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Which Linux distrubution?

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Hi guys, I want to install linux on my pc but i havent decided which distro to install. Which one do you recommend fedora or ubuntu? Thanks

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Quote:
Original post by Great_White
I want to install linux on my pc but i havent decided which distro to install. Which one do you recommend fedora or ubuntu?
I am not aware of a compelling reason to choose one over the other. These days I mostly use Ubuntu for ease of setup.

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ubuntu is much easier for newcomers. Unfortunately it's a little on the bloated side, but still it's a decent place to start.

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Ubuntu is definitely a lot easier to get up and usable than fedora. I find the community and available distro specific documentation to be much more newbie friendly for Ubuntu as well.

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I have my pc set up to dual boot xp and linux and I use ubuntu 8.04, if it weren't for games i don't even think I would boot to xp anymore. Ubuntu is a snap to install even for a dual boot setup. I tried a few other flavors of linux (red hat 8, fedora) and this is way better.

edit:
forgot to add that I first installed ubuntu 8.10 and I cold not get my video card (GeForce3 6100) to work correctly. I finally gave up and installed ubuntu 8.04 and didnt have any issues with video. 8.10 is pretty new so if you do go with ubuntu you may want to consider installing version 8.04

[Edited by - quadcam on January 26, 2009 8:05:13 PM]

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you can install Ubuntu 8.10 directly from windows. You just insert the cd and it will autorun.

Select the "install from windows" option, and that's all. Next thing you know is that you're using linux.

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Original post by owl
you can install Ubuntu 8.10 directly from windows. You just insert the cd and it will autorun.


IMHO, VirtualBox. Then try out all the distributions you want.

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omg.....compizzzzzZzzzzzzz........ so cooooool....

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I suggest ubuntu. I was developing my portable 3D game/graphics/simulation engine on fedora8 before fedora9 and beyond came out, but never could get the newer fedora releases to work... just endless, endless troubles.

Then I switched to ubuntu out of desperation, and have been able to cope with ubuntu ever since. It seems the linux torch has passed from fedora to ubuntu, in my mind, and the mind of many others it seems. And in case it matters, this being a game/graphics forum, my application that requires OpenGL v2.10 ~ OpenGL v3.00 and GLSL v1.20 ~ GLSL v1.30 compiles and executes on both the eclipse IDE and CodeBlocks IDE (though I just ditched eclipse, since CodeBlocks is better).

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Quote:
Original post by bootstrap
I suggest ubuntu. I was developing my portable 3D game/graphics/simulation engine on fedora8 before fedora9 and beyond came out, but never could get the newer fedora releases to work... just endless, endless troubles.

Then I switched to ubuntu out of desperation, and have been able to cope with ubuntu ever since. It seems the linux torch has passed from fedora to ubuntu, in my mind, and the mind of many others it seems. And in case it matters, this being a game/graphics forum, my application that requires OpenGL v2.10 ~ OpenGL v3.00 and GLSL v1.20 ~ GLSL v1.30 compiles and executes on both the eclipse IDE and CodeBlocks IDE (though I just ditched eclipse, since CodeBlocks is better).


ok gonna try ubuntu first

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My personal preference is Gentoo.

The 'portage' package management system makes it extremely easy to write your own packages, so I can integrate anything, even when there isn't an official package yet, without circumventing the package manager and risking that something breaks when I run the next update.

It's currently running on my home server for pppoe DSL, NAT routing, VMware, BitTorrent (rTorrent+wTorrent) and file server (Samba), all in x64 :o)

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'checkinstall' would be the equivalent tool for Debian and Ubuntu, allowing you to build packages from source while keeping harmony with the package manager.

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Ubuntu!

Fedora has a habit of releasing Pre-release software. I got burn't trying to use it as it used a Beta X-window server, meaning that at the time you could not get Nvidia driver to run as Nvidia doesn't support 'pre release'.

I ditched it straight away and went with Ubuntu, which is very easy to use in comparison.

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Quote:
Original post by Cygon
My personal preference is Gentoo.


I am not sure if this is a good choice for a beginner, regarding the compile-by-hands politics. Don't punch me, actually, gentoo would be a great step on the path to wisdom, but also a hard one if you are not used to it, and maybe even so hard that go back to other operating systems.


I personally run a Debian Lenny/Unstable installation dating back to 2006 (was a Testing Etch, then), and had some major upgrades since then. In the meanwhile, installing Debian is nearly as easy as Ubuntu or Mint. My personal recommendation for a beginning GNU+Linux user:


If you are ...


* a programmer or just want to have a huge software repository, install Debian as it has the biggest package repository of them all (4 DVDs, or ca. 20,000 pieces of software), with compilers for virtually all programming languages (including whitespace (rly!), FORTRAN, C, C++, Pascal, C#, Ada, etc.), plus several debugger frontends and several ide's and and and. You don't have to download all DVDs/CDs, just the first one, and then you can cherry pick the packages that will be downloaded by the package manager.

Also, Debian is said to be one of the most reliable distributions, which comes at the cost that software upgrades come late (but you can use official repositories like "testing" or "unstable" to get up to date software).


* A user with the need for just some major software like Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice, and a bit more, then try out Ubuntu or Linux Mint or gNewSense.


overview




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I've used Fedora since 8 (now using Fedora 10) and like it very much. Ubuntu is also fine. Yes, Fedora has given me fits. Getting nVidia cards to work on any LINUX distro is sometimes a trick, and I had a hard time with my wireless card, but I think this is ubiquitous in the LINUX world for a Broadcom card (until the native drivers recently came out, which still don't work for me).

I would strongly second the VirtualBox recommendation. You can run any operating system you like as long as you have the installation media. In my Fedora 10 OS I have VirtualBox in which I run WinXP for those few things I can't get working in LINUX.

Another option is to download one of the LiveCDs for whatever distribution you like. Assuming you can boot from the CD, the LiveCD will give you a fully working version of the OS that you can play with as if it were native. If you like it, you can install directly from the LiveCD or download the full installation DVD and use that.

-Kirk

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Quote:
Original post by Simian Man
I would only recommend Debian if you are running a server and would only recommend gNewSense if you are a raving zealot.
What he means by this is gNewSense has absolutely no non-Free software, or even Free software with questionable licensing. As an example, Firefox is not installed by default because Mozilla has the logo trademarked, their binary distributions contain additional non-Free software, and they distribute and recommend non-Free plugins. Instead they include Epiphany by default, and on their wiki they have instructions on how to install GNU IceCat, which is compiled from the Firefox source, but they point it to their own set of Free plugins.

I used a capital "F" to distinguish between "Free as in freedom" (libre) and "free as in free beer" (gratis). If you speak another language besides English it's probably a much more obvious difference. This is actually a pretty complex discussion that has been going on for decades, and it affects a great deal of the software world. If you're interested (most people aren't), google around for things like open source vs. free software (not necessarily equivalent), BSD license vs. GPL license (one of them allows Microsoft to use free software source code as part of Windows), the software patent debate and the effects of the decision In re Bilski.

Ultimately though, what you install on your operating system is completely up to you, so you can start with any distro and end up in the same configuration. Distributions like gNewSense just make it a bit more difficult since they don't facilitate the installation of the binary blobs from ATI or Nvidia that will enable 3D acceleration. For this reason it's probably not ideal for game development.

Ubuntu is ideal for the beginner simply because of the size of the community, so if you run into any problems, there is a much higher chance that someone else was or is having the same problem you do. Also, when independent developers do Linux releases, they often target Ubuntu and Fedora/openSUSE (both 32-bit and 64-bit builds ideally), which covers a majority of Linux users.

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Quote:
Original post by Cygon
My personal preference is Gentoo.

The 'portage' package management system makes it extremely easy to write your own packages, so I can integrate anything, even when there isn't an official package yet, without circumventing the package manager and risking that something breaks when I run the next update.

It's currently running on my home server for pppoe DSL, NAT routing, VMware, BitTorrent (rTorrent+wTorrent) and file server (Samba), all in x64 :o)


As an ex-gentoo user (now use Arch, got sick of compile times on a P3) I can attest to it's greatness but it's NOT a great distribution for a first time user. It's just fine for a newbie since they have the basic concepts and it'll rocket them on to the hacker stage, but for a first time user something like Ubuntu is just fine.

I went kubuntu -> explore explore explore (tried a bunch of different distros) -> gentoo, where I learned a hell of a lot -> Arch, which is an amazing distro and suits my needs very well.

It's a path I recommend. If you're like me you'll get sick of ubuntu on your own for a variety of reasons you won't have to worry about for a little while.

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Quote:
Original post by Simian Man
I would only recommend Debian if you are running a server...
I find debian makes a pretty decent desktop OS, and the repositories are excellent - even such esoteric items as the (all-important to us Mac users) ZeroConf package are in the default repository.

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Quote:
Original post by phresnel
Quote:
Original post by Cygon
My personal preference is Gentoo.


I am not sure if this is a good choice for a beginner, regarding the compile-by-hands politics. Don't punch me, actually, gentoo would be a great step on the path to wisdom, but also a hard one if you are not used to it, and maybe even so hard that go back to other operating systems.


I personally run a Debian Lenny/Unstable installation dating back to 2006 (was a Testing Etch, then), and had some major upgrades since then. In the meanwhile, installing Debian is nearly as easy as Ubuntu or Mint. My personal recommendation for a beginning GNU+Linux user:


If you are ...


* a programmer or just want to have a huge software repository, install Debian as it has the biggest package repository of them all (4 DVDs, or ca. 20,000 pieces of software), with compilers for virtually all programming languages (including whitespace (rly!), FORTRAN, C, C++, Pascal, C#, Ada, etc.), plus several debugger frontends and several ide's and and and. You don't have to download all DVDs/CDs, just the first one, and then you can cherry pick the packages that will be downloaded by the package manager.

Also, Debian is said to be one of the most reliable distributions, which comes at the cost that software upgrades come late (but you can use official repositories like "testing" or "unstable" to get up to date software).


* A user with the need for just some major software like Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice, and a bit more, then try out Ubuntu or Linux Mint or gNewSense.


overview




yeah mostly for programming

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Quote:
Original post by Simian Man
I would only recommend Debian if you are running a server


And why exactly? Just curious.

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Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
I find debian makes a pretty decent desktop OS, and the repositories are excellent - even such esoteric items as the (all-important to us Mac users) ZeroConf package are in the default repository.


Quote:
Original post by phresnel
And why exactly? Just curious.


Well it doesn't make for a bad desktop, but to get the latest packages you need to use either the testing branch (which should actually be pretty stable at the moment since Lenny should be out soon), or the unstable branch. Having the latest packages is more important for a Desktop system than a server since you will miss out on new features of programs and may not have your newer peripherals supported.

And if you *do* suggest running the testing or unstable branches, you will be missing the legendary stability of Debian, and I don't see why that would be any better than running Ubuntu which provides fairly up to date packages and is pretty stable and friendly as well.

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Quote:
Original post by Simian Man
And if you *do* suggest running the testing or unstable branches, you will be missing the legendary stability of Debian, and I don't see why that would be any better than running Ubuntu which provides fairly up to date packages and is pretty stable and friendly as well.


I am running Testing for 2-3 years now, and experienced it as at least as stable as other Distros, but mostly even more stable. Of course I can't prove that right now.

But the real reason why I recommend Debian is because of the Epic Package Repository (with all major and minor pieces of software), the Debian policies, the fact that it is fully non-commercial. And based on that, the fact that ever since I switched to Debian, the only pieces of software that I had to install from non-repository was code::blocks, bleeding edge unstable g++ grabbed from upstream, and fellow programmers crafts. All else was already there.

I have even run Unstable for a time, but this is really not recommendable, if you can't live with one or two dropouts in a 1/4th year.

Also: If you really want bleeding edge software, you can cherry pick which software you want to have updated from which major branch.

Another Good Thing is that you only have to download a marginal netinstall cd, and download only what your heart desires. And if you are missing a fitting network driver for netinst (like myself then), only the first install CD is needed, which contains ndiswrapper (which wraps most windows (R) drivers, actually a bad thing, but well, I used it back then).

Of course Ubuntu has another advantage there, namely the free giveaway install CDs via snailmail [smile]. But okay.


To be honest, the only real reason why I would recommend Ubuntu over Debian is the nice Ubuntu community, whereas Debian often expects experienced folks.

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Quote:
Original post by phresnel
Quote:
Original post by Cygon
My personal preference is Gentoo.

I am not sure if this is a good choice for a beginner, regarding the compile-by-hands politics. Don't punch me, actually, gentoo would be a great step on the path to wisdom, but also a hard one if you are not used to it, and maybe even so hard that go back to other operating systems.


Well, I didn't have to compile anything by hand in my three years of using Gentoo. I simply type "emerge emacs" and sit back, just like you Debian users :)

I guess its a matter is personal preference, but I had Debian on my system for some time and finally ran away screaming. Mainly because what you refer to as the "biggest package repository" was missing lots of vital things for me and I had to go hunting for user-contributed packages or compile things from source. Plus, getting recent versions of packages I was using for development was always a nightmare.

All your statements hold true for any big linux distribution. They all enable you to cherry-pick and only download what you need. They all packages for those things you listed (well, except for whitespace, maybe :p).

Somehow I, as a complete linux newbie, found Gentoo to be my perfect match. I'm having an easier time with it as, say, SuSE or Debian. I haven't tried Ubuntu yet, but so far I've heard nothing but good about it.

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Quote:
Original post by Viral_Fury
As an ex-gentoo user (now use Arch, got sick of compile times on a P3) I can attest to it's greatness but it's NOT a great distribution for a first time user. It's just fine for a newbie since they have the basic concepts and it'll rocket them on to the hacker stage, but for a first time user something like Ubuntu is just fine.

I went kubuntu -> explore explore explore (tried a bunch of different distros) -> gentoo, where I learned a hell of a lot -> Arch, which is an amazing distro and suits my needs very well.

It's a path I recommend. If you're like me you'll get sick of ubuntu on your own for a variety of reasons you won't have to worry about for a little while.

[/quote]

Sounds just like my path to Gentoo. After some half-hearted attempts with SuSE and some russian distro with three letters (which I forgot), my first real use of Linux was Debian. When I finally had enough, I switched to Gentoo and haven't looked back since.

I think I have heard of Arch in the past, even in connection to Gentoo somehow. Maybe their target audiences overlap in part?

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