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i have just started to use linux. i want to stick with one distro ... which will give me a chance to learn linux as well as give me a ...
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  1. #1
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    general Question to u all? answers will b appreciated


    i have just started to use linux. i want to stick with one distro ... which will give me a chance to learn linux as well as give me a complete alternative to windows for my regular fun stuff, listening to music, watching dvds, browsing internet, installing and removing new or different applications [ i am unable to install window maker manager on rh9.0. and the programmers of windowmaker also says in the install instruction file that red hat has a lot of annoying hinderances].

    i have choice between red hat distro and mandrake.

    the only thing that is stopping me from completely sticking with mandrake is that there are no books on mandrake linux [except for mandrake 7.0] at amazon books.

    and there r tons of hundreds of books on red hat linux.

    what do u all Experianced Pro linux users have to say about this.

    can i still learn using mandrake reading non-mandrake linux books?

    i understand we need to spend a lot of time to play with linux ... but come on in this busy age of responsibilities, tensions, we can not spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week on computer.

    also if anyone knows what is the reason that there r so many books on red hat, debian, caldera, slackware and no books on mandrake ?

    thanks,
    hasan.

  2. #2
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    IMHO, instead of buying books, the best option is to learn the fundamental concepts, like shell scripting, and examine yourself how the distro works. It's not as hard as it sounds, as long as you can learn shell scripting. There are other things as well that you need to learn, but shell scripting is one of the most important, since most (if not all) utility scripts are shell scripts.
    If you take that path, you will learn how the distro actually works, not what to do to accomplish certain things. It's like the difference between getting a map over an area and asking for directions from one place to another.

    Personally, I'm not really fond of Mandrake. Admittedly, I haven't used it much, but I installed on my little sister's computer so I had to set it up and integrate it with my network, and what I found is that Mandrake is more of a "home user" distro, and has some constraints here and there that makes it a bit difficult to do some of the more advanced stuff.
    That's probably the reason why there are more books on other distros as well.

    Also, you can use Window Maker as an incentive to learn the guts of RH. Admittedly I haven't tried, but I certainly don't think that it's that impossible to set it up on RH, and if you have to do it manually, then you'll learn more along the way.

  3. #3
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    so, which distro do u use?

  4. #4
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    For new users, Mandrake is really not a bad road to go. Of course I couldn't stand using it now, but for when I was first starting out I loved it. I bought a 20 dollar book called "Linux Complete" at my local book store and it's worked great. It was based around Red Hat 7.1 but it's still very usefull. I know windowmaker works on Mandrake, so basically it's your choice between RH and Mandrake.

  5. #5
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    Sorry that I forgot to mention it, but I use RH. Not because I love it specifically; I'd really use Gentoo much rather. It's just that I started out with RH on this system, and when I have been using a system long enough, it doesn't really look like the original distro anymore. It would just be too painful to start doing all that I have done once again to get where I am, no matter how superior the other distro is.

    Otherwise, RedHat is a really good choice for beginners as well. It's still user-friendly enough, without having all these end-user specific modifications that Mandrake has. Also, in my experience, fewer people have had RH-specific problems than Mdk-specific problems. It seems that Mdk's installation program isn't the most stable around.
    I guess Mdk isn't really bad for real, though, it might just be me. I'm having a hard time admitting that, though. =)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    IMHO, instead of buying books, the best option is to learn the fundamental concepts, like shell scripting, and examine yourself how the distro works. It's not as hard as it sounds, as long as you can learn shell scripting. There are other things as well that you need to learn, but shell scripting is one of the most important, since most (if not all) utility scripts are shell scripts.
    If you take that path, you will learn how the distro actually works, not what to do to accomplish certain things. It's like the difference between getting a map over an area and asking for directions from one place to another.

    Personally, I'm not really fond of Mandrake. Admittedly, I haven't used it much, but I installed on my little sister's computer so I had to set it up and integrate it with my network, and what I found is that Mandrake is more of a "home user" distro, and has some constraints here and there that makes it a bit difficult to do some of the more advanced stuff.
    That's probably the reason why there are more books on other distros as well.

    Also, you can use Window Maker as an incentive to learn the guts of RH. Admittedly I haven't tried, but I certainly don't think that it's that impossible to set it up on RH, and if you have to do it manually, then you'll learn more along the way.
    Shell Scripting...where might i go to learn this...im a linux loser right now...because i cant seem to try **** out and see if it works...mainly because im clueless on how linux REALLY works.

  7. #7
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    1) hi .... since i bought a 40gb hard disk 2 days back as a secondary drive [i have win XP on primary 15gb hard disk] i have decided to install mandrake on 4.5 gb space. and to learn server specific functions and administration i will install RH too.

    2) okay so once in window manager how do we change the background image?

    3) regarding shell programming the person who asked where to start on that. u can check out the shell programming books on amazon.com

    i my self will have to take introductory classes in visual basic and then C and then C++ so that i can better understand shell programming.

    so if anyone can tell me how to change the background image in window maker.

    i checked all that ... i mean right clicking Appearance-Backround-images- but it doesnt show the option to select an image from a directory.

    thanks

  8. #8
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    1. That's a good idea. Try both distros and see which one you like the best. Just don't be fooled by all the eyecandy in Mdk.

    2. Well, that depends on what desktop environment (DE) you're using. A generic way that works on all but that doesn't save the setting is to use the xloadimage program to display a bitmap on the root window, something like this:
    Code:
    xloadimage -onroot /path/to/image.file
    3. On the other hand, don't buy expensive books when you can check out free documentation first. Begin by looking on http://www.linuxcommand.org/, and then, for technical references, check the manpage and texinfo on bash. Run "man 1 bash" or "info bash".

    Visual Basic and C doesn't really teach you shell scripting properly. The main difference is that shell scripts are purely interpreted, in the way that variable values can actually the program itself, not just its behaviour. My tip is to check out the above URL first.
    Then, naturally, learning real programming languages is a very good thing as well. Be aware that VB isn't a real programming language, though. In fact, JavaScript is a lot closer to being a real programming language, but you might want to go for Java. There is a no-cost although non-free Java compiler downloadable from http://java.sun.com/.

  9. #9
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    sorry guys i deviated the discussion from the subject mentioned, to windowmaker window manager.

    so lets get back on track.

    [ Dolda can u delete my message from where i started talking about windowmaker window manager ? ] so that other viewers dont get lost.

    so regarding the distros

    initially after all deliberations i dediced for debian.

    but damn, when i downloaded that and tried to install it was soooo sooooo hard. and when i was able to install it. my X server wont start

    i have rage 128 pro ultra agp. and tried to so many time using x-configuration. and then downloaded debian based distros mepis [it is a new one] and knoppix

    but they never worked. cuz mepis and knoppix were compressed cds. and during boot and decompression it gave errors. i never ever was able to go beyon initial booting of mepis or knoppix

    then someone said if i need to see what video drivers r loaded during debian, i can cheat it by looking at the initial boot up of knoppix.

    so used knoppix on my room mates pc [intel 3, intel chipset 810e. mine is ati 128 pro agp]

    i saw that it used some vesa drivers.

    so went into x-configuration of debian on my computer and configured it for vesa driver.

    x started !!! but i felt that refresh rate was not good. it was not obvious, i could not see flickering but i felt it strong on my eyes.

    then i tried to look online on the information on this vesa driver and its company.

    i found that vesa is just a basic generic video driver that will start any video graphics card.

    anyways there was no sound on debian system.

    ******************

    o i forgot to tell why i wanted debian or debian based system.

    i read that like red hat, debian is the most widely used distribution . it is used by a lot of people who r learning linux especially in big universities around the world.

    once installed it is easier to maintain, because of apt-get utility.

    it is maintained by some 1000 volunteers around the world.

    here in US i can get more books on debian and red hat than any other distro.

    oo i also like the name " debian "

    if i can get the proper video driver and sound driver working on my machine using debian.

    i will only use debian. may be sometime in the future, once i have enough knowledge to have the driver and sound working. or .... debian might come up with more easy to install package. i hope so.

    **********
    contary to common belief, Slackware was sooo easy to install.

    i dont know why people term it as one of the most difficult to install.

    may be its opposite of debian. easy to install, difficult to maintain and tweak.

    but it did get my video, sound and usb mouse installed.

    thats all for now.

    i hope to see opinions from other users too.

    [ i hope dolda can delete my deviated messages for the sake of other users ]

  10. #10
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    I split the topic instead of deleting messages. The windowmaker related posts are now in the thread "WindowMaker discussion".

    Just to clear it up a bit, VESA refers to the video electronics standards association. They defined the VGA BIOS extensions, VBE, that defines how to access SVGA functionality in a standardized way.

    If you want help to solve that sound problem of yours, please post the output of "/sbin/lspci".

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