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Hello all, today I am proud to say, I am making the move. Finally taking back what Windows has taken from me. I have used Redhat, Suse, Slackware, and Mandrake ...
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    Making the move from Windows XP to Fedora Core 4


    Hello all,
    today I am proud to say, I am making the move. Finally taking back what Windows has taken from me. I have used Redhat, Suse, Slackware, and Mandrake before, but only for an hour or two at a time, at a friends house. The only thing that I have noticed that will seem hard to learn, is the installation of software. Looks like I have to compile it with a compiler, and I am a complete noob to Linux application compiling. What all is involved, and is there anything I should know before beginning my transition? Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Making the move from Windows XP to Fedora Core 4

    Quote Originally Posted by malith
    Hello all,
    today I am proud to say, I am making the move.
    good choice, although i am afraid i am unable to help because the only installation i am familiar with is one that booted from the CD. maybe this is the case with Fedora?

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    Compiling is just one of the options. Installing new programs (and upgrading them) is done differently by diferent distros. In my opinion, one of the best is apt-get which is what Debian (and all Debian based distros) uses. The easiest for a new user is probably Suse (though Fedora is probably similar, I have not tried it). It has a tool known as YAST (Yet Another Setup Tool).

    You ask what you should know before your transition? Hmm... as I just saw Revenge of the Sith last night, I'll quote Yoda (though this is from Empire strikes back):

    "You must unlearn what you have learned."
    Stumbling around the 'net:
    www.cloudyuseful.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by psic
    "You must unlearn what you have learned."
    haha true

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    Re: Making the move from Windows XP to Fedora Core 4

    Quote Originally Posted by malith
    The only thing that I have noticed that will seem hard to learn, is the installation of software. Looks like I have to compile it with a compiler, and I am a complete noob to Linux application compiling. What all is involved, and is there anything I should know before beginning my transition? Thanks in advance.
    Generally, depending on the distro you choose, you can install apps as "packages" like you would with <spit>Windoze. Redhat/Fedora has RMPs. There's also yum and others which I know nothing about as I don't use 'em.

    For installing by compilation, that's easy, too. You usually just have to unpack a tarball, and then run "make" and "make install", and the job's done. Some apps require a configure stage before the first make.

    Of course, once you've installed the app, you can use it straight away, you don't have to keep rebooting before it's useable. And it won't screw up your OS, either, which is a major win (no pun intended).

    Steve

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    you dont HAVE to compile everything. there are binary packages available just like in windows, but just in case there is no binary for something, most programs' source code can be compiled with:
    Code:
    ./configure
    make
    make install
    you don't have to remember this, I've never seen source code bundled without installation instructions (well.. except source code in programming tutorials). some programs are compiled differently, but that will be in the documentation.

    in linux, most of the programs depend on something else to work, so that, say you can have a spell-check program, and the word processor and the email client and whatever else can all use that spell-checker, instead of having to incorporate their own, which saves disk space, and means programs can just concentrate on doing one thing, and doing it well. i think i may have ripped this paragraph from a website, possibly linux.org.

    the only way you can really figure out dependancies with source code is the documentation, or sometimes the errors you get when you compile will tell you that you need something else installed.

    each distro has its own way of distributing binary packages. fedora (redhat) uses .rpm files, debian uses .deb and there's a few more for other distributions, but those two are the most common, because there are a lot of distros based on those two distros.

    the .deb and .rpm files contain dependancy information. there are applications for each distro (apt-get for debian-based and yum for redhat-based) that figure out these dependancies and automatically download everything that you need to run the program properly. the problem is probably that most people new to linux just don't know they exist, or don't know about the "man" command, which shows the manual for an installed program, if it has one. e.g. "man apt-get" shows you everything you need to know to be able to use the apt-get program.

    probably all of the above doesnt apply to at least a couple of distros,but you'll learn as you go.

    hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chickens_are_good
    each distro has its own way of distributing binary packages. fedora (redhat) uses .rpm files, debian uses .deb and there's a few more for other distributions, but those two are the most common, because there are a lot of distros based on those two distros.
    would distros like gentoo and suse for example be able to use the packages of other distros like fedora and debian mentioned?

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    i think so, ive seeen redhat rpm's installed on a couple other systems, but i think most packages have a list of packages, for certain distros, i.e. (not the browser) wine has packages for lots of distro's.

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    Linux User stokes's Avatar
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    Re: Making the move from Windows XP to Fedora Core 4

    Quote Originally Posted by malith
    ... I have used Redhat, Suse, Slackware, and Mandrake before, but only for an hour or two at a time, at a friends house. The only thing that I have noticed that will seem hard to learn, is the installation of software. Looks like I have to compile it with a compiler, and I am a complete noob to Linux application compiling....
    I was in a similar situation to you a few months ago and have settled on Mandrake after toying around with a few of the major distros. I tried Debian (wouldn't install, not for beginners!), Fedora Core (Gave up, graphics card was not supported!), Suse and Mandrake, which I found quite similar, and both recognised all my hardware during installation and configured everything for me. I settled with Mandrake in the end as there were a few server packages included on the Mandrake ISO's that Suse didn't come with.

    RE compiling software, mostly it's actually not that bad if you read the README or INSTALL that comes with most packages. You will need to learn how to use bash - if you're familiar with MS-DOS it will definitely help. Learning the syntax for 'tar' and copying/moving/linking files is all the basics you will need to start with. If something fails while you're compiling an application just chuck the error message into google and you will normally find your solution! Or post your problem in a forum like this one and normally one of the gurus will have some idea what's gone wrong.

    I've gone from being a Linux newbie last month, to having a Mandrake computer running an SMTP IMAP & POP3 server and webmail (squirrelmail), and hosting my personal web site (www.ukstokes.com) from it using the free MySQL, Apache and PHP server included on the Mandrake distro! I think Linux is really fantastic, and if you can overcome the steep learning curve you won't want to turn back to Windows again!

    BTW: I am by no means an expert, I still consider myself a noob...

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    Quote Originally Posted by whisker
    Quote Originally Posted by chickens_are_good
    each distro has its own way of distributing binary packages. fedora (redhat) uses .rpm files, debian uses .deb and there's a few more for other distributions, but those two are the most common, because there are a lot of distros based on those two distros.
    would distros like gentoo and suse for example be able to use the packages of other distros like fedora and debian mentioned?
    suse is rpm-based.

    gentoo uses it's own system called portage, which apparently compiles everything from source - not too clear on that, I haven't tried gentoo yet.

    there are also programs that can convert between the package formats, such as alien (can convert between Debian, Redhat, Stampede, Linux Standard Base packages, Slackware, Solaris, and also can just extract all the files from any of those formats).

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