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Linux questions...


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#1 elomont

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:22 AM

I have 5 or 6 old towers running everything W 95 to W ME.

I'm interested in downloading Linux OpenSuse (After taking the quiz). I know nothing so far about Linux except what I've read in this forum. Honestly, I'm just looking to explore Linux and learn along the way.

My first question would be which tower should I use? Does it matter what the system (tower) specs are for Linux? Also, can I have both Linux and Windows working on the same machine and just choose which to use at certain times? If so, can someone give me a link in their reply where I can read how to do this.

Thank you in advance,

Elomont

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:48 PM

My first question would be which tower should I use? Does it matter what the system (tower) specs are for Linux?

Just like with Windows, the faster the machine, the better off you are. Most Linuxes are better than Windows when it comes to running on old hardware. This doesn't mean that a ten year old computer will go like greased lightning with an older Linux on it, but you can bet that it'll do better than with Windows XP (or Vista!) on it.

My advice would be to assess which tower is the "fastest" and go with it. There are other distrobutions of Linux especially designed for light-weight systems, in case OpenSuse crawls even on that one (which I doubt.)

Also, can I have both Linux and Windows working on the same machine and just choose which to use at certain times? If so, can someone give me a link in their reply where I can read how to do this.

Yes! The term for that is "dual boot" (or "multi boot".) Here's a nice post I found on the OpenSuse forum regarding dual booting with OpenSuse and Windows XP. There shouldn't be much difference with an older version of Windows. http://forums.opensuse.org/how-faq-read-on...dows-linux.html


Reason for edit: Fixed Tpyo.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 26 February 2009 - 01:49 PM.


#3 raw

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:21 AM

I know nothing so far about Linux except what I've read in this forum. Honestly, I'm just looking to explore Linux and learn along the way.

Before jumping into installing Suse i would like to suggest you try a
LiveCD version such as PCLinuxOS. Download an ISO image, burn it to
a cd and reboot. The BIOS might need to be configured to boot the CD
before the hard drive. Boot up Linux and start exploring. No changes
will be made to the system. Try it out in all 5 and see which one performs
best for you before installing.

PCLinuxOS 2007 download page:
http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?option=...s&Itemid=28

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#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:20 PM

sometimes it does though. I once had 2 computers, an HP desktop with a intel 1.8 ghz CPU 256 mb of DDR and an ati 1250 (9259) video card with windows Xp on it. I also had another rebuilt IBM computer with a 825 mhz pentium III on it with 256 mb of pc100 ram on it, and an old junky nvidia card, with openSuSe 8.1 professional on it. as far as performance goes, the linux box was nearly twice as powerful as the XP system. OUCH bill gates, wouldnt wanna be ya. Linux rocks. :D but yeah the better the hardware the better any OS is going to run. :D

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#5 elomont

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for the input guys (and girls if there are any).

I'm going to take raw's advice and use a Live CD first and decide which I want to permanantly download onto my drive. The Live CD route also gives me the opportunity to try out a few different versions beforehand. I will most likely download it onto an extra WME or WXP machine I have.

I'll keep you updated if I remember.

#6 Guest_psteph222_*

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:52 PM

If you want an easy first experience I'd recommend going with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux. The install cd IS also a Live CD. It boots into Ubuntu and you can play around. If you like it you click the install icon on the desktop.

In case you hear any arguments of favorite Linux distributions or have the question again 'there's so many, which one do I use?' well... use what you want, use whatever suits your needs the best.

There are only a few major flavors of linux and the rest are USUALLY derived from those.

I'm not sure, is Suse Debian based?

Anyway.. a few of the major flavors are Slackware, Debian, and Redhat (Fedora) - I'm not sure where Mandrake fits anymore.

Ubuntu is in the Debian family of distributions.

Here's some fun info... instead of a rather static operating system like windows with an integrated Kernel (core operating system), essential operating software, gui platform and window manager... linux splits all those things up and allows you to use what you want.

So in Linux you can change your Kernel and customize it as much as you want.
You can choose your essential software (thankfully distributions save you the time of sorting through all of these things yourself and deciding what's best) - most distro's rely on software written by Gnu - the free software foundation. Gnu also has their own kernel now, Linus beat them to the punch on that one. Each distro will essentially accomplish the same task at this point but with a slightly different layout of configuration files and choice directory names. After that there's the gui platform - the x windows server. Most distro's use xorg now but some still use xfree86. You still don't have much of a gui yet but you could start playing with some ugly stuff here. After that you can have multiple window managers on top of your xwindows server. You could install Gnome, KDE, Blackbox, Whitebox, and many more - if you have a machine that runs really slow with Gnome or KDE install a lightweight window manager like blackbox or whitebox (there are others as well). Be careful though - lightweight can sometimes be pretty thin on the user friendly side but it's fun. You can have a login set up so each user uses a different window manager even.

Of course if you go with Ubuntu it'll install Gnome only (but still does support installing KDE packages/software) and if you preferred KDE you can download Kubuntu which is just Ubuntu but packaged with KDE instead of Gnome. Some distributions give you your choice of window managers to install, some don't.

But the beauty when you get past the gui is the shell. The shell is very powerful. And once again.. while most distributions will come with the Bash command shell there are many others.. at the moment I can only recall Csh and Zsh. Zsh is nice. However you don't need to worry about what shell you're using unless you're a power user or you download some shell script that is only intended for a specific shell.

Cheers,




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