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animal
08-14-2004, 05:33 AM
I need to load Linux on one of my machines. I have some scripts and a c program to write to connect to unix machines through the internet.Nothing Illegal of course. I haven't been involved with Linux for years. Most of my UNIX experience is on a HP-UX server. I think I'll put it on my Dell Laptop. I'll have to connect to the internet via a pcmcia ethernet card. Does anyone have a recomendation on the flavor of Linux and where it can be downloaded from?

Wide
08-14-2004, 05:40 AM
Speedman turned me on th Debian, I been using redhat & fedora & freebsd

Now I am hooked on Debian,

go to Debian.org & download the boot files then do a ftp install so you have all the latest packages.

:D

speedman
08-14-2004, 01:49 PM
Debian is the ultimate operating system - install once and run for the life of the hardware. It's a sys admin's dream come true. That being said it can be somewhat difficult to install - you really have to know your hardware and how to manually configure it under Linux.

An easy way to get get Debian Sid - the most current Debian branch - is to install from a live CD such as:

Knoppix (http://knoppix.org) or Kanotix (http://kanotix.com/info/index.php).

animal
08-14-2004, 08:28 PM
Well, I'm to downloading debian via jigdo. Hopefully I can burn my own cd's

speedman
08-15-2004, 01:35 AM
Don't waste your time downloading complete isos. Just grab a net install cd, so you only end up pulling down what you need. There are no install cds for Sid. You have to install the base system then change the sources to point at Sid and then proceed from there.

animal
08-15-2004, 05:47 AM
Just grab a net install cd, so you only end up pulling down what you need.
At first I tried the network install, as Wide origionally suggested, but I found out, after a lot of reading, on a Dell laptop, you have to have a built-in lan card for that to work. My only lan on that laptop is via PCMCIA. I'll have compatable PCMCIA after I do the install. But, unless I decide to put it on my desktop instead. My best recourse seems to be a CD install, and then connect to the internet for any further downloads. I'm also trying to get the sarge version installed. I heard Woody was the last stable version, but sarge is very close to being stable. ... I'll just be glad to use a computer again that does not have Windows Propriatary bullshit on it. The only thing I'll do with my Windows desktop machine is play a couple of games, if I can get it away from my daughter for a couple hours someday... Teenagers. :rolleyes:

speedman
08-15-2004, 12:37 PM
There are 3 full branches of Debian:

- stable (currently known as Woody)
- testing (currently known as Sarge)
- unstable (always known as Sid)

There is also an experimental branch that is not a complete branch.

When Sarge is declared stable (scheduled for the 15th of September) Woody will go EOL and a new testing branch will open up in preparation to build the following stable release.

With regards to actual usability - nothing and I mean absolutely nothing out there is even close to being as stable as Debian stable. That being said, just like everything else in life the first thing you have to do is decide what you want and the next thing you have to decide is what you are willing to give up to get it. WRT Debian stable you can choose it for surpeme stability, but the price you will pay will be not having the latest and greatest versions of applications available. Security updates are always back ported to Debian stable, but no major version bymbers ever change once the branch has been frozen.

Debian testing on the other hand can be quite volatile at times as major groups of packages filter down from Sid into testing all at once causing breakage. Testing should only be used by those people working on the next stable release, or willing to help out by providing bug reports etc..

Sid being referred to as unstable is a major misnomer. Debian unstable is more stable than just about any other Linux distro that claims gold status. Sid is the preferred branch for Developers, hackers and people who want to have the latest and greatest packages available on their desktop. Sid will require an end-user to learn a tremendous amount about Linux, but the rewards are well worth it.

In order to get a system up to Sid you first have to install a base system - preferably a minimal stable install - and then modify /etc/apt/sources.list to point at the unstable repositories. Then all it takes is a simple:

apt-get update

... which sets your available package list to the Sid archives and then:

apt-get dist-upgrade

... which downloads the new packages and upgrades you to the unstable branch

It's a completely different manner of managing systems, but once you are up and running that's it. apt-get update && apt-get upgrade for the life of the hardware and you're good to go.

Best of luck.

Jamorris
08-15-2004, 03:38 PM
There are 3 full branches of Debian:

- stable (currently known as Woody)
- testing (currently known as Sarge)
- unstable (always known as Sid)


Best of luck.

I have a Sony Vaio K13 notebook I'd like to run Linux on. It has Wi-Fi, Memory stick reader, USB, DVD/CDR-W drive and a few other gizmos I'd like to keep functional. Anything out there I'd be interested in?

I use the notebook when my wife is hawgin the desktop and when we go on trips for road maps and keeping up on email/web things.

BTW, got rid of all the Norton stuff and got AVG going, it made the difference on the desktop.

Jerry

animal
08-15-2004, 04:53 PM
Thanks for all the good info on the branches Speedman. I'll take a look at sid. I hate having to recompile the kernal after I install, that used to be a potential nightmare with the older versions of linux. (Slackware, red hat).

animal
08-15-2004, 04:59 PM
have a Sony Vaio K13 notebook I'd like to run Linux on
Jamorris, Here is a webpage that I used for info on compatability, and installations with specific laptops. They have info on just about every laptop.

http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/

Good luck

Jamorris
08-15-2004, 10:21 PM
have a Sony Vaio K13 notebook I'd like to run Linux on
Jamorris, Here is a webpage that I used for info on compatability, and installations with specific laptops. They have info on just about every laptop.

http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/

Good luck

Been there. They don't have my particular model. Thanks

Jerry

speedman
08-16-2004, 12:38 PM
Grab Knoppix, which is a live Linux CD based on Debian Sid. Knoppix has awesome hardware detection and will quickly let you know if your laptop is supported without having to install anything to the hard drive.

More information here: knoppix.org (http://knoppix.org).

animal
08-16-2004, 08:01 PM
I looked at Knoppix, BTW, there are pretty cheap cds on ebay. The thing that confuses me about Knoppix, is I read that everything can be ran from the cd. Do they give you the option to install the packages on your hard drive, and not use the cd rom at all?
I think I'll bid on the Knoppix cd. It seems to be the latest version, and it seems to include everything. I'm more interested in command line stuff, but I should be able to reconfigure it to boot to the command prompt, and load the GUI when I want to access the HCG, and stuff like that. I'm used to old school Linux, you used to run into problems letting the GUI scripts edit your configuration files. I can't wait to get away from microsoft.

Wide
08-16-2004, 08:19 PM
Ebay? Knoppix is free & they come out with a new version very often.


Yes you can install it to the hard drive, I have never done it personally.


I always keep a Knoppix disk on hand for "computer work" :D

speedman
08-16-2004, 08:22 PM
The thing that confuses me about Knoppix, is I read that everything can be ran from the cd.

Hence it being referred to as a "live" Linux distribution.


Do they give you the option to install the packages on your hard drive, and not use the cd rom at all?

sudo knx-hdinstall

... will start the installation procedure.

animal
08-16-2004, 10:08 PM
Ebay? Knoppix is free & they come out with a new version very often.


Yes you can install it to the hard drive, I have never done it personally.


I always keep a Knoppix disk on hand for "computer work" :D
Yes, that's the wonderful thing about Linux, is it's free. There have always been people who charge you $3-$5 for them to make you a CDR copy. I'd only go that route if there is a problem with the net install. I've always liked open source too, with a little c programming knowledge you can make linux do anything. Well not anything.... I haven't found a way to get it to suck my dick yet, but I like writing little apps, and using the source that comes with it to learn all the clever programming tricks they use.

animal
08-18-2004, 07:20 PM
This kicks ass, all of the installation headache of linux has been removed in the last couple of years, everything ran for me flawlessly. I'm now running the latest version of Knoppix, the latest sid kernal. I love this shit. KDE has the old HP-UX feel. I installed everything on my hard drive, and it's comforting to know that if I mess up any of the wrong files, they are all on the live cd to recopy. I had to copy everything to my hard drive, brcause my laptop cd drive gets flaky sometimes, it's pretty old.I'm really happy with it, and I want to thank you guys for all your great help. drunks

speedman
08-18-2004, 07:25 PM
Cool stuff animal. Glad to see you have escaped the clutches of the dark side. :D

Jamorris
08-21-2004, 01:16 AM
Speedmen, I have three distros of linux. Today I picked up live CDs of SUSE and a version of knoppix called WFTL. WFTL is a version of knoppix put out by Marcel Gagne. I haven't tried my RedHat package, I don't think it has a live CD, but I'll check into it. The desktop looked nice on both SUSE and WFTL. Nevr did a live run before. It sure is nice to not have to worry over getting things cleared out on a bad install.

SUSE and WFTL did not detect the winmodem, of the WI-Fi connection. The memory stick reader/writer also was not evident. I expected to have to compile the winmodem into the kernal. I hope the Memstick and Wi-Fi connection aren't a biggie,too.

I was paranoid over the modem, memstick and Wi-Fi, I didn't explore the rest. These thee periphs are a must have on the notebook.

Once I get the notebook up as a linux only box, I will do a dual boot install on the desktop. The learning experience on the notebook should minimize the hassle I'll get from the wife over desktop downtime.

It just popped into my head, the notebook is a possible tool to use for the 04 Sportster. should I dual boot it, or are the apps available for the periphs I'll use to check out the Sportter? This will be after the warranty expires, so it is not great rush.

Jerry

Who may become a linux newbie pest!

speedman
08-21-2004, 01:37 AM
What is the chipset on the winmodem?

cat /proc/pci

... will tell you, or post the output here and I will decipher it for you. Windmodems are well supported if they have a Conexant, or Lucent chipset, which make up the bulk of them.

WRT USB memory if the distro does not automagically add an fstab entry for you during the install you can add one afterwards as such:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/usbstorage vfat rw,noauto,user 1 0

... then create the mount point:

mkdir /mnt/usbstorage

WRT WIFI you will have to load the kernel module for the card manually if the distro you are using didn't automatically recognize it.

cardctl ident

... will give you the info required to identify it and locate the proper module.

Do yourself a favour and grab the latest version of Knoppix. All of the other live CDs pale in comparison - even the ones that are Knoppix based.

HTH

Jamorris
08-21-2004, 01:53 AM
Speedman, I'll have to order the latest knoppix cd. When I get that out of the way, I'll start documenting what I need to compile a kernal. I remember looking up the modem chipset for the notebook, but I'll have to do it again. conexant seems like the right one.

I pulled the winmodem out of the desktop and installed a US Robotics linux modem. But the desktop has three readers that are likely to be a problem area. one memstick, one compactflash and something called a smart mem card.. It also has firewire ports.. Sony puts out a hell of a PC, just wish they'd start supporting linux.

Jerry

speedman
08-21-2004, 02:02 AM
All of those removable memory types are supported across the board, as is Firewire aka IEEE 1394.

There is no need to compile a custom kernel for any of the hardware you have mentioned so far.

Best of luck.

BronxFatboy
08-21-2004, 01:08 PM
You should give Gentoo a look too.Although it's not newbie friendly once installed it is a solid distro.
It is a long install process if you build the OS from source,but it let's you optimize for your hardware.I have 2 gentoo systems and this laptop is dual-booting gentoo and XP.
Gentoo had great documentation and the support forum is great.
Looking into freebsd now.I like it so far.I'm going to grab a debian release soon to give it a try.

BFB

speedman
08-21-2004, 01:13 PM
Wide and I had a thread going about 6 months ago regarding Linux and I was surprised at the number of HCG'ers using it. It looks like the number of members here using, or interested in Linux is growing. Good stuff.