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View Full Version : Disk Nuker and a Linux Distro



Growly
03-06-2004, 06:42 PM
I'm bored. I have a computer sitting beside me thats pretty decent, but whenever I install linux, I often don't need it for anything other than being a server. Also, when things go wrong, no one can help.

So, does can anyone recommend a good linux distro to learn complicated Linux-geeky commands with? I don't want something too close to windows, but alot of documentation would be nice.

ALSO... I need a disk nuker... (one that changes every bit to 1 or 0), any recommendations?

Dolby Digital
03-06-2004, 06:50 PM
>>So, does can anyone recommend a good linux distro to learn complicated Linux-geeky commands with?
At the command line level (to enter the complicated geeky commands), all distro's are pretty much created equal cos normally its bash. Debian is supposed to be the most geeky of the Linux Distro's so I think you should go with that. I was in Sydney last week and the latest APC mag over there had a dvd with the full debian 3 release 2 (or something on it) (I presume it will arrive over there very soon).

Jen C
03-06-2004, 06:53 PM
> Also, when things go wrong, no one can help.

Can't the Linux users on PF1 or the NZLUG mailing list help out?

> So, does can anyone recommend a good linux distro to
> learn complicated Linux-geeky commands with? I don't
> want something too close to windows, but alot of
> documentation would be nice.

Fedora. Heaps of documentation available for Red Hat 9 which works fine with Fedora. [note: Fedora Core 2 now uses the command system-config-xxxx instead of redhat-config-xxxx]. Being such a well known distro's, there is a lot of information out on the www which can help. Fedora specific documentation is coming available as well.

Red Hat 9 extensive documentation (http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/).

FedoraNEWS (http://fedoranews.org/) - check out some of the articles.

Everyone has their favourite distro, so it really depends upon what sort of base system you prefer eg rpm based. Each is also capable of being as CLI geeky as you like, except for the couple of really Windows-like distro's which are more geared towards the newbie home desktop user.

Chilling_Silence
03-06-2004, 07:01 PM
Try Gentoo - the Whole OS from Source code :-)

Then when you've booted the install CD, run:
cat /dev/urandom > /dev/hda

That'll fill the whole HDD with Random bytes
From there you can use cfdisk or whatever to partition it :-)


Chill.

Murray P
03-06-2004, 07:49 PM
Growly, don't go with those horrible Red Hat based distro's your just asking for trouble. Debian is the way to go of course and all reasoning people know this.

Your not a million miles from where I am, I believe (in body anyway), would you like me to provide you with a nice friendly little Debian distro to try out without having to install on your HDD immediately? Silly question, of course you would you being a person of reason and some intellect ;)

Cheers Murray P

Jen C
03-06-2004, 08:05 PM
> Growly, don't go with those horrible Red Hat based
> distro's your just asking for trouble.

:O

What do you find wrong with rpm based distro's? If you are meaning rpm hell, that is getting less common with the lovely CLI yum and apt-get which hunt out your app and install it all with the required dependencies ... (well, most of the time :p) Besides, think of the challenge when you get to go hunting over the net for some obscure required lib and the satisfaction of beating the rpm hell when you do! :D

blocks her beloved Fedora's speakers so as not to hear being called horrid ...

Growly - as you can see, each person has their own recommendations. Using a Live-CD is a good way of finding if you prefer that style of distro. Although it will not be as "full" as a HDD installation OS.

I do have a Live-CD for Fedora which I downloaded a while ago ... unfortunately it is Chinese-Taiwanese .... [note to oneself to check these things out first before downloading an entire CD ..]

Murray P
03-06-2004, 08:42 PM
> with the lovely CLI yum and apt-get which hunt out
> your app and install it all with the required
> dependencies ... (well, most of the time :p)

An inherently flawed system will remain so no matter how you paper over the cracks. Look at windows dll "issues" for a small taste.

> Growly - as you can see, each person has their own
> recommendations.

But Jen, you must know in your heart that some are more sensible than others ;\. Seriously though, getting something that works for you and your particular system is the correct choice nothing else to it. I tried four distro's before I found the one that worked for me and my home built. I'm about to give Ark a run to check it out. eh!...what was that Jen? I swear I can smell burning sulpher :D

> Using a Live-CD is a good way of finding
> if you prefer that style of distro. Although
> it will not be as "full" as a HDD installation OS.

Just use the other disk(s) when installing to the HDD and update/install the rest via Synaptic, or whatever you choose to use.

Cheers Murray P

Jen C
03-06-2004, 08:48 PM
>I'm about to give Ark a run to check it out.

/me wonders if she should mention Ark is rpm based .... :-P

Ark is lovely, I dual boot that with Xandros on a spare machine. See - I do try out other options :D

Murray P
03-06-2004, 08:56 PM
> >I'm about to give Ark a run to check it out.
>
> /me wonders if she should mention Ark is rpm based
> .... :-P
>
> Ark is lovely, I dual boot that with Xandros on a
> spare machine. See - I do try out other options :D

>>> eh!...what was that Jen? I swear I can smell burning sulpher :D

Yeh, I thought I would check out the others|ide downstairs. Spossed to be nicer in winter.

Cheers Murray P

Pheonix
03-06-2004, 09:00 PM
As for that 0 thing, have a look here. (http://dban.sourceforge.net/)

Growly
03-06-2004, 10:27 PM
Gee guys, thanks for your replies!

Well let's see...

No, people on mailing lists, LUGs, or popular forums have never replied to me. (It's been a few months).

I have downloaded quite a few distros in my spare time (6 so far), and although I haven't tried em out, they are all either debian or the other one.... (i have no idea what they call it).

In the beginning, I had knoppix, which sucked at everything. I installed it to the HDD (from the LIVE CD), and I couldn't get anything to work as it was meant to. I tried then went to Fedora, but it was far too much like windows, which left me disappointed, as the machine is the better part of one metre from my windows machine, which I run everything on (and has the best hardware).

While trying to befriend the IT Tech at school, (and to cut a long story short), he got a purely CLI version of Debian, with no GUI, and slapped it on what he hoped would be a webserver. He, ofcourse, despite pretending otherwise, knew all sorts of commands. That seemed OK, but it also ran kernal 2.2, and which I though was old... so here I am...

You see I'm used to using the Run command in windows, and it frustrates me to not know which commands do what and how to use them most efficiently in linux.

ANYWAY...

In my experience, debian was quite technical and command-line-y, which is a good thing, but I have nothing against Fedora, it's just that it's way too easy to do the basic things... and I found doing picky things like running complicated servers all too difficult You know what, it was more that it was actually too easy. In the end, what stopped me was a)I couldnt figure out how to use bin files in Fedora, and b)i didnt know any commands :S. Thanks for the link to the fedora documentation though!

I've heard that FreeBSD is very powerful....





THE OTHER THING I FIND RIDICULOUSLY HARD is trying to find programs to run to do certain jobs. Now, granted that I had knoppix which I am adament had something completely wrong with it, whenever i wanted to find and download a program to do something, it was rather hard to procure one....

AND ONE MORE THING I HAVE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT:

What folders does Linux use for what? I find it difficult to find things, configurations, etc, because I don't know where to look! On windows it's all 'Programs in Program files', and 'Stuff that cool to fiddle with in \Windows' .

So far I know that home is the user files, and that root is the root files, but where the #!$% does it store the rest? etc? bin?

Cheers for everything anyway!

PS... Yeah i live in welly murray, you cold at the mo? My hands are freezing...

Growly
03-06-2004, 10:28 PM
Coincidentally, that DBAN is the one that the IT Tech used....

Murray P
03-06-2004, 10:44 PM
Look in /user for most app's. That's where they are on mine anyway (I'm new at this). I'm going to put together a cheat sheet for commands. I've hardly touched the CLI since loading my current (and only) successfull distro. I want to learn some of the guts of the thing as well. Softly softly tho for me, too much info and I'll need a cold boot.

Cold Growly? Nah! I'm in my little office with the heater behind me and the computer and about 6 power packs close to hand, with brick walls to the inside and 380mm thick concrete on the (sunny) outside once it heats up it stays that way for a good while. In fact, in the name of good health and wastage I have the window open at the mo (time to turn the thermostat down).

Do you want to have a look at that distro? I'm happy to burn a copy for you.

Cheers Murray P

Growly
03-06-2004, 10:52 PM
Mmmm cheat sheet... ME LIKE!

What distro do you use? I figured Debian, but which exactly?

Thanks for the offer, we'll keep in touch (email?) I'll have to wait untill i can nuke the <expletive> out of my hard drive before trying again :D

Man, you got it all nice and cosy.... My back hurts, my eyes hurt, my hair's wet, my left hand is cold, and the rest is pretty stiff....

Hehehehehe....

Jen C
03-06-2004, 11:03 PM
>AND ONE MORE THING I HAVE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT:
>What folders does Linux use for what? I find it difficult to find things, configurations, etc, because I don't know where to look! On windows it's all 'Programs in Program files', and 'Stuff that cool to fiddle with in \Windows' .

>So far I know that home is the user files, and that root is the root files, but where the #!$% does it store the rest? etc? bin?

Two words:
man hierEnter that in a shell/console/terminal window .. :)

Murray P
03-06-2004, 11:20 PM
Nice one Jen. Hey Jen, IIRC you use(d) a cheet sheet for linux commands or am I confusing you up with someone else, maybe the other pretty one? You see, if you know sod all, it's a little hard to select what you need in order to learn if you get my drift

Growly drop me a line mm8***paradise.

Cheers Murray P










Oh yes definitely, I'm a greaser when I need to be. it's easier when it's sincere tho, hurrumph ;)

Jen C
03-06-2004, 11:50 PM
> Nice one Jen. Hey Jen, IIRC you use(d) a cheet sheet
> for linux commands or am I confusing you up with
> someone else, maybe the other pretty one?

The only "cheat sheet" that I have posted on here was this one Newbie's Top Ten Commands (http://www.cmm.uklinux.net/steve/ntt.html) - Covers the basics and is funny to /boot [that always helps when learning CLI] :p

I do have however, have a extensive bookmark section in Firefox devoted to all sorts of Linux references which I add to whenever I find a good site or if the subject matter is something I am trying out.

I have my own home-grown how-to sheets as well - currently covers 6 A4 sides of paper which I add hints or good commands to find out a variety of information or to perform tasks. Never remember them otherwise :D [will eventually put them into a searchable electronic form - something like the Windows AZZ Cardfiles would be great!]

>You see, if you know sod all, it's a little hard to select what you need in order to learn if you get my drift

Just pick a task, and then learn how to do it. Hands-on is the best way. For example, compiling your own kernel from source. I just got around to taking a look at Apache and now have <whispers>a web-server</whispers> running on my machine from which I host my own website.

> Oh yes definitely, I'm a greaser when I need to be.
> it's easier when it's sincere tho, hurrumph ;)

You are a sweet greaser though :p

Chilling_Silence
04-06-2004, 01:22 AM
Jen>
Google for Adios Linux ;-)

Im still for thinking Gentoo would be a good starting point.
Installation is relatively easy if you can follow documentation (Read twice, compile once as a rule of thumb).

It'd take a while on a slow PC/Internet Connection though....

No dependancy hell to worry about though :D


Here's a quick run-down of the Linux File-system:
/bin = commands like mount go in here
/boot = Boot Files like your kernel - Fedora and Gentoo put this on its own partition
/dev = All devices in your PC get an entry in the file-system, such as /dev/dsp for your soundcard and /dev/psaux for a PS2 mouse
/etc = Config files - All System-wide configs go here
/home = The "C:\Documents and Settings" folder of Linux
/lib = some essential system library's go here
/usr = Most apps and libs get installed in /usr/bin or /usr/share or /usr/lib etc
/opt = Dunno, I think this is a bit like /usr.. Ive found KDE, OOo and Blackdown JDK in here before??

I think that's a quick run-down.......


Chill.