Help teach Linux to a windows n00b.

What I'm looking for, is easy to follow guides, and good newbie walkthroughs. I've got copies of Mandrake... 9 or 10, I forget which, and RedHat 9.

I'd say the reason I never stuck with Linux is because all my games are W32 apps, and that's primarily what I use my computer for. Every time I've loaded up a copy of Linux, I just sat at the desktop, not really knowing what to do next.

DLTV did a show about SUSE. It's got a pretty cool setup, it'll even grab the files it needs over the net (which is kinda slow) as opposed to making you burn 3-6 CDs.

http://en.opensuse.org/Welcome_to_openSUSE.org

Has some guides to installing and links to the distributions. It was pretty painless for me. The only problem I had was with the display driver. It really got screwy, and the signal to my monitor kept coming in and out. I wound up rebuilding and giving the PC to my mother, so I didn't use it for very long.

Kubuntu (and Ubuntu, it's GNOME sister distro) have new versions coming out soon. I'm running the beta right now, and it's both simple and very useful. Of course, if you mostly play games, then don't bother. No point in dual-booting to use messenger, check e-mail and browse the web.

JustLinux has an active forum community for all different flavors of linux. There are also help guides available for configuring different services (FTP, Apache and so on).

PurEvil wrote:

I've got copies of Mandrake... 9 or 10, I forget which, and RedHat 9

I'd toss 'em. Linux development is very rapid and you'll want the latest improvements.

Ubuntu is a good option. It's a very good distro that's not newbie unfriendly.

Kubuntu (and Ubuntu, it's GNOME sister distro)

That's not quite an accurate characterization. There is only one distro - Ubuntu. Kubuntu is not a fork or a different distro. Its a derivation that drops a KDE desktop in place of the default GNOME. The packages are in the same repositories.

Every time I've loaded up a copy of Linux, I just sat at the desktop, not really knowing what to do next.

What do you want to do with your computer?
The big advantage of Linux is the army of quality free software available for everything.

Ubuntu is my favorite distro at the moment, but I'm not demanding the moon of it like I used to.

If you're using a box just for gaming, then there's no reason at all to jump to any Linux distro. I run my Linux boxes as a Counter-Strike:Source server and a development playground. I certainly wouldn't buy a new box for either of those things, though.

Well, I'll try out Ubuntu. Right now I'm thinking of making a small partition for it, just so I can try it out.

While games are the primary function of my computer (which is a joke, seeing as somethings fubar'd with it, and I have yet to figure out what), I've been getting into a little software developement using Cold Fusion (for a possible job). I've heard that linux would be easier to use for this end, but I'm just not familiar enough with it to know how to use it.

Well... I'm going to wander into heresy here and say if you're in the process of learning a development tool, don't toss learning an OS into the mix as well. I mean, if you just want to learn Linux, then by all means, do so. But don't do it because all the cool kids said you should!

Also, there's a live version of Ubuntu (and most distros, I believe) that lets you boot off a CD and goof around with.

*Legion* wrote:

That's not quite an accurate characterization. There is only one distro - Ubuntu. Kubuntu is not a fork or a different distro. Its a derivation that drops a KDE desktop in place of the default GNOME. The packages are in the same repositories.

Right, right, they're just different standard installs.

I'm moving over to linux. Thank god WoW runs on Cedega.

Well, I downloaded Ubuntu last night and burned it, and now I'm posting from it. The file system (partitioning) was a little weird, but I figured it out. Multiple HDD's can be "teh suck".

I like that I can view my FAT32 partitions with it. That was a major problem I had with one of the other versions of linux I had. I'm not sure if it didn't allow me to view them, but I couldn't figure out how, which is just as bad.

The games that came with it run well, but now I need to find some good stuff to play on here. I've got to get a copy of FunQuake for Monday. And now I'm probably gonna look around for some good linux games sites.

FreeCiv is the ugly step-sibling of Civilization, but if you're into that kind of thing, worth checking out. There are some really good solitaire packages running around as well. That's about the sum total of my *nix gaming knowledge. And likely near the total of possibilities!

Here's a good starting point. My personal faves are Battle for Wesnoth and bzFlag. You can play a lot of windows stuff using Cedega too, but there's a subscription fee.

I miss Ubuntu. I was running Windows-free for about six months last year, until I found some PC games that only ran in Windows. After a certain point, I just stopped dual-booting, and then when I wanted to repartition my hard drives for more storage, the Ubuntu partitions had to go. But I loved running Ubuntu... if it weren't for PC games, I'd never go back to Windows.

If you've got any questions, fire away.

Demiurge, I have a thread going asking a question you may be able to help with. Would you mind checking it out?

Consider it scoped out.

I fubared my XP install, so I thought: great chance to check out Ubuntu.

Things I like: wow, this is EASY, sometimes too easy. I recognized my NTFS USB drive, DVD drive, camera, everything. It's also fairly fast on my eMachines T6212. Synaptic and the new application manager are as easy to use as ever-just click and install. I also like the new Gdebi installer-right click on any debian file, and it installs.

Things I don't like:running as root forever and ever (I gave Root a seperate password-but 90% of what you need to do you can do from your login-that's not real safe), automounting can be a pain when installing games, you can't remove things without removing the whole desktop (why should Gnome Games be REQUIRED?).

I've been installing stuff via Cedega, and it works as advertised. Very nice.

I'm going to be on Ubuntu for a while, since eMachines does not ship with recovery discs that actually have XP on them-much to my chagrin. I gave my old system with the retail XP key to my Mother in Law, so I'm without a valid XP key.

Nothing like learning through necessity.

Speaking of which, how is Tactical OS coming along? Or is that dead?

Edwin wrote:

Speaking of which, how is Tactical OS coming along? Or is that dead?

It will come out this year. Don't know when just yet. Using Ubuntu, it's close to where I want Tactical OS to be, although some of the patches and cutting edge improvements that I wanted to include probably won't work.

Is there a link to the project site somewhere? I can not seem to find one either via google of the TG forums.

Edwin wrote:

Is there a link to the project site somewhere? I can not seem to find one either via google of the TG forums.

There isn't a link up right now. I'm redoing the blog.

mateo wrote:

Things I don't like:running as root forever and ever

Eh? Are you sure? Ubuntu locks the root account by default. Instead of using root, Ubuntu requires users to sudo for root access. The password for sudo is the password you chose during the install routine. That does not mean you are using root all the time. You should be asked for the password every time you attempt to perform a task that requires root access.

It's a different setup than most Linux distros - it produces behavior similar to Mac OS X. Ubuntu default behavior is most certainly not root access forever and ever. If you ARE running as root user all the time, something is wrong. But if your home directory is /home/yourname and not /root, then you're not root, you're just being elevated to superuser every time you're trying to perform an admin task (and this SHOULD require the password you set during setup to be entered every time)

mateo wrote:

I'm moving over to linux. Thank god WoW runs on Cedega.

I really need to try that. WoW, Civ4, and iTunes are the only reasons I boot into Windows these days.

And iTunes is only until the libgpod library gets good enough to perform all iPod-related tasks (getting close, still gotta fix all the video stuff)

*Legion* wrote:
mateo wrote:

Things I don't like:running as root forever and ever

Eh? Are you sure? Ubuntu locks the root account by default. Instead of using root, Ubuntu requires users to sudo for root access. The password for sudo is the password you chose during the install routine. That does not mean you are using root all the time. You should be asked for the password every time you attempt to perform a task that requires root access.

It's a different setup than most Linux distros - it produces behavior similar to Mac OS X. Ubuntu default behavior is most certainly not root access forever and ever. If you ARE running as root user all the time, something is wrong. But if your home directory is /home/yourname and not /root, then you're not root, you're just being elevated to superuser every time you're trying to perform an admin task (and this SHOULD require the password you set during setup to be entered every time)

I should have said SU...but I find it a very broad definition-you have to get down to actual admininstration of the box before it prompts your password, and that is the same one you log in with, not the one you set for ROOT.

*Legion* wrote:
mateo wrote:

I'm moving over to linux. Thank god WoW runs on Cedega.

I really need to try that. WoW, Civ4, and iTunes are the only reasons I boot into Windows these days.

And iTunes is only until the libgpod library gets good enough to perform all iPod-related tasks (getting close, still gotta fix all the video stuff)

WoW gets +20-30 FPS boost on Cedega on my system, latency has been less than <100ms, and that is on Thunderhorn. Most other games that run get a similar result.

Don't have Civ4 or a video iPod, so can't help you there.

Not really missing XP.

mateo wrote:

I should have said SU...but I find it a very broad definition-you have to get down to actual admininstration of the box before it prompts your password, and that is the same one you log in with, not the one you set for ROOT.

I'm not sure I get your complaint. What are you able to do in Ubuntu before entering a password in sudo that you aren't able to do in other distros without elevating yourself to superuser? Ubuntu executes individual processes as superuser, rather than elevating all your privileges to superuser.

The Ubuntu wiki says that only the user created during install is set up to use sudo (unless you explicitly allow other users later), so it's not like every user on the system can elevate themselves to superuser access just by putting in their own password.

I think you're saying something that I'm missing. If so, please fill me in. Also, I'll admit that I have not used Ubuntu since Hoary, so if something changed drastically in Breezy, I might be out of date.

mateo wrote:

WoW gets +20-30 FPS boost on Cedega on my system

A boost? Really? You're not using an ATI card, are you?
I could see that happening with an nVidia card. I fear what kind of performance I'll get out of ATI's drivers (though admittedly I haven't pushed the ATI drivers in anything strenuous in about the last five revisions).

Not really missing XP.

I hear that. I will give WoW a shot.

On most linux systems, system administration can be done by either a super user, or root, right? Well, on ubuntu, it rarely, if ever, asks you for a root password (assuming you set one up). That's my issue.

If someone cracks my system (not likely-but play along), then they have fairly long and deep access to my box because Ubuntu has granted SU pretty wide access to the system. I would have liked more system isolation-say only Synaptic can be used by root. Or that SU can do basic admin tasks (mounting/unmounting drives), but not things like networking.

Granted, I could change that, so it's more of a gripe than an actual problem.

And no, I'm not running ATI-I've got an Nvidia 6000.

mateo wrote:

If someone cracks my system (not likely-but play along), then they have fairly long and deep access to my box because Ubuntu has granted SU pretty wide access to the system.

But every task that involves something outside of the user's privileges requires authenticating with sudo every time. If I somehow gained access to your system right now, I would still need to figure out your password if I wanted to do any admin tasks. That's not trivial or necessarily automatic. And because the actual root account is locked, it means that I *have* to obtain your password in order to gain admin access. It means I can't just crack my way into a running root session, because the root account is locked, so you'll never be "logged in" as root. Instead, every admin task is a sudo action, not a logged-in root session that I can hijack.

In practice, you should never, ever log in as root. Instead, you should su/sudo as a regular user to perform all admin tasks. Which is basically what Ubuntu forces you to do.

Now, if you want your regular user to not be able to access sudo at all, then what you want to do is create a new user, and use THAT user as your "normal" user. Treat your sudo-capable user as a root user. New users in Ubuntu aren't ALL added to the admin group, only that first one. Then, you can switch over to the sudo-capable user when wanting to do admin tasks, and you're still not logged into a root account - you're still just a regular user using sudo. That sounds more like what you want. It's not a flawed setup, you just haven't taken that very final step to achieve what you want.

For the Linux n00bs (back on topic here), there's a newer podcast called Linux Reality, which is for Linux n00bs. I added it to my subscriptions without realizing it was for newbies. I didn't listen too closely, but it is a series of shows, of which newbies should start listening at episode 1 and go on through them. Sounds like something any of the Linux newbies here might want to check out.

*Legion* wrote:

A boost? Really? You're not using an ATI card, are you?
I could see that happening with an nVidia card. I fear what kind of performance I'll get out of ATI's drivers (though admittedly I haven't pushed the ATI drivers in anything strenuous in about the last five revisions).

I used one of the latest versions pretty recently, and it still kinda sucked. It would run UT2K4 - and improvment over earlier versions that choked on the menus - but it was maybe 60-70% of the FPS I could get in XP.

Not surprising.

Here's hoping that it at least runs WoW acceptably. I can deal with a lower framerate in WoW, and Civ4 if I can get that running too.

Action games, of course, are a completely different story.