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Thread: Options for a permanent Linux install

  1. #1
    penguin_to_bits
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    Default Options for a permanent Linux install

    I've been a Windows user for the last decade or two but I've been trying to get proficient in Linux for the past few months. I've multiple OS's on my machine here, Windows XP being one of them, and also Kubuntu. My first introduction to Linux was the vanilla Ubuntu, but I was put off it straight away when I saw the drab brown desktop. I lost patience with it fairly quickly because of the font situation... they were either too small or too big, and even when they were the right size the font smoothing was horrible.

    I've got Linux on my machine for two main reasons: 1) I'd like to eventually move away from Microsoft altogether, and 2) I like playing around with networking as a hobby.

    Backtrack is brilliant as a "LiveCD". What I'm looking for tho is something more permanent, something I can install and setup things such as mail POP3 clients, web browser favourites, office software, media players. I know Backtrack is installable to hard disk but I've heard a lot of people suggesting that Backtrack is an inappropriate distro to have as your day-to-day OS. I actually did use Backtrack as my permanent distro for a few days but there were a few little annoyances such as that menu items weren't being added to the KDE menu when I installed a program. I was thinking of doing something like installing a more "permanent" distro, and then copying over all the programs from the Backtrack disk. I thought Slackware would have been a natural choice for this, and I tried it out for a week or so, but it turned out to be a mammoth task to even get my hardware recognised (when is actually quite strange considering that everything works straight out of the box when I boot in Backtrack, everything works, my soundcard, my rt73, my rt8187). Also, it seems that the Slackware philosophy is to inconvenience you as greatly as they can.

    So I'd just like to ask whether people here have a more permanent Backtrack setup on their machine? I was thinking of copying all the Backtrack programs across to Kubuntu. Sound like a good idea?

    Anybody know where to get the best Linux driver for the rt8187? I've google'd quite a bit for it but mainly got led on wild goose chases. At the moment in Kubuntu it's showing up as two devices, one being wmaster0 and the other wlan0... ?

    Also, totally unrelatedly: If anyone's looking for cheap laptop, e.g. for playing around with networking, then find a car auction place nearby. On the days that they're not auctioning cars, they tend to flog off computer equipment, microwaves, etc.. A place near me does computer auctions and they were selling laptops for as low as €10 last week (about 15 US dollars).

  2. #2
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    I used to use kubuntu but now am using BT3 exclusively. There are hundreds of slackware packages available, including everything from office to multimedia.

    Even if you can't find a slackware package, you can even convert an rpm package to a slackware package. That's just one of the many things one can do. The possibilities are endless.

    BT also has it's own package manager slapt-get (command line), also available is a gui for slapt-get, named gslapt.

    If you have some experience with Linux and are quite adventurous, I can definitely recommend Backtrack as an all good all round linux operating system.

    I know a some people use BackTrack mainly for pentesting etc. and use (K)ubuntu or something for other things. But to be honest, I don't see the logic behind this as Backtrack is all I need at the moment.

    Also remember, Backtrack 3 Final and BT4 Beta will be released in the next month or two
    [FONT=Courier New][SIZE=2][FONT=Courier New]hehe...
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  3. #3
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    Ok I will try to answer all your questions. You are correct backtrack is not designed to be a everyday desktop OS. In fact its a pen testing distro not a OS.
    Ubuntu is the most user friendly of all linux distros. If you dont have a good working knowledge of the command line in *nix I would stick with unbuntu for the time being. And NO you cannot just copy all the tools over to unbuntu for a variety of reasons. You must install the tools with apt-get for debian packages or from source in ubuntu. Now that being said I do have a permenant backtrack set up on a laptop with open office, a email client and a firewall however I don't use it for handling a ton of workload or anything.

    I guess it is possible to make a more permenant backtrack set up if you are willing to put the work in.

  4. #4
    Very good friend of the forum drgr33n's Avatar
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    I have modded a BackTrack 2 hdd install. I upgraded the kernel to 2.6.24.2 and slackware 12, and added all the tools I need. It can be a bit of work getting everything sweet but well worth it at the end.

    I've a old tutorial on how to upgrade bt2 to slackware 12 take a look. The only downside is that my install is around 20gb lol

  5. #5
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    Copying backtrack contents onto kubuntu will be one heck of a job, its probably best to look under wiki: tools section. Not only that, it may also depend on various libs which may or may not work.

    Depending on which RTL8187 you are talking about, there is RTL8187L which is fairly well supported and then there is RTL8187B which maybe supported by wireless-2.6 git package and/or kernel 2.6.24. RTL8187B may not have monitoring/injection capabilities yet.

  6. #6
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    Dr_GrEen you said that you have a tutorial you made for you upgrade of backtrack to slack ware12 and 2.6.24 kernel. is that any way you can post a link for it or email it?

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    I use slackware and gentoo. If you really want to learn linux, build a gentoo box. If you just want an easily installed linux, stick with one of the buntu's.

    I've found slackware to be fairly easy to install. It has minimal tools for hand-holding but you ought to be able to get it up and running by following the Slackbook. With slackware, you don't end up doing things the debian, ubuntu or even the gentoo way, but the linux way.

    If you are really worried about things like the menu not being automatically updated, maybe you should stick with ubuntu. You can change the desktop theme, btw. Even the window manager. Switch it to kde and you can call it kubuntu.

    Have Fun

  8. #8
    Very good friend of the forum drgr33n's Avatar
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  9. #9
    penguin_to_bits
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghaze View Post
    I've found slackware to be fairly easy to install.
    Depends what you mean by install... sure you get minimal functionality but you've to go on a cross-country trek to get sound and media to play. If that kind of thing is enjoyable for you then I suppose it's a good thing. I think far more people take enjoyment from less tedious, more advanced tasks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghaze View Post
    It has minimal tools for hand-holding but you ought to be able to get it up and running by following the Slackbook. With slackware, you don't end up doing things the debian, ubuntu or even the gentoo way, but the linux way.
    The Slackware community confuse "convenience" with "handholding". For instance in Windows, I'm more than capable of editing the list of programs that get started at boot-time by going thru the relevant .ini files and the system registry -- but I don't. I open up a handy little tool called "msconfig" instead, because it's convenient and because I really couldn't be bothered spending my time doing it manually. Plus there's nothing exciting about doing it manually. Not that I'm adverse to handholding, but it's hardly considered handholding when I could write my own msconfig program if I got up early on a Sunday morning, now is it?

    And what exactly is the Linux way? Some things I prefer to do at the commandline, some things I prefer to do via a GUI. The same with the programs I write, some are commandline while some are GUI.

    When I started out working with computers at the age of 5, I probably followed the same philosophy, writing my own batch files and so forth because I found it exciting, challenging and enjoyable. A few years go by tho and interest starts to wane, you favour convenience over doing trivial stuff "all by yourself".
    Quote Originally Posted by ghaze View Post
    If you are really worried about things like the menu not being automatically updated, maybe you should stick with ubuntu.
    Kubuntu's appeal to me is convenience, plain and simple. I see no reason to favour Slackware over it. They both use the Linux kernel, so if I want to do things the "Linux way", then I just have to open a command line.

  10. #10
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    If you thought you were just going to copy all the tools from bt over to kubuntu than you linux knowledge is extremely limited. In your original post you asked for opinions and ghaze gave you his. Now you come back and attack everything he has said. If you are dead set on keeping kubuntu why in the world did you even start this thread.

    The "handholding" which I believe ghaze is referring to is figuring out the intricate net work of dependencies, symbolic links, and all the other stuff that makes "real" linux a little more challenging and fun for some of us.

    Please don't start a thread so you can just grace us with your opinion of kubuntu.

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