Isn't Linux supposed to be stable?

First just let me say that I’m a complete newb to Linux. I have used neither Linux nor Unix until a few days ago, and have very little idea of what’s going on.
I’ve been using Windows 98 on my computer for 2 years, and finally got so sick on the bugs and crashes that I installed Windows 2000. Unfortunately, this didn’t help. There were less bugs and crashes, but still quite a few.
So I think to myself, Linux is renowned for it’s stability, surely it wont crash or randomly close programs every half hour.
I went down the street, bought a copy of Linux-Mandrake v7.2, and an hour latter, I was trying it out. Easy.
At first there was no problems, but the more I used it (over the space of three days) the less stable it became. I would do something simple, like copy a document from one folder into another, and it would freeze. I could open and use other programs, but I couldn’t use or even close the frozen program.
Then it stopped booting directly into the default user, and booted to the log on screen instead. A little while later it stopped loading even the log on screen.
What’s going on? Why is it doing this? Did I do something horrible in a former life, that has doomed my to an eternity to buggy operating systems?

Just in case you would like to try and help my out with this, my system specs are as follows:

CPU - Pentium 111 550, 100Mhz FSB
Motherboard - AOpen AX6BC
Chipset – Intel 440BX AGP
Old Hard drive – Seagate 17.2GB ST317221A with Linux-Mandrake 7.2 installed
New Hard Drive – Seagate 20GB ST320011A with Windows 2000 installed
Graphics card – Asus V6600 GeForce 256
CD RW – Sony CRX140E
Standard Floppy disk drive
Modem – LT Win Modem (doesn’t work with Linux and I don’t expect it too)
Network card – 10/100 Realtek RTL8029(AS)-based PCI Ethernet Adapter
Sound card – Creative AudioPCI (ES1371,ES1373)(WDM)

Thanks for any advice you might be able to give.

"Ignorance is bliss, but I tend to get screwed over."
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Yes, the linux KERNEL is extremely stable. I would consider upgrading to Mandrake 8.0 (after all, it's free), just format and give it a go, which should provide more mature apps. Oh yeah, and why not just yank the modem out? Do you need it to connect to the internet?

    "If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
  2. It seems like there are some stabilitly issues with X-Windows, the graphical part of Linux. I think it depends some on what video card you have, but I'm not too sure. I've also found the graphical parts of Mandrake to be much less stable than other distros, i.e. Redhat.

    I'm running Mandrake 7.2 and it's very stable, but I'm using a different login setup. I'm booting into the text login and then starting X-Windows when I want it with the command <i>startx</i>. If you're willing to go that far, I'd try not booting into a default user. Boot to a login screen. Also, be sure you're not running as root. You can really fux0r your computer fast by messing with stuff. I know, I've done it before.

    But other than that, I don't know of anything to recommend. In my opinion, this is probably a Mandrake problem, not necissarily a Linux problem, though.

    Anyway, hope this helps.

    Ben Porter.
  3. I have been running as root, that might be the problem. At the moment I'm trying the latest BIOS revision to see if that makes a difference.
    Thanks for you help so far.

    "Ignorance is bliss, but I tend to get screwed over."
  4. running as root isn't recommended, especially since you're new.

    <font color=red><i>Poor is the pupil, who does not surpass his mentor</i> - Leonardo daVinci</font color=red>
  5. Hmm, let me get this straight. You had a lot of crashes with win98, so you moved to win2k. You had crashes with win2k, so you moved to linux. You are still having crashes with linux...

    It's probably your computer man.

    To give it one last try, get BeOS. It's free, and you run it as a win98 program. It'll reboot your computer, and you'll be running BeOS. If you have problems with this too...

    Lyrics. Wasted time between solos.
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