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Coaster Kev

What flavor of Linux to buy?

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I''m looking into buying my first copying of Linux, and I am curious what company I should buy it from. I was thinking that Redhat might be the best, but I think I should consult the experts on this one. Thanks.

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go for redhat or mandrake if you are new to linux.

i prefer debian. it has a steeper learning curve than the other two. for me, it is the perfect level of abstraction which i would like an operating system to have.

-stephen

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Gentoo.

Of course, you don''t really have to pay for most linux distros... Unless you don''t want to have to download iso images for massive amounts of time.

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Well, Debian these days is just as easy as Mandrake or Redhat, and personally, i prefer Debian. so basically, get one of those 3.

--
MFC is sorta like the swedish police... It''''s full of crap, and nothing can communicate with anything else.

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While I''m a huge fan of Debian, it may not be what you''re looking for in a first distro. I would recommend Red Hat to anyone looking for their first ''friendly'' distro (Red Hat doesn''t really market it as a ''friendly'' distro, but it fits the role well enough). About the other big names: I don''t really like the new Mandrakes, and I haven''t tried SuSE in a long while.

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Wow. It seems like everyone here loves Debian. I''ve used Mandrake for the past couple years, so do I have enough experience to move up to something like Debian? It seems like i''d be in good company if I jumped in. But what makes Debian so great, anyways?

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Mostly apt-get, the package managing software. Personally, this was one of the few things I actually LIKED about Debian when I tried it. Gentoo has a similar package management system (in terms of ease of use) called emerge, where the biggest difference is you (generally) build everything from source rather than getting it as a binary. Depending on your CPU, optimization settings, and compiler you''re using, this can greatly speed up your system.

The big downside (in my view) to Debian is that the "stable" and "testing" versions are both fairly out-dated, and if you want the latest software, you either have to go with "unstable" (which doesn''t always have the latest stuff anyway) or download source, which basically defeats the purpose of apt-get to begin with.

But, overall, Debian is a good distro.

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You can grab apt-kickstart and use apt-get on redhat et. al.
You can also get red-carpet from ximain and use it too.

There''s got to be more to debian than apt-get?

The nice thing about Redhat is the RHN; they compile and package everything for you and there''s a little auto-update utility. The bad thing about RHN is that is lags behind the development front quite a-ways and doesn''t include anything ''sensitive'' such as ogle (a DVD player), mplayer, mp3 support for xmms, or even the NTFS file-system driver.

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I''ve recently installed SuSE and IMO it is the easiest to use so far. YaST is great for everyone comfortable with the windoze control panel and the package manager is so far the best i''ve used. Last time I checked (v8.0) RedHat''s package manager didn''t take into account software not included in the distro. Installing SuSE through ftp (as an alternative to buying CDs) may take a little time and effort to get started but the rest of the setup process is every bit as simple as installing win98.

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