Let's try this again... distro suggestions?

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angel

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Ok, about once or twice a year I decide I want to play with Linux and it's that time again. And, as usual, I've got a different pc. Considering that I'm not all that familiar with Linux (I do use AIX if that helps at all), I was wondering if someone could suggest a distro for me. I tried Debian but it didn't recognize any hard drives or my nic for the install. My main concerns are this:
1. The partition(s) I have set aside for Linux are on a drive on a Promise Ultra133 TX2 card so I would prefer a distro that recognizes it since I wouldn't know how to do it otherwise.
2. I have onboard Gigabit - 3COM 3C940. I would prefer it if this were auto detected also.

Any thoughts?

THANKS!
 
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Try Mandrake 10. The full version should be available either this week or next and being it is newer and includes the newer kernel you are more likely to skip problems you might run into with hardware right now.
 
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Yeah... i wouldnt have expected it (debian) to, unless you were using the sarge install disks. Debian(woody's) default kernel is a 2.2 Odd, but true. Mandrake, or Xandros seem to be your best bets. You could also look into fedora.
 

angel

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Thanks for the input guys... I'll check into Fedora. Looks like Xandros isn't available for free download (or at least that's what their site says) and I've tried Mandrake before. But, who knows... we'll see!
 
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Fedora core 2 is a good bet. Its very new, and as such accepts newer hardware. That and kuzdu (its hardware detection engine) is quite well done.
 
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I'm using Mandrake 10 right now, and I haven't had much experience with other distros, but it is nice. As with Mandrake 9.x the installer can handle partitions for you, including resizing Windows partitions without data loss.
 

angel

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Ok, I think I'll give Fedora a try. I grabbed the Core 2 install and installed. However, I do not want to use LILO or GRUB so I chose No boot loader. I was NEVER given an option to create a boot floppy?! I thought maybe I missed it so I tried again. Nope! The install does warn you that you must create one but there is no opportunity to do it. Suggestions?
 

angel

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Well, crap...
I just ran across something that states Fedora no longer offers the option to create a boot disk (kernel 2.6 too big) and the fact that the installation refers to it is most likely a bug.
Now what? I really didn't want to use a boot loader but I guess I have no choice, huh? I do not want to overwrite my mbr. suggestions on how to either install bootloader to linux boot partition and then alter my boot.ini or something similar?
 
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there is no problem to overwrite the mbr....if you decide to eliminate Linux...just do FDISK/mbr and you will be back to normal with windows XP....i have done it several times on one of my XP boxes....on my test box i run FedoraCore1 and i use Slackware 9,1 as a server on my network....

utanja
 

angel

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Well, I thought "what the hell" and was going to install GRUB to the mbr. Guess what? No go! The install is only seeing the drive attached to the Ultra133 card and not my raid which is where XP is installed.
 
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angel are you using sda instead of hda for the site to install the boot loader? If not you need to make sure of that. Since scsi (ie raid) drives are a S instead of a H :).

Also since it sounds like you installed the linux to the ata133 you'll need to manually mount the scsi drive so that its even there for you too see :). For that you might have to edit your fstab file so that it recognizes the sda drive(s) so you can mount it and install the boot loader to that, using the mount /dev/sda.

So in your fstab you should have something like
/dev/sda1

not sure about the rest of the options, probably have to use samba? *has a windows computer and a linux computer. I avoided mixing them together.
 

angel

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Nope, no scsi.
The only drive the Linux install sees is hde (which was originally fine because that's the disk where the partition is that I wanted it installed). The prob now is that my mbr exists on my ide raid (on-board) and the install can't see it to overwrite it.
Since I can't use a boot floppy, is there any way to make a boot cd that will look to the appropriate place if I install the boot loader on hde3?
 
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Well, if you create a boot partition on hde, and use that to boot from, you can set lilo to boot into your scsi drive. Linux can overide the bios, to a point. All it takes is some creative thinking. In your case, just make the boot partition small (30mb is huge even), and then install lilo (/grub.. i just know lilo better) to hde. Then add another stanza to lilo.conf, with sda1(1st scsi drive, first partition)? and rerun lilo. Then, set your bootable drive to your ide drive, in the bios. Lilo's boot menu will let you choose which OS to boot.
 

angel

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I don't have any scsi drives.

Also, at this point I have no way I even booting into Fedora. I can install grub to hde but my current mbr exists on my ide raid which the install doesn't appear to be able to touch. Since I can't boot into Fedora, is there some other way I could edit the grub config file to include my XP boot info. Or should I install to hde, change my bootable drive in bios and then change the grub config file? Is that safe?
 
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