Fenrix tries Linux: a review and some opinions requested

Ta-Daaah! My first ever post with Linux. And I posted it to the SDMB. Aren’t you honored?! :smiley:

As I mentioned in a GQ thread, I’ve decided to give myself some mental exercise and give Linux a try. I’ve got plenty of Hard Disk space, so I partitioned one of my drives (using Partition Magic) with a Linux partition and installed Red Hat 7.0. It installed like a dream. It automatically recognized my ethernet card, and, since I knew my network settings, I was up and running with my cable-modem in no time.

Since then, I’ve destroyed and reinstalled the OS twice (note to self: QUIT SCREWING AROUND AS THE ROOT USER, DAMMIT! When they say that you can damage your OS, they mean it!), gotten my dos partitions recognized (I have them in read-only mode, correct?) and gotten sound working.

I’ve also installed several RPMs (including a Napster program which I can’t get to work) and Enlightenment, which does, but I’m not sure if I like it.

Some comments: There’s a couple of changes they could make that would improve it even further:

#1) BEFORE starting the install, TELL me where the install will go. I suspected it’d automatically find the Linux partition, but I’d have been far more relaxed during the install if I’d have known.

#2) LILO isn’t bad, but I’d have appreciated a) a warning that Linux was going to screw with my MBR and b) a choice of which OS was to be the default during the install.

#3) I’ve tried enough OS’s to know that it’ll take me a while to get over my irritation that some of the details are different (“Whaddya mean it’s alt-c to copy, and not ctrl-c. These Linux guys aren’t doing things the way I’m used to. What’s wrong wit’ 'em?”) but I will get over it though. (And it’s less irritating than my switch from the Amiga to a PC was)

Overall, I like what I’ve seen of Linux, but I’m glad I have the ‘safety-net’ of Dos to run back to when I get overwhelmed.

Some questions:
#1) I cannot get the wheel on my wheelmouse to work. How do I change mouse-types within GNOME? Any suggestions? This is making me nuts.

#2) Enlightenment: Yes or No? It’s nice and all, but…How 'bout Sawfish?

#3) I hate Netscape. I really, really hate Netscape. I assume that IE isn’t available for Linux. Are there any good Linux browsers that I could try as an alternative?

#4) Any must-have or just plain fun apps? Suggestions would be especially appreciated, since I’m now at the point where I’m sitting here thinking “OK, I’m in Linux…now what?”.


To the questions:

  1. dunno. You’ve checked linux.org?

  2. Sawfish good.

  3. There are plenty of browsers. Mozilla is everything good about netscape, without the crap. Konqueror (part of KDE, I think) gets a lot of good word of mouth, as does Galeon.

  4. Learn to use the GIMP, it’s cool.
    Think of something you want to try. Go to freshmeat.net and look it up.

Oh yeah, you can restructure Lilo on install. My Mandrake install lets me. :slight_smile:

I prefered Mozilla to Netscrape. Haven’t played with it in months now tho.
Oh yeah, check freshmeat for a firewall program. It’s worth it’s weight in gold.

Abuse: (think a DOOM platform game)
xtokkaetama: Interesting Japanese game, kinda like Magical Drop, also see xpuzzletama
Powermanga: Extremely cool and nifty Galaga-like shooter.
Roguelikes: ADOM, Nethack, Angband, whatever. Give 'em a try.

See also freshmeat.net and/or happypenguin.org. It’s in your grocer’s freezer.


The GIMP: The be-all and end-all graphic application.
w3m: A text-based browser. Nice for news sites, and might become a necessity whenever broadband becomes obsequetious, because you just know that embedded avi files are the next logical step in web advertising.
AbiWord: A darn sight better than StarOffice. It also has support for .rtf if you need to use a MS product to print it because you don’t have a printer.
XChat: IRC. You gotta have it.

  1. See http://www-sop.inria.fr/koala/colas/mouse-wheel-scroll/ . If your mouse is of the intellimouse variety, I highly recommend imwheel. It can translate mouse wheel movements into arbitrary key sequences, which is nice because damn near everything responds reasonably to e.g. the up- and down-arrow keys–even non-graphical programs (I can use the mouse wheel to scroll through man pages in an xterm, for instance).

  2. I’m partial to Windowmaker. The dockapps are truly addictive.

  3. Like everybody else said, give mozilla a try to begin with. I’ve also heard some good things about Konqueror, the browser that comes with KDE (never tried it myself, though). If you search freshmeat for “web browser” you’ll find hundreds of the damned things. Most of them probably suck, though.

  4. Mp3burn, written by yours, truly. :slight_smile:

Why the hell are you using the keyboard to copy+paste? Just use the middle mouse button (presumably your mouse wheel doubles as a middle button, so you don’t have to suffer through that Emulate3Buttons crap). It takes a little getting used to, but it’s much more efficient than the mouse->keyboard->mouse->keyboard method.

Have fun!

congrats! :smiley:

Been there, done that. I finally am learning how to fix problems instead of reinstalling the OS. What a relief!

I assume you’re talking about RPM? I believe (but I’m not certain) that there are options to RPM that will tell you where everything goes. Try man rpm.

It should give you that option at install time. You just have to watch for it.

Here you go: http://www.inria.fr/koala/colas/mouse-wheel-scroll/
Got the link from the 3 Button Serial Mouse mini-HOWTO at the Linux Documentation Project which is your friend. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

You can also try deja.com. That is my best source for Linux help when I need it (If you don’t know, it’s an archive of USENET. You can find almost anything). Here’s what I found.

I like enlightenment fine, but for some reason I really like KDE. WindowMaker is cool too, but I use KDE more than anything else.

IE is available for linux, and you can get it here.

#4) Any must-have or just plain fun apps? Suggestions would be especially appreciated, since I’m now at the point where I’m sitting here thinking “OK, I’m in Linux…now what?”.**

Hmmm…I’ll have to think about this one & get back to you.