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How to Get Started With Linux (Page 2/4)

Posted: July 11, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Logging on to the Internet

Personally, the easiest way that I've found to connect to the Internet is using kppp. This program is included in the KDE menus in the big 'start menu'-like button on the 'drawer' as it is called. This program can be used to set up a new dialup account or log into the one you 'should' have set up during your installation. Kppp, or any other Internet connection program for that matter, will not use DHCP at all to discover what DNS servers you should be using, so you will need to find this information out from your ISP before trying to connect to the Internet - unless you are keen on only putting in numeric addresses for computers on the 'net.

RAM Check

Sometimes, depending on your motherboard and BIOS, Linux may not be using or recognizing all of your system's RAM. This is a big problem, particularly because Linux runs much, much better on 128 Mb or more of RAM than it does on 64 (maximum it can detect by default if it is having this problem). The easiest way to check and see if you are having this problem is to load up Drakconf, click on the "Hardware Configuration" button, and check the memory section to see how much RAM your computer is recognizing.

If you find that it is recognizing 64 MB or less and you have more than that in your system, you can first try to download and install a new BIOS version for your motherboard. This will help in the majority of cases, and you won't have to continue on with the next steps - however, it doesn't always work. The other way to fix this problem is to specify the amount of RAM in the system at startup using LILO. However, before you add the appropriate line to the lilo.conf file, you should test it. You can temporarily use the setting from the boot line in LILO. Instead of simply typing in Linux, type in the following:

Linux mem=###M (where ### is the amount of RAM in your system - for you it might be 96, 128, 192, 256, etc…)

If your computer boots up with this startup line, you are doing just fine. However, if it locks up during the boot and doesn't load Linux, try reducing the number by a few megabytes in one-megabyte increments. Assuming that you reach a setting that works for your system, you will need to add the line to your lilo.conf file. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest way that I've found to get it done is to go into X Window logged in as the root, find the file lilo.conf in the /etc/ directory, and open it in gedit. From there, on the first line of the file, add the line:

mem=###M (where ### is the number that you found worked best for you)

Then feel free to save the file. You will need to run the LILO program (or nothing will change) and then reboot. Assuming that all goes well, your computer should boot up just fine and be able to access its entire range of RAM. If it doesn't work, hopefully you had the foresight to create a bootdisk so you can go back in and fix it.

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