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Amiga.org The "Not Quite Amiga but still computer related category" Alternative Operating Systems What's a good Linux distro...

Alternative Operating Systems This forum is dedicated to discussions of alternatives to the Commodore Amiga Platform, such as Linux distributions, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and others.

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Old 04-07-2005, 09:13 AM   #1
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Default What's a good Linux distro...

... for a noob?

I just want to learn the basics of how Linux works, how it's set up etc.

I've used it once before (Mandrake) for about 3 days, and I've had a quick glance at Morphix, but not really used it that much.

I'm downloading the free version of Mandrake at the mo to see what that's like.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Im using Suse at the mo!

I think I just stepped back in time. Too much effort to do the simplest of tasks.

If I wanted an OS this primeval then I would have opted for something with a small footprint instead of this bloated waste of time.

For the record. I can't get AROS to run on it either.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

I've used quite a few.. for now I"m using SuSE 9.2 without any problems.
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Old 04-07-2005, 10:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Knoppix.org is a good one to start with as a newbie if you
want to start out with a GUI set up that's easy to get going.

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Old 04-07-2005, 10:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Ubuntu is supposed to be really nice to use but I've not had a look at it yet.
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/

If you want a small live Distribution try damn small linux. Its 50mb big and runs from CD so no need to worry about formatting HDs

I'm very happy with the Fedora range so far. I'm still using 1 & 2 heavily but haven't had a look at 3 yet.

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Old 04-07-2005, 11:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Well my experience says stay with Mandrake 10.1. It is easy to install has all the features and it is rock solid. The only thing is if you have to compile programs to run on Mandrake it can be a problem. But it will be a problem for any noob.
I do think your biggest consideration should be what graphics card you have, if you have an ATI or NVidia 3D card you need special drivers for 3D support. Mandrake and SuSi will supply them but you pay for the installer. With Fedora you will have to compile it (actually a lot of the dist you just dl the driver from NVidia or ATI and compile it). Knopix does come with the actual driver that is funtional at install. I like knoppix but it has problems on my system (major problems) so I stick with Mandrake 10.1.
The other things I have had problems with are Internal Modems (even none Winmodems), webcams, scanners and types of printers (Lexmark in particular). There are some older sound cards and some 32 bit recording sound cards that have problems but I find ALSA reacts quickly to new cards and the problems may be solved.
I have also used Dedian, Caldera, Red Hat (enterprise and fedora), SuSi, Morphix and Knoppix on X86. :-D
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Fedora Core 3
SuSE 9.2
Linspire 5

I'm currently using Mandrake Linux (10.1) in one of my classes at school and I find it to be flaky at times.
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Fedora Core 3 is my preferred distro. Core 4 RC1 is available but I wouldn't recommend any RC till Core 4 stable has been released. If you want it now, Core 3 would be my vote.

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Old 04-07-2005, 11:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

My opinion? There isnt one.
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Old 04-07-2005, 12:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

A> arch linux

oh oops you said for a noob

B> knoppix liveCD probably best for noob IMHO



arch does everything I have asked it to do without "obscure issues"
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Old 04-07-2005, 12:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

If you doesn't got a computer with much RAM i would way Slackware or Gentoo.
Why?
Becous they are stable and doesn't require a computer with much RAM.
Gentoo may be hard to install, but if you fallow the great, i realy mean great guide on their site it shouldn't be a problem. And, you'll learn much of it too!
Using portade may be time consuming, couse it compile everything but things does get better perfomance that way.
Portage does install everything by itself, even if it does compile everything, it does it automaticly.
Slackware is stable, fast and isn't to hard too install either. On the other hand, you have to compile most of the things by your self and there's nothing that checks if you got all the packages that a program needs. On the other hand, trust me, you'll learn a lot more things by using Slackware!

In the end...go for Slackware if you want to learn stuff about the system itself, go fot Gentoo if you want to learn how to install a system...manually...and want a good installer tool (portage is great, but it's slow (becouse it compiles everything automaticly!).
If you want enything else, go for Ubuntu. It's nearly perfect (first Gentoo, then Ubuntu and third Slackware (becouse it isn't so easy to install stuff!)!
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Old 04-07-2005, 12:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

I started with RedHat back in the day, but if you really want to understand how the Linux kernel works and what goes into creating a Linux operating environment (i.e. a "distro"), then your best option is probably Gentoo. If you just want to see what a bloated KDE or Gnome installation looks like with all the bells and whistles enabled, then any distribution that offers a "LiveCD" with a GUI will suffice.

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Old 04-07-2005, 12:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Gentoo can be a way to learn more than you ever wanted to about Linux. You'll have to learn more than just the basics though to get this beast going, you'll learn much more about setup than you would with Debian or other easier distros.

That said, I'm contemplating changing to Fedora. My goal is a MythTV box, and it feels like Gentoo lags behind on MythTV and driver support. I got a pcHDTV3000 card that I can't figure out how to make work on Gentoo, even with advice in Gentoo forums. I've now learned more than I ever wanted to about Linux, and I've reached the point that now I just want to be able to _use_ it, not be forced to perpetually try and outsmart it every time an emerge update goes bad. (an emerge update in January wasted the thing so that KDE hangs on loading after login, even after numerous KDE/x11 re-install attempts since then)
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Old 04-07-2005, 02:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

If you *really* want to see and understand how it works, you may be interested in a project built pretty much just for that task, Linux From Scratch (LFS). Not sure how n00b friendly you will find it, though, especially since you need a running Linux machine to build it on.

And just so you'll know, I prefer Debian but it's not for everybody. At work it is always SuSE and Red Hat. Everyone who has posted so far has some valid points, except for the Gentoo guys.

*dodges broken bottles and beer cans* I kid, I kid! ;-)
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

Thanks guys :-D

Once I've got Mandrake I'll try a few of the others (probably Gentoo, LFS and SuSe).

@Tur
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

LFS isn't a dist realy. It's more like a package of documentation and some tools that you can use to build your own Linux dist. Nothing to recomend if you doesn't have a one week holiday and absolutly nothing to do. I've tried it once...i think it's one of the hardest thing you can do...if we dosn't talking about creating a totaly new kernel from with assably coding and stuff like that...
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

If you want to learn "how" linux works.. try slackware.
For eye candy go for suse or mandrake.
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Old 04-08-2005, 09:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: What's a good Linux distro...

For a complete and total n00b, Lycoris all the way. Great way to transition from Windoze to Linux gradually, IMHO.
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