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  1. #1

    Questions about installing Linux

    I've been considering switching from WindowsXP to Linux for a few weeks now. Also, I've done a little research over the Web recently, but I feel overwhelmed with information. I honetsly don't know what version I should get. That's why I came here for some advice.

    First of all, I think I should tell you what I'd like to do with my computer. I've heard that Linux comes with a lot more programs on it than Windows. Do they include website editors and slide show creaters? I'd also like some programs that have syntax highlighting for Java and C++. A program for editing pictures and photos would be nice too.

    I tried searching for a site to download Linux from, but there are so many sites and so many different versions!

    Earlier in my post I mentioned that I wanted programs for writing C++ and Java programs, but don't get me wrong, I'm still very new at computer programming and the concepts involved with it. With this in mind, please omitt as much technical jargin from your responses as possible.

    Now that I'm done with my little spill, I guess it's time to give you my system stats.

    Microsoft Windows XP
    Home Edition
    Version 2002
    Service Pack 1

    Registered to:
    (Info abot me)

    mobile AMD Athlon(tm)XP2500+
    448MB of RAM

    My computer is a labtop manufactured by HP.

    If it's not too much trouble, please include links in your responses. I'm mainly interested in the best and cheapest distribution available to Linux newbies. Also, I'm fully prepared to abandon Windows if I like what I see.

    Thanks for your time and help!!!

    Almost forgot, my pavillion is ze4560us

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Knoxhell, TN
    with those specs, you should be fine to run any distribution that you'd like.. there are only a few distros that you can not d/l for free...

    for newbies, i would recommend Fedora or Mandrake.. if you don't mind doing an ftp install, you could also try SuSE...

    the major text editors (vim, emacs, etc) will usually have syntax-highlighting features, as they were written by programmers for their own purposes originally...

    there are many programs that can be installed with a distro, and they are usually listed in the install process.. if you can't find what you are looking for, you can try Freshmeat or SourceForge.. they both have quite extensive software repositories.. SourceForge also has libraries and code snippets, so if you need a quick piece of code to fill a particular purpose, you may be able to find some freely available libraries and code snippets there...

    and if you need any help installing, check the install docs on the distro of your choice's website, and if you still have trouble, post here, and we will try to help you as best we can.
    Their code will be beautiful, even if their desks are buried in 3 feet of crap. - esr

  3. #3
    Another question, Web browsers. Currently, I have two, Micrsoft Internet Explorer and SBC Yahoo! DSL. Can I use them with Linux? Does Linux have its own browser? Does it support JavaScript and Java?

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Knoxhell, TN
    the most popular browsers for linux are mozilla and opera... and they both support java/javascript... both are also standards-compliant browsers (which means they can correctly display any site that does not contain proprietary tags, etc in the source)... i personally use mozilla firefox...
    Their code will be beautiful, even if their desks are buried in 3 feet of crap. - esr

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    For syntax highlighting you have emacs. you can use that for anything!

  7. #6
    I also have a compatibility question. I own a Lexar media JumpDrive. It has this little security software on it that that seperates my files into public and private domains. Will it still work with Linux?

    I'm a big fan of the Myst game series. Will they work on Linux or will I need to get a Windows emulator?


    I've looked around and I've decided that Red Hat's Fedora project would be best for me. I've also noticed that a lot of people have had some problems installing it. The people who usually encontered these products downloaded their files from the Internet, so I've decided to buy my version of Red Hat from Best Buy or Fries Electronics.

    Also, partitioning hard drives and things. I don't know a thing about it. Will instructions for doing it be included with Linux in the box, or do I need to find them somewhere else?

    I want to be able to use Linux's command line. What's the best method for learning how to do this? Is there any good reading material for it?

  8. #7
    Just be aware that Fedora Core 2 is due out on 17th May. It may be worth holding on until then before you get your CDs....

  9. #8
    Linux Guru sarumont's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    If you are going to buy, then I would wait for the new version. The paid version also has an installation guide, etc. with it, so that may/should ease any installation troubles.
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so."
    ~Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  10. #9

    Good distro


    I'm sort of new to linux myself. When I first wanted to try it out, I bought SuSE 8.2 Pro off ebay. The install was very easy, it detected my hardware and correctly installed a bootloader (with a Windows option). The system was fast and easy to use. Then, when I got some more experience & wanted to try out some new distros I tried RH9, CollegeLinux, Vector Linux, Knoppix, Xandros, a few others, and eventually SuSE 9.0 Pro. From what I remember about the RH9 install, it was as easy if not easier than SuSE's install, but I was soon frustrated with the system. The default window manager it installed was Gnome which while looks nice, seems to not be as powerful or flexible as KDE. RH9 also comes with less packages (programs). I get the general feeling of being 'boxed in' with Fedora that I dont get with SuSE.

    If I were to choose today between RH9/Fedora vs SuSE, I would probably choose SuSE. While SuSE is also based on rhe RPM package system like Fedora and is easy to use, I find it much more flexible in terms of what packages are right on the install disks. Also with suse, even though the environment is all graphical-oriented I can still tinker with the command line and learn stuff about the system. (Of course Fedora does this but it doesnt quite have the same feel to it)

    If I were you, I would probably buy myself a copy of SuSE 9.1 Pro [not regular] off Ebay for ~ $15 (completely legit), it doesnt come with any manuals, but take it from a linux noob like wont need them. If you have a DVD drive and its bootable, may I also suggest the DVD rather than the 5 cds as it gets to be a pain to swap them again and again.

    If you want to try out linux before installing anything on your harddrive, you might want to check out knoppix ... or SLAX...
    Knoppix is also great as a harddrive install once you get some more experience (this is the distro I currently use).

    As far as Myst goes, it might run on WINE (free)... or you may want to dish out some money for WineX or CrossoverOffice.

    Sorry for the long post & good luck!

  11. #10
    the eayiest way to instll would be to buy the cds, because you can't mess up with the wrong media, and broken images, modzilla needs a lot of plugins, but is a lot better than ie, try it out on you xp box if you would like, mandrake, fedora and for 50$ linspire( ive herd) work well and configure well, although i've ahd a bit of trouble with mandrake 9.2 on the initial boot

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