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Lots of Linux Questions

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Lots of Linux Questions

After having a break from Linux, I am again using Ubuntu (installed via Wubi on D partition) and am getting on better now. I seem to have a bit more patience now and am going to try to stick with it and gain experience.  A few questions though and hope that it isn't too much:
1 Wireless Card:  
Following advice from someone on my previous thread I am planning to change the wireless card in my laptop so that I can use it wirelessly (Ubuntu will not work with Fujitsu SiS 163u).
Please could someone advise which one to get? If possible, would like to put it in myself but would need a bit of advice.
2 Choice of distro for low spec machine
Also been trying live CDs of Mint, Xubuntu and PCLinuxOS. Am going to use one on someone's very low spec old computer and have read up - says that Xubuntu is good for this purpose. Installed RAM is 256 MB - is this a good choice or should I stick with PCLinuxOS?
Love the lovely green desktop of Mint and they all have good points so it's just a case of using the best one for the purpose.
Would like to choose from the above selection and not download anymore for the time being as I will get a bit confused.
3 Updates
Have downloaded all the updates for Ubuntu - how often should I check for more please?
4 Security
Have done the ufw terminal bit and enabled firewall so is that it? (wondered if there was anything else to do).
Also, should I install Avast? The computer has Kaspersky on the Windows partition.
4 Rhythmnbox
How do you get this to play an audio CD? I put one in and could only play it from the browser with the DVD player.I brought up the Rhythm thingy and pressed play - nothing. The CD didn't appear in the player dialogue box either.
Hope that you Linux lads don't mind so many questions - the one that I would like to get fixed first is the wireless one.
20 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 257
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

1. what format? Usb/pci/pci express/ISA?Huh
2. Any of them, depends on the spec of the machine, I run Mint on a 700Mhz Ibm laptop with 512Mb, any less than that and I would recommend you look at XFCE (an alternative light desktop, which can be installed from the package manger, then when you boot choose the Options on Log in and change session to xfce)
3. It will automatically check for updates and tell you when they are available (Ubuntu/Mint not sure of PcLinux)
4. I don't even run UFW, but then I am behind a Linux firewall machine, it should be all you need to do unless you need to open ports. I wouldn't bother with any AV s/w I have run Linux for over 2 years now without a singe virus/malware, (wish I could say that about the virtual XP box I have) 99.9% of all virii are M$ specific, and the only "live" Linux ones require you to GIVE them permission to run  Grin
4a. Do you have more than one cd drive? If so it may be that it is looking at the wrong one.
Not applicable

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Thank you for the info. With regards to the wireless adaptor I was thinking of changing the one inside the computer but I can see that if I get a USB one it would be much easier and quite cheap. What do you think would be the best thing to do?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

an autoupdate feature has recently been added to the pclinuxos repository.  use synaptic to install it and it will inform when updates are available.  i don't use it.  i check every once in a while to see if updates are available, mark them for installation and let synaptic get on with it.
automatic updates were a bane with windows when they arrived just as i was at my peak hours limit.  i prefer to choose the time my updates get installed.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

1. Intel wifi cards are well supported by Ubuntu. I use an Intel Pro2200 mini PCI card in my Dell laptop.
2. Xubuntu or similar is probably a good choice. Xubuntu uses the XFCE desktop, which is fairly lightweight. For an even lighter option, try <a href="http://www.puppylinux.org/">Puppy Linux</a>.
3. As others have said, it will do it automatically. At least, it will notify you that updates are available, and give you the chance to see what they are and how big the download is before going ahead.
4. No AV necessary. if you regularly forward emails from Windows users to other Windows users it might be worth installing ClamAV just to help protect them. Your router probably has a firewall already. By default, Ubuntu disables all incoming ports, so whilst it doesn't run a firewall, it is not really necessary.
err, 4. not sure. Could be a lack of codecs, but then the browser wouldn't have played it. Try a different media player? Totem is normally the default one - does that work?
Not applicable

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Thank you for your kind help and advice Denzil. I have taken the laptop to my local computer repair shop today. The first one said to get a PCMCiA Express card from eBay (didn't want a USB dongle).  Not happy about this as it mightn't have worked then I would be stuck with it. The owner of the second shop has kept the laptop and is going to put a new wireless card in - I did mention that Intel worked fine with Ubuntu on my Dell laptop. Should be fetching it tomorrow so am looking forward to that. If it comes back working OK I am going to remove Ubuntu (it is running with Wubi), increase the size of the D partition and install Mint properly so fingers crossed that I don't mess it up. The only thing that I get panicked about is the mbr/boot problems that sometimes occur so I am really hoping that this doesn't happen.
Thanks for the vote of confidence re: Xubuntu. Have shown her the Ubuntu desktop, configured to emulate her Windows one as close as possible and she is giving it some thought.
Security advice also appreciated - it's great not to have all the paraphernalia that goes with Windows.
For some reason I am getting to grips with the system more this time round and intend to stick with it, particularly for Internet use. Am hoping to use it most of the time and hopefully will not be purchasing Windows 7.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Your most welcome, Poppy. Linux does do some things differently to Windows, but it is usually just a question of getting used to it. I'm forced to use Vista at work, and I find that more complicated than Ubuntu. I can't remember what it was now, but I had to do a simple task on Vista recently that needed me to use the command prompt to do it the old fashioned way!
MBR problems are fairly rare these days, as Linux installers are generally pretty good. Possibly the biggest problem is Windows - if you reinstall Windows it will merrily scribble all over the MBR and prevent access to any other OS. 
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,976
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

The only reason for installing any kind of anti-virus on a Linux machine would be to protect any Windows PC's that communicate with the Linux machine.
I don't bother.
Ubuntu has always(?) had an optional "check for updates" - you can set it to notify you or auto-install.

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Quote from: poppy
The first one said to get a PCMCiA Express card from eBay (didn't want a USB dongle).  Not happy about this as it mightn't have worked then I would be stuck with it.

I just got a linksys pmcia card off ebay £5.00 delivered. It was like new and works great.Smiley
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Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Wish you'd posted a bit earlier Santiago. Never mind, I'm fetching the lappie today and the job's not costing all that much. If he's not found a card to suit will look on eBay.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

If you do end up looking on ebay ensure the card is suitable for wap security. Some of the older cards are wep only. Many of the people selling the card don't know or fail to list  detail specs. I checked the specs on the manufacturers site before bidding.
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Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Just an update re: wireless. Couldn't get an internal card to go so looked around the web but it's a /34 Express card that I want and it was all confusing.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I have bought a USB dongle from LinuxEmporium purely because the chap there said that it would definitely work and I didn't want to risk buying something that wouldn't.
Have now got Ubuntu on my own laptop under Wubi and this one is working wirelessly. Managed to install the Java Iced Tea thingy and set up the firewall. Unfortunately, don't think that I have it set right because it blocked Internet so switched it off and will have another look tomorrow.
For some odd reason I am really liking this OS  it now - such a challenge finding things out. I even like the Ubuntu brown because it is not like Windows.
Going to install Mint properly on the D partition of the other laptop tomorrow after removing Wubi.
Thank you for the help and advice.
PS Want to put Thunderbird on this Ubuntu installation so if anyone is reading and can tell me how it would save a lot of searching.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Look in the application menu. Add/Remove
You will find Thunderbird there, in the Internet folder. Just mark it and it will be installed.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,976
Thanks: 265
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Quote from: poppy
Managed to install the Java Iced Tea thingy and set up the firewall. Unfortunately, don't think that I have it set right because it blocked Internet so switched it off and will have another look tomorrow.

Since (by default) your machine isn't loaded with any active server software, firewalls become much less important.
The basic firewall + NAT in your router should be sufficient, provided you don't plan on operating web servers, FTP servers etc.

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Re: Lots of Linux Questions

Thunderbird installed and working - thanks for advice. Will leave firewall for now.