Which Linux?

Discussion in 'Windows & Other OS Discussion & Support' started by blix9, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. blix9

    blix9 New Member

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    I am a total newbie for Unix/Linux environment. I am supposed to get familiar with it as I take this computer science class. I wish to have a hard drive dedicated to Unix OS and learn this thing in depth from the beginning.
    Somebody please give me wise advise about which Linux distribution I should get.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ToshiroOC

    ToshiroOC Unbiased.

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    I would personally suggest getting Red Hat Linux - I am currently using it, and while other distributions may have lots of other highlights and all, from slackware/debian's great customizibility (read: difficult) to Mandrake's easy beginner's Linux (read: bankrupt), I think that Red Hat is simply the best one out there for total newbies. That isn't to say that there isn't a very steep learning curve (there is, and I'm still struggling with it), but it is lessened a bit, especially during Red Hat installation. If you want a book to explain Red Hat too, I would recommend Red Hat Linux <insert version here> Bible, by Christoper Negus. It's pretty useful for easing the transition from Windows to Linux...
     
  3. UberLord

    UberLord A Legend in Underwear

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    RedHat is good. Mandrake may be easier but it's more klunky when you want to start tinkering internally
     
  4. radTube

    radTube just keepin' it cool

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    They're both 'klunky' as hell, but you can always move on to a real linux distro later when you get the hang of it :p. If you really want to learn linux, there are distros that are much better suited for the job (Gentoo is my weapon of choice), but RH or MDK will get you started.
     
  5. UberLord

    UberLord A Legend in Underwear

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    Right tool for the right job. Learning linux shouldn't require broadband, a fast PC and compiling programs which is a requirement for Gentoo. Very nicely put together distro though - but deffo not for the newbie.
     
  6. radTube

    radTube just keepin' it cool

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    I agree completely. I thought I said exactly that. Mandrake or Red Hat are fine to start learning with.
     
  7. Impulse

    Impulse l33t

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    I personally recommend Linux Redhat, Gentoo and Slackware distrobutions. But my favorite is Gentoo, out of all the other distro's.
     
  8. NINintothevoid

    NINintothevoid New Member

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    if you are just going to mess around with it to get used to the file structure, etc., play around with a cd-rom based distro such as knoppix. If you want to get used it and use it in a dual boot situation or as your main operating system, i would definitely say go slackware. Mandrake and Redhat do a lot more stuff for you, but I found it to be a pain compiling stuff for it, and rpms are a nightmare. Once i had everything configured in slackware, everything went smoothly, plus i got a hell of a lot more used to doing stuff in linux such as editing conf files and tweaking XFree86.
     
  9. Goalie_Ca

    Goalie_Ca New Member

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    Gentoo is by far my fav distro. Nothing compares. It takes some time to install but most of its automated. You'll probably learn a lot more about linux that way, very very good docs, than any other n00b distro.
     
  10. grog

    grog Roxy Music

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    It really depends on what they are using Linux for.

    I know a lot of text books on learning C++ these days assume you are using the GNU C compiler.
    I do a lot with Linux, but I also use the GNU C compiler even when not in a pure Linux enviorment.
    The cygwin project allows a lot of the linux enviorment to run under Win32 enviorment. I am very impressed with how far the package has come.

    http://www.cygwin.com

    I have WinXP PRO running the cygwin enviorment and I can run "X" enviorment, compile "C" and "C++" programs with the GNU compiler. One of the C++ books I have included a CD which all the application examples compile just fine. I use BASH and the GNU EMACS editor and other common GNU tools.

    So if you do not have a spare partition and what you doing is releated to the compiler not the full pure Linux enviorment this may be a good option for you.

    Greg

     
  11. cowgaR

    cowgaR New Member

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    try to look on that link

    http://www.distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

    personnaly, i would tell you to avoid RH(really bad distro in my point of view), Slackware(its getting worser...Gentoo rolling over it), and debian(stable but outdated, horrible install).

    as a newbie there is allways just one distro you would like, its Mandrake linux, Personnaly I am a SUSE fan, but mandrake has some good configs you would like to take to other distro =))
     
  12. AzErdos

    AzErdos New Member

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    not only the stable version exist. Try to use the sarge or sid branch. They are the testing and unstable branch respectively.
    The sarge branch contains newer stuff, thus it's quite optimal to use, or the adventurous can even try sid. I'm using it since it's been opened, and I can say it's stable enough to be used daily.
    Horrible install? ;] Well, yes. It's text based. So what? You can read. That's the most it requires. (Sarge will have a new installation system with the eye candy everyone is longing for)
    If you're not afraid from your own shadow, you can give Debian a try too.

    Just my $.02
     
  13. Malus

    Malus BSD SMASH!

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    Currently I'm running Slackware with the 2.5.70 kernel. I tried Gentoo, but after taking like three days to setup the system for a minimal performance increase, I decided to stick with Slack. I'm happily running with Alsa and Direct Rendering (3D acceleration) support. :)
     
  14. greenze

    greenze New Member

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    red hat............
     
  15. JustaGuy

    JustaGuy New Member

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    Well, in 3 days I read the docs, learned how to install Gentoo, installed the kernel, Xfree86, Alsa, the ATI drivers for my card, KDE, Gnome... And I did this with a few kernel recompiles, since I was a bit new to it by then and did not know what options to choose...

    Gentoo is an investment. You invest a few days on installing a system you'll never have to reinstall... Not if you don't screw up anyway ;) You just reinstall individual packages, if you want to and when you want to, not because another version of Gentoo is out (in fact, the only thing different from one Gentoo version to the other is the "installer", because if you install any Gentoo and do a "emerge -up world", there you go, you've got the latest stable version).

    And yes, you do get that extra speed, but I see it more as a bonus rather than the reason to install Gentoo.

    Just to clarify a few misconceptions about Gentoo.
     
  16. Malus

    Malus BSD SMASH!

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    Three days is too much if you need the PC. Also, it wouldn't properly download certain packages, ncurses being one of them. If I had a faster computer, then it might be worth it.

    I personally prefer Slack, since I can update the kernel myself, compile the code myself (which is way more techie than letting emerge do it for you), and install it in under a half-hour if I manage to hose the system.

    To each his own. . .
     
  17. JustaGuy

    JustaGuy New Member

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    So let me get this straight, you're saying that doing a

    ./configure
    make
    make install

    is more techie than just emerging the package?
     

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