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Thread: Linux - Anyone educated in it?

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    Linux - Anyone educated in it?

    Linux, Has always been something of curiosity, I've always wondered what it’s like, how it works, how better it is then windows. Obviously it's quite a big deal; open-source operating systems are quite a novelty. The fact that Linux is quite a lot cheaper intrigues me, And seeing as I’ve got a nice new PC, I’ll probably go for partitioning the drive.

    The reason Linux interests me so much is due to the controversy that surrounds it, it’s free and well most people use it totally instead of Windows. I substantially enjoy doing a spot of programming, I've been doing it for a few years now, and to have the ability to 'modify' the distribution you have is pretty cool. It'd be obviously different from the highly successful, yet frowned upon windows operating system.

    But there's a problem that I’ve already encountered before even getting it, I know fack all about the operating system itself. Websites don't really explain much, I can't really find anything that tells me what I want to know or peoples opinion’s of it, so I thought I’d come n ask you guys for help or information. If you don't mind.

    I apologize if these questions sound horrifically retarded: -

    • Does Linux support all hardware - like graphics cards and motherboards?
    • Are the drivers any good for components in Linux?
    • I noticed on the ATI site there was no 'catalyst' drivers for Linux - are graphics pretty crap in the OS then?
    • Can I partition my drive now? Or would I have to format windows and start all over?
    • Can anyone recommend me some decent websites to view?

    And finally

    • If I was to get Linux - What distribution would you recommend? I was thinking of going Suse or Mandrake.

    I appreciate any help or replies that are received.
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    '~'+'~' Enverex's Avatar
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    • Does Linux support all hardware - like graphics cards and motherboards?

    Pretty much

    • Are the drivers any good for components in Linux?

    Depends...

    • I noticed on the ATI site there was no 'catalyst' drivers for Linux - are graphics pretty crap in the OS then?

    There are ATi drivers made by ATi, just not called Catalysts....

    • Can I partition my drive now? Or would I have to format windows and start all over?

    Partiton Magic is easiest to use, just give linux a 6GB partition or so, and Windows should be fine, it wont touch it.

    • Can anyone recommend me some decent websites to view?

    www.google.com/linux

    Mandrake is a good noobie distro to use so it would be a good bet to go with that. Red Hat is the other noobie Linux distro, but the home user version has (is) been discontinued.

    NS
    Last edited by Enverex; 12-12-2003 at 12:40 AM.

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    At the risk of starting a flame war, I'd suggest that its not generally used, right now 'in place of windows' but as a server OS, for webcaching, firewalls, mail, DNS etc. All the things that require stability and efficiency but not really user-friendliness. That's the situation in business right now anyway. Having said that, it's well worth having a fiddle with. If you're the type that likes to 'tinker' then you'll love it. It'll be a steep learning curve, but a rewarding one.

    May I offer my own (under construction and in its infancy!)'guide to setting up a Linux home server'

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    only the finest beef
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    • Does Linux support all hardware - like graphics cards and motherboards?

    Pretty much
    I'm pretty much in a similar position to gamezfreak, how comprehensive does "pretty much" mean? I presume it's best to check for drivers before making the plunge - are there any really good driver sites out there for Linux?

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Does Linux support all hardware - like graphics cards and motherboards?
    Linux, as an OS will support any hardware you can throw at it, its the driver issues that you need to worry about. Linux has a huge user base though, meaning even if the manu's don't release Linux drivers, someone will often write for them.
    VIA and Nforce chip-sets both have drivers for them, don't know about Intel's (it would be silly if they didn't though !)

    Are the drivers any good for components in Linux?
    Well this depends on what you are looking for. For example, Network cards : I cant remember having one that hasn't come with Linux drivers. Nvidia also have a fairly decent graphics card driver out, which is very easy to install. It also used to be updated regularly, but development on it seems to have slowed down at the moment (some people are talking about an entire new release - although no one has confirmed this, and is only a rumor).
    3DFX back in the day also used to support Linux fairly well, and iirc, had released a driver under the GPL and encouraged support from the Linux community.
    ATI on the other hand does have some Linux drivers, but are abysmal. They really need to give their Linux support a kick up the arse. The main reason i will buy a Nvidia card next will be because of good Linux support, even though ATI's current cards are better at DX9.

    I noticed on the ATI site there was no 'catalyst' drivers for Linux - are graphics pretty crap in the OS then?
    opps, answered it before reading this, see above

    Can I partition my drive now? Or would I have to format windows and start all over?
    I'm not sure what you mean by this ?
    Is your drive already partitioned ? if not, just decide how much you want to give to Linux and windows, and partition the windows side, and leave the rest blank. The Linux installer will do it for you.

    Can anyone recommend me some decent websites to view?
    Probably going to sound a bit lame here, but the best resource Ive found for Linux is google. Due to the huge range and variance in Linux, i haven't found a solid "good for all" resource. Search in google your problem, and 9/10 you will find a easy solution.

    If I was to get Linux - What distribution would you recommend? I was thinking of going Suse or Mandrake.
    Mandrake
    Grab this months Linux format. You can either have the CD version, or the DVD. Both come with the full version of Mandrake 9.2 download edition, and are CD / DVD bootable. £6 / £6.50 for CD / DVD version respectively.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Goat Boy
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    It helps a lot if you have some coding experience. Not because you will be editing code, but a lot of the services and configuration files that you need to play with are more easily understandable for those with some programming experience.

    Personally I think it is a superb server OS (my company use it exclusively on the server) but I still cant live with it on my desktop. I have XP/Gentoo dual boot on my laptop, and I am simply not as productive in Gentoo as I am in XP. Part of the reason is that I am used to windows, but part of it is also that Linux is simply not as good as XP as a desktop OS. It's getting better but it's still not there yet IMHO.

    Definitely worth having a play with though. It's very rewarding when things go right (which, when you are just starting off, is often not the case :eek ).

    Get your disk partitioned and get a copy of a easy to use distro as has been recommended in the previous posts.

    Be careful and read up about what bootloader to use though - it's not difficult to trash your windows build if you are not careful.
    "All our beliefs are being challenged now, and rightfully so, they're stupid." - Bill Hicks

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    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Would pretty much agree with most comments above.

    Have been messing around with various versions of mandrake & Red Hat on and off for a couple of years now, but have never got really deep with it.

    To master Linux will take a lot of time & effort and yes, it is a steep learning curve, I've barely grazed the surface in beginning to understand it.

    But, if you want to use a Linux system with a good GUI and a very easy install, go for Mandrake, either 9.1 or 9.2.

    I've heard there are problems with V9.2 of Mandrake, and supposedly they'll be sorted out by the end of December and the distro modified, so I'm waiting before upgrading my current version of 9.1.

    To install, it makes life a helluva lot easier if you make a partition first, Partition Magic 8 is excellent for this, but there are freebie partitioning programs out there.

    So far, I'm really quite chuffed I can access the Net through my Network and carry out Office Applications within Linux and print stuff as well. Mandrake as it comes is more or less usuable straight out of the box and it does recognise the greater majority of Hardware, and I use all ATI grafix cards, no problems with drivers.

    To download lots of flavours of Linux distros, visit www.linuxiso.org

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    Excellent! I never expected such a degree of help from a forum, I appreciate it a lot. Makes a change from the usual grammatically deprived gimps who leave "txt" based comments.

    Anyway, Thanks for ALL the help that has been received so far in this post, and Agent, I was asking about if I could partition my drive without having to format windows, someone answered that one though .

    That www.google.com/linux thing is pretty good, I like it a lot. And, I've heard I only have to leave about 6GB for linux itself, the rest can be used on Windows.

    Which is effective for me in a way. I'm gonna read into it, Then start downloading because I aint jumping into owt without doing research first!

    I know gaming isn't on a wide-scoped scale on Linux at the mo, so obviously i'll be using Windows as my primary gaming platform, well until the games developers do something about it.

    I noticed that some people have noted that they believe Linux is more of just a "Server" based OS, but is gradually coming over to the desktop market, well I won't be using it all the time and well
    there's no harm in giving it a try I suppose! So I understand the principles of programming and how it works.

    In the meantime, I tend to babble on a bit so i'll get straight to the point, I've heard Linux tends to have problems with using an NTL cable modem - Anyone experianced this?

    Thanks.

    gamezfreak.
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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    i spent the last 2 days working on getting a linux system up & running, so can I offer a couple of pointers

    1) www.distrowatch.com is a fantastic resource, with info on almost any distro, the age of the packages, information on what package management is used, etc.

    2) i found MEPIS linux (www.mepis.org) and it's a better product than Mandrake for beginners & experienced people alike. Why? It's a GREAT liveCD (boot the CD & go to a fully working desktop) with, for example, all relevant ATi and nVidia drivers already in place meaning you can do 3D properly from the LiveCD - and unlike mandrake you don't need to know ANYTHING about your hardware, just which partitions you want to install onto. Once it's installed, it uses the APT package management system, which is light years ahead of the RPM system sued by Suse, Red Hat & Mandrake - every release of RH breaks compatability with earlier RPMs, and they have little to no dependancy support. under an APT-using distro such as Mepis (or it's harder to install daddy Debian) you just say apt-get install mozilla-firebird & it'll download and install every component needed to get it up & running on your system. snazzy!

    3) don't try & get it running off a partially supported RAID controller. it ain't worth the effort. I still haven't managed, even though everything SHOULD be working.

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    Ah thanks mate! That distrowatch rules.

    And for the record, I haven't got a RAID setup, just an 80GB HDD on its own for now.

    (Might get a 20GB or summat soon just to store loads of crap on away from the main drive)
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    Just a quick question with regards to the settin gup of a dual boot system, do you still need to have a fat partition as your primary boot as was the case a while ago to dual boot or can it be done of a NTFS partition, as i'd rather not have a FAT then a NTFS and Linux partition.
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    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    atifds9:

    FAT partition applies if you want to dual boot Win 98 & Win XP/2K

    If you want to dual boot, say, Win XP & Mandrake 9.1, NTFS is fine.

    Lilo or your chosen Linux boot program will take care of it. With MD 9.1, it's all taken care of during the install. And as mentioned before, it's preferable to have a partition set by before you install a Linux OS.

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    thank you
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    Thanks for the help people, I appreciate it.
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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    knoppix is also a good live CD that you can just stick in and play with to get a feel for stuff. great apps included

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    yer, but mepis is based on the same distro & has most of the same apps, but can be installed properly to disk if you like & doesn't feature the graphic design competency of a thirteen year old with bryce

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