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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Red face Help! Im new!

    You probably see these types of posts a lot but ill try to make this worth your time. Im new to linux, which means im almost completly lost. I guess i should start with the basics.
    Ive been reading some guides about linux and im a bit confused. I guess my first question is...What version of linux should i get? As ive seen, there are many versions, but how am i supposed to know which one to get?
    My second question is, after i chose which one i want, how exactly do i install linux. I read about doing some sort of a partition on my hard drive, but i dont really understand it. Ive also read about running it off of a cd-rom. Is that easier?

    I guess ill stick with those as my first 2 questions for this forum. Please help, ill appreciate any form of help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Read up on some of the different distros at:

    Download the ISO images of a distro, or two and then burn them as "images" to your blank CDs, then install them and play around with them for a while and you'll soon get a feel for what you like.

    To install a distro, put the CD in your cdrom with your computer BIOS set where you can boot from your cdrom when the computer is restarted. Hope that made sense.

    Good distros that treat new users in a humane way would include Mandriva, Suse, Fedora, and Ubuntu. There are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

    Welcome to the forums!

  3. #3
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Seattle, WA, USA
    As far as the partitioning thing, it requires a bit of a lesson:

    Your hard drive is not seen by the computer as a single drive. It is actually seen as a number of separate sections, called partitions. Now, for a Windows computer, the whole hard drive is usually made into a single partition.

    For Linux or multiple-OS computers, this is different. For example, let's say that I want to run Windows and Linux side by side on a 60 GB hard drive. I would probably have three different partitions:

    Partition 1: 30 GB for Windows
    Partition 2: 1 GB for Linux swap
    Partition 3: 29 GB for Linux

    Basically, Linux will require you to reformat your computer. The good news is that most distros will do it for you, or at least do the hard part for you. The bad news is that if you already have a partitioned drive, most likely, you will need to delete everything.

    So be sure to backup everything important before installing a new OS, but the partitioning step should be pretty easy to do.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    If you are giving the complete drive over to linux installing most linux distributions is very easy. The installer will suggest a partitioning scheme which you can either accept or reject. The basic partitioning scheme will work fine. Of course you can setup a different patitioning if you like.
    Live cd's are not really easier and run much slower. They are a nice way to view a distro without installing if a live cd is available for a distro your interested in.
    One distro that you may want to look at is Mepis. It runs as a live cd and installs from the very same cd. There are more distros that do this trick. Take a look around.
    Best of luck
    WARNING: I may be telling you more than I know !

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Texas, USA

    Cool distro

    Cabhan is correct about partitioning. If you want to dual boot, I would consider adding a shared partition (several gb) formatted with (FAT) file system so you can store files that will be "seen" by both OSs. Also defrag and backup important files before any installation.

    Expect a learning curve.

    Check your hardware compatibility first.

    Try to stick to a mainstream distro as there will be more users presenting problem/solution scenarios for you to learn from. Also there will most likely be more applications to choose from.

    Mandrake/Mandriva has a very friendly GUI interface and excellent installer/partitioning utility, but you can also commandline if need be. It also has very good hardware support.

    One of the biggest issues for new user is internet connection. Aside from network connections, ethernet thru NIC to DSL is preferred method, but if not possible then be advised that there are generally two dialup methods.

    1. Internal PCI modem - Whether or not it is linux compatible, you will have to find drivers, locate and load kernel sources, load the drivers, etc.. Things are getting way better these days but be warned, it is a PROJECT for newbies (I have done it).
    2. Use an external serial port modem - no external drivers required, they can be had used for under $5 from local thrift shop, and they are generally faster than internal PCI modems. They still require setup in a dialer but it is still way easier.

    AOL is not compatible with linux, except fot Linspire. There is a special authentication based dialer called penggy which myself and many others have never been able to get to work properly.

    good luck

  7. #6
    Just Joined! ~tux~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Before I start, welcome to the forums!

    Before you start getting into the nitty gritty bits of linux, I suggest you try a few live cd's. I would suggest either DSL (damn small linux) or Puppy linux. Both are small (50-60 megs) so they dont take up too much bandwidth. You can muck around with these distros first then move on to other distros such as SUSE.
    Linux is a thing where the more you read about it, the easier some of its concepts become. So just do a google and read read read.

    Hope this helps!

  8. #7
    Linux User oosterhouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI


    PCLinuxOS has a guide to partitioning and installing on your pc, which helped me out alot. I had the same problems as you, but when I found PCLinuxOS, it was MUCH easier. Atleast get the ISO and use the LiveCD to check it out, if you like it, follow the guide and install it, if not, you can probably still use the guide to learn about linux.

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