Quantcast

Maximum PC

It is currently Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:32 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Well, I gave it a shot
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:08 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:25 pm
Posts: 2
I was inspired by Will Smith's recent Linux article to try it out. Last year I had messed around with (and been impressed with) Knoppix and Slax Kill-Bill so I figured perhaps I was ready for a full install.

Armed with my broadband connection and a dvd writer, I set to downloading Debian "Sarge" version with jigdo.

Two days later I was still unable to install nvidia drivers, even through following numerous directions that I googled and from Mr. Smith's own article. Specifically, figuring out how to turn off xwindows beat me ("init" did not do what I expected). This may have had something to do with the scary message during install that all packages did not install correctly (every time through what must have been 12-odd separate installs).

Undeterred, I saw someone here recommend Suse for newbs, so I downloaded 9.2 next.

One day later, I am unable to figure out why the kernel source select box is greyed out in the downloadable updates program (to install those nvidia drivers again obviously).

Then I decided to try the other newb-friendly distro, Mandrake. I grabbed the 10.1 dvd and gave it a whirl. Sadly, I never got past the install phase since I got a cryptic error message saying:
An error occurred
INTERNAL ERROR: no kernel available
MDK::Common::Various::internal_error() called from /usr/bin/perl-install/pkgs.pm:197
and etc...

I did check the MD5 sum on that iso and it matched up.

Shaken, and wary of wasting more blank dvds, I downloaded Mandrake 9.2 on three cds and tried that. Initially, things looked promising.

It automatically let me run my desktop in 1024x768x16, which was a huge plus! Also, I figured out how to install Firefox, which turns out wasn't much different from a Windows install. I even managed to "fix" a non-recognized nic.

Then, disaster struck. After dutifully downloading and installing everything listed under Mandrake Updates (fear of Windows security holes indoctrinated that into me), I clicked what is the equivalent of the Windows start button only to find all of the entries on the KDE start menu missing! It's completely bloody empty except for Recent Documents, Lock Screen, and Logout.

The only icons on my desktop that work are Welcome and Firefox. Home does nothing when clicked on, and Cd-Rom, Floppy, and Trash all ask what program to be opened with (and no programs are listed there either).

I can't even figure out how to get to the terminal now. Gnome seems to have working icons, but no start menu items either, and IceWM has everything intact but seems extremely unappealing.

So, I gave it the 'ol college try, but I think I'm going to have to admit defeat. If you guys tell me that this is all from user error, then I'll never touch another Linux disc again.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Well, I gave it a shot
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:09 pm 
Million Club - 5 Plus*
Million Club - 5 Plus*
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 4745
Location: In the monkey's litterbox
UdbU wrote:
Undeterred, I saw someone here recommend Suse for newbs, so I downloaded 9.2 next.

One day later, I am unable to figure out why the kernel source select box is greyed out in the downloadable updates program (to install those nvidia drivers again obviously).


1. It's not user error, maybe just user misunderstanding. Don't give up on Linux yet.

In YaST through the YOU (updates) control panel, you only need to select the Download nvidia Drivers option in the left panel, the rest is automatic, you do not need the kernel source, as SuSE has prepackaged the nvidia binary drivers.

You can easily reconfigure the window manager by pressing "ctrl-alt-f1" and then login as root. Type "init 3" and then "sax2" to obtain the configuration.

If that does not work, post back for instructions on howto install the drivers from nvidia's site.[/i]


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:12 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:20 am
Posts: 78
Location: Washington (school in Illinois)
Before you decide to throw in the towel, consider downloading and burning several LiveCDs of different distributions. You could run them without installing anything to your system: it would let you get a feel for many distributions and what you like (as well as what is out there).

I recently switched to Linux (although I have Windows ready on another partition - just in case) and after a couple days of minor adjustments, have settled in rather nicely. The distribution that I use is called SimplyMepis. It is based on Debian (more on that below).

SimplyMepis is designed for those of us who want to test the waters, maybe even commit to a trial period (that may be extended permanently). It fits well into the four main criteria that I used to find a suitable distribution.

Ease of install
Install, since it is the first thing we see, is especially important. If the install process is too hard, most of us will either switch to another distribution or even go back to Windows. Why should we have to put up with a bunch of techno-garble when it isn't required of us in Windows (hey, people really think like this)

SimplyMepis, like other distributions, recognizes this and has an easy install process Like Windows, the cd is bootable. Unlike Windows, it boots into the SimplyMepis operating system right away because it is a LiveCD. From there you can explore the operating system - just as it will run on your computer once installed (although slower, since it is running from your cd.).

Once you've decided to install, you simply double-click on an icon marked 'Install Me' and follow the basic instructions. The only possible snag is the partitioning, which can be done automatically or manually (using a Partition Magic clone called QTparted). Some knowledge of partitions would be useful here, but may not be necessary.

Install time takes from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your system speed. You are then asked a few questions about your system and you're all set.

Driver support
One of the strong suits of SimplyMepis (although not exclusively) is its work with drivers. The most impressive is its one-click install of NVidia or ATI drivers. As you mentioned, this is a big deal, as installing these manually can be a major headache. It is what kept me from going to Linux several times in the past few years.

Devices are detected and drivers installed automatically. SimplyMepis found my sound card (a 7.1 card that is barely six months old), my printer (an older HP Deskjet 940c) and my scanner (Canoscan LiDE20).

Bluetooth is supported, as are PDA - I can't comment on them, however, as I don't use either.

Program selection
One of the strengths of Linux is that it has a huge amount of choices in the software you can use. The downside is that it can't all be shoved into one cd. As a result, someone has to do some thinking about what needs to be installed and what has to be left off. This is less of a problem for open source, and especially for Debian (see below).

SimplyMepis comes with everything (in my opinion!) the average user needs: OpenOffice, Mozilla Firefox, XMMS (a winamp-like media player), K3B (a cd-burning program), Adobe Reader, Kooka (a Scan & OCR suite) as well as many other programs (some more important than others).

One of the advantages of a Debian-based system is access to the Debian package system (every heard of apt-get?). Probably the largest package repository out there, Debian users can download and install what they need without having to much around websites looking for the program they want. SimplyMepis comes with the Synaptic Package Manager - a graphical interface that makes installing and uninstalling programs a snap (equivalent to Windows 'Add/Remove Programs except you don't have to buy anything).

General appearance & behavior
This may not be a big deal to you, but it sometimes makes or breaks the deal for former Windows users. SimplyMepis - and many distributions - uses the KDE window management system. (I believe Suse does as well, so a transition from there may not be uncomfortable for you). Configuring behaviors and appearance is very easy - there is a wizard that allows you to do that with little to no knowledge of Linux.


I use SimplyMepis as an example primarily because I like it. While I would wholeheartedly recommend it, there are plenty of great distributions out there. Suse is one of them and the problems you are having are not unsurmountable. But before you decide to ditch Linux altogether, I would recommend checking out a few alternative distributions. Using these criteria (or others, as your priorities necessitate) would be helpful in finding on that works best for you.

Good luck.
Jacob


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:22 pm 
Team Member
Team Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 6:32 am
Posts: 355
Location: Tontogany Ohio
Great post Jacob!


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:35 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:25 pm
Posts: 2
I decided to give Suse 9.2 another try. Now, sax2 lets me choose the resolution I desire...why this time, I don't know. So far I have been able to share and access files, install and play Quakes 2&3, and get my printer working.

Only oddities are that:
- I get a Konqueror error when I log in as root (not as a normal user though).
- Sometimes the logoff selection on the start menu is unresponsive.
- When trying to use the remote desktop client to connect to my Win2k3 server I am unable to type anything into the User Name or Password dialog boxes. After a moment the screen will just shut itself off too.

I suppose these are minor quibbles compared to the other things I guess.

One question about something really bugging me though, I have been unable to google a solution or find a way to set my middle mouse button as a "back" function during webpage navigation. At the moment pressing middle mouse takes me to seemingly random webpages which isn't very useful. How can this be accomplished?


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:31 pm 
Million Club - 5 Plus*
Million Club - 5 Plus*
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 4745
Location: In the monkey's litterbox
I do know that that first "oddity" is actually a feature to reminding you not to run as root.
what client are you using for remote desktop, rdesktop?


Last edited by smartcat99s on Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:44 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:20 am
Posts: 78
Location: Washington (school in Illinois)
Thanks Sir Lurkalot - its nice to be on the answering end of Linux questions. I've been struggling to re-adjust to computers now that I've crossed over!


UdbU,
A couple things to solve your problem with your browser. Unless I'm mistaken, you're using Firefox (the problem you describe is one typical in Firefox, at least).

Firefox, by default, is set to load whatever webpage is in the clipboard when you middleclick. For some reason, on my first install, I was sent to Sexaholics.org. A bit of a shock to me and mildly irksome. Not something I want to have to explain to my superiors, who have no sense of humor and little understanding of computers....

You need to get into Firefox's configuration. Go to the address bar at type in "about:config" and hit enter. The configuration will load. You need to scroll down until you reach a line that reads "middlemouse.contentLoadURL". It is marked "true" by default. Simply double click (it will be bolded then) to change it to false.

I don't know how or even if you can set your middle mouse button to send you to a previous page. Doing the above will simply restore the normal function (which is to open a link in a new tab or if clicked in a blank area, to control scrolling with mouse motions).

Perhaps an extension would solve this - mouse gestures of something to that effect?

A possible solution to some problems is also to make sure that all of your software is updated. Doesn't Suse use a package program called Yast? Poke around that to find a function that allows you to update all installed packages. This may help you overcome the problem with remote desktop (the program rdesktop).

Just as a side note, I use rdesktop and logged into a Windows 2003 server with no problems. The good news is that it works - the bad news is that now the problem has to be tracked down on your system!

Hang in there!
Jacob


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:34 pm 
Team Member
Team Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:02 pm
Posts: 624
Location: Hiding in the shadows with my rifle
for suse 9.2:
It is recommended to use YOU (YaST Online Update) for (re)installation
of the nvidia driver. There are several reasons for this. First, it's
simple. Second, and this is the most important one, you won't need to
recompile the nvidia kernel module after a kernel update.

Inside YOU enable "Installable and Installed Patches" for "Show Patch
Category" and select "Download NVIDIA(r) Graphics Driver" from the
patches list (usually at the bottom of the list). Note, that you need
to mark it as "Update" (right mouse click) if you already installed it
before and the driver was uninstalled - for any reason. Proceed as
usual now. After YOU has finished restart your Xserver (i.e. logout
from your Xsession) and you're fine.

And instead of "gooogling it" go right to novells website (suse) they have a gigantic database of faq's and fixes for the products they make.


for some reason it said it was installed but it did not work until i took the steps outlined above


Top
  Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group