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Author Topic: Switching to Linux  (Read 9138 times)

irv

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #60 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. 





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mi6a2lm

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #61 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?
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Thunder

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #62 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.
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #63 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.
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #64 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.
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #65 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...
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standard issue

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #66 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.

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enemyofthestate

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #67 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.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 09:47:42 am by enemyofthestate »
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linuxfan

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #68 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
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #69 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*
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: Switching to Linux
« Reply #70 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!
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