thinking of moving to linux


Recommended Posts

leesmithg

I have installed and updated Ubuntu v8.10.

It was very easy.

I downloaded the .iso, opened it and ran it from windows desktop.

I had a spare partition and it installed easily on a 30gb partiton.

post-66351-1233899272.png

It even saved me the trouble of making a boot loader entry.

When I boot I have Vista or Ubuntu as an option.

I also noticed it has drivers for all my hardware except my finger print reader.

I don't think my household will totally move over to Linux, however for my own freetime it's a great free addition.

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz
If you have /home on a separate partition or disk, then yes, your settings will be safe. And if you did not do this, then follow this guide to get it done.

atlef.

thanks! what about applications? on windows, i kept my program files on a separate partition (d:\). since all my programs are portable, i could reinstall windows easily without worrying about them.

also, how do i get fluxbox on xubuntu? i've tried a few 'apt-get' or 'aptitude' commands, but i always get an error saying that the package cannot be found.

Link to post
Share on other sites
brentaal

Try doing this

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list (replace gedit with your default text editor)

You'll find a couple of URL's in that file, uncomment them by removing the # signs in front of them, and save the file.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

Logout, and at the login screen, click the Sessions button, select Fluxbox.

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen

I use Xubuntu with fluxbox.

It was as simple as:

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

What command(s) did you use?

Once installed, it is available as an environment when you log in. So log out of your XFCE session, then at the login screen, look for the "sessions" pop-up/pull-down menu, and switch it to "fluxbox" and login. You will then be running fluxbox when you log in.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lechio
thanks! what about applications? on windows, i kept my program files on a separate partition (d:\). since all my programs are portable, i could reinstall windows easily without worrying about them.

also, how do i get fluxbox on xubuntu? i've tried a few 'apt-get' or 'aptitude' commands, but i always get an error saying that the package cannot be found.

You may also consider installing synaptic:

sudo apt-get install synaptic gksu

then just run it with: gksu synaptic

It's a GUI for apt, allows to search for and install software in an easy way.

Like it was said, Linux works differently when it comes to installing software. You don't need to save the "setups" of the applications.

Since you have a separate partition for your home, you can store you personal files there or on a different partition.

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz
I use Xubuntu with fluxbox.

It was as simple as:

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

What command(s) did you use?

Once installed, it is available as an environment when you log in. So log out of your XFCE session, then at the login screen, look for the "sessions" pop-up/pull-down menu, and switch it to "fluxbox" and login. You will then be running fluxbox when you log in.

i tried that, and i get this error:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree	   
Reading state information... Done
E: Couldn't find package fluxbox

You may also consider installing synaptic:

sudo apt-get install synaptic gksu

then just run it with: gksu synaptic

It's a GUI for apt, allows to search for and install software in an easy way.

synaptic is installed by default, but fluxbox isn't located in the list of available programs.

Like it was said, Linux works differently when it comes to installing software. You don't need to save the "setups" of the applications.

Since you have a separate partition for your home, you can store you personal files there or on a different partition.

a couple of questions. in /home/dreamz, i have two things, 'desktop' and 'download'. where are the personal settings?

also, it doesn't look like the program files are in this directory. does that mean i have to reinstall them if i reformat?

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz
Try doing this

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list (replace gedit with your default text editor)

You'll find a couple of URL's in that file, uncomment them by removing the # signs in front of them, and save the file.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

Logout, and at the login screen, click the Sessions button, select Fluxbox.

ok, this worked. now i need to figure out how to configure fluxbox.

also, another remaining problem is bluetooth. i was able to pair my mouse by going to the bluetooth wizard, but it doesn't connect at startup.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lechio
i tried that, and i get this error:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree	   
Reading state information... Done
E: Couldn't find package fluxbox

Update the packages list first:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fluxbox

a couple of questions. in /home/dreamz, i have two things, 'desktop' and 'download'. where are the personal settings?

Your personal settings for applications are located in hidden folders/files in your home directory. In a file browser press <CTL+H> to see those, or type in a terminal:

ls -la

also, it doesn't look like the program files are in this directory. does that mean i have to reinstall them if i reformat?

No. Software isn't installed in your home directory...

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz
Your personal settings for applications are located in hidden folders/files in your home directory. In a file browser press <CTL+H> to see those, or type in a terminal:

ls -la

ahh thanks! now i see them.

No. Software isn't installed in your home directory...

can i control where programs are installed then? i want to keep them separate from the os.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lechio
can i control where programs are installed then? i want to keep them separate from the os.

Why would you want to do that? "Programs" are the OS. And those update like every day/week. In fact if you would run:

sudo apt-get upgrade

on your system you would probably find that you have hundreds of programs that need to be updated.

What you could do if you wish, is have a separate partition for a common directory like /usr and have the system mount that directory there.

You can also install programs (from source) in your home directory, but that isn't very useful.

Linux isn't like Windows, where after a few months of use you would have to reinstall. You install it once and it can last the lifetime of the computer, only needs to be updated from the package manager. The only real need for a reinstall is if you ever think of migrating to another distribution.

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz

well, on xp, i have windows on c:\ and all my data, including programs, on d:\. now, all my programs are portable. that means that i don't have to install them. so if windows crashes, all i have to do is wipe out c:\ and install xp. my programs, being portable, work perfectly after the reinstall. if i had the programs on c:\, i would lose everything.

obviously, i'm still getting used to linux, but i thought i might have to do something like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lechio

It's a different OS, and it doesn't crash that often, so no need to wipe out your / if it crashes.

Also you do not want to be running outdated versions of any software.

Link to post
Share on other sites
?AK

I don't know if somebody else mentioned it to you (couldn't bother reading through all of the replies), but I would suggest you try Mint Linux. It's basicaly Ubuntu but with out of the box multimedia capabilities (play videos, mp3 etc).

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
ok, this worked. now i need to figure out how to configure fluxbox.

also, another remaining problem is bluetooth. i was able to pair my mouse by going to the bluetooth wizard, but it doesn't connect at startup.

I wrote up an "Intro to Fluxbox" guide a few years ago. Fluxbox hasn't changed much since then (and that is part of what I love about its simplicity).

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=330008

...

can i control where programs are installed then? i want to keep them separate from the os.

Why would you want to change all of that? And create new paths to store your files, possibly breaking things. There is no need to obsess about separating "OS" from "applications". There is no need to separate the kernel from the GNU OS, from the X Window system, from Fluxbox, from Firefox from...

You are looking at extra headaches of management for no benefit, from what I see.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest RogerT

It might be worth mentioning now that "quirks" in any operating system are not unusual, and that you might end up finding quirks in Linux to be more numerous and annoying than those in XP. On the other hand, I guess you won't know unless you try, but don't be afraid to do some research into solving your XP issues before you throw in the towel and move to an entirely new operating system.

I say this from my own experience. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
cork1958
ok, i didn't realize there was a difference between the live version and the dvd version. the live version for many of these distros is around 500-600mb, and the dvd version is several gb in size. and it seems that in many of these packages, a lot is installed by default. even the stripped down packages like puppy linux and damn small linux come with additional programs.

my issue is this. i nlited my xp installation iso down to 150mb. that's a complete system (i.e., there is no dvd version that is 3gb). also, this represents a barebones system. it contains the operating system, networking, etc., but no office suite, no games, etc. i install the programs that i want after installation.

is there a barebones linux distribution that doesn't come with extra software? and why are linux images so large? ideally, i'd like it to be leaner than my xp setup.

i'm currently looking into the debian netinstall.

As I said in my previous post, if you want the bare minimum of a Linux install with everything that you need, but NOT all the stupid extras that Linux usually "thinks" you want, try Zenwalk or Blag.

Zenwalk, http://zenwalk.org/, or Blag, http://www.blagblagblag.org/, are both simple, light, fast and best of all EVERYTHING works out of the box, meaning mp3's, flash, zip, EVERYTHING!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Barney T.

^ that is why there are so many distros to choose from. Just browse through the ones that look like they would fit the bill, download the Live CD and run them to see if they are what you are looking for. Everyone has their favorites............

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz
It's a different OS, and it doesn't crash that often, so no need to wipe out your / if it crashes.

Also you do not want to be running outdated versions of any software.

i'm still not clear on how the installation works. suppose the '/home' directory is in a separate partition. and suppose i reinstall. will linux install '/home' again (in the '/' partition) or will it notice that there is a '/home' directory in the other partition?

I don't know if somebody else mentioned it to you (couldn't bother reading through all of the replies), but I would suggest you try Mint Linux. It's basicaly Ubuntu but with out of the box multimedia capabilities (play videos, mp3 etc).

yes, i tried linux mint, and it was nice, but i want to see what else is available.

I wrote up an "Intro to Fluxbox" guide a few years ago. Fluxbox hasn't changed much since then (and that is part of what I love about its simplicity).

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=330008

excellent guide! it'll be very helpful once i get all this up and running.

Why would you want to change all of that? And create new paths to store your files, possibly breaking things. There is no need to obsess about separating "OS" from "applications". There is no need to separate the kernel from the GNU OS, from the X Window system, from Fluxbox, from Firefox from...

You are looking at extra headaches of management for no benefit, from what I see.

well, the whole file system structure is still new to me (yes, i read your other thread as well). but i was reading through this guide and saw:

You may hear people recommending a separate /boot partition or /usr partition. You can make a separate partition for just about any folder in the Ubuntu filesystem. The only down side is running out of space. If you have a 200 GB hard drive, make as many partitions as you can.

what are the major benefits to having a separate partition for each main directory? (this, of course, leads to my earlier question about detecting them during installation.)

It might be worth mentioning now that "quirks" in any operating system are not unusual, and that you might end up finding quirks in Linux to be more numerous and annoying than those in XP. On the other hand, I guess you won't know unless you try, but don't be afraid to do some research into solving your XP issues before you throw in the towel and move to an entirely new operating system.

I say this from my own experience. :)

that's true. as far as i know, there's no way to solve some of the issues i'm having with xp. of course, they're very small problems.

but i've been wanting to try (and possibly even convert to) linux for a while now, even if it's only to become more familiar with it (and so to free myself from windows). i'm really enjoying playing around with it.

As I said in my previous post, if you want the bare minimum of a Linux install with everything that you need, but NOT all the stupid extras that Linux usually "thinks" you want, try Zenwalk or Blag.

Zenwalk, http://zenwalk.org/, or Blag, http://www.blagblagblag.org/, are both simple, light, fast and best of all EVERYTHING works out of the box, meaning mp3's, flash, zip, EVERYTHING!

thanks, i'll check those out. i don't mind if things don't work right out of the box. i learn a lot just by having to fix problems.

i'm currently doing a minimal (cli) installation of ubuntu, and i think i'm getting more comfortable with the system as a whole.

^ that is why there are so many distros to choose from. Just browse through the ones that look like they would fit the bill, download the Live CD and run them to see if they are what you are looking for. Everyone has their favorites............

if this ubuntu installation goes well, i think i'll be set for a while!

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
i'm still not clear on how the installation works. suppose the '/home' directory is in a separate partition. and suppose i reinstall. will linux install '/home' again (in the '/' partition) or will it notice that there is a '/home' directory in the other partition?
If you have a separate /home partition (which I recommend), then if you re-install, you keep all your user settings. Not your system settings (since those are in /etc) or your apps (which are installed in /bin and /usr/local/ typically. But a re-install of those apps will "remember" your user settings, since those exist in the separate /home partition.

I know... It takes a while to wrap your head around these very different application concepts. ;)

what are the major benefits to having a separate partition for each main directory? (this, of course, leads to my earlier question about detecting them during installation.)
Well, a separate /boot is often automatically configured in Red Hat and Fedora, I believe. Since this is where your boot kernel is, it ensures you have allocated space for that, plus (more importantly, in my opinion) since Red Hat is often focused as a server, it can mount that partition read-only, so any black-hat that happens to get into the system cannot mess with the base kernel. Needed for a home user? No, not really.

Often, servers will have /var set up as a separate partition, too. This is similarly for server stability, as Apache uses this area for the web pages, and if you have a malicious user upload a bunch of files, it could take up all the space that you, as admin, want to reserve for system (and adding new features or updates that take up a bit more room).

Too many separate partitions gets confusing for the user/admin (though Linux can deal with it just fine). For me, I have a /home, a swap, then I let everything else just use one "root" partition of /.

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz
If you have a separate /home partition (which I recommend), then if you re-install, you keep all your user settings. Not your system settings (since those are in /etc) or your apps (which are installed in /bin and /usr/local/ typically. But a re-install of those apps will "remember" your user settings, since those exist in the separate /home partition.

I know... It takes a while to wrap your head around these very different application concepts. ;)

since the applications will remember the user settings (as they're in the /home directory), does this mean it's not necessary to separate out the /bin and other directories or back them up?

also, am i correct to assume that if i have a separate /home directory and i want to install linux again, i just indicate that i already have the /home directory during the installation (so another one won't be created under /)?

Too many separate partitions gets confusing for the user/admin (though Linux can deal with it just fine). For me, I have a /home, a swap, then I let everything else just use one "root" partition of /.

that sounds reasonable. i think i'll do the same.

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen
since the applications will remember the user settings (as they're in the /home directory), does this mean it's not necessary to separate out the /bin and other directories or back them up?

also, am i correct to assume that if i have a separate /home directory and i want to install linux again, i just indicate that i already have the /home directory during the installation (so another one won't be created under /)?

Correct, when and if you choose to install a different flavor of Linux, if you have a separate /home and tell it to NOT format it, then you should keep all your settings (including mail in sylpheed, thunderbird or whatever). A small word of caution on this, though... It is possible (but I have not seen it in my limited experiments) that a different version of an app may be installed by your new distro, and if your config file is different enough, it may not be compatible. This is usually not a problem going forward, but if you go a version back in some app, it may not understand a newer value stored in your file.

Also, if you try a new distro, and it doesn't install sylpheed (we will use that as an example) then you won't have that app until you re-add it (your configs will be there, so it will be just fine once installed).

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz

well, i decided to try out debian lenny (netinstall with nothing, not even the 'standard system', installed), and it was fairly easy to set up. but why is it so large? it seems larger than my windows installation. and programs are huge. a file manager, e.g., is 100mb on its own. i understand there are dependencies, but if i consider the whole system plus all the programs, linux is far heavier than xp. am i doing something wrong?

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen

How much space is being taken up? You didn't say. Also absent is any detail on what apps (specifically not mentioned is what file manager you are commenting on) you have installed. Are you mixing libraries like GTK and QT?

I guess the true litmus test on which OS is more compact is to install XP and see how much space it takes, then install your Linux with equivalent apps (remove OO.o, GIMP and such) to get the same levels of apps and compare sizes. I would wager the Linux equivalent would be lighter (but I have never tried personally).

Link to post
Share on other sites
dreamz

about 1.5gb was used. i installed xorg, xterm, menu, openbox, obconf, obmenu, thunar, and midori.

i have no idea about the libraries. if i have mixed them, it was entirely unintentional.

i may be doing something wrong. to install programs, i simply type 'sudo apt-get install' followed by the program name. i'm told that a bunch of files will have to be downloaded and that they'll take up such-and-such an amount of space. i confirm and let it install.

on my xp system, my windows directory is 467mb. k-meleon is completely portable and is around 8mb. miranda is around 6mb.

Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen

Well, firefox for Linux is about the same size as firefox for Windows, right? And I think that your "K-meleon" example is the size of the compressed downloaded file, which would probably run in Wine, right?

Also, if you have reduced your XP size down to under 500MB, then you must have done some serious removal of components. I guess you could take the same route in Linux, and remove the man files and start chopping other things out, too. I guess hard drive space isn't at enough of a premium for me that I would want to start breaking things.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.