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Thread: Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

  1. #1

    Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    I currently run RedHat 8, but before I get too involved, I think I want to upgrade to a newer Kernel/GUI. I like Gnome so far. These are the distros I'm interested in so far.

    I am interested in a distribution that has good USB, printer, scanner and external CD-RW support. I use a lot of external hardware on my Laptop. I do a lot of desktop publishing, so I would like a distribution that includes Gimp and other publishing/editing software.

    OK, here's this to chew on. I haven't used anything but GNOME. I just started getting a lot of devices working.. am I going to have to redo everything when I install a new Linux Distro? Also, I have XP on a partition that I'm not ready to lose yet.... I know this is a lot, but it's a HUGE help.

    Thanks much!

    John A.

  2. #2

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    I would say SuSE. It's easy to use, easy to install and well supported. It also has Novel behind it, Ximian around and of course SuSE themselves. The only downside to it isn't easy to get the free version via ISO (you can install FTP without a problem though).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    I'd say Suse as well. I have recently just used both Suse and Fedora Core. Fedora has a few issues 'out of the box', so for someone new to linux I would reccomned Suse 9.0. It was easy to use, came with plenty of software, and its very easy to install

  4. #4

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    Well, SuSE is a tad bloated and KDE centric so if you like GNOME I would at least get Ximian Desktop 2 installed on it (it's supported) - the good thing is that Novell, Ximian and IBM (IBM supports RedHat and SuSE to it's customers) are behind the next SuSE release, which should be AWESOME.

    I personally use Fedora Core 1 but it takes a little work to be nice.

  5. #5

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    Slackware or Gentoo of course...
    Nah, SuSE's my pick as well, you just learn bad habits, habits like using X...

  6. #6
    Mentor cga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    Another vote for SuSE. It is very easy to install and use. And you should try the SuSE version of KDE too. It is much better than the stock KDE from an end user point of view.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    Other: Mandrake 9.1. Forget about 9.2. Mandy has the best installer (especially its partition manager) and most features of the mainstream distros IMHO.

  8. #8

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    Is Ximian Desktop 2 free? What is the license on that?



  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    [quote author=Linux Looser link=board=7;threadid=8527;start=0#msg77151 date=1074563987]
    Is Ximian Desktop 2 free? What is the license on that?




    I think so but you need to run Linux underneath it. Ximian is analogous to KDE or Gnome.

  10. #10
    Good Guru
    Schotty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Milwaukee, WI

    Re:Best Distribution for Linux Newbies

    If you go SuSE, I highly reccommend not doing the ftp install. Being the geek I am , having a bad ftp install on mine with some seriously odd errors that I still have troubles explaining (not the problems results, but the root problem), I decided to endeavor a few more prople to try it out. Out of 6 people, only 1 had it work on the first try. 2 others tried again sofar, and one still bombed.

    Get the box set. 40/80 for personal/pro. The pro is really nice in that it has the 7cds and a dvd. The dvd is the same as all of the cds. but if cost is a factor, either get someone to mail you a copy or try the personal.

    My votes right now are

    1) Fedora Core
    2) LindowsOS


    1) Fedora Core is Red Hat. It is supported all over and will be. Getting apps is a cakewalk, and once setup rarely needs any help staying up well. Up2date, the update is a little flaky, but the command line for it is EASY. Trust me, if you can pull a directory listing you can use yum.

    And if that doesnt sound good enuf, there is also Synaptic and apt-rpm that does the same thing (just over a different protocol), and is a tad bit more user friendly. Just not as many specific repositories.

    And since it is Red Hat, all of the nifty GUI tools are all there.

    2) LindowsOS has a bad rap because people fail to comprehend WHY it was developed, and its targetted audience. That is, users who dont get Windows, dont want to, and just want something that works. Dont care about how to make it work, just make it work.

    LindowsOS is debian linux, a non commercial competitior/rival/alternative (however you want to look at it) to Red Hat. Almost as supported commercially, and moreso from the user community. LindowsOS went and took that, added ClickAndRun to it.

    CAR (click and run) is a GUI tool to grab apps for you, install them, and show you where on the menu its added. However, this is a subsription service. It is also KDE centric, very KDE centric, Now realize who is stating this -- Mr RedHatWhore-MinisterOfPropgandaForLJR and the GNOME nut here. But in all fairness, the product is very nice (at least the several year old 2.0 was) and does a great job when combined with CAR. CAR is about the one reason to buy LindowsOS. Otherwise its a KDE based debian.

    Slackware, BSDs, and other linuxes are all good and all (I like Libranet alot -- alot alot) and its just how its

    A) Installed
    B) Presented
    C) How apps are updated

    that matter really these days. I killed my FC1 install, otherwise I would still be using it. I whored my self out to try others and found my likes and dislikes in each. But with some effort any dislike can be corrected.

    I say since you are at least somewhat familiar with how to toy around in Red Hat, get the latest and keep going there. Once you get more proficient, whore yourself out THEN. Few distros suck, its the goal that the project has in mind that may not be what you need that gives the impression. Plus when downloading, corruptions can occur. Like my SuSE example. SuSE 9 doesnt bite or blow, I just had a really crappy FTP install.

    If you asked 10 people what their favorite was, you would get about probably 7 different answers (Gentoo, Libranet, Mandrake, Redhat/FC, SuSE, Slackware, Debian). Its just what YOU want that now narrows. I say you are looking at Red Hat. From what I gather, alot of your issues are from lack of experience, and to confuse you less simply updating would suffice. For example, the USB crap --- probably a module issue. Later kernels have MUCH improved USB. That is the fix. I do not know if the latest kernel is available for RH8 over the RHN. But I do know that it is in FC1.

    To teach one to compile a kernel is tough, but eventually it is an easy task -- once a skill level is met. A new *NIX user probably doesnt have that right off the bat. No offense.

    Rant over ;D

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