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Author Topic: Making the Switch-03: First impressions and first problems after installation  (Read 7822 times)

zridling

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The last distribution I had installed was Fedora 7, and after getting a new videocard, I reinstalled Ubuntu. For the unsuspecting newbie like myself, after you've installed a half dozen distros from Debian to Fedora to Mandriva to MEPIS to PCLinuxOS to Ubuntu, the first thing you notice is that they all essentially look the same. That's because they're using one of two desktop environments (shells in Windows lingo) — Gnome or KDE. If I didn't go any further than appearances, then it doesn't matter which distro is underneath that pretty UI. But the differences can be either subtle or significant depending on how you use your system, and what type of system you're able to install GNU/Linux onto.

After booting Ubuntu the first time, I installed the updates automatically. However, Ubuntu didn't recognize my videocard despite allowing me to download the specific driver for it. Fonts were grainy, and even after adjusting their settings, they still looked bad. After running the update manager, the system needed to reboot. When I rebooted, Ubuntu froze. Here's the complex solution which did not work for me. (http://ubuntuforums....wthread.php?t=461215) I ended up reinstalling it two more times to the same result. Not wanting to spend an entire weekend or longer trying to fix it, I surrendered. Our friend Gothi(c) predicted this common problem in the last part of this serial!

[attach linux-problem01.png][/attach]

If you do install Ubuntu (or any distro) via dual-boot, just like everything else, backup your system! Reread that last sentence. I'll wait.         If you install Ubuntu, you'll want to also download and install Automatix, which allows you to download tons of Win32 software, drivers, and codecs for Debian-based systems. For other distros, you don't need Automatix, just download whatever software you want straight from the website and install it yourself as with Windows. Otherwise, you can use the "package manager" included with the distro. The one in Ubuntu is iconic and well layed-out, whereas the one in Fedora 7 is a cleaner text list. Be forewarned, you'll be tempted just to check them all and install everything. Resist that urge, and just take it one step at a time.

I move to Fedora 7, and like PCLinuxOS, and MEPIS, it just works on my system. The new videocard and new monitor are recognized; the fonts are clear, and it's asking me if I want to install drivers for my HP printer. Installing my own fonts are as simple as click-n-dragging files from the DVD to the Fonts folder. Yea! Firefox is easy and works great, but I prefer Opera, since I've customized it to my workflow. Opera installs fine and I'm able to apply my scripts without a hitch. Same for a few other apps like WinRAR, XnView, OpenOffice, and Nero.

One way to bridge the gap and save the investment you've already made in your Windows software is to use emulator software such as VmWare, CrossOver. Or you could try b]Wine[/b], which mimics many of the Windows system functions (you do not need Windows installed on your computer). This allows you to install your Windows software through Wine and then run it under Linux. (Here is a list of software that has been confirmed to run well using Wine.) CrossOver runs some very big apps like Photoshop and Microsoft Office with ease, and while it will cost you some money, it keeps you from having to drop everything and learn new and often times inferior apps on GNU/Linux. If you do run Photoshop, check out GIMPShop as a transitional app, because it shares the exact same menus and toolbars as Photoshop.

Within my first week, what I've learned about GNU/Linux is this: be prepared to read — because there is a learning curve. Learning something for the first time is energizing, but just like we all did with Windows way back when, you're going to need to set aside time to not only learn GNU/Linux, but about it. To do the ordinary things you do everyday on GNU/Linux will likely require your study, which makes for fits and starts when using it. You will have to stop and read enough to learn to do some things, among them solve problems (like mine mentioned above). This takes time. Again, respect the learning curve: you will not learn GNU/Linux without bending your brain. But once you reach a comfort level, the rewards are exciting, among them, no more Registry, woohoo!

And one last time: if you're dual-booting a GNU/Linux distro, backup your entire c-drive in Windows, just in case.
________________________________________________
Part-01: My journey from Windows to Linux
Part-02: Which Linux distro to choose?
Part-03: First impressions and first problems after installation
Part-04: The "User Guide" as life raft, more n00b problems
Part-05: Ten Great Ideas of GNU/Linux
Part-06: Software Management is not that different
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 02:56:51 AM by zridling »

lanux128

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good research, zridling.. :Thmbsup: i must be like light years behind as only recently i found out that GNU/Linux doesn't support dial-up modems (serial or USB).. instead you have make a trip to http://www.linmodems.org to complete the process.. ;)

P.S. i was installing Ubuntu 6 & Vector Linux 5.8 on a P3 with 328MB RAM..

nosh

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Was feeling a bit left out by not contributing to a relatively hardcore discussion on the board, so here goes...
115.gif


zridling

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Thanks for the tip, Lanux, and holy crap that's a funny toon, nosh!

Darwin

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Thanks for the automatix link, Zaine. I'm checking it out now!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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With Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, I found that there are not that many applications that automatix will install that is not already installed or can't be installed via synaptic. No?

Darwin

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Armando that's the way it looks to me, too. Still nice to have - would have made installing WINE a lot easier, for example. I'm glad I've got it as it supplements the native installer really well.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Tonurics

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lanux128: The problem you are having is related to using WinModems (A.K.A Softmodem), is a modem with minimal hardware capacities, designed to use a host computer's resources (mostly CPU power and RAM but sometimes even audio hardware) to perform most of the tasks performed by dedicated hardware in a traditional modem. The modem hardware tends to be nothing more than a telephony port with the modem firmware being run inside the windows driver. They are much cheaper to make, so that are becoming more and more common. You might be luckily and have a model that you can use the generic minicom to connect with, otherwise linmodems.org (as you found) will try to sell you a linux driver.

More Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winmodem

good research, zridling.. :Thmbsup: i must be like light years behind as only recently i found out that GNU/Linux doesn't support dial-up modems (serial or USB).. instead you have make a trip to http://www.linmodems.org to complete the process.. ;)

P.S. i was installing Ubuntu 6 & Vector Linux 5.8 on a P3 with 328MB RAM..

I would suggest anyone considering using automatix to read https://help.ubuntu....ty/RestrictedFormats first, and most if not all of the things you are trying to enable (mp3, wma, dvd, etc.) can already be done using the existing tools. Automatix is known for ignoring your apt database and can really screw up your system with broken dependencies. I have heard a lot of horror stories; RPM hell for DEP if you will. ;)

Darwin

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Thanks for the link re: automatix, tournics - I'll take a look. *Fortunately* I haven't had much time to play in ubuntu lately, so haven't used automatix to install anything!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

lanux128

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Tonurics: thanks for the info..

anyway to make matters worse, the company (SmartLink) that my winmodem's chipset is based on has sold off the business to another corporation. the purchasing company is mum on the availability of Linux support and the archived drivers available are for 2.4 kernels, therefore useless for 2.6 kernels that Ubuntu is based on..

but after some googling, i have found some useful threads on Ubuntu forums regarding WinModem installation. they will come in handy the next time i'm in a mood to take Ubuntu (or any other distros) for a spin. :)

Tonurics

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Glad I could shed some more light on this "crazy linux" thing. :)

lanux128: Thats a bummer. The next version of Ubuntu should will get _real_ proprietary winmodem driver support thru the new restricted driver manager. Now that Ubuntu actively has people working on it, maybe they will be able to come up with something. For the time being, if you have a copy of the windows drivers, theres a good chance ndiswrapper will work; originally created to run proprietary wifi driversm it basically runs the drivers thru wine. But be forewarned it can be quite a vexing mistress at times...

Ubuntu 7.10 Announcement - https://lists.ubuntu...007-June/000304.html

lanux128

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that's good to hear, Tonurics.. :up: i also found this thread that advocates native support for winmodems and i duly voted for it..

ws-ubuntu-winmodem-1.png
http://ubuntuforums....owthread.php?t=82608