Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Digest Number 1957 Live CD on Dell Laptops
- On Thu, 2004-12-30 at 17:13 +0000, email@example.com
> 6. Inspiron 7000 easiest Linux to installBased on my recent limited experiences with Live CD's on my Dell
> From: "Nick Braybrooke" <nickbraybrooke@...>
> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 13:46:39 -0000
> From: "Nick Braybrooke" <nickbraybrooke@...>
> Subject: Inspiron 7000 easiest Linux to install
> Hi, I am new and wanted ask some questions. 1. What is the easiest
> Linux to install in an I7000 so I can learn Linux? 2. I am installing
> a wireless LAN at home does Linux support this capability?
Inspiron 2650 laptop, I would say, though a long time Mandrake user
since v. 6.5, that for a true beginner, anything but a Live CD for first
use and learning is now totally obsolete, and especially so if the
beginner has fast Internet and can download the iso's, then burn the
image into the CD.
Live CD's use Ram, assuming you have enough, not HD, to load and run
software, so one need not install the Distro to use it, Windows need not
be affected, though some Live CD's can easily be installed if you like
it. Allegedly if you find a good Live distro for your machine, it is
possible to connect to the Web, even print and run wireless without
installing. Some do offer the capacity to store your configs on floppy
or even the HD, so you need not re-type the entire cheat code.
After downloading the iso image, also get the md5sum from the same
source, though you might have to look for it a bit. Md5sum is an
algorithm, sort of fancy check sum to verify that your file is correctly
If you are using a Linux machine, md5sum path filename.iso <enter> for
your downloaded file gives you a lengthy number. IF it is correct, your
download is good.
On Windows, google for md5summer.ex and download it, it produces a
mini-window for handling md5 sums.
I assume most know how to burn a CD, do be sure to burn as an image, or
you end up with a big file on a CD that will not boot. This is a common
error that smart people make.
After you burn the CD, I do not know how to md5sum an entire CD in Win,
but in Linux, it is md5sum /dev/cdrom and the result should be the same
as the file itself.If not, don't use it, burn again.
To run a Live CD, assuming you can boot from your CDROM, install your
Live CD in the CD drive, and boot. If you have several live distros,
one or more should boot for your machine and find most hardware, except
dial-up winmodems. Well, some will even find the lucent chips, but many
others will not be set up. And, some claim to find external modems, I
don't know if this is true or not.
The more Live CD's you download, the better your chances of finding one
which will handle the particular combo of hardware in your machine.
When you boot, you get a boot: prompt, and depending upon your machine,
you need to type different "cheat codes". Example, on some distros, it
will hang probing SCSI devices, so reboot with boot: linux noscsi
Other cheat codes allow you to set monitor freqs, and install certain
modules, if the distro cannot figure it out.
First on my list of recommends is Kanotix. On his forum, Kano himself is
likely to answer your questions if he has time. What a great guy. Many
of the multiple-distro geeks have said Kanotix is the easiest to
When I booted it on my Dell Inspiron 2650, it came up nicely, with a
default selection of boot cheats supplied for select and enter, and
voila, I had solid connection via the NIC to my daughter's Cable
Internet with the included browser. It identified and claimed to set up
my HSF modem with Smartlink-Softmodem package, but it did not really.
I was impressed with the default nv video, Mandrake 9.1 took me two days
to get video working on this Dell, so automatic selection in Kanotix was
delightful. I could not get Kanotix to run video on an old Compaq with
Knoppix 3.7 (Knoppix was apparently the pioneer of Live CD's though we
had live floppies some years ago. I don't think I have tried 3.7 but 3.4
did work on the 2650.
LiveSlax 4.2.0 Worked on my machine.
Linuxpcos Xorg version -- did not work on my video.
Linuxpcos Nvidia version -- did not work on my GEforce video.
I did not take time to see if I could make them work, which is highly
probable, it is just too easy to toss a 20 cent CD aside, and use one
LinEx This one is from Spain, is in Spanish, and the standard linux
applications have unusual and original names. Province Extremadura
several years ago did a study how to keep bright young folks at home.
The decision was made to develop a special distro to be used by all in
the province. Money was budgeted, and local programmers were hired to
develop and maintain the distro. They are also paid to develop special
apps not available, such as medical and agricultural progams. I think
recently the provincial government has announced that there will be no
more funds for MS software, unless a special case is made for some
special need. (e.g.-- AutoCad or Inventor 8 could be examples of special
needs that cannot be met in Linux.)
I kept trying and since they have no mirrors, I kept getting a 20 hour
download prediction. Finally, at a family memeber's house, I got a 10
hour download, and got a good burn on LinEx.
I think I had to cheat noscsi and did not have access to the Internet,
but a lot of the stuff worked. I did note the desktop icons did not want
to work, but the Gnome menu did activate icons.
I also downloaded SimplyMepis; Ubuntu Warty, and Knoppix-STD (security
and hacker stuff as well as a distro). Alas, the Flexwriter CD writer
with Nero 5 on her machine made good copy of LinEx, but then the next 8
attempts produced bad CD's, thus it is important to verify your
downloaded files and CDs, there are a lot of begs for help with CD's
that don't work. So tomorrow I will visit another daughter, and download
those three again, directly to my Linux 2650 which with K3B has never
written a bad CD yet.
There is a Mandake Live CD as well, though I have not downloaded it yet.
The big advantage of LIVE is that you can find one which works on your
machine, without all the work of installation just to see if it will
work on your machine. It is very frustrating to spend some considerable
time installing a new distro and then find it is going to take many
hours or days to make it work because of some quirk in your machine and
differences in distros.
I don't know if the Development stuff is included to let you add
software from tarballs, I will check later when I have time, but most
distros are based on a common distro, and you can download their
packages if you decide to install the LIVE CD. By memory, I think
Kanotix and Knoppix are Debian based so you can download almost any free
debian app; fear not, if this is wrong, someone will let us know.
There are instructions available from Knoppix to let you mount the .iso
file as a loop back file, and access it to add or delete software to
customize your own CD. I made a Live floppy several years ago using
Martin's Mandrake, which was a text mode only distro on two floppies. I
wanted dc, the hundreds-of-digit Reverse Polish calculator program for
linux. LiveSlax and LinEx both include it. I recently did a calculation
for a forum which involved an answer with 965 digits to the left of the
decimal point, and 5000 to the right. Anyway, on the floppies, I got all
the information from LINUX FROM SCRATCH, and I suspect that still works
on CD .iso's as well. I do not yet know how to compress the files to
fit 2GB into one CD. One thing at a time.