Linux for Beginners

Discussion in 'Technology' started by snigacookie, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Didn't have Linux running when I was writing before so here's a bit more help.

    If you get back to the text based window as above run 'yast' as root user. From there choose...

    System -> System Services (Runlevel) -> Expert Level and change the default runlevel on startup to 3/Full multi-user with network instead of the default 5/Full multi-user with network and display manager.

    This allows you to start up without the screen corrupting. Bear in mind that, even if you chose another distro of Linux this could well happen anyway because the problem is your XWindows installation.

    Like I said, run the sax2 setup tool and try different settings for sax2, (sorry, not sax, as I said), should have mentioned that before :)

    Once you've got XWindows running you can put the runlevel back to graphical again.
     
  2. Foosinho

    Foosinho New Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    New Albany, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good stuff guys. I'll try some of it out tonight, but this is definitely one of my weak areas in my computing knowledge.
     
  3. patrickdavila

    patrickdavila Member

    Jan 13, 1999
    Easton, PA
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with Jeff. Go with a lightweight desktop. XFCE, IceWM or Fluxbox running any of the following:
    Slackware, Debian, Vector, DamnSmall

    Vector is Slackware based and comes with a nice IceWM desktop. DamnSmall has a niced tricked out Fluxbox desktop and is Debian compatible.
     
  4. Foosinho

    Foosinho New Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    New Albany, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I got X working without too much trouble - just had to figure out the correct settings for my laptop's monitor (no manual, and all that, being a refurb). It's slow to boot, but reasonably snappy once it's fired up.

    Now I just have to get ndiswrapper compiled and installed so I can get my Linksys wireless-G card working.
     
  5. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    You might find you're running some servers or other processes which you probably don't need. Check out the runlevel editor again in expert mode and switch off things you don't want. I can't remember what's selected as default to start-up but it might be stuff like postgresql and postfix. Don't turn off too many things though, particularly if you're not sure what they're needed for. best to turn one or two things off and check if the machine works OK for a day or so. Also, ob viously, keep a note of what you've done. Well, that's pretty much common sense really... sorry.
    It's on the SuSE installation media. One of the advantages of a 'heavy' distro I guess ;)

    From Yast choose Software -> Install & Remove Software -> Search and type in 'ndiswrapper' or whatever it is you're looking for. I think you'll need the Windows driver disk for your card to copy the .inf file across. Have a google around to find instructions on installation.
     
  6. JeffS

    JeffS New Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    Cameron Park, CA
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When I called SuSE a "heavy" distro, I wasn't trying to bag on it. That was only a reference to the fact that, by default, it loads a lot of stuff, just like Fedora Core does. Some other more purely desktop oriented distros (like Ubuntu or Mepis), or speed oriented distros (like Vector or Yoper), or small oriented distros (like Damn Small or Puppy), don't load as much stuff and will operate more efficiently on 128 megs of memory.

    Also, SuSE is a very full featured, very polished, and very easy to use distro. I believe that it features some of the lighter window managers / desktop environments like Xfce, Fluxbox, Enlightenment, etc. Foosinho said his machine had 128 megs of memory. Running KDE or Gnome, it will go into swap frequently when running any software (like Firefox). Really, to run KDE or Gnome optimally, you really should have at least 192 megs or more. However, if he runs Xfce or Fluxbox (for instance) instead, swap will very minimal (if it occurs at all).
     
  7. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Agreed. When X starts up on SuSE it gives you the option of starting whichever display manager you prefer. It does take the extra disk space though. That's certainly true, and as you say, if he upgrades to 256Mb like he says he'll definitely see the benefits.
     
  8. Grouchy

    Grouchy Member+

    turkey bacon with swiss
    Apr 18, 1999
    Canal Winchester
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have some experience with Redhat and FreeBSD but it's been a while since I've dealt with either. I was thinking of setting up a light-use LAMP system with some content management. I don't need a Gnome or KDE desktop, I'm fine with command line.

    Any recommendations?
     
  9. patrickdavila

    patrickdavila Member

    Jan 13, 1999
    Easton, PA
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For a pure server install I recommend Debian. I got my blog running on a debian server:
    http://pdavila.homelinux.org/blog/

    No issues whatsoever. Slackware is good as well.
     
  10. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I think most major distro's can be configured upon installation to only have a non-graphical system, a server system or whatever. Having said that there's probably no point in downloading a lot of stuff you don't need..

    BSD's probably a reasonable starting point I'd have thought.
     
  11. patrickdavila

    patrickdavila Member

    Jan 13, 1999
    Easton, PA
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    BSD is rock solid along with linux as a web server. Can't go wrong with either. I actually started with *nix using Sco Open Server and Solaris back in the mid 90's.
     
  12. Grouchy

    Grouchy Member+

    turkey bacon with swiss
    Apr 18, 1999
    Canal Winchester
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm downloading Debian right now (that's a big package).

    I might also try FreeBSD, I actually liked it better than Redhat and Slackware (going way back here, shows how long it's been since I've worked with it). The problem I had with FreeBSD was PHP never worked right the first time so I'd have to reconfigure Apache and recompile stuff. It also seems that most current Open Source projects have easy to install instructions for major Linux distributions and FreeBSD is left to fend for itself.

    Then again, it has been more than a few years. I'm surprised, though at how much PHP I remember. Now the Oracle to MySQL transition is going to be a rough one, ...
     
  13. patrickdavila

    patrickdavila Member

    Jan 13, 1999
    Easton, PA
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You can also download the net installer. It's only like 50 meg and it will download the rest off the net. It only contains a bootable kernel and network services to get your machine on the internet.
     
  14. JeffS

    JeffS New Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    Cameron Park, CA
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you have a fast internet connection (not dial-up), then the Debian net intaller rocks. I've done it with the new Sarge release a number of times and it works fantastic, even as a Gnome or KDE desktop.

    Pure Debian is so rock solid and efficient, and is a finely tuned machine. It's kinda like a Honda or a Mercedes of operating systems. Debian derivatives are good, since they are easier for newbies and as a desktop, but they tend to be based on Debian Sid, and add their own scripts and kernel recompiles, and are not usually 100% compatible with the Debian repos. So the derivatives are not as solid and efficient. But they're all really really good.
     
  15. Grouchy

    Grouchy Member+

    turkey bacon with swiss
    Apr 18, 1999
    Canal Winchester
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I thought about that, but I also have VMWare workstation going on my computer at home and a license already at work plus the computer Linux will eventually be installed on. For me it's more convenient to have it on one physical medium that way when I want to try a different install or when I eventually screw things up beyond repair it's right there.
     
  16. Naughtius Maximus

    Jul 10, 2001
    Shropshire
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Neophyte ;) :D

    Open Server was a good product. Pretty stable but also a bit expensive.

    As I mentioned, before that I used Xenix. At one time I had over thirty users running a word processor I had written on a ultra fast machine for the time... a 25Mhz 386 with a massive 12Mb of ram. Heady stuff, eh? To be fair the word processor, written in 'C', was only about 100k for each user.

    The system got a fair proportion of it's speed through the use of 4 x Specialix IO cards which had their own built in processors and memory. The software for them was complied into the kernel IIRC and they 'spoke' to dumb terminals.

    Ah, happy days... :)
     
  17. Daniel from Montréal

    Aug 4, 2000
    Montréal
    Club:
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Bump.

    I'm stuck on an old-school iMac (350mhz, 6GB, 128 RAM). Any downloadable distros to recommend?
     
  18. JeffS

    JeffS New Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    Cameron Park, CA
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Try Yellow Dog Linux. It's specifically made for Macs. Also, many distros, like Fedora Core, have mac versions.
     
  19. patrickdavila

    patrickdavila Member

    Jan 13, 1999
    Easton, PA
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Debian and Ubuntu also run on PPC. For a slower machine you may have to run with a lighter desktop such as fluxbox, xfce, enlightenment, icewm, etc..
     

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