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Linux Which Ubuntu distro to play around with?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Fused, 13 Oct 2008.

  1. Fused

    Fused Member

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    After starting building my own server following Gliders great guide on this website, I want to get more into Linux, learn how to use it and delve deeper into the dreaded command line interface and scripting. So Im wondering which Ubuntu distro (or potential other) to install as a secondary OS on my main pc (any links to guides on dual booting would also be appreciated). The reason I ask for Ubuntu as glider used xubuntu for the build your own server guide and I want to get most familar with that distro first (so I fix things that go wrong on the server more easily)

    So any advice guys?

    -Fused
     
  2. UncertainGod

    UncertainGod Well-Known Member

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    If you actually want to learn linux then Ubuntu is quite possibly the worst distro you could choose, to get a great understanding of how linux works on the back end and gain complete control over your system as a result that comes with superb documentation then Arch Linux is by far the best to get to grips with.
     
  3. Elv13

    Elv13 New Member

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    But arch is hard for a new commer. The standard Ubuntu version is a better choice. More advanced User will switch to arch or gentoo, but jumping directly from windows to them is a lot harder.

    And Fused, if you want to get into Linux, forget the "secondary OS" thing. It is one or the other (you can have both installed, I am talking about usage). Switching between OS for different task is a pain. Both can do the job, so just use one. You will see, even if you have 2 OS installed, after few day, you will just use one and forget that the other is here.
     
  4. Fused

    Fused Member

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    Well then there would be no point because most of software I use Im fairly sure doesnt work on Linux (mainly PC games, Office2007) and as a new user to Linux Im not sure I have the knowledge to make it work. I mean I could switch to Linux alternatives in most cases but Id rather stick to what I know (specially when it comes to writing Lab reports and other pieces of course work). So in which incase I should just stick to XP.

    In the end apart from a few annoyances I don't need anything more than XP but I want to explore Linux (mainly so have more power over my server and fix things when they go wrong)
     
  5. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    Many PC games do work on Linux using the WINE API - check this link for your specific titles.
    Yesterday's release of OpenOffice 3.0 does have file compatibility with Office2007.

    OpenOffice is also available for Windows if you want to try it out before making the leap.
     
  6. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    Yep, get OpenOffice.
    Does everything your average user would want from an office suite.
    Compatible with MS office files if you want to use them.

    I think the challenge of getting things to work is gonna be the best way to learn it tbh.
    I've made a tentative start and I did as suggested, I started using windows versions of FOSS before making the OS switch to linux.
    I actually switched my friend's and parent's laptops to linux first and they've not managed to get any malware yet that I know of. :)

    If you're worried about not being able to do anything, install Ubuntu using WUBI and have a go that way.
    As has been said though, if you want to learn it, best to jump in with both feet.
    Its like learning a new language.
    You can learn it while living at home but nothing makes you learn it faster than living in the country and having to speak it. :)
     
  7. NickElliott

    NickElliott New Member

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    I've been using Kubuntu for a few years now and have recently installed the 8.10 beta, it's shaping up really nicely with KDE 4.2, even with this sort of distro there's still plenty of opportunity to get into the command line if you want to dig deeper.

    Applications such as OpenOffice look really compelling now, I think V3 is going to shake things up a quite a bit. In fact there are plenty of alternatives except games, a good place to start is HowtoForge:

    http://www.howtoforge.com/howtos/linux/ubuntu
     
  8. sheninat0r

    sheninat0r What's a Dremel?

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    This might not be exactly what you're looking for, but you could try Cygwin or andLinux to get a feel for Linux apps. Another good option is to install Arch/Ubuntu [I recommend Arch, I use it and it rocks] in a VM and play with that.
     
  9. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    Gonna install arch on my next laptop methinks... :)
     
  10. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 New Member

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    OpenOffice is OK considering it's free but still ugly and the usability can't touch Office. And not that I know a whole lot about linux distros, but i've used http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/ which is a guided quiz that gives you a list of the best distros for your needs. I tried OpenSuse and it's a little different than Ubuntu (which I like).
     
  11. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Out of curiosity (because I might start playing around with Linux on a dual boot), which distro is the most visually pleasing? I installed standard ubuntu a while back and found it a bit ugly and grainy.
    Or is that something you tweak out, rather than being tied to the distro?
     
  12. UncertainGod

    UncertainGod Well-Known Member

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    If you mean default Icons, etc then it's hard to say as most are quite bad but the whole point of linux on the desktop is there are literally thousands of full themes for all of the desktop environments and window managers so the most visually pleasing one is the one you make yourself.
     
  13. Elv13

    Elv13 New Member

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    Activate compiz (system;config;appearance;visual effect) then install compiz-settings-manager (you can find it in synaptic (system;administration;synaptic)) and play with it. Then go to gnome-look.org to download some skins (drag and drop them in the right appearance tab). After it will look good.

    You can also download Kubuntu 8.10 (beta), it use a different desktop environement (kde4) that can normally look good, but *buntu have a reputation for changing default look to some uglier ones. You can also try linux Mint and OpenSUSE 11.1 alpha.
     
  14. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    install in vmware or similar. forget dual boot. virtual is the best way to go for evaluation. if you find that you like a particular distro after trying them out, at that point you can decide to install on the hardware. as far as what you want it to do i don't know. if you are concerned about how pretty it looks, then i guess ubuntu. if you want to see the bones of linux, i suggest slackware. you could also play with the strange linux / windows compatible reactos.
     
  15. Fophillips

    Fophillips New Member

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    No it isn’t. You either go "this is cool" and then ignore it, or you ignore it altogether. You need to use it properly to get a feel for it. Dual-boot and don’t boot into Windows for a week.
     
  16. Akava

    Akava Lurking...

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    I agree entirely, the best way to try something properly is as a full system, not as a virtual machine. I've done both so far, and (using Wubi) having Ubuntu on a dual boot means you can't just pop back to Windows if things go a little wrong you have to fix it, thus teaching you more about Linux and about the OS you are playing with.

    Also, I highly recommend trying out Compiz/XGL on what ever 'nix you try because its not only very very fun but much better than Vista Aero.

    Akava


    EDIT: Opps, forgot to say your best bet for a first Linux IMO is either the massively supported Ubuntu or the Windows-like openSuse.
     
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