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What version of Linux to get?

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I have recently been considering getting a verson of Linux. The only operating system I have ever used is Windows, and my computer will not have access to the internet. What beginner friendly version of Linux should I get? Thank you for your time. ------ "All animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others" ~Animal Farm, George Orwell "You grok?" ~Stranger in a Strange Land

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Get Fedora or Mandrake. Those are very good for beginners, but don''t get Mandrake 9.1 or 9.2, they are full of bugs. You should get a computer connected to the net though to download updates and such.

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quote:
Original post by HTML
Get Fedora or Mandrake. Those are very good for beginners, but don''t get Mandrake 9.1 or 9.2, they are full of bugs. You should get a computer connected to the net though to download updates and such.


Could I possibly download these updates from another computer on to a cd, and then update the version on my computer? Could I install the actual OS this way?



------
"All animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others" ~Animal Farm, George Orwell
"You grok?" ~Stranger in a Strange Land

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Well I''ve only tried 3 different flavors of linux: Red Hat, Slackware and Mandrake. But IMO I would say Mandrake would be the best for a linux beginner. I''m using it now and I like it a lot. Red Hat wouldn''t be bad for a beginner too. Red Hat was my first linux earlier this year and I got around it just fine. Slackware is a very good linux, but I''d recommend that only to a more experienced linux user. So far, Mandrake is my favorite. It has many install options too. You can even install mandrake on your existing windows partition if you are wanting to dual boot and do not want to re-partition. Mandrake may run a little slower than it would on it''s own partitions using the file formats more comon to linux (ext2, ext3, etc), but it will still run very good no doubt. Or, if you are wanting to make partitions, DiskDrake is very easy to use to do this, it can even make all partitions for you if you want. I''d say go with Mandrake 9.2.


-SirKnight

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I don''t know what HTML is talking about but I have had NO problems with Mandrake 9.2. This version is the only mandrake I have ever used so I can''t compare to older versions. But I have not found any bugs. Everything is stable and working perfectly. The only issue was that Mandrake forgot to put the kernel source on the ISOs. But it''s no big deal, it can always be downloaded.


-SirKnight

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quote:
Original post by Drewish
quote:
Original post by HTML
Get Fedora or Mandrake. Those are very good for beginners, but don't get Mandrake 9.1 or 9.2, they are full of bugs. You should get a computer connected to the net though to download updates and such.


Could I possibly download these updates from another computer on to a cd, and then update the version on my computer? Could I install the actual OS this way?



------
"All animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others" ~Animal Farm, George Orwell
"You grok?" ~Stranger in a Strange Land



I wouldn't see why not. I downloaded the ISOs at my university and then took them to install on my home PC. I'd assume you can do the same with the updates as well. There is rpmdrake which will search for updates for you similar to the Windows Upadate, in that case you need to be connected to the net. But I'm quite sure this is not the only option.


-SirKnight



[edited by - SirKnight on November 28, 2003 9:34:16 PM]

[edited by - SirKnight on November 28, 2003 9:36:12 PM]

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While I was browsing through Mandrake's site, I noticed the Mandrake club, which lets users of Mandrake have access to tons of applications for download. However, this service cost money (which I do not have); are there are free sources where I can download applications?

EDIT:
Any other alternatives to Mandrake? It really bothers me how they are shoving this "Users Club" down my throat.

------
"All animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others" ~Animal Farm, George Orwell
"You grok?" ~Stranger in a Strange Land

[edited by - Drewish on November 28, 2003 9:51:30 PM]

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Mandrake comes with tons of apps...no need to sign up. And yes, you should be able to just download all the rpm updates to a cd and just put them on a disc. If you are going to get mandrake, get 9.0 and not the newer ones...too buggy..

other good sites:
linuxcompatible.org (updates and some distros)
linuxiso.org (download your linux distro here)


Do you know what an iso file is? Well what you do is you download the 3 mandrake isos or any other distro and burn them to a cd. Then put the cd in, go to the bios and set your first boot device as cd-rom. Then start the computer and it will bring you to the mandrake installer. Mandrake is very easy to install too.


You will be able to find a lot of free apps besides the ones mandrake gives you. KDevelop, anjuta, blender, ect...actually, go here:

Linux Programs equivalent to window's programs --Great site too!

You will probably like linux a lot. I have used windows for a very long time and tried linux a while ago and I like it more. The only problem I see is most games won't work with it. And other windows apps, but this will change in the future as they are starting to preload linux on more computers.

[edited by - HTML on November 28, 2003 9:55:59 PM]

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I''ve used (in this order): cygwin (If you care to call that a unix!), Slackware, SuSE, Debian, Gentoo, and then a Linux from Scratch (LFS).

The ones I''ve been most impressed with have been Debian and my LFS system.

Slackware was nice. I didn''t like it much.

I had an active dislike for SuSE. It has a good graphical manager, much like Control Center in Windows. (start->control)
I found many cases where the options I wanted weren''t in the gui controller though.

Debian is very impressive. If you download all the CDs for debian, there''s more apps than I even know what to do with! The nice thing about debian s how to install things: apt-get install app-foo.

I didn''t like Gentoo much. I scrapped it after I typed "emerge links" and it compiled xwindows.

LFS ... don''t do that as a new linux user. Trust me. I''ve been very impressed with it though.

All in all, I must cast my vote for Debian. (The first time I installed Debian, I downloaded the CDs at university, and installed at home).

Scout



All polynomials are funny - some to a higher degree.
Furthermore, polynomials of degree zero are constantly funny.

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Debian is great, but I wouldn''t recommend it for a first timer. It isn''t particularly beginnner freindly like Mandrake and others. Debian is better for those who''ve had a bit of experience first.

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quote:
Original post by Doc
Debian is great, but I wouldn''t recommend it for a first timer. It isn''t particularly beginnner freindly like Mandrake and others. Debian is better for those who''ve had a bit of experience first.


thats true. i''ve seen some people starting with debian (including myself) and rather quickly ditching it afterwards because it is a bit too complex (editing config files by hand/needing to know what you need (by name) for apt-get).

for a beginner i would recommend a recent suse distro although i also have quite some dislike for it but for a starter it is quite good.

i might just add that the only distros ive ever used were debian,redhat,suse,lfs,debian in that order, and sticked to debian for its great package management (and the bilions of packages)

as MrScout stated: lfs is really great if you are a bit more advanced and want to know more about how your stuff works

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You could try out Knoppix. It''s one of those distributions that run directly from a (bootable) cd. It has very powerful hardware detection. When I tried it 6 months ago, every piece of hardware was detected and configured correctly, including internet connection, quite impressive.

Oh, and it''s quite easy to install to hdd if you wish too.

Knoppix is based on Debian, so if you choose to install it you have an easily installable, well configured debian system.

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quote:
Original post by HTML
Oh, and if you have an LG cd rom drive, do not get Mandrake 9.2 because mandrake will fry it...


They fixed that, as I last heard. B-)

emptyhead:
Knoppix is nice to start experimenting, but installation is not fun. Apparently it is based on Debian Stable, Unstable, Experimental, and Testing, and the first time you try to update your applications, you bork your system. So Knoppix is nice to start with if you are worried about blowing away whatever OS you currently have installed, but if you''re going to install, either install Debian properly, or go with something like Mandrake.

Also, Debian is great for beginners who want to get down and dirty. Gentoo, as I understand it, is even more so. If you just want something that installs easily though, go with Mandrake or something like that. I liked Debian because getting a base install was all I needed. Then I started messing around. I got familiar with Bash. I got familiar with what applications I DIDN''T have, and I think this helped me get more familiar with Gnu/Linux overall. Mandrake was nice, but I found that it had a lot more installed than I wanted (like telnet server running by default). Debian was nice because I had to install things as I needed them, which made me understand what it was I was installing. I haven''t reinstalled that system since, and I started on Debian 2 (Potato). I run Woody now, and yes, I have to say that it has a lot of out of date packages. I might update to Sarge, but I might experiment with Gentoo instead. I have heard mixed results running Sid though. Sometimes an update will completely bork your system supposedly.

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quote:
Original post by MrScout
I didn''t like Gentoo much. I scrapped it after I typed "emerge links" and it compiled xwindows.

LFS ... don''t do that as a new linux user. Trust me. I''ve been very impressed with it though.


You must have forgotten something in your make.conf, perhaps something like "USE=-X..etc" the true power of gentoo is the build flags, which allow you to create a distribution with creating your own software dependancies to an extent. I have used the following *nix in order: Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, Debian(or at least tried to, I got the minimal system up, but was getting nowhere with installing the Xwindows system), then I tried Gentoo,OS X , and finally Solaris x86. First thing, I don''t hate debian, it is just I didn''t realize until I used gentoo that some distros which are harder to install have an installation guide.Which brings me to a point, if you are going with a distro that is harder than fedora or Mandrake, print out the installation guide, and any related documentation, you will thank yourself for that later. Or, if you are insane like me and have multiple machines, I will now just have my laptop next to the computer I am working on, and read the docs from it. Although to pick a distro, you must run several on your own, then you will pick one that feels right, and stick with that as long as it suits you.

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I am posting this from Mandrake 9.2. It is far and away no contest hands down the best *desktop* linux that I have ever used, but then again I have never been impressed with past linux attempts to use them as a desktop for any significant length of time. This is slowly replacing XP though, which is nice. Seems to have fairly decent hardware support (which is why I am not using OpenBSD3.4 for much typical desktop work). No idea why HTML has it in for 9.2; keep hearing him say things bout it being buggy but I have yet to run into any or yet to see him point to some documents verifying this.

I''ve used a few other distros (redhat, hated multiple versions; suse, not bad, but not as nice out of the box). Now, granted, this is a desktop machine, so I want to spend more time on features than on tweaking the system. I feel differently about network devices and servers, but then I don''t use Linux for them (yet; I may use mandrake for an NFS server soon).

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SuSE 8.2 Professional is a solid product. I recently switched from RedHat to SuSE a few months ago and have been pleased with the results.

Its German engineering in an Operating System. Its solid, the update process is slick and easy (and hassle free)

The only downside is that you cannot download ISO''s for SuSE. You can do an FTP install if you have the bandwidth. You can also download a run-from-CD ISO. IN my opinion, the $65us I paid for the boxed version is well worth it.

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quote:
Original post by debaere
SuSE 8.2 Professional is a solid product. I recently switched from RedHat to SuSE a few months ago and have been pleased with the results.



Although 9.0 now has an ftp install cd out, so if you want to run the updated version, you can for free.

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It depends what you gonna do with your machine. It doesn''t really matter what distribution you use once you know how linux works and how to configure and compile things by yourself.

But since you don''t have so much experience with linux try some bigger distribution like redhat, mandrake or suse. They are easier to install if you are beginner, and will find and correctly configure more hardware then for ex. Slack. They also ship more software on cd''s (since they made more cd''s) so it''s easier to get programms that satisfie all dependencies until you are a bit more experienced and since you don''t wanna have internet on that machine.

Really it isn''t so important which distro u use when it''s come to user friendlyness - almost all distribution today will install either gnome or kde as desktop - and no matter what distributions - gnome is still gnome on either redhat or suse or slack or knoppix or whatever.

What is important is how your distribution manage your system, configure scripts, software and such. When it comes to that I don''t like rehdat coz'' they have changed all script''s to their own. Downside is that if you read how to''s and such on internet they often doesn''t help you coz'' name of scripts are different, they are not in same places etc ... But redhat is not uniqe - same thing apply to suse & mandrake I guess. Fortunately you can today find help for almost every distro - not to mention all "bibles" and such you can buy (or dl on net).

Particulary redhat guys have messed upp gdm''s startup script pretty bad - it''s doesn''t conform at all to what gdm''s docs says.
(gdm is login program that loggs u into an X session and let u choose between dirrent sessions like gnome or kde).

But redhat do nice jobs when it comes to configure hardware - I never had problems with anyithing in my system while in Slack I needed manyally to configure my ethernet cards - and second one still doesn''t work in slack but do in redhat ( I guess the right kernel module isn''t compiled but I don''t care). Even soundcard needed manuall configuration.

If you just want to just install and use linux I would choose some bigger distro like redhat or mandrake coz u can get iso images (for difference of suse) and they will do a lot of thing for you that you don''t really need to be aware of (at least in begging). Second it is easy to recompile programs for your processor beccause they ship alredy prepared source packages that you can recompile and install with one command ( I guess u can do that in suse too ).

you can check this ftp for iso images (it''s pretty fast et nights CET time):

ftp.sunet.se/pub/os/Linux/distributions

they are mirroring a lot of different distributions there so choose one that have iso images.

good luck






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It depends what you gonna do with your machine. It doesn''t really matter what distribution you use once you know how linux works and how to configure and compile things by yourself.

But since you don''t have so much experience with linux try some bigger distribution like redhat, mandrake or suse. They are easier to install if you are beginner, and will find and correctly configure more hardware then for ex. Slack. They also ship more software on cd''s (since they made more cd''s) so it''s easier to get programms that satisfie all dependencies until you are a bit more experienced and since you don''t wanna have internet on that machine.

Really it isn''t so important which distro u use when it''s come to user friendlyness - almost all distribution today will install either gnome or kde as desktop - and no matter what distributions - gnome is still gnome on either redhat or suse or slack or knoppix or whatever.

What is important is how your distribution manage your system, configure scripts, software and such. When it comes to that I don''t like rehdat coz'' they have changed all script''s to their own. Downside is that if you read how to''s and such on internet they often doesn''t help you coz'' name of scripts are different, they are not in same places etc ... But redhat is not uniqe - same thing apply to suse & mandrake I guess. Fortunately you can today find help for almost every distro - not to mention all "bibles" and such you can buy (or dl on net).

Particulary redhat guys have messed upp gdm''s startup script pretty bad - it''s doesn''t conform at all to what gdm''s docs says.
(gdm is login program that loggs u into an X session and let u choose between dirrent sessions like gnome or kde).

But redhat do nice jobs when it comes to configure hardware - I never had problems with anyithing in my system while in Slack I needed manyally to configure my ethernet cards - and second one still doesn''t work in slack but do in redhat ( I guess the right kernel module isn''t compiled but I don''t care). Even soundcard needed manuall configuration.

If you just want to just install and use linux I would choose some bigger distro like redhat or mandrake coz u can get iso images (for difference of suse) and they will do a lot of thing for you that you don''t really need to be aware of (at least in begging). Second it is easy to recompile programs for your processor beccause they ship alredy prepared source packages that you can recompile and install with one command ( I guess u can do that in suse too ).

you can check this ftp for iso images (it''s pretty fast et nights CET time):

ftp.sunet.se/pub/os/Linux/distributions

they are mirroring a lot of different distributions there so choose one that have iso images.

good luck






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