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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 5-6-2000
   

Tech Tips
This is where your gaming and hardware needs are met. Be all that you can be or get out of the game! This won't be a forum for techno-geeks to find more ways to impress their non-technical friends, it's for plain folk who need help to better their gaming experience. But don't blame us if you blow your machine sky high; we're offering tips, not the Bible on computers. The mailbag is alive and well - send in those questions to TechTips.

by Love2Play


Linux Installation and Quake 2 server

Oh yeah! We are lucky enough to have talked Tiberian into sharing his Linux knowledge! Trust me TechTips readers, if you think you are alone in the mystery of installing and running Linux then you are mistaken. Even this Mistress of The Geeks(that would be me, Love2Play) has not dared to go there. But now with Tiberian as the guide, I too will leap head first into Linux-land. I have done as he suggested and purchased a copy of Caldera OpenLinux 2.4 and am ready to Rock!!


 

LINUX HOWTO FOR PQ
By: Joshua "Tiberian" Knarr

This document attempts to provide Average Joe User with a quick start into the wonderful world of Linux. It by no means is in depth, nor should it be used as an essencial guide to systems administraition. And I need a job.

The first thing you are going to do is repartition, because you like windows, right? ;) So grab a copy of Partition Magic (do NOT use diskdruid or Linux FDISK unless you know EXACTALLY what you are doing!), and get cracking! Some distributions of Linux have Partition Magic included in the purchase. OK, you don't have to repartition if you have a second hard drive. That's only for people with one hard drive or are too cheap to buy a second one (like myself).

 

What?

 

You don't know what to do?


OK, first thing you need to do (since I am assuming your hard drive is bigger then 8gb) is make a 15 meg or so (very large) partition BEFORE the windows partition! Label it "boot", sans quotes. Next, you'll need to allocate however much space you choose AFTER the windows partition. What we're trying to avoid is putting anything that the computer might boot from over the 1024 cyl line on your hard drive. Most computers will not boot above this line, so it's a good idea to make that boot partition! The next partition you created doesn't need a label. Now you need to steal something between 1x and 2x your ram (the more the better, but anything above 2x is wasted), and label that partition SWAP. Make sure to select "Linux SWAP" as the filesystem in Partition Magic! Got it? .

 

Next, while it seems out of place, break out your screen's manual and get the HORIZONTAL SYNC and the VERTICLE SYNC. You'll need this to set up your GUI.

Now, pop that CD in from your distribution! Let me give you a run down of each distribution:

1) RedHat - Used to be great, now it's slow, bloated, and breaks way too easilly. Using this one is a Bad Idea.
2) Slackware - By far the best, it is the fastest distribution, but is light on easilly configured user options. You should consider this if you already know your way around Linux.
3) Mandrake - RedHat that Doesn't Suck. A fast distro, but it won't run on slower machines. It's compiled especially for Pentium (or AMD) boxen. A good choice for the novice.
4) Corel - Based on RedHat, this is a new distribution. I will advocate this with caution, as it's not been tested 100%. It aims to be the Linux distro of most desktop users. It's reported to be slow (win98 speed) but functional.
5) Caldera - This is THE easiest Linux distribution to use. It's also the slowest, giving Windows 98 a run for it's money in terms of speed. It has so many GUI features that even things like recompiling your kernel becomes point and click. Slightly lacking in command line amenities.
6) SuSE - A German distro of decent quality. Nothing really special about it.
7) PhatLINUX - Linux (Slackware) that can run on a Windows (fat16/32) file system. Except Slackware could do that already. Phat basically allows one click to restart and go to Linux. It's not very impressive and it is slow. I can't endorse this one. :(

If I were you, I'd pick Caldera or Mandrake (with a prefrence to Caldera until you are ready to "graduate" to a better distribution).

Once you get the distribution, please, PLEASE, READ THE MANUAL (rtfm)! I cannot say which distribution will pick up those partitions and which will not! I cannot say if it will try to set up the partitions or not! I know for a fact that Caldera has a completly graphical install and will pick up those settings automatically. Slackware will also, but it doesn't say so until the very end of the install. The rest, I cannot honestly tell you. What, you think I sit around installing Linux all day? ;)

Be ready to answer hardware questions if you are installing Caldera. Some of it can be autoprobed. If you are using Slackware, it will ask you the questions after the install. RedHat will ask you questions after the install also, but in a GUI.

Once that install gets done, and you are done playing tetris, or whatever Caldera is putting into their installer nowadays (hint: It almost never gives you a verticle piece, so don't try for tetris unless you have lots of space), you'll pop into KDE. KDE is an "overlay" for XWindows. You can think of XWindows as the thing-that-tells-programs-how-to-draw-themselves, and KDE as a-thing-that-makes-X-pretty-and-gives-it-icons. You might also end up in GNOME, and this is a Bad Thing. GNOME eats memory like popcorn, and it crashes. You'll know if your GUI crashes because everything will vanish and it will look like you've just logged in. To change this, in slackware, edit /var/X11R6/lib/xinit/xinitrc. In RedHat, type "switchdesk". In Caldera, it will give you a choice via a desktop icon. The other options you may have are "Enlightenment" (my favorite, no icons!), "KDE" (use this!), "Window Maker" (pretty cool, works like E but with square icons and a wharf, think LITESTEP), and "After Step" (pretty much unused and unpopular). Wrangle your way into KDE.

KDE works just like windows with the exception that everything is ONE CLICK. A word of advice, don't get too cozy in the ROOT login, it's very easy to mistakenly kill something as root, so make yourself another user

 

 

 


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