> I'm planning to install linux soon (I have Slackware on a CD),
> but have a few quick questions. Primarily, I need to know if it
> is possible for linux to co-exist with DOS on a partition. My
> impression is that it is not, but I'm unsure.
It's possible, you can install Linux in a separate FAT directory.
Linux will use the UMSDOS fs on top of FAT and use this directory as
root. It's not a good solution, but if you are absolutely positive you
won't repartition your disk it'll work.
A better solution is to use FIPS to shrink your DOS partition
and create separate partitions for Linux. That way you don't have
to reinstall all your DOS/Win stuff.
> Also (big opinion question here), I'm trying to decide what is
> the best flavor of linux to use. As I mentioned, I have
> Slackware (2.?.?) but was reading about redhat last night. If
> you have an opinion on these or other versions (with
> explanation), I'd love to hear it.
Slackware 2.# is outdated. Get 3.1 if you want to use Slackware. I
prefer RedHat because of the packaging system, frequent updates
and the teTeX distribution (haven't seen the latest NTeX, though)
I don't think RedHat has options for UMSDOS installation, maybe
> Finally, I need a little explanation about the X system. X is
> an interface (a shell) for unix machines that provides a GUI
> interface. But X is not enough? You then need something to run
> on top of that? Here's where Motif comes in, right? Is it
> possible to run with only X? What benefits are there in having
> Motif (or some others, perhaps)? Are X and Motif available via
> FTP on the net? Is there an expense to use them?
X11 draws windows on your screen (to put it simple :-) On top of X11
you use a window manager (wm) to draw borders around windows, raise
and iconify them, provide system menues etc. The wm also provides the
look and feel of the windows borders and system menues etc. Buttons
and ?stuff? ?inside applications? use widgets to draw buttons and
menus. Motif provides such widgets, and so does Athena. There is also
a motif wm (mwm) that provides the same look and feel for the window
frames/borders and system menues as the Motif widgets does, that way
you can have a consistent look on your desktop.
Motif is a commercial product, so you can't download it for free.
However, many apps come statically linked with the Motif libraries so
you can still run them with a Motif look, but not with the Motif
wm. Also some Motif library clones has shown up, so you can run some
dynamically linked Motif based apps. Most other window managers are
free, and some of them looks very much like mwm (like the lesstif wm,
or a properly configured fvwm2).
Bottom line is; you don't need Motif to use X11.
Jon Martin Solaas