Re: Interested in Linux
From: J.O. Aho (user_at_example.net)
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 18:56:47 +0100
Rich Phillips wrote:
> I'm a modestly experienced PC user who has an older P-III class (30 gig
> drive) machine that I'm thinking of setting up as a household machine with
> Linux so I can stop worrying about viruses. Problem is, the packaging on the
> versions I've looked at in stores is not very comprehensive in telling me
> exactly what I'm getting..
> If I buy an off-the shelf package (such as Red Hat) will I find the
> installation and use procedures to be understandable?
Yes, as long as you don't select Gentoo or a linux distro for server use, it
will quite stright forward how to install Linux.
As I don't know what kind of internet connection you have, I could suggest you
to download the Linux distro from the net, as you usually only find old
versions of Linux at the stores. If you favor RedHat, then you should look at
Fedora which is the new name they use for the homeuser version of their Linux.
> Does it hav to install from Windows, or could I just use the Linux to run
> the whole machine with no DOS partition?
You boot from the Linux CDs, you will have all the tools you need to fix the
partitions, most distros allows you to be so lazy that you let the Linux fix
everything for you.
> Also, will there be drivers for my CD, DVD, modem, etc. with the package, or
> will I have to download them from Web sites?
The main problem may be winmodems (PCI card based modems), if you have an
external modem you will be safe. Check www.linmomdems.org for futher information.
There are som 3rd party devices that don't have their drivers included into
the linux distros, but those are few, most used of thise are the nVidia
graphics card driver. But you don't need that one if you won't use opengl.
Then there are some odd hardwares that is supported in linux, but not all
distros includes that driver in their default kernel, in those few cases you
may need to build a new kernel or module.
In most cases you will get everything you need with the linux distro and don't
have to do any tweaking.
> Thanks for the pointers.
There are a but enemity between different distros, and as you wrote RedHat,
you will be adviced to use this or that distro instead as those persons thinks
that the one they use is the best (not all of them have seen RedHat). The
absolutly best thing is to try yourself different distros, of coruse that will
take time and may not be what you want to spend yor first months with linux.
A good thing is to read and see which distros may give you what you need. Two
good sites with information about different distros are www.linuxiso.org
(links where to download too) and www.linux.org.
When you have installed linux and want to find new programs, then you have
http://freshmeat.net which has a large database over opensource projects and
links to their homepages and where to download the source code and so on.