Linux at gunpoint - the proprietary way!

  • Shaun Patson

    Shaun Patson - 2005-08-16

    Summary: Modem doesn't work in linux, network adapters(Netgear MA521) don't even work. Video card is ATI Radeon 7000 (not in post but worth mentioning). My system is like the insanely-proprietary laptop from heck... if linux can get up and running here... all the world is a possibility. Only redeeming quality is an AMD processor(XP 2100+). What distro is recommended for colinux? (Oh and sound/modem are integrated... [carpserv] I believe... I'm taking bets on audio quality...)

    Due to recent developments I feel as though in order to use linux I'm sitting here with a gun to my head and being pushed away from the more traditional path and towards a variant which includes windows. Which brings me to a question...
    How do I kill everything unnecessary in windows once I get colinux running... and keep colinux stable (eg runsolo'ing colinux) and also... What should my setup be?

    First off... I can't use a triditional distro. My modem is a conexant (see the HPze4600 specs [amd version] on their website) which leaves me in lots of pain.

    Secondly my network card is also windows only (Netgear Ma521... there are two places to get linux drivers.. but one charges money and the other is for a realtek card that happens to use the same chip... meaning insane amounts of work for me... that I'm not yet qualified to handle as a linux newbie.) Strangely enough for twenty bucks to linuxant I should be able to get both of them to work... like **** I'd pay them a dime. I already paid for the hardware... it's a matter of principle.

    But I'll be d***ed if I'll let them win... EVER. I will prevail if I am forced to drag my entire laptop into the linux users group at school, reinstall windows XP, reinstall everything, and start again. So I'm asking... what do I need to get the greatest OS on earth running alongside the most proprietary headache-ridden WinXP? I'd try to get my ethernet port on my pc working in linux... but I'm pretty sure I'd come up with another conexant migraine. I've got linux on my dreamcast (not that I've done anything on it) and I'll get it running here... Pleas list recommended Linux OSes for a newbie, and a Pendrive linux OS if you know of a good one (it need not be the same OS that runs on my main computer)

    Idea: I could install one OS on my pendrive and run it on a virtual machine in windows/linux and at the locked down computers at school to be able to take some of my software with me.

    But focus this on hard-drive loopback(or similar filesystem within filesystem) filesystem installs please, that's what I want first. I need something that's newbie friendly and powerful (as I am in the computer programming curriculum... though progressing slowly... I need to at least be able to try new programs on linux)

    Any help will be appreciated. I think I may have made another post... if anyone finds it (PDu82) feel free to post a link... if not then I just wrote it but never posted it. (VERY likely... I have a bad memory.) I will record this posts location to make sure I get back here. Help is appreciated.

    1. Which distro should I use?
    2. What problems am I likely to face as a newbie?
    3. Can I get my network (modem/lan) working... if so
    4. What configurations/settings will I need?
    5. Is there anything important you'd like to tell me?
    6. Am I really as stupid as I sound here?
    7. Must you really answer that?
    8. What's a nice small pendrive linux to try out?
    9. How do I run it with colinux/on a virtual machine?
    10. I have a slow modem... ferrying packages on CD-RW is easier than apt-get, etc. any tips?
    11. What win tasks/services must I leave running?
    12. If possible would using both a CD and a flash drive make linux run better (because I can if need be).
    13. Would having the linux file in the autorun.inf file so the cd autoboots linux when inserted work? (I don't see why not)
    14. What would be the issues with using both mediums together/how would I config everything?

    • navaburo

      navaburo - 2005-08-19

      I'm not going to pretend to be a linux guru, but I can (try to) answer some of your questions:
      1. Debian on colinux is the way to go, especialy if you are need maximum compatability.
      2. You will need to get sound working. Use esound as recomended by the tutorial, but make sure that it isnt causing any network traffic outside of, which would totaly kill your bandwidth.
      3. Yes. If your lan card works in windows, it will work in colinux. The same with your dialup modem, try to use ICS(inet connection sharing) in winxp.
      4. the TAP32 network driver and ICS in winxp and default (or not far from defualt) ethernet configurations in linux.
      5. Play with the latest version of knoppix (snapshot versions with the latest kernel if you can). I have found knoppix to autoconfigure hardware that i thought was impossible to install. Remember, knoppix is related to debian, so if the problem hardware works in knoppix, all you have to do is use the same configuration in colinux. The only problem here is that some kernel function may not be supported in colinux, but if that is realy the case, complain to the colinux developers.
      6. Far under my idiot threshhold ;)
      8. DSL (damn small linux)
      9. uh... i dont realy understand you but, DSL comes in native, live, and emulated versions. The native one is only 50MB. To get it on the pen drive you can either use the emulated version (like i did, works well on 2.0GHz+ winnt/2k/xp boxes and linux, runs kinda flaky at 500MHz), or use the live version which you have to boot to (using either a real bios boot (HARD) or a UMSDOS boot solution (to boot from DOS) like zipslack or greycat linux).
      10. when ethernet isnt available, when wireless fails, and you have no phoneline for dialup, try plugging in your cellphone with a USB cable to the linux pc. Access the phone at (least for me) /dev/ttyACM0 RESTART! Now, use minicom to test the modem (type AT, or ATDTsomenumber in minicom to test it). Once you can communicate with the phone, use wvdial or pppconfig or kppp to dialup. If you have free nights and weekends or dont mind wasting cellminutes, try MetConnect, the only TOTALY FREE fullspeed dialup service i know of without ads or idle timeouts.
      11. I'm not sure EXACTLY what is needed, but you can definiatly kill explorer and any antivirus software, and avoid using SP2 if you can. Also, look into XP optimization software for gameing (TweakXP maybe???). use msconfig to shut off more stuff.
      11B. Here is an off-the-wall idea, use a live windows distrobution (yes they exist) like ERDCommander, as the base for your colinux system. Erdcommander has minimal winxp functionality... maybe you can clone ERCcommander to the harddisk, and put colinux on its own partiton... goodluck installing the network drivers on erd though...
      12. When using a distro (DSL) off the flashdrive, you might be able mount the CD as /usr and /opt to provide your software (like KDE!) without wasting tones of flashdisk space... but at that point you might aswell be booting into knoppix of the CD and using the flashdrive for /home and backups of parts of /etc to save your settings. (Look into DamnSmall's persistant files/directories feature, knoppix ?might? have something similar).
      13. great idea, thats how the blackdog loads. ( this blackdog thing is amazing btw, it is like a flashdisk thats a WHOLE LINUX COMPUTER complete with processor, and biometric scanner?
      14. just add a line to /etc/fstab to mount the secondary medium at boottime, or just use the mount command during your session (or a custom mounting script) to avoid fsck errors at bootime if you forget/loose the secondary medium.
      15. Your going in the right direction, not that you need my invitation but remember to post back with your success/failures/observations/complaints

      my e_m_a_i_l is navaburo A_T G_mai1 <D0T> c0m

    • Shaun Patson

      Shaun Patson - 2005-08-21

      Only part that needs to be read: Is there a debian port with Fedora core 3?? As I have a driver I'd like to test (may let me use my network at a reasonable speed with tweaking) which requres it.

      I'm just flushing out what I need before I install everything. I should begin downloading the packages and burning them to CD's in a few days, installation will happen in 2-4 weeks (I'm in no hurry).

      Thanks I'm glad to know that I can use my windows network.  (I get about 6kbps now[avg]... yay!) (Throughput from a 56k modem.)  I would like to try some free drivers I've found and... I wish there was an easy (and free and free) driverwrapping program to let win-drivers work as linux drivers. (or maybe [someday]  someone could write a driverwrapping program to let linux drivers work in windows... then maybe companies would start writing linux drivers first.)

      Backup plans... always have backup plans.:

      Cygwin on laptop at home for linux practice.
      Possibly: portable cygwin.

      Portable linux (any variety)
      Knoppix (LiveCD's)

      (Would it be possible to compress Cygwin??? Like with UPX Hmm... someone please try this[if brave])
      Also I think I found a usable OpenGL X-windows server
      It looks like I can get it via Cygwin... Did they contribute the source back so when I build the X-server in cygwin it will have openGL support? I'll post this in the other x-server thread I started before finding this.


Log in to post a comment.