FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Linux system recommendations please





DoctorBeaver
I want to give Linux a try but I don't know a lot about it. What's so good about it apart from it NOT being Microsoft?

Also, can anyone recommend what sort of hardware & Linux distribution I'd need just to try it out? I don't want to spend a fortune on a PC & then find I don't like Linux.

Alternatively, is there any way I can have Linux & XP on the same PC and be able to easily switch between the 2? I've got a 160Gb external drive so I could use that instead of partitioning the internal HD.
fiendskull9
you can use your current hardware for linux
and yes, its possible to have both concurrently and switch between (it'll let you choose whenever you boot up the computer)
I would check out ubuntu linux if your extremely new to linux (and dont have a vast knowledge of computers in the first place)

http://ubuntu.com

-clay
Ankhanu
One of the nice things about Linux is that you don't need much in the way of hardware at all to run most distros... a 10 year old system will still run many modern distros. It's strengths come in both its overall computing ability, and in that it is open source; it's a pretty good OS for developers with a TONNE of support. Linux systems might not make the best gaming platforms, but you'll be pretty happy for most applications.

As for a distro, for starting out, Ubuntu is a very easy to install and use distro. It's designed to be usable by anyone, from complete computer newbs to experienced Linux users. You definitely set up Linux and Windows on the same system, you'll just have to set up a boot loader to select what OS you want on boot up.
myrevolt
Knoppix. It's a live-cd distribution based on Debian (Ubuntu is based on Debian btw) meaning it will not touch your harddrive (though you can easily mount your partitions to read-only and even write if you confirm in the dialog box). I recommend ver. 3.7 for Pentium III and below and the latest (5.1) for newer hardware. Knoppix by default uses the KDE window-manager though you can type in boot: knoppix desktop=gnome to use the Gnome window-manager (many different wm are available on the DVD version)

Although many other distros have live-CDs hardware detection isn't as good as that of Knoppix. Ubuntu offers live-CDs as well but they are meant as install CDs.

Grub is a boot manager (there is also Lilo) that will allow you to boot different partitions (each with their own OS).

Use the GParted livecd ver. 0.3.0 for creating partitions, the one included on the Ubuntu live-cd sucks.

Linux is not the only alternative OS out there...there is BSD and many others.
Arnie
Ankhanu wrote:
a 10 year old system will still run many modern distros.
That's really exaggerated. In 1997 the Pentium II Klamath (max. 300MHz) was just out, and systems generally had 64 MB of memory. So that's even slower than the Celeron 500MHz with 64MB RAM my mother bought in 1999 or 2000, on which I did these tests with Xubuntu - a light version of a modern distro.

Although it's possible to run e.g. Debian on a Klamath with 64MB RAM (I did it) it requires quite some tweaking to be workable and still won't perform nearly as good as Win98SE.

According to me the minimum hardware that can run most modern distros nicely would be a Pentium III / Athlon or higher with at least 256 MB RAM. Below that you need to look at minimalist stuff like DeLi or DSL. With less than 64 MB of memory you're probably wasting your time, unless you use text-only mode (no graphical X). With a 386 or lower you're really wasting your time (you can get better machines for free from the dumpster).
DoctorBeaver
I'm a newbie to Linux but not to computers. The PC I'm thinking of putting it on is a Sony Vaio 2.8GHz twin P4 procs, 1Gb RAM.

I was looking at Debian as it comes bundled with a whole raft of software - including OpenOffice, which I already use.

I'm not into gaming so that's not an issue. I mainly surf & develop websites in php/mySQL. I know GIMP runs under Linux so I can use that for any web graphics I may need.

That raises another point. I've got some great programs on XP for fancy fonts, menu building, DB schemas, text to HTML, etc. I also use video clips & sound that I record & edit myself using XP programs (Adobe Premier Pro & Fruityloops). Can I use those programs to create files and read them from a Linux prog? Or would I have to stick them on a web repository then download them into my Linux partition?
Arnie
Debian is my recommendation. Your hardware specs are fine. Whether or not you're going to have driver issues with that laptop I'm not sure. Best way to find out is try... but it might get nasty.

I don't think you'll find replacements for all your Windows software on Linux. If the Windows installation containing the video files is on the same laptop, you can read the Windows partition from Linux, no web transfer needed.
DoctorBeaver
It's a desktop, not a laptop.
Lukero
Linux Mint is pretty good. I've tried it and I think it's better than Ubuntu.
Go here: http://linuxmint.com/
Loghete
Lukero wrote:
Linux Mint is pretty good. I've tried it and I think it's better than Ubuntu.
Go here: http://linuxmint.com/


But it's very buggy.

I'd say Ubuntu. It's easy to mess up many other distros.
DoctorBeaver
Arnie wrote:
Debian is my recommendation. Your hardware specs are fine. Whether or not you're going to have driver issues with that laptop I'm not sure. Best way to find out is try... but it might get nasty.

I don't think you'll find replacements for all your Windows software on Linux. If the Windows installation containing the video files is on the same laptop, you can read the Windows partition from Linux, no web transfer needed.


As I said in my earlier reply, it's a desktop not a laptop; but I use external harddrives. That shouldn't make a difference, should it?
DoctorBeaver
What if I use a VM to run Linux to see how I get on with it? Are there any VMs that are a doddle to set up? And as I'll probably want to try a few different Linux distros, how easy are they to uninstall?

Sorry for asking so many questions but I'm a total Linux noob Embarassed
Ankhanu
It'll probably be easier and quicker to download live CDs for a couple distros and just run it from your CD ROM without installing at all.
DoctorBeaver
OK. Thanks
Arnie
Oh I thought Vaios only were laptops, but anyway a desktop is a little less prone to problems. Using a VM won't give you any indication on the "real" performance because a VM emulates generic hardware while your Vaio may have some specific stuff.

I can't help you with external harddrives, don't have any experience...
DoctorBeaver
I tried installing VMware but as it was installing it stopped & said I needed Server IIs which I don't have. Are there any other VMs that are easy to set up?
myrevolt
As we've stated, try out a live-cd. But if you insist, use VMware's free VM server and "applications" for instance here. VM server requires email registration but it's pretty painless. I'm not sure what VMware product you were using, maybe enterprise or ESX? Vaios typically are laptops, the desktops are overpriced for what their worth. I've run distros on this PIII back when it has 128mb though I'll say that I can't get the newest version of Ubuntu to install because the installer freezes (insufficient RAM) even with 256mb. And don't worry about it, there has been a large transition of Windows "power users" to Linux n00bs lately. And external drives shouldn't make a difference other than data transfer speed; any competent Linux distro should be able to "see" and allow you to mount Windows partitions. I suppose you could try Microsoft Virtual PC...I'd avoid Boch's unless you know what you are doing. I think that about covers it, anymore questions?
DoctorBeaver
myrevolt wrote:
As we've stated, try out a live-cd. But if you insist, use VMware's free VM server and "applications" for instance here. VM server requires email registration but it's pretty painless. I'm not sure what VMware product you were using, maybe enterprise or ESX?


It was the free version.

Quote:
Vaios typically are laptops, the desktops are overpriced for what their worth.


I've had mine for almost 4 years and, yes, it was pricey; but I've had no hardware problems at all & it's still 1 of the fastest PCs around. Friends of mine said the same as you - "Too expensive for what it is". But it was their cheaper ones that had to keep getting fixed (HP seems to have been the worst for that) while mine flew quietly along.

Quote:
I suppose you could try Microsoft Virtual PC...I'd avoid Boch's unless you know what you are doing. I think that about covers it, anymore questions?


Tried it & it needs IIs.
swizzy
Loghete wrote:
Lukero wrote:
Linux Mint is pretty good. I've tried it and I think it's better than Ubuntu.
Go here: http://linuxmint.com/


But it's very buggy.

I'd say Ubuntu. It's easy to mess up many other distros.



I would say the top rated linx PCLinuxOS is unmessable! it does not allow login to root, thereby almost making it fully safe to be used even by newbies, they wont endup making any unwanted changes in the system!

Also PCLinuxOS has beryl preloaded (beryl even works off live!)

I think he should try pclinuxos, or suse... both have quite advanced configuration tools.
Med365
I use Fedora 7 Linux and I think it is a very good distribution, maybe you'll try it : http://fedoraproject.org/
DoctorBeaver
Thanks for all your useful comments.
LostOverThere
swizzy wrote:
I would say the top rated linx PCLinuxOS is unmessable! it does not allow login to root, thereby almost making it fully safe to be used even by newbies,


...Neither does Ubuntu.

If I were you, I'd seriously go Ubuntu.

Also Loghete, Linux Mint is a little bit buggy, but its getting better.
adeydas
Since you are new to Linux I would suggest using Mandriva. There are two versions available: Free and Paid but you could do very well with the free one.

Another thing is that since you are starting off, keep Windows on one partition and install Linux on another. That way you can always switch back to Windows for an emergency job if you are stuck up real bad on Linux. For a dual partition system, use Grub or Lilo to multi-boot.
kansloos
I found Ubuntu to break my Windows Installation twice... >.<
Not that I could really care about that, as only my dad had a problem, but it might be unusefull for a dual boot.

Maybe Ubuntu improved their ways in v7.10 maybe they didn't. However Fedora never broke anything and it is a good starter distro for sure. It runned smooth on my 1.7Ghz Intel Pentium 4 with 512 MB Ram, still it is kind of a memory hog. So in the end; Debian ftw
Jaan
There's no harm in trying Ubuntu to see if it works. If you get it working, then maybe try Debian. It's a bit harder to set up at first but once you've got the hang of it, it's way better.
BlueVD
Mandriva 2008 and Ubuntu are your best choice.
Both have live cd's and a well shaped community in case you need help.
IMHO mandriva wins when it comes to flexibility and the management part (hardware, software, etc).
They do have a long experience at this sort of things.
As to the hardware, it fits the bill.
Your only problem now is to pick the software you'll need =] Mandriva does have a long list of choices and later on, after you install it you can easily add software with urpmi. Anyway, these 2 distros should get you started up.
orcaz
use ubuntu! it automatically installs grub which lets u haf a dual boot, so u can choose either ubuntu or windoze on boot.
Ecthelion
I would also recommend Ubuntu.
You can try the live-cd no need for installs!
Never had any problems, and the ones I had were very quickly fixed with help of a very nice community.

Jaan wrote:
There's no harm in trying Ubuntu to see if it works. If you get it working, then maybe try Debian. It's a bit harder to set up at first but once you've got the hang of it, it's way better.


Dunno, debian vs ubuntu...
debian -> more stable, less new software
ubuntu -> less stable (except for the LTS version), more new stuff...

The ease to use ubuntu or debian is (in my opinion) quite the same... Debian is overall better for servers (stability!) and ubuntu for newbie user ...
JayBee
Try any Live CD. it is better then system in virtual machine.

I recommend Gentoo. This project has pretty Live CD or Live DVD. If you have some time an if you are patient, you could learn much more with this distro.

If you don't want to learn many new things, you should try KUbuntu or PCLinuxOS. If you have slow PC, you can use XUbuntu.

I thing it don't mind, which distro you use, but if you are able to work in that system (i thing all normal things like listen music, browse web, creating documents and spredsheets) and if you are able to forget to reboot to windows every time something don't work like you excepted.
LostOverThere
Go Ubuntu. It needs 192mb RAM. I'm sure you'll be fine.

For someone new, I'd stay away from Gentoo for new people, if you're new to Linux, the last thing you want is to have to compile your own software.
mirra
Can only add to the positive experiences with Ubuntu -- I'm not an experiences Linux user at all, but have managed to run the latest 7.10 on a desktop pc and on a laptop without major problems for half a year.

No crashes, and a large choice of excellent opensource software : Openoffice, Gimp, etc.

The only hurdle is some of the hardware drivers, for example to get native graphic card drivers or to get the microphone working in Skype ...
MarzEz
for booting linux and windows at once: linux comes with a boot loader called grub that lets you select which os to boot.
just install linux on a different partition.
and some of the graphical effects in Ubuntu 7.10 are so awesome, too
gersanlab
First, you have to try any Live CD (two or three) and find the LiveCD that work better in your computer. After, install the Linux distribution of that LiveCD.

I've used Debian (is the best for me) but you can try Ubuntu, Gentoo or Suse (it might have some of support).

The main problem for me was find drivers to my laptop.
LostOverThere
Not true gersanlab. On Ubuntu, you cant download a different driver and install it on the live cd (obviously) but once you install it you can.

LiveCDs are a waste.
gersanlab
You don't understand me. I said: try a liveCD because when you use it, you can see what work and what doesn't work of your hardware with a linux distribution LiveCD.

In my laptop some LiveCD didn't work and others "half-works". After, I installed the selected linux distribution (I use Debian) and later I found the drivers of my hardware that with native linux distribution didn't work.

I mean, there are linux distributions that directily doesn't work on some laptops; it happened to me.

LiveCD allow us to try some linux distribution before choose one.
Arnie
He thinks Ubuntu is always the best distro for everyone, so no need to test anything. And of course it has perfectly working drivers for all hardware anyone could possibly have, so there's no need to see how hardware support is either. Brick wall

Oh sorry, I forgot to mention: it also has the greatest colour scheme ever!
LostOverThere
Arnie wrote:
He thinks Ubuntu is always the best distro for everyone, so no need to test anything. And of course it has perfectly working drivers for all hardware anyone could possibly have, so there's no need to see how hardware support is either. Brick wall

Oh sorry, I forgot to mention: it also has the greatest colour scheme ever!


Listen, all I'm saying is that it is impossible to test out your graphics card with live cd's. Because when you install a new driver and reboot with a live cd, everything gets wiped.

Really, the best way to see if something works is to just install it. You can always change distros afterwards, just because you install something doesn't mean you're stuck with it forever.

I don't think Ubuntu is the best for everything, but I do think it is best for general use, which is what most people require. For example, for very very lightweight systems I would recommend Damn Small Linux, or for advanced users who really want to learn the Linux kernel I would recommend something like Slackware or Gentoo. But for those who are honest about getting something done, who want it pick up install and use, who don't know much about Linux, and who simply want to word process, email, web browse, listen to music and play games I would recommend Ubuntu.

Oh sorry, I forgot to mention it also has like every other linux distro the ability to change your desktop theme. Why judge a distro on its colour theme?

Please Arnie, if you don't like something someone else is suggesting, that's fine. That's why you're registered and post here, to express your opinion. But please, don't attack others for their decission, you are welcome to comment but please don't attack.
Arnie
Quote:
Listen, all I'm saying is that it is impossible to test out your graphics card with live cd's. Because when you install a new driver and reboot with a live cd, everything gets wiped.
Weren't the Linux fanboys always bragging about not needing to reboot when they install a driver?? And would these "general users" you're describing know how to install a driver in Linux? If not, then they're stuck with the default automatic detection, and guess what a live CD uses...

Quote:
Really, the best way to see if something works is to just install it.
The problem here is that this "average user" you're saying the U-thing is so good for, will have a hard time "just installing" without damaging his current configuration and/or wasting his time. And that's one of the reasons stuff like Knoppix exists. Besides, even for people who are able to install Linux doing so takes longer than loading a live CD.

No, people don't usually have unpartitioned space on their drive and yes, resizing an existing partition is risky.

Oh, and I'm not judging the U-dist on its colour scheme or name... just stating that I think they're horrible. Is that politically correct enough...?

I rest my case. You should make sure to state that you're not liable for any damage people do to their computer while "just installing to test".
akshar
If u have more than 256MB of RAM take Ubuntu Live CD and get familer with Linux first. See if u find it useful in the first place
mehulved
akshar wrote:
If u have more than 256MB of RAM take Ubuntu Live CD and get familer with Linux first. See if u find it useful in the first place

AFAIK, minimum requirements for ubuntu 7.10 live CD is 512MB RAM.
LostOverThere
mehulved wrote:
akshar wrote:
If u have more than 256MB of RAM take Ubuntu Live CD and get familer with Linux first. See if u find it useful in the first place

AFAIK, minimum requirements for ubuntu 7.10 live CD is 512MB RAM.


No its not. Its 256mb RAM.

Ubuntu Website wrote:
CDs require at least 256 MB of RAM. Install requires at least 2 GB of disk space.


[Quote from here]
mehulved
LostOverThere wrote:

No its not. Its 256mb RAM.

sorry, my mistake.
bostko
I recommend fedora its grate for beginners and it has grate support.
Coen
I wouldn't reccomend using Ubuntu as a beginner unless you have some computer knowledge and are prepared to make some changes. For myself, Ubuntu didn't work that well as I had to try loads of things before several features actually worked.
I'd reccomend using Pardus as most things work and it's one of the bigger Linux versions, it was developed in order of the Turkish goverment. However, I have to admit that Ubuntu has many support fora so getting support and help on Unbuntu isn't that hard.
I would reccomend Pardus anyway as it is my favourite and worked best for me.
Related topics
what linux games do you play?
help me with some linux configuration errors please.
Linux softwares vs Windows software
Run Linux applications on Windows?
What Linux?
is windowmaker proyect dead??
10 things you should know about every Linux installation
What is Free BSD?
Lineage II (C4 chronicle)
The Best Secure Linux System
I want to setup my Linux own server
How Can I learn Linux System
I need Linux Installation Help:: PLEASE HELP ME!!!
A Computer Virus on Linux (informed discussions only please)
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Computers -> Operating Systems

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.