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Thread: one new user's comments

  1. #1
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    one new user's comments

    I downloaded and burned the Knoppix iso a couple days ago and WOW am I ever impressed.

    First a little background on me:
    I've been using computers in the IBM/MS world for about 10 years now. I started with MSDOS 5.0 and have used every MS OS since pretty fluently. Though I'm not a proficient programmer, I have done a bit of structured programming in C, Pascal, and Basic. I've been building PCs for myself, relatives, and lately small businesses since the the original Pentium/AMD K6 days. Even though I consider myself a power user in the Windows arena I've never quite been able to grasp Linux...but thanks to Knoppix you can welcome another born again penquin head to the fray.

    Installation:
    Just for reference I'm running an AMD Athlon XP 1600 on a ECS K7S5A (SiS735 chipset) motherboard with 512MB PC2100 DDR, a GeForce4 4200 video card, a generic 10/100 PCI NIC connected to cable router, an ATAPI NEC CD burner, a Western Digital 20gb IDE hard drive, a standard PS/2 keyboard and an off brand (Harma) USB optical wheel mouse... details on my audio setup below...

    Hardware detection was ALMOST flawless. I had an AU8830 based Tutle Beach Montego II and the onboard SiS7012 based AC97 audio installed and enabled, respectively. Everything was detected and worked properly except, of course, for the sound card. Fortunately my network configuration was already set up by Knoppix automatically so I could jump online right away and find out that my AU8830 wasn't supported without 3rd party beta drivers (http://sourceforge.net/projects/aureal/). I shut down, removed the card, and Knoppix was able to find and configure my AC97 audio without a hitch!

    Initial reactions:
    It had been awhile since I'd last given linux a chance (with RedHat 6.0) so I wasn't quite sure what to expect this time around. KDE made the switch from WindowsXP very simple for me. Aside from a bit of mucking with the sound server (XMMS doesn't come with a aRts plugin by default) all the software worked "right out of the box").

    I was (and still am) impressed and a bit overwhelmed with the sheer amount of apps included for a 1 CD distro. GAIM, OpenOffice, XMMS, Xine, Mozilla, Gimp, etc. If only there was a sequencer with VST support for Linux I'd never have to deal with Windows again (I'm a rabid Fruityloops fan).

    In closing:
    The biggest improvements that can be made, from a newbie perspective anyway, are: 1) a GUI for installing Knoppix to your hard drive and 2) some kind of unified sound server and all multimedia apps preconfigured to use it. That's pretty much it.

    Like I said at the start of this rather lengthly post I've only been using Knoppix for a couple days but I've already given out 3 CDs and got a friend to download the ISO. This will now be my main OS, but Windows will stay on another partition for the audio apps and games.

    Thanks,
    Will

  2. #2
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    Re: one new user's comments

    Quote Originally Posted by robelanator
    In closing:
    The biggest improvements that can be made, from a newbie perspective anyway, are: 1) a GUI for installing Knoppix to your hard drive and 2) some kind of unified sound server and all multimedia apps preconfigured to use it. That's pretty much it.
    I thought of one more as XMMS crashed and refuses to restart, a GUI showing all the processes running along with % of CPU being used, etc, with a "Kill" button would be very nice indeed. I know how to list processes and kill them in the command line, but a quick CTRL-ALT-DEL would be easier.

    I'm sure all this has been heard already (I can't be the first lazy user), but many voices speak louder than one, if you know what I mean.

  3. #3
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    You really don't want to get into the habit of hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL on a Linux/Unix box. Trust me.
    Its not too bad in the new distros, but you were in a whole world of hurt in some of the older ones. It used to be the equivalent of 'shutdown now', do not pass go, do not save any open files, etc.

    Made worse when people put Windows and *Nix servers in the same rack. ;>

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flibble
    You really don't want to get into the habit of hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL on a Linux/Unix box. Trust me.
    Its not too bad in the new distros, but you were in a whole world of hurt in some of the older ones. It used to be the equivalent of 'shutdown now', do not pass go, do not save any open files, etc.

    Made worse when people put Windows and *Nix servers in the same rack. ;>
    Well, I was just using that as an example. Any key combo would do really...

  5. #5
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    update

    I completed the installation to hard disk last night using the knx-hdinstall script with the help of the HOWTO (http://www.freenet.org.nz/misc/knoppix-install.html).

    Very cool. Everything runs much quicker, of course, and I don't have to save to a floppy. It's been a LONG time since I've played with LILO so thankfully it autoconfigured itself to see both my WindowsXP and Linux partitions.

    My one big issue was that after installing to the hard drive KDE was no longer set up to automatically set up my FAT32 partitions. After a bit of searching on the message boards I found this which fixed my problem:
    http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtop...highlight=vfat

    I now have a fully functional Linux installation as my main OS and I'm able to share my documents, mp3s, and videos with Windows. I never would've made this jump so quickly had I not had the chance to make sure everything would work using the Knoppix Live CD.

    ...now I just have to completely relearn how to use my OS

  6. #6
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    Welcome aboard! Here's a few tips that may help you.

    If an application hangs, there are a few quick ways to kill it.

    1. Open up a shell and type, "top." This will display a list of process and wha'ts going on with them. Most likely the ofending program will be gobbling up your cpu and/or memory. Type 'ctrl+c" to stop top. Look on the left hand side for the pid of the program and type kill 786 (or whatever number the pid of your program is). Most likely this will take care of your problem.

    2. On rare occasions I have found a simple kill command won't work. Then try this kill -9 <pid>. This seems to always work.

    3. If you want to do this with the gui just hit: 'ctrl+alt+escape' (or type xkill from the a shell) and your cursor will turn into a skull and cross bones. Click it on the offending window and it will die.

    As far as xmms goes, it has always worked on Knoppix for me so I"m not sure what's wrong.

    Now that you have installed Knoppix you have a full version of Debian on your system. You will really benefit from googling and reading up on the 'apt-get' features of Debian. You can use apt-get to very, very easliy keep your system up to date.

    Congrats again on linux on your box. Keep expanding your knowledge and having fun.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aay
    If an application hangs, there are a few quick ways to kill it.
    My favorite one :
    Alt+f2 in kde, type xkill, press enter, click the program.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aay
    1. Open up a shell and type, "top." This will display a list of process and wha'ts going on with them. Most likely the ofending program will be gobbling up your cpu and/or memory. Type 'ctrl+c" to stop top. Look on the left hand side for the pid of the program and type kill 786 (or whatever number the pid of your program is). Most likely this will take care of your problem.
    I've been using "ps -ef" because when xmms craps out it just idles so it doesn't show up on a "top" command.

    Quote Originally Posted by aay
    Now that you have installed Knoppix you have a full version of Debian on your system. You will really benefit from googling and reading up on the 'apt-get' features of Debian. You can use apt-get to very, very easliy keep your system up to date.
    I'm looking at documentation at debian.org right now. apt-get certainly seems easier than the rpm's I had to use before.

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

  9. #9
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    Pressing CTRL-ESC will bring up the KDE System Guard application. This is as close to Task Manager as you are likely to get, and even has a nice highlight the app and press the [kill] button action. Hope that helps.

    Wasn't trying to appear unhelpful in previous post, just imparting a little history/reminescing on some of the problems I had with that particular keystroke combination. ;>

    Incidentally I only found out the CTRL-ESC combination by a fluke the other day (I admit to not having looked at the keystroke mappings in Knoppix, I spend most time on the command line). The mouse wasn't working on a server that we were trying to boot Knoppix on, so I started pressing key combinations to see whether I could get to the KDE menu. CTRL-ESC brings up the Win32 program menu so I tried that, and up popped System Guard. ALT-F1 was the combination I really wanted BTW to bring up the KDE menu. Unfortunately my server didn't boot correctly because it needed megaraid.o, guess I'll need to remaster or modprobe it in after the fact.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flibble
    Pressing CTRL-ESC will bring up the KDE System Guard application. This is as close to Task Manager as you are likely to get, and even has a nice highlight the app and press the [kill] button action. Hope that helps.
    Excellent! Thanks for the tip...

    I guess I should do a bit more reading up on the KDE keyboard shortcuts.

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