View Full Version : Linux wannabe needs advice

30th March 2006, 03:43 PM
I want to install a linux distribution for home use, I have a 10 Gb partition ready on my hard disk drive, but before I decide on which distribution, I thought I would ask for some advice from some more experienced linux users.

My computer:
AMD Athlon 64 , 3000+, socket 939 CPU
Asus A8N SLI Motherboard
WD Raptor Harddisk for OS's

Already installed (and keeping)
Windows XP SP2

available space: 10 Gb, unformatted.

I dont have access to the internet from that computer yet, but I will be connected to a 10 Mbit/s line from August. I would prefer to have some kind of Linux distribution up and running by then.

The OS would be used for general home purposes, such as writing documents, creating and managing spreadsheets, internet, email, possibly computer games. Movies and music will probably still be handled in Windows.

I need to be able to switch the mouse buttons as I prefer to use the left hand to operate the mouse. As my partner also uses the computer, and is right-handed, we need to be able to switch between the buttons. I assume this can be arranged by having separate user accounts. I will be the only one with root password, as he is a bit less "nerdy" than me.

A couple of years ago, I installed Linux RedHat on my old computer, but there was a bug in the system so that when I specified to switch mouse buttons, and pressed either button, the system continued to think that I hav pressed both buttons simultaneously. After that I tried a later RedHat distribution and found the same problem. By then I was a bit annoyed so I did not try any other distributions.

I would prefer to buy the disks over the counter, either here in Oslo, Norway, or in London UK when I go there in a couple of weeks.
I would also prefer being able to find some sort of all purpose reference manual regarding the distribution, but I understand that this might be a bit difficult to come by.

I hope someone will see this and be able to help me choose a suitable distribution for my needs, and I will be ever grateful.

30th March 2006, 03:54 PM
Since you've not yet decided which Linux distro suits your needs, take your time and experiment trying some live-cds:
knoppix is debian-based
berry linux is fedora-based
pclinuxos is mandriva-based.
They all have an "hard disk install" option.

30th March 2006, 03:54 PM
Since you last used linux it's come on in leaps and bounds and there's a wide range of distributions that would suit you and do everything that you need. As you're on the Fedora forum you'd expect me to recommend Fedora, and you'd be right! You can't buy it in the shops but you can purchase pre-burnt CDs and DVDs from lots of on-line retailers. If you want a book to go with your system lots have also been written for Fedora - just search amazon. They tend to go out of date fast though.

Other distros you might want to consider are Ubuntu, Suse, Mandriva or PClinuxOS. You can buy boxed versions of Suse and Mandriva as well.

If you want a very gentle intro to linux you could also look at something like Xandros or Linspire - but they're so like windows that you probably won't learn much about linux if you use these.

30th March 2006, 06:11 PM
Installing on a computer that doesn't have Internet access might not be a good idea. If I had been restricted to the documentation that came with the distribution, I would still be trying to figure out what program I needed to use to read it.

30th March 2006, 06:22 PM
there are a lot of good distros out there. I'll echo what some have already said. Fedora Core 5 is a good one to start out with. Mandriva 2006 works really well too (and is very noob friendly). Those are my too recommendations. I tried Kubuntu and wasn't impressed very much, but I'm sure I'll try it again at some point.

31st March 2006, 08:38 AM
two questions though:
Has any of you tried to switch mouse buttons in any of these distributions? does it work? will I be able to configure one user to be left handed and one to be right handed?

I assume that having tried RedHat before, I would probably recognize the Fedora User Interface? Is this correct or have I just misunderstood something vital?

thanks for the answers so far:o)


31st March 2006, 08:44 AM
FC5 works exactly as you described: mouse is configurable on a per user basis, via GUI. If your're familiar with Gnome on RedHat, you will feel at home. Can't say for KDE, as I've never used it.

31st March 2006, 08:56 AM
Anybody have an opinion on this book:


seems to include the Fedora 5 distribution as well...


31st March 2006, 10:17 AM
Anybody have an opinion on this book:


seems to include the Fedora 5 distribution as well...


I bought the FC4 version of this and it's OK as an occassional source of reference, but nothing special.