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Old October 24, 2008, 10:33 PM
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Default What Linux distro is for me?

I'm tacking together a PC and just found out there's no win2k drivers for it and I'm not liking the idea of buying an OS. It's a Asus P5E-VM HDMI with no extras, at least not for now. I've never used Linux really, I fiddled with Redhat years ago but didn't do much with it. Hardest thing I found was unlearning everything from the DOS days.

This PC will primarily used as a network drive for backing up files so it needs to be accessible by windows machines on a network. Also it will probably do double duty as an HTPC someday. I realize I'm going to have to do some time to get this to work but I want to make sure I don't start down a dead-end road.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old October 24, 2008, 10:53 PM
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Ubuntu .. get your feet wet.
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Old October 25, 2008, 07:37 AM
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Ubuntu is good but not the easiest since not everything works out of the box.
They use only "free" apps and drivers so depending on what you want to do, you will need to install codecs, video drivers etc. Not that this costs anything, just your time.

Ubuntu has many distros that are based on it.
One of my favs is Linux Mint. It is an improved ubuntu and has mp3's, xvid, nvidia - ATI support out of the box. The main edition has the Gnome window manager but other resent releases include other window managers like KDE, XFCE and Fluxbox.

All these can be downloaded free and run off the cd in live mode.
This will run the OS off the cd without installing to the hdd.
You can get a feel for which one you prefer and always run it this way or install on the hdd. You can choose to just install linux to the hdd or double boot and leave the windows partition so you have the choice.

If you just want to build a NAS box, then consider FreeNAS however, this OS only does this task.

Here are a few user friendly distros you may want to look into;

Ubuntu based distros:
Ubuntu v8.0.4.1
Kbuntu KDE
Xbuntu XFCE
Mint 5 v5r1
Mint 5 KDE
Mint 5 XFCE
Mint 5 Fluxbox

RedHat based distros:
Mandriva 2009 KDE
Mandriva 2009 Gnome
Fedora 10 Gnome
Fedora 10 KDE
PCLinuxOS gnome

OpenSuse 11
Mepis Linux
and many more.

Read more here ...

DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.
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Old October 26, 2008, 07:52 PM
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I installed Linux Mint 5 and am about to lose my mind. I been working on it for a couple evenings now and still can't get get the internet working.. it's a belkin wireless adapter. So far I have only found a single site that tries to make an explanation on how to install drivers. Mind you if it's ATI or nVidia drivers there's a ton of sites. Anyways the one site I found said that in wireless adapters it can use windows drivers .ini files, but it doesn't say which version it needs. All of them lock the system requiring a reinstall of Mint, at least in my limited abilities except the XP driver so I'm guessing that is the one. However after telling it to use that driver I still can't access any network settings so I'm assuming it 'didn't take' also the 'Hardware drivers' section shows no drivers installed so I'm led to beleive that what the Wireless driver setup is telling me isn't what's really going on.

I've been looking for an equivalent of Windows device manager so I can actually see the card and tell if there are any drivers installed for it or not, or even if the computer knows the card is even there, but no dice so far.
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Old October 26, 2008, 07:58 PM
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I've had a lot of luck with Ubuntu out of the box. Did you try the latest live boot cd for ubuntu? (Printers and wireless have always been a PITA under any form of Linux.......)
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Old October 26, 2008, 08:03 PM
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Ubuntu here too; I used it for dual linux folding using Vmware. I know sweet-f*** all about Linux still. But using notes from pscout, I managed to network both instances and have access to the files through Windows. I did not try to use wireless though.
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Old October 26, 2008, 08:04 PM
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Mint has extra tools in to use windows drivers in linux for wireless.
I remember seeing it there ...

BTW MInt is Ubuntu but with more tools added.
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Old October 26, 2008, 09:19 PM
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FWIW Ubuntu isn't the base distro for all those listed as Ubuntu (U,K,X etc) itself is based off Debian.

While it doesn't have a fancy graphics installer (it's text based) I have yet to find a distro as stable and easy to use as Slackware. Those who have problems with it usually do so because they have an antipathy to reading
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Last edited by NyteOwl; October 26, 2008 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Fixing typos
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Old October 26, 2008, 09:39 PM
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I've always had Linux running on at least one workstation. Presently, for the last 4-6 months, I have Linux Mint 5 working and it has been a joy to use. I always test out new distro releases but have only stuck with a few distros for my main Linux workststion. These include PClinuxOS, Mandriva Spring & Pardus Linux.
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Old October 26, 2008, 10:09 PM
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I temporarily gave up on Mint. Turns out that it was running off the CD, well maybe, at least I think it was but couldn't find out how to tell for sure. It wouldn't boot unless the CD was in and once it was booted I couldn't find out how to format the disk to do a fresh install. Even trying to eject the CD was a bitch, found a spot where I could or so it said I could but everytime I selected 'eject' it told me it couldn't mount the volume. If anything I thought ejecting might mean unmounting but who am I to say.

I installed Ubuntu and all went well. Did some searching and found a help telling me how to install a wireless driver and that it COULD use windows drivers usind NDISWrapper. First step is telling me to locate the .inf file, ok I got a good idea of where that is on the CD... next step go to the menu SYSTEM (OK I see that), ADMINISTRATION (yup got that too), go to SYNAPTIC PACKAGE MANAGER (no problem), next select and install 'ndisgtk' (huh, that's not in the list... maybe it's already instaled?). The next step in the instructions was to select WIRELESS DRIVERS in the ADMINISTRATION menu, but that's not there either. So even the supplied help with this is inaccurate.

18 years ago I figured out DOS on my own (and was pretty good at it too!), and we didn't have no stinkin' internet back then either, LOL and I did it in 6 feet of snow, uphill of course. Now with the state of computers I thought there'd be help files and user friendlyness out the wazzoo but apparenty not. Is this some kind of secret LINUX initiation to keep all but the most commited out of the fold? It sounds like a stupid comment sure, but looking at it from my point is that the only help that can be found steers you in the wrong direction.
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