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Opinions wanted as to Linux on home computer

Posted on 07/26/2004 9:07:32 AM PDT by job

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To: ezoeni

LOL...Yeah, my twelve year old neighbor told me that too. I'm an old mechanic, not a computer whiz. I'll stick with Windows and leave Linux to you younger and brighter guys!


21 posted on 07/26/2004 9:52:03 AM PDT by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
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To: Chesterbelloc
Is it pretty easy to set up a dual boot?

There's an application that came with Red Hat that gives you an OS choice at boot. This has been a while ago, so I'm hazy on details. It worked fine until I accidentally messed up a driver or something, so that Linux wouldn't boot. At that point, I couldn't get it to boot anything, because this little application sat at some very low-level place and intercepted my boot attempts.

What I ended up doing was keeping Windows and Linux on separate drives (let's face it - how many more or less useless 500 meg or 4 gig drives do you have in a drawer somewhere? They're fine for Linux) and booting to the Linux side, as desired, off a floppy.

The neat thing is, Linux can read MS-DOS-formatted drives, so I could store all my big, clumsy data on the big DOS drive, and just keep my programs on the little Linux drive.

22 posted on 07/26/2004 10:01:35 AM PDT by prion (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM the spelling police)
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To: job
It really depends on what software you are running. I maintain a dozen computers for various friends, family and relatives. Half of them Windows, a quarter Linux, a quarter MAC OS X.

For those who want basic web, email and document handling, a Linux setup is more stable, just as easy to use (I recommend SuSE), lower cost, and fewer hastles with security, virus and pop-up problems.
23 posted on 07/26/2004 10:17:26 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow (I was humble, before I was born. -- J Frondeur Kerry)
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To: Chesterbelloc; prion
I set up dual boots by installing Windows first and get it running the way you want, then change that HDD to be a slave, and installing Linux on a new master drive. I put the bootloader (usually GRUB) on the MBR of the Linux drive and set up an entry to point to the Windows drive.

Works like a charm every time. When you boot up Windows, it doesn't see the Linux drive at all, keeping your linux install safe, and Linux can read the windows drive very well. The new 2.6 kernal can even write to NTFS partitions now.

24 posted on 07/26/2004 10:53:58 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: job
I am having trouble even get started installing the software.

You do not mention what hardware you are trying to install this on. RH won't install on hardware that is too slow these days. For instance, the installer won't run on my Pentium 120 that I use as a firewall.

Also, do you actually mean Red Hat, or do you mean Fedora? I would try Fedora (from the Red Hat site), if you are trying to install RH 9.0.

25 posted on 07/26/2004 11:06:39 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; job
I would agree. Knoppix is a great way to learn how to use Linux with out installing anything. It comes with WINE already installed. I was able to play/use any windows files like music and videos. I didn't try opening any excel or Word files. I'll try that next. I could see everything on my HD that has Win2000 on it.
26 posted on 07/26/2004 11:32:01 AM PDT by neb52
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To: ShadowAce; prion

Thanks! I have quite a few old small hard drives lying around and I never even thought about using them. I'll install one of the them and put linux on it. I got the Mandrake version of linux because I heard it was easier to get configured. All I really need to do at this point is create a linux build of a game I'm making.


27 posted on 07/26/2004 11:41:11 AM PDT by Chesterbelloc
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To: neb52; E. Pluribus Unum; job
I third that.

Knoppix (or one of these other Linux distributions) is a knice way to knoodle around with Linux without committing to it.

If you later want to install Knoppix on your hard drive, here are some tips.

28 posted on 07/26/2004 1:34:40 PM PDT by martin_fierro (Zydecodependent.)
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To: MediaMole

That is correct.


29 posted on 07/26/2004 3:02:17 PM PDT by job ("God is not dead nor doth He sleep")
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To: job
It all depends on what you do with the computer, if youre just a browse and mail guy linux might be worth it.. if you use digital cameras, scanners, and the like best stick with windows.

what specifically are you having trouble with?

30 posted on 07/28/2004 1:33:48 PM PDT by N3WBI3
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To: job

Red Hat isn't a favorite these days. Suse, Mandrake or Debian seem to be quite popular, better supported and more usable.

If you just want to test the Linux waters, download Knoppix and boot from a CD (save your config and files on a USB key or USB hard drive). OpenOffice and a couple web browsers, as well as lots of other software, are included.

I find it interesting that on my laptop OpenOffice for Linux opens faster from my Knoppix CD than OpenOffice for Windows does off the hard drive.


31 posted on 07/28/2004 1:40:54 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: neb52
I didn't try opening any excel or Word files. I'll try that next.

OpenOffice on Knoppix opened all my Word and Excel files perfectly, but then I don't exactly have any overly complicated documents that use all the Microsoft bells and whistles.

32 posted on 07/28/2004 1:44:21 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: job
I use FreeBSD as a "desktop replacement" for users who really only need a web browser, a mail client, and a word processor. FreeBSD differs from linux in how it is licensed, and a bunch of subtle distinctions that only matter to a geek -- otherwise it's just another free alternative to Microsoft that can run on the same hardware.

You can try FreeBSD out without risking your system by burning a bootable FreeSBIE boot CD. Basically, you download a CD image, burn it to a blank CD, then reboot.

If your PC is set to boot from CD-ROM, it will boot into FreeBSD. You can try it out, and if you don't like it, eject the CD, reboot, and you're back in Windows (or Linux) with no harm done and no lasting effect on your computer.

33 posted on 07/28/2004 10:25:24 PM PDT by Nonesuch (Unix for the paranoid: http://www.openbsd.org/)
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To: job

Obtain a reasonably powered used computer. Pentium II or III's work well. The more generic the better. Barebones and low cost kit computers work well also due to their generic nature. A hard drive with at least 2 gigs (laughable by today's standards), a BIOS capable of booting from a CD or alternately a 3.5 inch floppy drive, and a reasonable amount of RAM. Download your Slackware 10.0 iso file and burn to disk. Read the installation instructions on the CD and print them for reference. Boot the CD or optionally from the floppy boot images on your future linux box and follow the menu driven installation. After you've formatted the drive, created your filesystem, installed everything you want from the CD, and have written the boot information to the master boot record, remove the media, and reboot from the hard drive. Watch those wonderful boot messages scroll by. Log in as root. Start perusing your new file system. Look for something called "HOWTO" files in /usr/doc/ and use the program "less" to read them. They will be your bibles for a while. The program "man" is the basic help system, and the familiar DOS commands for filesystem navigation and manipulation (cd mkdir rmdir) work as usual, except del is now called rm and dir is now ls. Each evening after you tire of freeping, log into your linux box and learn more. A book or two from the library on unix works wonders. The more inquisitive you are, the faster you will learn. Disregard comments regarding lack of available software, unfit for the desktop and other mid-nineties mantras. That is the way grasshopper.


34 posted on 08/11/2004 1:59:11 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

three-day-weekend do-I-really-want-to-try-this bookmark.


35 posted on 09/03/2004 4:21:03 PM PDT by LearnsFromMistakes (In newspaper spell-checkers, why is 'liberal' always spelled 'm-o-d-e-r-a-t-e'?)
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To: job
Definately take it for a testdrive and form your own opinions. After some time of skepticism, I downloaded a version that can be booted right from a CD, without affecting your windows. It is called "Penguin Sleuth", and can be found at http://www.linux-forensics

This will give you a chance to use it without committing. I for one popped it in and was immediately impressed. Next weekend, I will be installing either Red Hat or Mandrake completely.

36 posted on 10/25/2004 9:36:44 AM PDT by dware (Go then. There are other worlds than these.)
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To: job
I multiple boot WinXP Home edition, SuSE Linux 9.0, QNX, and BeOS. SuSE is really easy to install if you use a store bought disk. I installed it off of the web for free, which is more complex, but not super hard, but not for PC novices. You can also try it with a bootable CD.

Of course the main question is why? Why do I do it? Because I can. ;^) I use Linux as a back up really to surf, e-mail, etc. But with OpenOffice, you can do just about anything you can with MS Office. I also use OpenOffice with Windows. If you want games, Quicken, etc, then linux is not quite as user friendly.
37 posted on 10/25/2004 9:44:23 AM PDT by machman
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