Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:15 UTC
Linux You're ready to be a card-carrying Linux geek, but with several different Linux distributions available, you don't know where to start. Which one offers the best balance of tools, performance, and price? Bryan Hoff takes you through the most popular Linux distros and introduces you to a brave new world without Windows.
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LOL
by ma_d on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:36 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

"Fedora is Red Hat's open source project."
Because RedHat ships non-free software.... He's right, he's no linux geek ;) .
Fedora is Red Hat's community project.

Reply Score: 1

RE: LOL
by libray on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:29 UTC in reply to "LOL"
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

Ever tried to download rpms from redhat that are slated for their AS,ES or WS shippers without having a login to red hat network?

He was right about the open source comment.

Reply Score: 1

RE: LOL
by deathshadow on Mon 19th Sep 2005 03:56 UTC in reply to "LOL"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> "Fedora is Red Hat's open source project."
>> Because RedHat ships non-free software....
>> He's right, he's no linux geek ;) .
>> Fedora is Red Hat's community project.


A philisophical hair that the average person isn't even going to GRASP... and THANK YOU for proof of the elitism that seems rife in the open source community that is scaring away as many people as the concept of free brings in.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LOL
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:00 UTC in reply to "RE: LOL"
Anonymous Member since:
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Funny. Most people grasp it when you talk to them about it. You can see it in their eyes. They simply lit up when you talk about it, like a fire ignited in their soul. Perhaps it's a danish thing to understand this so easily. A good ol' tit for tat-deal (which is basically the engine behind OSS as in all other freedom-oriented aspects of life).

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

slackware is best IMHO
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:38 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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but i keep a spare partition for inspecting & testing other distros...

Reply Score: 0

RE: slackware is best IMHO
by evilmegaman on Tue 20th Sep 2005 01:58 UTC in reply to "slackware is best IMHO"
evilmegaman Member since:
2005-09-20

Anonymous, I agree. How can he not mention the best distro there is? I love slackware. It was one of the first distros I use so I KNOW it's not hard. in fact I think the installer is much better than that of debian, arch, and definately gentoo's. :-P the gentoo statement doesn't apply too well. But still :-P I really do want to see some more Slackware advocating stuff. No one EVER seems to reccomend it to the new guys. So if you ever have a chance, Go slackware!

Reply Score: 1

Linux Distribution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:38 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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There is actually a very good tool for exactly the purpose of choosing a Linux distribution, that will teach you a few things in the process as well, if you are new.

Several of my friend have used this and found a distribution that fits them perfectly.

http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

Reply Score: 4

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:43 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
Anonymous Member since:
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i think the target audience is PHBs

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by elzurawka on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:33 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
elzurawka Member since:
2005-07-08

says gentoo or slackware
im running gentoo on 2 pc's
next chalange will be a lfs...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux Distribution Chooser"
Anonymous Member since:
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Heh. LFS is quite a challenge. Do you want UTF-8 support? If you do the LFS you must use is this one (an unofficial release)

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/~alexander/lfs-book/

It supports unicode, which standard LFS doesn't.
But remember to RTF(abulous)M before you start.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:18 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
Anonymous Member since:
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Wow, it told me to use Slackware or Gentoo. I used Slackware for a long time but switched over to Gentoo 3 years ago.

That is one good chooser.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Walter on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux Distribution Chooser"
Walter Member since:
2005-07-12

I filled the LDC in for myself 3 times (once for my laptop, once for my server and once for my desktop). it advised the three ditro's I'm using on them:

Slackware on the (antique) laptop.
Debian for my (middle aged) server.
SuSE/Kubuntu for my desktop, at the moment I am using SuSE, but going to switch to Kubuntu......

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:31 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
Anonymous Member since:
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Nifty little web app...too bad it's not quite correct!

Fedora: Not "pc_type"

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Jody on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:30 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

It (http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/ ) told me to use Ubuntu. That is what I currently use. I guess I am right where I need to be.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by whitehornmatt on Mon 19th Sep 2005 01:27 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
whitehornmatt Member since:
2005-07-07

It told me Ubuntu/Debian, and I use ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux Distribution Chooser
by bogomipz on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:44 UTC in reply to "Linux Distribution Chooser"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

I ran the test just for fun. It seems to be pretty good, except for the package manager and desktop environment questions. I had to answer like "I don't care" or "I don't know" to these even though I both care and know what I want, because none of the alternatives fit my preferences.

The test told me to use Debian, which is probably the best fit among the distros it knows about. Been there, done that, though. Nothing I've seen beats my beloved Archlinux.

Reply Score: 1

No Gentoo, no LFS --> Where's the fun
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:39 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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That was an okay introduction, but it left out quite a bit. At least it could had mentioned the existence of sourcebased distros. But apart from that, this one was fine.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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Not everyone is a hard core geek. Keep in mind that new users from other platforms are not use to compiling software.

Something user friendly to start and as the user progress' then something slightly less user friendly; providing that is the direction of choice.

Other things to keep in mind when choosing a distro:
1) Documentation; how well is the project documented.
2) User support; email forums
3) Package management; how big is the software repository and how well do the tools function.

Just my humble opinion.

PS: There are other *nix like opportunites out there that may be of interest and they should not be discounted. Perhaps not for a newbie; maybe a determined/dedicated newbie :-)

1) Solaris
2) OpenBSD
3) FreeBSD
4) OpenBSD
5) DragonFly

Reply Score: 0

bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

Any particular reason why you list OpenBSD twice? :p

Reply Score: 1

nice article
by Adurbe on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:42 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

its a nice article aimed at new users,

If your favorite distro is slackware or gentoo THIS IS ARTICLE IS NOT AIMED AT YOU!

sadly we already know this thread is going to turn into a flame war...

Reply Score: 2

RE: nice article
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:47 UTC in reply to "nice article"
Anonymous Member since:
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I don't believe a flame war is coming.

Why should it do that? Unless _you_ start it?

It's an okay introduction. It should have mentioned more than these pretty mainstream distros but apart from that, it's doing quite fine.

BTW: If somebody else comes along and starts a flame war, then I'm truly sorry. I believe there's a need for a "Get Linux Going Easily" - guide thing.

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

LDC
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:46 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Works well... I did the test, it told me to use SuSE, which I am already using!

Not bad.

Reply Score: 0

RE: LDC
by youknowmewell on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:57 UTC in reply to "LDC"
youknowmewell Member since:
2005-07-08

Told me to use Fedora, which I am using already ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LDC
by ckknight on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE: LDC"
ckknight Member since:
2005-07-06

And it told me to use Debian/Ubuntu, and I already use Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

Linux is Linux...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:50 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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From my experience, it doesn't really matter which distro you choose. They all work pretty much the same, and all have pretty much the same software list, and only differ on how you install said software.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Linux is Linux...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:33 UTC in reply to "Linux is Linux..."
Damn...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:51 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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The test told me to use Gentoo or Slackware. I know I ought to, but LFS just funnier (but then I'm not normal).

I think a i686-optimized version of Fedora could be interesting. Especially with built-in support for mp3. I guess newbies could be bewildered about how to get mp3 support (it's easy when you know how to, but where woud the newbie get the information? I found it in google back in my fedora days, but many newbies can't even figure that one out).

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

v Tips
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 21:56 UTC
v RE: Tips
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:45 UTC in reply to "Tips"
RE[2]: Tips
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Tips"
Anonymous Member since:
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If you try some of the easy GNU/Linux distros you'll find out that installing software is a one-click operation (at least in regard to OSS software).

That said, easy installation could be promoted better. I still have faith in autopackage http://autopackage.org/ combined with Linux Standard Base http://www.linuxbase.org/ .

Google is the logical search engine. That's for sure. And I'd like to see Steve Ballmer throw another chair... or perhaps biting in the carpet ;) (that said I've got to admit that Win2K3 Server is quite fast, even in my mind)

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

Is it wonderful...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:12 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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...that Linux is so cheap (or free) that you could practically try ALL of the listed distros, and more? Having tried or vicariously experienced many of the listed distros, I would say each is different enough to appeal to different uses and tastes, and so Linux has the best potential to satisfy every user under the sun.

What a marvellous thing we have in Linux!

Reply Score: 0

Don't want to start anything..
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:16 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I would encourage everyone to try Suse 10 RC1 from www.opensuse.org. Some people might remember that I am a pretty die-hard Debian fan (I wrote a rather scathing review of Suse 9.2 a while back) but Suse 10 is seriously nice. It works better with my new laptop than any other distro by leaps and bounds. It also looks gorgeous and it seems like they spent a lot of time making it faster than the 9.x series.

Definitely worth a try. I still like the debian package management better, but I'm going to switch to Suse 10 anyway because it "just works" in every other respect. Kudos to the opensuse team.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Don't want to start anything..
by RGCook on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:41 UTC in reply to "Don't want to start anything.."
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

Are you sure it is ready? I tried Beta 4 and ran screaming back to 9.3. I couldn't resist. I have a Dell Latitude 600 that is tweaked on 9.3 and running perfectly.

Shouldn't we wait for the final release? Don't tempt me to do it again! :-)

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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Are you sure it is ready? I tried Beta 4 and ran screaming back to 9.3. I couldn't resist. I have a Dell Latitude 600 that is tweaked on 9.3 and running perfectly.

Perhaps RC1 is a lot more polished than Beta4, but maybe there's not a huge difference. I haven't had any problems so far though. I'm just so excited by it because it is the only distribution that works almost 100% correctly on my laptop (Compaq R4025CA). I've tried almost every other major distro and they all required massive tweaking to get remotely usable.
So for me its a hardware thing. Of course if 9.3 works for you then waiting for the final release would be the right thing to to ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE: Don't want to start anything..
by nimble on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:03 UTC in reply to "Don't want to start anything.."
nimble Member since:
2005-07-06

Some people might remember that I am a pretty die-hard Debian fan

Perhaps if you didn't post as Anonymous ...

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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yeah, I can't be bothered to register. Usually the comments are 95% mindless flaming or drivel. Rainier Hashim was one of the few intelligent posters and then he largely stopped posting.

Leo

Reply Score: 0

lemmy
Member since:
2005-07-10

here's how to decide which linux distribution you should use:

1. look around you; which of your friends successfully replaced windows (or whatever they were running on their computers before they switched to linux) by linux for the same purposes that you want (desktop/server/router/whatever)?

2. find out which linux distribution most of those people use; choose the same because then you have the biggest support base in your personal web of friends.

Reply Score: 4

Anonymous Member since:
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"1. look around you; which of your friends successfully replaced windows"
Seriously, no one. All my friends have the same problem as me, win modem, printer, application installation... They all have abandonned Linux.
True, some of them are saying Ubuntu or Mepis is good, but when I'm asking them how to install the latest Python version or LaTeX, the do not know what I'm speaking about. Finding real info is really a great pain.

Reply Score: 0

Distrobution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:25 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I think that it is a shame that the distro chooser asks you what package manager you prefer, isn't that kinda putting the cart before the horse?

Seth

Reply Score: 4

RE: Distrobution Chooser
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:51 UTC in reply to "Distrobution Chooser"
Anonymous Member since:
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Absolutely. That alone is enough to scare people away: "What's a package manager? What's a package? Do I need one? How do I know? Where do I get it? Windows doesn't have one, why does Linux need one?

The way to attract new users is to eliminate the circumstances that cause them to ask questions like that. Linux hasn't figured that out yet. And, a lot of the self-annointed cognescenti don't want to figure it out.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Distrobution Chooser
by Ravnos on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:14 UTC in reply to "Distrobution Chooser"
Ravnos Member since:
2005-07-06

Not really. If you don't know what a package manager is, you probably picked answers that will avoid that question. I just went through it picking things like "beginner", "no i don't know how to partition", etc., and I never even saw that question. I did on the run through I made with "my" answers, though, because as a more advanced user I should at least have an idea of what package managers are out there and if I have a preference it can find a distro that caters to that. It's actually a pretty solid test all in all.

Reply Score: 2

Linspire
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:45 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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As a Windows user, Linspire is the most attractive to me. I used to install a distro every year since 1996-ish, always in the hope that Linux was there so I don't need Windows, and always been thrown back.

I was too lazy in the last two years so I didn't keep track. I think I'm gonna give Linspire a go. Who knows. Maybe Linux is REALLY getting there.

BTW, I *know* it's *there* for a long time for *many* people. It's just not cut for my needs (at least it wasn't 2 years ago).

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linspire
by raver31 on Mon 19th Sep 2005 08:15 UTC in reply to "Linspire"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

although Linspire is very good for what it does, I think you should give Mandriva 2005 a try.

it is giving Windows XP a run for its money.

Reply Score: 1

Linspire (Errata)
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:47 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Oups, on my last message when I say : "I used to install a distro every year since 1996-ish"

I didn't meant "Linspire", but various distros (usually the most talked about at the time) like Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, etc.

Reply Score: 0

ubuntu or mandriva
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:53 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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if after reading the article and you try fedora, suse or debian and mess it all up because your a wana be geek like me and start messing with things, then give ubuntu or mandriva a try. (you know who you are)

ubuntu and mandriva are FOOL proof, even more so than XP, since I bet you install that XPsucker without service packs and run realplayer 6, etc.

let the flames begin.


javajazz

Reply Score: 0

RE: ubuntu or mandriva
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 03:19 UTC in reply to "ubuntu or mandriva"
Anonymous Member since:
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Very, Very wise advice. A lot of people look at me for instance, a power user / programmer, and go with the tools I use (Gentoo, fluxbox, gvim) and usually hate it. It takes a while for them to realize that they are not power users, and enjoy a more efficient clean distro such as ubuntu.

Reply Score: 0

It guessed right
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 22:57 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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my distribution of choice - Ubuntu :-)

Reply Score: 0

mine too
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:00 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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ubuntu .. just works

Reply Score: 0

RE: mine too
by DigitalAxis on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:16 UTC in reply to "mine too"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

I don't know. There are some things that distinctly worked better on my Gentoo system, before I replaced it with Ubuntu.
On the other hand, there's also stuff that works better now, and I've wasted very little time configuring anything in Ubuntu (my reason for switching). I figure I either learn to live with the things that don't work right, learn to fix them in Ubuntu, or go back to Gentoo where I was doing this stuff anyway.

Reply Score: 1

Distro breakdown ...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:01 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I'm pretty sure you can place about 90% of distros ou there in the following categories ...

Easy-as-pie-distros ..
- Xandros
- Linspire

Middle of the road ..
(Pretty easy to get into, but not as 'idiot-proof' as the above category)...
- Fedora
- Mandriva
- Ubuntu
- Libranet
(and most others go here)

For geeks only ..
- Debian
- Slackware

Source-based distros ..
- Gentoo

Live distros ..
- Knoppix

Reply Score: 0

RE: Distro breakdown ...
by evad on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:06 UTC in reply to "Distro breakdown ..."
evad Member since:
2005-09-10

Debian isn't for geeks only. If you get somebody else to install it, it can be used by people who have never touched Linux before. thats all ubuntu is - updated software, does the install all for you.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Distro breakdown ...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:18 UTC in reply to "Distro breakdown ..."
Anonymous Member since:
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I don't agree

Why Debian for geeks? debian is really simple to use, I really think Gentoo and Slackware (and yes, lfs) are for real geeks.

I like Debian but it doesn't have any optimizations, packages are just compiled for i386.

Debian packages are very old, but SID, SID is too unstable for work computer, and sarge or etch are obsoleted (Xorg only in SID? WTF!).

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Distro breakdown ...
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Distro breakdown ..."
Anonymous Member since:
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LFS are for geeks like me. Even if you're an experienced GNU/Linux user LFS is still for geeks only. I consider switching to Gentoo in a couple of years, but not until I've satisfied my needs for goofing around ;)

Personally I think a Fedora-made-even-easier would make a great newbie-distro. But of course I might be wrong. I'm living in a different world, you know :p

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

RE: Distro breakdown ...
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:02 UTC in reply to "Distro breakdown ..."
Anonymous Member since:
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You orgot Mepis in the Live Distros :x

Reply Score: 0

v RE[2]: Distro breakdown ...
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Distro breakdown ..."
RE: Distro breakdown ...
by morgoth on Mon 19th Sep 2005 10:30 UTC in reply to "Distro breakdown ..."
morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

Well - a big disadvantage of Linspire (and I'm pretty sure Xandros if I'm not mistaken) is that you can resize partitions with them. Most newbies to Linux aren't going to blow their Windows partition away I hate to tell you. That'd be real idiocy to be honest. Xandros has dodgy ability to be updated anything past what Xandros offers, Linspire is even worse. Xandros has a heavily butchered file manager, which breaks very easily if you try and update things. Update kde? Sure! And break all the Xandros customisations. Want to get the new version of KDE etc? Sure, fork out more $$$ for the new version of Xandros etc. No thanks. That's worse than Microsoft Windows imho.

Middle of the road distros? I'd pretty much go with you there on you selection of distros, although I'd place Libranet close to the top in terms of ease of use.

For geeks only? Like others, I'd disagree with you on placing Debian here. LFS, Slackware and Gentoo yes.

The article itself is very generic, way too lacking in real information imho.

Dave

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Distro breakdown ...
by kiz01 on Mon 19th Sep 2005 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Distro breakdown ..."
kiz01 Member since:
2005-07-06

"Well - a big disadvantage of Linspire (and I'm pretty sure Xandros if I'm not mistaken) is that you can resize partitions with them."

In Xandros you can resize partitions but I'm not sure why that's a big disadvantage.

As for the rest of your comment, I think you've missed the purpose for Xandros (BTW, I am a Xandros user so I'm not completely unbiased). Xandros is designed for those who want to install their OS and forget about it. I use Xandros at work and the last think I should be doing at work is spending time tweaking my OS. I install it and it works and that's all I want. I don't need/want the latest KDE or kernel as it doesn't make me any more productive. At work I need to run programs and connect to the network. Xandros does both of those tasks as well as (or maybe even better than) Windows.

For those of you that like to tweak your OS, don't use Xandros. It's set up to be a work distro, not a geek distro. Tweakers should use Ubuntu or Gentoo or whatever strikes their fancy. The beauty of Linux is that you can almost always find a distro that matches what you want your OS to do.

As for your specific comments: I actually like Xandros' "heavily butchered" file manager and it won't break if you use the Xandros repositories. Update KDE? Why would I want to? All of my programs run just fine. I even like my wallpaper. How does updating KDE make me more productive? And that comment about Xandros being worse than Windows - it's really hard not to take offense at that one. You complain that you can't get the latest/greatest version of KDE on Xandros without paying for an upgrade, but I have yet to see the latest version of KDE running on any Windows installation. Of course, if you were simply referring to the desktop environment, if you could post how to upgrade Windows 98 to the Windows XP SP 2 desktop environment without actually buying (or pirating) XP, I'm sure a lot of people would really appreciate it.

Reply Score: 1

LDC
by Anonymous Coward on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:24 UTC
Anonymous Coward
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yup... Kubuntu or Mepis....I use Kubuntu.

I honestly think Kubuntu with Crossover is perfect for a workstation. That way tou get all the sweetness of Linux with KDE, and the ability to run Windows apps without the restrictions you get from using Linspire broken packages.

Reply Score: 1

RE: LDC
by raver31 on Mon 19th Sep 2005 08:20 UTC in reply to "LDC"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

why the fud about linspire in your post ?

anyway

kubuntu is nowhere near stable on one of my test machines. Mepis runs perfectly on the same system though.

I agree with you on crossover, I use it to run IE... and yes, you can get infected with spyware under IE and Wine..

Reply Score: 1

RE: LDC
by Robocoastie on Mon 19th Sep 2005 13:30 UTC in reply to "LDC"
Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

"I honestly think Kubuntu with Crossover is perfect for a workstation."

Doesn't that equal Xandros basically?

Reply Score: 1

v Nice effort
by Anonymous on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:29 UTC
Research, take your time, and experiment...
by ozar on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:30 UTC
ozar
Member since:
2005-07-06

I would encourage anyone thinking about trying Linux for the first time to do a little research before doing so. It continually amazes me how many try to jump in without doing any preparatory work whatsoever.

Check out websites like DistroWatch.com to do some reading about the various distributions available, then visit some Linux help forums to see what others are asking/saying about each distro. Perform a few searches while there to see what problems others are having, especially those that have hardware identical to yours.

Decide on a distro, then determine which iso files you need to download. Have an understanding of how to properly burn the iso images to disk. Give some serious thought to your partitioning scheme. Will you dual boot Windows and Linux, or go with Linux only?

Take your time, have fun, and experiment with other distros, as the downloads don't get any cheaper. Above all, learn how to search for answers before bombarding the forums with questions of your own.

Reply Score: 1

Common sense
by rx182 on Sun 18th Sep 2005 23:31 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, today I think it's really easy to choose a distro. The first step is to ask youself if you want to get a distro to "play" with or a distro to "work" with.

If you like playing around with latest kernels/DEs/ect then you should go gentoo, slackware, lfs, ect.

If you're a serious worker (aka a busy person), you really need a stable distro that won't consume too much of your time. The distro must be easy to set up and easy to maintain.

You have limited options here as well. If you are a developer you should seriously go debian (or ubuntu if you're ready to trade some stability to have the latest and the greatest). If you are concerned about networking, pease do me a favor and go redhat (well not ready redhat but free alternatives like centos, fedora). Finally, if you're a home user OpenSUSE is an excellent choice. It's "multimedia" ready and devices support is excellent. Well, a home user could also go ubuntu or fedora, but it may be a little harder to get everything working fast.

Finally, you must never forget that if you dont feel too comfortable with linux, you must go redhat(fedora), debian(ubuntu) or suse(opensuse). These 3 kinds of distribution are well supported and have big users community. You will find alot of doc for those dsitros that will save you alot of time. That's why you see those 3 everywhere anyway.

My 2cents ;)

Reply Score: 1

Ubuntu!
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 01:06 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Ubuntu pwnz j00 !1!11

ok, enough of that. Seriously, I think Ubuntu is the nicest distro out there now ;)

Reply Score: 0

I made a distro chooser too!!
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 01:13 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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RE: I made a distro chooser too!!
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:18 UTC in reply to "I made a distro chooser too!!"
Anonymous Member since:
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Not bad, I did it 3 times and it gives me a few different answers:

1) Arch
2) Gentoo
3) Debian

I will say quite close, I have use Deb and some other source based OS'.

Reply Score: 0

What about Arch?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 01:48 UTC
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It's so painfully underrated / unknown a distro. Arch Linux is what I'm currently using in my little server box. It has an easy setup that worked with my old hardware and onboard ethernet card, it does the kernel stuff without intervention or compiling (bad Gentoo memories), and basically lets you set up your Linux box exactly as you want it.

It's all customizable and power-usery (with nice package management) like what all the Gentoo people claim Gentoo is, but without the pointless pains of Gentoo's lack of installer, and the without having to compile every little bloody piece of software (it's all i686 already, baby).

Reply Score: 1

v OS X
by Jackson Brown on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:05 UTC
RE: Linux vs. Linux: Which Distro?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 02:07 UTC
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The beauty of GNU/Linux distros is the choice. I started my Linux career with RedHat 6.2, worked there until Red Hat 9, changed for Debian 3.0, after two weeks (:P) changed to Mandrake (Mandriva) 9.0, worked there until Mandriva LE 2005, changed to Ubuntu 5.04, after a day changed to Kubuntu 5.04. Laptop is running Debian testing.

I'd say there is no distro avaible which can be said to work in every situation for every person out there. The article is good starting point for newcomer, with those he/she can get familiar with GNU/Linux world and when experience gets on its way, work thru more specialized distros and modify those in his/her own needs.

Thats something Redmond can't offer ;)

Reply Score: 0

Gentoo
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 03:56 UTC
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It's really not that hard to install Gentoo. It just takes patience which something most people don't seem to have these days.

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RE: Gentoo
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:06 UTC in reply to "Gentoo"
Anonymous Member since:
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Well you know, some people actually want to work with their computer. 2 years ago or so I installed Gentoo, just for kix. Back then I had P3 933 and did a stage 1 install (well duh, why try to run Gentoo if you're not doing it from scratch). Before I had my desktop up and running about 2 days had past and to be quite honest I was happy I could use my g/f's computer in the mean time.

Ofcourse I have a faster computer now, but it will take me most off the day to compile everything from scratch. Like I said, if you're just toying around with your computer just for the sake of installing Gentoo fine, but some people do want to do work on their computer and for them the long waiting times before the system is usable just isn't worth the extra performance you can get out of gentoo.

Reply Score: 0

Xandros would be #1
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 03:57 UTC
Anonymous
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#1 Debian and Ubuntu
#2 SuSE Professional 9.3
#3 Fedora Core 4
#4 Mandriva
#5 Linspire
#6 Xandros
was an order used in article.
I would go with this ( Note: I'm familiar with all abovementioned distros) :
#1 Xandros
#2 SuSE 9.3
#3 Mandriva
#4 Linspire
#5 Ubuntu /Debian
#6 Fedora Core 3
---------------------------------------------------
Arc Linux would fit somewhere between #2 and #3
___________________________________________________

Reply Score: 0

Easy... CentOS
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 04:17 UTC
Anonymous
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The stability, compatibility, support of Red Hat Linux with a minimum 5 year life time.

Reply Score: 0

My hardware chooses for me...
by jtrapp on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:12 UTC
jtrapp
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2005-07-06

I download and install 3 or 4 distros and see which one supports my hardware best "out of the box". It seems that each machine has a favorite distro and I'm just along for the ride.

Reply Score: 1

"Best" distro for AMD64?
by gonzalo on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:43 UTC
gonzalo
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to install Linux on an AMD64, and I'm seeing there's a couple of distros with versions tailored for it. As far as I've seen, Ubuntu, Suse, Debian & Fedora are the main ones with an AMD64 version.

Anyway... Does anyone know of a distro comparison aimed at AMD64?

Reply Score: 1

RE: "Best" distro for AMD64?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:25 UTC in reply to ""Best" distro for AMD64?"
Anonymous Member since:
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Interesting question!
I have an AMD64 system, too. From what I can tell so far (beeing quite a noob) it seems that there are *by far* less packages made for 64bit than there are for 32.
Also the difference in speed is hardly noticeable.
Because AMD64 can also run in 32 bit mode I think the choice is the same as with any other system.

If you are really after those few % of performance gain *and* want lots of applications I would probably use some source based distro eg gentoo. Haven't used it though.
Again you might experience some problems with proprietary drivers.

To sum it up: 64bit isn't really worth it unless you are a geek and know what you are doing...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: "Best" distro for AMD64?
by gonzalo on Mon 19th Sep 2005 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE: "Best" distro for AMD64?"
gonzalo Member since:
2005-07-06

To sum it up: 64bit isn't really worth it unless you are a geek and know what you are doing...

Yeah, I know. And I may 'give up' and run in 32bit, but...

Reply Score: 1

everything is better than MS?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 05:52 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Look at the Days Overdue:

http://www.eeye.com/html/research/upcoming/index.html
I never experienced such a slow response in OSS land.

Reply Score: 1

linux distro chooser
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:00 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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:(
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:25 UTC
Anonymous
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The chooser said : Debian , Ubuntu ,Kubuntu ...
But I prefer Slackware and I think the key question is "What kind of installer do you prefer ? Graphical , Text only or I don't care" I don't care ;) . I suppose if I say "Text only " there it will say Slackware . But I really don't care what kind of installer a distro uses . Graphical , text only or mixed . All I want is a simple installer .

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Linux Distribution Chooser
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 06:59 UTC
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The LDC advised me to use Gentoo with 91% alternatives wouls be Arch,LFS with 81 %.I'm indeed using Gentoo at the moment :-)

Reply Score: 0

why?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:07 UTC
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I am not a Linux fan. I recognize and respect the excellent work, that has been done. However, there are some questions, that are still mysterious to me. E.g. why are the installation of applications different for every distro (distro family)? Why does the disto A recognizes my mouse and the distro B does not?
I'm insisting on the "why".

Reply Score: 0

RE: why?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:25 UTC in reply to "why?"
Anonymous Member since:
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Must be because of the GPL ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE: why?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 15:44 UTC in reply to "why?"
Anonymous Member since:
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1. Linux is just the Kernel
and therefore every distribution has it's
2. own installer
3. own packages
and therefore
4. different versions / programs for the same purpose

Why?
Because every distribution want's to fullfill other needs. E.g. Debian mainly focus on stability (-> therefore older but well tested software is included) other want to live on the bleeding edge.

The Problem with the mouse. There are more possibilities.
e.g. better / worse hadwaredetection (depends on Distrib.) or maybe other version of X or other version of Kernel or no USB / PS -Modules activated by default or ...
It's a little bit like democracy, you have the joice, so be glad of it. It's always better to have a joice in my opinion, but you have to work a little bit for the fullfillment of your needs. (And that much less than 9 years ago, when I started with SuSE 5.x)

Reply Score: 0

*BSD
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:36 UTC
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What I always find sad is that these kind of articles only talk about various Linux distributions, without mentioning the BSD's, and other free operating systems.

I used to be a happy Debian user, but then I discovered FreeBSD and a whole new world opened to me. Then, about half a year later I came across OpenBSD, and again I was totally blown away. Haven't changed OS since.

So for some people one of the BSD's may be a better fit than any Linux distro, so too bad they aren't included.

Reply Score: 0

RE: *BSD
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:40 UTC in reply to "*BSD"
Anonymous Member since:
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Well, I don't think the *BSD's are for newbies ;)

dylansmrjones
kristian AT herkild DOT dk

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: *BSD
by Ravnos on Mon 19th Sep 2005 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE: *BSD"
Ravnos Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, I started with Slackware and moved on to FreeBSD when I was a n00b. But then I'm a glutton for punishment. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: *BSD
by libray on Mon 19th Sep 2005 15:12 UTC in reply to "*BSD"
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

I agree that everyone is too Linux-centric. Linux only makes a kernel. Linux is not responsible for LyX, mutt, xfce, abiword, gnumeric, OOo, konqueror, mplayer, gqmpeg, mpg123, etc.... All of these and more I use on my NetBSD workstations. All of these and more I can take and build if I decide to switch a desktop to Solaris 10.

Reply Score: 1

Other criteria
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 07:53 UTC
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- distros speaking my language (French): very few
- distros having man pages in French: practically none
- distros allowing the use of the Euro currency symbol out of the box: I found only one: Ubuntu. My test: open a console and type $echo "this book costs 2 ".
- distros supporting correctly my swiss french keyboard: none. Here, I should make a difference between X and pure console mode Linux. On X (KDE, gnome), I have no problem, but with distros like Damn Small Linux or froddo (Slax), it it impossible. I "googled" a lot, I'm still wondering if Linux (kernel?) has a driver handling non us keyboards.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Other criteria
by Walter on Mon 19th Sep 2005 09:29 UTC in reply to "Other criteria"
Walter Member since:
2005-07-12

- distros speaking my language (French): very few
- distros having man pages in French: practically none

Well, it seems like you have your work cut out for you. Man pages can be translated, as well as the language the distro is speaking.
Pick the distro/application of your choice and start translating, it's your way to add to the linux community ;) . I do the same for some english (web)applications, Translate it into (fairly decent) Dutch.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Other criteria
by archiesteel on Mon 19th Sep 2005 15:57 UTC in reply to "Other criteria"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Did you try Mandriva? It's a french distro and the french support is pretty good...don't know about Man pages, though. I'm completely bilingual so I tend not to notice when something is in English only...

I'm pretty sure Mandriva has the Euro symbol, though maybe not in console - that depends of your console font.

As far as console-mode keyboard it is not handled by X, but by its own low-level driver (though I don't believe it's actually part of the kernel). You can use linuxconf to try and configure it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Other criteria
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Other criteria"
Anonymous Member since:
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As far as console-mode keyboard it is not handled by X, but by its own low-level driver (though I don't believe it's actually part of the kernel). You can use linuxconf to try and configure it.

I googled a lot about that, and suprisingly I have found very little infos. If I'm no 100% sure about this issue, I succeed to find some obscure Debian doc saying this driver has to be optimized. At the present state, a command like
$loadkeys mapping_kbd
is not fully functional. It is remapping keys, some kind of one to one remap, but the driver is still unable to handle chars created with dead keys and with composed keys.
I do not think, tweaking linuxconf will help. I made the following experiment, I restart an Ubuntu installation. At the beginning, you are asked for the country, language and keyboard - still not under X -. At the keyboard choice level, you have the possibility to test the kbd and, indeed, it is not working with the above mentioned keys. Unbelievable! in mid 2005, Linux is still not able to do what DOS was correctly doing 20 years ago.
This not too dramatic, under Gnome and KDE, the kbd is working fine. But anyway.
Side note: no such problem on BSD.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Other criteria
by archiesteel on Mon 19th Sep 2005 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Other criteria"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Maybe that's a Ubuntu problem. I know I have my French Canadian keyboard working perfectly under X and console in Mandriva. I also have it working under both modes on my Kubuntu laptop...

Note that the french canadian keyboard also features composed keys (i.e. dead "accent" key and a letter, usually a vowel), so it's not a problem with the kernel or the drivers.

You should still try running linuxconf to verify what the keyboard is set at in console (linuxconf only deals with console, IIRC), because from a technical point of view it should work.

Unbelievable! in mid 2005, Linux is still not able to do what DOS was correctly doing 20 years ago.

I wouldn't say this, since it works here for canadian french and it has for at least 5 years (the time I've been using Linux)...again, I would check with linuxconf...it may be that the keyboard mapping for your particular keyboard is fscked up.

Did you read this webpage:

http://www.idiap.ch/~ferrez/linux/clavierromand.php

Side note: no such problem on BSD.

...which makes me think it's probably a configuration issue, since the keyboard mapping is not handled by the kernel.

Make sure you have the latest version of console-tools and libconsole installed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Other criteria
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Other criteria"
Anonymous Member since:
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Thanks for the link, the page was known to me.
I should spend some more time on it.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Other criteria
by Wrawrat on Mon 19th Sep 2005 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Other criteria"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Then it must be an Ubuntu issue since I had the same problem with the French Canadian layout in warty and hoary. You can set the console layout by typing loadkeys <layout> (a list can be found in /usr/share/keymaps) but it will only be effective for the current terminal. As for X, I had to mess with my xorg.conf... I have installed the breezy preview a few days ago and while it got the right keymap, it doesn't work as expected. Acute accents don't work, nor Alt-Car keys.

That said, I never had this problem with another Linux distro, including Redhat 5.1...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Other criteria
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Sep 2005 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Other criteria"
Anonymous Member since:
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Thanks for the answer.
My conclusion: having a small bootable Linux (console mode without X) seems to be an impossible mission today. I do not know what linuxconf is, how and where to find thesse console tools and so on. If doable, this is to much for me.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Other criteria
by archiesteel on Tue 20th Sep 2005 22:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Other criteria"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Uh...have you tried Mandriva? You can install Linuxconf during the initial install. Linuxconf can allow you to set up lots of settings from console or X:

http://www.solucorp.qc.ca/linuxconf/

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Other criteria
by archiesteel on Tue 20th Sep 2005 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Other criteria"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Strange, I haven't had any problems with my Kubuntu Hoary install as far as the french canadian keyboard is concerned...

Just a question, are you using the standard French Canadian keyboard, or the Canadian Multilingual keyboard? To find out, do you have to type one or two keys to produce the symbol ""?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Other criteria
by Finalzone on Mon 19th Sep 2005 16:46 UTC in reply to "Other criteria"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Like some people pointed out, you are free to add translatioon and submit to your favorite distro distros. If that particular program does not exist, create your own.

Reply Score: 1

v $$$ for a distro
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 08:48 UTC
RE: why?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 09:10 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Why does the disto A recognizes my mouse and the distro B does not?
I'm insisting on the "why"."

Well because different distributions configure there kernel differently, different versions of hotplug, udev, kernel.

Some distros use bleeding edge software and different packages are built to fit what they were built on. If you compile source this is not a problem since source compile in any distro.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: why?
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: why?"
Anonymous Member since:
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Why does the distro A recognizes my mouse and the distro B does not?
I'm insisting on the "why"."

Well because different distributions configure there kernel differently, different versions of hotplug, udev, kernel.


Well, I know this. My question is still valid. Why does every distro configure the kernel differently? Why different hotplug? I understand (and agree) on the existence of some specialized distros. But for a newbie, it may still be a great pain. To come back to my previous question, I can formulate it differently.

If distro A recognizes my mouse and distro B does not. What should I do if distro A does not recognizes my zip drive and distro B does? Try with distro C?

The same can be said about applications. I *really* understand the confusion of a newbie. And now after ~70 posts, the situation is still not clearer.

Reply Score: 0

my limited experience:
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 10:02 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I have used both SUSE (9.1 & 9.3) and Ubuntu (4.10 + 5.04).

I like both, but i much prefer SUSE.

Have pre-ordered SUSE 10.0, and greatly anticipating its arrival.

Reply Score: 0

for me ...
by Kwisatz on Mon 19th Sep 2005 11:44 UTC
Kwisatz
Member since:
2005-08-22

I like Gentoo ...

Debian is great too ;)

Reply Score: 1

v Linux Alternative
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 19:29 UTC
the real question is...
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Sep 2005 19:39 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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What windows manager/desktop environment do you prefer?
...which usually boils down to do you like gnome or kde better?

Other than that software management might lead you to prefer one distro over another.

One question, though. Which distro handles system upgrades best? I've been using Debian for some time now, one flavor or another, and I have to say I'm not particularly impressed with the way that functions over time.

Reply Score: 0

distri choosing wizard
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Sep 2005 09:06 UTC
Anonymous
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Wow,I tried also the first time the linux distri choosing wizard.
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

After the test I was surprised that it suggested to use ubuntu, because that is already running on my notebook. :-)

Reply Score: 0