Linux for beginners;)...

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by tony sayer, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. tony sayer

    tony sayer Guest

    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
     
    tony sayer, Sep 8, 2008
    #1
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  2. tony sayer

    Paul Guest

    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
     
    Paul, Sep 8, 2008
    #2
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  3. tony sayer

    Paul Guest

    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
     
    Paul, Sep 8, 2008
    #3
  4. tony sayer

    Baron Guest

    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.
     
    Baron, Sep 8, 2008
    #4
  5. tony sayer

    HLS Guest

    "tony sayer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > 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.
     
    HLS, Sep 14, 2008
    #5
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