View Full Version : Which Linux to use!
12-26-2002, 08:48 PM
Hello all. I've got 2 60G drives, the first drive is partitioned as C: for XP Pro and E: for Data. The second drive is partitioned as H: for disc images, J: my XP swap file partition and K: which is now empty. All partitions from all drives are formated as NTFS. Is it possible to install some flavor of Linux on my K: partion which is aprox 20G in size? What flavor of Linux would you reccomend for a total Linux virgin as myself?
12-26-2002, 09:37 PM
Hi MowerManEd and welcome to BBF :)
Shouldn't be a problem to install a Linux distro to the partition you have in mind.
Mandrake is generally reckoned to the the most newbie-friendly and V9.0 can be downloaded from Here (http://www.linuxiso.org/).
It's also comparitively easy to install.
Create your CD's from the d/l ISO's and boot from the first one. When prompted, select the partition you wish to install Mandrake to and it will be formatted for Linux.
Choose either Grub or Lilo as your boot-loader during install and it should configure automatically.
Any more info needed, more knowledgeable folks than myself reside here. Good luck.
12-26-2002, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the quick reply and the helpful link. After having a quick look at the link I think I'll go with Mandrake for no other reason than there seems to be less to download. Even though I have a cable modem it'll still take some time to DL everything. Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be back here often with some "real" problems soon.
12-26-2002, 10:51 PM
After a lot of hummin and hawwin and checkin things out I went with Mandrake 9.0 too and have been very impressed with it.
If you are new to Linux, the only other distrubutions I would even consider outside of Mandrake are Red Hat and SuSe.
12-27-2002, 03:48 AM
Yep, get your feet wet with Mandrake, then feel free to try Red Hat. :)
12-27-2002, 09:27 PM
When Mandrake 8.0 came out I tried to install it to my Win 2000 machine but couldn't get past the configuration of my graphics card and/or monitor at the time so I gave up. The card was an ATI Rage 128 as I recall that was detected without any problems and a generic monitor.
Now I've got a new system with XP Pro and an ATI 7500 card feeding a Cornea 17" LCD flat screen and it seems the old penquin has it in for me again. This time I've trying Mandrake 9.0 and I started to install using the recomended method and all was going really well until I got to the screen that stated I had a Radeon graphics card and wanted to know if I wanted 16 or 32 bit color. The default choice was 16 but I chose 32. I press OK and it does it's test and my monitor goes black and goes into power saving mode and never comes back. I figure hey, it must not like 32 bit color so I start over and the next time I chose 16 bit. I figure everything will be just honk-e-dorey but the same thing happens again. Was I just not meant to use Linux or what?
I know that Linux has a learning curve, but it makes it kinda tuff to learn when you can't even see the screen!
12-27-2002, 10:26 PM
I've encountered that prob before. Skip the video test. It should be OK then. Haven't a clue why, it just is.
12-29-2002, 10:05 AM
Well, I'm now an expert on installing Mandrake 9.0. It doesn't work, but I've got the installation down perfect! I keep reinstalling and changing my choices trying to find the combination that will work with my video card and monitor. I went to my monitors webswite and it states to use the generic settings for anything other than Windows. I choose "generic 1280x1024" and "Radeon for my video card". I boot up and get to the signin screen and after signing in I type in KDE and this is what the screen looks like (see attached image). Should I try choosing another video choice? Say, maybe a Radeon 8500 (even though I have a Radeon 7500)
12-29-2002, 10:13 AM
Are you by chance using the latest final release of Mandrake 9.0? I have a ATI Radeon 7200 and when I first installed Mandrake, I tried Mandrake 8.2 and it was a no go. Either my mobo wasn't supported or my vidcard. I didn't even get to install config screen. So I downloaded Mandrake 9 beta 2 and everything installed without a hitch.
12-29-2002, 10:26 AM
Yes, I just downloaded the ISO 2 days ago.
12-29-2002, 03:20 PM
Boy do I know that bug! linux distro's all seem to have problems with vid cards. I have Suse 8.1 pro on a system here at work to play with. Basically, would just boot to command line, and had network card failures.
So the bottom line fix is to logon as root, and run xf86config, and get down to the section on video... you should also note your monitor capabiliteis as far as vertical refresh rate and horizontal refresh rate, you will be configuring your enitre system in here. selected a generic vesa card, safe settings, etc and that resolved the problems. And this is on a older, supposedly natively supported video chipset.
This is just a rough idea of what may resolve your problems, since I am runnign a different distro, might not fix yours.
But it can;t get any worse, so poke around!
12-29-2002, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the encoragment. Let me see if I can get this straight. First, after the screen goes to black and I get the blinking cursor for my login I enter my user name and password and then I type in xf86config and hit enter. Will that get me to a screen that is anything other than black? You say I'll be able to configure my system from there, I sure hope so. At this point I'm about ready to go buy stock in MS (hahaha). Thanks again.
12-29-2002, 04:49 PM
well, I am far from a linux guru. but it looks like you're ending up
at a command prompt, asking for a logon.
When you setup linux, you should have setup a root password,
that is the id and pw you will use. (basically the admin password)
When you enter xf86config, you will have a text based configurator for your hardware. it will go thru in sequence, asking for details about mouse, keyboard, monitor timings, then the vesa setup, then color depth, screens (which is where you setup your color depth and screen size ).
it is a very basic configuration system. Depending on your machine, you might have more things to setup.
I strongly suggest you use generic vesa tho, it should work. mu distro doesn;t even list the ati 8700, so it isn;t selectable.
Even if I select my trio32/64/64v+ whic is listed, it doens;t work right. But it works fine with the vesa driver.
12-29-2002, 05:29 PM
So far I'm 0 for 2. Tried configuring with xf86config two times but the old penquin didn't like either/any of my choices. I don't think I'd be so ticked off if it weren't for the fact that the same thing happened to me with my last system when I tried to load Mandrake 8.0, it's like I'm cursed. I guess I'll just keep trying. It's so much easier now that you told me about the xf86config option. Before I was rebooting into XP, then deleteing the linux partitions with Partition Magaic, then doing a complete reinstall of linux just so I could get back to the setup for the monitor. I'll keep you up to date on my failures/success. Many Thanks.
12-29-2002, 06:11 PM
Try selecting a lower resolution, 16bit.
01-15-2003, 06:44 AM
After trying umpteen times to get Mandrake 9.0 to work I gave up on it and then tried Knopix 3.1, then Lycoris, then Slackware. All recognized my vid card and monitor and installed without a hitch. I then decided to try Red Hat 8.2 and it installed like a breeze. So far I like Red Hat the best of all I've tried. Had just a tad of a problem getting my internet up and running because my box originally had my cable connection through the motherboard but I now have an Ethernet card. Red hat saw 2 Ethernets and didn't know which to use. The original on the motherboard doesn't work thanks to a lightning strike but it is still recognized and I didn't know which was which because they both use the same drivers. Anyway, I got it sorted out and am looking forward to learning more about this OS. Thanks to all for the help so far.
01-15-2003, 06:47 AM
I thought you'd like Red Hat. :D
It's my fav so far.
01-15-2003, 11:49 AM
By the way, if your video card works in redhat, slackware, knoppix etc. it can be made to work in Mandrake also. You were simply misconfigured. Basic functionality for Radeon cards can be achieved simply by using the "ati" driver (e.g. if you were to choose Rage 128 from the list of card definitions and get all the other configuration questions right). From your screen capture, it looks like the monitor settings were incorrect.
For that matter, you can install binary drivers from ATI nowadays if you want...
rpm -i fglr200-glc22-4.2.0-1.4.3.i586.rpm
Use --force if it complains.
After that, use the supplied fglrxconfig utility and answer the questions. (see install.txt)
Now, if your card worked in slackware with no configuration, it is only because slackware uses the vesa frame buffer X server by default (fact... not guessing here) and you got lucky in that it works for you. It has NEVER worked for me, I have to configure XFree86 correctly for my card and monitor.
Oh, and also, you may not be able start KDE by typing kde in all distributions you must use the startkde command, or simply let the session manager start it. (e.g. start the system in runlevel 5, change to runlevel 5 with init 5 or type kdm). It depends greatly on what "kde" is... it could be a symbolic link to the correct program, in which case it would work.
01-15-2003, 01:53 PM
I was afraid you'd reply to this post and dazzle me with your knowledge.(LOL) The first part of your reply I will print out and study tonight. As for KDE..... it starts (as far as I know) by itsself when I log in. I had it configured for Gnome and it workd too but I like the looks and feel of KDE. My next challenge will be to get either my HP laserjet 1000 or my Canon S900 to print. I have not a clue as to how to do this but I'll poke around and see what I can come up with before I start whining for help.
By the way, I don't know why everyone is so afraid to try Linux. After messing around trying the different distros over the last week I've come to the conclusion that if you just go slow and read the instructions it's pretty simple. But then again, maybe I'm just getting lucky in my old age!
01-15-2003, 02:44 PM
Printer Configuration (Redhat 8) (www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-8.0-Manual/getting-started-guide/ch-printconf.html)
If I ever tell you to RTFM, I'll usually at least tell you where the "fine manual" is :hat:
Your HP Laserjet printer shouldn't be a problem. Canon shit will be iffy though. (S900... is that a digital camera?)
01-15-2003, 05:16 PM
(S900... is that a digital camera?)
Nope, it's a Photo Printer. Thanks for the link, I'm off to study.
01-15-2003, 06:32 PM
It might be possible to get that printer working in some capacity (the S900).
I found one commercial printing subsystem that supports it, called Turboprint. This is not "free software" by any means, but they do have a free edition for personal use that you can download and install.
01-15-2003, 07:26 PM
Thanks Grogan. I'll give it a looksee. Concerning the LaserJet 1000.........looks like it is strictly a Windows laser. According to HP support site the only way I can get it to work with Linux is to run it through a Windows machine on the system and under the DOS driver. That doesn't bother me too much bcause I really wanted to get the color inkjet working in the first place. So I'll check out the site you reccomended. Many Thanks
01-15-2003, 07:42 PM
Well I can at least get my pictures into the computer through Linux, even if I can't print them (yet). I've got an Olympus 3000Z which is supported and recognized in RH 8.2
01-15-2003, 07:49 PM
Well, shitsticks and gravy. My condolences on the LaserJet 1000.
01-15-2003, 07:54 PM
Way cool, on the camera. Good luck with that Turboprint. I've not heard of it before, but it looks good on the web site.
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