one Nforce 2 drivers for linux for RH 7.3... Needless to say when I install them the card comes up, but when I try to activate my eth0 I get an error about it not being there. I read a FAQ on the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe, and it say's to get the LAN driver modules from NVIDIA... I go there and find only up to Redhat 8.0, but see the tarball. Now of course I am saying this from Windows XP, as I had no internet with Redhat 9.0, I will uninstall the ASUS Nforce 2 AIO RH 7.3 drivers, as everything seemed to be working fine. After I compile that tarball for the LAN, as there are no 9.0 rpms available yet, I will let you guys know how I made out :afro:

Wish me luck...

04-02-2003, 09:13 AM
Well I am now online posting this from Mozilla 1.2.1 in Redhat 9.0 :afro: I had a little battle with the NVIDIA drivers on the motherboard, but I am really starting to friggin-darn hate rpm's. I downloaded the source rpm and got some bogues typical rpm bull**** error. Ok I say to myself **** the rpm, well do the tarball. Here's a little hold-your-hand tutorial for what I did... I hope it helps you people with the Asus A7N8X/A7N8X pro...

1. Firstly go to www.nvidia.com and click download drivers. Click the nforce, and select linux. Scroll all the way down and grab the nforce all in one tarball. Save this on a floppy or CDROM, pen drive etc. so you can access it from linux.
2. Mount your media and copy the tarball to your home directory, or your directory designated for packages.
3. From a virtual terminal as root type 'ark NVIDIA_nforce*'
4. CD to the nforce directory and run 'make' as root.
5. When all that good stuff is done type 'make install'
6. Now still as root type '/sbin/modprobe nvnet'
7. Make sure you have the line 'alias eth0 nvnet' in your /etc/modules.conf
8. Reboot, and let Redhat automagically configure your hardware :afro:

I hope I helped you guys, feel free to PM me if you need anymore help. For the average linux user, these directions probably aren't too hard to follow... Right you 1337z0r H4xXx0rs??? :thumb:

EDIT: Now I am surfing the web, and playing Chromium with the newest NVIDIA linux drivers :O). Man I have spent so much time in XP lately I forgot the joys of linux. The newest NVIDIA drivers are done via script and not rpm, which really turns me on :clap:. Not only are they faster to install, but they even tell you to edit you XF86Config file... WoWsers!!! All you non linux users should consider switching just for Chromium B.S.U. ... Man that game rocks :thumb: Yah well I think I'll go play some Tux Racer, then tommarow go about attempting to install Day of Defeat on my ext3 partition... I only left linux for a month or two, and already I am behind. Linux is most definetly ready for Desktop users as of now!

04-02-2003, 11:09 AM
i go with LINUX redhat 8 for desktops and 7.3 for laptops.. I use 7.3 for my laptop cause it has the LAPTOP setup,,(which is nice,,no need to pick all my programs)

Cant wait till i download redhat 9.. sounds like everyone in www.linuxiso.org forum is talking about..

X boy,, what new featur is in redhat 9???

04-02-2003, 04:10 PM
my another questions seems to have been blown in wind.
guys what about the HD? how should i go ahead with that?
both OS on same HD on different partitions or one dedicated HD for each one?
another thing that comes to my mind is what file system does linux use? does it use FAT? if it doesn't use FAT then how will i format my drive to that particular kinda file system?
you must be thinking what a dud I am but infact i don't know anything about linux and i will need help from you guys...BIG TIME.
thanx for your time guys. you've been excellent

04-02-2003, 04:37 PM
Put it on the second drive, and linux has several filesystems to choose from, you should pick either ext3 or ReiserFS, linux can read and write to fat32 but can only read ntfs.

04-02-2003, 04:46 PM
thanx a lot pal and what do you suggest? which distro should i go for...you can already guess my status in using it. :(

04-02-2003, 04:51 PM
If you want auto detection use mandrake, if you want to learn linux use slackware.

04-03-2003, 01:58 AM
isn't slackware too difficult for newbies?
what is auto detection?
thanx for replying.

04-03-2003, 02:12 AM
he probably means auto partition

some linux distros will automatically partion for you if you want them too.

check out this for some installation tips:


04-03-2003, 02:23 AM
geez man...that article makes me feel that installing linux is like kids play!
thanx a lot man. most of everything...it gave me a huge confidence boost. :p

04-04-2003, 03:20 PM
Hi, wich distribution is the best for develop? And if posible some that isn't too difficult to use.

I'm planning to use C++ and Java.

Any suggestions?:geek:

04-04-2003, 03:34 PM
All the major distro's include the common development tools, you may have to download the java sdk as a seperate package, but there are versions for all the big distros. For easyness go for redhat or mandrake, for learning as much about linux as you can then slackware, debian or gentoo, just make sure you select all the dev, devel od development packages during the install.

04-04-2003, 03:48 PM
Thank you...

Now that I "have" the OS. Another questions. I need to work with Java Beans, to make a clon of Crystal Reports. Where can I find some info about JBeans?:confused:

And which software or package do I need to install to work (and make the clone) with JBeans?

Thanks in advance

04-04-2003, 04:07 PM
Bucket loads of beans here (http://www.blackdown.org/java-linux/products/javatools.html). In linux you'll find that there are free/open source IDE's and tools that would cost you tens of thousands for windows, google have a dedicated linux search (http://www.google.com/linux) that will be able to point you to anything you might need.

05-10-2003, 02:06 PM
Thanks a lot!!!

(And sorry for the late answer).

You are right, there lots of free software...now I'm ready to begin my proyect...thanks to you people of TT : peace2:

:cheers: :beer:

05-29-2003, 04:20 PM

You seem to have a great handle on the tech world but in one of your posts you said that red hat was more sluggish than a tweaked out xp box. I find that hard to believe having been using red hat on pc that are too slow to run windows and actually being able to use them productivly(read they FLY)


06-01-2003, 12:17 AM
though this q is meant for XBOY...but just my opinion...
i have mandrake 9.1 and XP. i feel it sucks when it comes to FLYING as compared to XP. may be red hat performs better.
just my :2cents:

06-01-2003, 12:57 AM

You seem to have a great handle on the tech world but in one of your posts you said that red hat was more sluggish than a tweaked out xp box. I find that hard to believe having been using red hat on pc that are too slow to run windows and actually being able to use them productivly(read they FLY)


On older hardware linux is a lot more accepting of it, and will generally run faster then an M$ box. Now take a new box with plenty of memory, and slap on Redhat. Redhat isn't the fastest of distro's and is pretty slow with all the services loaded up, the ****** kernel, and the i386 compiled stuff. Of course you can disable services, and download a new kernel, and compile it yourself. This I found will speed up Redhat, but not to the point of getting as fast as an M$ box. The good thing is there are distro's that speed simply rocks any M$ Operating System. An example is Gentoo linux, where you compile just about everything yourself, and make your own kernel right off the bat, and also decide what services you want. In return it is a lot harder to set up than Redhat/Mandrake/SuSe etc. There are OS's that are i686 compiled OOTB, such as yoper and J.A.M.D. linux. JAMD isn't such bad choice, and not many people know about it. I enjoyed it greatly when I used it :). Hopefully I explained it a little better to you. If you really want to learn more, head on down to Just Linux (Formerly Linux Newbie) (www.justlinux.com) for the best linux forums ever! :thumb: