linux n00b, help me...

yea im sorry for posting this for the 10000....th time but the search boards is so inefficient...im a TOTAL linux n00b so i need ur help. (all i know is that linux is an OS)
1) why would someone be interested in linux?
2) can i use my regular windows softare for linux (my guess is no, but just to make sure)
3) how easy is to integrate to a network with linux? (i wanna be able to use internet, etc with linux, but i am on a school network)
4) what FREE linux is the best overall? i hear mandrake, red hat, suse...but i dont know.
5) whats the difference between free linux and bought linux

thanks for ur help, i hearing a lot about linux and im gettin more and more interested in it, but i need ur help.

real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"
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  1. It's different for everyone, but here's my take on your questions...

    1) Because it's "Free as in Beer, and Free as in Speech". Eg, it doesn't (necessarily) cost anything, and it's free to pass around and modify, within the limits of the GNU Public License. Some people prefer [Free|Net|Open]BSD because it is even "free-er", license wise. I like Linux because of its development process and the culture around it, and also because it's not M$ ;-) Mostly I like it because it does everything I want, and costs me practically nothing.
    2) You can use some of it, but you'll need to be running Codeweavers Wine, or CrossOver Office (costs a few $).
    3) Very easy (or not :-). Most schools would use DHCP or BOOTP, so that makes it pretty much automatic for TCP networking. You can use the Samba application to talk to Windows boxes.
    4) Take your pick. I like SuSE, but you usually have to pay for it. Both RedHat and Mandrake are very good. Just make sure you get the latest versions. Mandrake might be easiest for a newbie.
    5) Sometimes nothing, but usually you'll get additional commercial software such as StarOffice with the "bought" version, as well as some degree of install support.

    <i>Do I look like I care?</i>
  2. whats the best free linux? im a newb so i dont know what to choose?
    can a free linux integrate to a school network?

    real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by grassapa on 08/25/02 04:17 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. Actually, SuSE is free, but you have to install it via ftp (slow slow slow), so that's pretty much out of the running for here.

    I'd say wait a few weeks until mandrake 9.0 is out (it's in beta3 right now), and then go with that. That's what I'm going to be putting on my system, just because it's what I learned on.

    If my baby don't love me, I know, I know, her sister will.
  4. when is 9.0 comin out? i told my cuz to burn 8.2 on a cd already.... whats cool to learn in linux? what kind of cool stuff is there?

    real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"
  5. OK, go for Mandrake then.
    Yes, but I don't know anything about your school network. If it's netware based, things might get interesting (butit should still be possible).

    <i>Do I look like I care?</i>
  6. I'd estimate 2-3 weeks if they keep the releases as far apart as I remember them.

    Cool stuff in linux? Well, there's a ton of stuff, but you should really get the cli (command line interface) stuff down first. Stuff like copying/moving/deleting files, switching to superuser, changing permissions, learning the tar and zip commands, compiling source... Once you are sorta comfortable with that, then go nuts.

    One of the coolest things I am a fan of is the virtual desktops that are built into X. You basically have a 2x2 (default, you can go up to 8x8 I think, and then layer 10? on top of each other for hundreds of desktops) workspace that is 2 screens wide by 2 up and down. It's really handy. Here's how I usually have things running:

    Upper left quadrant: Mozilla, email, licq (ICQ for linux), XMMS (that's winamp for linux), star office

    Upper right quadrant: The GIMP (photoshop for linux)

    Lower left quadrant: Xchat (IRC client), ftp server/client

    Lower right quadrant: VMWare running WinXP (yep, that's running WinXP INSIDE of linux)

    Stickified to all windows: gkrellm (little monitoring program)

    All you have to do in order to switch between these windows is click the appropriate box on a 2x2 applet in your taskbar. It's so easy to get a lot done this way.

    Actually, I have a <A HREF="http://www.members.shaw.ca/gskamps/desktop.jpg" target="_new">screenshot</A> you can see. The little standalone box in the bottom left corner is that paging utility. You can see it's 2x2. There's also another one in the taskbar just above that black thing near the bottom.

    If my baby don't love me, I know, I know, her sister will.
  7. wow it actually looks really cool? but having lots of those virtual desktops can hog the cpu and memory? (is that mandrake 8.2 or 9 beta you are using there?)

    real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"
  8. i decided to go with mandrake? is that a good choice or should i go with red hat linux? are they the same? remeber that im a newb

    real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"
  9. It's totally customizable. Go to <A HREF="http://e.themes.org" target="_new">http://e.themes.org</A> (I hope that site's still up) and you can see a few screenshots. Or better yet, just do a search on google.

    X is pretty heavy on the ram, but it's definitely worth it. It's pretty easy on the cpu (< 1%) unless you have transparency, that water ripple (at the bottom of that screen shot, it actually moves like water), menu coolness, etc...

    Mandrake and redhat are very similar with mandrake having more and better graphical config utilities (read: easier).

    If my baby don't love me, I know, I know, her sister will.
  10. Oh, and I think that shot was taken back when I was using mandrake 7.0

    If my baby don't love me, I know, I know, her sister will.
  11. Dude, in the end, go with whatever will install on your machine.

    Red Hat 7.whatever locks up mid install on me. I'm not going to play mickey mouse gamez with it, when Mandrake 8.2 just cranks.

    Mandrake is a good first choice.

    Do yourself a favor, and go down to Barnes and Noble or Borders, and get one of those really thick ass Linux bibles. It costs a little cash, but it will give you tips and command switches that will save your life.

    Also, if I were you, I'd seriously consider dual booting for a while. Right now I'm dual booting with XP. I've got something like 1.5gig toward XP (pfffft; with like 500meg free), 2 gig for mandrake (with like 1.1gig free), 100meg swap, and the rest is a fat32 game/common partition that both os's can read and write.

    C@lling it like I c it...
  12. poorboy pretty much said it, but here's my take:

    1) because it's free and open source. awsome library of mostly free and open source apps. fast, stable, fast, and stable. it's super configurable. and it's also fast and stable. it's a great environment for what i do (programming). great (free) tech support if you ever have trouble/questions. did i mention it's fast and stable =)
    2) what poorboy said
    3) what poorboy said
    4) I use SuSE too. Bought myself the retail personal 8.0 edition, but you can download it for free via ftp. what is best for a NEWBIE? prolly mandrake and redhat. what is best OVERALL? that really depends on the user.
    5) pretty much the bought linux contains comercial licensed software. thats about it.

    glad to hear you're getting more interested in linux.

    Disregard my previous post.
  13. ok cool, im going for mandrake 8.2 just to try...click around and stuff. then when when mandrake 9 comes out i will try to get very serious.
    ejsmith: those bible books cost a lot, r u sure i cant learn most of that stuff on the i-net?

    btw, i looked at the codeweaver's wine, looks cool, so i can run most or all of windows apps? can i run games too? are the apps and games become more reliable since im running them on linux? thanks for ur help.

    ps: whats kde or gnome? im sooo clueless arent i?

    real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"
  14. >>ok cool, im going for mandrake 8.2 just to try...click around and stuff. then when when mandrake 9 comes out i will try to get very serious.

    sounds good to me.

    >> those bible books cost a lot, r u sure i cant learn most of that stuff on the i-net?

    you can learn pretty much everything off the Internet. but it's always handy to have a book or two right next to you when you need it (like if you forget some command or something). btw, you can learn alot by subscribing to a variety of mailing lists, thats how i learned quite a few things.

    >> i looked at the codeweaver's wine, looks cool, so i can run most or all of windows apps?

    some yes, some no....check out their compatability list. some programs can be easily set up and working in minutes, while others takes ALOT of configuration.

    >>can i run games too?

    some yes, some no....there is a version of WINE called WINEX that lets you play commercial win32 games in linux, but it can be SLOW. you're better off leaving the gaming to windows , unless, of course, there is a version of the game for linux (like quake 3, et al).

    >> can i run games too?

    they are desktop environments. in short, they're pretty desktop guis to make your life easier (icons, menus, et al... like in windows).

    Disregard my previous post.
  15. forgot to mention...

    if you're planing to buy a linux book, "Running Linux" by welsh, dalheimer & kaufman (published by o'reilly) is an excellent choice.

    Disregard my previous post.
  16. Kde and Gnome are the two major window managers in Linux. Everyone says KDE is closest to windoze, and I'm fairly inclined to agree.


    And yeah, a bible will cost you $40. You can print out some pretty decent stuff off the web, but most everything is a "how to", which is really focused. Hell, when you are starting off the bat, just figuring out how to get into xwindows, and run a damn text editor from the command prompt are challenging.

    Flip on your printer driver to do 4 pages per sheet, and print out the biggest damn book you can find on Linux. Use both sides of the paper to cut down on your cost.

    C@lling it like I c it...
  17. should i use kde or gnome?

    real philosophy of life: "do onto others what you dont want them do onto you"
  18. Take your pick.

    If I were you, I'd just install both of them. You can switch back and forth, *fairly* easy. If you boot straight to level5 (a graphical login), there's a dropdown window that will let you choose.

    If you boot to the command prompt, you either run gdm or kdm (friggin xdm, pdm, qdm...whatever; I still don't know all the different commands).

    C@lling it like I c it...
  19. what do you guys think of lycrois linux? looks cool, reliable, easy... or its no good?
    http://lycoris.com/

    --------------------------------------------------
    Don't make me use uppercase...
  20. I've never seen that distro before.

    Give it a try. Since you're having problem with Mandrake, sometimes another distro can just clear everything up like magic. Linux is Linux. Some of them have made it like windoze (one big config file; like a registry), but it's still the same OS.

    One last option, but one to consider, is just buying Linux. Any state run 4 year university in the US has a computer store. You can buy XP professional for anywhere between $5 and $15. Linux is available too, but they usually only carry one distro. $15 isn't bad considering you can call tech support just like if you had bought the $80 version at Worst Buy.

    C@lling it like I c it...
  21. xp professional 5 - 15 bucks?

    --------------------------------------------------
    My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek:
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