which linux distribution?

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which linux distribution?

Postby juanpeyote » Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:08 pm

Hi.

I just built my new pc and was in the dilemma of keeping win98 or upgradin to XP, since I don´t have money to buy XP and feel like having new Xperiences with my PC I thought I´d try some Linux for a while te check it out to see what it can do.


So here´s what I need:

- to have dual boot (I still need to work on win 98) It will be on a different drive though.
I have a new hd ready for linux.
- I´ve never used Linux before, so I´d be completely newbie to this.
- I don´t want to spend money so buying boxed distribuition is out of the question.
- I have a dial up 56k modem connection so downloading RedHat is also out of the question.
- I don´t want to start a battle against drivers to get my harware to work.
- here are my specs:

MOBO: ECS k7s5a
ATHLON XP 1600
Geforce 2 mx 64 mb
IBM 40gb hd 7200 rpm
Some crappy TARGA monitor
On board sound or a generic SB 16 (although I´d be upgrading this very soon to something lot better.

SO here are the questions?

- Should I give it a try or is it going to become a pain in the ass?
- what distribution would you reccomend for my needs?
- Would my hardware work on linux?
- What about those minlinux that you can install without partitioning the drives (just in case I decide to keep linux just for fun, and install a Win os?
- Any suggestions or comments on how to proceed?


I know these are a lot of questions, and that I´d probably be better off on a Linux forum, but I wanted to give it a try from this forum since I really like the way people work around here.


Thanx
juanpeyote
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:16 pm

Well i would recommend the Redhat distribution if your a newbie. But be prepared to install it a few times before you get it right.
It should work with your hardware, just fine. if not then you can use basic drivers to get it to work. Biggest worry would be your modem - make sure its not a PCTEL or HSP piece of crap...

If you don't want to spend money on a boxed set. I could burn the CDs and send them to you. I would just charge for the CDs + shipping.

Best way to do this would be to create 2 paritions and install Win 98 on one and Linux on the other.
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Postby juanpeyote » Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:30 pm

Man that was fast...

Thannx for the quick answer...

About the modem I don´t know what you mean by PCTEL or HSP, it´s just a an "Ambient HAM FAXMODEM at V.90 typicall-generic-56kbps-dialup-piece of crap modem" So I hope it works or I´ll be connecting myself over WIn98.

About the CD´s well, thanx for the offer, but I live in Spain, so I guess Il´l try to get it from someone closer to me (unless of course you live in Spain).
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Postby EvLwMn » Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:46 pm

You have to make sure your modem has it's own controller on it or it won't work with Linux. I don't know anything about your modem but if it's truly a run-of-the-mill typical modem then it's probably a Winmodem and won't work. But don't take that as fact because I haven't researched that particular modem.
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:48 pm

PCTEL / HSP modems are generally pieces of crap because they run mainly on software. I have heard some people gettintg them to work, but its a pain.

Yours looks like its been done:

Click on "Cached" below the first google link (the main link is dead)...

http://www.google.com/search?q=Ambient+ ... gle+Search
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Postby EvLwMn » Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:00 pm

Well, from HJ's link I'd say your good to go dude 8)
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:06 pm

Generally Linux is a hardware based operating system. Anything that is run primarily through software {ie controller-less modems (win modems and pctel/hsp), some USB devices, etc..}, takes awhile to develop drivers for. Mainly because the windows drivers are closed source, so they have to make there own - and its usually done by ordinary people.
It takes awhile for drivers in Linux to be developped and stable. If your hardware is a year old, it standard a better chance of working then top of the line stuff...

Or course my Ultra-66/100 controllers have had drivers built into the kernel for nearly a year, but I still can't get them to work...damned 2.4.x kernels are crap...
Recompiled so many times my hard drive is whinning...
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Postby EvLwMn » Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:12 pm

I can sort of relate to that. I had 10 kinds of hell trying to install the ATI beta drivers for the Radeon cards (they came out in August). I never recompiled anything so much in my life :!:

I bought an ActionTec modem to try to avoid those kinds of problems though. It says right in the literature that it's Linux supported.
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:58 pm

This is why i usually stick to building Linux boxes out of older hardware. Strongest Linux box I ever built is my VA-503+ with AMD K6-2 500. I had it going on my P3-650 Toshiba 4340 laptop once, but not for very long...

Less margin for error on older systems and since I never leave console, I barely have any issues...
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Postby EvLwMn » Fri Oct 11, 2002 9:18 am

Well, I have to say that I can understand that. I'm running SuSE 8.0 on the following:

Asus P4B266
P4 2.0GHz
Kingston PC2100 512 MB
ATI Radeon 8500LE
CL Soundblaster Live
ActionTec modem
Intel Pro Management+ 10/100 Lan
Mitsumi CD-ROM
Sony CD-RW
Floppy
WD800BB HDD (80Gig)

I gotta say - It runs great. Had some tweaking to do to get the OS to work right with some of the hardware. But I love it!! It beats the hell out of my Windoze machine - in fact, I never use my Windoze machine anymore unless I HAVE to for someone else. I use my Linux machine exclusively now when I'm doing my own stuff.

You wouldn't believe the difference those beta Radeon drivers make :D It's truly amazing to look at (once I got them working properly).

I'm really glad I decided to run Linux on my new machine. I realize it's usually easier to get it to run properly on older hardware, but once you get the newer stuff to work with it the rewards are worth the hassle. :wink:

8)
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