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Linux Choosing a distro

Discussion in 'Software' started by liratheal, 3 Sep 2010.

  1. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I am, for all intents and purposes, a Linux newbie.

    I've used it, of course, and tried a (small) number of distros (Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, Mint), however being a gamer I've never been willing to convert either PC or my laptop (A fair amount of work has gone into their windows installs in terms of gaming) to the ol' Linux market.

    However, I am quite certain that I absolutely need to get to grips with the OS, and do have a handful of "needs" so to speak.

    I want something 'work' orientated. I'm officially a "technical engineer" (1st/2nd/3rd line support, give or take. We don't have lines, since there are so few of us, it's easier for everyone to do everything), and as such I want something I can configure the *ahem* off, when I get more comfortable with the OS, and thus more adventurous.

    However, I don't fancy spending days and weeks setting the machine up. I realise, however, that my choice of machine (HP Probook 4520s) lends itself to needing a bit of work with the ATi drivers, but in my experience that's not been too horrendously painful.

    I quite like the sound of CentOS, as an alternative to RedHat. I don't like Ubunutu - For whatever reason - but that's about it.

    That is, in its entirety, my "preferences" relating to Linux.

    Knowing that I'm a bit of a newbie, and that I'd like an OS with some business world grunt, what'd be recommended by the linux guru's kicking about here?
     
  2. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    I always stick we Debian purely becuase its package management system has "clicked" with me. I think at first stick with either a RHL based or a Debain based system to make life easy for your self. Getting used to the way that programs are installed is one of the major hurdles i found and both RHL and Debian use slightly different cli programs to achieve this.

    After that the penguin is your oyster...
     
  3. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    FreeBSD in a desktop install.

    It makes you do some things "properly" that linux distros won't, but all can be changed if you prefer.

    I used to be a Debian derivative fan, but now all my stuff goes on FreeBSD.

    Plus the little red devil is cuter than Tux.
     
  4. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    Surely he's a daemon?
     
  5. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    If you like to tinker, Gentoo! ;)
     
  6. alpaca

    alpaca llama eats dremel

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    i'm not a so called linux guru, but i've been somewhat adventurous myself, and in the light of that i can second Gentoo. it is not easy, on the other hand. maybe using a somewhat (dare i say it?) easier distro to get an idea about the organisation of the whole linux-based OS is not too bad an idea.
     
  7. Coltch

    Coltch Member

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    My laptop has both Debian and Fedora installed, prefer Debian as it's what I started with.
     
  8. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Thanks for the advice, guys, I'll mull it over.
     
  9. DarrenH

    DarrenH New Member

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    From my small experience of using YDL, Solaris & 64-bit Ubuntu I prefer the latter. Sorry that you don't like Ubuntu but having messed about with it for the past month I have been converted. Had burned Mint & open suse but am having too much fun to try any others.

    Why Ubuntu
    Most Linux are the same under the hood so it's all about usability and configuration. I installed 10.04 64-bit with ease and all my devices work a treat. Even my old TV card is up and running and also I plugged in my PS3 Camera for use as a web cam.

    There is some googling and tinkering around to get things up and running (TV card) but I can play DVD's and all high definition files, etc. Also installed Windows XP in a Virtual Machine effortlessly. There is so much to play with and the library of free games puts Microsoft to shame.

    I too use native Windows (XP) for gaming and can't wait to obtain & install Win 7 for Directx 11 and a new fresh interface. But Ubuntu is my main productivity system with Open Office, great web browsers (Firefox, Chrome & Opera), Netbeans IDE for Java development and loads of other tools I've yet to try.

    They have a great netbook version that I've installed on my g/friends NC10 and she prefers it to XP. It is optimised for smaller footprint and more compact screens and has a very user-friendly interface.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  10. gnutonian

    gnutonian New Member

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    I have to second Debian GNU/Linux. Because...

    - The package management system (apt) is great.

    - The Debian community is big. If you ever run into trouble, there's a lot of information and help readily available in the wiki, generally online and on the Debian forums from people who have proper knowledge of the OS.

    - It's so good several other distributions use Debian as a "base" for their own OS. Ubuntu devs, for example, use Debian as a base, then mess it up and give people something which is rightfully coloured brown.

    - It's fun to say "Debian". Try it, it'll amuse you for hours on end.
     
  11. gavomatic57

    gavomatic57 New Member

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    Start with Ubuntu - it's probably the easiest and best supported for us consumer types - especially in terms of downloadable packages (.deb files) and from its repository. Get used to that and you can always try something else if you find yourself needing something different. Skills learned in Ubuntu can be used on other distro's, you just need to use a different package manager.

    FreeBSD has no GUI as far as I know and PC-BSD isn't quite there yet. It is also a very different animal to a linux distribution, especially where installing software is concerned. BSD systems have had far less development time and PC-BSD 8 was very buggy for me.
     
  12. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    FreeBSD has a GUI, you just install X-Windows, and then Gnome or KDE. There's a GUI package in the installer which sorts it all out.

    Its by and large not binary compatible with ANY Linux binaries, meaning you have to build everything from source, although there is a Linux-compat Port available which sorts most issues out.

    Dug this out to explain the difference between BSD and the Linux kernel for you.
    PC-BSD 8 itself I have no personal experience of, so I can't comment if its buggy or not, however FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD are rock solid and very good and stable OSes.

    The BSD kernel itself originates from 1977 from Bell Labs, it mutated eventually to the first free version available on PC as 386BSD. BSD has been in major, stable releases for many years longer than the Linux kernel itself has (linux 1.0 1994, 3BSD 1980, Net/2 (BSD4.3) ~1992, BSD4.4 (the basis of current BSDs) 1994). It is very much older and more stable than Linux, on the contrary!
     
  13. gavomatic57

    gavomatic57 New Member

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    I should have been more specific - whilst BSD is ages old and has been used extensively on servers, consumer desktop versions have seen far less development.
     
  14. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    On that point we agree :)

    He did specify his uses were going to be for business desktop however, although nonetheless its not exactly newbie friendly. I'd rate it easier to get into than Slackware but harder than your RedHat or Debian or derivatives thereof.
     

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