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Thread: Linux Help

  1. #1 Linux Help 
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    Anybody out ther playing with Linux? - I have had 5 or six goes at loading it over the last 10 years, each time to no avail, the latest attempt (yesterday) I loaded a cd version re-booted the pc, I got a splash screen for 5 minutes, a list of files and then.... well I waited an hour during which there was no sign of CD, HDD activity and then gave up as there were no indications of what (if anything) was wrong.

    THis morning I went looking for another one to load down (this time a DVD) but to my horror a long list of images presented itself with the words "Be sure to download the right image for your pc" hmmm.. a few words on how to choose would have been helpful with that one so I decided to try the i386 image, went to the download page where it showed 5 or 6 dvds all at 4.7 GB with no clue as to whether a single or all disks were required.

    I feel quite ashamed of my pathetic attempts to leap into a new operating system (especially after writing some low level TSR's for IBM many years ago)

    So does anybody have a working LINUX system who can perhaps guide an old fool step by step?

    By all means use this thread to discuss linux and your own experiences as well.


    THis latest attempt was prompted after an XP update to my laptop which resulted in microsoft not only changing my desktop background, printing a permanent message "you may be the victim of counterfeit windows xp" but also flashing up continuous messages of "by a legal copy now" - or words to those effects.

    Well I once spent around 1200 pounds on a pro Visual studio (6) package which still works well but they no longer suport so I'm not happy about buying anything else from them ever!

    Incidentally, the 'illegal' copy I have was budled software on a brand new laptop from a local supplier (sadly he's no longer trading - I wonder why?) - needless to say I will not take up microsofts kind offer to sell me another copy ( which they probably won't support for the life of the pc or me) I might have considered it if they had not fucked up my desk top ie if they had just printed a message saying it was an illegal copy, please buy a legit, you will no longer be able to use auto update, and to get your desktop back and we will not leave a background image that you cannot get rid of... etc


    Will linux run my existing software? eg winzip


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Hi megabrain, What linux distro are you trying to install, and are you 1) Dual booting with another operating system, 2) running it on a virtual machine, or 3) installing linux as the only operating system?

    I currently have xp, vista 64-bit and ubuntu 8.04 triple booted, so I can probably help you out.

    Also, if you're running a pirate copy of xp, there is an automatic update, which I've forgotten the code for, called something like microsoft genuine advantage tool, which when installed will cause the problems you've described. I've had it before myself, and now I choose not to install it. You might be able to unistall it from control panel.

    p.s. if you want to run windows software on linux, you will have to install a windows emulator called WINE.


    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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  4. #3  
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    Hey, thanks for the reply

    I see on the net that linux uses unix as it's core, so if I ever get that far some of it might be familiar to me, I see you can 'live cd' which seems to mean you can boot from a cd on a normal pc without changing anything, at the moment I have a PC with a PCLinuxOS disk trying to boot up livecd (it's been running for about an hour now but the drive light still flashes every few minutes., Meantime I am trying to read up on things, - as for the laptop I just re-formatted and overwrote the boot drive (to restore XP as it was) I'll hopefully be building a dual boot at some time. For the moment I'd settle for anything that will load and let me get started. Do you know if it's possible to look at ntfs formatted drives with unix?

    I'll stick with this cd for another hour and then bin it - so far it looks quicker to reload windows using a binary keyboard than it does to boot PClinuxos from a cd... :?

    Ok - that was another waste of time, a whole smash of error codes followed by a login password (no mention of that in the step by step boot up guide on line) - I'll try ubantu and then I'll get a life and go out for a walk.....

    After booting with the ubantu disk & selecting the language, a few minutes later this screen appeared and just sat there, after 40 minutes I decided to take a piccie and tke the cd out..

    I then retried, eventually up popped a desktop, the drive light was busy for another 20 minutes followed by 3 error message boxes - on a second machine I got virtually identical results. - Time maybe, to take a rest from this and come back later...

    http://www.billco.co.uk/SNV80377.JPG
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    OK - we have ubuntu up and running after several false starts, I am please to see it picked up my wireless network and indeed it is running on this PC as I write. A slight problem here, when attempting to configure for the mail manager I am asked to press the 'forward' button, however there is not one on screen, I think it is off the bottom. I guess the screen resolution needs to be changed (found that BUT it is in the highest mode at present. any ideas?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Hi, glad you got it installed. You can change your resolution under system>preferences>screen resolution. What's the highest resolution it allows? You're right, Evolution mail has the forward button at the bottom of the welcome window.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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    THe highest resolution allowed is 640 X 480, - in this mode the button is off the bottom. I reckon the graphics card is somehow not installed sware wise, it's an SIS card. I have had to reload windows for a while but I have confidence that I can get back when I need to. One of the problems is that I need to find a way to have a dual boot option installed to make it easier to switch between the two, or find a way to install Linux on a USB stick. Watch this space.. I may try to install linux on an old desktop I have which may have a VGA recognised by the OS.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Well you can still resize the window to get to the button can't you? You probably need to install drivers for your graphics card.

    As for the dual booting, you'll need to firstly create a separate partition on your hard drive for ubuntu, and format it, then install to that partition from the CD, once this is done the ubuntu GRUB loader will appear when you boot up after the POST BIOS screen automatically, giving you the choice to boot into either windows or ubuntu.

    You should have a look here if you're using the latest ubuntu (8.1, intrepid ibex) for how to do these things, and much more:

    http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Intrepid

    Or if it's an earlier version, then check out the respective guide.

    Oh and running from a usb drive is easy enough, check here:

    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/usb-ubu...-from-windows/
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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    Ok - it's time to build a machine to dedicate to this task, switching back and forth on the laptop is not a good idea, I'll post again when it's up and running (need to find an HDD or buy one) Many thanks for the support - in the meantime I'm told I have some painting to finish ------

    Cheers.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Ok - it's time to build a machine to dedicate to this task, switching back and forth on the laptop is not a good idea, I'll post again when it's up and running (need to find an HDD or buy one) Many thanks for the support - in the meantime I'm told I have some painting to finish ------

    Cheers.
    Hi Mega, long time no see......hope you are okay?

    Why don't you try and run linux through a VM to begin with?
    Incidentaly, dont attempt to partition your physical disk especially for the tast of installing linux, simply because linux likes to sit at the front of the disk - it can be a right pain. - Yep, I would suggest installing it in a VM.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

    www.leohopkins.com
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I've been running Linux distros for a while and the sit wherever on the disk you want them. In fact, I've found that if you're dual booting, Windows likes the first partition to run smooth.

    I'm currently triple booting Ubuntu (intrepid), the latest Mandriva, and WinXP (which I only rarely boot to).

    Once you have the latest version of Ubuntu installed, you'll want to immediately run the update manager and make sure your Software Sources have all the boxes checked in the "Ubuntu Software" tab. Particularly the "Proprietary drivers" and the "restricted" boxes. That'll get you the right drivers for your video card. Probably. With luck, you have an nVidia or ATI. The first is the best supported, but I've successfully run Ubuntu on both.

    Here's a screenshot of my desktop.

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    A lot seems to have changed since the days of DOS, the boot managaer I have just won't work, It looks like I can have either Linux or Windows...
    but have not found the secret of how. Reading a little on the subject suggests it's a little more complex than I first thought.

    I used XP to partition the disk into 2 (2*60G) then tried to install Ubuntu in the empty space, I could not get it to load into the empty partition.

    I then booted Ubunto (from the CD) and hit 'install', at the partition menu I again selected a 60/60 partition - what no swap partition?? so back I went and partitioned 50/10/60 giving Ubuntu 10G for swap doubtless I'll learn with time whether that is realistic (Swap space on Windows used to be Virtual Memory)

    Re-booted Fine Up came UBUNTU and that's when I could not get to the forward button - vga resolution problem (It's a fairly new laptop with SIS graphics).
    I even got straight onto the internet and was pleasently surprised to find all bar the VGA seemed ok.

    Ok ignoring the VGA and moving on, time to install windows (XP Home) I chose the empty partition, quick format and duly loaded XP. After all that was done I then re-booted the PC but no sign of being asked which OS to boot.
    Now I know I needed a multi boot utility BUT I distinctly remember if you loaded windows (3.1/95/98?) after DOS or even (I think) if you loaded 98 after 95 on a seperate partition the system would ask you which OS you wanted to boot. Clearly either XP does not have this function or Mr F.N.Gates has made his DB loader such that it ignores none MS OS's.

    So at present it's time to sit back and think... I have downloaded the EMBR Spec to see how easy it would be to build my own 'Quick and dirty' multiboot utility, since it looks as though all the original DOS bios interrupt calls are still used I might have a chance (but it could take a while) - I really don't want to spend $50 or the UK price for something I may only use once.

    I have just remembered that the early multi-boot stuff made a micro partition of a few megabytes to hold the Dual Boot software (I think it was a round 5MB)

    Well if this sounds like an old fool going about it the wrong way I'd be happy to go a quicker path to achieving dual boot. At present I am wondering whether two windows partitions (different versions) then overwrite one with UBUNTU?
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I find that the best multiboot utility to use is GRUB which Ubuntu loads by default.

    A lot of the problems you're having could be related to installing on a laptop. One of the biggest (most frustrating) problems with any Linux distro is the fact that laptops are so proprietary and the individual manufacturers don't make linux/unix drivers as a matter of course. This is understandable since the vast majority of their users are Windows, so its a matter of economics. The more people that get on board with Linux the more software designers are starting to recognize us, however.

    There are a lot of geeks out there that have figured out the best methods to install linux on various machines. I'd recommend putting your laptop model name +ubuntu +install in a google search bar and see what comes up. No need to reinvent the wheel. People who sort out stuff like this love to talk about it on the internet.

    If you ever put Ubuntu on a desktop machine, you'll probably be up and running, surfing the internet in 20 minutes from power on.

    Oh, I almost forgot. I found the best way to install dual boot is to partition for windows, leaving the remainder of the disk unpartitioned then let Ubuntu's partition manager handle setting up the rest. It'll automatically suggest the partition for swap too. I'd also recommend putting your Home directory on a separate partition from the file system (3 partitions for Ubuntu; 2 for Windows (windows swap on its own)).
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  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Running linux on a virtual machine uses much more resources than dual booting, and since dual booting is easy enough to setup, why not? I'd recommend that over VM. Set your partition from windows, and then install to it with the bootable linux disk. This guide shows you how:

    http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_w...lled_first.htm

    You can also change the bootloader to windows if you want, but theres really no point, since the linux one is good enough if not better.

    As for issues with device drivers, there are usually wrappers available that allow you to run windows drivers on ubuntu. For example, on my laptop I use ndiswrapper to run XP drivers for my network card.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Agreed. I'm using that same wrapper for my daughter's desktop, which sits just on the other side of the wall from my wireless router.
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  16. #15  
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    THis is all good stuff and I'm grateful, - The old pc I have just won't load Linux at all, the disks are large enough (just) but it freezes, the laptop - has the problem previously described. At the moment I've fallen back and am regrouping for another try later, using the time to try and read a bit up about it. In order to reduce the potential problems I could meet, I'll dedicate a single PC to the task with a single OS so I can leave it set up. As well as Ubuntu I have a copy of PCLinuxOS which I also hope to try, from the terms I see bandied about (and the name) linux is clearly a derivative of Unix, - Whilst at IBM some of the robotic kit was controlled by PCAT's running PCIX - in those days there was a specific folder for 'C' code source and an onboard compiler, the disks however were not interchangeable though we wrote a low level routine in Masm to write files between the systems. it'll be a few weeks but please keep passing on the tips.
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  17. #16  
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    OK - Finally I am getting somewhere, from a long list of unix versions, I picked PCLinuxOS it installed perfectly first time, picked up the wireless net and runs the screen in 1280x800 mode! (a minor problem appears when moving windows around but it's livable with) I have two boot partitions and a selector, this version of Linux allows me to access to the Windows partition and I can move data between the two, (Windows however, does not recognise the unix partition).

    I am familiar with C, C++, Pascal, Masm etc and would like to play with programming maybe even write some utilities. It seems there may be a compiler on board but I'm not having much luck figuring it out, any ideas?
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Hey, thanks for the reply

    I see on the net that linux uses unix as it's core, so if I ever get that far some of it might be familiar to me, I see you can 'live cd' which seems to mean you can boot from a cd on a normal pc without changing anything, at the moment I have a PC with a PCLinuxOS disk trying to boot up livecd (it's been running for about an hour now but the drive light still flashes every few minutes., Meantime I am trying to read up on things, - as for the laptop I just re-formatted and overwrote the boot drive (to restore XP as it was) I'll hopefully be building a dual boot at some time. For the moment I'd settle for anything that will load and let me get started. Do you know if it's possible to look at ntfs formatted drives with unix?

    I'll stick with this cd for another hour and then bin it - so far it looks quicker to reload windows using a binary keyboard than it does to boot PClinuxos from a cd... :?

    Ok - that was another waste of time, a whole smash of error codes followed by a login password (no mention of that in the step by step boot up guide on line) - I'll try ubantu and then I'll get a life and go out for a walk.....

    After booting with the ubantu disk & selecting the language, a few minutes later this screen appeared and just sat there, after 40 minutes I decided to take a piccie and tke the cd out..

    I then retried, eventually up popped a desktop, the drive light was busy for another 20 minutes followed by 3 error message boxes - on a second machine I got virtually identical results. - Time maybe, to take a rest from this and come back later...

    http://www.billco.co.uk/SNV80377.JPG

    Years ago Linux shipped with Fipps and Disk Druid. It was a long time ago. But I believe Fipps let you do something, I just do not remember what it was. But it was cool whatever it was. I was running Windows 95. And whatever it was I could not effect the partition, without Fipps. It may have allowed me to join two drives. I really do not remember. I just know it was cool.

    Then you had to partition and format the drive with Disk Druid, and mount the drive with Linux.

    It worked, but Linux looked a little uncommitted. And I saw some instability issues with double booting. I could just see the two companies battling and causing problems between the two components. Like happened between Novel and Micro soft.

    My information was more important to me then, either company wanted to treat it.



    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  19. #18  
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    OK,

    After a few weeks of gentle prodding I now have PCLInuxOS installed on both a laptop and a desktop machine, this version of linux allows me access to the Windows drives so I can move data between the two systems from within Linux.

    When in Windows I cannot see the Linux drive but I can access any files I placed there while running Linux.

    FOr the time being I have Grub graphical dual boot with the drives shared 50/50 Windows Linux. It is now a case of finding all the packages I need to be able to switch from Windows to Linux 100%. All a bit frustrating at first but if anybody else wants to load/use Linux or has problems, just tack onto this thread, there's a 0.5% probability I can help
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