User:Brandished/Sandbox 2

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  • Disclaimer: I'm not a Linux expert by far. Right now this book is mostly a regurgitation of the tips and information I found helpful when trying to install Linux myself.

Current possible title for project:

Backup book titles ideas[edit]

should "Running with Linux" not be usable...

Book goals / guidelines[edit]

  • The goal of this book is to try and provide a copy of these solutions at a centralized and concise source so new users may quickly get through the installation procedure and find answers to common problems they may likely face along the way.
  • a "quickstart" guide to getting Linux installed and to a well / acceptable running state
  • a complete (basic) install and troubleshooting guide
  • try to cover install issues without getting overly technical at risk of loosing the reader
  • avoid sending the reader off on a google hunt for answers and explanations
  • make sure reader at least learns enough as understand what caused the problem and how to fix it
  • make sure at least one type of install is fully covered before adding alternatives

Questionable guidelines worth considering[edit]

  • Target only desktop type installation?
  • Minimal computing knowledge should the reader have?
  • PC-BSD?

Outline / Topics[edit]

  • Quick Intro / Overview
    • What can and cannot be done with Linux
    • Can my computer run Linux?

  • Choosing your distro
  • Choosing a method for install
    • Live CD / DVD
      • Graphical
      • Text based
    • USB
    • Network?
  • Testing basic hardware compatibility with an ISO (live CD/DVD)
    • What you can't test
  • Booting from CD / DVD
    • Opening the BIOS
    • Altering the boot disk priority
  • Partitioning
  • Swap partitions
    • Virtual Memory or RAM
  • Choosing a file system
    • ext2, ext3, ext4, FAT, ZFS
  • boot loaders
    • What are boot loaders?
      • grub
    • Installing a boot loader
  • Installing the files
  • Why is the install taking so long?
    • Limited ram
  • Security
  • creating an admin account
  • superuser privileges
  • sudo
  • the terminal
  • Hardware \ Compatibility
    • Drivers
      • Driver Types
        • binary / proprietary drivers
        • binary compatibility
        • legacy drivers
    • Computer Monitor
      • Display Modes
        • VGA
        • DVI
    • Keyboard and Mouse
      • Mod2 issues
    • Sound Cards
      • Multiple sound card issues
      • Creative Audigy
        • AlsaMixer
    • Network Harware : Connecting to the net
      • Going wireless
        • WiFi drivers
          • MadWiFi
          • wlan
          • ifconfig
          • ndiswrapper
            • compatibility list
      • detecting a local network
        • Encryption: WEP \ WPA
          • Wireless passkey
    • Video Acceleration \ Video Cards and GPUs (Moving this to bottom as it usually requires a machine reboot, not sure about leaving it here though, closely tied with monitors)
      • NVidia and ATI
        • envyng
      • Video Driver Issues
        • Which driver do I choose?
        • Why is my screen black after rebooting?
        • Fixing a bad driver install
    • Mounting devices\other drives (CDROM, DVD, Floppy, Flash\USB sticks)
  • Software
    • Picking the packages
    • Terminating a frozen / non-responsive program
  • Getting more help
    • MAN pages
    • Forums
    • IRC


  • Quick Intro \ Overview
    • What can and cannot be done with Linux
      • Linux based on Unix. Originally popular for server use, but now used for desktop computing as well. Limiting factors are mainly hardware compatibility (wireless networking, graphics hardware acceleration), proprietary libraries?, running commercial games (although some possibilities exist using wine).
    • Can my computer run Linux?
      • Maybe, as mentioned before, hardware compatibility is an issue with certain components. One of the popular good way to test compatibility is by using what known as live cd. Live CD uses CDRom instead of hdd to launch OS, save problem of having to have free drive space or delete an existing OS.
  • Choosing a distro
Ubuntu and derivatives
Linux Mint
PC Linux
Sabayon Linux
Symphony OS
Arch Linux
Puppy Linux

    • Altering the boot disk priority
      • To use live CDs / DVDs, the computer needs to be able to "boot" off of the disc. Sometimes the CD\DVD drive is the 1st choice for booting by default, but it's worth checking beforehand to make sure.
  • boot loaders
    • What are boot loaders?
      • grub
        • Multibooting
          • Multibooting issues:
            • Each seperate OS needs a "path" from the boot partition. Sometimes after GRUB upgrades this can become an issue as the paths are overwritten or corrupted. A possible solution is using the console utility "testdisk" to "Rebuild" the boot sectors of the non-loading OS's.

  • Hardware \ Compatibility
      • Hardware compatibility and stability is an issue for all operating systems... Linux has additional problems with hardware compatibility due to...
    • Drivers
      • Which driver do I need for my NVidia video card?
        • When performing a new Linux installation, there sometimes is a list of driver choices, but the difference between the choices is not obvious. The list of hardware each driver package supports can be found here
    • Keyboard and Mouse
      • Sometimes "Mod2" may show up when pressing a key or when setting keyboard shortcuts
        • On many setups, the Mod2 key will be mapped to the "NumLock" key by default. If the Mod2 keysym is mapped to Num Lock, hit the Num Lock key to turn off the Mod2 behavior.
    • Sound Cards
      • Multiple sound card issues
        • The computer has more then one sound card installed (onboard and PCI)
      • Creative Audigy
        • AlsaMixer
          • AlsaMixer is included with many distributions for handling sound from the console \ terminal. Sometimes if sound isn't working it could be due to an improper setting in AlsaMixer. To access AlsaMixer:
            • first open the "Terminal"
            • In the terminal, type "alsamixer" to open AlsaMixer (pictured)
            • Using the right and left arrow keys, select "Analog/Digital Output Jack"
            • When the option is selected (it should be red in color)
            • Press the "m" key to enable / disable the option
            • You may here a brief "buzz" from your speakers when this option is changed
            • Try playing a sound clip to see if the issue is alleviated
            • When finished, press "ESC" to close AlsaMixer