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If you were a new linux user, how would you set up your system?

By kaicremata ·
i'm committed, new system (intel duo e6600/2 gig of DRAM/nvidia 7300le/250gb HD/20"dell e207fwp) coming in next week, and i want to go lynux.

I am pretty sold on the KDE office, which is important, as i am a good document generator (on a killer dell 5110 color laser which dims the light when it kicks in). i am liking the beryl interface, although out of fairness, i have to save i have never touched a line of linux code in my life.

my system comes with vista, i don't want to use it all. i don't want to ever use msword again, it is horrid, i like thunderbird over outlook, am a happy firefox user and i voip (viatalk), which has turned out to be a fine value.

i am looking for some constructive path directions for distros, painless integration, worthwhile plugins and oh, we do like bells and whistles...for a purpose.

impress me with your experience, show me the way...and i thank you in advance for your input.

heck, if i could some good response, i'll even post my picture up (no conceit in our family)

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by cls In reply to If you were a new linux u ...

The worst thing you can do is "switch" to Linux. Some silly little thing won't work on your system, because you didn't check for Linux compatibility first. And you'll ask about it in some random forum, where you'll get ignorant jeering from MSFT fanboys and arrogant sneering from FOSS fanboys, and you'll give up and spread Linux FUD until you're old and grey.

<i>Ease</i> into Free and Open Source Software. <i>Migrate slowly</i>.

Split that 250 GB drive in half. Put your MSFT on the first half and use it for the things you haven't yet learned how to do with Linux. Use the second half to experiment with Linux for a while. Go to and check out all those distributions you're <i>not</i> hearing about from the Ubuntu and Fedora fanboys. Nobody but you knows what's best for you.

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Before you make the change....

by intj-astral In reply to If you were a new linux u ...

Before you make the change....

Image your hard drive and save the backup. If you completely forsake windows then fine, but if you have to go back this backup will save you hours of reinstalling, configuring, and will prevent Microsoft from forcing you to talk to tech support in India if, according to them, you have reinstalled too often.
Save all your data on a CD. This will keep your files accessible no matter what. Then, make sure you have the following: Windows XP CD and key, Gnome partition editor (download this free ISO file and create a CD with it), disksave from the NT4 resource kit (might take a little searching, but it's actually out there, on the web...), save your Windows fonts from your Windows XP installation, and if possible an imaging software like Acronis true image. Install the Acronis in windows and create a boot CD. You can use this to backup your Windows (safety net!) as well as your Linux installation. Save the image to an external drive, preferably.

Finally, do a bit of research to get used to Linux conventions before installing. For example, your c drive would be hda as a device, its partition designated hda1 (provided you'e only one partition on the drive), and it's mount point (the folder it's ?mounted? on) might be, for example, /windows. All folder and partition names in Linux begin with a / so for example, instead of c:\Documents and Settings\Joe ****\My Documents, it would be /home/joeblow/documents. I know it might sound like a bit much, but being aware of this should help.

Then go ahead and install the Linux. Tip:I find putting it on a unpartitioned drive makes it easier. The stuff I recommended having on hand all makes life easier. There are plenty of how-to pages and tutorials out there. Look up the Jem Report, there might be a tutorial for your chosen Linux. I got Suse Linux 10.1 before the whole Novell-Microsoft deal-with-the-devil ruckus. Be prepared to learn more than you expect, but it's worth it in the end. I've been dual-booting since August, because I must maintain proficiency with XP in spite of my switch.

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that was a most handy reply...

by kaicremata In reply to Before you make the chang ...

specific, constructive and based upon your own experience,,,i have really enjoyed the responses to this simple enquiry...going home today and breaking the new machine out of the box...

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when you decide,

by pfyearwood In reply to that was a most handy rep ...

When you decide what distro you want to use, post back and let us know how things are going.

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In the same boat.

i'm looking for another system to play with and i was told ubuntu is a good system with newbies so let me know how i goes with your experience. i'll share mine as well.


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Consider MEPIS

by rdaugherty In reply to If you were a new linux u ...

I am going through the same thing you are. I considered several different distros, and tried unsuccesfully to install a few. Then I downloaded the MEPIS live CD, which allows you to load the OS off of the CD and test out the distro. Since is a very recent version, everything is very up to date.

The distro is based off of Debian and Ubuntu, so has great features from both. What I liked the most is it has KDE already setup, a package installer that automates the installation of every piece of software you can think of. Plus the hardware detection on this distro is supposed to be the best in comparison to others, from what I have read online.

It easily lets you dual boot both your windows and linux to switch back and forth. Plus I was easily able to mount my NTFS drives to access my Windows docs and my mp3 partitions, and had no trouble playing music right out of the box.

I have added via the package manager, Postfix email server, MySQL, ez-ipupdate with a easydns registration, Apache, SSH, and many others. I am still working on gettin all these services up and running, but this is the great part that is allowing me to quickly learn Linux.

So that is my vote. Good luck in whatever you try. Another good place to find info is at

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Regardless of which 'flavor'

by XT John In reply to If you were a new linux u ...

or distribution you use, if you are going to set up a dual boot system, I'd advise getting a secondary hard drive and installing Linux there. I've seen many people (myself included) start partitioning their hard drive for a Linux install and screw everything up. I've found it easier to use a boot loader (Lilo my fave) and have it default to the operating system you use most. As far as distros go, Mandriva has proven to me to work best out of the box.

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the new system is in, everyone has been helpful...

by kaicremata In reply to If you were a new linux u ...

i am so far behind on my work i feel like my head is on fire and my *** is catching...can i say that here???

system came with vista home and if i ever had any doubt about moving to linux, my vista experience solidified the linux consideration...

i am already having problems with buggy screen appearances, program crashes and for anyone who is afraid of the linux learning curve, i can only see this,,,

every program has a learning curve and with vista, what i am really ending up with, a software application for me designed by someone else...its liking buying an off the rack suit in an off price store

never will fit right...i have a week probably to unbury myself and then linux is coming...i will download and burn a distro, offload my work files and wipe that HD more redmond

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