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Linux Newbie

12 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 2006-11-20

Hello,

I am excited about linux. So lets get started.

My Primary goal is to build a server out of my laptop. Server functions: Standalone, apps, database, and file. [Ordered in personal task preference]

My hand me down laptop is a:
Thinkpad 600e 2645-55u
Win98se: This OS is huge taking up 2gig can i shrink it down? Remove unneccessary stuff?
PII. not sure speed maybe 400mhz
128.mb ram (can someone help with matching the ram to this model?, i need to boost it)
6gig HD - 3gig occupied. Where Can i buy a HD on ebay, cheap and good?
USB doesnt work (still trying to resolve this, any idea's?)
Connect via wifi pc-card
cd/dvd drive. No writables

Can someone help me with:

What options in distros do I have for this hardware configiration?
How to setup a server?
How to dual/mutlistep boot the OS?
How to partition the HD without worrying about the win98se operating system being affected?
Can I have kde/gnome desktop enviroment with good performance with this hardware?
Can I run CAD software, simulations, and calcalation software on this machine successfully?
Can you recommend software for any of the questions I asked?
I need LAMP? And a How to use LAMP
What I hope to get out of this:

My underlying goal is to create a powerful, agile, scalable, quiet, just works, runs 3-d apps, runs simulations /calulations, reliable system. Which can serve as a server, hosting a web site, performing supercomputer calculations, my day-to-day stuff, and work on patent designs and software designs.

I have almost no working knowledge of code. But I would like to learn the basics and learn where to go to get answers fast.

I am overly cautious, so I want to get the info before I go in and play with the computer. If you dont mind can you take things step-by-step as some of the topics will put me through my paces. I dont want to mess it up. But I find that preparation and advice can resolve forseeable problems and avoid confusion for me.

So if you dont mind helping this newbie learn to walk in linux. Send your advice.

sincerely,

fr0zenmon, brrrr....

free-zombie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-03-08
welcome to nuxified.org

welcome to nuxified.org !

Those specs are quite low, so you'll only be disappointed with the performance of "standard" beginner distributions like ubuntu. However, there are gazillions of distributions out there that you could use, there's a nice list with the more popular ones on http://www.distrowatch.com/ . I'd recommend you have a look at Debian GNU/Linux, which is quite customizable and doesn't have high requirements out-of-the-box. It is rock solid, widely used and sports an enourmous collection of software.
You will have to learn quite a bit; your only option to get a running system on those specs is to install a minimal set-up of pretty much any distribution, which will most likely leave you with a naked command-line so you can install everything yourself.

As for the apps you want to run, that looks doable, although thet "3D apps" might have slightly disappointing performance.

Quote:

What options in distros do I have for this hardware configiration?

see above, you can use pretty much any distro, but many popular ones are tuned for way faster systems. Mind you, pretty much everything would run.

Quote:

How to setup a server?

Pretty much all distributions, especially debian, come with a large selection of packages for many problems, including differnt server apps. Software installation is pretty easy, you just need to know what to install. When you have a running system just ask us what software we recommend for a specific problem

Quote:

How to dual/mutlistep boot the OS?
How to partition the HD without worrying about the win98se operating system being affected?

Since Windows98 uses FAT, I expect that your chosen distro's installer will manage that. for you.

Quote:

Can I have kde/gnome desktop enviroment with good performance with this hardware?

no. I have run KDE on similar specs, and it was usable, but that was a while ago; I used KDE 3.0 IIRC. Currently they're at 3.5.5 - so much would have changed. Gnome is generally lighter than KDE, but this gap has been closing as well, especially when Gnome2 came out (current: 2.16; I have run 1.4 on similar specs, but that's very different). XFCE is a nice alternative that is lighter than Gnome2, but I assume that it's still slow on those specs, but worth a try. Otherwise, there are many other options that require a little handywork but should work well.

Quote:

Can I run CAD software, simulations, and calcalation software on this machine successfully?

I have no idea; That would depend very much on what software you plan to use.

Quote:

Can you recommend software for any of the questions I asked?

see above.

Quote:

I need LAMP? And a How to use LAMP

LAMP is Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP (or Perl...). No, you don't strictly need it. It seams you are planning to use Linux. Many web developers and their projects use PHP and MySQL, and Apache happens to be the most popular web server. There are alternatives to Apache like LigHTTPd, and if you don't want to run or write software that uses PHP and/or MySQL, you don't need either.

Quote:

So if you dont mind helping this newbie learn to walk in linux. Send your advice.

That's what Nuxified is all about Smiling

Offline
Joined: 2006-11-20
thanks zombie

thanks for the kind words and support.

lets say i download debian and during the install it will ask me if i want to partition drive and will detect win98? Will i have to make a swap partition and grub loader?

I will be adding 128mb to the machine total = 256+32 onboard what distros will be available then?

Can i shrink win98?

Will desktop enviroments work at 256mb ram?

So what should i do about the LAMP?

I am using this laptop as a sandbox to get my feet wet and become more comfortable with linux and projects i want to begin. So thanks on getting me half way there. The other half and it will be completed. or i can call it beta. lol

thanks,

fr0zenmon

p.s. i want to keep my spending low, can anyone help me with hardware upgrades for this machine that are cheap, worthwhile, and/on ebay?

free-zombie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-03-08
The debian installer will

The debian installer will allow you to either erase everything or partition manually, and will detect the WIn98 partition. I believe you'll be able to resize the win98 partition as you please from there, and create root (/) and swap partitions on the new free space. Installing grub or lilo is also part of the installer.
So basically you boot the installer, manually set up the partitions and let it do the rest
I'd definately try XFCE4 with 256MiB of RAM; You could just try all of them out and see which works best and feels right Smiling

on hardware upgrades: laptops aren't as flexible as desktops, are they ? How about you browse your local eBay site for cheap hardware that you know you can build into the laptop and even cheap used laptops as an alternative.

a thing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-20
Server on a laptop?

Ummm... why run a server on a machine that gets shut down so often?

Offline
Joined: 2006-11-20
Can you explain?

what do you mean?

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
He probably means that

He probably means that laptops are usually shut down very often and aren't really usable as servers because of that since servers are usually meant to be on all the time (they're always at your service). Smiling

Offline
Joined: 2006-11-20
thanks or the info. debian iso install

i am planning to download debian tonight. can i download it straight to laptop and install it? or do i need to burn it?

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Here are the Debian

Here are the Debian installation options. I'm not sure if you can install without burning even a small iso and rebooting to it, but the netinstall option gives you only a very small iso and downloads what you need as part of the process later, so that might be what you want.

Let us know how it goes.

Good luck

tbuitenh's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-21
I suppose it is technically

I suppose it is technically possible to install linux on a previously windows-only system without burning any cdroms (or dvds or floppies or whatever). You would need to use a partitioning tool that runs on windows, and do some tricks with qemu... But don't even try it, I doubt anyone has ever done it before.

Offline
Joined: 2006-11-20
Yeah def. let you know

how it goes.

thanks for your help. I get another laptop. Any good thinkpads that are cheap and that I have few restrictions regarding hardware upgrades and distros compatibility. Is there any core configurations that I can get that will fit most needs.

Offline
Joined: 2006-12-30
linux kubuntu

This comment has been moved here.

tbuitenh's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-21
fr0zenmon: I'm not sure

fr0zenmon: I'm not sure what your question is, but before buying a laptop, you should look it up on http://www.linux-laptop.net/ to see if and how others managed to make it work with linux.

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