2004 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice AwardsThis forum is for the 2004 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.
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Over the last couple of months I've tried a number of distros - Slackware (not bad but still need to learn too much) SuSE (downright **** to me), Mandrake 10 (nice enough...), Aurox (feodra clone with loads of packages, but still, a clone), + a number of live cds and my one and only vote goes to Fedora Core 3 . SImple and smooth!
SuSE 9.1 / 9.2 are great distributions for novices, pros and winlin users, you the the type, they cut their teeth on windows and then try to apply what they know on windows to linux? Yeah those kind. Point N Clickers!
The fact that Novell bought them (SuSE) makes them a very big powerhouse now with great opportunities for the linux community (IMHO). Novell, who were the early developers for the network technology of today, are keeping SuSE free and have their own distribution of Novell Linux which is designed to plug into all their cool stuff too.
The fact that you can use Yast / Yast2 for pretty much everything, their huge driver base and the thousand + packages that come on the 5 cd / 1 dvd just makes my life easier as a tech and as a consumer.
I love Gentoo, Mandrake cut my teeth on Slack and Red Hat so at any other time I would answer "I can not choose a distro, they are all good" but for this Choices Awards I'm gonna throw in the towel and say SuSE only because I have been using it straight for the last 4 years which would also make it a BIAS opinion on my part, I know LOL. G.
I voted for Fedora. I have RedHat 9, Fedora Core 2, and Core 3 on my servers. RedHat 9 is till the Linux that the world sees via my Web Sites but I will probably start using Fedora Core 3 later this year. It take quite a while to get everything working right as I use PHP, mcrypt, mhash, mysql among other additional packages. The SELinux has been quite a learning experience. I think it is a good idea but quite a bit of effort is involved in getting it up and running right.
I really like Knoppix! I always have a copy of the Knoppix CD and also a floppy version with me. I also like RIP as a rescue system, it's small and has a lot of tools and "HELP" information. RIP is really nice when I'm out in the field trying to breath life back into a 'brain-frozen" Window$ box. RIP has nice on line documentation and help -- I'm just not able to remember everything any more so without man pages and docs I'm at a loss.
Carry always Knoppix or other LiveCD-distros with you
And here is an argument which is a quote...
"Knoppix can be used as a Linux demo..."
Today, I can take different versions of linux within me. Some of them are good for making videos, some for mathematics etc. And I can put one of them to my mother's-in-law computer without destroying her windoze. And this way, suddenly - exponentially - more and more people can see the linux in use first time. This is a big deal.
Originally posted by joef I settled on Gentoo for the trip (moved from the U.S. to Germany), but Slackware is going on it now that I've got my desktop back online. Gentoo is fast and clean, but you can't beat Slackware. It just gets out of your way and lets you get set up and then work.
I honestly don't see the advantage of Slack over Gentoo at this point. I had always perceived it as a progression of learning: simpler distro (Fedora, Mandrake, etc.) -> Slackware -> Gentoo.
Gentoo outperformed by far my original Slackware install.
Not an easy question, I'm fond of several; (bought RHAT stock when it was under $3/share) the most noteworthy that's impressed me overall has been Lindows/Linspire, which has pretty well opened the door for Linux as an OS that can be used by anyone that can figure out how to turn on a machine.
It's particularly useful for weaning folks off of M$; for $200 I can set someone up with a box running Linspire on a KVM next to their windoze machine, & they'll gradually become to rely on their Linux box as their M$ machine becomes crapped up with virii & browser hijackers.
Theology, theology, it's all theology. At least it's polite here.
My theological & political favorite remains Debian GNU/Linux; but I voted for Mepis.
Why Mepis? Because I am trying to be in the business of bringing enlightenment (although not necessarily Enlightenment) to the poor benighted Winders™ users of the world. Not only does it have the best desktop panel layout I have ever seen, there is a great beginner book that is integrated w/ it: Point & Click Linux by Robin "Roblimo" Miller. I currently use Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! by Marcel Gagné for my text, but he supplies a Knoppix CD mis-matched w/ Mandrake illustrations inside the book. Miller, on the other hand, illustrates his book from SimplyMEPIS & packs that CD w/ the book. I would have already switched texts, but my current crop of (paid!) students are too advanced for Miller. What I hope to do is design a real "beginner beginner" course around the Miller book.
While we are on the subject of books to aid in the "enlightenment", Gagné's Moving to the Linux Business Desktop is also excellent -- definitely the most advanced of the 3.
What an embarrassment of riches, we now have three great books to recommend to GUI-oriented beginners.
More Mepis: I like the business model, if Robin's description is correct, they forthrightly say that you can use apt-get & free Debian sources or subscribe to their service. I don't believe (ICBWAT) that Linspire, Xandros, etc. are so open about your choices.
BTW, because of the posts here I have visited the ubuntu site & will be trying it soon.
I sure someone else has said it here, but in some sense every vote for Mepis, ubuntu, or any of the other derivatives is also a vote for Debian. Partial credit? or at least a super category -- i.e. a virtual "Debian Family" shows the total for all members in one place.