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Thinking about linux

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Thinking about linux

Im thinking about maybe giving linux (again) a try and i was looking a maybe getting the new mandriva 2007 distro
I have tried the 2006 version (ages ago) which i liked feel of but i had problems with dependencies and installation of programs, so i give up. But im willing to give it another go.
My only problem is im already dual booting with x64 and x86 xp. Im going to lose the xp x64 and keep x86, but im using raid for both of them. The last time i couldnt get the 2006 version to recognise my raid drive which only had xp x64 at the time, so i added a hard drive.
The raid controller is a Promise Fastrack 378, does it support it now?

Has anyone used mandriva 2007? or can you recommend any other distro
heres my answers from 'which linux distro'
* Built for newer computers
* Easy to use
* Installed with everything (i would like to add to it)
* One that detects your hardware for you (i know my hardware so this isnt totally nescessary)
* Packed with many choices for an application
* Full of the latest and greatest features that may take up processing power
* Binary package based
* Free from dependancy hell
* Windows/Macintosh like in GUI Nature
12 REPLIES
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Thinking about linux

I know nothing about raid, but you might try http://mandrivausers.org/. Smiley
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Thinking about linux

with all these things just get a virtual pc free from MS
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx

this way you dont have to mess with your pc and there is no danger of data loss etc.

Its ideal to try these O/S and if you dont like it you have lost nothing. When running you wouldnt know its not running on a normal pc
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Thinking about linux

I use Suse 10, which is good. Mandriva and Ubuntu are also often recommended as good places to start in Linux. Installing software can still sometimes be a pain, however. It depends how the software is packaged. Suse, for instance, uses .rpm files, which are precompiled with any required dependencies (as long as whoever packaged it did it properly!), so you just run the .rpm just as you would with a .exe in Windows. Mandriva and others use similar systems.

The .rpm needs to be compiled for each distribution of Linux, so many software developers don't bother, and only give you the source code, which you compile yourself, and potentially have to spend ages sorting out dependency problems.

The one exception to this is Linspire, where you are tied in to their own software installation system that is guaranteed to work, but you have to pay for, and may limit the amount of software that is available.

So, yes, try it, it is well worth it, but not if you want an a guaranteed easy life :?
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Thinking about linux

thanks for the responses
i think i'll give the virtual pc a go, it should let me know if a distro detects my raid, yeah?

The distros that im looking at are mandriva, suse and fedora. About 6 months ago I used ubuntu for a very short time then tried mandriva and prefered it. My problem was that i needed to update my compiler for apps i wanted (i think) and in updating it i had dependancies for the new one and i got lost at this stage. But im more determined this time plus i've learned a bit since then :? hopefully.

Mandriva supported .rpm but i couldnt find any
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Thinking about linux

Virtual PC will not help you to discover if the linux distro supports your RAID controller as it uses a 'virtual' hard drive on your already mounted RAID Array.

Details of drivers available from promise for your chipset here:

http://www.promise.com/support/download/download_eng.asp

I believe the fastrack 378 is listed as SATA300 TX2plus (please check)

For distro's not listed you may also want to scour their forums for details of drivers
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Thinking about linux

ok just thanking everyone for their replies a while ago and letting you know how i got on
i tried the virtual pc but had problems updating and with the emulation of my video card (i wanted to try compiz and beryl so this made it impossible)
so i dug out an old harddrive and installed it on that. During install Mandriva 2007 recognised my raid setup but after install it was not accessible
Setting it up was a easier this time than mandriva 2006 and i used this guide http://www.howtoforge.com/the_perfect_desktop_mandriva_free2007
Dependancies are no longer a worry as the package manager is extremely good and has a lot of programs in the repositories
I was able to install the newer nvidia driver and beryl, and although its just eye candy it can make linux fun to use
My only problem is i use my pc for a lot of gaming, Cedega and wine come installed on but not every game works and it can be a bit of a pain. But some games like doom3 have a linux installer that can be downloaded and it runs perfectly.

VMWare also lets you run a virtual machine on linux (i havent used it yet) so if i really need any xp apps that should come in handy

I would whole heartly reccommend it to anyone interested

thanks micomecca for your help and after some research i found out that the fasttrak 378 uses the same drivers as SATA150 TX2plus/TX4, and the TX4000. But there's no rpm package for mandriva and i dont know how to compile the source code, i keep getting errors. Also the source is for kernel 2.4 and im on 2.6, does this mean i shouldn't use that driver?
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Thinking about linux

I am currently sat typing this reply on a XP VM (VMWare) running on a Linux host.

It works great, login to my linux box using the WinXP user and you have windows XP. No dual booting, you choose the OS at login.

In place of the windows manager the linux login script calls rdesktop which opens a RDC connection to the XP VM.

Chilly
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

Thinking about linux

Quote
with all these things just get a virtual pc free from MS
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx

this way you dont have to mess with your pc and there is no danger of data loss etc.

Its ideal to try these O/S and if you dont like it you have lost nothing. When running you wouldnt know its not running on a normal pc

Or alternatively, take one of the many Live CD's for a spin.
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Thinking about linux

I can highly recommend PcLinuxOs. It's gaining fast in popularity and for me, worked out of the box. Known as the distro-hopper, stopper... For good reason.

http://www.pclinuxos.com
grimreality
Grafter
Posts: 74
Registered: 06-08-2007

Thinking about linux

One of the best points about linux is you do not have to dive in right away. Instead get a live cd of some distros and try them out.

I am currently running Fedora and I love it. Will be getting a SUSE box up and running as soon as I can get a new computer.

Never really like Mandriva but that is why I love linux. You have CHOICE.
The_10th
Grafter
Posts: 1,090
Registered: 08-04-2007

Thinking about linux

Mandriva has several versions with powerpack not being free. I use Ubuntu from time to time which is ok for most things but use XP for most as most of my apps work with XP. Nice to have a dual boot to eliminate OS related issues when problems occur connecting to Internet for example.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Thinking about linux

I recently installed CoLinux running Debian:

http://www.colinux.org/

works quite well (only use it for command line stuff) and runs as a Windows service so no need for dual booting and adding partitions and all that jazz.