Installation means getting things onto your computer and the first steps involved in getting them working. This isn't a page about installing GrokDoc - GrokDoc should "just work" - rather its about installing a Linux distribution onto your PC or Laptop computer. More specifically, we want to understand new-user's perception of the installation process, and offer resources to help them along.
Please tell us what you found out about installation procedures and how your subject used them. Let's narrow it down a bit.
- General Installation - Things common to all Linux distributions
- Which Distribution - What is a distribution, what are the differences between them, and how do I choose which one to use?
- LiveCDs - All the fun, none of the risk
- GNOME or KDE - What are they and do I want one?
- Other WM - Other window managers and windowing environments
- Red Hat-Installation
- Yellow Dog Linux-Installation
- Other Distros-Installation
- General Post-Installation
- Application Crossover Chart - Windows application -> Linux application chart
- What to do when your hardware doesn't work
- Devices and mounting notes
- Keeping System Updated
General-purpose software source:
- LinuxISO.org is a great one-stop web site that not only gives you a neat overview over many different distributions, but also offers mirror listings. If you use a mirror you are reducing the load of the main servers, and your download is likely to complete faster.
- Linux Live CD's is a great place to find all of the different Live Linux distributions with the ability to sort them by type (server/security/educational), image/download size, or name.
- LWN.net Linux Distributions List is a comprehensive list of Linux distributions. Categorized under relevant categories. There is also a section called Non-Technical Desktop, which is aimed at Newbies and is user-friendly easy to install with usual desktop applications like Open-Office. Please check the whole list. You might find exactly what you are looking for.
Questions you don't know where to put:
- I didn't get Unicode to work. Neither in the console, nor under KDE, on a Mandrake 10 distro. But is this Mandrake-specific, console-specific, or KDE-specific? Is this installation or post-installation? I looked at many docs, but I'm overwhelmed. On W2k, it just works fine. I'm still sticking to Linux, but suffering...
- I'm using Samba an a debian box. I can put and get files over the network to/from the server, it seems to work just fine - from a Windows box. But I can't access certain files on the server itself (not being able to backup the fileserver) because the file names are all garbled up (because of multi language filenames). And I cannot access these files from another Linux box. This seems to be a very special problem, as my local LUG and a very linux savvy friend couldn't help.
- I want to use kbabel, but the help is displayed in Russian -- I'm German and don't speak Russian. This is kbabel on KDE on a Mandrake 10, but is this Mandrake-specific and not rather KDE? Didn't find anything in locales (all is de_DE) and some other places, even uninstalling and reinstalling kbabel didn't do the trick. The developer didn't answer either. What can I do? It's a time-eater.
- My install went well until it was time to configure X-Windows. First of all it asked something about a vertical scan rate for my monitor, I didn't have a clue about that and didn't know where to find it, so I just guessed. Then, I had no idea which video card I had, as it was intergrated into the motherboard and there was nothing in my computer's documentation about it. I chose the defaults and it wouldn't work.
Maybe we should add a section "interoperability issues" and "language issues". How can a newbie know where the right place for an issue is?
And if a question is moved, will you find the answer?
Do we want to ask and answer questions on this page at all?
Perhaps it might be a better idea just to detail the common pitfalls we've seen newbies run into. Might I suggest a whole lot of short, snappy, bulleted observations like:
- Intermediate user attempted to re-configure XFree86 on a Debian 3.0 system after installing a new monitor; was unsure of which configuration tool to actually run. Gave up after fifteen minutes and continued on original monitor settings.
- First time computer user with preinstalled GNOME desktop accidentally enlarged Trash icon in Nautilus and could not restore icon back to original size. Trash icon now fills and obscures most of desktop; user now avoids clicking on desktop out of fright.
- Mac OS 8 veteran, first-time Linux user successfully installed FC1, but could not find documentation on configuring his Ethernet interface for a PPPoE cable modem service. Attempted to install irssi to solicit help, but gave up after realizing cable access was needed to connect to IRC.
We could then collect lots of these and group them by task/software/distribution. And then, of course, we point developers back here and make them feel very guilty. :) Or at least spur them into thinking about streamlining user interfaces and installation procedures.