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    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Linux Guide

    I have been asked to put together an installation guide for Linux. Well, here goes. It won't be the type of guide that provides for a step-by-step installation. They are all over the net and besides, documentation comes with the distribution. For Mandrake it was a .pdf document. This post will concentrate on some of the decisions that you should make before you start.

    Do you need Linux?
    First question is, ´why do you think you need it?¡ If you are a gamer, Linux is not for you. At least not yet. If your primary needs are office applications, email and browser, then Linux can fill that need. The great thing is that all of these programs are included in the distribution.

    Which distribution should you choose?
    There are many Linux distributions. Some are are full fledge operating systems with a wide range of applications included in the distribution. Others are smaller operating systems for more specialized uses. The four big names are Red Hat, Mandrake, Debian and Suse. There are also some lesser known distributions that are getting positive press which include Fedora, Gentoo and Knoppix.

    It is impractical to test every distribution, so I recommend some time with Google to read others opinions. Over the past two years, I have installed Red Hat, Mandrake (several times), Suse and Knoppix. The look and feel was similar in all of these distributions. Red Hat probably has the most eye candy. I ended up choosing Mandrake 10.1 probably because I was more familiar with it.

    For those of you that are curious and would just like to try Linux, without having to deal with partitioning issues, Knoppix is the answer. With Knoppix, you boot into Linux from a CD.

    Nothing is installed on the HD.

    Where do you get Linux?
    All of the distributions can be downloaded via the internet. A Google search for the distribution will find the download location. You will need a fast connection because distributions consist of 1 to 4 CDs. Mandrake 10.1 required a 3 disk download of more than 700mb per disk. I accomplished the task over two days.

    You can also purchase Linux disks. Here is one location. Download

    Installation:
    If you want a dual boot system, start with a fresh Windows install. During the Windows install you will decide how large the Windows partition should be. A convenient method would be 50/50. Once the Windows installation is complete proceed to the Linux installation. You will install it to the unused portion of the HD. The Linux distribution will automatically create several partitions on that unused portion and then proceed with the installation. A boot menu will be created that allow you to choose which OS to boot when the computer is turned on.

    Obviously, you can also install Linux on a separate hard drive.

    The computer should be connected to LAN and/or the internet. Printers, scanners, etc, should also be connected before starting. The installation will most likely most likely install these items with no action on your part.

    Big Booger contributed the following:
    Below is a good general guide on Getting Started With Linux:

    http://www.zdnet.com.au/reviews/soft...9152768,00.htm

    Perhaps mention http://freshmeat.net/ http://kde.org/
    http://www.linuxhelp.net/ http://www.linuxquestions.org/ http://www.groupsrv.com/linux/index.php http://www.yolinux.com/ etc... With a little explanation for each.

    This site was critical for me in getting Linux working with Nvidia
    products in the early stages of the game:
    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=13

    And for the Nvidia Driver:
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux.html

    And let's not forget ATI:
    http://www.ati.com/support/drivers/l...eon-linux.html

    Printing & Linux:
    http://www.linuxprinting.org/

    Linux Sound Support:
    http://www.alsa-project.org/

    Linux and Networking:
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...p?s=&forumid=3
    http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplan...orials/2047/1/

    Linux & Gaming:
    http://www.linuxgames.com/
    http://www.linux-gamers.net/modules/news/
    http://www.transgaming.com

    Linux Security:
    http://www.linuxsecurity.com/

    Linux Distros:
    http://distrowatch.com/
    http://www.linuxiso.org/

    Linux on Laptops:
    http://www.linux-laptop.net/




    Last edited by efc; October 24th, 2004 at 04:07 AM.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

  2. #2
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    moved to "Software" and stuck.

    =========== Please Read The Forum Rules ===========

  3. #3
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Linux Mint Debian Edition

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    Triple Platinum Member hotmale's Avatar
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    Great guide, efc. Thanks for your time and effort!

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    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Excellent Sir...This should be of great help.

  6. #6
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    I tried two more distributions this week. I would rate one as my highest recommendation.

    SimplyMEPIS is a fantastic distribution. It is based on Debian. I loved the desktop layout and feel. The one killer problem was that the setup did not include my monitor.

    Sante Fe is a close second. Also based on Debian and had the same problem with my monitor. The resulting monitor flicker was a deal breaker. I will check back from time to time because these are both winners.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

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    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Linux Filesystems and Partitioning: A Primer

    Excellent article found http://www.tipmonkies.com/2005/06/23...oning-a-primer

    For those new to Linux, choosing a partitioning scheme and filesystem for their chosen distribution can be a real headache. Despite many Linux distributions carrying very slick installers nowadays, it can still be a nerve-wracking experience setting up partitions on your PC. As with most things, once you have undergone the partitioning process a couple of times you will be able to do it in your sleep.
    Not only can partitioning a hard drive cause much confusion among beginner users, but the sheer number of file systems available to format a hard drive, can further stump a user. Partitioning and choosing a filesystem is very important and it is best to pick those that will accommodate your needs from the very beginning.

    Read more @ the link

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    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Linux and BSD ISO Torrents


  9. #9
    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Run GNU/Linux from a USB pen drive

    http://applications.linux.com/applic...7.shtml?tid=13

    You can carry GNU/Linux in your pocket with a functional, quick, and useful USB pen drive distribution. Pen drives are faster than CDs, and the small distros that fit on them don't require huge amounts of memory for the operating system and applications.

    Slax is a powerful and complete bootable distro based on Slackware, equipped with kernel 2.6, ALSA sound drivers, Wi-Fi card support, X11-6.8.2 with support for many GFX cards and wheel mice, and KDE 3.4. Slax uses the Unification File System (also known as unionfs), which enables you to write whatever you want into the pen drive. Bundled software includes KDE, the KOffice office suite, GAIM for chat, the Thunderbird email client, and the Firefox Web browser.

    Read on @ the link!

  10. #10
    Triple Platinum Member hotmale's Avatar
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    If you admins/mods think this deserves a separate thread, just split it for me.

    This is from the Fedora download page:

    After downloading the ISO images, check the SHA1 checksums for the ISO images to ensure that your download was successful. Do this by running the sha1sum program from a shell prompt against your ISO images and comparing the values returned against the ones published by Red Hat. The file from Red Hat containing the official sha1sum values is called SHA1SUM and is located in the same directory as the ISO images on the FTP site.

    The following illustrates the correct syntax for the sha1sum command:

    Code:
    sha1sum <isofilename>
    In the above command, replace <isofilename> with the correct file name.

    If the SHA1 sums match, burn the ISO images to CD-Rs or CD-RWs. Note: writing the ISOs to CD requires a program such as cdrecord. If you want to perform a hard drive installation instead, copy the ISO image files to a location on the hard drive that will not be reformated for Fedora Core.
    I've downloaded the ISOs but what on Earth is sha1 sum and how do I check it in Windows?

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Beginners Guide: Server Setup with Mandrake/Mandriva 10.2

    This is a detailed guide for Linux beginners about how to setup a web, mail and FTP server with Mandrake/Mandriva 10.2. It covers every aspect of the installation and demonstrates the setup process with the help of 39 screenshots. Experienced system administrators will benefit from this tutorial as well.

    http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect_setup_mandrake_10_2

    Amazing. step by step setting up servers for different purposes using mandrake.

  12. #12
    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    *Thanks to Curio for turning me on to this site*

    This is a wonderful site put together by Jem Matzan. It has hardware reviews as well as a great deal of Linux info.

    http://www.thejemreport.com/mambo/co...page/Itemid,1/

  13. #13
    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    The Linux Learner's Guide

    *Posted here with the Authors permission*

    How To Use This Document

    GNU/Linux is not difficult to learn if you have the right tools and know where to look for assistance. With that in mind, The Linux Learner's Guide, or TLLG for short, is designed to make learning GNU/Linux a little less frustrating to endure. This guide is a concise collection of commonly used tricks, tips, commands and programs that will serve to help you learn the basics of GNU/Linux without the sarcasm and derision of asking a frequently asked question on a community message forum or mailing list. In addition, this document may also help you avoid the tediousness of attempting to find the information you need in The Linux Documentation Project and then translating it into understandable terms. Best of all, The Linux Learner's Guide is relatively short and designed to be easy to understand.

    Written by Jem Matzan, Michelle West, Jawad Niazi, RHCT, Linux+

    What this document is not is a step-by-step walkthrough or an instruction manual. Our goal is to help you help yourself by giving you the knowledge you need in order to learn on your own.

    The layout of TLLG is simple: there are normal chapter headings like in a real book, along with a table of contents to help guide you to the proper section. While we recommend reading the entire document from start to finish, it is also possible to use this guide as a reference only when you need it. Commands that you type in are marked with special formatting, as in this example:

    cdrecord -scanbus

    So you would type the words above into your terminal or shell window and press the enter key. Follow the capitalization and punctuation exactly - GNU/Linux is very specific about that. If you do not type in the exact words, you will not get the desired results. There is also a part of this document where we quote a configuration file to show you the proper section to change. The text in the configuration file is similarly formatted to better distinguish it from the normal document text.

    Where to go for help

    If you have questions that are not covered here, there are several avenues available for help. If you've purchased a retail box distribution such as Mandriva, SUSE, Linspire, or Xandros, the distribution company is obligated to provide you with installation support and a way to interact with the community either through message forums or email lists. Please attempt to solve the problem on your own (either by reading this guide, the Linux Documentation Project, the manual that came with your software distribution, or by searching the Internet) before posting a question to the community. If you do not know where to go for help, try the Linux.com forums as a starting point. Communities such as this tend to be young, vibrant, and most of all, extremely helpful in helping you find a solution to your problems.

    What is Linux?

    GNU/Linux is a Unix-like operating system invented jointly yet independently by Richard Stallman (who started the GNU project in 1984) and programmer Linus Torvalds (who designed the original Linux kernel in 1991). Linux is only a kernel (described below), but when we generally discuss ``Linux'' we are often referring to a GNU/Linux distribution. The term distribution includes the kernel, the GNU operating system that uses the kernel, and other programs and software like desktop environments, email clients, word processors, etc. that are bundled with the distribution.

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    Old, Cranky and Perverted Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    CONTINUED

    Distributions

    GNU/Linux distributions (or distros, for short) come in over one hundred different varieties and feature various tools like graphical installation utilities, software package management, customized desktop environments, proprietary hardware drivers, and kernel management programs. It's likely that there is at least one distro that will work for any given computing situation.

    Many modern distros are based on other, older distributions. For instance Linspire, Mepis, Knoppix, Xandros, and Ubuntu are some well-publicized examples of GNU/Linux distributions that are based on a modular, easily updated distribution called Debian. Others are based on Red Hat, Gentoo, and Slackware.

    There is a third category of GNU/Linux distribution which compiles itself and its programs from source code; these are generally referred to as source-based distributions. These are usually geared toward more advanced users. Examples of source-based distributions include Gentoo, Lunar, and Onebase. It's probably not a good idea to start your GNU/Linux adventures with something this advanced.

    If you're having trouble deciding which distribution to start with, we recommend Fedora Core, as it is easy to install and use, and generally has excellent hardware compatibility. If you'd like to read up on some of the different GNU/Linux distributions, check out http://distrocenter.linux.com/ .

    The levels of GNU/Linux

    GNU/Linux is understood best in layers or levels. Starting from the most basic, these are the levels of GNU/Linux:

    THE KERNEL: the fundamental instruction set for nearly every low-level aspect of the machine. The Linux kernel can contain the initial code for resource allocation and security, as well as the instructions necessary for the hardware to run (in other words, it's a low-level hardware interface). Furthermore, based on how the kernel was compiled, it can also decide who can log into the system and what permissions they have. The kernel is the most basic level of the OS but is more or less useless without libraries, shells and other important programs from the GNU Project.

    THE SHELL: software that interfaces with the kernel code and all software installed on the machine. This interface can be at a very low level or a very high level depending on the privileges the user is given. This privilege hierarchy is called user permissions and is reflected by the amount of control the user currently logged into the system actually has. This can be counter-intuitive, so be careful! The more control - or more permissions - a user is allowed, the lower the level of interfacing (the shell) between the kernel and the machine. A low-level shell open to a user indicates a high degree of privilege assigned to that user, and therefore more overall control is allowed.

    A shell allows you to type commands in a human language into a command line interface and then the shell passes the instructions to the kernel in machine language. The shell is not part of the kernel; it is a command language interpreter that uses the kernel to execute programs, create, delete, and edit files, and change settings on the machine. Examples of shells are BASH, TCSH, CSH, ZSH, and SH. Most GNU/Linux distros use BASH (which stands for Borne Again SHell) by default. A greater exploration of file permissions can be found in Appendix A.

    X WINDOW SYSTEM: (sometimes called an X server) a graphical framework that rides on top of the shell. It allows X clients (programs that require the X server) and desktop environments or window managers to run. In other words, the X Window System allows GNU/Linux users to benefit from a graphical user interface.

    DESKTOP ENVIRONMENTS AND WINDOW MANAGERS: graphical user interfaces that allow you to run graphical software, manage files, and perform shell commands through the interface. In other words it provides icons, menus, etc. that will in turn perform shell commands or communicate with the kernel. It also provides a high resolution workspace from which you can play graphic-intensive 3D games, use modern Web browsers, and any other software that requires a high resolution and color depth. KDE, GNOME, and Xfce are examples of desktop environments. There are distinctions between desktop environments and window managers: a window manager is a little ``thinner'' than a desktop environment. It does not have a desktop, icons, or specialized software modules to control system functions like a desktop environment does. Instead, a window manager uses a simple menu system to run shell commands. You can use a window manager in conjunction with a desktop environment to provide a desktop for icons, and a file manager to organize your files graphically. Some examples of window managers are Fluxbox, Enlightenment, and IceWM. If you have a slower computer, you might find better performance with a window manager than a full-blown desktop environment.

    The GNU Project

    GNU stands for GNU's Not Unix, which means that while a GNU-based operating system is designed to look and operate like Unix, it is not truly an identical copy of it. The GNU Project was started by Richard Stallman in 1984 and through the efforts of many fine software developers it grew into what it is today.

    While a university student in Finland, Linus Torvalds finished the first Linux kernel in 1991. When that kernel was then combined with the GNU Project, it formed a complete operating system known as GNU/Linux. While other kernels have been used in conjunction with the GNU Project, such as the Mach, BSD, and HURD kernels, the Linux kernel is by far the most popular and available. This popularity is why GNU/Linux is often shortened to just ``Linux.''

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    CONTINUED

    The Linux kernel

    The Linux kernel comes in many different varieties. To begin with there are different versions. The most common versions these days are derivatives of version 2.4 and version 2.6. We recommend selecting a distribution that uses the 2.6 kernel due to its expanded hardware support, better performance, and the fact that it is much easier to build, configure and use.

    A simple naming scheme is set up to help determine what kind of kernel you may be using: even numbers delineate ``stable'' or well-tested kernel versions, and odd numbers delineate ``unstable'' or development kernel versions. The 2.7 kernel, for instance, will be the development kernel that attempts to introduce major revisions and technological features to the 2.6 kernel. When it's complete it will be renamed 2.8 and be released as ``stable'' after sufficient testing.

    If a kernel needs specific support for a new kind of hardware, or if a security flaw or bug is discovered, a ``patch'' is released to fix it. Each major patch increments the kernel version's number, so you'll always want the highest number in the stable series that you can get. For example the 2.6.11 kernel is a better choice than the 2.6.4 kernel.

    Within the versions there are different flavors of the Linux kernel. The standard kernel is known as the Vanilla kernel. This is the ``safe'' kernel with all of the customary modules, settings, and options. The mm-patches kernel contains experimental changes and additions applied by 2.6 kernel maintainer Andrew Morton, and ac-patches contains kernel developer Alan Cox' experimental changes. Beyond these examples, every major distribution has its own custom kernel, tailored for its own goals and user base.

    How will you know which one to choose? The kernel that comes with your distribution is a good kernel to start with. When you become more proficient in the use and configuration of GNU/Linux then you might get some enjoyment out of experimenting with other kernels. One of the advantages of using GNU/Linux is that you can change kernels without changing anything else in your operating system other than updating some of the configuration files. An example of editing and compiling the kernel can be found in Appendix B.

    The GNU/Linux file structure

    The Unix directory structure, which applies to Unix, BSD, GNU/Linux and all other *NIX operating systems, is rather archaic but based on the POSIX specification and conforms to a standard that all such operating systems use. Here is a brief description of the directory structure that is generally used by most GNU/Linux distributions:

    / (the root directory; the parent directory for all other directories)

    /opt (where program files for 3rd party programs are kept)

    /etc (where most configuration files are kept)

    /bin (essential command binaries/executables)

    /sbin (essential system binaries/executables)

    /tmp (temporary files)

    /lib (shared libraries and kernel modules)

    /dev (device nodes for your hardware and peripherals)

    /home (where program config files, settings, and personal data is stored for each user)

    /root (root's home directory)

    /boot (where the boot files, such as GRUB and the compiled kernel, are kept)

    /mnt (symlinks to mounted drives in /dev)

    /var (system logs and variable data)

    /usr (global system/program files)

    /proc (virtual filesystem that reflects running kernel processes)

    Generally a user account does not have write permissions to any of these directories except the user's home directory. The root account has full access to all directories, however the /boot dir is not generally mounted by default in most distros. To access the /boot directory you may have to specifically mount it by using the mount command.

    The Shell

    Most GNU/Linux distributions use BASH (Born Again SHell) as the default shell, but there are several more that you may come across in your *NIX travels; TCSH and CSH are two examples of other shells. As mentioned earlier, the shell is the way we interface with the operating system. You type in commands and the system (hopefully) complies.

    Navigating the Command Line Interface (CLI)

    Files are stored in directories according to their nature and purpose. Using the command line interface is inevitable if you're going to use GNU/Linux or any other *NIX system. While you don't usually need to go to the CLI often or for very long, knowing how to use it is very important. This is how you have access to the shell and important system functions as far as your logged user privileges/permissions allow. Finding your way around the CLI means thinking in different terms if you're used to a graphical file manager. The directory structure above and the command reference below can be of some assistance when learning your way around. Here are the basic navigational functions:

    To change directories, type in cd and then the directory as in this example:

    cd usr

    This assumes you're in the root directory or that you're trying to go to a subdirectory within the one you're in. If you need to change directories from one to another, for instance from /usr/src to /lib, then you need to put a slash before the destination directory as in the following example:

    cd /lib

    To list files in the directory, type ls. To find a file or a directory, type whereis and then the filename. To copy, the command is cp, and to delete, the command is rm. With this basic knowledge you can begin to learn to navigate the command line interface.

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