Point me in the right direction(linux noob)

Wiseguy2001

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Ok I have a spare pc lying around (well a few) and want to install and learn Linux. I have a good knowledge of working with windows and command prompt/dos. In my day job i support applications that run on UNIX, so there are times when i do have to access unix via telnet, so im not a total stranger to the commands (i use around 10 lol) and im familiar with some of the stuff that goes on.

a Few questions: -
1. Which disto? (please don't turn this into a war about which one is the 'best
2. Recommend some good books/guides on the web? (Apart from their faq's)
3. Recommend some good applications to get the most out of it, such as multimedia, office (ive heard good thing about open office), admin tools, things to customize it e.g.

Any help will be greatly appreciated
 

James McGee

Weaksauce
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Jul 10, 2003
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Wiseguy2001 said:
Ok I have a spare pc lying around (well a few) and want to install and learn Linux. I have a good knowledge of working with windows and command prompt/dos. In my day job i support applications that run on UNIX, so there are times when i do have to access unix via telnet, so im not a total stranger to the commands (i use around 10 lol) and im familiar with some of the stuff that goes on.

a Few questions: -
1. Which disto? (please don't turn this into a war about which one is the 'best
2. Recommend some good books/guides on the web? (Apart from their faq's)
3. Recommend some good applications to get the most out of it, such as multimedia, office (ive heard good thing about open office), admin tools, things to customize it e.g.

Any help will be greatly appreciated

1. I would recommend either SuSE V.9.1, Yopper, Mandrake. They all install easy and usually come up to desktop with everything working. There may be more powerfull distros out there,but they are not as easy to install and use. Oh ya, I've been playing with Buffalo Linux the last few days...am rather impressed with it too for ease of install, ease of installing programs, and ease of use in general, desktop looks very nice.
2. Online user forums are your best souce of information and help, but there are lots of good books and manuals to help out too.
3.Open Office will be a great one. You have your word processor, spreadsheet, database, and presentation all in one and it is Word/Excel/and dbf compatable. Opera has a good web browser going for linux along with mozilla. Just about anything you want is out there someplace on the net.
 

DiZASTiX

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Oct 21, 2002
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I pretty much agree with what James McGee said.

1. Suse or mandrake are good for linux noobs, but I prefer a distro like slackware or gentoo, sure they are a bit "harder" to install and use for someone who doesn't know anything about linux, but it is worth it in the long run, trust me. You will learn a lot more using a distro like slackware. If you are up to it, I would say try slackware. If you just want an easy install to get linux running try mandrake or suse.
2. Online forums are great, they usually contain guides that are helpful. IMO, [url="http://www.linuxquestions.org]LinuxQuestions.org[/url] is the best linux community there is :).
3. Open office is great, I would try it out first, it contains all the stuff that microsoft office has. But if you want just a word replacment, you can try AbiWord. As for media, xmms and mplayer are good for mp3 and video. It really depends on what you want to do.

Good luck!
 

Arkaine23

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Best is to learn by doing and asking in forums. Its a whole lot of new information at first but as with any complex problem, you break it into pieces and and do/learn one piece at a time.

I also recommend Yoper.
 

MEfreak

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DiZASTiX said:
1. Suse or mandrake are good for linux noobs, but I prefer a distro like slackware or gentoo, sure they are a bit "harder" to install and use for someone who doesn't know anything about linux, but it is worth it in the long run, trust me. You will learn a lot more using a distro like slackware. If you are up to it, I would say try slackware. If you just want an easy install to get linux running try mandrake or suse.
My opinion is contrary to yours. My experiences as a noob with Gentoo were a lot of reading, following directions, typing commands when told, waiting for compiles to finish, and not learning much at the end of the process. Information overload. I didn't learn very much at all until I went to a slightly less demanding distro. Based on my experiences, I would recommend the OP try with a distro that provides a desktop upon install (Yoper is nice and very fast to install).

Choice is wonderful, linux is free (for the most part), and everyone's experiences will differ. Keep a copy of Gentoo/Slack in your back pocket, and if you aren't learning enough from your Mandrake/Yoper/Whatever install, fire up the more advanced distro and give it a whirl (or vice versa).
 

HHunt

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For the programs, KDE will have everything you need, if you use it. There are better alternatives for most tasks, but they will do just fine, and the common look and feel makes getting used to them that much easier.
 

BillLeeLee

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1.) I think SuSE and Fedora are good for the beginners. When you want some crazy control, then it's time for Gentoo or such.
2.) The Linux Documentation Project
3.) Like HHunt said, KDE comes with almost everything you need. But I don't use KDE, so I don't like my resources being used up by Kdeinit just to use a KDE app.

Office app - Openoffice Ximian - a slightly prettier version of Openoffice. Still feels a little sluggish though, and it has some quirks when you open up a document made in MS Office.
Text editor: Vim, sciTE (programming tool)
Instant Messenging: Gaim
Prettification: Gdesklets, Gkrellm2
CD/DVD burning - K3B - this is the main reason why I have kdelibs on the comp. It's the best cd burning app on Linux.
Terminal: aterm
Window manager: Fluxbox or Openbox
Music Player: XMMS or Rhythmbox
Video player: mplayer or xine
Internet browser: Mozilla Firefox
Mail client: Sylpheed-claws
Image editing: GIMP-2.0
Cd-ripping - Grip
FTP: ncftp (command line) or gftp (gui)
Image viewer: Feh or pornview
IRC client: Irssi
 

Wiseguy2001

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Thank you all for your input, i've looked at other 'which linux for noobs' threads and none are anywhere near as much quality as the links in here.

I've started downloading knoppix, slackware and Yoper - heard good things about all of them.

Just one more question, for now anyway. how compatable is liniux when reading ntfs drives?
 

HHunt

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Wiseguy2001 said:
Just one more question, for now anyway. how compatable is liniux when reading ntfs drives?

Reading should work just fine. Just don't expect to write anything.

And regarding KDE: While it's usually a waste to use one KDE application, using several isn't too bad. (There's a big base system, but everything on top of it is small, so to speak. The memory use and cpu load from konqueror + kate + konsole + kmail shouldn't be worse than firefox + gvim + aterm + evolution. It would be unfair to look at koffice vs. openoffice. :D )
 

towert7

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I have tried Knoppix live Eval (among others), and it worked good on almost all of my old systems. I never had many problems with it.

My friend set up a Red Hat 9 box at my school, and it was very easy to set up! Im not sure how redhat compares to suse for install, but you can't get much eaiser.

You will find that a lot of Unix commands are eaither the same, or similar to linux.

cd, ls, uptime, chmod... they all work the same basically.

I got a book from my local library. It was nothing special, but it helped me learn the commands. Once you learn the comands, your easy sailing.

And of course, your best bet for quick answers are online forums like this.

~Hope this helps, and keep us posted.
 

HHunt

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towert7 said:
You will find that a lot of Unix commands are eaither the same, or similar to linux.
cd, ls, uptime, chmod... they all work the same basically.
~Hope this helps, and keep us posted.


Indeed. Things like directory structure, how-to-compile/install, how to set up X, etc. are, if not alike, at least based in the same sort of thinking. (It's especially obvious when moving between BSD and linux.)

Oh, and towert7: I challenge you to a spelling competition. In norwegian.
:D
 

towert7

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lol, and im going to college ^_^.

I know what you mean, my spelling is horrible... (its much better from when i was 13years old though).

Ide say 10% of the time i type it wrong, and the other 90% of my mistakes are just bad spelling.
 

HHunt

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I've seen much worse. :)
(I'm an ESL guy, so I try to avoid picking on peoples english, in case I don't notice some ugly mistakes of my own.)

I was mainly wondering how literal you were about
"~Few people dare to challenge me. Should one do so, there is one less."
^ that. :D
 

towert7

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HHunt said:
I've seen much worse. :)
(I'm an ESL guy, so I try to avoid picking on peoples english, in case I don't notice some ugly mistakes of my own.)

I was mainly wondering how literal you were about
"~Few people dare to challenge me. Should one do so, there is one less."
^ that. :D
OHHHHHHHH, i get it now. Wow, your the first one to ever comment on that ^_^
 

cloaked

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BillLeeLee said:
Office app - Openoffice Ximian - a slightly prettier version of Openoffice. Still feels a little sluggish though, and it has some quirks when you open up a

...

Image viewer: Feh or pornview
IRC client: Irssi
wow thats a little scary. it matches my applications almost 100%, except for my xcdroast over k3b. (i would use k3b if it didnt start 5 other kde processes with it :mad: ) i stick to gtk apps when possible, but there is some really good stuff for kde qt i cant find anywhere else.
 

Brad4321

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My old lan system (which I have to use since my desktop is in boxes) is running mandrake. I had fedora on it for a while when I used it as a server, but now that I have to use it everyday, madrake is the answer.

Mandrake is the most "user friendly" of all linux distros, I think. Install KDE, and it is just like running XP. Well, until you try to do anything ;).
 

Wiseguy2001

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wow

I just had a go with Knoppix and a can't believe how easy it is to use, i had the networking setup within minutes and the amount of stuff that comes with it. :eek:

Its not very responsive but to be fair its running off a cd and on a pc without much memory. Would not dream of trying it with winXp/2000

I can't believe MS has such a strong hold with operating systems like this around, but i will not abandon MS (i can't) this differently has its Pros. More business should switch to Linux were users only want to write documents, surf the net and write emails.

I can’t believe I didn’t try Linux before, I can't believe I’m saying all this after using it for less than an hour. Need I say that I'm impressed?
 

towert7

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Wiseguy2001 said:
wow

I just had a go with Knoppix and a can't believe how easy it is to use, i had the networking setup within minutes and the amount of stuff that comes with it. :eek:

Its not very responsive but to be fair its running off a cd and on a pc without much memory. Would not dream of trying it with winXp/2000

I can't believe MS has such a strong hold with operating systems like this around, but i will not abandon MS (i can't) this differently has its Pros. More business should switch to Linux were users only want to write documents, surf the net and write emails.

I can’t believe I didn’t try Linux before, I can't believe I’m saying all this after using it for less than an hour. Need I say that I'm impressed?


Yea, i had the Knoppix Live Evaluation running off a 2x CD-ROM drive...... pentium2 350mhz, and it was fine for me. Seemed like windows 95 installed on the hard drive.

And i agree 100%. The general public does'nt even know what "FTP" is, so i don't think there ready to make the big jump to a Non-MS operating system.

But yea, it sure does save money ea? ^_^

Great OS for setting up folding boxes, or servers.

If you like knoppix, there is an option to install it on the hard drive, although i never did this yet. Live-CD is nice, because you don't have to worry about loosing the OS. If anything happens, just restart the computer and your back to normal.

Give it 7 years, then people will be looking at other Operating systems if microsoft keeps making them more expensive, and other things like activation.
 

Josh_B

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I'm sure others may have already mentioned it, but Mandrake is a pretty good distro, and is also fairly easy to learn.

It's a full fledged Linux distro, but with some good GUI tools...
 
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