After a certain degree of strugle I now have a fairly functional base Linux system. I spent a while getting XNView, my favorite image browser, to work - the installer uses csh, but it was clear enough what the script was doing; then you need to make sure you get all the motif libraries.
Also, the super rdesktop RDP client is working when I connect to one of my Terminal servers. Not the main one though, it's being refused by the server. Odd that. Licensing?
Plenty more to work on. xmame sucks over. Ooooh, svga. I like console stuff, its nice and fast.