Linux evaluation - opinions sought.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Bryan Souster, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Greetings all,

    5 years ago or so I had a look at Linux and could not find a distro that met
    my needs. It is probably about time to look again.

    The core motivation to do this is to find an MS alternative that is cheaper.
    I have 2 boxes - 1 ME 1 XP home - and initially the XP box will be the one I
    trial Linux on. I am happy to buy a distro at retail and happy to set up a
    Linux partition (I have Partition Magic 8) and install it. I am happy to go
    through a CBT-based Linux learn-to-use process that comes with the distro
    and is targeted to Windows users. If the install process fails in any way I
    want vendor support to find the solution. I am happy to invest in learning
    enough about Linux but only enough to use it. I do NOT intend to become a
    Linux tech.

    Suggestions on which distro (if any) is best targeted to these needs is
    solicited. Helpful URLs appreciated. OS religious responses discouraged :cool:

    Now a few questions:

    1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a hardware
    compatibility check?
    2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?
    3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?

    --
    Bryan Souster - reply to bas01 at clear dot net dot nz
    For acronyms (IIRC, TIA etc) visit www.acronymfinder.com for the meanings.
     
    Bryan Souster, Jan 6, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Bryan Souster

    steve Guest

    Bryan Souster allegedly said:

    > Greetings all,
    >
    > 5 years ago or so I had a look at Linux and could not find a distro that
    > met
    > my needs. It is probably about time to look again.
    >
    > The core motivation to do this is to find an MS alternative that is
    > cheaper. I have 2 boxes - 1 ME 1 XP home - and initially the XP box will
    > be the one I trial Linux on. I am happy to buy a distro at retail and
    > happy to set up a
    > Linux partition (I have Partition Magic 8) and install it. I am happy to
    > go through a CBT-based Linux learn-to-use process that comes with the
    > distro
    > and is targeted to Windows users. If the install process fails in any way
    > I
    > want vendor support to find the solution. I am happy to invest in
    > learning
    > enough about Linux but only enough to use it. I do NOT intend to become a
    > Linux tech.
    >
    > Suggestions on which distro (if any) is best targeted to these needs is
    > solicited. Helpful URLs appreciated. OS religious responses discouraged
    > :cool:
    >
    > Now a few questions:
    >
    > 1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a
    > hardware compatibility check?


    I don't know. If they do, I have not used them.

    Best way to go is install a second hard drive and install Linux on that. If
    it screws up, just boot back into Windows until you're ready to have
    another go. Provided you got the bootloader instaled OK, you'll be fine. If
    not, the NT Bootloader will likely still be there anyway.

    > 2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?


    No.

    > 3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?


    NTFS can read....but you don't want to write to it. This is because the spec
    is proprietary and what progress has been made in accessing it is due to
    reverse engineering....trial by error.

    FAT32 support is not a problem. It comes standard. Read/write - no problem.

    I can recommend the new Xandros 2.0. It's based on Debian
    "Sarge" ('testing') and is descended from Corel Linux.

    It comes with the best File manager available on any OS - and includes
    support for Windows network shares, *NIX NFS shares, thumbnails for
    graphics......and all the usual stuff.

    If you buy the Deluxe version of Xandros 2.0 it also comes with Crossover
    Office 2.1 and Crossover Plugin 2.1 from Codeweavers. These are
    implementations of WINE that have been specially optimised and tested to
    support the most popular Windows programs for running directly on Linux.
    Like MS Office, 97, 2000 or XP, as well as Adobe Photoshop, Lotus Notes 5.x
    and a many more.

    The other night, I installed MS Office XP on Xandros 2.0 via Crossover
    Office. It went on fine....and ran fine. (I never install Access, though,
    even on Windows).

    The Crossover Plugin lets me run Quicktime 6.3, Windows Media Player 6.4
    (good for general mpegs and AVIs - and lacks all the DRM additions in later
    version).

    Both Crossover Office and Crossover Plugin support a long list of Windows
    apps.

    www.xandros.com
    www.codeweavers.com

    For hardware compatibility, Xandros 2.0 is the first version of Linux which
    - out of the box - was able to flawlessly install on a dorky PCChips M810
    mobo I have with SiS chipset and integrated everything - including shared
    VRAM and RAM from the system RAM.

    I've tried a lot of distros and this - today - has to be one of the best
    around.

    Fedora Core 1.0 is good, too.....and SuSE 9.0 and Mandrake 9.1......though I
    have had minor issues with all of them. But then I have issues with WinXP,
    too....and some aren't minor.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
     
    steve, Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Bryan Souster

    E. Guest

    Bryan Souster wrote:

    > Greetings all,
    >
    > 5 years ago or so I had a look at Linux and could not find a distro that met
    > my needs. It is probably about time to look again.
    >
    > The core motivation to do this is to find an MS alternative that is cheaper.
    > I have 2 boxes - 1 ME 1 XP home - and initially the XP box will be the one I
    > trial Linux on. I am happy to buy a distro at retail and happy to set up a
    > Linux partition (I have Partition Magic 8) and install it. I am happy to go
    > through a CBT-based Linux learn-to-use process that comes with the distro
    > and is targeted to Windows users. If the install process fails in any way I
    > want vendor support to find the solution. I am happy to invest in learning
    > enough about Linux but only enough to use it. I do NOT intend to become a
    > Linux tech.
    >
    > Suggestions on which distro (if any) is best targeted to these needs is
    > solicited. Helpful URLs appreciated. OS religious responses discouraged :cool:
    >
    > Now a few questions:
    >
    > 1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a hardware
    > compatibility check?
    > 2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?
    > 3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?

    They can read it, but generally not write to NTFS.

    Try knoppix (knoppix.org) or debian.org or lindows.com (on PC mags)
    Best place to start without too much hassle is the versions of the above
    distro's which boot directly off a CD. That way, no partition hassles
    and you can work out if you like it, love it or loathe it.

    Another option is to find a Linux User Group (pub + pizza devotees....)
    and go and have a chat.
    E.
     
    E., Jan 6, 2004
    #3
  4. Bryan Souster

    AD. Guest

    On Tue, 06 Jan 2004 18:14:03 +1300, Bryan Souster wrote:

    > The core motivation to do this is to find an MS alternative that is
    > cheaper. I have 2 boxes - 1 ME 1 XP home - and initially the XP box will
    > be the one I trial Linux on. I am happy to buy a distro at retail and
    > happy to set up a Linux partition (I have Partition Magic 8) and install
    > it. I am happy to go through a CBT-based Linux learn-to-use process that
    > comes with the distro and is targeted to Windows users. If the install
    > process fails in any way I want vendor support to find the solution. I am
    > happy to invest in learning enough about Linux but only enough to use it.
    > I do NOT intend to become a Linux tech.


    I would ask why do you want to get rid of Windows (that you have already
    paid for) if you aren't prepared to put much energy into learning a new OS?

    I think you might be getting your hopes up about how much learning
    you'll be able to avoid with a completely new operating system (of any
    kind). I'm not aware of any complete CBT system aimed at Windows users
    that comes with the distro, but I could be behind the times on that.

    Like it or not, Linux is a very DIY type culture - "teach a man to
    fish..." etc.

    I'm a bit Linux fan, but I wouldn't advocate it for someone who wasn't
    keen on a learning experience.

    >
    > Suggestions on which distro (if any) is best targeted to these needs is
    > solicited. Helpful URLs appreciated. OS religious responses discouraged
    > :cool:


    I would suggest Suse or maybe Mandrake for home user support from the
    vendor and painless installation.

    But if my experience is anything to go by, it is hard for vendors to beat
    general internet support - especially with Linux. That way you could try
    out a couple of distros for free, and see which one you prefer - you could
    always buy a boxed set after that.

    Having a second computer nearby for internet research is indispensable
    IMO. You will get heartily sick of dual booting otherwise. There is plenty
    of info out there, and you will probably need to see it side by side with
    your new install.

    >
    > Now a few questions:
    >
    > 1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a
    > hardware compatibility check?


    Knoppix (a live bootable CD distro) will do that nicely, and much more -
    you'll be able to play around with a live KDE GUI and some apps without
    affecting your HD at all. It could be a useful evaluation without having
    to fork out for a distro to find out whether there is potential or not.

    You could also install Knoppix to the HD and carry on from there with
    Debian, but you wouldn't get the vendor support.

    Avoiding hardware that needs vendor supplied closed source drivers is
    usually best. You get the least hassles when the drivers are open source
    and included with the kernel or XFree86 etc.

    > 2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?


    None with the cpu itself, but what chipset and IDE controller do you have?

    > 3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?


    FAT16/32 is no problem at all. NTFS is ok for read only access, although
    the new 2.6 kernel has improved write support apparently.

    I would put aside a FAT32 partition for just transferring files back and
    forth between the two systems myself. For just transferring files to the
    Linux system, the read only NTFS support should do OK.

    Cheers
    Anton
     
    AD., Jan 6, 2004
    #4
  5. Bryan Souster

    Jax Guest

    Bryan Souster wrote:
    > Greetings all,
    >
    > 5 years ago or so I had a look at Linux and could not find a distro that met
    > my needs. It is probably about time to look again.
    >
    > The core motivation to do this is to find an MS alternative that is cheaper.
    > I have 2 boxes - 1 ME 1 XP home - and initially the XP box will be the one I
    > trial Linux on. I am happy to buy a distro at retail and happy to set up a
    > Linux partition (I have Partition Magic 8) and install it. I am happy to go
    > through a CBT-based Linux learn-to-use process that comes with the distro
    > and is targeted to Windows users. If the install process fails in any way I
    > want vendor support to find the solution. I am happy to invest in learning
    > enough about Linux but only enough to use it. I do NOT intend to become a
    > Linux tech.
    >
    > Suggestions on which distro (if any) is best targeted to these needs is
    > solicited. Helpful URLs appreciated. OS religious responses discouraged :cool:
    >
    > Now a few questions:
    >
    > 1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a hardware
    > compatibility check?
    > 2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?
    > 3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?
    >


    I generally agree with the above. I have been using Fedora for the last
    few months and generally am inpressed, but u have to do a bit of work
    intially to get MP3's, Divx, NTFS support etc to work.

    I personally think Fedora Core 2 - which might be out around March-ish?
    will be very good and fix some of the small annoying bugs. Will also
    come with 2.6 Kernel

    The Mandrake website has a HCL - Fedora picked up all my hardware just
    fine - PII 400

    You can try booting Knoppix just to have a look, but the standard Fedora
    GUI sh*ts all over Knoppix's one.

    Jax
     
    Jax, Jan 6, 2004
    #5
  6. Bryan Souster

    Brian Guest

    On Tue, 06 Jan 2004 18:14:03 +1300, Bryan Souster wrote:

    > Greetings all,
    >
    > 5 years ago or so I had a look at Linux and could not find a distro that met
    > my needs. It is probably about time to look again.
    >
    > The core motivation to do this is to find an MS alternative that is cheaper.
    > I have 2 boxes - 1 ME 1 XP home - and initially the XP box will be the one I
    > trial Linux on. I am happy to buy a distro at retail and happy to set up a
    > Linux partition (I have Partition Magic 8) and install it. I am happy to go
    > through a CBT-based Linux learn-to-use process that comes with the distro
    > and is targeted to Windows users. If the install process fails in any way I
    > want vendor support to find the solution. I am happy to invest in learning
    > enough about Linux but only enough to use it. I do NOT intend to become a
    > Linux tech.
    >
    > Suggestions on which distro (if any) is best targeted to these needs is
    > solicited. Helpful URLs appreciated. OS religious responses discouraged :cool:
    >
    > Now a few questions:
    >
    > 1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a hardware
    > compatibility check?
    > 2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?
    > 3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?


    Two commercial distros worth looking at are:

    http://www.xandros.com
    and
    http://www.libranet.com

    both are Debian based. Xandros in particular is geared towards those
    migrating from MS to Linux while still retaining the ability to install
    and run some Windows apps inside. They have just released their
    latest version.

    cheers
    BrianM



    cheers
    Brian
     
    Brian, Jan 6, 2004
    #6
  7. Bryan Souster

    steve Guest

    AD. allegedly said:

    > Like it or not, Linux is a very DIY type culture - "teach a man to
    > fish..." etc.
    >
    > I'm a bit Linux fan, but I wouldn't advocate it for someone who wasn't
    > keen on a learning experience.


    This depends on what you want to do.

    If you want to borwse, read e-mail and write letters on a word processor,
    then linux is no worse than Windows......and a lot cheaper.

    Many versions of linux are easier to install than Windows XP, too.

    Fedora Core 1.0
    Mandrake 9.x
    Xandros 2.0
    SuSE 9.0

    Any of these is easier to install than WinXP.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
     
    steve, Jan 6, 2004
    #7
  8. Bryan Souster

    steve Guest

    E. allegedly said:

    > Another option is to find a Linux User Group (pub + pizza devotees....)
    > and go and have a chat.
    > E.


    www.linux.net.nz has probably the best and most current list of LUGs in NZ.

    --
    defenestrate: The act of throwing Windows out the window and replacing it on
    your PC with some other operating system.
     
    steve, Jan 6, 2004
    #8
  9. Bryan Souster

    harry Guest

    Jax wrote:
    >
    > You can try booting Knoppix just to have a look, but the standard
    > Fedora GUI sh*ts all over Knoppix's one.
    >
    > Jax


    In what way ?
    Is it a Gnome vs KDE thing or does Fedora have some configuration applets
    you like ?
    I assume that the KDE versions are the same current version.
     
    harry, Jan 6, 2004
    #9
  10. Bryan Souster

    Jax Guest

    harry wrote:
    > Jax wrote:
    >
    >>You can try booting Knoppix just to have a look, but the standard
    >>Fedora GUI sh*ts all over Knoppix's one.
    >>
    >>Jax

    >
    >
    > In what way ?
    > Is it a Gnome vs KDE thing or does Fedora have some configuration applets
    > you like ?
    > I assume that the KDE versions are the same current version.


    Well I guess its not apples with apples cause Knoppix uses KDE and
    Fedora defaults to Gnome, but it is WAY more polished, it has the
    bluecurve theme, so the menu isnt so cluttrered, fonts are good, pic
    thumbnails in file manager etc I think Konqueror is cluttered

    I jsut didnt want the OP to load Knoppix and think thats all there is to it

    Some bad examples:

    Knoppix
    http://www.nesser.homelinux.org/minishad/slides/img8.html

    Fedora
    http://anthony.bodhihouse.com/archives/000221.html
     
    Jax, Jan 6, 2004
    #10
  11. Bryan Souster

    harry Guest

    Jax wrote:
    > harry wrote:
    >> Jax wrote:
    >>
    >>> You can try booting Knoppix just to have a look, but the standard
    >>> Fedora GUI sh*ts all over Knoppix's one.
    >>>
    >>> Jax

    >>
    >>
    >> In what way ?
    >> Is it a Gnome vs KDE thing or does Fedora have some configuration
    >> applets you like ?
    >> I assume that the KDE versions are the same current version.

    >
    > Well I guess its not apples with apples cause Knoppix uses KDE and
    > Fedora defaults to Gnome, but it is WAY more polished, it has the
    > bluecurve theme, so the menu isnt so cluttrered, fonts are good, pic
    > thumbnails in file manager etc I think Konqueror is cluttered
    >
    > I jsut didnt want the OP to load Knoppix and think thats all there is
    > to it
    >


    So its more Gnome vs KDE, Nautilus vs Konqueror.
    There are Knoppix customisations which use Gnome and Nautilus.
    Knoppix just looks like KDE and Konqueror does outperform Nautilus at quite
    a few tasks.
    I use Gnome 2.4 on Debian, but I did an HD install of Knoppix yesterday for
    a friend, and it was pretty far from being "sh*t all over"
    I don't think a convert from Windows would find Gnome as easy to use,
    particularly for stuff like CD burning, K3B in KDE is really nice.
     
    harry, Jan 6, 2004
    #11
  12. Bryan Souster

    AD. Guest

    On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 01:22:43 +1300, steve wrote:

    > AD. allegedly said:
    >
    >> Like it or not, Linux is a very DIY type culture - "teach a man to
    >> fish..." etc.
    >>
    >> I'm a bit Linux fan, but I wouldn't advocate it for someone who wasn't
    >> keen on a learning experience.

    >
    > This depends on what you want to do.
    >
    > If you want to borwse, read e-mail and write letters on a word
    > processor, then linux is no worse than Windows......and a lot cheaper.


    Agreed, but someone unwilling to invest much time learning will generally
    need some help setting that up how they like it (just like Windows in
    fact).


    > Many versions of linux are easier to install than Windows XP, too.


    Also agreed, but ease of installation is less relevant than most people
    make out. Provided you get no hardware detection issues, all modern
    desktop oriented OSes are trivial to install. But what percentage of the
    average users total time spent on their computer is installing operating
    systems?

    Ease of day to day management and installing new apps/devices is far more
    important than OS installation.

    These are all issues for Windows too of course, and most people
    underestimate how much effort it took for them to come to terms with
    Windows "ease of use" and how much help they needed from friends etc
    initially. You can't expect to migrate to a completely new OS and not have
    some sort of culture shock (however mild) and learning curve.

    Hell, I've used MacOS X a little and while it would have to be one of the
    easiest systems around for a complete newbie, I still occasional confusion
    about how to do things or where things should go or how to manage it etc.
    You expect that with something new.

    People criticise Windows users that don't take the time to learn how to
    manage their systems properly (eg security etc), why should new Linux
    users be treated differently?

    Cheers
    Anton
     
    AD., Jan 6, 2004
    #12
  13. Bryan Souster

    Jax Guest

    > So its more Gnome vs KDE, Nautilus vs Konqueror.
    > There are Knoppix customisations which use Gnome and Nautilus.
    > Knoppix just looks like KDE and Konqueror does outperform Nautilus at quite
    > a few tasks.
    > I use Gnome 2.4 on Debian, but I did an HD install of Knoppix yesterday for
    > a friend, and it was pretty far from being "sh*t all over"
    > I don't think a convert from Windows would find Gnome as easy to use,
    > particularly for stuff like CD burning, K3B in KDE is really nice.


    No its not just Gnome Vs KDE etc - I mentioned the bluecurve theme -
    choosing a best of breed package and using that as default instead of
    having 4 or 5 text editors for example. The desktop is also very clean
    by default - 3 icons i think in Fedora.

    I am basing my experince of Knoppix of a stock standard 3.3 I tried a
    while back - never done a hdd install (didnt know u could actually)
    I stand by the fact Konqueror is hard to use - so many buttons and panels!!

    Ive got K3b on my Gnome too - "yum install k3b" press enter
     
    Jax, Jan 6, 2004
    #13
  14. Bryan Souster

    harry Guest

    Jax wrote:
    >> So its more Gnome vs KDE, Nautilus vs Konqueror.
    >> There are Knoppix customisations which use Gnome and Nautilus.
    >> Knoppix just looks like KDE and Konqueror does outperform Nautilus
    >> at quite a few tasks.
    >> I use Gnome 2.4 on Debian, but I did an HD install of Knoppix
    >> yesterday for a friend, and it was pretty far from being "sh*t all
    >> over"
    >> I don't think a convert from Windows would find Gnome as easy to use,
    >> particularly for stuff like CD burning, K3B in KDE is really nice.

    >
    > No its not just Gnome Vs KDE etc - I mentioned the bluecurve theme -
    > choosing a best of breed package and using that as default instead of
    > having 4 or 5 text editors for example.


    Knoppix is a sampler CD though, as much as you can get compressed onto an
    iso image.
    There are lots of text editor options in Redhat Fedora, its hardly a
    distinguishing point
    Bluecurve is a nice theme, I tried it in Debian too, I use Lush though,
    using a vendors default is lame.
    Preference settings are pretty superficial, you can just boot Redhat with
    KDE and click a few options to make it look like knoppix.
    I copied my Microsoft desktop backgrounds across to Gnome so I can "unify
    the look and feel".
    Perhaps I can get bluecurve for Windows so I don't completely freak out
    every time I change desktops !!
     
    harry, Jan 6, 2004
    #14
  15. Bryan Souster

    Gordon Guest

    On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 09:42:52 +1300, harry wrote:

    > I don't think a convert from Windows would find Gnome as easy to use,
    > particularly for stuff like CD burning, K3B in KDE is really nice.


    Good stuff, see the Penguin is on the desktop. ;-)

    --
    Fairy stories exist so children get used to real life
     
    Gordon, Jan 6, 2004
    #15
  16. Hi there,

    Bryan Souster wrote:
    >
    > Now a few questions:
    >
    > 1) Do any distros include a utility that runs under windows to do a hardware
    > compatibility check?


    Compatibility is usually very good, unless you have an oddball PC. Then
    you may need to dig around the net for drivers. In rare cases drivers
    may not exist for particular devices in some PC's, but in my experience
    a good modern distro will correctly detect and select good working
    drivers on installing for an increasingly wide variety of hardware...

    > 2) Are there any general issues with Linux on AMD-based boxes?


    Not really. This reply comes from netscape running in Mandrake Linux 9.1
    on an AthlonXP 2500+ Barton core. Previously I'd run Mandrake on an AMD
    Duron 1100 based system. Both systems work very nicely. Of course the
    AthlonXP 2500+ is a real screamer, but the Duron 1100 also was a speedy
    machine to use under linux...

    > 3) Can Linux access NTFS (XP home)/FAT32 (ME) file systems?


    Both can be accessed. FAT32 is usually problem free, but NTFS isn't
    bad either.

    The installer for Mandrake Linux includes a partition tool to
    resize FAT32 or NTFS to create a partition for linux, and it does
    this non-destructively (ie without nuking your Windows install!).
    The authors of the resize tool have not had a reported system
    calamity from properly followed instructions since 2002...

    Of course you should backup your data first before installing a
    linux system (same goes for windows installs/updates too!)...

    --
    Kind regards,

    Chris Wilkinson, Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Remove spamblocker to send replies direct to my email...
     
    Chris Wilkinson, Jan 7, 2004
    #16
  17. Hi there,

    Bryan Souster wrote:
    > Greetings all,
    >


    Just from curiosity what stuff would you like to be doing
    with linux? Also, what spec are the PC's you'll be likely
    to install it to?

    --
    Kind regards,

    Chris Wilkinson, Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Remove spamblocker to send replies direct to my email...
     
    Chris Wilkinson, Jan 7, 2004
    #17
  18. Bryan Souster

    jerm Guest

    On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 01:22:43 +1300, steve <> said

    >AD. allegedly said:
    >
    >> Like it or not, Linux is a very DIY type culture - "teach a man to
    >> fish..." etc.
    >>
    >> I'm a bit Linux fan, but I wouldn't advocate it for someone who wasn't
    >> keen on a learning experience.

    >
    >This depends on what you want to do.
    >
    >If you want to borwse, read e-mail and write letters on a word processor,
    >then linux is no worse than Windows......and a lot cheaper.
    >
    >Many versions of linux are easier to install than Windows XP, too.
    >
    >Fedora Core 1.0
    >Mandrake 9.x

    Ah, no. M9.0 consistently & repeatedly correctly identified my NIC & then
    installed the wrong drivers for it. It's a lot of fun trying to download
    regalement drivers when you're on a LAN & have a non-working NIC.
    M9.0 also refused to correctly identify the boot drive on my setup, choosing
    instead the storage drive on the controller card as the boot drive.
    >Xandros 2.0
    >SuSE 9.0
    >
    >Any of these is easier to install than WinXP.

    The others may well be. And they all may well be, for some systems. But in
    general, and overall, No. XP, on the otherhand, installed itself without a
    flaw. The CD based Knoppix also works well, but I don't know how that would
    handle the boot drive issue I had. Linux remains a hi-maintenance OS.
     
    jerm, Jan 7, 2004
    #18
  19. On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 01:22:43 +1300, steve <> wrote:
    > AD. allegedly said:
    >
    >> Like it or not, Linux is a very DIY type culture - "teach a man to
    >> fish..." etc.
    >>
    >> I'm a bit Linux fan, but I wouldn't advocate it for someone who wasn't
    >> keen on a learning experience.

    >
    > This depends on what you want to do.
    >
    > If you want to borwse, read e-mail and write letters on a word processor,
    > then linux is no worse than Windows......and a lot cheaper.
    >
    > Many versions of linux are easier to install than Windows XP, too.
    >
    > Fedora Core 1.0
    > Mandrake 9.x
    > Xandros 2.0
    > SuSE 9.0
    >
    > Any of these is easier to install than WinXP.
    >


    Given that you want a production system rather than one to learn about the
    technical internals of the operating system I would suggest throwing a
    limited amount of cash about to get a polished system.

    I would suggest

    1. Trying Knoppix. It is a live CD and you will discover if you have any
    potential hardware problems painlessly. Do not install it though, as you
    will have potential upgrade problems in a year or so.

    2. Libranet or Xandros, these are about equal. Libranet pros are, first class
    support, a specialised Debian archive for upgrades, and a first class
    installation. Cons. Limited hard-copy documentation, support for Windows
    apps so-so.
    Xandros pros are, good hard-copy docs, good support for windows apps, first
    class installation. Cons, support so-so, a danger of having to pay
    Xandros for future upgrades unless one is familiar with the Debian archive.

    All the distributions I have suggested are Debian based for a reason.
    Debian is constituted in such a way that it will always free, both libre and
    gratis.

    Declaration of interest. Copyleft is the NZ delivery agent for Libranet and
    also sells Knoppix.

    Phil.

    --
    Philip Charles. I sell GNU/Linux CD-ROMs, see http://www.copyleft.co.nz
    025 267 9420 fax 03 488 2875
    Email me to join my mailing list.
     
    Philip Charles, Jan 7, 2004
    #19
  20. Thanks for all the responses so far - I have saved off a few and will look
    seriously at some of the distros. I like the idea of trialling using a
    bootable CD.

    Chris Wilkinson wrote:
    > Hi there,

    [snip
    >
    > Just from curiosity what stuff would you like to be doing
    > with linux? Also, what spec are the PC's you'll be likely
    > to install it to?


    Mostly Usenet/email/web but with a bit of Excel and Word use. Motivation
    to look at Linux came from looking at the cost of a second copy of XP home
    and getting a more recent release of Office. These costs are substantial.

    The machines are an 800mhz Duron with PCCHIPs mobo, firewire card and
    scanner running ME; and an XP machine with an ASUS A7N266-VN mobo and XP2200
    proc. Its the XP machine that I will try Linux on because it is mine - the
    other one is used by my wife.

    --
    Bryan Souster - reply to bas01 at clear dot net dot nz
    For acronyms (IIRC, TIA etc) visit www.acronymfinder.com for the meanings.
     
    Bryan Souster, Jan 7, 2004
    #20
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