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#1 2004-10-07 03:38:00

danip
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Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

n00b searching for better distro

I am somewhat linux competent I have been using it since about january.  I currently run suse 9.1 and like it alot better than windows but i am not totally happy with the distro.  Arch linux looks great to me but i have a couple questions. 

1.  I have to have wireless support since I use it every day at the college.  How hard would it be to configure wireless with arch?  With suse it detects my wireless card and sets it up for me on install.  would it be this easy?

2.  I am a full time college student and I am also a student athlete so I have very little free time.  How long would it take me to install arch up to the gui at least so that I have a working word processing program and internet of course?

3.  The third is about my vid card.  I tried gentoo once and got it working up until the GUI.  I simply could not get my video card to cooperate.  It is some intel onboard graphics card and my computer is a toshiba satellite.  Would it be ahrd to get this card configured?

Thanks in advance for any help

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#2 2004-10-07 04:51:47

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

danip wrote:

1.  I have to have wireless support since I use it every day at the college.  How hard would it be to configure wireless with arch?  With suse it detects my wireless card and sets it up for me on install.  would it be this easy?

It would definately not be this easy. You have to configure everything yourself. However, the wiki usually explains how to do this step by step, so its not that hard.

2.  I am a full time college student and I am also a student athlete so I have very little free time.  How long would it take me to install arch up to the gui at least so that I have a working word processing program and internet of course?

If all goes well, maybe one day.  Its going to be a bit more of an involved install than you're used to though.  That means all might not go well.

3.  The third is about my vid card.  I tried gentoo once and got it working up until the GUI.  I simply could not get my video card to cooperate.  It is some intel onboard graphics card and my computer is a toshiba satellite.  Would it be ahrd to get this card configured?

I would recommend keeping a copy of your X configuration from SuSe and then referring to it when you configure X on Arch. I actually just copied my Knoppix config over and it worked without a problem.

I suggest you try the AMLUG live Arch Linux CD first. It sets it all up for you from the CD. you could even try the hd install method to install from there and see how well things are auto configured; once its hd-installed, you basically have a configured Arch.

Arch is very simple, but it doesn't hold your hand. I suggest waiting until a long weekend to do the install, just in case you have problems.  If you don't have a second comp, keep a live CD (Knoppix, AMLUG, etc) handy so you can reboot and ask us questions here. We're pretty friendly unless we're grumpy. :-D

Dusty

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#3 2004-10-07 05:48:10

danip
Member
Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

Thanks for the reply.  I was guessing it would take about a day.  When i was readint throught the install guide it looked alot like installing gentoo which i had the non gui up in about a day.  I will try out the live cd i didnt even know one existed.

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#4 2004-10-07 05:51:05

slackhack
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Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: n00b searching for better distro

Dusty wrote:
danip wrote:

2.  I am a full time college student and I am also a student athlete so I have very little free time.  How long would it take me to install arch up to the gui at least so that I have a working word processing program and internet of course?

If all goes well, maybe one day.  Its going to be a bit more of an involved install than you're used to though.  That means all might not go well.

one day? did i misread the question? i just installed arch a few weeks ago on an xp1600+, 256mb ram, with X, firefox, nfs, and some assorted dvd packages. iirc (if i recall correctly) it took about 10-15 minutes. :?: (add maybe ~1-2 minutes for abiword.)  edit: i had the benefit of having installed arch a few times before, so i knew the procedure and what to expect, but arch is still the fastest installing distro i've ever used. of course you'll still have to configure things, but you would on most other distros, also.

anyway, if you have very little free time, arch is definitely the distro for you. thanks to the incredible work of the developers, it practically maintains itself. smile

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#5 2004-10-07 05:55:21

danip
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Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

I have a question about the live cd.  Is there a way i can install files while on it and possibly try getting my wireless up while on it so that when i get arch installed ill know exactly what to do? 

one day? did i misread the question? i just installed arch a few weeks ago on an xp1600+, 256mb ram, with X, firefox, nfs, and some assorted dvd packages. iirc (if i recall correctly) it took about 10-15 minutes. Question (add maybe ~1-2 minutes for abiword.) arch is the fastest installing distro i've ever used. of course you'll still have to configure things, but you would on most other distros, also.

I should just give you my ip addy and have you do install for me that would certainly make it easy.[/code]

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#6 2004-10-07 06:05:07

slackhack
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Registered: 2004-06-30
Posts: 738

Re: n00b searching for better distro

danip wrote:

I should just give you my ip addy and have you do install for me that would certainly make it easy.[/code]

big_smile it's really quite easy, though i never had to mess with wireless. if you could find out what you needed for that beforehand with a live cd that would probably smooth things out for you a lot.

the installer is well-designed and fairly easy to use, especially if you have previous linux experience, which you said you have. just go step by step.  after setting up your hard drive, the best way to proceed imho is to just install the base system (takes probably 5-10 minutes depending on speed of your computer), and then run pacman for any other packages you want once you're rebooted after the install. i assume you have broadband at college, so it's really quite painless. and once the packages download, they install faster even than something like debian apt-get packages. if you can get your wireless working, i think you're really going to like the speed and ease of this distro. smile

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#7 2004-10-07 06:39:03

Kalidor
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Registered: 2004-06-18
Posts: 80

Re: n00b searching for better distro

Concerning wireless: The installation is actually very easy, provided that your card is supported by the standard kernel (e.g. orinoco-based cards work fine).

pacman -S pcmcia-cs wireless_tools

installs all you need. To connect you have to

/etc/rc.d/pcmcia start
iwconfig eth1 ...
dhcpcd eth1

(with iwconfig you specify the username, ID, key,... - everything you need to connect to your college's network). I don't think it could be more easy than that.

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#8 2004-10-07 14:14:59

danip
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Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

do you know if atheros is supported?

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#9 2004-10-07 16:13:33

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

slackhack wrote:

one day? did i misread the question?

It took me a week to reinstall, but I'm on dialup... I wasn't sure how long for you lucky broadband users, but I figured an estimate of a day would leave lots of time for configuration and debugging.

As for the liveCD question, hopefully rasat will answer. He wrote the cd. I think there is a 'hd-install' script or something for it.

Also, it uses a script called hwd that is stored in extra. You could do a normal arch install, download hwd manually, and run it; that will tell you stuff about your x config and wireless modules.

BTW, welcome to Arch! I forgot to say before. :oops:

Dusty

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#10 2004-10-07 16:46:34

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

danip wrote:

I have a question about the live cd.  Is there a way i can install files while on it and possibly try getting my wireless up while on it so that when i get arch installed ill know exactly what to do?[/code]

I am not familiar with wireless, so I didn't know what packages required for wireless. In this topic wireless_tool package is mention, its not included in the live CD.... definitely in next version. Next hwd update will recognize pcmcia wireless cards.

pcmcia table:
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/pcmcia%20table

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#11 2004-10-07 17:07:58

phrakture
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From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

as far as wireless is concerned I can help - in your suse install, open a terminal and paste your "lsmod" info into this thread - I will let you know how hard it will be to setup your wireless

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#12 2004-10-07 18:02:07

Kalidor
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Registered: 2004-06-18
Posts: 80

Re: n00b searching for better distro

Every card listed in
http://pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net/ftp/SUPPORTED.CARDS
under "Wireless network adapters" should work out of the box, as there are drivers for them in the standard kernel (I've got one of those).

Atheros doesn't seem to be one of those cards, so there's probably a little work to be done. Check out
http://www.mattfoster.clara.co.uk/madwifi-faq.htm

Good luck!

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#13 2004-10-07 19:57:20

danip
Member
Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

steve@linux:~/Desktop> lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
i830                   70208  3
usbserial              29040  0
parport_pc             35520  0
lp                     11044  0
parport                37832  2 parport_pc,lp
edd                     9368  0
joydev                 10304  0
sg                     35616  0
st                     39196  0
sd_mod                 20224  0
sr_mod                 16292  0
scsi_mod              108876  4 sg,st,sd_mod,sr_mod
ide_cd                 36740  0
cdrom                  36892  2 sr_mod,ide_cd
nvram                   8456  0
snd_seq_oss            31232  0
snd_seq_midi_event      7680  1 snd_seq_oss
snd_seq                54928  5 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_pcm_oss            57512  0
snd_mixer_oss          18944  1 snd_pcm_oss
speedstep_lib           3712  0
ipv6                  237440  13
freq_table              4612  0
thermal                12680  0
processor              16680  1 thermal
fan                     4228  0
button                  6416  0
battery                 8836  0
ac                      4996  0
snd_intel8x0           33708  4
snd_ac97_codec         62468  1 snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm                97032  2 snd_pcm_oss,snd_intel8x0
snd_timer              25860  2 snd_seq,snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc         11528  2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
gameport                4736  1 snd_intel8x0
snd_mpu401_uart         8064  1 snd_intel8x0
snd_rawmidi            25508  1 snd_mpu401_uart
snd_seq_device          8456  3 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_rawmidi
snd                    61444  21 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_mpu401_uart,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device
soundcore               9056  1 snd
af_packet              20872  2
e100                   32000  0
mii                     5248  1 e100
ath_pci                38956  0
wlan                   56616  2 ath_pci
ath_hal               129232  2 ath_pci
intel_agp              18460  1
agpgart                30888  4 intel_agp
ehci_hcd               27908  0
uhci_hcd               29200  0
evdev                   9856  0
ds                     17412  2
yenta_socket           15872  0
pcmcia_core            61764  2 ds,yenta_socket
usbcore               103644  5 usbserial,ehci_hcd,uhci_hcd
binfmt_misc            10120  1
subfs                   7424  1
dm_mod                 50300  0
reiserfs              241488  2

Ok i booted up the live cd just a minute ago and i ran into a problem.  Internet would not work at all.  I am in my dorm room and am plugged in at the moment.  What should i do to toubleshoot the interent on the live cd?

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#14 2004-10-07 20:07:20

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

yeah ok everything should be easy to setup, except for the fact that, as Kalidor said, you need the madwifi package, which isn't currently an arch package (AFAIK).... I can look into the problem more a bit later..

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#15 2004-10-08 01:51:44

danip
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Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

anyone know how to fix the internet on the live cd though?

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#16 2004-10-08 03:15:40

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

danip wrote:

anyone know how to fix the internet on the live cd though?

If you are using a normal ethernet card, run in root "net-install" (does both dhcp and adsl setup).

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#17 2004-10-08 13:51:10

danip
Member
Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

sweet the internet is now working on the live cd.  Now let me see if i understand this correctly.  On startup there is a thumb drive option.  does this allow me to install things onto there and run them?  so if i wanted to download all the needed wireless tools i can install them on the thumb drive that way i can make sure it works before i do a hard drive install?

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#18 2004-10-08 16:23:54

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

danip wrote:

On startup there is a thumb drive option.  does this allow me to install things onto there and run them?

Yes and no. The "tdu-install" creates one user id and home directory in Thumb Drive, including /etc and /var/lib/mysql. This allows user to use the live CD as workstation saving email and documents, and do some configure. But doesn't support new packages when no read/write access for /usr and other system directories.

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#19 2004-10-09 02:06:00

danip
Member
Registered: 2004-10-07
Posts: 14

Re: n00b searching for better distro

I would like to start an arch linux install however when i put in the cd to install i came across a problem with my partitioning.  My current partition setup right now is a root, home and swap partition.  I would like to keep the home partition as it is since it has all of my data on it.  In setup it labeled the 3 partitions like this

/dev/discs/disc0/part1
/dev/discs/disc0/part2
/dev/discs/disc0/part3

With those labels I have no idea which partition is which.

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#20 2004-10-09 03:10:41

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
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Re: n00b searching for better distro

That's Devfs naming. you can switch to UDev and name stuff however you like after you install..

In the meantime, that's the equivalent of hda1 (part1) hda2 (part2) and hda3 (part3) on a 'normal' namescheme, so take a look at your SUSE fstab to find out which is which. smile

You could also mount the partitions from the installer's command-line to see which has which contents.

Dusty

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