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Guide To Finding And Installing A Linux Distro

Discussion in 'Linux - General discussion' started by lecsiy, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Guide to finding the right distro for you

    First off I want to warn you about the problems with Linux. Linux IS different to windows. If you think its going to be easy to just port over then Linux is not for you. If you are sure you want to install Linux then this is how you go about it:

    First off go to: Distrowatch

    Distrowatch is a site which constantly updates news on distros and has archived pretty much every distro you could ever dream of

    At this point I suggest you figure out whether you want to go for a live cd or a harddrive install.

    Live CD = A live CD will be (Once downloaded) an iso you download and burn ON GOOD MEDIA. You then instead of running your linux of the harddrive you run it off the disk itself. This kind of setup will run much slower and will also make it hard to do anything worthwhile. However if you just want a taste of linux I thoroughly advise a live cd

    Harddrive Install = A harddrive install is also (once downloaded) an iso. This however is much more permanent. You need free space on your harddrive to do this. You will find this is faster and will enable you to use your CD drive while running linux!

    Now the hard bit…

    Choosing a distro:

    There are thousands of distros out there. If your reading this I assume it will be your first time installing linux. Therefore I recommend choosing a “Well known” distro with a support/forum page.

    This may also help you to choose a distro. Go here

    The distros I would recommend are: (Please comment if you want one added)

    Opensuse

    Mandriva

    Debian

    Ubuntu

    PclinuxOS

    Fedora Core


    These are the ones I've had the most experience with. Im not saying the rest are in any way worse. However if you want help especially on this forum I recommend going for one of these.


    N.b if you a complete newbie and want out of the box ease of use. The most user-friendly there in my experience would be Opensuse.

    Soo lets say you went for open suse. You will get a box like this asking which one you want to download:

    [​IMG]

    I have circled the download required for: LIVE=RED ------ HARDDRIVE INSTALL= BLUE

    Once you have clicked the link for your chosen download you will be thrown up a lot of writing. What you need to know to click your download link is this:

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    x86
    This architecture supports the following processors:

    Intel Pentium 1-4, Pentium M, Celeron, 32bit Xeon, Celeron D, Core Solo/Duo
    AMD K6, Duron, Athlon, Athlon XP, Athlon MP, Sempron
    x86-64
    This architecture supports the following processors:

    AMD Opteron, Athlon 64, AMD Athlon 64 X2, Sempron 64, Turion 64
    Intel Xeon, Xeon MP, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, Pentium Core 2 Duo, Pentium D
    Processors based on AMD's AMD64 & Intel's EM64T (Intel's implementation of AMD64)
    Info about AMD64/EM64T
    PPC
    This architecture supports the following processors:

    G5 / G4 / G3
    604 / 603 / 601
    IBM RS/6000
    IBM pSeries
    IBM iSeries

    IA64
    This architecture supports the following processors:

    Itanium2 (McKinley, Madison, Montecito)
    Quoted from the suse download page.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Once you have found the right architecture for your processor then scroll down and find your exact download. Click your link and either download the numerous cds. Or download the one single DVD file!

    Once downloaded burn the iso. I recommend using imgburn…

    So now you have a cd/dvd.

    To install your chosen distro, restart your computer with the disc inside the drive. Change the boot order at startup by either:

    1/ Change boot order (Not recommended)
    2/ Press F8 (May vary on computer) for boot options and click on the CD drive.

    From a live distro:

    When the disc loads you will be most usually be prompted to choose some basic settings. Then you will get the loading screen of your chosen distro. From here you get the option to log in under any name you want. And there you have it your running linux!

    From a harddrive installer disc

    Most discs will keep prompting you to click enter and put in some preferences. Make sure you take time over this as some settings can't be changed. You will get an option to choose where you would like Linux to install. This is critical as if you choose the wrong option you run the risk of overwriting Windows. Not good. Therefore I recommend if this is your first time you make sure you know the partition you're installing to.
    You may get a question such as Gnome or KDE. These are both desktop environments. My favorite is gnome however KDE is pretty good also. Choose which ever. When you are finished you will have to reboot. Once you have rebooted, hopefully something called GRUB or an equivalent should pop up giving you the option between linux and windows. And there you have it your running linux!

    N.b some harddrive installer disks and live discs are the same. To install from one of these usually you have to log in under the username: root password: root. However this may vary between distro and instructions will most probably be displayed on the starting screen!

    Guide written by Lecsiy.

    Thanks!!

    Hehe that was my first guide. I’m sure its written badly but its ok for a starter I think.. I hope!

    Any feedback would be much much appreciated!!

    P.s Post any problems you get with the guide here.

    Thanks to:

    Creaky
    Janrocks
    The_Fiend
    And all the other people that helped me!

    Lecsiy..

    FAQ

    Q = I am new to linux and would like to install it on the same HD as my current XP. At present this is on a 200GB drive with no seperate partition. The version of Linux is XP 2007 which I believe is based on Fedora. It is a Live CD but gives the option to install.
    As I have not partitioned a HD before I would appreciate advice on doing this. (I have been told that Linux will automatically create its own partition during install but that sounds too easy!)

    A = Ok,

    If i were you id download Gparted Live. This is like your live linux diistro. Now do as you would for your current with this gparted live. Once at the menu screen for gparted live you should see your harddrive with a single partition. Click that partition and then click re-size. Make this as small as you want it (This will be the new size of the partition thats running windows) Now when you instatll your distro just chose the option to use the free space on your harddrive. This should then install your distro onto the free space youve created!

    Lecsiy
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  2. rcrockett

    rcrockett Regular member

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    Looks good, but where is Knoppix in your recommended list? :p
     
  3. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Knoppix?? Not sure about that one cant say ive ever used it myself. Maybe il try a live cd hehe!!

    Lecsiy
     
  4. xhardc0re

    xhardc0re Guest

    Good guide.

    i went over to wikipedia & copied/pasted what they have to say about Knoppix. (i heard wikipedia is doing A LOT of copying/pasting these days...

    "Knoppix, also spelled as KNOPPIX, is a computer operating system which can be used as a live CD. It is a Debian based Linux distribution, developed by Linux consultant Klaus Knopper.

    When repairing systems with non-booting hard drives, live CD operating systems like Knoppix are a much more comfortable environment than the previous solution of boot floppies, thanks to the complete graphical environment and networking.

    Although Knoppix is primarily designed to be used as a live CD, it can also be installed on a hard disk like a typical operating system. Computers that support booting from USB devices can load Knoppix from USB flash drives and memory cards."

    I've been on a few non-computer websites & in the computer forum many of the regulars use Knoppix to boot a dead HDD. So as long as someone has already played around with Linux a bit, Knoppix can help you diagnose your Windows-based HDD & fix it. This is good for someone that doesn't have hours to try installing Windows or Linux to another HDD & then hook it up in hopes of fixing the problem. Live CDs rule.
     
  5. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Thanks for that uve got a dead harddirve lying around might give it a try!!

    And ye live cds rock! The only annoying thing about them is when you run out of cd pens! Haha got about 7 Cds containing one distro or another! Who knows!
     
  6. koolyoe

    koolyoe Regular member

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    Hi so just so im clear (sry if im not) I can install a Linux operating system along side my Windows Xp system that is on ym Hard Drive and then on start-up just switch between the two?
     
  7. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Yep :)

    Just make sure you dont install over your windows and your fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2007
  8. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    I have a comment and an observation from my own experience.

    I never really got to grips with linux while I had that microcrap OS to fall back on every time the going got tough. Dual boot, while seeming a good idea doesn't really teach you much when you can run off tail between legs at the first thing linux refuses to load/open/convert.

    Since dumping XP and all it's attendant junk 12 months ago I have learned more about linux/unix than I had in the previous 6 years of dual boot setups. Necessity being the mother of invention, not having the option is the only way to REALLY get it down and dusted.

    Now it's not what linux won't do that bugs me (it will, it's just finding ways and means sometimes) It's being forced to use, at work, that clunky, slow, single threaded, single task, single workspace antique that needs seperate applications to do simple things like join 2 files, or fart.. jeez theres probably even a program to make the damn thing crash (which it manages to do every day..if not every hour.. without fail)
    Now I have got used to writing a little script to do more than one thing after another with whatever data it is I want to join/rip/convert etc. life is faster and easier.. fire the script off, change workspace and do something else without fear of a crash, and without it bothering me again until all the processes have finished.

    My advice.. dump the redmond rubbish, and all the spyware and expense, and join the free world. I did, and I haven't looked back, except to laugh at the poor sad people who know no better.

    Don't be spoonfed...become a chef and feed yourself!!
     
  9. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Good advice if you can. But the probelm is if you enjoy games theres just no way i can get ris of windows. It sucks, if they started making games as much as they do for windows id swicth staright away.
    Anyway i might give it a go when etch goes stable!
    Grrr still waiting!
     
  10. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    Yeah. This delay with etch is getting annoying. almost as bad as a M$ release now. We were promised sometime around 28/11, long gone. In the meantime Cedega-5.2.9 is on demonoid. Full and works nice. But then I don't have the hardware or inclination to play boring shoot em ups on my pc. I have an xbox for that.

    I supose there is nothing wrong with having a killer pc (running hookey windows with no internet) for gaming. The average gaming nut should easily be able to afford a second pc for general use. Really, I saw some kid pay £475 for a graphics card last week. More money than sense if you ask me!
     
  11. xhardc0re

    xhardc0re Guest

    @janrocks: do u have any books to recommend on Linux? or did you learn everything on your own? One thing that p*sses me off is not one of the Linux companies has put out a good "learn Linux now" or Linux for dummies DVD. If they had videos, where you could watch what they do, it would be far better than any book or audio tape. Not everyone is hands on. There are atleast 5 learning styles; many ppl stick with Windoze because the GUI is familiar to them. Not necessarily that it's easier to use overall, but the GUI is so easy to understand & the apps are standardized with the GUI of each new release.
    Linux faces a huge uphill battle to bring open source to the mainstream unless they adopt redmond's way of standardization.
     
  12. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    Most linux distros are as easy as 1-2-3 to install (except slackware which is supposed to be hard ** grins**)

    Download an iso and burn it slow.. then boot and follow the instructions...

    As all the distros are a little different in formatting requirements it's a little suck it and see. The easiest install I have found is the SuSE 10.2 remastered http://en.opensuse.org/Download read the page and select the stable release (5 cd's). Install was complete in about 20 minutes on a pentium3 with 256 ram, ran nice and worked straight out of the box. Use a blank drive.. anything over 10 gigs will do.
    The suse installer is pretty standard and you will get the feel of doing it for real at the same time.

    I prefer a little more hands on, mainly because of older hardware and a strange configuration, but I was new to linux once as well (hard to believe, but 6 years ago my only knowledge of linux was BSD and solaris from mainframes way back in the early 80's, not the same thing at all)
    As with everything the best way to learn is to work out why it doesn't work the way you are doing it. If you have a spare older pc hanging about linux can put new life in it. Even a 486 will run a smaller linux distro like damn small or puppy just fine installed on the harddrive.

    As for why nobody has made an install video.. It's so easy to install there really isn't the need.. take a look at my guide to installing puppy 2.13 to see how easy it is. That was an awkward one, most are as simple as boot the disk and do what it suggests.. just like M$ does.
     
  13. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Hey jan,

    I got a few questions for you. I really am getting tired of waiting for etch to go stable. What linux would you reccomend? Could i go for the old debian one and then just upsate it to etch when it comes out?
    Or if not can you recommend a nice linux considering ive tried:

    Linux mint
    Ubuntu
    Suse
    Puppy
    Fedora

    Any ideas?
     
  14. abuzar1

    abuzar1 Active member

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    I'm having difficulties with opensuse 10.2. I downloaded the iso, burned it to a DVD, and it does boot up fine. When I am at the Installation screen and it says "Install" and I click enter, it goes to a black screnn. After a while my computer reboots. Now linux has a BSD(Black Screen of Death lol). Anyway I have a Compaq Presario Sr1120nx and I download the x86 version, which works with celeron. Anyone have any idea whats goin on?

    P.S. Please Excuse my English(Not native English Speaker)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  15. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    The HP/Compaq range are hard work. I don't own one so I don't know where to begin. All I know is they have a hidden system partition which is most likely the cause of your troubles.
    I will do some research, but no promises.

    http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/11989

    This seems relevant. Are you prepared to possibly kill this machine? Because installing linux for the first time on one of these machines seems complicated and to say the least a little risky.
    I can't recommend installing linux on any laptops for beginners. Read the item and see what you think.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2007
  16. Phantom69

    Phantom69 Regular member

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    GO YOU!!!! i have always looked for a way to say something like that but never knew quite how. Linux is the BEST OS you will ever find, secure, fast, STABLE which is complete opposite to Micro$hit that most people use. no offence to those that still do, i have no beef with you, i dont like microsoft. i only use windows mainly to play games and surf the net since linuxant isnt open source i got 14.4K speed lol in linux. i love linux, cant get enough, funnily though, it is quite and inspirational operating system. when u use it, it just feels good. i personally use Fedora Core and i tell you, i have never had such a productive time before using windows wihtout coming accross some form of error or major fudgeup (excuse my cooking reference ;) ) so please people. come over from the insecure buggy side of the force to the open source world of never ending possibilities :)

    @ lecsiy
    this is a fantastic guide, if only i had somethign like this when i first started out lol, had really no idea what was doing back then lol. but thats then. oh plus you forgot to add Fedora Core. :)



    peace people.

    http://su2.info/graphics/gnu_tux/gnu_tux-1600x1200.jpg
     
  17. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    Go Phantom.. You're a dark horse.

    What we need are some linux graphics tuts. I'm not very visual so I struggle by with gimp. Not fun for me, but I'm getting there.

    Down with Redmond!!
     
  18. lecsiy

    lecsiy Regular member

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    Cool il add fedora. Thanks for the compliment btw.

    Personally im stuck for linux atm. My Wireless PCI card just blew so im using a belkin usb wireless piece of crap :(
    No chance of getting that to work on linux.

    Were moving soon and were gonna have internet through the wall. Then i run debian + ubuntu oo and of course windows :(
    Lecsiy
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  19. janrocks

    janrocks Guest

    Lecsiy.. Your debian should work with ndiswrapper. I use a belkin router (wired) on my internal net and it gives me no problems.
     
  20. Phantom69

    Phantom69 Regular member

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    @ lecsiy,
    do you dual boot (or triboot lol) your system or multiple hard drives?

    i personally have never used debian before except the mod contained in the morphix live distro. i have heard ubuntu is very good but i cant see myself getting it anyway soon lol. friends with broadband would not download for me and parents dont like me buying magazine coverdisc things, they think its a waste of money and as you know am on dialup... :) can u say stuck between a rock and a hard place.
     

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