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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Nottingham, UK

    Another Struggling Noob...

    ** Caution: Over-zealous noob! Handle with care **

    OK, so I decided windows was annoying me, and I was sick of having to do illegal things in the name of functionality (like download SP2 cracks or steal license stickers from the side of PC's at the office to re-install the thing) so I finally gave it the push in favour of Mandrake 10.1 (selected at random from a few recommended distro's)

    My opinions 3 days in are mixed. The flexibility and customisation of the thing are great, the GUI is easy to use, the web support from sites like this is top notch (many thanks already, you guys rock!) and the terminal syntax is all pretty easy going so far. However, I have several problems that are really getting to me... (if these should have been separate topics I'm sorry! I'm at a bit of a loss and think it might all be linked...)

    1) Mandrake is slow. Programs take ages to load, compared to XP. I have a 3.06 GHz Celeron and 512Mb RAM and windows was pretty swift - is this normal?

    2) Sometimes it takes 3/4 attempts to load (hangs bcauses the before boot screen with normal startup, with 'verbose mode' it hangs after 'loading cryptographic interface' or something). 3rd or 4th time it loads up fine.

    3) Programs stop responding, or never load properly, particularly the network monitor or system configuration.

    4) ndiswrapper is a *****! D-Link DWL122(revB), got up to 'ndiswrapper -l' and it gives me 'driver present, hardware present' but 'modprobe ndiswrapper' causes the terminal to crash!

    5) I've missed two days of university already trying to get this stuff to work 8o( On the plus side, I'm doing a physics degree, so I'm loving the maths editor with the OD PDF support! (Did I see something on OS install meantioning Fortran support?)

    Now I am a total noob, I've only had 3 days experience of Linux and I'm starting to struggle... can anyone convince me not to delete these Linux partitions and go back to a life of MS-Related crime?

    Just in case it's relevant, i think the Kernel I installed to try and make ndiswrapper work when it didn;t first time was if that makes sense.

    Hee hee, kernel... keeps making me think of fried chicken 8o)

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Congragts on making the switch to linux and all. I'll try answer your questions as best as I can:

    1. Linux is indeed slow to load things up. But after logging in, things should get fast. But when I was using Mandrake 10.1 (Athlon XP 2000, 512MB) it was kind of slow, but still faster than XP. In my experience, SuSE is faster than Mandrake (at-least on my computers it is).

    2. Try booting in failsafe mode. you'll have to type startx to fet a gui after logging in to the command line. I don't exactly remember how to append the noapic option to the lilo.conf file. But i am sure that google can be of help there.

    3. Happened to me often in Mandrake 10.1, one reason why I switched.

    4. You need the kernel sources installed for the modprobe ndiswrapper command to work. The kernel sources are included on the Mandrake Installation media. Simply launch MCC and goto the add remove programs section and search for kernel sources. Usually it is under the development subcategory.

    5. fortran support is there, you'll again have to search for it in MCC's add remove software section.

    6. Absolutely not. Stay with linux, you'll be glad you did. And if uncle bill ever gets his way, he'll have you fined and incarcerated for stealing his precious Win XP cd keys. Usually most universities give out free copies of Windows (at-least my university gives me free copies of windows, anything from 98 to Server 2003).

    and to those who may want those free copies. There is no way I will get them for you as it will break the rules under which the academic software from my university can be used.
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    If you're working on a physics degree, I think you may have what it takes to get Linux working. You may want to look at another distribution of Linux, like maybe Suse, Fedora or Debian. Any distro is likely to have a problem or 2 on any given platform, but it sounds like you have more than your share.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Indeed, nearly in the same time as Mandriva 2006, two major Linux distributions have been released, Suse 10 (and its free version, Open Suse, OSS) and Ubuntu Breezy. Gentoo might be faster too, it's about the way it works and the way programs are installed, but I can't tell you more, I never tried it myself.

    Rather than getting a headeache with Mandriva, now you know what it looks like, you can try other distributions to see what they are like

    Even though they'll all offer the same desktops (KDE+Gnome mostly) the sytem tools will vary (Suse's Yast is top-notch, as most people say, even though I prefer MCC's simplicity ^^) and a few things might change too, including stability and speed on your own machine.

    One distribution said to be uberly stable and cool might crash and suck forever on your machine : don't hesitate, experiment all your will

  6. #5
    Linux User stokes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by sabin
    Rather than getting a headeache with Mandriva, now you know what it looks like, you can try other distributions to see what they are like

    Even though they'll all offer the same desktops (KDE+Gnome mostly) the sytem tools will vary (Suse's Yast is top-notch, as most people say, even though I prefer MCC's simplicity ^^) and a few things might change too, including stability and speed on your own machine.
    Exactly. I agree with this statement 100%

    It seems you have a number of problems, and if you haven't done too much tweaking on your system so far I would ditch it and try another distro - one that will detect all your hardware (so you won't need to use ndiswrapper and do fiddly things like installing kernel headers) ... and one that will offer platform stability and will perform very quickly, as it should on your PC which is has nice specs. Linux should be lightning fast on your PC, rather than slow and sluggish ...

    Just my humble opinion but I would recommend you burn the most recent ISO of Mepis and boot into it from CD and see what you think .. if you like it you can install to your HDD in a few mouse clicks (and if you don't like it, eject the CD and boot back into Mandriva.) By the sounds of your requirements, it will give you everything you're looking for without the headaches Mandriva is giving you.
    Registered Linux user #389109
    My Semi-Linux Blog

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Texas, USA


    In answer to your questions:
    1. Yes mandrake, and possibly linux is slower than Windows98, and ME. It is about equal to W2000 and equal or slower than Wxp. Remember, linux is a modular package and each daemon or module has to get permissions to run. This is why it is less susceptible to viruses, whereas Wxp has everything integrated and connected to everything else. Well, that's good for speed but bad for security. Also, Windows puts files anywhere it wants to on the HD, whereas linux puts its files neatly on the HD. this takes more time, but you don't have to defrag it.
    2. Software that is hanging or locking up IS NOT the norm.

    I would resist the urge to ditch and try another distro. If you read the forums, most any distro has its peculiarities and if you're not messing with a video card in one distro, then you'll be messing with software installation in another.

    Having said that, there are buggy releases, but that doesn't mean the whole distro is bad. Sometimes a distro team gets antsy and wants to 'beat' the other guy. Remember these distros are all based on the linux kernel and generally package the same software, office app, multimedia stuff, etc.

    I can only give you my experience:

    1. Check out reviews. Not only read them but look at how many there are. A distro with LOTS of reviews is likely to mean more people have tried it and there may generally be MORE support for it.

    2. In my experience FC2 was difficult. Slackware is very solid and hauls ass but needs some basic configurations that I felt should come as default.

    3. I have installed Mandrake 10.0 on 5 different PCs all with different hdwr and it has been rock solid and had drivers for just about everything. the only thing it did not have drivers for was a Canon C555 printer, a winmodem, and 3d acceleration on 1 video card, although the video worked fine and I did not have to configure anything. Wxp, W2000, Wme. W98 did not have drivers for more than half of all the hdwr on these 5 PCs.

    4. Mandrake 10.1 did cause me similar problems so I tried Mandriva 2005LE which is 10.2 and am evaluating it at this point.

    5. You absolutely have to pay attention to hardware compatibility if you don't want hassles. But the same goes for Windows and MAC products.

    I would consider trying Mandrake 10.0 or Mandriva 2005LE.
    If you don't mind some configuration in scripts, try Slackware 10.1. It seems very slick, fast and solid.

    I think both of these distros have a large fan base and have good access to support. Mandriva has very good hdwr detection.Give yourself at least 3-6 months on one distro.

    good luck

  8. #7
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South India, 79 E 11 N

    changing distro?

    1. Check out reviews.
    this is a gem.
    i downloaded 700mb (out of the i gig limit i have) of kubuntu only to find that there was a bug in instalation and i could not get it to instal.
    on further investigation i found many people had this problem (apparently not solvable) and this problem had been discussed at length by many.
    look at the forum first and then choose your distro

    Be happy. Life is too short to be unhappy!

  9. #8
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Nottingham, UK
    thanks for the input guys - appreciated!

    safe to say this is my first post from my nice new linux machine... with SuSE 10.0 installed and happily cruising my wireless connection! Seems much more stable, of a similar speed and very shiney and new! happy boy.

    thanks again

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