Last night while watching my usual list of recorded television programs, I saw a commercial for KGB, the company that begs you to text them with your questions. For a mere 99 cents, they'll answer any question that you ask of them. I'm sure that they have their share of tricksters with questions such as, "What is life" and "What is the air speed of an unladen swallow." But my mind dances to a different beat. And, with my wife's permission, I posed the following question using her cell phone: "Which Linux distribution is the best for new users?"
As a safeguard against theft or silliness, they have an automated response to any query that reads something similar to, "Thank you for texting KGB, our answers are only 0.99 each, please reply and text YES to confirm."
After a few minutes, you'll receive another text from KGB that reads, "We are researching your question and will have an answer for you soon."
It only took another five minutes or so to receive my much awaited answer.
Here is the answer I received, word for word:
"The best one is the one that works best for you. Try something easy like Ubuntu or Fedora. Try different Distros. After all, Linux is free."
OK, the first sentence is a bit silly and not worth the 99 cents. The third and fourth sentences are equally worthless but the second sentence is pure money.
Ubuntu or Fedora.
What's so money about that answer, you ask?
Partly because someone else said it. When I say it, people become angry and leave nastygrams in the Comments section. But, I paid for this answer and would have published it no matter what they said.
And, it's money partly because they gave two distinctly different Linux examples. Ubuntu and Fedora are on opposite ends of the Linux spectrum. If you know anything about Linux, you'll agree.
If you don't know much about Linux, you'll have to trust me or research my statement for yourself--or better yet--read my posts from these last two years.
What surprises me most about their answer is that they took a stance instead of just leaving it at their first lame sentence. If they hadn't mentioned a specific distribution, I would have perhaps asked for my money back. But, to my surprise, I'm satisfied with my first experience with KGB.
In fact, I'll go so far as to say that you'll now see regular posts titled, "KGB Says" where I pose some thoughtful question to them and post its discussion here. It should prove interesting and entertaining.
What would you have said in response to my question if you were the answering KGB "Agent?"
I did the NowNow hits on Mturk a while back and this is a question that keep coming back. I would include Linux mint and maybe Kubuntu to the list and the address of the Ubuntu forum a good starting point for new users.
Dont get me started fedora have got tons and tons of problems without even anyone willing to help, they kick you from their support channel. Ubuntu never broke for me, works like a charm, its fast for sure so yeah, Ubuntu Rulez.
been using ubuntu for 3 years now with only one issue with last update 9.10 didn't like my monitor. been testing the beta of 10.04 and loving it only thing is i kinda miss the brown...i kinda like the dark room theme! anyways UBUNTU RULES!!
Actually ubuntu and fedora are similar in that they are *bleeding edge* distributions that do not install proprietary binaries/software by default. Fedora and Ubuntu now use open source mesa stacks for intel, ati, and nvidia . They also both rely on upstart and plymouth for boot and boot graphics respectively. IMO, ubuntu and fedora have far more in common that stable distros (debian, cent-os) and the plethora of copycat noob distros (mint, pc-los etc).
LOL, I agree with the answer but they could have expanded on that. Ubuntu distros are very easy to install and configure, well supported, flexible (different versions for different needs) and great for beginners.
Fedora is my favorite distro, BUT it's not as user friendly, better for novice to expert users and does not bundle and non-open-source apps. That includes Adobe, many codecs users want, etc. You can add them, but you have to make friends with the terminal. In Ubuntu, you can survive knowing very little about commands.
I would not choose Fedora as my first time playing with Linux.
I switched to Debian, after having a lot of problems with Karmic.
A thumbs up from me too, for Ubuntu, as a distro for beginners.
An equally good one, for training penguins, is open SUSE.
PC Linux is also a great for beginners distro, but it comes only for 32bit. If you want to run a 64bit OS, you're out of luck. On the other hand, if you don't mind running a 32bit OS, on a 64bit machine, go for it! ;-)
i think the best one is the one that works for you. that's the most sense in their reply because it depends what the user is expecting to do with it. For instance, what if the user truelly wants to lean the inner workings of Linux? In that case I would have suggested gentoo, or for the very serious users, Linux From Scratch. On the other hand, if the user was uninterested in the (IMO fascinating) geeky side to linux, then I would have to recommend one of the ones your all talking about. Probably Ubuntu as it has the least chance of going wrong and therefore would result in less hastle for me in after care ;)
Frankly, I've yet to find a distro that has required no attention after initial install so the new user is bound to be tweaking it, regardless of distro, before too long. At the end of the day, I think their response was perfect and it is highly adviseable to try many different distro's before settling down with any one of them so as to get a feel for what you want. Users who are new to computing in general especially because they won't yet know what to expect and do not understand the differences. :>
Without knowing how that answer was arrived at it is as worthless as the other sentences.
In fact it's far less useful than the advice to try different distributions and pick the one that works best for you.
Are they telling you to use ubuntu or fedora based on personal experience? Or maybe they read that they were the "best" right here on this site?
Or do they just get paid most by the marketing departments of companies pushing those distros?