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Should I Try Linux


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#1 luciusad2004

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:01 PM

Ive spent my entire life on windows based machines and am just really curious about linux/unix based os. What is involved with running this on my machine? I would be running this on a dell inspiron 1200. Nothing fancy but its all i have. Is it particularly difficult to install linux on a computer. I found a link to puppy linux in another thread and was thinking about starting with that. Is this a good place to start? Do i have to reinstall any drivers for my hardware? Thank you for your help.

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#2 phatcat42141

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:11 PM

I like puppy linux live cd's as well as DamnSmallLinux Live CD's They don't touch your harddrive but rather boot from your CD-ROM and RAM. Live CD's are the best way to go if your just wanting to try out Linux.

#3 luciusad2004

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:45 PM

So do i boot my computer up from the boot cd and it just loads it all in to my ram? And then i can take the disk out and my cd drive is still operable? What about installing other applications inside of linux? Is this still possible or is it more of a your stuck with was built in to the os sort of deal. Thanks for all the help Sorry for all of the questions.

(ps Im trying to practice the bb code in my posts so if it become hard to read or is just really bad feel free to let me kno. I just tend to learn better when i actually do something myself.)

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#4 acklan

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 12:27 AM

If you have min. 256mb of RAM and a CD-R you can load Puppy or DSL into a RAM Drive and as stated not touch the hard drive. In multisession mode it will save preperences and data to the CD that puppy resides on.
Yes you can add programs to Linux. Remember this is not windows and you will have to learn some features about linux.
I would got with Chubby Puppy Linux. It has OpenOffice 2.0 built in.
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#5 cybormoron

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 05:47 AM

hi luciusad2004...thought i'd jump in here cause i'm still pretty excited about all the things i can do with linux since discovering it about 6 months ago. i find myself using it more and more every day. it' pretty amazing. i jumped right in and installed mandriva after running a couple of live cd's. i've been happy with it and learning my way around pretty good with it. but there are lots of other distros that you may like better, so look around at the different live cd's before you decide.

What is involved with running this on my machine?

after downloading a linux iso and then burning it to a cd you should be able to just boot from the cd. the hard part was learning how to make a bootable cd from an iso. it's not hard to do but hard to figure out how to.

Is it particularly difficult to install linux on a computer.

it may or may not be, depends on what distro you go with. i would explore some of the live cd's before installing. in my case i installed mandriva. it's touted as the easiest to install. it was pretty much automatic. kind of like starting windows the first time. you just answer a few questions and it does the rest. you may need some help with what partitions to use. i simply gave it some of the free space in my windows partition. make sure you don't format your windows partition if you do attempt this.

I found a link to puppy linux in another thread and was thinking about starting with that. Is this a good place to start?

puppy is an excellent one to start with. especially if ram is small. my first one was knoppix then i tried puppy then i installed mandriva. it didn't take me long to get hooked, loooool.

Do i have to reinstall any drivers for my hardware?

linux should have it's own drivers so you shouldn't have to change anything on your windows to run it. however some distros may not run on your hardware. in that case just try another distro. for example i've been unable to run slack based distros on my machine.

So do i boot my computer up from the boot cd and it just loads it all in to my ram?

yes. pretty much. it creates something called a "ramdisk" and then loads itself in it. it's all in memory and not on your hard drive. you should be surprised at how fast it runs. everything responds before you lift your finger off the mouse, looooooool. it's pretty neat that way.

And then i can take the disk out and my cd drive is still operable?

with puppy the answer is yes. with other distros? maybe.

What about installing other applications inside of linux?

yes, i've done this with pup-get in puppy. with some other distros you may not be able to. what i do when i run a live cd session is install some of my favorite extensions in firefox. it only takes me a few minutes and it's worth the time for the few hours or days i run a live cd. also i go thru the installable software list to see what i want. they don't stay installed tho. everything disappears when you reboot unless you run puppy in something called "multi-session". i haven't tried this but i think it will write data to your hard drive and access it when you run puppy again. i think there's another way to do this also with a rewritable cd. i haven't gotten around to trying this yet cause i'm too busy playing around with all the other neat stuff, loool.

Sorry for all of the questions.

hey, no problem. i think it's the new guy's duty to help the newer guy, loooool.

some good linux links;

the ultimate live cd list
http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php

the ultimate linux release news site
http://distrowatch.com/

the ultimate linux screenshot site
http://shots.osdir.com/


another option is to emulate linux. you can run linux and windows at the same time. this way you don't need to shutdown windows to boot linux. i think you need lots of ram to do it tho. i have ran ubuntu, fedora, suse, debian and a few others along side of windows in an emulator. there's also a way to run any live cd in the emulator also. it will run from the iso in the emulator. so the iso image that you downloaded for burning to a cd can be used in the emulator. i managed to get slax running this way. the one i use is called vmware player.
http://www.vmware.com/products/player/

the latest live cd's i've been playing with are knoppix 5.0, kororaa xgl, mandriva one.
knoppix 5.0 is actually a live DVD and is absolutely amazing for the sheer number of applications in it.
kororaa xgl is experimental at this stage but it's also amazing. it has a 3d desktop. i hope they keep developing this one.
mandriva one is newly released live version mandriva. you can now see what mandriva looks like without installing.

Edited by cybormoron, 22 March 2006 - 07:11 AM.

I can no longer sit back and allow Microsoft infiltration, Microsoft indoctrination, Microsoft subversion, and the international Microsoft conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious open source GNU/Linux operating systems. General Jack D. Ripper.

#6 bfasula

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 01:23 PM

If you just want to try linux out, you can install a virtual machine such as QEMU or Sun's Virtual Box. You would be able to install any distribution and have linux running in a window on your system.

#7 raw

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:56 PM

The Virtual Machine is a good suggestion for dabbling with different flavors.
However, if you plan on installing a distro at some point you should go with
the LiveCD. This will confirm your hardware is compatible.
A little more polished than Puppy is PCLinuxOS. They offer a slimmed down
version called Mini-Me. Great for beginners.
http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=04694
PCLinuxOS tour:
http://shots.osdir.com/index.php?distro=25

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#8 bfasula

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:28 AM

An advantage to using a virtual machine is you can get experience actually installing linux which will vary depending on the distribution.

#9 raw

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 06:19 PM

An advantage to using a virtual machine is you can get experience actually installing linux

Forgive me, I don't understand this. I don't use Windows, but I have ran a VMWare
virtual appliance. The VM software supplied the video, audio, and network resources
to the Linux appliance. There was no "installing".
In Linux I use QEMU like this: qemu -cdrom mylinux.iso
There again the hardware resources are handled by the host OS.
"Installing" Linux typically involves partitioning the hard drive and
formatting the new space to accept Linux.
If a typo, please accept my apology.
"An advantage to using a virtual machine is you can get experience without actually installing linux "

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#10 DaffyKantReed

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 08:14 AM

Ive spent my entire life on windows based machines and am just really curious about linux/unix based os. What is involved with running this on my machine? I would be running this on a dell inspiron 1200. Nothing fancy but its all i have. Is it particularly difficult to install linux on a computer. I found a link to puppy linux in another thread and was thinking about starting with that. Is this a good place to start? Do i have to reinstall any drivers for my hardware? Thank you for your help.




Download dsl-4.4.10-embedded.zip from http://ftp.belnet.be/packages/damnsmalllinux/current/

Unzip it, then execute dsl-base.bat

This will allow you to try a light version of Linux without actually writing anything to your hard drive.

Live CDs are also good and probably faster than DSL.

#11 bfasula

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 08:59 AM

An advantage to using a virtual machine is you can get experience actually installing linux

Forgive me, I don't understand this. I don't use Windows, but I have ran a VMWare
virtual appliance. The VM software supplied the video, audio, and network resources
to the Linux appliance. There was no "installing".
In Linux I use QEMU like this: qemu -cdrom mylinux.iso
There again the hardware resources are handled by the host OS.
"Installing" Linux typically involves partitioning the hard drive and
formatting the new space to accept Linux.
If a typo, please accept my apology.
"An advantage to using a virtual machine is you can get experience without actually installing linux "


What I meant is that, for someone who has a Windows system, you actually do get experience installing linux in the virutal machine and you can keep Windows the same. You can select which packages you want to install, which is different than using a live CD which you just boot up and run as it comes and runs in memory. Some give you the option to save some configuration data but for the most part they are not meant to be updated with new software. By saying "without installing linux", I meant without removing Windows or partitioning the hard drive.

Edited by bfasula, 06 March 2009 - 09:02 AM.


#12 burn1337

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

I haven't read much of the posts here... But firstly... I have been using linux for 5 years now... I even took 3 classes in college before using Linux regularly... Linux is a great, high powered, low resourceful, fast, and reliable OS... But unless you take the time to really learn linux/unix, you could very easily find yourself shooting yourself in the foot with linux... I more then suggest making the switch... Also Puppy though it is good, it is better for very old computers... For instance a computer running a 500mhz processor, with 64mb worth of ram... That is something puppy would be able to "bring back to life" so to speak... But otherwise I suggest going with something like Fedora... Though Mandriva isn't bad, nor is SuSe... I do urge people not to use Ubuntu... Though it is choice for those who know nothing about Linux and want to use Linux like they would in Windows or Mac... Otherwise, it is a pointless OS, and is full of bs... Use something more sophisticated, and powerful...

#13 Herk

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:21 AM

Ubuntu is actually very powerful. Unfortunately, it's all hidden under the hood. Even Linus Torvalds, the originator of Linux, has said this, expressing his disappointment in its bare appearance.

I use Kubuntu, as I've mentioned elsewhere, because I like the KDE interface. It's easily configurable. The story of Ubuntu is that a guy who made a lot of money in tech decided to make the best Linux ever. In addition to the motto: "Ubuntu just works," he wanted everything in it to be unencumbered by copyright or cost.

There is a learning curve to Linux, though it is certainly not as bad as it was in years past. The curve is worse in Ubuntu because of having to find everything. Like the spaghetti sauce - "It's in there!" With Kubuntu, you're up and running right away, and everything is readily accessible from the K (start) button.

Like other distros, both Kubuntu and Ubuntu have live versions that can be run from the CD without installing anything.

Puppy Linux has the advantage that it can be run from the CD all the time. It's very quick because it's so small. And with the feature that allows you to use some of the space on the hard drive, you can put the disk in and any changes you have made are still there.

One thing - some of the newer distros don't seem to work as well on older machines. And, conversely, some of the older distros that did not work now work on newer machines. That's one of the reasons it's good to try several distros to make sure they work as well as checking out how well you like them.

#14 burn1337

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:19 PM

Herk - Any linux distro is powerful, Ubuntu does more then just hides it in my opinion... I have always been disappointed in Ubuntu do to that primary reason... Also Ubuntu, I have come to find that they are the easiest to use for people who are first using linux, but as for an experienced user, it becomes more of a hassle then anything... (or at least with most of the experienced users I have been around)....
Puppy is very quick, and I would recommend it to any one who wishes to bring an old machine back to life... So to speak...

#15 JJ2K

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:43 PM

Herk - Any linux distro is powerful, Ubuntu does more then just hides it in my opinion... I have always been disappointed in Ubuntu do to that primary reason... Also Ubuntu, I have come to find that they are the easiest to use for people who are first using linux, but as for an experienced user, it becomes more of a hassle then anything... (or at least with most of the experienced users I have been around)....
Puppy is very quick, and I would recommend it to any one who wishes to bring an old machine back to life... So to speak...


Sorry to be a pain but what features are Ubuntu hiding, for example what would an experienced user rather have/ be able to do.

I know it's a silly question but i'm just trying to gain a grasp of the whole thing!




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