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> Getting used to Linux, Recent Ubuntu install
joepatudo
post Jan 11 2006, 12:21 AM
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I have quite a few questions, so bare with me. Googling about this stuff has taken me forever with no results, so I thought I'd get some advice from the pros...

I just recently installed, and it's been a rough road. I tried a few distros out there, but Ubuntu was the first that would autodetect my DSL connection and my MSI K8N Neo4 motherboard. Is Ubuntu a fairly decent distro? I'm converting basically to maybe increase some speed and for some stability, so will Ubuntu take care of this?

I'm having a little difficulty converting though. It's kind of hard getting used to the new kernel and GUI. What is easier, KDE or Gnome? I heard Kubuntu is out there which is Ubuntu but with KDE instead of Gnome. Will this be easier to catch on to, or about the same? I'm a little confused about the way the file system is set up. I'm used to C: then whatever folder I need to go into, usually staying away from the windows folder. There's a TON of folders in the root directory, what are the main ones? What does each directory consist of? What folders should I build my library off of and what folders should I stay away from? Is there like a Program Files type folder, or am I supposed to just create one in the home directory?

I'm dual booting, with XP on one hard drive and Ubuntu on another. Is there any way that I can view or swap files between hard drives? I know they're different file systems, but is there anything out there that will help me swap standard files without having to burn to a disc? I have mp3s/dvds/etc that I'd like to swap, but the other hard drive doesn't show up on either OS.

I mostly use my PC for browsing the net, bittorrent, and conversions of XviD/DVDR/SVCD/etc. Firefox is awesome, so no help needed there. I use uTorrent on windows, but I haven't been able to find a version for Linux. Most Linux users say they just use Azureus, but that uses Java and kill's my system resources. It sometimes uses over 100mb of RAM, when uTorrent on Windows rarely goes over 6 or 7mb. Are there any good torrent alternatives out there that work with Linux? I haven't gotten around to any editing yet, but on Windows I used Nero Vision and Nero Recode to convert all of my movies, and plain Nero to burn. Is there something out there that does video converting easily?

Getting back to the file system... How in the hell do you install programs correctly? Do you just uncompress and put it in a folder of your choosing? Do you have to manually create an application launcher every time by hunting down the icon, directory, etc.? I thought I used to hate the Windows Add/Remove programs .

I downloaded Azureus, and it was in a .bz2 archive. I guess a .bz2 is standard to a .zip, but it seems to unpack a lot slower. I just used whatever stock uncompressing program Ubuntu had, so is there a program out there for linux that has better decompression? All of the torrent files I get are pretty large bin and image files compressed in a .rar, so what would be the best way to unpack them? Which directory should my programs, mp3s, dvds, etc. be put in? Azureus defaulted by putting everything into the tmp folder, but does this automatically empty out after a while like Windows? I then tried make the save folder a few directories up, but it kept denying creation of new folders.
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DS2K3
post Jan 11 2006, 02:05 PM
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Ubuntu isn't bad, especially if it is your first distro. It has some major differences to most other distros though (like no "root user" by default) but there is large community around Ubuntu now, so it shouldnt be hard to find help if you need it.

IMO, KDE is far superior to Gnome in just about every way. Other people would probably say the opposite though. Play around with both and see what you like, the rest of the OS is still the same, and neither Gnome nor KDE is difficult to use or understand.

Unlink Windows,Programs which you install on Linux get distributed across the filesystem. Configuration usually goes in /etc/ libraries in /lib. spools (eg print queses, mail queues) go in /var (along with logs) and binaries go in /bin. Programs which aren't system-programs usually get their binaries and librarires stored under /usr/bin and /usr/lib respectively. "Optional" software sometimes goes under /opt - But some distributions dont both with that one. /tmp is temproary storage, and /mnt is where removable storage gets mounted )eg cdroms, floppy disks, sometimes network shares)

Linux and Windows XP can both use FAT32 filesystems, so if you have a FAT32 partition you can use it to share files (or, like I do, keep windows itself on a FAT32 partition - Which is handy for running Windwos pgroams under "wine" too).

Instllation of programs depends what from they come in. Ubuntu is based on debian, and uses ".deb" files by default. They are handled by the pakcage manager (which is called Synaptic on Ubuntu I think). Other software comes as RPMs, which are the default from RedHat, Mandriva, Fedora and others. I think Ubuntu might be able to handle RPMs, but dont quote me on it. Other software comes as source code, which needs to compiled to executable programs. Most programs that need to be compiled come with instructions (the process is usually the same, but can vary occasionally - Best to stick with binary-packages [debs and rpms] if you can.

.bz2 is better at comrpessing files than zip, but therefore requires more processing, so is slower. Most archives are "tar" archives (which isnt actually comrpessed") which are then gzipped (which sompresses them) to produce .tar.gx files, which should be a bit speedier to decompress than bz2s.

Never used BitTorrent on Linux (or, for that matter, Windows) so I cant be of much help there i'm afraid.

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