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Hello all! I've been here on these forums for quite a while... I was thinking of installing Linux on my box to dual boot with my win2k. I'm just not sure what to use... I never installed/used one before... I'm looking for something that's easy to install, configure, and has a nice GUI...

Any suggestions? right now, I have Slackware, RedHat 9, Knoppix & Fedora Core 2... haven't made up my mind on what to use yet... what are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them??

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Last Post by TheOgre
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I'll be honest. I have a huge bias in the distro choice, and preach Slackware to all. :cheesy: But I will be as far and honest in the matter as I can.

Slackware. It has BSD style init scripts which are very straight forward when cusomizing system initialization at all different runlevels. It can provide a low resource friendly environment, or provide a powerhouse of an OS. I have used it on machines as low as 120mhz/16k cache w/32mb ram and 1gb hd (even running X with blackbox if needed) all the way up to 2ghz 512mb RAM and hundreds of GB storage. Besides obviously the lack of GUI with low resources, the core still performs quick on slow systems. The kernel comes AFAIK totally vanilla, so you don't have to worry about any custom patches interfering with something you want to add on later. The sources can all be downloaded to everything that was built for the distro including the compile options used from slackware. This enables you to build the same software as slackware ships it, while also adding your own compile time option. Very handy! Releases come about twice a year. I would say that the biggest downfall is the lack of corporate support. Lots of commercial software written for Redhat can possibly run on slackware (VMWare for example) with some minor modifications, but not much seems to work "out-of-the-box." For some, this is no big deal, but when you have dead lines and compliancey issues, blah blah, you get the idea.... then this isn't gonna work.

Redhat 9 is not a terrible distro but I have had way too many pains with dependencies and what not using the package system, and it seems that any time i build something from source it doesn't work as well as I know that it should. Also, Redhat 9's support life is almost expired. Many say that Redhat is great for newbies, when really it isn't too much different than any of the other mainstream distros. From what I remember, Redhat 9 didn't even come with an mp3 decoder, yet came with a plethora of multimedia applications and as I recall the SQL that shipped with it was broken somehow.

Fedora is something that I have not messed with much, but if you are interested in Redhat, then you might as well just move over to Fedora.

Knoppix would be great for testing out your hardware to see what you can get working in linux before you actually install it.

I would boot up Knoppix to see what hardware is supported, and then I would install slackware! I would recommend doing a full install. (Around 2gb) If it turns out to not be right for you, then just try something else.

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Bloody Slackers! :cheesy:

Also, Redhat 9's support life is almost expired.

Yes. Version 9 was the last official freely-distributed "Red Hat Linux" release before they went to the (not free) Enterprise line and spawned the (still free) Fedora project. Fedora is not a direct Red Hat product; RH supports the effort as a collaborative partner, but the Fedora project itself is not an "arm" of RH. Support for RH 9 and earlier versions will probably still be available for some time in the form of documentation on the RH support site, but direct customer support and development is definitely slated for extinction very soon.

Many say that Redhat is great for newbies, when really it isn't too much different than any of the other mainstream distros. From what I remember, Redhat 9 didn't even come with an mp3 decoder, yet came with a plethora of multimedia applications...

RH pulled "out of the box" mp3 support to avoid possible legal issues; you can still add it post-install. "Dependency Hell" aside, it's a pretty good distro for those coming from a Windows world; the lastest offerings from SuSE and Mandrake fall into this category as well. All are very intuitive, and come with a couple of very slick choices of GUI environments (yes, in Linux you aren't stuck with one).

Knoppix would be great for testing out your hardware to see what you can get working in linux before you actually install it.

I would boot up Knoppix to see what hardware is supported...

Absolutely. One of the most important things about installing Linux is to have all of the gory details of your hardware specs before you install. Knoppix makes this very easy because you can run it from a CD (before you actually decide to install to your hard drive).


oalee (shameless plug here; I don't think Dani will mind):

If you have questions about (or problems with) Linux, stop over to www.justlinux.com we'll buy you a beer on the house. :cheesy:

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oalee (shameless plug here; I don't think Dani will mind):

If you have questions about (or problems with) Linux, stop over to www.justlinux.com; we'll buy you a beer on the house. :cheesy:

Maybe I'll drop by anyway, and take the beer... and then some... :cool:

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I prefer slackware also...avid slackArse since it's inception in the early nineties. The GUI from slackware (if you even use it...something I haven't done in about a year) is just a normal KDE or Gnome desktop. The thing that gets most people about slackware is that you have to manually config most stuff. To me, this is most of the fun of linux. To most people, this isn't fun at all.

If you're looking for a distro to hit the ground running with and a nice desktop with sound detected right off the bat and preinstalled video drivers....you really only have two solid choices...which most people will argue with me on.

1. Knoppix - this distro has so much support and buzz about it right now that if anything arises it most likely will be solved within a couple of weeks. I myself hate this distro mainly because everyone likes it.

2. MEPIS - My choice for GUI Linux. I loved this distro and continue to love it. My sound was auto detected and installed. It detected a USB CDRW I had. It autoconfigged my video card. Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic. It did all of this when knoppix couldn't with the same computer. All I can say is...wow. It's a live CD just like Knoppix as well so you can try before you pseudo buy. Package management is through apt-get and debian sources...so it's very stable.

So, like I said...alot of people will think I'm full of crap on this...but I don't care. I've experimented with over 30 distros in the last year and found these two will be the best experience for someone who doesn't have linux experience. Like it or leave it...my two cents worth.

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Hello,

I have done extensive work with RedHat (from 6.2 on), MKLinux (on PowerMac 7100 series), and YellowDog Linux. I have tried Debian, and did not like it.

I use RH 9 on my main servers and firewalls, and Mac OS X on the desktop.

I was disappointed with the change of RedHat's philosophy to close down their line of linux software, even though they did launch Fedora. I plan on leaving my existing boxes at RH 9 / RH 7.3 until Fedora proves herself in Core 2, and so forth. Some of the packages in Fedora are not working properly yet, and I have production machines installed that I cannot "test" with.

I liked RH that I could bring down the installation .iso 's and create an FTP based installation scheme to install Linux on other computers over a network. I tried the same thing under Debian, and found it very troubling. Debian's online support is also quite scattered, and I ended up tossing the CD's that I burned because I didn't wish to invest the time to figure it out.

I agree with other posters that dependancies can be an issue for Red Hat systems. Using apt-get, the problem is minimalized, but still, one can run across various rpm's that need other rpms in order to install properly. Rumor has it that Debian handles new software installation easier, but since I couldn't easily install it, I have no first-hand knowledge on it.

On my RH boxes, I have not had a lot of trouble compiling programs. Have built netatalk by hand, and a few amateur radio things by hand, and the makefiles and such worked just fine. Also have a few homebrew C++ things running on the boxes, again without much trouble. RH does place programs in different file directories than other distros, but ln -s can take care of some of those issues.

I will most likely work with Fedora Core 2 when it comes out, and am also tempted to try out FreeBSD and see what that is about.

Just my $0.02

Christian

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Hi!
Fedora is a nice and simple OS.
Slackware is nice but for a newbie the installation maynot be something to look forward to.
Fedora on the other hand is easy to install and use. As you are newbie, Install everything and you won't need to install new stuff for sometime anyway, so nothing much to worry about dependencies there .:)

Personal choices -
1) Linux from scratch
2) Slackware - I basically like it because I can install it on Reiserfs. Fedora gives only ext3 as a choice.
3) Fedora.

Regards
Amar

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I guess fedora's a top choice... I'll give it a try... :)
thanks all...

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I guess fedora's a top choice... I'll give it a try... :)
thanks all...

Don't forget to give MEPIS a go. I feel its better than knoppix and I'd install it anyday before I'd install Fedora.

Odd coming from an avid slacker...but It is unsurpassed for detection and ease of use.;)

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My favorites in order:

Gentoo 1.4 (but it is complicated and not for newbies)
Suse 9.0 (Fast and very very easy)
Debian (Easier than it used to be and very powerful)

I always recommend Suse for newbies, I have been using it on and off since version 6.2 in 1998.

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Knoppix is the best on that list, but personally I'm more of a BSD person q:)

Gentoo is the best Distro in my opinion...

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Knoppix is the best on that list, but personally I'm more of a BSD person q:)

Gentoo is the best Distro in my opinion...

I am not saying that you are wrong, but most BSD people that I know tend to feel better with slackware. Kind of interesting.

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To be honest, Slackware is one of the few distro's I've never used before due to the horror stories I heard a few years back in it's early versions. Now that you mention it I may just download it and stick it on a machine to see how it is.

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I asked Dani abt this and she told me to post it to ask for opinions... she was right that there's gonna be a lot of different opinions from the members... :) good thing I did what she said... :)


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-+ Not only is www.Daniweb.com is the best, but also, Dani is the best... :P +-

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I prefer slackware also...avid slackArse since it's inception in the early nineties. The GUI from slackware (if you even use it...something I haven't done in about a year) is just a normal KDE or Gnome desktop. The thing that gets most people about slackware is that you have to manually config most stuff. To me, this is most of the fun of linux. To most people, this isn't fun at all.

If you're looking for a distro to hit the ground running with and a nice desktop with sound detected right off the bat and preinstalled video drivers....you really only have two solid choices...which most people will argue with me on.

1. Knoppix - this distro has so much support and buzz about it right now that if anything arises it most likely will be solved within a couple of weeks. I myself hate this distro mainly because everyone likes it.

2. MEPIS - My choice for GUI Linux. I loved this distro and continue to love it. My sound was auto detected and installed. It detected a USB CDRW I had. It autoconfigged my video card. Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic. It did all of this when knoppix couldn't with the same computer. All I can say is...wow. It's a live CD just like Knoppix as well so you can try before you pseudo buy. Package management is through apt-get and debian sources...so it's very stable.

So, like I said...alot of people will think I'm full of crap on this...but I don't care. I've experimented with over 30 distros in the last year and found these two will be the best experience for someone who doesn't have linux experience. Like it or leave it...my two cents worth.

This is completly dependent on the hardware you have, slackware did the same for me everything auto detected and worked on first boot. Same with Redhat/mandrake/freebsd, so I would suggest reading up on your hardware and the current distro you plan on using personally I love slackware!

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...she was right that there's gonna be a lot of different opinions from the members...

lol.

Welcome to what we penguinistas affectionately call "The Distro Wars"!

(And watch out for those Slackware folks; die-hard Mac zealots have nothing on them... :D )

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lol.

Welcome to what we penguinistas affectionately call "The Distro Wars"!

(And watch out for those Slackware folks; die-hard Mac zealots have nothing on them... :D )

nah, this doesn't seem like a Distro War. Just exchanges of opinions...
we're all entitled to our own anyway...

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nah, this doesn't seem like a Distro War. Just exchanges of opinions...
we're all entitled to our own anyway...

Yeah, I haven't seen anyone say "Redhat is teh sux0rz and sl4ckw4r3 0wnz!!!" yet. :)

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SL4C|<\/\/4R3 RU|3Z!!!!!


J/K- All I meant was that they are as many recommendations out there as there are distros, and some people have an almost religious affinity for their particular choice. :)

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well, maybe because they got used to it... But I think slackware is on top of the polls now... I still haven't decided on what to use though....

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Well- Linux is all about choice, right?

I like to keep a 40G drive in one of my systems just for distro testing. I whack it into a few 10G partitions to hold a few different distros or versions so that I can try them out simultaneously. When I get tired of one distro, I just wipe its partition and install another. Aside from a possible tweek to my bootloader's config file, it's: "Which OS do you want to use today, Mr. Gates?".

If you're not sure which distro you want to try, I'd suggest installing Slack and Red Hat and explore them both. You'd basically experience both ends of the spectrum that way, as Red Hat is very "Windows-like" and Slack is more "build-it-yourself-from-scratch". Slack is also structured slightly differently than Red Hat in that it uses a BSD-style init, whereas Red Hat is System V-based. Since Mandrake and SuSE are also Sys V-based, and their underlying file structure is very similar to Red Hat's, you'll have no problem finding your way around those distros if you're comfortable with Red Hat.

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I am not saying that you are wrong, but most BSD people that I know tend to feel better with slackware. Kind of interesting.

Slackware has "BSD-ish" init scripts, which does allow BSD users to be somewhat comfortable with it. From my experience, though, Gentoo is more BSD-like than slackware.

...And then there's Arch Linux, which is even more like BSD...

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