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Thread: Which version of Linux to use

  1. #11
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Me?!?!?!?!? Mean?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Lol, thanks dude.

  2. #12
    AO Antique pwaring's Avatar
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    Having used most of the distros mentioned so far, I thought I'd mention experiences in with the following:

    Red Hat: Slow but stable, consumes more memory than I'd like but has top-notch hardware detection and lots of pretty GUIs for network configuring etc. A good choice for a newbie or someone looking to make the next step but doesn't want to jump in at the deep end.

    SUSE: Worked ok for me, had some hardware problems and I don't like that blasted lizard appearing all over the place. Very similar to Red Hat in that it works well for newbies, is easy to install but still hogs memory a bit too much for my liking (although that might partially be down to KDE3).

    Mandrake: In my experience, it either works great or goes belly up at installation. Very easy to use installer that can either guide you through or let you make choices if you're familiar with Windows and know how to partition your hard disk. Personally, I've had lots of problems using Mandrake on two machines, but the rest of the time it's worked fine.

    Debian: Another one which is great when it works and sucks big time when it doesn't. Everyone boasts about how great the package management system is, but the releases are few and far between and you have to either do a dist-upgrade, use backports.org or install the software yourself to keep up to date. Debian didn't seem to like my network card at first (weird, because every other distro detected it and setup DHCP correctly) or my monitor/graphics card (had to edit XF86Config numerous times, which is not really a good thing). I would never recommend Debian by itself to a first-time user because of the difficulty of installing and also Debian users seem to be very defensive if you ask why something isn't working properly.

    Slackware: The best distro I've found for making the jump from newbie to intermediate user. The text-based install scares people off sometimes, but it's really simple to follow and you can completely automate the package selection/installation process if you want (there are several modes from newbie to expert, to chose from, plus you can install everything without prompts if you want). The two disc 9.1 set that I have came with a good selection of Window Managers, including the latest versions of KDE and Gnome, and the only problems I've ever had were with my new LCD monitor - easily fixed by editing a couple of lines in XF86Config (yes, I know I criticised Debian for this, but with Slackware there were only one or two lines to change rather than half the file).

    Gentoo: Ugh. I couldn't even get past the initial install stage - this has got to be the most unhelpful distro I have ever tried. If I wanted to try BSD, I'd install Free/Open/NetBSD. All the other distros guide you through step-by-step, whether this be through nice GUIs (SUSE probably wins hands-down in this area) or text-based prompts. I was also put off by the attitude of some people on the Gentoo forums, and the fact that the developers apparently file bugs with their kernel in the Red Hat bug tracker.

    FreeBSD: Not really Linux but in a similar boat. Never managed to get X working properly but I would like to get a test box running just to see how it works with a GUI. Installation was similar to Slackware except for the problems of X.

    Knoppix: Great for hardware detection prior to installing another distro or for showing off Linux to someone on their machine without installing it. You can even do a hard disk install, but whilst this worked for me, I didn't think it provided enough features.

    In case you're wondering I'm a Slackware convert from Red Hat/Fedora (although I still use Red Hat on my laptop because it's what we use at uni and it's so much easier to standardise on one distro - but I may switch in the future). I miss up2date, but Fedora has the excellent yum for anyone who wants to keep their system up to date.
    Paul Waring - Web site design and development.

  3. #13
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    Another new distro, www.mepis.org , actually easier than WinXp to install if you have nvidia graphics. Is a live cd (so you can try it first), you boot up, click install, make and resize partitions with a graphical gnuparted, install it, then reboot. Last time I did it took about 15-20 minutes and was ready to go. Nvidia drivers automatically configured. Debian based, uses apt-get and has alien installed to convert rpms, tgz, etc to debian packages (example , alien -d yourpackage.rpm, then click on the package when alien is finished and kpackage pops up to install it ). Uses KDE and ICEWM as default desktops. Automatically sets up guardog firewall and some other security measures. Very well-thought-out distro. Nice site. Free, donations/registraton accepted.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Info Tech Geek's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by bluthund
    Does anyone have any opinions (open onions) about Linspire and Xandros.
    Along w/ TurboLinux they are all really nice distros for Beginner Linux users to try. The only fall back is the whole CNR under linspire which does not let the individual have the whole linux installation feel. The only other thing is neither of the distros are free. I would download LinspireLive free off of any P2P (It is there bootable CD version they offer free) and give it a try.

  5. #15
    AO Antique pwaring's Avatar
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    Linspire is nice, but wouldn't give me any options in the install process and just assumed that I was an American (therefore failing to install the British dictionaries and setting my timezone to CST or something). I know it's meant to be simple, but I would at least like to be able to specify one or two options.
    Paul Waring - Web site design and development.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Info Tech Geek's Avatar
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    That is a great point, have you posted anything on the Linspire forums about that issue? I know there are many international users and that would be something to bring to their attention.

  7. #17
    AO Antique pwaring's Avatar
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    I've never visited the Linspire forums - I only installed it to see if it was any good. The fact that they always log you in as root with no password by default (this shouldn't even be an option, never mind the default!) and assumed I was an American put me off using it.
    Paul Waring - Web site design and development.

  8. #18
    Antionline's Security Dude instronics's Avatar
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    just try red Hat Network out, you'll almost apologize to the paper clip.
    Ouch! That must hurt alot. So far SuSE has filled all my needs. I admit i did have a large grudge on suse when they switched from 7.3 to 8.0, since the system has changed a bit. Until version 9.0 i loved version 7.3, but version 9 has really improved a great deal. I still remember SuSE from version 6, and loved it from that day on. I have tried freeBSD, which i found to be nice, bad thing is i could only get my hands on one distro, and that was the buggy version 5.0. Since im on dialup, i cant get it here at my location. I might if i look harder though. I have tried mandrake, i really dunno why, but i just hate it. No real reason i guess, its just that im too stuck with SuSE. I also tried gentoo... but i dont think im going to play with it. If i ever want to move on to a more 'hardcore' *nix, then i will get slack or bsd for it. Anyways, excellent thread there Gore, it was a very interesting read.

    Cheers.
    Ubuntu-: Means in African : "Im too dumb to use Slackware"

  9. #19
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    Yeh, was an excellent read. Anyway's my dealing's with OpenBSD have been nothing short of amazing. Easy installation IMHO and I find browsing to be alot better. I mean, that's aside from the OS being extremely stable and capable of performing all the task's I do and then some.
    Space For Rent.. =]

  10. #20
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    Throw in Ubuntu in there - for people looking for an easy download and install linux.
    Got Cow?

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