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Thread: What's it like being a newbie?

  1. #1
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    What's it like being a newbie?

    I have just installed Knoppix 3.1 as a dual boot on my laptop. While I appreciate that the hard disk howto was probably a voluntary effort, an aspect of Linux that I find appealing, as a newbie I was also irritated once again by what is missing. Everything went fine except for the setting up networking section. I want to wordprocess, access the internet and email. Do I need samba at startup? What is it? What is the default setting?

    This is my third go at Linux. The first (Mandrake 7.2 and Running Linux O'Reilly) I gave up because I got fed up searching for answers to simple questions. The second (Mandrake 8.2) ended with Knoppix 3.1 on the DVD of LinuxFormat, the Mandrake manual stating "just load the hotplug module" but no mention of how to do it. Mandrakeonline did not work and there was an updated version but no instructions on how to install it. Loads of complicated webpages.

    Knoppix detected most of my hardware and cardmanager and hotplug worked straight away. I know my IP, subnet mask etc but what is ssh? Oh no here come those questions again!

  2. #2
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    Open a console window and type netcardconfig then enter to configure the network card just enter your settings there. The console is the clam shell icon on the task bar.

    ssh is a secure way of connecting to a computer from any other computer on the network using encryption.

    You do not need samba on start unless you want to connect to a windows network share.

    Good luck and post back with any problems.

  3. #3
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    KH, Knoppix is real simple to use.. Like you I also failed several prior attempts to integrate linux 100% in my computing needs, until I discovered Knoppix. This was all I did to get it running.
    1) In dos command prompt, cd e:\knoppix , mkfloppy (sp?) .
    2) Reboot

    Like in your case, Knoppix detected every single hardware that I use.

    Like in your case, my network was not working on 1st boot. My pc had 2 nics, it was used as a adsl router (slackware) to my home network. The second card is not used anymore since I purchased a hardware router. so the make the simple story short, I attempted to configure the network (to my new adsl router) automatically and manually but failed. I concluded that the kernel that knoppix3.2 use were having problems with my particular combinations of nic cards.. 2 minutes later, after removing the redundant nic, EVERYTHING works.

    the way you asked about samba and hotplug tells me that you were attempting to install on hardisk. Hardisk installation also works for me but because it is troublesome to delete my tracks after surfing the internet, I prefer to boot from compressed Knoppix option unless I need to install new linux software.

    The thing about Knoppix is , now I spend most time doing productive things on my comp instead of hacking,reading faq to just get simple things to work.. my opinion is: a person is great if he is technically capable to solve the nitty gritty issues to get his pc working, he is even greater if he is technically capable but choose not to waste time on things that can be done for him automatically.... just my 2 cents...... Knoppix is IT, other distros has to follow if they know what is best for Linux. Linux enthusiast got to lose the "I can do it, therefore I'm greater than thou" attititude.. imho

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the posts.

    I obviously did not make myself clear. Perhaps I should have titled my post Newbies, What are your experiences of Linux? As Subarus hinted in his last paragraph, I dual boot with Windows XP. I use XP to get my work done and Linux when I have the time to battle with it. I was just wondering if other newbies spend their time trawling the net for answers?

    At first look, Knoppix is a great piece of software and Knoppix.net is simple to navigate and well laid out but after attracting newbies with a great CD what a shame, for example, that the Knoppix install to hard disk howto does not take that little bit of extra time to explain what ssh, samba, send mail etc are so a Newbie knows how to answer the Do you want this service to run at boot questions that are asked during the network setup and if you change your mind, you can change the services that are run at startup by logging on and doing so and so...

    With Knoppix the only issue I need to get up and running is my wireless pcmcia network card but I know how to do this because I spent two weeks on and off sorting it out in Mandrake. I needed hotplug just to get my USB mouse working to save my trak pad! Oh and why are printers such a pain in Linux? I had to load modules to get my parallel port working with Mandrake and then I finally got my Canon BJ200 to work on my wireless print server when I discovered that the dip switch was set to Epson LQ mode and not BJ mode!

    Stephen, you say ssh is a secure way... but is that another computer on the same network or over the internet? Does the other computer have to be running Linux and ssh? In short, I don't think I need it.

  5. #5
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    The first time you got on a pc did you know everything about windows? Did it take time and searching and asking questions? The same is true of any OS. There are many places to glean info about Linux. Here is one of my favorites: G4L

    Here are some great Linux forums:
    LQ
    JL

    Remember, in Linux most every app will have its own site or at least a page or two on someplace like Sourceforge. You don't have to go looking through hundreds of pages of worthless shareware apps on 25 different sites.

    As far as "what does app X do?" When you downloaded the .iso there was also another download called 'packages.txt' and it contains a brief snippet of what each of those packages does. You weren't left hanging.

    You mention having to use 'hotplug' to make USB work- well of course, what do you think windows uses? You see that's just it- MS has been treating people like idiots for so long that they don't know what's REALLY going on. Ask a windows user about the kernel and he'll think you're talking about KFC! When you make a 'shortcut' on the desktop in windows you are really making a 'symlink' but MS thought they'd be smart and rename it. Shortcuts are not MS's bright idea- they come from UNIX.

    Why is Linux printing such a pain? With HP & Epson it isn't but with companies like Lexmark who make junk and refuse to cooperate with people who want to write drivers for their products then yes it is a pain. Lexmark had better wake up though and really soon.

    What is Samba- it's for file sharing w/ windows as Stephen said. Go here: http://www.samba.org/ Notice the big corporate logo in the upper right hand corner. That will indicate which OS that company is betting on.

    You're right- everything written about Knoppix was a volunteer effort as is Knoppix itself. Are you aware that you can take Knoppix and sell it if you so desire? You can write your own how-to and sell that as well. That is what free software is REALLY about, not free like in windoworld where with every other free app you also get a free piece of spyware and you cannot legally modify the code in any way!

    If you want a pc that has Linux and everything already setup then you can buy one of those too. If you want to just click, drool and pray then I'd suggest sticking w/ windows since that is what it's best at.

    If you want to continue to support a company that routinely raids public schools and fines them for not paying for every license on all machines then be my guest.

    If you want an app that performs task 'X' use G4L or post in a forum but generally it's best to post one question at a time and this way you have a better chance of getting the response you want. You will find that what annoys most people in the forums is when you post a question that has been answered many times over and you obviously didn't do a search for it. The Knoppix forum is perhaps slightly different in that noobs are expected and encouraged, none the less the search function is useful. I use it myself daily.

    I would suggest looking around this site to see the latest of nasty b.s. stunts that MS is pulling right now with XP updates.

    Linux is here to stay- Even Macintosh uses a flavor of UNIX for its latest greatest OSX. Windows has its place and yes there are some things that you cannot do in Linux, but just wait........

  6. #6
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    Stephen, you say ssh is a secure way... but is that another computer on the same network or over the internet? Does the other computer have to be running Linux and ssh? In short, I don't think I need it.
    The windows client for ssh is PuTTY. SSH allows you to connect to your computer securely from anywhere in the world, you can be sitting on the beach in Tahiti with a wireless device listening to your favorite tunes steaming over the internet if you wanted too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen
    SSH allows you to connect to your computer securely from anywhere in the world, you can be sitting on the beach in Tahiti with a wireless device listening to your favorite tunes steaming over the internet if you wanted too.
    Yeah and with Linux you can get a great martini sent via email too. Can windows do that???

    Oh yeah...........the real reason I posted was this:
    Lin-Win Equivalents OK sure most Linux apps are far superior to anything on the windows side but I use the word 'equivalents' for lack of something better.

  8. #8
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    rickenbacherus, thanks for the forums. Your right, when I started I did not know everything about windows but because Microsoft owns the desktop I got taught it at school, courses at the local college etc and anybody with a computer was using the same OS. If Linux wants to compete for the desktop with Microsoft then ease of use has to come close to the top of the list. I think it is only a question of time before it succeeds.

    Secondly, I did not download Knoppix so I was unaware of packages.txt. I got it off a DVD with Linux Format so I will check the DVD.

    As for USB, why should I have to set it up? I would like to find out about Linux when I am in the mood not when I have to to get something working. As I said earlier, Mandrake 8.2 had it but did not install it, Knoppix had it and installed it, so Linux is moving in the right direction. Just wait........

    Printing, yes well a dip switch on an old printer is rather obscure but parallel ports are still fairly common and should work from day one.

    With Samba, as I said, I did not make my point clear. I know what Samba is but Knoppix is unusual in that in runs straight off the CD. If a newbie finally decides to have a go at Linux and tries Debian, for example, a string of unexplained questions could put them off especially when they have windows to fall back on unless, of course, you want to keep Linux for those in the know.

    While I am not a fan of Microsoft's policies towards dealing with the competition or their prices, when I want something in a shop, I usually have to pay something for it so why should software be any different. The fact that Microsoft are using their position to keep the price of their software high and insist that PC manufacturers bundle Windows is not on. I am also looking at Linux because I don't like it when buying something new means upgrading something else!

    OK so yes I should have searched to see if their was a similar topic to this one but I was disappointed to read that this forum is different in that noobs are expected and encouraged. I should hope so if Linux wants to grow. Being called a noob and sent a not entirely positive post is not really the way to encourage people to stick with Linux and become one of the cognoscenti.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KH
    rickenbacherus, thanks for the forums. Your right, when I started I did not know everything about windows but because Microsoft owns the desktop I got taught it at school, courses at the local college etc and anybody with a computer was using the same OS.
    Monopolistic ruthless nazi tactics got them there.

    If Linux wants to compete for the desktop with Microsoft then ease of use has to come close to the top of the list.
    You are absolutely right.

    I think it is only a question of time before it succeeds.
    I agree completely

    Secondly, I did not download Knoppix so I was unaware of packages.txt. I got it off a DVD with Linux Format so I will check the DVD.
    I see.

    As for USB, why should I have to set it up? I would like to find out about Linux when I am in the mood not when I have to to get something working. As I said earlier, Mandrake 8.2 had it but did not install it, Knoppix had it and installed it, so Linux is moving in the right direction. Just wait........
    USB worked immediately for me.

    Printing, yes well a dip switch on an old printer is rather obscure but parallel ports are still fairly common and should work from day one.
    Slowly printer companies are building not only Linux friendly printers bu t they are also writing drivers for them. It will take a while yes.

    With Samba, as I said, I did not make my point clear. I know what Samba is but Knoppix is unusual in that in runs straight off the CD.
    Cool isn't it?

    If a newbie finally decides to have a go at Linux and tries Debian, for example, a string of unexplained questions could put them off especially when they have windows to fall back on unless, of course, you want to keep Linux for those in the know.
    If a newbie tried to install Debian he would forcibly remove all of his/her hair! This is a long running cmplaint about Debian. Now that Knoppix has made an easy to use installer for Debian the pressure is on the developers to incorporate it into their distro.

    While I am not a fan of Microsoft's policies towards dealing with the competition or their prices, when I want something in a shop, I usually have to pay something for it so why should software be any different. The fact that Microsoft are using their position to keep the price of their software high and insist that PC manufacturers bundle Windows is not on. I am also looking at Linux because I don't like it when buying something new means upgrading something else!
    Would you believe-no kidding- that I just got a virus on this wimpdoze machine I am now typing on?

    OK so yes I should have searched to see if their was a similar topic to this one but I was disappointed to read that this forum is different in that noobs are expected and encouraged.
    Don't get me wrong- anyone is welcome at any Linux site- it's just that you won't find much about writing BASH scripts and the like here- it is to get people started really. Other Linux forums however are for anyone but that comes at a price for a noob in that if you do search you will find hundreds, nay thousands of posts. Where do you start then?

    I should hope so if Linux wants to grow. Being called a noob and sent a not entirely positive post is not really the way to encourage people to stick with Linux and become one of the cognoscenti.
    It is just irritating to spend so much time trying to help people out and ofen times it is apparent that they didn't even TRY the search function or they want to know "Where are the cheat codes" and they are on the front page of this site! I also spend a great deal of time answering email about Linux. I don't expect a pat on the back or anything. I just want to help put M$h*t in its place and promote the use of a VASTLY superior OS.

    Well KH I can appreciate your position but I will say this: I have spent maybe half the time getting Linux to work compared to the time I spent fixng windows oh and let's not forget rebooting every time you make a change or add software. I NEVER reboot my Linux box unless I want to boot another distro. I have windows machines in my home but I don't use them I just fix them over and over again. They are so easily broken. My linuxbox NEVER crashes- no kidding. Sure applications crash but so what, my desktop still works just fine (when I'm using it that is). If you get into Linux you will find that things are SO mush faster from the command line. I can have a cd started burning by the time you click through the menus to find NERO. I can play DVD's from ANY region in my DVD player (w/ Linux of course). I can type "apt-get install application name" and VOILA! it is done. No error messages- Oh sorry you need this or that as apt-get is smart enough to tell you before hand. I ramble on....pardon me. I really didn't mean to steer you away.

    Oh yeah- I just remembered, I do use windows- their 3.1 floppy disks make GREAT bootable floppy distro disks for my Linux router!

    Stick with it KH- you won't regret it. And if I piss you off- ah well just ignore me then eh? gluck

  10. #10
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    KH,
    Hank in there. We want to help you. We were all noobee's once. hell I am still a noobee.

    As rickenbacherus says, do a lot of searching and trial & error and soon you will be helping out the next generation of noobee's comming up.
    Make learning this new OS fun. Don't let it frustrate you!

    Have fun,
    paul

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