Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How do I run a web browser from linux command line?

Q. I an VERY new to linux. I have installed Fedora 5 in text mode. I have a Linux book and am trying to slowly learn linux. So from the console, or command line, how do I run a web browser. Also how do I run the X Windows System?

A. If you installed in text mode, maybe you didn't install X. You probably have a text mode browser. Try lynx or elinks. If the startx command doesn't work, try "yum install x-window-system". By the way, Fedora 5 is old. The current version of Fedora is 9.

What commands should i type in the terminal to display my system information in Linux?
Q. Thanks to the Yahoo Linux Community, i took my first step and installed Linux Mint Helina into my system. I play around with it a little and really like it but I do not have any knowledge on how to install any drivers.

I tried to install pcwizard so that i could see my system information but unfortunately the software is not compatible with Linux. I not sure what i need to do, its totally a new environment for me.

A. A couple of things you need to know about Linux and *nix environments.

First, Linux is not Windows, so nothing that runs on Windows runs on Linux. There are exceptions. Some popular Windows apps have Linux versions (Firefox, Thunderbird for mail, Adobe Acrobat Reader). There's also a tool called Wine that allow you to run Windows programs from inside Linux. But stick with just Linux for now.

One doesn't install drivers for Linux the way you do in Windows. Most hardware is automatically detected and configured in the installation process. Anything exotic might need to have a module or library installed, but you can nearly always do that through the software manager. Check at the Mint or Ubuntu forms for any assistance on this.

Also. look on the system menus. There are lots of tools that will provide all the information you need about your system.

Also, from the console, there is no one tool that tells you everything. Linux and similar systems include a wide variety fo smaller tools and programs, each of which handles a specific task. For example:

ps -ef (this will give you a list of all the currently running processes).

lspci (gives a list of all the hardware on various system interfaces)

mount (gives you a list of all currently mounted drives and storage devices.

When a list of things goes beyond a screen page, you can "page' the output by piping it through a pager tool like "less":

ps -ef | less

This presents the information a page at a time, and you press the space bar to read the next page.

How do I install linux and get rid of windows xp?
Q. I just got a computer from a friend that had a corrupted version of windows xp. I tried uninstalling it through the command prompts but it says it wont work. I tried installing linux but after the boot screen it comes up with all these error messages. Im not planning on partitioning my hard drives. Does anyone know if you have to uninstall windows to make linux work right?

A. This is exactly what happened to me 4 years ago!

I was so mad that I installed a Linux distro, (I think it was MEPIS), lost my windows data, (stupid me...I didn't bother to save my files to another drive/partition) and HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK!

I love Linux and have closed the windows forever!

To be safe, I recommend that you get a "live CD" of a distro like Ubuntu or MEPIS and try it out. A 'live CD' won't change anything on your hard drive, (like destroy the existing data etc.), and will allow you to see if Linux will work with your hardware. If the computer was running XP then chances are it has the RAM and processor speed to do real justice to a Linux distro. Most live Cd's include a hard drive installer.

Almost all hardware now works with Linux; the exceptions being some of the latest boards for which drivers have not yet been written. So there is a very good chance your computer will work just fine under the Linux OS.

If you don't want to spend the $1.95 for a CD, UBUNTU will send you one for free, but it takes a while as they are mailed out of Europe. Try and click on the live CD tab at the top of the page. Try Puppy Linux can install it on a 1Gb thumb drive just in case you hard drive is kaput!


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