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Hi all. I'm new to the forums, and completely new to the world of linux in general. I bought a netbook a couple of days ago, it came with XP ...
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  1. #1
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    Stupid questions from a newbie


    Hi all.
    I'm new to the forums, and completely new to the world of linux in general. I bought a netbook a couple of days ago, it came with XP but after reading around a bit online about linux I'd be interested in making the switch.
    However I came about a few horror stories from people installing it on their netbooks. How the wifi wouldn't work, how the fn key stopped working and other things.
    Is it really that problematic to switch to linux?
    After installing linux, would I have to find a bunch of drivers for the netbook online?
    Also, one final stupid question, if I regret making the switch and want to go back to XP...how would I go about doing that?
    I mean I have a legal copy of XP on the netbook(I'm sick of using pirated copies, I'd like to stick to the licensed one), but to install linux I'd have to format the drive. I know there has to be an image copy of the XP disk on the netbook. Could I copy that to a USB stick before I install linux?

    ...ok that last part did not sound all that confusing in my head
    Anyway I'd be thankful for some help.

    Oh and sorry if this post is made in the wrong section of the forum, as I said I'm completely new. Be my guest to move the thread

  2. #2
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    Like windows, the hardware only works if it is supported by linux. That being said linux supports a lot of hardware. If you really want to try linux u can use one of the live cds, which don't require you to format your hard drive, they boot straight from the cd into ram. Ubuntu is regularly claimed to be good for newbies. There are a lot of "versions" of linux. www dot distrowatch dot com is a good resource on different distros or distributions or "versions".

    Personally, I consider myself ah newbie, but I have been using openSuse for 2 years now on my desktop. I'm a newbie because i don't know much about the inner working of linux. I'm learning though. So take it from a newbie, try linux (openSuse, fedora, ubuntu, mandriva, pclinuxos, xandros, ...) it's worth it. It is not trouble free, but neither is windows. I had more problems with windows dan linux not drivers but spyware/virus/malware sluggishness and the need to restart/reinstall too often. And linux has way more programs readily available most of which are free.

  3. #3
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    If there is room on your hard drive, you can install Linux "next to" Windows. You don't give specifics on the type of netbook that you have. Many netbooks have a Solid State Drive (SSD), that is rather small. I would not try to install a Windows/Linux combination on a drive like that.

    You can install Linux to a USB drive, or a SD flash card. You have to be able to boot from those devices, but most newer PCs are able to. To make a bootable Ubuntu USB drive, simply boot into the Ubuntu CD and run the Live option. There is a selection in the menu System-->Administration-->USB Startup Disk Creator. I think that this will create a USB version for you.

    There is an Ubuntu re-mix for netbooks, called EasyPeasy. It should have the Fn keys functioning, as would normal Ubuntu, but that is dependent on the netbook make/model. As for wireless, that too is dependent on the make of the wireless. Most can be made to work, if they don't work out-of-the-box. But a wired internet connection is needed to do this.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

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    I bought a netbook
    Congrats. I( have a Asus EEE 900 with combo 20 gig SSD. My Wife has a Acer Aspire One with 130 gig sata. It would help to know which Make and Model you have nefore any hekpful comments can be made on distro choice for a new user to Linux.

    Like for recovery media. For my wife all it took was a phone call to Acer to get her recovery media for XP/ And she dual boots it with Linux Also (thanks to yours truly). So if I didn't get everything working, there was gonna be hell to pay.

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    Thanks alot for the replies guys
    As for which netbook I got, it's the compaq mini 110c-1010 (I tried to post a link to the computer specs but apparently I'm not allowed to post links yet so you'll have to find it yourself)

    The fact that it's possible to install and run the OS directly from a USB stick does sound interesting, atleast to give it a try and see that everything works out.

    I could technically parallel install linux next to XP as the harddrive is large enough, but I'd rather just stick to one OS at a time. And Linux sounds like a dream compared to XP. XP always runs greatly the first month or so, and then it starts to get slower and slower. Fills up with more and more viruses and malware. It doesn't seem to matter what you do to get rid of the darn things, it never speeds up again unless you format the drive and start over. So I'm a bit sick of all that
    Plus all the free open source software could come in handy

    rokytnji: Did you have any trouble with drivers and stuff when you installed linux on any of your machines? Or did it all pretty much work "straight out of the box"?

    Thanks for the replies again guys.

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    One (two?) of the problems with windows is that every program you install wants to startup at boot. This slows down the boot process immensely! And suppliers such as Dell always put the least amount of memory in a system that they can get away with. All of those running programs consume the limited memory pretty fast. All of those icons in the lower right corner represent running applications.

    Another problem is usually the anti-virus. Norton anti-virus is system hog! Use something like AVG or Avast.

    There is a program to check the programs that startup at boot. It then gives you the option to disable them from starting.

    Startup Inspector
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

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    rokytnji: Did you have any trouble with drivers and stuff when you installed linux on any of your machines? Or did it all pretty much work "straight out of the box"?
    On wifes Acer Aspire One Easy Peasy Ubuntu 8.1 everything worked out of the box including wireless and webcam.

    On my Asus EEE 900 AntiX 8.2 because I installed it to a external Flash SDHC Card 8gig I had to edit Grubs /boot/grub/menu.lst on said external flash drive to boot up AntiX (external flash) and my Xandros (which is on internal 4 gig SSD Drive ). Waterhead can relate to this as I think he needed to do the same with Fedora. Wireless works and Hot keys work out of the box on AntiX but the webcam works only in snapshot camera mode out of the box. I didn't need to install any drivers but I did have to do some minor tweaking to grub /boot/grub/menu.lst and the kernel by installing halevt deamon into the kernel for usb mounting in AntiX. I would not recommend a Antix install for a Netbook unless your skillset is at least in the average experienced Linux User Range.

    For you I would recommend maybe Easy Peasy or EEEBuntu Standard or EEEbuntu Netbook Remix. You can try all three using a 1 gig USB thumb drive and make them bootable and run as a live USB off of flash drive using
    UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads to test drive as a live session before you install to make sure everything works. They will run a little slower off Usb drive than they will once installed as a dual boot. So don't judge the speed till after you install to internal hardrive. Running a live session though is a good way to see what works and what needs tweaking and you can go from there.

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    One (two?) of the problems with windows is that every program you install wants to startup at boot. This slows down the boot process immensely! And suppliers such as Dell always put the least amount of memory in a system that they can get away with. All of those running programs consume the limited memory pretty fast. All of those icons in the lower right corner represent running applications.

    Another problem is usually the anti-virus. Norton anti-virus is system hog! Use something like AVG or Avast.

    There is a program to check the programs that startup at boot. It then gives you the option to disable them from starting.
    Thanks for the tips. I still think I'd like to give linux a try though. However I'll keep those things in mind if I switch back

    On wifes Acer Aspire One Easy Peasy Ubuntu 8.1 everything worked out of the box including wireless and webcam.
    Now that sounds promising

    For you I would recommend maybe Easy Peasy or EEEBuntu Standard or EEEbuntu Netbook Remix. You can try all three using a 1 gig USB thumb drive and make them bootable and run as a live USB off of flash drive using
    UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads to test drive as a live session before you install to make sure everything works. They will run a little slower off Usb drive than they will once installed as a dual boot. So don't judge the speed till after you install to internal hardrive. Running a live session though is a good way to see what works and what needs tweaking and you can go from there.
    Thanks, I'll give those a try.

    How do you think normal ubuntu would work on a netbook though? I've had a look at a few of those netbook editions and I'm not too sure I like their UI's. I'm going to give them a try but yeah...from what I've seen I think I prefer the normal ubuntu.
    I guess I'll just give that a try too to see how it works out.

  10. #9
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    How do you think normal ubuntu would work on a netbook though?
    EEEBuntu Standard has the Gnome Desktop as its GUI Desktop which is the same as straight Ubuntu. The only difference is the kernel is geared towards Netbooks.

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    I'll have a look later, thanks.

    I already ran into my first problem, dunno if you guys might know what's wrong.
    I downloaded an img distro file, downloaded UNetbootin. I plugged in a 1gb USB stick and made it bootable with the UNetbootin software. I restarted the computer, and booted from the USB stick. The UNetbootin splash screen thingy showed up, but it only had one option called "Default". From what I've seen online there's supposed to be "start or install ubuntu" option but the only thing that showed up was Default.
    If I click Default it says that ubuntu is loading or something, and then it loads and loads forever. It never actually boots up. So I'm a bit stuck there. I googled around but failed to find anything

    Any idea what could be the problem?

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