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Linux for beginners;)...

 
 
tony sayer
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      09-08-2008

Any suggestions to a straightforward Linux install for a beginner?. One
of my offspring has inherited an old PC ( 1 Ghz AMD) and would like to
learn how Linux works etc?.

Well not exactly how it ticks, just to gain some experience with it!..

--
Tony Sayer

 
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Paul
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      09-08-2008
tony sayer wrote:
> Any suggestions to a straightforward Linux install for a beginner?. One
> of my offspring has inherited an old PC ( 1 Ghz AMD) and would like to
> learn how Linux works etc?.
>
> Well not exactly how it ticks, just to gain some experience with it!..
>


I have a copy of Knoppix (knopper.net) and Ubuntu (ubuntu.com)
and those are examples of LiveCD distributions. You can boot
them, using the CD, and not install any files on the hard
drive. You have immediate access to a Linux desktop. Temporary
files are kept in RAM. So I can even unplug all hard drives,
if I want to.

That gives an opportunity to test, without installing anything.
(This mode has many annoying features, but it will quickly tell
you what Linux is like.) I recommend a good quantity of RAM, if
you want to use mainly GUI based programs. Linux does not
necessarily handle low memory situations well (there are some
configuration options to change that, but it took me a couple
years to learn they were available, and I'm still not sure
the alternative settings are any better).

To me, the handling of low memory is the most apparent limitation,
as it has caused me to lose more than one session booted
into Linux. In one case, Xwindows (display subsystem) crashed
(so I lose GUI control), and in the other, the OS got into a loop
trying to free memory, while a greedy package manager
went nuts asking for more memory. Rather than the package
manager dying gracefully, the two of them basically froze the machine
so I couldn't do anything to correct the situation. (While there
are always ways to engineer a setup, so that stuff like this
doesn't happen, the problem is predicting what tools are going
to foul up, and in which particular way.)

If you're serious about the usage of Linux, I'd recommend owning
two computers. When the Linux box goes nuts, you can telnet into
it via Ethernet, and whack the errant process upside the head. We
used to do that regularly at work, with Unix machines running
Xwindows. So if you planned to do serious work, then before doing
anything, you'd want to make sure that some flavor of telnet and
friends, was operational. By default, the Linux distros will
probably be set up in a secure way, so adding remote
communications will take some reading and effort.

No matter what you do in Linux, it takes the whole day to set it up

Have fun,
Paul
 
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Paul
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-08-2008
tony sayer wrote:
> Any suggestions to a straightforward Linux install for a beginner?. One
> of my offspring has inherited an old PC ( 1 Ghz AMD) and would like to
> learn how Linux works etc?.
>
> Well not exactly how it ticks, just to gain some experience with it!..
>


I have a copy of Knoppix (knopper.net) and Ubuntu (ubuntu.com)
and those are examples of LiveCD distributions. You can boot
them, using the CD, and not install any files on the hard
drive. You have immediate access to a Linux desktop. Temporary
files are kept in RAM. So I can even unplug all hard drives,
if I want to.

That gives an opportunity to test, without installing anything.
(This mode has many annoying features, but it will quickly tell
you what Linux is like.) I recommend a good quantity of RAM, if
you want to use mainly GUI based programs. Linux does not
necessarily handle low memory situations well (there are some
configuration options to change that, but it took me a couple
years to learn they were available, and I'm still not sure
the alternative settings are any better).

To me, the handling of low memory is the most apparent limitation,
as it has caused me to lose more than one session booted
into Linux. In one case, Xwindows (display subsystem) crashed
(so I lose GUI control), and in the other, the OS got into a loop
trying to free memory, while a greedy package manager
went nuts asking for more memory. Rather than the package
manager dying gracefully, the two of them basically froze the machine
so I couldn't do anything to correct the situation. (While there
are always ways to engineer a setup, so that stuff like this
doesn't happen, the problem is predicting what tools are going
to foul up, and in which particular way.)

If you're serious about the usage of Linux, I'd recommend owning
two computers. When the Linux box goes nuts, you can telnet into
it via Ethernet, and whack the errant process upside the head. We
used to do that regularly at work, with Unix machines running
Xwindows. So if you planned to do serious work, then before doing
anything, you'd want to make sure that some flavor of telnet and
friends, was operational. By default, the Linux distros will
probably be set up in a secure way, so adding remote
communications will take some reading and effort.

No matter what you do in Linux, it takes the whole day to set it up

Have fun,
Paul
 
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Baron
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-08-2008
tony sayer wrote:

>
> Any suggestions to a straightforward Linux install for a beginner?.
> One of my offspring has inherited an old PC ( 1 Ghz AMD) and would
> like to learn how Linux works etc?.
>
> Well not exactly how it ticks, just to gain some experience with it!..


Download some live CD's. These run from the CD without installing
anything to the hard disk. "www.Opensuse.org" is one place to get an
iso of a live CD. You will need a minimum of 512Mb of ram to play with
this.

There are distributions that will run in 64Mb or less, like DSL "Dam
Small Linux" but require some knowledge and patience to get along with.

I would describe Linux distributions like Icecream ! It comes in many
different flavours. You need to sample some to see which one(s) you
like.

Google "Linux Distributions" ! Take your choice.

If its any help I started with "Slackware" on a CD bound into a book
that I was given as a gift more than ten years ago. I remember that it
took me several months to get to the point where I had a working
machine. But don't be put of by me telling you that ! Linux
distributions today are so easy to install and use that most of the
learning experience is lost.

Welcome to the light side !

--
Best Regards:
Baron.
 
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HLS
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-14-2008

"tony sayer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> Any suggestions to a straightforward Linux install for a beginner?. One
> of my offspring has inherited an old PC ( 1 Ghz AMD) and would like to
> learn how Linux works etc?.
>
> Well not exactly how it ticks, just to gain some experience with it!..


Just to, perhaps, reinforce your decision to check out Linux, I bought an
ASUS eee
which came loaded with Linux, and it has been trouble free, fast enough, and
very
easy and intuitive to use. Far exceeds my experience with Vista, which is
the dog feces
of the operating system world.

If you are going to run Linux on your older machine, certainly there will be
things that
you will have to work out, but there are some values and satisfaction to be
derived from
giving Gates/MS the independent one finger salute.

 
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