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F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-23-2005 19:51

I've never played with Linux before and have never-ever installed it. I've looked at it, but not much more. Now I find I'm in a situation where I want to deploy a Linux box.
The box will be used for two things. Web surfing and to play mp3s.
The box that I want to install Linux on is an old Win98 box, that is currently a door stop. I want to delete everything on the drives, and install from there.
Where I need help:
I need a Linux distro that is easy to use (I won't be the only one using this, so think uber newbie)
I'll need clear, hand-holding type instructions on the install.
And I'll need a recommendation on an mp3 player that can shuffle/randomize tracks very well.

So can anyone help me out? Or do you need more info?


F1_edit: ubb doesn't like special characters. bleah.

(Edited by F1_error on 05-23-2005 19:53)

WarMage
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-23-2005 20:10

I would say, Umbuntu or Fedora are pretty safe. You might be OK with Slackware, I tried this years ago and it was pretty easy.

For what you are going to want to do you should have no problems at all.

You should install Firefox for your web browsing and I would sugest xmms for your music playing needs (it is just like winamp).

If you really new to this stuff, you might want to try a live CD such as Knoppix, that way you don't have to worry about the install.

But the installs are getting really easy now so you shouldn't have any huge problems.

Dan @ Code Town

(Edited by WarMage on 05-24-2005 05:45)

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 05-23-2005 20:24

I'd suggest Fedora as well.

The myth that Linux is difficult to use just isn't true. In most areas its almost identical to Windows or Mac OS. For the few rare areas that are different there is usually excellent documentation. Once upon a time you could buy a distro and it'd come with a few different manuals to get you started. This is becoming less & less the case, but there is still some real good resources out there.

Iron Wallaby
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: USA
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 05-23-2005 21:17

Ubuntu gets a lot of press for being the easiest thing going. I would recommend it over Fedora as it is more stable (as it based on Debian. Fedora is used for testing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which means it may break from time to time). So, why not give it a try? It should be easy to install. All you have to do is download it from http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ , burn it to a CD, and boot your computer from that CD. Follow the instructions and you'll be all set -- it's easier to install than Windows (as are most Linux distributions nowadays).

Ubuntu isn't my favorite linux, but it's about as newbie-friendly as it gets.

---
Website

GRUMBLE
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Omicron Persei 8
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 05-23-2005 22:27

Debian might not be the easiest to install, but i just want to mention that the long awaited sarge release is scheduled to be released on May 30th.

Ubuntu and Knoppix are based on Debian.

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 05-23-2005 23:04

Suse is very newbie friendly.

(Edited by norm on 05-23-2005 23:04)

Schitzoboy
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 05-24-2005 00:32

I love Ubuntu, very newbie friendly but certainly not limiting. There is tons of mp3 players for linux that can do simple things like that. Rhythmbox, Xmms, Bleep, Sonace, Muine, Amarok, Juk, Totem are just the first few to come to mind.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-24-2005 00:33

Ubuntu has a nice (in a way) default setup for newbies, but it is basically just a bastardization of Debian, so I suggest Debian.
Debian (including its derivatives) is possibly the most popular distribution (I think, I don't exactly remember).
It is without a doubt the most popular distribution with absolutely nothing commercial associated with it.

Debian, Slackware, Gentoo (or FreeBSD) - all good.

quote:
F1_error said:

The box will be used for two things. Web surfing


Mozilla Firefox

quote:
F1_error said:

and to play mp3s.


beep-media-player (afaik this is the most winamp-like available) - recommend mplayer for video and less common formats/etc, though

Iron Wallaby
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: USA
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 05-24-2005 01:35
quote:
reisio said:

Ubuntu has a nice (in a way) default setup for newbies, but
it is basically just a bastardization of Debian, so I suggest Debian.


Thing about Debian is, while it's easy to use, it doesn't hold your hand, and would be intimidating to new users. Ubuntu just works.

---
Website

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-24-2005 02:37

Well if you want everything done for you, why not just stick with Windows.

(Edited by reisio on 05-24-2005 02:38)

Iron Wallaby
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: USA
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 05-24-2005 03:50
quote:
reisio said:

Well if you want everything done for you, why not just stick with Windows.


  • speed/efficiency
  • security
  • stability
  • reliability
  • price
  • freedom (as in speech - not locked into a proprietary software base)
  • ability to tinker
  • larger software base
  • educational
  • interoperability
  • choice


Just a few on the top of my head...

EDIT: Gah, it's ulist, not list...

---
Website

(Edited by Iron Wallaby on 05-24-2005 03:51)

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-24-2005 05:39

For almost all those reasons, I would want to do a straight Debian install, not Ubuntu.

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-24-2005 12:29

reisio: why?


Justice 4 Pat Richard

Iron Wallaby
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: USA
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 05-24-2005 13:31
quote:
reisio said:

For almost all those reasons, I would want to do a straight Debian install, not Ubuntu.



Right, and so would I. Debian is among my favorite distro's. But to someone who's never touched Linux before, and has no nearby Linux guru's to help him configure things, it's too much at once.

---
Website

Schitzoboy
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 05-24-2005 14:27

I agree with Iron Wallaby. When I first made the switch, I was totally lossed with debian. But I tried mandrake and I was able to get ahold of things and begin to break through the steep learning curve. Now I would never run Mandrake, I dislike RPM based distros, and I like Gnome focused distros more than KDE. But If It wern't for Mandrake I'd probably not still be using linux today. You can always switch distros later when your comfortable, and you have a better idea what you want from one.

bitdamaged
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 100101010011 <-- right about here
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-24-2005 17:52

Hmm sounds like everyone likes Ubuntu. I'm about to build a new Linux box and I'm using Fedora Core (but for a particular reason, it's a top secret project - more info later this week ssshhhh....).

I actually always was a big fan of Mandrake when I first started installing Linux but I've been using CentOS at work (just because everyone else is doing it )

Ultimately F1 I'd just grab the easiest one (sounds like Ubuntu), burn some ISOs, make sure the CD drive is set as your first boot drive and keep clicking yes until the install is done. For older computers this will usually do the trick. You might want to browse through what software packages you want installed. My biggest complaint with most distributions is that they tend to install everything and the kitchen sink. You probably don't need every compiler and server option. . But installing Linux these days is usually a pretty straightforward practice.

What you really want to ask is KDE or Gnome for you Windows Manager (I like KDE).



.:[ Never resist a perfect moment ]:.

F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-24-2005 19:21
quote:
reisio said:
Well if you want everything done for you, why not just stick with Windows.


We won't be sticking with Windows because of spyware, malware, viri, blah, blah blah. This will be for our employees to use to surf the web while working, they currently do this on a WinXP box, and we spend four hours a week removing tons of crap that auto installs. The security level have been set to high, Firefox is used, and we've spent hundreds of dollars on software that doesn't work, Windows just doesn't cut it in the online world, it's too big a target. I don't want my employees to go without interent, but we can't keep putting the only computer in store at risk. Thus Linux comes into play. And if anything gets destoryed on this box, we haven't spent any more money on the problem. However, it must be simple (not only because I'm a Linux newbie) because non-geek non-computer savvy people will be using it. And there only experince is with Windows. The other reason is to make it into a "jukebox" that plays mp3s, since right now the music in the store is played via my iPod, and I want my iPod back.

quote:
Iron Wallaby said:
But to someone who's never touched Linux before, and has no nearby Linux guru's to help him configure things, it's too much at once.


Too true, if I run into problems installing, running or maintaining this box, I can't call anyone I know of, as I don't know of any Linux people in my small town.

quote:
bitdamaged said:
What you really want to ask is KDE or Gnome for you Windows Manager (I like KDE).


Ok, window manager, I'm assuming that like what Windows was to DOS right? And this will provide the GUI package to keep things simple. Right?

Thanks for all the advice so far guys, it's been a huge help.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-24-2005 22:33
quote:
Iron Wallaby said:

But to someone who's never touched Linux before, and has no nearby Linux guru's to help him configure things, it's too much at once.


Ya, but there are many hundreds of people on IRC at just about any time you can think of who have plenty of experience installing Debian.

If you want an immediate usable system, you can grab a copy of Knoppix or Morphix and install from the LiveCD...without hurting Debian.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-24-2005 22:43
quote:
F1_error said:

Ok, window manager, I'm assuming that like what Windows was to DOS right? And this will provide the GUI package to keep things simple. Right?


This is no life or death decision, btw - it's quite simple to install many, try many, use many.

F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-24-2005 23:22
quote:
reisio said:

there are many hundreds of people on IRC at just about any time


Believe it or not there are many people whom would rather drink a slurry of broken glass, cyanide, and industrial sewage then use IRC.

quote:
reisio said:

This is no life or death decision, btw - it's quite simple to install many, try many, use many.


True, but it takes time to try many. And time is in short supply. I realize there will be a Linux Learning Curve, but I don't have the time to try may installs. And asking questions rather then the trial and error method will work better in the long run.

bitdamaged
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 100101010011 <-- right about here
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-25-2005 00:17

I think he's referring to Windows Managers. You can install and switch between them at will.

Really quite easy and not a big deal.



.:[ Never resist a perfect moment ]:.

F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-25-2005 00:23

Ah, well then, I thought he was referring to the various flavors of Linux.

So just to make sure I'm not getting throughly confused, a Windows Manager is just a GUI on top of the command line right?

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-25-2005 00:30

It's a little bit more complicated than that, but yes, basically everything is passed to a window server (X) and the windows and their behaviors are controlled by a window manager.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windowing_system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_manager
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_environment

quote:
F1_error said:

Believe it or not there are many people whom would rather drink a slurry of broken glass, cyanide, and industrial sewage then use IRC.


Iron Wallaby
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: USA
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 05-25-2005 05:33

reisio: I know you love Debian, but it ain't the way to go for now. Let F1 do the easiest (if not the most correct) thing; perhaps in a year he'll upgrade to something else, and as the packaging for Ubuntu and Debian is the same, it'll probably be Debian. But since he's never used linux before, and couldn't tell a WM from an APM, let him go the simple way out.

---
Website

(Edited by Iron Wallaby on 05-25-2005 05:33)

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-25-2005 06:28
quote:
Iron Wallaby said:

the packaging forUbuntu and Debian is the same


"If anything, Ubuntu's popularity is a net negative for Debian," Murdoch told internetnews.com. "It's diverged so far from Sarge that packages built for Ubuntu often don't work on Sarge. And given the momentum behind Ubuntu, more and more packages are being built like this. The result is a potential compatibility nightmare."
http://internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3496541

So happy I just build from source.

Morph
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Soft Cell
Insane since: Nov 2001

posted posted 05-26-2005 16:16

wow, I was only today considering running a duel boot with linux as the second os. after searching google I'm still not sure what the difference is but I always thought linux was free but I see this is not always true.

so what are the main differences and will they all run the same applications?

wrayal
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Cranleigh, Surrey, England
Insane since: May 2003

posted posted 05-26-2005 17:35

Without having read the rest of the thread, I thought I'd leap in here....

'linux' is free. That is, the word "linux" refers to the kernel which is free (as in free speech). On top of this is GNU which is also free. However, upon this distros are made. This is where the variances come in. Debian, for example, is entirely free. Mandrake produces a couple of distros. Ones which include proprietary drivers, such as the nvidia ones, may not be downloaded for free (though you may download the driver from nvidia for free, so it is somewhat silly in my eyes...). It is all about the licensing on the software they include, and on whether they simply want to make a distro and have people pay for it. Suse is clean and user friendly, and has a lot of work behind it, so they charge for it. Meanwhile, you have each other company with their contrasting ideals - 'linux' distros are not compelled to be free, but there are many that are

Wrayal

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-26-2005 18:47
quote:
Morph said:

wow, I was only today considering running a duel boot withlinux as the second os. after searching google I'm still not sure what the difference is but I always thought linux was free but I see this is not always true.so what are the main differences and will they all run the same applications?


The big difference is usually just the package management system...but there are lots of utilities out there for converting between the more popular ways (RPM, deb, tgz, etc.). So _really_ it's just about which distributions little specifics and package management system is that much more convenient for you.

Since most of the best software is open, you can always just build it from source, too, circumventing many package management systems entirely.

Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 05-26-2005 19:43

We also have some collected links which could help you when in trouble:
Can you direct me to Linux documentation?
How do I install Linux?
Where can I get help learning Linux?
Linux


There are a lot of threads in the sink about linux which can be found by using the advanced search with keywords "OS linux" then search in "archives" this turns up 60 threads with a different questions and answers.

good luck.


------------------------------
Support Justice for Pat Richard

(Edited by Rinswind 2th on 05-26-2005 20:35)

Morph
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Soft Cell
Insane since: Nov 2001

posted posted 05-27-2005 22:19

ah, thanks guys. as always its never really easy but I'll have a go at ploughing through

F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-28-2005 01:14

Ok, I've got Ubuntu up and running. I've installed BMP and it doesn't look like it has a shuffle/radomize option. I can randomize the playlist, but it doesn't radomize everytime it opens. I'd use MusicPlayer, but after reading about it, it seems to be unstable for long hours of playing.
So does anyone have any other recommendations for an MP3 player?

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-28-2005 01:33

just try them all

F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-28-2005 01:57

Ya know, I did a quick search for music players for Linux Debian and Ubuntu, and the "just try them all" option is not a realistic one, since there are hundreds of music/mp3 players out there. But hey, thanks for the suggestion.

WarMage
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-28-2005 02:52

XMMS, that is my favorite.

Dan @ Code Town

F1_error
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: EN27
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-28-2005 03:11

BMP is just like XMMS, it has the same issue for me, no shuffle. Just randomize playlist, and it doesn't randomize everytime. Ubuntu came with XMMS, so that was an easy one for me to try. I may just have to stick with MusicPlayer/RhythmBox and hope it stays stable.

I wish I knew how to run the VNC server in Linux, but that will come with time.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

posted posted 05-28-2005 03:11

there are only a handful worth using - maybe 6 or 7

xmms
beep-media-player
mplayer
amarok
rhythmbox
some I forgot

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