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Old 02-02-2005, 10:30 PM   #1
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Default Installing Linux

Because several people have been asking about Linux, and how to use it, and even a certain PM directed towards me, I have decided it is time to start a Linux thread for noobs.

I just have one rule:

If you do not like Linux, and don't plan on helping, PLEASE STAY AWAY

Mods, I would appreciate it if you would enforce this rule. Speaking of which, please don't move this thread.. I specifically want all our members to be able to add to the pool of knowledge, so it would be better off in this location.

And while at it, I might be able to learn a few things myself, because there are a lot of Linux users here.

*note*, I will use the word 'distro' throughout the post. This refers to Ditribution. There are many many different "types" of linux, and that's what that refers to.

Okay, so I will get right to the point. To install Linux for the first time, you probably won't want to say good bye to Windows that fast, because Linux might take some time to get used to. So the first thing that you need to learn is how to partition. Partitioning basically divides your hard drive into sectors, which allows you to install multiple Operating Systems. For example, say you had a 120 Gig. hard drive. You had WinXP on it, but you wanted to try Linux. What you would do is partition it so that.. for example, 60 gigs stays with Windows, and the other 60 are given to Linux. Now, usually, partitioning can be done very easily, because every ditro of Linux includes some sort of partitioning tool. They are usually pretty self explanatory, so you shouldn't have too much trouble with it. Another thing I should point out, Linux distros come with Boot Loaders, with popular ones being Lilo and GRUB. They basic purpose it to be able to launch one or more operating systems in an easy to use GUI.

Now, the big question is, what distro should one use? I should start by saying that listing and explaining them all would be completely useless, because new distro's are released ALL the time. However, I will name a few popular ones right here:

Knoppix (plus variants) - The main advantage of this distro is the fact that it's a LiveCD. The cool thing about these is that you do NOT have to partition at all. The LiveCD uses your CD drive and your RAM for storage. This means that it's a very easy way to get used to linux for the first time, without doing anything to your computer. As you can imagine however, the big downside is that none of the data is permenant, and the distro itself is meant for quick and to the point tasks, not servers or anything of the sort. All you need to do is get the CD, and pop it into your cd-drive, and reboot.

Fedora Core (3 as of now) - This is the Distro made by the very popular company: Red Hat. The company normally makes money-costing, but extremely stable and reliable server software, but Fedora is their sponsored project to make a user friendly distro. This is a good choice for first timers, because it has powerful GUI features, as well as user friendliness.

Note: the Kernel is the Core of any Linux computer. The Kernel is the one thing all distros share. It basically powers the system, and anyone can always see it, and make modifications if needed. What the distro's do is put GUI's and specific extentions and modifications onto the kernel. The Kernel is constantly updated. You can learn more about it at kernel.org

Slackware 10.1 (as of now) - This is the choice for a lot of upper-level computer gurus. This distro is very powerful and very stable, and of course, like all of these, free. Go with this distro if you plan to do serving, or would like a network security computer. This distro can accomplish that very well. Be warned: before you can switch to this, you have to know how to use a console (or terminal).

Gentoo - For noob Linux users, you shouldn't even think about this. Gentoo is arguably the most flexible and powerful system out there, but it is very hard to install and configure. Definately not a reccomened choice for new-comers.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of linux distro's is limited, but here are other distros that other members of the forum can help me on:

ArchLinux
Debian
SuSe
BeOS (I know this has the most amazing GUI system..)

Okay, so all of these basically will fulfill the purpose of Linux. To get any of these, you simply google for it, and you will get some type of file to download. You basically want a .iso file, then you need some kind of burner (I use Nero 6), and you have to do a Burn Image. When you're dealing with linux, always have a couple of blanks around, they come in very handy.

There are many GUI's in Linux. In case you don't know what GUI is, and have been confused this whole time, it's Graphical User Interface. Basically, it acts like an interface where you can click and drag and type and move stuff in. It communicates that with the source itself, which is really neat if you think about it. Some of the popular ones include: KDE, Gnome, Fluxbox, Blackbox, Windowmaker, and so on. All have their ups and downs. If you are using linux for the first time, KDE and Gnome are probably the most friendly. They usually come standard with all major Linux disto's so you shouldn't have too much trouble there.

When you enter Linux, with or without a GUI, you will be faced with a command prompt. If you are really used to Windows, you will find this prompt to be frightining and hard. However, once you get a basic grip of commands, and discover Manuals for Linux commands (known as man's), you will realize how much easier it is to do certain tasks with just a few key strokes and an enter. Trust me, it will become VERY handy to you down the road, so just do yourself a favor, and learn it.




My plan for this thread is for Linux Users to add knowledge here and there. Help people who are trying it out for the first time, or just help people in general. That's the reason it's in this section, so that people can get help quickly. I am certain that I will learn some things myself.

So.. Start posting!!!
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Installing Linux

Lindows/ Linspire is another flavor.
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Installing Linux

what about unix? is that much differenct from linux? if so, how much differnet?
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Installing Linux

{{Moved}}

and stuck for now
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Installing Linux

great, now no one will talk in this thread... no one ever goes down this far.....
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Installing Linux

I wld like to make some slight corrections with absolutely no offense to rakedog:-)

-Fedora Core 3 is not made by RedHat. Its a community release that picked off from the RedHat 9.0 release. RedHat currently uses the Fedora project as a testing bed for its RedHat Enterprise OS.

-BeOS is not a GNU/Linux distro. Its a whole different operating system that was created by ex-Apple employees. Its gone now, all thanks to Microsoft. The last release is available on the Net as a free download though. A complete free-software (Free as in free speech, not zero price) rewrite of BeOS called Haiku is under development now.

I wld also like to add some of my own points here.

- Debian is an extremely stable distro which is really meant for experienced GNU/Linux users. If you think Slackware is high-level stuff, wait till you see Debian. The plus point of Debian is its stability and the down point is that it does not include cutting-edge software releases like Suse or Fedora Core. (which is why it's stable)

-Suse is a very beginner-friendly distro, much like Fedora Core. Graphical installation, graphical everything. Plus point is its ease of use. Down point is it's not free (Free as in zero price).

- Unix is very different from GNU/Linux in that they are both two completely different OSes. Alot of people think that Unix and GNU/Linux are very identical cos they both look pretty similar in that they both share the same directory structure and such but thats because both OSes are POSIX compliant. POSIX is a standard for OSes to follow. The design for GNU/Linux was also heavily influenced by Unix.
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Installing Linux

There are hundreds of distributions of Linux. Its best to stick to the ones listed in the previous posts.

On Knoppix I'd like to say one thing: RAM hungry. It is the only Linux distro I have seen to crash.

Also, do not try LFS unless you have LOTS and LOTS of free contiginuous time to waste. If you do, then good luck. its ok for new users to try. just follow the instructions exactly as given. patience is most necessary for this one.

Fedora Core 3 is also a bit slower to start up than Windows (XP is what i've seen it with), but it is one of the most user friendly systems around Documentation is a bit slim.

Debian is an awesome system and one of the most popular distro's around. Knoppix is based on Debian as are many other distro's. I haven't seen Debian's non-user friendly side but i haven't used debian much.

BSD is not Linux. Its the competition. I like BSD

Solaris is cool too, but I've never seen it on the home desktop market until after it became free. i would rate this as one of the coolest and most annoying systems around. Working with it is like meeting MLK.
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Installing Linux

Fc 3 starts up slower cos it has many uneccesary services installed and booted up by default. If you take the time to cancel all these services, the boot up time will be much faster. Debian is cool but it's just so non beginner-friendly. The installer is hell.
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Installing Linux

http://gentoo.org
personally my favorite distro. 100% configurable. it's not a newb / first timer distro. but it has the best documentation that i've seen so far.

If you ever have a problem with linux you can always read the man pages
man [command] (such as date, grep)
man [application] (such as xchat or mutt)
this will provide you with detailed information about the command / application. there's also usually tons of documentation / faq at the developer's site. goole helps also.

at first linux will be an uphill battle, you'll struggle to remember commands and not know how to do much. it'll be hard to resist formatting and running back to windows, but after you get use to it. you can do anything on linux that you can do on windows plus more . knowledge is power

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/index.xml
http://www.linuxcommand.org/
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Installing Linux

I've heard alot of good things bout Gentoo. But the installation isn't very easy to get through is it?
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