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  1. #1
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    The best Linux variant -:- need your help!

    Hi,

    I'm about to embark on my first foray into the world of Linux and am wondering what the best distribution is to use. Initially it will be solely used for personal purposes - I want to get a handle on Linux.

    I don't have a problem with specifications as I'm running a 3.4ghz processer with 1gb of RAM so that won't be a factor - however I do only have the one HDD (250gb) that is not partitioned and for safety's sake I will probably purchase a second HDD that will be specifically for Linux.

    I've had a quick look at SuSE and RedHat but obviously there are quite a number of distributions out there.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated - and I apologise if this is not the correct place to post this thread.

  2. #2
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    For completely new people SuSE is pretty good. I heard that Mandrake (or what ever they called it now) is good for new people too, but I've never tried it. Fedora is pretty nice too - Redhat's little brother =)

  3. #3
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    Besides the normal Redhat, Centos, Fedora, you may want to try ubuntu quite a refreshing change.

  4. #4
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    for a newbie with linux - go with mandrake. as you get more advanced try maybe fedora. as you go forward, and maybe more into the server side of things, centos and then debian is probably not a bad path. if you can get a handle on one, then the next one should fall into place with very little extra learning...

  5. #5
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    Xandros is reputed to be highly user friendly. MEPIS is inexpensive and pretty good, although it won't come with the instruction manuals of the more expensive distros.

    A place to find out more about various distros is
    http://www.distrowatch.com

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Disgruntled
    Xandros is reputed to be highly user friendly. MEPIS is inexpensive and pretty good, although it won't come with the instruction manuals of the more expensive distros.

    A place to find out more about various distros is
    http://www.distrowatch.com
    Why should you have to pay for distros in the first place? You can simply download them from their respective websites, and I would think that would be a reality for almost everyone nowadays. The documentation is all online, so that wouldn't be a problem.

    I started with Red Hat 8, moved to Red Hat 9, then Fedora Cores 1 and 2, then settled where I am now, with Debian Sarge. I can't say I regret it; Debian is a wonderful distro. Their apt-get packaging system is the best out there, IMO. I would like to try Gentoo at some point, as my uncle has a Gentoo box and it looks really cool.

    If you're considering Debian or related distros, Ubuntu is a great alternative, expanding on Debian, but offering faster package revision releases along with some other additions.

  7. #7
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    the only reason 'why' is to support the distro you think are doing good work for you

    i dont know many people that have gone to debian and decided it wasnt for them. havent tried ubuntu yet but i think its because im trying to be loyal to deb, and if i try it i wont go back there either!

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Slidey
    the only reason 'why' is to support the distro you think are doing good work for you
    Sure, but you can also give them monetary donations or help the project out directly. Buying the distro is not the only way to help out the project.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by SniperDevil
    I would like to try Gentoo at some point, as my uncle has a Gentoo box and it looks really cool.
    If you really want to jump right in to Linux, I would give Gentoo a try. Just reading the documentation should give you an idea of how Linux works.

    IMHO, I would actually stay away from easier distrobutions like Mandrake or SuSE, because you're basicly getting a desktop that is meant to resemble Windows (to some extent), and that's not what Linux is trying to be. Mandrake almost killed any interest I had in Linux when I first started using it. But then again, I was only 13 when I installed it, but that's just me.

    Good luck!
    - Matt

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Blankwire
    But then again, I was only 13 when I installed it, but that's just me.
    Heh, yeah, I think I was 13 when I first learned about and installed Red Hat 8. It, by no means, killed my interest in Linux, but I sure like Debian's philosophy of working more in the "guts and brain" of Linux.

  11. #11
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    If your not a techy user and want something simple to get your feet wet in Linux, I would say try Lindows (now Linspire I guess).

    I have heard rumors that Mandrake (now Mandriva) was a simple distro for new Linux user's, but I can't see why (especially lately). I used to love the distro because it was always easy to upgrade using URPMI, but lately they have been getting so slow on updates I was forced to switch so I could stay current with things like GTK versions.

    Honestly, I just recently switched to using Fedora Core, and in my experience so far, I would say it's pretty easy to use.
    Jeremy Johnstone
    Personal Blog: http://www.jeremyjohnstone.com/blog

  12. #12
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    Fedora... rulz.....

    Peace,
    Testing 1.. Testing 1..2.. Testing 1..2..3...

  13. #13
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    Mandrake (Mandriva I think), Fedora, SUSE, Ubuntu. Those are all good distributions to check out if you are just starting out. My friend is using Ubuntu and says it's great, while I myself am using Slackware (but wouldn't recommend it for just a normal desktop system)..

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by azizny
    Fedora... rulz.....

    Peace,
    thats probably the furthest statement from the truth regarding linux distros ive ever heard

    fedora = 'stopgap'

  15. #15
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    Most of our stuff is Centos 3.4 but we did just install Suse 9.3 64 bit and it looks very good so far. The install was very easy and straight forward.
    SiteSouth
    Atlanta, GA and Las Vegas, NV. Colocation

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Slidey
    thats probably the furthest statement from the truth regarding linux distros ive ever heard

    fedora = 'stopgap'
    I wouldn't call Fedora a stopgap, but rather a developers tweeking tool.
    - Matt

  17. #17
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    Crikey, I didn't expect so many replies so quickly! I love this site.

    Thanks for all the advice. I think I will just download it [whatever distribution that may be] - might as well try to use some of my bandwidth.

    I'll let you know how it goes, thanks!

  18. #18
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    I like the looks of ubuntu but I'll obviously need to do some reading of their respective websites before I make a decision. Thanks for all the alternatives though.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by -T{H}R-
    I like the looks of ubuntu but I'll obviously need to do some reading of their respective websites before I make a decision. Thanks for all the alternatives though.
    I've been using Ubuntu as my sole OS for about 4 months now, and I love it. Very basic at the top, has great out of the box software that just works, and has a great interface. However, if you want to dive deeper into the more complicated aspects of linux, you are most definitely able too. Give it a try
    hm what should I put in my sig?

  20. #20
    Knoppix, mandrake, or suse are all great to start on.

  21. #21
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    Didnt we already decide which is the best when all you bums tried to hack this little machine I have here?

    <fork scripts are NOT hacks! >

    For the noob, well, maybe not.

  22. #22
    Originally posted by Slidey
    the only reason 'why' is to support the distro you think are doing good work for you

    i dont know many people that have gone to debian and decided it wasnt for them. havent tried ubuntu yet but i think its because im trying to be loyal to deb, and if i try it i wont go back there either!
    Ubuntu is based on debian!http://www.debian.org/misc/children-distros Look for: # Ubuntu

  23. #23
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    No doubt you'll receive many opinions here! My advice: try a few distros you want and decide what you want out of Linux. I use several different Linux distros from Slackware to SuSE to Debian and each serve a different purpose. If you haven't done so already, learn what each Linux distribution has to offer by visiting DistroWatch

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by SniperDevil
    Why should you have to pay for distros in the first place?
    Many distros now contain proprietary software. (Think SuSE Pro.)

    You also mention "giving a gift" to each distro, which is great, but when was the last time you did this? Hard fact to face, but when most can get something for free, they fail to donate anything.. Just because an OS is open source does not mean they must be "free."

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by Webdude
    Didnt we already decide which is the best when all you bums tried to hack this little machine I have here?

    <fork scripts are NOT hacks! >

    For the noob, well, maybe not.

    Aggh! I never said it was a hack, you said to fry the box, use whatever abusive scripts you can...hacking was just one of the things you wanted people to try, being truthful, if GCC was enabled [As it should be, barely any shell enviroment would ever disable GCC] I would of locally rooted the box.


    Trustix in my opinion wouldent be the most secure OS, OpenBSD would. (Not linux, but OS)

    Back on topic, in your case I would reccomend Fedora to start then eventually migrate to Gentoo as you progress.

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