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Completely lost - Linux beginner....

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Heya folks,


Well i finally decided to ditch Windows XP and have a good play with Linux. So, I formatted my drive and installed Mandrake 10 from scratch, leaving it to sort out the partitions itself etc.


My problem is this:


I am completely new to Linux, and am struggling to get my soundcard to work properly. I've searched the web all over for information on the Hercules Muse 5.1 DVD to no avail.


I don't know where the drivers are kept, since Linux is completely different to XP. All I know is that on boot, aside the soundcard part, it says FAILED in red. I


Can anyone please give me some sort of indication as to how i can start from scratch here, and get my sound working? XMMS pretends to load, but goes off after about 10 seconds of hogging the bar on the toolbar. If i go into the KDE settings and alter the soundcard driver it gives me options like:


Select the audio device:


Auto detect

Advanced Linux Sound Architecture

Enlightened Sound Daemon

Network Audio Sound

No Audio input/output

Open sound System

Threaded Open Sound System.


Now what are these things? And why can't i see my soundcard?


I am 100% baffled and really want to sort this problem out. The rest of Mandrake installed fine, but the sound, well I haven't got a clue where to start, I don't know what this "X" thing is, I don't even know how to swap from KDE to GNOME, heeelp!!!!!!!

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To be honest, I think you're screwed on the sound card. After googling your card and Linux, I come up with nothing. The hardware list at the Mandrake site doesn't even list it. XMMS will get straightened out once you've got a working sound card.


Any time anyone switches from Windows to Linux, chances are they are going to be left with a few "boat anchors" (hardware that will likely never work with Linux), and that's one of the swap offs of using a superior operating system.


Seems like you've dived in though! You sound just like me! I've always thought it best to burn all your bridges so retreat is not an option! smile


To get things moving for you, I'd go out to your favorite computer store and get a Sound Blaster. Most of them will work with Linux and are reasonably priced. Check the compatibility here first before purchasing though.


I know where you are right now Mervo. I'm not going to tell you it will be smooth sailing cause it won't! There will be times when you'll want to give up and say it's just too hard. That's always the case with anything new, and is certainly true of anything worth while!


Stick with it, and don't hesitate to ask questions. Most everyone here is patient and will try to get you through problems.


Above all, remember that Google is your best friend when it comes to Linux! There is almost always an answer out there to your problem if you learn how to ask the question.

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I have to agree with DapperDan. The chipset on this card is a C-Media, which translates to CMI8738 in Linux. Whether it is compiled into the kernel is another question.


There is a link to another card by the same company, which has the same chipset, which is located here.


In the articles that I found, the performance in Linux ws somewhat questionable anyway. I have the Sound Fortissimo, which has some of the same issues, although it has the Yamaha chipset.


Just beware of what you buy. Go and get a Soundblaster in a local computer store or computer outlet. There are dozans of variations of the Soundblaster. Don't be tempted to buy one cheap at an online outlet. A lot of these "cheap" cards are legacy for Gateway and other companies and have issues when used on machines other than what they were designed for.

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Right chaps - first off, thanks for the replies. smile


As for my soundcard, well It's a surround sound card, it wasn't much to buy and I don't mind swapping to a SB if that will help solve my problem. I'll nip to PC world maybe later, and grab one. I did google for a few nights after work, to no avail, I found it was the 8738 chipset thingy but only found references to other cards. CMedia's website wasn't much help either.


I love linux, Knoppix was the first OS I ever looked at, but with it being a bootable CD It didn't reign long on my machine.


As for Mandrake, well it's very nice, I like it. I've not used Linux before - so far I think i have sussed out the RPM thing, - well I've added a few programs with it so I think I got the hang of it although I don't understand why I can't just downlaod an exe equivelent that installs itself - is this due to there being so many varieties of Linux?


I have promised myself that I won't be going back to XP in a hurry, I can't give up on Mandrake, if sound as yet is my only problem - hopefully I'll sort that tonight with a new card...


So just a couple of questions...


Is there a way I can test GNOME out (It is a different desktop environment yeah??) cus right now i'm using KDE, and can't find a way of swapping to GNOME to see what it's like. Also, if I do swap to GNOME will I still be able to access the same programs as I have installed now?


Thanks chaps smile


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Good to hear you are going to stick with it! Actually Mandrake has an easier solution than downloading and installing .EXEs. It's urpmi.


At a terminal as root go:


urpmi gnome-desktop [enter]




You'll need some other things to run Gnome, but that is just an example of how urpmi works.


I would put the first cd back in and just add Gnome as an upgrade.


Don't overlook IceWM! That's what I use. It is the fastest cleanest, most configurable and rock solidly stable DE I've ever used, and I've used most of them.


When you're doing that upgrade to add Gnome desktop, also check "Other desktops". It's the one at the very end there and will include IceWM.


If you like IceWM, also do as root:


urpmi icepref [enter]


It is a great configurator for IceWM.


After they are installed, IceWM and Gnome will both show up under "session" when you are at the KDE "sign in manager."


Just put a check beside the one you wanna look at and enter after entering your username and password. smile



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Hello guys,


I just read your replies for a newbie. I am also a newbie with Linux. Actually, I have just got very much interested in learning the Linux O/S. I work with Oracle Database and Oracle applications but I don't have any experince with either Linux or Unix and we are running Windows. I recently downloaded SuSe 9.1 Personal because I am thinking of setting up Linux on my own personal machine and remove Windows 2000 Pro.


I want your guys advice on which Linux should I use to start with. I know there are bunch of companys that offer Linux. I have got SuSe 9.1 Personal for now. Is that an okay Linux version to use for a person like me? Or Should I go with RedHat or Mandrake? Also, this SuSe 9.1 is a server, right? Right now, I am feeling I have just asked a dumb question but what the heck smile Please let me know, what versions are free to download and what links to follow. I have visited sites on Unix and Linux and most of the time there is so much information and the tech lingo out there is just too much. I am sure you guys understand my inability to grasp all about Linux especially when a person like me is not used to using Linux. Your detail response will be apprecaited, I always like that smile.



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Suse 9.1 is a good distro. I would keep and learn it. Then if you feel the need to explore, try some others to see if there's one more to your liking.


All Linux distros are servers/clients. Some lend themselves more toward one than the other, and that goes to the essence of why Linux is such a great operating system, configurability!


Linux can be almost anything you reasonably want it to be, as far as operating systems go. smile

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