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RE: [linrad] Fedora, mandrake, and debian

I have just installed Fedora Core 3 and was about to install svgalib 1.9.19
but it looks as though this won't work. Can you tell me where I can get Red
Hat 8.0, I downloaded the Fedora stuff as I have a 2MB DSL connection and it
doesn't take too long.

Any ideas?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-linrad@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:owner-linrad@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of w3sz
> Sent: 11 January 2005 12:16
> To: linrad@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [linrad] Fedora, mandrake, and debian
> Hello, All!
> This is not a cry for help with Linux, as my RedHat 8.0 installation works
> fine with Linrad, but just a description of events some may
> find helpful in deciding which 'flavor' of Linux to get.
> This all involves installing a new Linux Distribution on a new machine I
> got a few weeks ago.  Its a Dell Pentium 4 running at 3.0 GHz with
> Hyperthreading Technology, 1G DDR SDRAM at 400 MHz, Intel Extreme
> Graphics
> 2, a 160 GB Ultra ATA 100 drive, Intel Pro 100M Integrated PCI NIC Card,
> With AC97 integrated audio plus a Delta 44 sound card. It came installed
> with Windows XP Pro and I repartitioned the hard drive with
> SystemRescueCD
> to make room for Linux.  With this system:
> 1. I was able to install Fedora Core 3 in about 30-40 minutes [timed from
> sitting down with the CD's to start the installation to surfing the net],
> on my first attempt.  There was no need for me to manually configure any
> hardware.  Fedora even properly set up in the Linux partition on a disk
> cohabiting with Windows XP which is using NTFS.  I used SystemRescueCD to
> shrink the NTFS partition first.  Everything works except for svgalib, and
> that doesn't have the drivers for my video hardware anyway.
> 2.  Jeffrey Pawlan gave me a superb suggestion for further Linux
> experimentation...Get another hard drive, and just unplug my XP/Fedora
> drive and play with installations on the new drive.  Best Buy right how
> has [here, anyway] a 120 GB Western Digital drive for $49 after rebates.
> So I got one and so even though I have been totally hosed [for the moment]
> by Mandrake 10 and Debian 3.0 version 4 [neither runs properly],
> my Fedora and XP are still working as well as ever on the original drive.
> Thanks, Jeffrey, for a suggestion that preserved my sanity ;)  I
> 3.  I think I previously noted that Mandrake 10 would NOT install on my XP
> drive which has both a Linux and an NTFS partition; it thinks the disk is
> corrupt and wants to reformat the entire disk, because of the NTFS
> partition.
> On the new drive, which is dedicated to Linux, this is not a problem.  So
> the 3 Mandrake CD's installed without any apparent problems, but when
> Mandrake attempted to start X-Windows it produced a screen that was
> totally unreadable.  I suspect it was not detecting the relatively new
> onboard video properly.  Fedora installed this with no problem, and also
> found the network stuff and got it working.  I don't know if Mandrake
> found the network hardware or not since I couldn't get any useful
> information on the screen.  I didn't spend the time to figure out how to
> get it to boot up in terminal mode.  Time spent: at least twice as long as
> installing Fedora Core 3.  Result: a non-functioning system.
> 4.  I decided to give Debian a try.  After today I can say that Debian is
> certainly not for a first time Linux user, or even someone like me who has
> been thru RedHat 6.x, 7.x, 8.0, and Fedora over the past 4 years or so.
> It has too many choices and not simple-enough instructions for a relative
> newbie to install it easily.  Of course, I didn't read the entire 120 PAGE
> INSTALLATION MANUAL;  shame on me ;). After several hours, it was finally
> finished installing, and came up declaring that X-Windows wouldn't work.
> I looked at the X11 directory and found that it had installed a version of
> XFree86 from 2001.  The list of video drivers that it included has been
> obsolete
> for [3] years.  Debian also didn't find my integrated network
> hardware, as
> the
> list of network drivers was similarly obsolete.  It also appears to have
> installed a 2.2 vintage kernel.  Given that I thought I was choosing the
> defaults, which I would have thought were the most up to date options, i
> was really surprised.  Maybe the defaults are the most out-of-date
> options, so those with old hardware can get a functioning system.
> I am sure it explains it somewhere in the 120 page manual.  Time
> spent: about 4 hours, and just a terminal mode installation with no X
> Windows, and no network, and no NASM...so no Linrad...
> I will go back and see what I can do with Mandrake and Debian.
> But I have
> already spent
> probably 10 times the time on them as on the Fedora install, and Fedora
> [except for svgalib] worked perfectly out of the box with no tricks on
> my part, and the others are not running at all satisfactorily, as noted
> above.
> While all of this I am sure just shows that [1] I don't know Linux, really
> and [2] I didn's spend enough time on it [only wasted an evening], what it
> shows to me is that for someone like me who views these things as TOOLS to
> get a job done, and not yet another way to spend hours of my time, RedHat
> [and its successor in the 'free software' world, Fedora] have produced a
> much better
> result than the other two choices I tried.  Getting RedHat 6.x to work
> years ago was easier than getting the current Mandrake or Debian releases
> to work here.
> While you could say that Fedora has failed me because with my limited
> expertise I have to reinstall svgalib to get it working, I could reinstall
> svgalib everytime I want to run it and still come out ahead compared with
> my experiences thus far with Mandrake and Debian.
> I am sure that for real computer gurus, those much smarter than I,
> and those with lots of time to spend playing with the software, Mandrake
> and Debian are superb.  Maybe someone can put together a package of
> each of these that will run for the majority of us without requiring
> each one of us reinventing the wheel.  I know a Knoppix effort was started
> in this regard 1-2 years ago, but then kind of died ...
> But if you are like me and just want to get Linrad running on Linux with a
> minimal waste of time and effort, I would recommend that you try RedHat 8
> or 9 or one of the Fedora versions.
> And consider following Jeffrey Pawlan's sage advice: get an extra hard
> drive
> when its on sale, and use it to get things working.  Then you won't risk
> wrecking your WORKING Linux and Windows Installations.
> At some point I will go back to the Mandrake and Debian installs and get
> them working, just for fun.
> But right now I don't have the time to play with them.  With Mandrake I
> will just reconfigure to come up in terminal mode, so I can check
> out why
> X11 is unhapppy.  And with Debian I will try another install
> option after
> reading more of the 120 page manual , and if that doesnt work I get the
> network working so that I can  download a newer version of X11.
> I had to
> configure X in the RedHat 6.x days; it wasn't necessary to do so with
> either RedHat 8 or Fedora, but I will be able to manage it OK.
> PS Fedora has a nice rpm that I installed that allows me to
> access my NTFS
> windows partition and directories from within Linux.  As usual with
> Fedora, it installed with no problem and works perfectly.  The
> instructions on installing it were complete, easy to understand, and to
> the point.
> Have a great week all, and
> 73,
> Roger Rehr
> W3SZ
> --
> Roger Rehr
> W3SZ
> http://www.qsl.net/w3sz