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sort of where to begin question....

By 11evele ·
hey guys! okay this is sort of a newbie question so i feel a little naive for this post. i'm looking for a decent gui but really i want to understand the program, so something middle of the road. it was almost seven years ago but i ran the unix server when i was highschool for two years. i was pretty good with that then as i started messing with dos when i was 15 so i HAD a little background. unfortunately i have hit space out central since leaving highschool and can't handle anything too hardcore like slackware (at least it seems so to me)let alone will i be able to get through typing this thread and remember why i started it. distros i have tried are suse, ubuntu and pclinuxos. right now im downloading xandros, fedora and debian. my roomates are fortunate enough to have a decent enough income to acquire new computers so they let me at all their spare parts and so i was blessed in the end with this cute little crap piece hp pavilion, p3-1ghz, seems to handle everything quite fine but im afraid getting a gui intensive distro will slow it down a lot. ugh ok so my main question was where is a good place to get up to date info on delving into linix from the begining? a lot of sites i have seen seem to have been last updated around 2003 and im sure the base of linux cant be outdated too much but i have no idea. right now i'm reading's @getting started with linux@. are their any good books i should check out, anything else? so if this post made sense, any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Some SuSE pros and cons

by stress junkie In reply to sort of where to begin qu ...

I haven't used very many distrobutions. Over the years I've used Slackware, Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE, in that order, but it's been so long since I used Slaware and Red Hat that my experience with them probably doesn't apply to the newest versions. I definitely don't like Mandrake. I found that SuSE was much better as far as installation, configuration, and updates to software.

My main home computer runs SuSE 9.1 very well. I have a 1.7GHz AMD Athlon FX and 1 GB of RAM. So, I think that your CPU would be okay. 256 MB of RAM might be a performance problem. My computer never pages or swaps and a lot of RAM is used for cache.
Unfortunately a lot of name brand desktop computers have a BIOS that restricts the amount of RAM that you can use. I recommend that you find out how much memory your computer can use and then put that much into it.

One thing about SuSE that is both good in some ways and bad in others is that they have integrated some of the base software of KDE and GNOME GUIs. The good thing is that you can run any software on any window manager that you choose. The bad thing is that it may slow down the X environment. I'm not sure. Anyway, I use the Ice Window Manager. It starts quickly, unlike KDE, and starts applications faster. You have to configure Ice Window Manager by editing text files because there aren't any configuration applets for it. This shouldn't be a problem, though, since you do the same thing for the Linux base system and for many applications. SuSE has more GUI configuration applets bundled under one interface called YaST2. This makes setting many system settings easier than finding the text files to edit. Other settings are better handled by editing the text files, though. Lastly, the SuSE Firewall is excellent. SuSE Firewall is a GUI that creates rules for the iptables software. It is secure by default and very easy to use.

One thing that I love about SuSE is the software update service. I check for software updates twice a week. Usually there are three or four patches for various applications. Sometimes there is a kernel patch available. They are all very easy to install using YaST2. It seems that the Novell/SuSE people are very active keeping patches available through this service.

One other nice thing about SuSE Professional is that it has the client and server software for Novell networking. This might come in handy if Novell becomes popular in business again, some day. Naturally it also has Samba client and server software. Most or all distros have Samba.

You may be able to increase performance under X a little bit by turning off the XDM daemon service and by having the default run level set to 3. I have done this on my computer and it helps to make the X software a little bit more secure, I think. XDM allows remote users to run X applicaitons on your computer and allows desktop sharing. I don't need any of that so I just don't run XDM. If you decide to set your default run level to 3 you will notice that the computer is in console mode when it finishes booting. You just have to log in and then run the startx command to get your X window manager running. I've had some trouble logging out when the default run level was 5. This trouble was entirely caused by me trying different system settings. It's nice if your X session hangs that you can just press cntrl-alt-backspace to shut down the X session without rebooting.

Here are some good sites for Linux: - very current q & a - LIDS project, secure Linux - tutorial, shell scripting - The Linux Doc. Project - Linux kernels and info

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