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 Post subject: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:59 pm 
Little Foot
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Hi there, I just purchased a new computer (Athlon 64 3000+, Soltek nForce3 250 based mobo, MSI Radeon 9800 Pro 128) for school, and part of the curriculum deals with Linux and Unix. I have contemplated putting Linux on my machine for a while, but was bewildered by the different options. I have no experience currently with the OS, but I will get more skilled when my programming skills increase, so getting a distribution aimed at total newbies will be too confining after a while.

Which Linux versions would work best with the hardware I have, and also have a gentle learning curve, but not crippled in terms of performance?


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 Post subject: Re: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:24 pm 
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Hi,
I'm a newbie to Linux too, so I won't be able to answer your question on hardware support, but I'll see if I can help you with this one:
the butter on the muffin wrote:
Which Linux versions would work best with the hardware I have, and also have a gentle learning curve, but not crippled in terms of performance?


I found Slackware to be a great mix of that. I found it to be easy to set-up, yet isn't totally GUI'd out or 'dumbed down'.

After installing it, I read up on Re-compiling Kernels and posted questions here. I then re-compiled my kernel to be optimized for the P4 platform I'm running and got the proper drivers for everything. So far, it seems to be running solid.

I'm sure others here will be in soon with suggestions to other distro's I haven't tried yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:33 pm 
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the butter on the muffin wrote:
Hi there, I just purchased a new computer (Athlon 64 3000+, Soltek nForce3 250 based mobo, MSI Radeon 9800 Pro 128) for school, and part of the curriculum deals with Linux and Unix. I have contemplated putting Linux on my machine for a while, but was bewildered by the different options. I have no experience currently with the OS, but I will get more skilled when my programming skills increase, so getting a distribution aimed at total newbies will be too confining after a while.

Which Linux versions would work best with the hardware I have, and also have a gentle learning curve, but not crippled in terms of performance?


It depends on how n00b'ish you want it to be. I found SuSE or Mandrake to be best at n00b distros. Slack's good too, the installer's a bit intimidating, but not too difficult to figure out. The thing with Slackware is that dependency management is left up to you, but you can use swaret to manage the dependency for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:28 pm 
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DJSPIN80 wrote:
It depends on how n00b'ish you want it to be. I found SuSE or Mandrake to be best at n00b distros. Slack's good too, the installer's a bit intimidating, but not too difficult to figure out. The thing with Slackware is that dependency management is left up to you, but you can use swaret to manage the dependency for you.


Actually, I would place Slack 10's installer on the same level as Mandrake, if not higher. They have done an excellent job of improving this! :D

The lack of dependency management is an issue, though. It makes it difficult for a n00b to admin the system.

I'd go with Debian for a n00b, Gentoo for someone with a little help or who has linux experience or who has some balls and some time. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:45 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
The lack of dependency management is an issue, though. It makes it difficult for a n00b to admin the system.

I'd go with Debian for a n00b, Gentoo for someone with a little help or who has linux experience or who has some balls and some time. :D


hehehe...while I will recommend Slack over Debian, apt-get alone is where I stand between Debian and Slack. Of course, he could just get Swaret and install it himself, but it really does depend on how comfortable he wants to get. Does he want to go totally into the idiot-factor, that is, I don't care how you do it as long as two clicks of a button and it's done? Or does he want to forego the whole nerd-factor, that is, I do care about the nitty gritty but I'm not that brave to use LFS.

I think that SuSe or Mandrake will get the job done, but if he wants a real distro, Debian, Gentoo, or Slack definitely. If he really wants to go crazy, try the other distros like Arch Linux which is a Redhat based distro but none of that crud that Redhat/Fedora has.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:59 pm 
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:D

Now, we wait for our resident Slack troll to appear and scream "Slack 0wns A|| of j00s!"

:roll:

:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:01 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Now, we wait for our resident Slack troll to appear and scream "Slack 0wns A|| of j00s!"


Better be quiet, or else you will be known as the "close minded gentoo user".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:05 pm 
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colby wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
Now, we wait for our resident Slack troll to appear and scream "Slack 0wns A|| of j00s!"


Better be quiet, or else you will be known as the "close minded gentoo user".


8) I don't have a problem with that.

A crackhead in downtown Vancouver called me a selfish prick for not giving him money to score. I felt proud.

Same thing. Different addiction.

;)


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 Post subject: Re: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:08 pm 
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While all the distros named, well except for slack (rimshot) are pretty decent in reguards to a noob...

Ya know...the question really is...which is the best out there for a Athlon 64 3000+, and I'm not sure I can recommend any of them in that light.

I've read some real horror stories out there and very few success stores. Maybe the success stories just don't post as often....I dunno.

Heck, what do I know though. I've never even touched an AMD 64, let alone tried to install linux on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux dual boot?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:20 pm 
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furball146 wrote:
Ya know...the question really is...which is the best out there for a Athlon 64 3000+, and I'm not sure I can recommend any of them in that light.


Well, speaking about what I know (not because I want the poster to use debian, just because that's what I am exposed to), there's a debian amd64 port, but I haven't exactly had the hardware to try it out... and that's probably a lot of the problem -- the hardware isn't really widely used enough to really exercise the ports, the kernel, and so on.

There is a big thread on the debian-amd64 list discussing some issues, albeit this is debian centric, but it was the first link in this google search (I think the problem is that I used the word "ports", which seems only to apply to debian and the BSD family). From other searches (including this search), it looks like SuSE is proud of their support, more BSD links, TurboLinux, nVidia display drivers, a Mandrake support page, tons of links. Looks like just about everything supports it by now, or is starting to.

Dual boot is the perfect config for this sort of thing because of the possibility that it will suck rocks to start out with ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:00 pm 
Little Foot
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Thanks a lot for the input guys. The distros that I've looked at so far are Fedora, Mandrake, Knoppix, and Gentoo. These are just the ones that I've actually sat down and read about, not necessarily what I'm looking at getting, so no n00b-related flames, k? ;) It seems these forums are a bit more civil than others, so that shouldn't be a problem, but I figured I'd say that just in case.

As for the whole n00b factor, I'd like a GUI that looks good enough to work with for many hours at a time. If I end up with a good experience with Linux, I plan to go ahead and use Linux as my primary OS, using Windows only if a compatibility issue arises. I don't want something as dumbed down as out of the box XP Home though. Basically, just something that's well documented and easy for someone who hasn't used it before to grasp. As I said, I'll need to become more familiar with Linux for school anyways, so my level of understanding should dramatically increase in a few months. Looking snazzy is a plus, but not necessary since I should be able to tweak things more to my liking later on anyways.

Ok, could someone explain to me in relatively unbiased terms what the pros and cons of, say, Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware are?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:44 pm 
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the butter on the muffin wrote:
Thanks a lot for the input guys. The distros that I've looked at so far are Fedora, Mandrake, Knoppix, and Gentoo. These are just the ones that I've actually sat down and read about, not necessarily what I'm looking at getting, so no n00b-related flames, k? ;) It seems these forums are a bit more civil than others, so that shouldn't be a problem, but I figured I'd say that just in case.


We do our best. :) The n00b flaming really depends on the folder. I find that Alt.OS.Abode and the Programmer's Palace are most n00b friendly ... but this is probably because we want and encourage people to play with our toys. ;) Other folders have a plethora of new people every day, all asking whether their uber-PC can run Doom3.

Quote:
As for the whole n00b factor, I'd like a GUI that looks good enough to work with for many hours at a time. If I end up with a good experience with Linux, I plan to go ahead and use Linux as my primary OS, using Windows only if a compatibility issue arises. I don't want something as dumbed down as out of the box XP Home though. Basically, just something that's well documented and easy for someone who hasn't used it before to grasp. As I said, I'll need to become more familiar with Linux for school anyways, so my level of understanding should dramatically increase in a few months. Looking snazzy is a plus, but not necessary since I should be able to tweak things more to my liking later on anyways.


Linux has very snazzy GUIs ... VERY. I find a well set up Linux desktop much nicer and easier to use than Windows ... but the set up is more complicated. However, there are far more tools available and FAR more options. Do you want icons, or drop down menus? Or both? Toolbars? These are examples ... but don't worry about that until we get you a basic system up and running. ;)

Quote:
Ok, could someone explain to me in relatively unbiased terms what the pros and cons of, say, Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware are?


Slackware is easy to set up, and (so we're told by our resident Slack expert) it installs with EVERYTHING you need. This means that it has a very large footprint on your hard drive (over 2 gigs, apparently), but it also means that you won't have to scour the 'net for tools.

What Slackware lacks, and where Debian and Gentoo shine, is a package management system. Almost every application that you want to install in a linux environment has dependencies ... these are packages that the application requires to run properly. For example, XMMS is a popular audio player (ala WinAmp) and it might require things like an mp3 decoding library, GUI tools to build its interface, audio drivers, etc.. These dependencies are generally listed on the site from which you download the application. Now, if you don't have these dependencies, the application won't work. So ... for years and years, the sys admin had to keep track of all of the packages on the system and tell the newely installed application where to find them. Debian and Gentoo do this for you ... for any package in their library.

For a small application, this is fairly easy. However, try to imagine how many dependencies a huge application such as X or OpenOffice require ... the list is staggering, and the process of managing all of these dependencies manually is quite daunting. Many distros (Mandrake, Slack, and others) manage it by installing every package you might ever need and placing them all in a (relatively) standard location. Chances are, if an application requires something, it is already present on your system. Exceptions include packages that these distros can't or won't include for legal reasons, such as a DVD decrypting library.

Both Gentoo and Debian have a different approach. They automate the process by creating a library of commonly (and uncommonly) used applications and all of their dependencies off-site, and provide you with links to these libraries via the internet. They also keep track of the packages you have installed, and where they are. Both use similar tools ... Debian uses a package management system called 'aptitude', and Gentoo calls its system 'portage.

So, when you want to install a package, you use the package managment tool and ask it to (i) find out what the dependencies of the package are, (ii) whether you have them, and (iii) install them if you don't. This process is recursive, so that it will also check the dependencies of the dependent packages, and it will keep going down the tree until it locates every piece of software you need. It will download and install them for you, and update your personal package list.

The difference between Gentoo and Debian comes at the point when you install new software.

Debian does what you'd expect ... it downloads binaries (what Windows users generally executable files) and installs those. This is just like installing a Windows program. It links the downloaded binary with any dependencies the binary needs, and updates your package list.

Gentoo, on the other hand, downloads the source code for the packages and compiles them on your PC. In other words, rather than downloading the executable binary, it downloads the C code (or Python, or perl, or Java) and compiles a new copy just for you. Obviously, this takes much longer. Compiling a large package such as OpenOffice, or Mozilla, or KDE can take hours and hours.

Why do we do it, then? Gentoo also allows (encourages, even) the user to customise their compilers to tailor their code to fit their machine. For example, the C / C++ compiler can take advantage of the fact that you are running a P3 and ensure that the newly compiled code takes advantage of SSE instructions. A P4 might add SSE2 instructions. An AMD64 has many many more advantages due to its beautiful 64-bit architecture. By compiling the code to run on EXACTLY the hardware in your machine, you use your PC to its full ability. Imagine an entire OS, from the kernel to the GUI and everything in between, all tailor made for your exact hardware. That is the beauty of Gentoo. The price, as I mentioned, is long compile times. You have to compile every piece of software to take full advantage of this system (though you don't have to compile every piece of software ... you can install binaries under Gentoo as well, if you are pressed for time).

I'll stop here and ask if you have any questions. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:19 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Debian does what you'd expect ... it downloads binaries (what Windows users generally executable files) and installs those. This is just like installing a Windows program. It links the downloaded binary with any dependencies the binary needs, and updates your package list.

I'll stop here and ask if you have any questions. :D


Just like installing a windows program? pshaw :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:36 pm 
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colby wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
Debian does what you'd expect ... it downloads binaries (what Windows users generally executable files) and installs those. This is just like installing a Windows program. It links the downloaded binary with any dependencies the binary needs, and updates your package list.

I'll stop here and ask if you have any questions. :D


Just like installing a windows program? pshaw :shock:


:lol:

In the sense that you are installing a precompiled binary (redundantly repetitve phrase, anyone) that checks for software dependencies (or APIs).

I apologise for comparing Debian to Windoze, and agree that I should be flogged behind the woodshed for my error. :oops:

In my defense, that was a long post that I didn't even edit before hitting submit .. I'm sure other errors might have crept in. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:49 pm 
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the butter on the muffin wrote:
It seems these forums are a bit more civil than others, so that shouldn't be a problem, but I figured I'd say that just in case.


Just don't post like this

http://www.maximumpc.com/forum/viewtopi ... 86&start=0
:roll:

the butter on the muffin wrote:
Ok, could someone explain to me in relatively unbiased terms what the pros and cons of, say, Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware are?


Personally, I think they're all the same in the broad scope, just different synactical sugars between how things are setup.

I've always looked at the support provided for each individual distro.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:46 pm 
Little Foot
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So I assume when Gentoo compiles, it'll optimize itself without me needing to tweak things myself? Wading through an entire OS's worth of source code seems a bit daunting. :?

Also, to run Gentoo, do I have to have a developer's kit for C? I haven't purchased a program for C/C++ yet, so how much will that screw me over? Although people seem to rave about Slackware, it seems a bit too much for me to handle right now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:50 pm 
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the butter on the muffin wrote:
So I assume when Gentoo compiles, it'll optimize itself without me needing to tweak things myself? Wading through an entire OS's worth of source code seems a bit daunting. :?


Nope ... you edit a single config file and everytime Gentoo compiles something, it uses the configuration that you have provided. Nice and easy ... and there is an excellent guide on their webpage for installing and configuring

the butter on the muffin wrote:
Also, to run Gentoo, do I have to have a developer's kit for C? I haven't purchased a program for C/C++ yet, so how much will that screw me over? Although people seem to rave about Slackware, it seems a bit too much for me to handle right now.


The tools are all provided as part of the installation


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:38 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Nope ... you edit a single config file and everytime Gentoo compiles something, it uses the configuration that you have provided. Nice and easy ... and there is an excellent guide on their webpage for installing and configuring
...
The tools are all provided as part of the installation


Sweet, and SWEET :D. Looks like I'll be giving Gentoo a whirl. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 9:40 pm 
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Linux in the cirriculum? Comp Sci perspective or MIS?

If MIS... I'd say pick Redhat, SuSe, or Solaris x86 that's where the certifications are.

For comp sci:
Gentoo / BSD good for traditional make environment (BSD *may* be easier kernel hacking).

Debian good for more languages and development environment possibilities in the provided packages (even those ugly languages like ML).


Don't even get started with the whole "OMG no java in debian"... just look at the IP problems Linux is facing and you'll agree, the fewer legal risks your distro takes the better.... you can always download blackdown from unoficial sources.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:53 am 
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Alright I see alot of things wrong.

A. 2 gig footprint gives you every possible consevable program plus the sources for compiling other items.

B. MOst standard installs ( no sources ) from distros like suse mandrake redhat are 2 gigs

C. Ones like Linspire aka Lindows and Lycoris aka redmon linux there standard intalls are like 4 to 5 gigs and all it is fluff

My Gentoo install was 2.6 gigs after doing a standard install but unlike redhat they did have sources included with it so i think that it is up there with slackware for space vs what you get.

Debian well it hard to stay there standard install covers alot of things. But again i also had to apt-get alot of things. and Debian repositories are too big to do a full isntall of everything.

Slackware has it benefits here is a short list

15 minute install.
BSD style init scripts.
Most Unix like of all Linuxes
Stable secure
Easy updating one folder in the slackware directory of your local slackware mirror has all the patches and it simply a matter and downloading that folder and simply doing upgradepkg *.tgz

The ability to use 3rd party package tools if you want a more debian/gentoo hold hands feel.

Swaret and Slapt-Get seem to be the most popular. Though you will probably see slapt-get turn into the offical packagemanagent tool in the next couple of version of slackware.


Problems you are going to have with your configurations
Athlon64 Packages are base 486 with 686 optimized code . Meaning they will work on a 486 but are optimize for 686 processors. I dont see you going through the hassle to recompile everything into 64 bit code that would be a pain in the ass. You might want to try one of the distros that natively support athlon 64 processors. then learn how to take off some of the bloat of there over gui interfaces.

Since you are not a uber geek I would not suggest gentoo as for what you would need would at least be a stage 2 install but really would need to do a stage one which involves alot of stuff done by hand.

while it is not out yet. supposely they are making a stage 3 a64 build which then vida linux will put there installer on and it will be a great way of using gentoo in a fast easy fashion.

you also might want to check out places like distrowatch to see if anything catches your eye.

Unlike the evil debian users want you to belive slackware is neither hard or ment of the linux elitest but I feel that it just not right for you.


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