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Linux, is it for everbody?

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Linux, is it for everbody?

Right, I've had enough of the ongoing saga of keeping XP secure, free from spyware, pop ups, virus's and all the various utilities that have to be kept running in the background just to achieve this. Some of these programs are not 100% and require similar to themselves just to obtain a reasonable result.
Despite all this, or even perhaps because of this, problems still crop up from time to time and detract from the use and enjoyment of our machines.
So I'm looking for a change of OS and of course Linux seems an obvious choice at first. But is it?.
Serching the web reveals many different versions all claiming to be just what I'm looking for, namely CD burning, moderate game playing, light use of spreadsheets and word processing, internet and email, in fact just the average Joe really.
Sadly the whole thing seems to be cloaked in a geek type exclusive club, where the simplest questions bring replies that unfortunatly confuse rather than help.
I gather that Linux is not too demanding of kit so what I'm looking for is just to download a version that I can try out on an old but usable PC that is made up of a Duron 750 with 256mb, Jetway mobo, 15G HD, NvidiaTNT 2, CD writer and 17" CRT, it also shares my 2Mb connection via a pci network card.
Is it possible to download and burn to CD a version that can be installed from the CD that fits my requirements. By that I mean a version that can be configured to the above PC by a leaner, or is it automatic.
And finally drivers, are suitable standard drivers part of the OS or do they have to be searched for and installed by some yet to be learned command line program.
Am I being too simplistic in my ideas, or does Linux require plenty of prior knowledge to use and install?
Thanks in advance for any pointers or links that anyone might offer.
21 REPLIES
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Linux, is it for everbody?

Hi Paul,

Can't help much, I'm a Microsoft disciple thru and thru but
the links section of chilly's site might help http://chillypenguin.plus.com/

I'm sure some of the 'nix experts will pick up on this one soon.

Happy hunting.
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Linux, is it for everbody?

Try SuSE , it is a VERY nice desktop OS and is really quite easy to install.. I put it on my 3 year old laptop (p2 400 256 ram) and it runs sweet and the install had NO problems, it even found the IR port Cheesy

If you want to try somthing more fun , go for gentoo, its harded to install (you have to read the manual Smiley but its a great learning experiance and it is said to be the fastest OS)

Last but not least, you could try Fedora Core 3, formaly Red hat. This is ok, but not as nice as SuSE or as fast as Gentoo.

All three can be installed from a "live CD" that caan be downloaded from their sites

SuSE:
http://www.novell.com/products/linuxprofessional/downloads/suse_linux/

(it costs. but I am sure you can find "other ways")

Fedora:

http://fedora.redhat.com/

Gentoo:

http://www.gentoo.org/

Buzzons
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Linux, is it for everbody?

I agree with buzz ! im running suse 9.2 personal on one of my other systems a pIII with 384 ram

its a breaze to set up and to use also it looks much nicer than xp, ( i wish i could port all the icons over )

i would recommend suse or possibly mandrake if your starting out with linux, my personal preference is suse though its really nice to use and 9.2 now supports wireless and bluetooth among other things although ive not tested these yet

there are also many resource and help sites also linux forums available to you should you need any info or help with whichever flavour you choose
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Linux, is it for everbody?

I have heard that the latest `Linux Format` has Suse on the cover disk.
(I must give SuSe a try myself.)

http://slax.linux-live.org/ makes a great first Linux, you do not even have to install it, as it runs from the CD.

Also the evaluation version of http://www.lycoris.com/ is worth a look. Very easy installation, and only a single CD to download.

Chilly
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Linux, is it for everbody?

Quote
I have heard that the latest `Linux Format` has Suse on the cover disk


Yes it does ! its also on pc format too amongst others

Quote
(I must give SuSe a try myself.)


chilly you must give 9.2 a go its real nice to use and all the little niggles of 9.1 have been ironed out, looks great too Cheesy
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Linux, is it for everbody?

Some options to think about, thanks guys.
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Linux, is it for everbody?

If you are more security minded, you should tree FreeBSD (or OpenBSD if you want to run your box as a firewall Wink) but this is a bit more advanced than the aformentioned linux distro's.

Personaly I love Gentoo, due to how its made and the great documentation there is on it located on their home site. It will tell you everything you need to know from installing upto adding more users etc.
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Linux, is it for everbody?

You can find basic information about all Linux distributions at distrowatch.com, but they highlight the top 10 (plus FreeBSD) to help you choose. Wink

I've used Red Hat (before Fedora Core came out), but now I'm using Mandrake. The main reason I like Mandrake is the support provided by www.mandrakeusers.org, an unofficial site which welcomes newbies and non-geeks.
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Linux, is it for everbody?

tbh gentoo is teh best, the package manager is second to none (the way you get and instal apps) it is always on the forfront of the newest apps so you never have to wait long to get your fave updated Cheesy, this is the main reason i like it, however there are others such as the way you can compile from source within gentoo (including gentoo its self if you wish) quite easily to suit the CPU that you are using to optimise the code
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Linux, is it for everbody?

I went the Fedora 3 route so thought I'd chip in with some support for that suggestion. As well as all the web resources I'd recommend the pocket guide to Linux as a good, old fashioned book to keep handy!

I've got it running on a 4 year old laptop. I wouldn't advice sticking it on anything less than a 4GB disk though.

Good luck

Chris
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Linux, is it for everbody?

Just to update.
I ended up with Fedora.
Installed with no problems
Quite a learning curve though
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

Linux, is it for everbody?

Quote
The main reason I like Mandrake is the support provided by www.mandrakeusers.org, an unofficial site which welcomes newbies and non-geeks.

Before changing from dialup to Broadband, I used MDK10 but I've had to go back to WinBloat because I can't get my BT Voyager 105 USB modem to work with Mandrake Sad
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Linux, is it for everbody?

Don't forget MEPIS - it's great for beginners and you can try it out on your computer before you install it (it runs from the CD). Since its Debian-based, package management is - I would say - about as powerful as Gentoo, and as quick as RPM.

In other words, it's good.

I use Gentoo though.
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Linux, is it for everbody?

Suse 9.3 Pro

Amazing