The Mental Militia Forums

Special Interest => Open Source Tech Gulch => Topic started by: Thunder on January 05, 2006, 09:29:39 pm

Title: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 05, 2006, 09:29:39 pm
Well, I'm about an RCH away from converting over to Linux.  In fact, I'm currently posting this running a LiveCD of Knoppix.  My only drawbacks have been my need to run certain Winblows programs, but I've discovered that even they should be compatible using WINE.

I've got several different versions to choose from: Fedora Core 3, Fedora Core 4, Knoppix, SUSE, Debian, and Xandros.  Since Knoppix is the only distro with a LiveCD, it's the only one I've seen and actually been able to use so far.  My questions are:


P.S.  My internet speed seems much faster on Linux.  ;) 
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: velojym on January 05, 2006, 10:13:25 pm
Linux is native to the 'net  :mellow:

You can get free CDs from Ubuntu, I've tried it and liked it, though I haven't really delved too deeply into that particular distro. I have Fedora Core 4 on two computers and don't have any issues other than the fact that my DLink wireless card on the laptop doesn't have any Linux drivers. (Yeah, STILL haven't gotten to it yet), though I'm gonna try ndiswrapper sooner or later.
There are some other live distros, though the only ones I've booted are Knoppix and Ubuntu, which also comes with a hard drive install version. They'll want to ship you at least ten pairs of CDs, so you can share 'em and stuff.

http://www.ubuntulinux.org/
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 05, 2006, 11:58:35 pm
You're internet access will seem faster because linux speaks native TCP/IP whereas with windows it's a protocol overlay.

And yes.....you very well could have hardware that's detected by one distribution but not by another....it all depends on what they compiled either into the kernel or as modules.......and every distribution seems to have it's own recipe concerning what the developers think is desireable and undesireable.

Wish I could have given you better news than that....but in reality what better news can I give than the truth?
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 06, 2006, 12:34:09 am
Well, I'm about an RCH away from converting over to Linux.  In fact, I'm currently posting this running a LiveCD of Knoppix.  My only drawbacks have been my need to run certain Winblows programs, but I've discovered that even they should be compatible using WINE.

That's one thing I haven't messed with yet,  have you tried it?

Quote
I've got several different versions to choose from: Fedora Core 3, Fedora Core 4, Knoppix, SUSE, Debian, and Xandros.  Since Knoppix is the only distro with a LiveCD, it's the only one I've seen and actually been able to use so far.

I've never tried Xandros nor do I know much of anything else about it.  I'm not particularly enthused about Fedora any version or RH in general.  When I looked at my brother's first install of 5.2 way back when (he picked it up at some flea market) I was running Slackware 4.0 and it was *different* in terms of how some of the system initialization and other stuff was done.  The next one I heard good things about was RH 6.2,  but I never got a hold of a copy.  Tnen somebody sent me 7.1,  and I couldn't install it because I didn't have enough memory on my test fixture,  a 486 board w/ 16M of ram that was happy to run Slackware, SuSE, and Debian,  although they were all admittedly older versions.  Later on I found out that even if I'd maxed that board out to the 64M it could hold I still wasn't gonna be able to proceed with the install unless I told it certain things that would force a textmode-only install,  which they didn't tell you about.  So it's a bit of a resource pig,  or aimed at a later segment of what machines are out there.  Then they did that whole thing where they split Fedora off from RH.  I can understand the company giving away their software and charging for support,  that almost makes sense as a business model,  but that particular move smelled more like "we'll get folks to do all our testing for us but keep the good stuff for our customers" or something like that.  So I'm not too terribly inclined toward the use of their stuff.  In fact xmas before last my other brother gave me a whole stack of CDs that were supposed to be RH9 (?) and I've never even looked at what all was on them,  even though dealing with rpm files on a non-rpm system really isn't much of an issue with me.

Quote
My questions are:

  • Are there issues between the distros that are major?  For instance, will one recognize my hardware and the other may not?
  • Are there really any big differences in general that I should be aware of before I take the plunge or should I just go for it and worry about changing distros later?

P.S.  My internet speed seems much faster on Linux.  ;) 

There are definitely differences in the hardware detection capabilities of different distros,  and Knoppix is supposed to be pretty good at that sort of thing from what I hear,  though I haven't really had much of an issue with that kind of thing -- first install I did I didn't have a sound card in my machine at the time,  and installed one later on.  I don't really know if Slackware 4.0 would've detected it or not,  but I managed to go through the stuff you needed to do to make an ISA sound card work, and it did,  until that card died,  and now the next one is in that machine and working,  even though I don't have anything hooked up to it (it's my server :-).  Worst that will happen is that some bit of your hardware won't be recognized and that you might have something either not working at all or not working to its potential,  and either way as long as you have a good install there's a lot of helpful folks out there that'll get you going with the right stuff to try.

Other differences between distros are in things like package management.  RH and SuSE (and probably a number of others) use "rpm" files,  stands for Redhat Package Manager.  Debian uses "deb" files,  which are fairly similar.  Slack and others use "tarballs" (something.tar.z or .tar.gz or .tgz files),  which are pretty unix-traditional kinds of things.  The main thing with the first two are the issue of dealing with dependencies,  where you go to install something and it expects to have something else in the system that it uses.  Paying attention to those details and having the right library files on your system (linux software pages are often pretty good about listing stuff like this) more often than not takes care of the problem,  and the automated software for rpm and deb files sometimes gets into downloading a whole *mess* of stuff where each thing depends on something else which depends on something else and so on,  making the whole process way more complicated than it needs to be.  This is something I've seen referred to as "dependency hell".  :-)  Anyhow,  it hasn't been an issue with me for the most part.

I _have_ downloaded some binaries that flat-out didn't work.  Then I got the source code,  compiled it against the libraries that were already on my system,  and things worked just fine.

Another thing I should probably point out is how once you get past the basic system stuff it's all _very_ modular.  For example most of what I did when I started out was in textmode,  because I didn't have X working.  I eventually got it working,  and later revisions of the software took care of a lot of that drudgework detail stuff for me.  It's really all getting better at that all the time. We have a lot of folks all over the planet working on this stuff,  because they want to,  and because they want to make it better,  and we don't have a problem with BS like marketing targets,  product release cycles,  bug denials,  poor choices in design that still need to be supported,  and so forth.  Anyhow,  Knoppix is using KDE for a GUI,  which is what I'm using right now as well.  If you're interested in taking a look at gnome,  the other major contender,  I'll be happy to send you one of those many Ubuntu disc sets I have sitting around here.  That set also includes a live try-it-out disc and an install disc.  (BTW,  this is also open to anybody else that wants one -- just email me and tell me where to send it.)

Most machines these days don't suffer from a lack of HD space,  though I run a lot of older gear here.  Most distros will install darn near everything,  given the opportunity,  though some give you some rough configuration choices like "workstation" and "server" and such.  I like the fact that I could choose individual packages with my Slackware install,  and I did,  which explains how I could fit a whole installation on to an 80M drive,  and still have room left over when I was done.  And there's tons of software out there,  and all sorts of tools for those folks that want to make more.

Whether you end up wanting to change distros later on and how much of a PITA that turns out to be kinda depends.  Don't let system-specific tools that come with one of them fool you,  nor superficial differences.  This stuff is endlessly tweakable,  and if for some reason I wanted it to look like w95 I could make it do so,  though heaven only knows why I'd want to.  You've got your basic system,  and how that's managed,  and packages and such.  You've got your window manager,  the "front end" that you see and deal with,  I guess a GUI in many cases (though it doesn't have to be) and that's something you can change to other packages too,  or pick something like KDE and tweak and customize it to your liking.  Anyhow,  switching can be done without losing too much if you can keep the new one from wiping out what's there altogether,  and using some of the stuff you've already got,  like in your home directory and maybe in /etc (for config stuff),  perhaps.  That may be harder or not,  depending on the differences between distros.

Oh,   and _my_ internet speed is noticeably faster on linux,  too.  But then most of the 'net is built on linux,  not on some OS that had to have that stuff patched in afterwards.  :-D

Good move,  in any case,  and do feel free to drop me some email if there's anything I can do to help out.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: snokrash257 on January 06, 2006, 07:35:37 am
There are definitely differences in hardware detection between distros.
Knoppix isn't the only distro with a live cd (of the ones you named--I thought that suse had one) Ubuntu has one, and simplyMepis, and several others, also.
I've been running Ubuntu on my laptop (my main computer) for about a year, and love it.  My biggest problem is my wireless card, because it's a broadcom, but, it works very well using ndiswrapper.My second biggest beef about it is that if I want the newest version of some software, then many times I have to compile it myself (or wait 6 months), because of Ubuntus 6 month between releases policy.
But they have a great support forum, and a backports project which gets many people the cutting edge sofware they want. I really can't say enough good things about Ubuntu (esp. for Linux beginners), and I know I sound like a shill--sorry.  If you've got money Xandros may be a good bet, also.  One of the pay versions comes with Crossover Office (an implementation of wine, that supposedly runs things like MS Office better than wine itself), and you can try Xandros for free, and I think install a trial version of Crossover to see if it works for you.

As far as wine, I've tried it a couple of times, and never really liked it.  Programs run slower, and most aren't fully compatible with it.
What windows-centric software do you need to run?  There may be Linux equivalents.

I, personally, stay away from RedHat as much as posssible (hard to do with servers though). I liked Mandriva before ~version 9, when it seemed to go all to shit on me.  Since I've started using apt-based distros, I've come to love them, for the ease of installing stuff (mostly) and come to hate rpm based distros for the dependency hell they put you through (yes I know about yum, etc.--never seems to work right for me.)

Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Leonidas the Younger on January 06, 2006, 10:56:49 am
Thunder -

Welcome to the world of 'nix :)

There are plenty of people here to help you with all sorts of issues and or trouble shooting, so if/when you get into a tight spot, don't panic.

Quote
    * Are there issues between the distros that are major?  For instance, will one recognize my hardware and the other may not?

In terms of default setup? Yes, some distros may not recognize hardware other distros natively will.

However, if one linux can do it, any other ought to be able to. More than likely a question of how, not if.

But depending on the specifics, it could also be a big pain in the ass .. yeah, I've had those days.

Quote
    * Are there really any big differences in general that I should be aware of before I take the plunge or should I just go for it and worry about changing distros later?

In essence, all distros are the same thing. However, that being said, some are better than others at various things.

I personally stay away from RedHat/Fedora - others have reported great success and hapiness with them.

The biggest difference between distros is package management, and then defaults. (Init scripts and the like.)

I have yet to try Ubuntu, but I'll recomend it based on two factors: 1) It's Debian based and Debian is rock solid and damn easy to install new software on 2) I've heard tons of good reviews on it from experienced linux users I know and trust.

My second recomendation would be Debian itself.

Another general recomendation I would make is - to make it easier for you to switch distro's later - is to partition your hard drive such that you have (say), 10-20 gigs for the system itself, and the rest for your /home directory and other persistent user data.

That way, down the line when you want to try NewShinyDistro(TM) you don't have to go through the pain of moving your stuff off the hard drive and then back on it again.

Good luck and don't hessitate to ask anything about anything :) A major resource you'll get to enjoy is tldp.org - the linux documentation project.

-- Leonidas
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 06, 2006, 02:38:47 pm
I'm seriously thinking of buying a cheap hard drive and making it a dual boot machine.  If I need the Windows stuff, I'll boot on C:  If I need Linux, I'll boot on E:

I like the Knoppix that I've been able to try so far.  I believe its Debian based.  I'm tempted to install it just because I'm familiar with it, but I'm not sure I should just jump on it without trying the others first.  Granted, so far it's worked perfectly. (except for turning some quotation marks on webpages into little boxes, but that's a font problem, not a Linux problem)
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Mr. Bill on January 06, 2006, 10:52:38 pm
I am a Linux newbie. I went with Ubuntu (after a little research), and I've been happy with it. I'd caution that getting Ubuntu installed is not as simple and user-friendly as installing Windows, but you probably realize that already.

Ubuntu has a live-CD version, an install-CD version, and a giant-size download (about 3GB) that works as both a live and an install disk (and needs a DVD to fit on).

Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop. If you want KDE instead, get Kubuntu.

I only have experience with this one distro, so I can't really offer comparisons. It works for me, it recognized all my (pretty common and mundane) hardware, and I got through the installation glitches with a bit of effort. But it was very convenient to have a second, Internet-connected, computer available so that I could research problems while doing the install.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 06, 2006, 11:37:00 pm
From what I've seen there's only three branches on the linux tree, the RedHat branch, the debian branch, and the slackware branch(the corel branch which was a real clusterfuck whithered and died long ago)........everything else is just limbs off of one of those branches.....and from what I've seen the three branches are VERY different whereas once you learn one branch, any limb on that branch is very simple to figure out, but to hop to another branch takes some reeducation as to what's where.....
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 07, 2006, 12:46:44 am
I am a Linux newbie. I went with Ubuntu (after a little research), and I've been happy with it. I'd caution that getting Ubuntu installed is not as simple and user-friendly as installing Windows, but you probably realize that already.

Ubuntu has a live-CD version, an install-CD version, and a giant-size download (about 3GB) that works as both a live and an install disk (and needs a DVD to fit on).

Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop. If you want KDE instead, get Kubuntu.

I only have experience with this one distro, so I can't really offer comparisons. It works for me, it recognized all my (pretty common and mundane) hardware, and I got through the installation glitches with a bit of effort. But it was very convenient to have a second, Internet-connected, computer available so that I could research problems while doing the install.

I've heard that Kubuntu has some real rough edges,  that it doesn't work nearly as well as Ubuntu does in a number of ways...
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 07, 2006, 08:19:46 am
...the corel branch which was a real clusterfuck whithered and died long ago...

Actually, it's still around and now known as Xandros.  Xandros is a commercial version of Linux.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: snokrash257 on January 07, 2006, 04:39:14 pm
...the corel branch which was a real clusterfuck whithered and died long ago...

Actually, it's still around and now known as Xandros.  Xandros is a commercial version of Linux.
Actually Xandros is a much better distro than Corel-Linux ever was. It was based on C-L, but I think that it has been vastly improved.  RedHat, Mandriva, Suse, and Linspire are all commercial versions of Linux, too.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: standard issue on January 07, 2006, 11:51:30 pm
I, for one, have been having nothing but good luck using Fedora Core 4 thus far.

Linux in general has a bit of a steep learning curve, but if you just apply some
critical thinking skills to it, research, and ask questions, it all really starts coming
together. It's only the first couple of days that are tough, as you kind of go though
"Windows withdrawls"...but you get over it, and when you break on though to the
other side, it's much clearer and nicer.

I also got a good book from the library on linux, and that has helped me as well,
even though I mostly do graphical shit, sometimes there's just no replacement
for a plain old command prompt.

If you get a second hard drive, try to keep it cheap so it doesnt turn into this big,
stressful, expensive project. I would say try and at least get a <10gb one though,
so you have some room to grow. Unless you're like Roy, and only want to run lynx
on your dusty old 486!  ^_^

You should be able to pick up a suitable, older HDD with plenty of room for cheap if you
look around a little. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be huge.
To maybe give you some perspective, I'm running a full install of FC4 64-bit over here
with all kinds of goodies installed on top of that, and I'm still only using up 3.7gb out
of a 40gb drive. (for system files, anyway...all my music and movies and other crap
spans several other  drives.)

For real though Thunder, you really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
I was nervous at first, but here I am 2 weeks later, and I've got a good handle on
what's goin down, and I'm comfortable with things, and happy as a clam.

Also, I like Fedora because it's got the YUM extender, which is a graphical auto
installer program for various packages. Some of you old linux heads might think
that's trivial or weak, but believe me, it's not. Difficulty installing things and decending
into package dependency hell really kills the whole linux experience for most people.

K.I.S.S. applies to many things, user interfaces not the least among them.

standard issue




Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: alauchlan on January 08, 2006, 01:17:39 am
I installed Knoppix onto my harddrive, it is working fine right now.  I have had Debian and Suse also installed previously (as a dual install with my windows OS that came with my laptop).

Knoppix is a debian based distro, supposedly I can use any debian flavored program.  The Knoppix has most of the laptop functional.  (The power control doesn't work quite rite, but it doesn't any better with the windowsOS it came with (WinME rather sucks for that))

Also, I havn't figured out how to work the DVD player to play movies, or to make my wireless wifi card to work under linux.

otherwise, all seems to work as good or better under Knoppix.  Debian was about the same, but more things didn't work right out (The Knoppix config works pretty good).  Didn't care much for Suse.

Allan
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 08, 2006, 01:33:45 am
Also, I havn't figured out how to work the DVD player to play movies, or to make my wireless wifi card to work under linux.

Have you looked at xine (under multimedia in the menu here) for movies?  I was amazed when I tried it and it worked,  particularly since I don't have a dvd drive in any of my machines here.  Tried it with downloaded short clips,  and also with a cdrom somebody sent me that has an mp3 movie file on it.

For wireless cards,  they seem to be a PITA for a lot of people.  Not having one of those either I can't say much more about it except that I've seen a bunch of messaging about them in the linux user group mailing lists that I carry here,  so know that you're not alone in this.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 08, 2006, 02:28:19 am
Quote
For wireless cards,  they seem to be a PITA for a lot of people. 

I've got a belkin wireless card here that's a POS (a winwireless card)....and of all things, a microsoft USB wireless card/box that I can get to work using the prism2 chipset kernel drivers.......

I think you can find out what'll work and what won't at

http://www.linux-wlan.org/docs/wlan_adapters.html.gz
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Leonidas the Younger on January 08, 2006, 08:07:16 am
My distro I'm running right now is:

Redhat based ... nope.

Debian based ... nope.

Slackware based ... nope.

Only three branches? Hardly!

Ever hear of Gentoo? :D

I'll forgive your newbness ;)

-- Leonidas
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Bill St. Clair on January 08, 2006, 08:51:59 am
I tried the latest Ubuntu live CD yesterday in a Virtual PC VM. Couldn't make the video work. Guess I'll have to burn a CD and try it on the native hardware. I liked the earlier version as a user OS. The new one sure took a long time to boot. I remember the earlier one being quite fast.

I like Gentoo too, though I don't like waiting for packages to compile from source. OpenOffice went overnight and much of the next morning. It IS nice, though, that new packages almost always work and that Gentoo takes care of all the dependencies for you.

I boot up Slackware more often than any other Linux. I never feel like it's getting in the way of what I want to do. But I don't do much with Linux other than play, especially since I installed Cygwin and XAMPP on my XP system, which give me most of what I want.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: snokrash257 on January 08, 2006, 08:56:30 am
I installed Knoppix onto my harddrive, it is working fine right now.  I have had Debian and Suse also installed previously (as a dual install with my windows OS that came with my laptop).

Knoppix is a debian based distro, supposedly I can use any debian flavored program.  The Knoppix has most of the laptop functional.  (The power control doesn't work quite rite, but it doesn't any better with the windowsOS it came with (WinME rather sucks for that))

Also, I havn't figured out how to work the DVD player to play movies, or to make my wireless wifi card to work under linux.

otherwise, all seems to work as good or better under Knoppix.  Debian was about the same, but more things didn't work right out (The Knoppix config works pretty good).  Didn't care much for Suse.

Allan
For DVDs I use mplayer with the "Windows" codecs installed. Check this out: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=94&highlight=multimedia (this is for ubuntu, but it gives the basics, and I think there's more info on the mplayer site)
For wireless card, it depends on what card you have.  Broadcom has no native drivers for linux (there's a project sponsored by Belois that has promise, and is almost ready for primetime), so I use ndiswrapper, with the windows driver, and my wireless is working--not perfect, but clse enough.  I can't remember if Knoppix uses synaptic or not, if it does do a search for ndiswrapper, if not
Quote
apt-cache search ndiswrapper
will show if you can install it from repositories. Or you can get it from http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/ and, also instuctions for installing it.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 08, 2006, 04:41:40 pm
Well there Leonidas, read up on Gentoo, and quite frankly it looks and awful lot like minx to me....and I wouldn't recommend minix for anyone "Switching to Linux"....but for folks that like fiddling and diddling it looks like it might be fun.......

I was wrong, you were right.....forgive my gross newbness  :laugh:
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Leonidas the Younger on January 09, 2006, 07:42:12 am
I can't tell if you're being serious or not, but if you are, how can you confuse Gentoo with Minix?

Anyway, I wouldn't recomend it for someone new to Linux, but it's definately it's own distro.

-- Leonidas
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 09, 2006, 12:36:52 pm
Leonidas,

It has to do with package installation, which in minix means no binaries, only source which is compiled on the machine as part of the installation proccess and source code retained for future recompliation, in fact when doing a full blown minix install, even the installation kernel is not the kernel in the final install and as part of the installation proccess a new semi-hardware specific kernel is compiled, yet even that kernel isn't really hardware specific unless one edits the code itself to include the various hardware devices...and turns on such things like TCP/IP

(edited in) A basic minix system is skeletal and only becomes useful for daily use after a lot of work
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: velojym on January 09, 2006, 10:04:19 pm
I've always considered the Minix types to be purely educational. Small, useable on older hardware, and as stated above, you have to actually learn how to use it.
I have Fedora Core 4 on most of my machines, and it's gotten so user friendly that I rarely have to delve into anything. Oh, except ndiswrapper, which I haven't done yet. I'm a horrible procrastinator.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 09, 2006, 11:21:33 pm
"User friendly" only goes so far and only for a semi specific type of user, after that "user friendly" becomes more hinderance than help.......
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 09, 2006, 11:51:08 pm
"User friendly" only goes so far and only for a semi specific type of user, after that "user friendly" becomes more hinderance than help.......

Reminds me of a post I read somewheres recently about stuff getting in your way...
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 10, 2006, 01:00:41 am
Quote
stuff getting in your way.

Er uh.....wasn't that post pretaining to "windows" having a habit of getting in your way......and as linux distribution continue to try to emulate windows, won't they follow suit?

Yeah I've also tried an awful lot of those "shiny" distributions......I'd rather have a umpolished distribution that doesn't profess to "know what's best" for me  :rolleyes:

As linux continues to attempt to make inroads into the "mainstream desktop" market, I'll think we'll see more and more "idiotware"(safety mechanisms) added to distributions because they think idiots will be using those distributions....and thus nonidiots will be hindered by all the crap added to protect idiots from themselves  :laugh:


Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 10, 2006, 01:06:56 am
Quote
stuff getting in your way.

Er uh.....wasn't that post pretaining to "windows" having a habit of getting in your way......and as linux distribution continue to try to emulate windows, won't they follow suit?

I dunno,  I can't recall where I was reading that...

Worst thing I've ever encountered when it came to stuff getting in my way was the couple of times I tried a mac.  Early ones, though.  I hear the later ones are supposed to be better?  Maybe if you can get a text console on one of those...

Quote
Yeah I've also tried an awful lot of those "shiny" distributions......I'd rather have a umpolished distribution that doesn't profess to "know what's best" for me  :rolleyes:

Anyhow.

Quote
As linux continues to attempt to make inroads into the "mainstream desktop" market, I'll think we'll see more and more "idiotware"(safety mechanisms) added to distributions because they think idiots will be using those distributions....and thus nonidiots will be hindered by all the crap added to protect idiots from themselves  :laugh:

No doubt about it.  I've noticed that this is the direction that things seem to be moving in.

Well,  I'm happy to be running Slackware here.  :-)
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Bill St. Clair on January 10, 2006, 03:19:08 am
Quote
stuff getting in your way.

Er uh.....wasn't that post pretaining to "windows" having a habit of getting in your way......and as linux distribution continue to try to emulate windows, won't they follow suit?

I dunno,  I can't recall where I was reading that...

I wrote something about Slackware not getting in my way, but don't know if that's what you're thinking of.

Quote
Worst thing I've ever encountered when it came to stuff getting in my way was the couple of times I tried a mac.  Early ones, though.  I hear the later ones are supposed to be better?  Maybe if you can get a text console on one of those...

Mac OSX is BSD Unix underneath, and the Mach kernel. You can get a text console. It ships with text Emacs (no meta key), and you can get the graphical version (meta key). The only problem I find with it is that you can only get to selected application menu items with the keyboard. For the others, you have to use the mouse. In Windows (and Linux?) you can get to everything with the keyboard. But I understand why lots of artistic types like the Mac, even though it no longer has a monopoly on artistic software. It's beautiful. From the minute you open the box to take out a new computer, to the time that you shut it down for the day, it's just plain beautiful. Heck, it's beautiful just sitting silent on the desk. Apple knows industrial design.

Quote
Well,  I'm happy to be running Slackware here.  :-)

The latest Linux distribution to hit my VM is SLAX (http://slax.linux-live.org/), a compact Slackware live CD (< 180 megs) that you can easily customize.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 11, 2006, 12:10:03 am
The latest distribution to hit my my grubby little shithooks is a distribution I've been trying to find for years.

It's called "Linux-lite" and it'll run in 896K of memory on any old 386*grin*

And yeah......neither Slackware nor a decent default BSD installation will ever "get in your way".....it's just not their nature.....it's when somebody else decides what you want for you that things start getting tedious......
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 11, 2006, 12:25:34 am
Quote
stuff getting in your way.

Er uh.....wasn't that post pretaining to "windows" having a habit of getting in your way......and as linux distribution continue to try to emulate windows, won't they follow suit?

I dunno,  I can't recall where I was reading that...

I wrote something about Slackware not getting in my way, but don't know if that's what you're thinking of.

Could be,  I dunno...

Quote
Quote
Worst thing I've ever encountered when it came to stuff getting in my way was the couple of times I tried a mac.  Early ones, though.  I hear the later ones are supposed to be better?  Maybe if you can get a text console on one of those...

Mac OSX is BSD Unix underneath, and the Mach kernel.

That's why I specified the early ones.  :-)

Quote
You can get a text console. It ships with text Emacs (no meta key), and you can get the graphical version (meta key). The only problem I find with it is that you can only get to selected application menu items with the keyboard.

Items _you_ selected or items that somebody else selected?

Quote
For the others, you have to use the mouse. In Windows (and Linux?) you can get to everything with the keyboard.

#define root "god"

Quote
But I understand why lots of artistic types like the Mac, even though it no longer has a monopoly on artistic software. It's beautiful. From the minute you open the box to take out a new computer, to the time that you shut it down for the day, it's just plain beautiful. Heck, it's beautiful just sitting silent on the desk. Apple knows industrial design.

Some people really like 'em.  Like my brother,  who's developed a bit of an enthusiasm for them.  But in addition to the minor irritation of use with the early ones,  there's also their business model,  or "corporate attitude" to consider.  When I had my shop there was some occasional opportunity to work on Apple stuff,  but they wouldn't part with any service data,  nor would the local service center -- that would have violated their agreement with the company,  which franchise apparently involves the payment of a rather large fee.  Which meant  that nobody but their dealers could do any service,  locking everybody else out,  even if the dealer went out of business and there was nobody in the area (as is currently the case here).  Or take the way the first machines came out with only 128K of ram,  with stuff you did while booting eating up a nontrivial portion of that.  Seems to me I recall reading in Byte magazine as to how they found a software bug in the ROMs,  but in order to get the bug fixed you also had to get a memory upgrade -- from them!  Which back in those days sold for something like $700,  way beyond what the third-party upgrades were charging.  Oh yeah,  and if you'd gone and gotten one of those third-party upgraded,  you were SOL,  you didn't get the ROM upgrade at all,  period.

I can still remember the Lisa,  too,  and the really screwy floppy drive they had with that machine,  which nobody else used,  or anything at all like it.  Two heads,  but on opposite sides,  with two pressure pads?!  And that on a machine that sold for ten grand,  and the folks that invested in that got royally screwed when they canned the whole thing,  withdrew all support,  and after a bit came out with the mac.

They can keep it.

Quote
Quote
Well,  I'm happy to be running Slackware here.  :-)

The latest Linux distribution to hit my VM is SLAX (http://slax.linux-live.org/), a compact Slackware live CD (< 180 megs) that you can easily customize.

I can really customize the stock distribution,  what's so different about that?  I had Slack 8 or 9 running on my router/firewall box on an 80M drive with part of that being a swap partition and with the rest of it being 60-some-odd meg I still had room left over.  The current box is a 486 and has a 540M drive in it that's got way too much clutter still left on it,  but I have no particular reason to worry about cleaning it,  though I do have an 80M drive or two somewhere  still.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 11, 2006, 12:27:33 am
The latest distribution to hit my my grubby little shithooks is a distribution I've been trying to find for years.

It's called "Linux-lite" and it'll run in 896K of memory on any old 386*grin*

Hey,  I'm really glad I didn't throw away any of those 30-pin 1M memory sticks,  and snagged the ones that other folks were gonna throw away.  Even have a couple of 386sx-20 boxes here that I've been wondering what to do with...

What the heck _would_ you do with such a machine,  anyhow?

Quote
And yeah......neither Slackware nor a decent default BSD installation will ever "get in your way".....it's just not their nature.....it's when somebody else decides what you want for you that things start getting tedious......

Yep!
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 11, 2006, 12:38:50 am
Roy,

They're notebooks, have good batteries a modem and a wall wart and I do have the docking statons........do I need to say more?

Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 11, 2006, 01:31:19 am
Roy,

They're notebooks, have good batteries a modem and a wall wart and I do have the docking statons........do I need to say more?



Nope!  :-)

Now if the ones I had were,  that'd be nifty,  but they're just low-profile cases...   <shrug>
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Joel on January 11, 2006, 10:49:00 am
Well, I got my care package from the Linux Fairy!

Thanks, Linux Fairy!

(now I need to learn enough to even know what I've got...)
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 11, 2006, 11:59:16 am
Roy,

Low profile cases with low wattage power supplies?.....maybe low enough to be used with an inverter, a few batteries, and a solar array?...

This is not to say that I'll not buy a more modern notebook....but instead to say that(IMO) the money is better spent elsewhere at this time........
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 12, 2006, 01:44:52 am
Roy,

Low profile cases with low wattage power supplies?.....maybe low enough to be used with an inverter, a few batteries, and a solar array?...

Might be possible,  but you'd still have a 386sx-25 machine when you were done.  They're "Dell 325SX" models,  and I don't think they'll hold more than 8M unless you can find some 4M 30-pin sticks.  Interested in taking one of these off my hands?

Quote
This is not to say that I'll not buy a more modern notebook....but instead to say that(IMO) the money is better spent elsewhere at this time........


Yup.  I know how that goes.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 12, 2006, 01:06:11 pm
Roy,

For terminal access and communication purposes almost any old clunker will work just fine....

Hell I've even compiled a linux kernel on these clunker notebooks.....but it took a long long time......

And to be truthful I'm getting rid of old junkers and don't really need any new old junkers*L*
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: linuxfan on January 12, 2006, 05:19:09 pm
Suse arguably has the best hardware detection, besides
Mandriva, but with both of those, if your hardware isn't
automatically configured, good luck getting it to work.
Debian is a pain the ass to get configured, but apt handles
dependencies pretty well. Slackware use a text editor to
configure just about EVERYTHING, and slack doesn't even
pretend to hand dependencies. Gentoo is a source based distro
that has something called portage that handles deps really
well, but it's a pain in the ass to install, and if you don't
know the hardware you have installed, and what kernel modules
it needs, you're screwed, unless you don't mind doing a lot
of research. Gentoo also has the best user community on the
planet, with IRC channels where people actually help instead
of flaming like debian, and forums and a bugzilla system out
of this world, as well as a kickass wiki
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 12, 2006, 11:26:51 pm
Quote
Slackware use a text editor to
configure just about EVERYTHING, and slack doesn't even
pretend to hand dependencies.

Yup.......just the way I like it*grin*

Letting things try to autoconfigure themselves leads to nightmares when something that formerly worked now doesn't, at which point a person  used to the operating system utilities doing everything for them now has to do what?......use a text edit and edit files.....
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 13, 2006, 12:22:22 am
Quote
Slackware use a text editor to
configure just about EVERYTHING, and slack doesn't even
pretend to hand dependencies.

Yup.......just the way I like it*grin*

Letting things try to autoconfigure themselves leads to nightmares when something that formerly worked now doesn't, at which point a person  used to the operating system utilities doing everything for them now has to do what?......use a text edit and edit files.....


It sure hasn't been a problem for me,  either...
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: linuxfan on January 13, 2006, 12:35:23 pm
yeah, but some people get skeered when ya tell them they have
to type. Gentoo is configured with text editor, too, and it's
about like slackware with that, so i likes it, and it ain't
a problem to me, either :D
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 14, 2006, 12:19:47 am
Well that's the thing..........sooner or later, any operating is going to seem limited, and with linux/unix it seems, the way to overcoming those limitations always ends up being via the text editor and manually butchering/editing scripts..........
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 16, 2006, 08:36:05 am
Ok.........back to the original subject......

I bought a new hard drive and now have Fedora Core 3 installed  on it.  So far, I'm not exactly impressed.  I have no sound due to Fedora detecting a sound card that I don't have and not detecting the one that I do.

However, given that, I do now have a dual boot system and can access Windows programs whenever I need to.  I'm sure there are going to be a lot of growing pains as I learn what this system is all about, how to maneuver around it, etc. 

Even though Windows was/is a shitty OS, at least it worked.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: linuxfan on January 16, 2006, 10:41:36 am
heh, Thunder, you just hit the major problem with the "n00b
friendly" distros like fedora, suse, and mandriva. hardware
is a pain the ass, for the same reason you mentioned, or
because a certain piece of hardware only has a windows driver
or the company just sucks, etc, etc, etc. I'd suggest googling
the soundcard on google.com/linux, and then figuring out where
fedora stores the kernel modules, and looking to see if the
module listed on google is in there, and if not, compile and
install it to the module directory and insmod it. then you
can find the module config file, i think its in /etc and put
the module name in there. that should fix sound. iirc,
modules are stored in /lib/kernel<version>/modules/ but i'm
not sure how fedora handles that
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 16, 2006, 11:00:07 am
I know it works under Linux as Knoppix detected it correctly.

Now, in English, what'd you say?

UPDATE:  Apparently, Fedora DID detect it correctly.  I updated my Windows drivers and the naming convention for the sound card changed to what Fedora was detecting.  Problem is that even though it's detecting it correctly, it still isn't working.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 16, 2006, 12:11:21 pm
Do you know what soundcard it is?

I know using a fairly recent trademarked soundblaster it was detected and worked, but the volume was set so low that it seemed to not be working......
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 16, 2006, 01:03:56 pm
It's an Intel 82801BA/BAM AC97 Digital Audio card.

When Fedora said it had detected it and asked if I heard the test sound, I tried saying 'yes' instead of no in an attempt to trick it.  That apparently didn't work.  I decided to then check the volume settings and its not letting me adjust them, saying 'no mixer elements or device found.'   I'm quite sure I was able to adjust it last night, but it's not letting me now.  I'm thinking that it may not be a hardware detection issue, but a volume control issue instead.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 16, 2006, 01:46:17 pm
Take a peek here.....

http://www.linuxheadquarters.com/howto/basic/sndconfig.shtml
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Joel on January 16, 2006, 01:59:38 pm
Okay, here's a really embarassingly clueless question:

Is a Live CD the same as a bootable CD?  Or does that just mean there's a program that can run without being loaded to the hard drive?

I got a care package from the Linux Fairy that I'd like to play with, but am not ready to clean Windoze off my one and only PC.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Jac on January 16, 2006, 02:01:21 pm
Yes, a Live CD is bootable. Just stick it in and start 'er up... won't do any harm 'tall to Windoze. :mellow:
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 16, 2006, 06:18:30 pm
Thanks, Zoot, but that link wasn't much good.  It's links were broken.

I was able to get a copy of sndconfig and ran it.  It said my kernel wasn't configured for sound or something to that effect.  Said I needed at least 2.2.  I've got Linux 2.6.12-1.1381_FC3 #1 Fri Oct 21 03:46:55 EDT 2005, so not sure what that was all about.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 16, 2006, 11:01:29 pm
Update #3582.1-4

Upon learning of lpsci and lsmon programs, I've garnered the following info:

From lpsci:
Quote
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801BA/BAM AC'97 Audio ( rev 11)

and from lsmod:
Quote
snd_intel8x0           34177  3
snd_ac97_codec         74937  1 snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm_oss            50673  0
snd_mixer_oss          17729  2 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm                98889  4 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer              32837  1 snd_pcm
snd                    57285  9 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixe r_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore              10785  2 snd
snd_page_alloc          9669  2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm

When using Knoppix (which works) it appears that the device driver used is i810_audio, not the snd_intel8x0 that Fedora is using.  Now, I gotta figure out how to change the drivers without rebuilding the kernel. 

A n00b trial by fire is not what I had planned, ya know!  If all else fails, I'm going to Core 4 and hoping for the best.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 17, 2006, 12:02:37 am
try
rmmod snd_intel8x0
modprobe i810_audio
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 17, 2006, 12:39:18 am
try
rmmod snd_intel8x0
modprobe i810_audio

Yeah.

Then if that works,  you gotta figure out what config thingy you need to change to get the right one installed on boot.  Don't worry about kernel stuff,  I don't think you'll have to go there since it's all handled by modules these days anyhow.

I know that in Slackware under /etc/rc.d/ there's a bunch of files that set this sort of thing up and that by simply editing the right one (rc.modules in my case) that takes care of that as that's where the bootup stuff goes to figure out what's needed.  But I have no clue as to how fedora handles that sort of thing,  or whether you changing something behind its back might create problems (which apparently is the case with some distros,  you don't use _their_ program to configure stuff it "corrects" any changes you might make).

But anyhow,  don't worry about messing with the kernel,  from here it sure looks like you won't have to.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 17, 2006, 12:54:35 am
Yeah.......the redHat/fedora/mandrake branch of the linux tree like to scatter config files all over the fucking filesystem*L*....
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 17, 2006, 08:55:46 am
try
rmmod snd_intel8x0
modprobe i810_audio

Are 'rmmod' and 'modprobe' programs that I'll need to download or are they commands that are already included?  Any prerequisite info that I'll need before trying to run them?

Clear, concise info is not exactly prolific in the Linux world.  lol
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: linuxfan on January 17, 2006, 09:31:21 am
should be installed already. man lsmod and rmmod and insmod or modprobe to find out
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Mr. Bill on January 17, 2006, 11:06:35 am
A n00b trial by fire is not what I had planned, ya know!

When we bought out Apple II+, I put it together, installed some software inserted a floppy containing some software, and was able to do useful work immediately. Later, I learned more about it and hacked it to do nifty stuff.

When we bought our Amiga 1000, {ditto all of the above}.

When we bought our 386SX, I installed DOS 5 and Windows 3 and Word 1 and was able to do useful stuff immediately.

Ditto when we assembled a homebrew system with WinNT. And when we bought a laptop with WinXP. In all cases, the computer was useful immediately, and at my leisure I could learn more about it and improve its usefulness.

When I installed Ubuntu Linux on a barebones sytem last summer, before the installation was even complete I had to become knowledgable about disk partitioning, had to guess how to bypass a frozen "configure apt" phase of the installation, had to learn what "grub" was, and had to modify /etc/hosts manually. Before it was safe for me to plug into the Internet I had to learn how iptables works and configure it. A few months later I upgraded from Ubuntu "Hoary" to "Breezy", and this was definitely the most complex and tedious computer project I have ever attempted.

And Ubuntu is supposed to be merely "medium" on the difficulty scale according to DistroWatch.

I will never complain about the inadequacies of free software. I mean, it's free, right? But based on my experience, and what I've heard from others, the evangelists who think Linux is ready to displace Windows are not seeing the situation realistically.

Argh. But having gone through all this, I really like my Linux system, and I don't think I'll ever buy another Microsoft OS.

I have now vented. Sorry for the interruption.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: linuxfan on January 17, 2006, 12:06:23 pm
heh, yeah, INSTALLING Linux can be a huge PITA, but once you get it up and running, and try to go back to Micro$oft, you learn how much better linux really is. no scanning for viruses, no defragging, no BSODs,
no rebooting at least every two weeks to keep the system functional, and linux doesn't try to tell you how to do the stuff you want.

And if you want a lesson in painful OS installs, do linux from scratch. THAT'S painful. OpenBSD is almost
as painful as that, but not quite
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 17, 2006, 12:20:48 pm
Mr. Bill is right.  It should just WORK.

I also understand everyone's argument for the lack of automation as well.  The problem with Windows is not its automation.  The problem is the lack of being able to turn that automation on and off at will.  Linux goes to the other end of the spectrum and gives you nothing that is automated and you have to turn it all on if you want it on.

What we need is a Linux distro that has a happy medium.  Provide the automation like Windows, with the ability to turn it on or off at will like Linux.  I think that would probably make a lot more people happy than the two extremes currently do.

The security issues with Windows are a totally different subject and, of course, tip the balance towards Linux on that particular subject.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: irv on January 17, 2006, 02:53:03 pm
A n00b trial by fire is not what I had planned, ya know!

When I installed Ubuntu Linux on a barebones sytem last summer, before the installation was even complete I had to become knowledgable about disk partitioning, had to guess how to bypass a frozen "configure apt" phase of the installation, had to learn what "grub" was, and had to modify /etc/hosts manually. Before it was safe for me to plug into the Internet I had to learn how iptables works and configure it. A few months later I upgraded from Ubuntu "Hoary" to "Breezy", and this was definitely the most complex and tedious computer project I have ever attempted.


Well, all this does seem odd to me, since I just installed Mandriva yesterday.
Everything just works, including the automatic partitioning. When I tried Ubuntu,
a few weeks ago, it offered to use the whole disk, and I answered 'yes', and again, everything worked, unlike my experience with Win 2000, which lacked drivers
for the video card. I don't have any experience with XP, it probably has the drivers,
but from what I've heard it's too much hassle for someone who changes and
upgrades hardware frequently.

Perhaps the problem lies in trying to "upgrade". It's easier and safer to just
wipe the disk and install the new OS. The same thing can be said about
upgrading Windows - it's just asking for trouble. 





Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: mi6a2lm on January 17, 2006, 07:30:45 pm
I had a relative try Ubuntu on his old laptop and it found his wireless connection just fine.  About the only distro I've had a problem with is the straight Debian - I have used and liked Slackware, Fedora, Yoper, Gentoo (just command-line) and Mandrake.  My main concerns with these distros (in order of importance):

1.  Will it find the modem/wireless connection (or do I have to hunt around for a program like ltmodem to figure it out)?
2.  Does it recognize my sound card or do I have to go an-internettin' to find a solution (alsa, or a compatible driver)?
3.  Can I get my printer working easily?
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Thunder on January 17, 2006, 09:04:19 pm
My sound is now working.  The suggestions given earlier did not work.  Apparently, I didn't have those programs so that I could do it.

I loaded Core 4 and that got it working.  Also got Thunderbird working with encryption!  So, I'm a relatively happy camper at the moment.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 17, 2006, 11:50:05 pm
try
rmmod snd_intel8x0
modprobe i810_audio

Are 'rmmod' and 'modprobe' programs that I'll need to download or are they commands that are already included?  Any prerequisite info that I'll need before trying to run them?

Clear, concise info is not exactly prolific in the Linux world.  lol


They should already be there,  and someone's suggestion to try the man command for each is probably a good bet.  For me trying to find out if stuff is present that may not have a man page,  I say "which xxx" and it comes back with something like /bin/xxx or if it finds more than one it'll tell you that,  a situation that helped me out a lot recently when it came to Java -- I'd installed it under /usr/loca/java,  and it didn't seem to be working right,  and here I had not just the runtime I thought I'd installed but the whole sdk (software development kit?) that I don't remember installing,  and the system was finding that one first.

You should probably know about the apropos command.  Try for example typing apropos modules for example,  and you'll get a whole list of stuff to look at,  or try -- it's a good way to get hints on how to deal with stuff if you don't remember the command name.

Oh,  and in case you were wondering (I was back when :-) the difference between insmod,  which just installs a kernel module,  and modprobe is that modprobe also installs anything else that the module might need,  as I found out the hard way when I first tried to get sound working well after my initial install,  and with much earlier software that wasn't nearly as friendly as the current stuff.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 17, 2006, 11:53:24 pm
Perhaps the problem lies in trying to "upgrade". It's easier and safer to just
wipe the disk and install the new OS. The same thing can be said about
upgrading Windows - it's just asking for trouble. 

I haven't had any real trouble with upgrading stuff,  except of course that there _are_ differences between versions that you have to deal with.  Maybe it's more of a hassle with other distros,  I dunno.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 17, 2006, 11:54:54 pm
My sound is now working.  The suggestions given earlier did not work.  Apparently, I didn't have those programs so that I could do it.

I loaded Core 4 and that got it working.  Also got Thunderbird working with encryption!  So, I'm a relatively happy camper at the moment.

You don't have rmmod and modprobe?  That's really odd.

Were you logged in as a regular user or as root when you tried that?  Might need to be root...
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: standard issue on January 18, 2006, 07:37:35 am
Thunder -

Glad you got Core 4 working!

I'm also of the mind that computers should "just work", and not require a whole lot of
fucking around with. Some people like that, but most people just want to get to work
and do thier little things, not get stuck in some sort of command line/makefile/dependency
linux hell. Honestly, sometimes using linux takes me back to the bad old days of computing
when Windows 3.1 ruled the scene. You know, unsupported devices, mysterious DLL's,
random freakouts and poor and/or scattered documentation.

Maybe to work perfectly in a simple and intelligable fashion while having flawless support
for every single little hardware doo-dad out there is asking a little much of a totally free
operating system. I mean, that is a pretty tall order, especially for some free shit.  :laugh:

I have to say though, it's doing an admirable job of giving it the 'ol college try.

The main reason I switched, to get away from adware, spyware, and various other malware
has certainly been worth it. I no longer have to fight my damn computer to make it only
load the programs I tell it to. That's a good thing.

So yeah, I'm pretty happy with the state of linux thus far. Happy enough I'll never go back
to a windows OS for my main desktop, anyway.

My only main beef really, is poor hardware support at times. Although, it must be said that
the blame for that rests squarely on the manufacturer of the specific devices.
Some companies are pretty good about linux support, for example Lexmark and NVIDIA.
I try to buy from companies that actually devote time and money to developing linux
drivers for thier products. So you can be assured, that when I buy my next video card,
I certainly won't be buying anything with an ATI chipset.  :mellow:

Anyway, good on ya Thunder. I'm glad Core 4 is working better.

standard issue
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: enemyofthestate on January 18, 2006, 09:46:07 am
Quote
1.  Will it find the modem/wireless connection (or do I have to hunt around for a program like ltmodem to figure it out)?
Depends. If the manufacturer supports Linux at least to the point of releasing specs and the author of he driver has done a good job of writing it then there will be support. 

AMR modems will probably not work.
Centrino may or may not work.  The basic MadWifi driver is good but boardmakers often make mistake they cover up with the software in the driver.  MadWifi isn't yet aware of all the messed up hardware out there.

Quote
2.  Does it recognize my sound card or do I have to go an-internettin' to find a solution (alsa, or a compatible driver)?
Sound support is pretty good.  ALSA is part of the 2.6 kernel and the dection algorithms are very good.  For modern PCI hardware that is.  If you have a 20 years old ISA sound card, you might have trouble.

Quote
3.  Can I get my printer working easily?

Depends on the printer.  If you have a postscript or PCL printer it will work.  If you want to use one of those $1.98 printers you get for "free" then it probably won't.  One of the side effect of really fast processors is hardware manufacturer are using a minimal instruction set and putting the computational load of printing back onto the computer.  However, most of those el cheapos won't last 500 sheets before suffering a major breakdown anyway.
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: linuxfan on January 18, 2006, 04:59:29 pm
Thunder, try Mandriva. Mandy builds modules for *everything* and installs them all. granted, if you're on a relatively older computer, the new version will be dog slow, at least to me, since i'm now used to a custom built distro, but 99.99999999% of hardware i've tried in mandriva just works with about the same amount of configuration as winderz, with the exceptions of wifi and winmodems. the main problem i have with mandriva is that the package management software is a pain in the ass if you like GUIs, and it doesn't
always get the deps like it claims to
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: ZooT_aLLures on January 18, 2006, 11:40:31 pm
Quote
.  If you have a 20 years old ISA sound card, you might have trouble.

Well chances are if you have a 20 year old ISA sound card you still remember setting the soundcard configuration for games like doom*grin*
Title: Re: Switching to Linux
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on January 19, 2006, 12:06:04 am
Quote
.  If you have a 20 years old ISA sound card, you might have trouble.

Well chances are if you have a 20 year old ISA sound card you still remember setting the soundcard configuration for games like doom*grin*


Actually the first sound card I set up under linux _was_ pretty old.  I got to learn about such fun stuff as "isapnp" and similar...

Sure got easier as time went on!