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Linux woes


I'll give you a little bit of background on me first before I go into the problems I have been having with linux.

Approximately a year ago I got on a very short lived linux trip. I downloaded a few distros and played around for approximately a day on each one. I then realized how much I needed (at the time) a windows OS so I could game as wine just wasn't cutting it.

Fast forward to today. I have pretty much giving up gaming. I checked and the game that I will be playing is supported by wine. Since I never really got into how linux operated I decided to try out, from what I understand, the most popular distro of linux, Ubuntu. I got the latest version, 11.04. Burnt my disc installed everything and was feeling pretty good. Then I go to install the drivers for my vidio card. Restart like it said to do. My computer froze at a black screen. Restart the computer thinking it might be an easy fix and it does the same thing. So I pull out my phone and google about a black screen in 11.04, seems like quite a few others are having the same issue.

I then decide to get Ubuntu 10.10 and see how that works. I install it. Get all of the updates going and got the drivers installed for my video card. I restart like it tells me to. When I finally get back into the OS I find out that I have no internet connection. What? No internet connection? I am on a wired connection and I just had internet connection prior to installing all of the updates. What gives?

I am not ready to give up on linux yet. Should I look into another distro that might not have so many problems. Remember I am a complete linux noob. All I want is a good OS that I can install wine on and play some StarCraft 2, surf the internet, watch some movies and transfer songs to a ipod.



  • Lman
    Lman Posts: 52
    Depending on what system you have, it might be a good idea to look at distrowatch.com. You can start there and look at the top ten major distributions. Ubuntu has always behaved itself pretty well for me. But if you want a distro that lokks pretty nice, you can try Zorin OS 4 or Linux Mint. Just look them over and find the one that most caters to your needs. But you should really try Ubuntu's 10.04 LTS (long term support, I have a Xubuntu copy). That works pretty well for me. Good luck! :)
  • atreyu
    atreyu Posts: 216
    Your internet connection is probably an easy thing to fix (esp. if not wireless!) so you could try to fix that first, if you don't want to go thru the hassle of reinstalling an OS (and it is something you'll need to learn how to do anyway). How is your internet being provided to you (are you on a LAN connected to a wireless router, etc.). Start simple and show the output of some commands:
    cat /etc/network/interfaces  (shows saved IP configuration)
    ifconfig   (shows state of currently configured network devices)
    route -n  (shows state of IP routing table)
    ethtool  (at the bottom, shows whether a physical link is detected)
    ls /sys/class/net  (shows physically detected network devices, and the loopback adapter)

    You're on the right track sticking w/a popular distro, too. Ubuntu is certainly good. I like Fedora too (lots of community support). Another very popular one with the n00bs is Linux Mint.
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    Well, I run Scientific Linux 6 (a Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone) on my workstation, Ubuntu 10.10 (64-bit) and 9.04 (32-bit) on my Dell laptop, Debian Edge on an embedded ARM board I use for R&D, and Ubuntu 10.04 on a Toshiba netbook. I have seen stupid problems/regressions with Ubuntu since 9.04, which in my estimation was the best, most reliable Ubuntu distribution ever. All my wireless (WiFi and broadband), bluetooth, and USB webcam stuff worked out-of-the-box without futzing around at all. All that went to heck afterwards. I got it all to work in 10.10 after a lot of swearing and gnashing of the teeth... So far, I have been pretty happy with SL6 on my workstation (64-bit), although the KDE and Gnome window managers regressed, in my opinion. I ran KDE on CentOS 5 before I switched to SL6 (way better hardware support), and really was happy with that. KDE on SL6 sucks, and while Gnome is decent enough, a lot of stuff is just plain irritating. Sigh...

    In any case, Ubuntu Natty Narwal (11.04) is WAAAAYYYY too gnu/new to place any trust in - a lot of stuff with regard to hardware has regressed significantly. Ubuntu 10.10 is pretty nice (I installed the Studio version to get the audio and video editing tools by default), but I had to set up my network using the Network Manager tool before I could get online (hardwire) after intstalling it. For the wireless, I had to install the optional/proprietary drivers and futz around with that before I got it to work. It's fine, and reliable now, but it no longer seamlessly switches between wired and wireless connections. I have to go into the network manager and enable/disable the network adapters. A real PITA! That's why I keep my 9.04 boot disc around, because when I travel, it is a lot more pleasant to use... :rolleyes:

    All this aside, I would shoot myself before I went back to Windows, except to run one or two applications that I really need, and those I run in a Windows virtual machine under Linux. It works fine with all of my Linux systems (Oracle's VirtualBox virtual machine manager).


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