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Old 08-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
KBD47
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Absolutely Solid Linux Distros


I've only been using Linux for a few months, and there seems to be a number of distros that will work with my computers, but what I want to know is, which distros over the Long Haul have proven themselves rock solid? And I will qualify that question with--a newbie can run it without having to use the console.
What would you recommend to a newbie based on years of running a particular Linux distro for general purpose computing out of the box?
Thanks!
KBD47
 
Old 08-01-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
corp769
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Hello,

If you don't want to use the command line, then I highly recommend that you do not use linux. The GUI within any linux distribution is only a front end to the command line, so learning linux without using the command line is like driving a car blind. Sorry to bust your bubble.....

Now as far as a good rock solid distro, that all depends on your taste. I recommend that you search on google for a linux distro quiz, along with browsing on distrowatch.com and checking out the hundreds of distros available. My personal recommendation would be Slackware, Fedora, BSD..... Ones that wouldn't be "friendly" to a newbie....

Cheers,

Josh
 
Old 08-01-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
dugan
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Slackware and Debian: Stable are famous for being "rock solid".
 
Old 08-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
Arcane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBD47 View Post
{...}which distros over the Long Haul have proven themselves rock solid?{...}
Lame question since it is like asking which is best without details. Anyway above mentioned + Debian.
 
Old 08-01-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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Rock solid: Slackware, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and derivates, but not Fedora), Suse Enterprise Linux, Debian. The BSDs, but they are not Linux.

Distros were you never have to touch the command line: None.

Newbie-friendly distros: Mint, Mepis, Ubuntu, Zorin, PCLinuxOS and I think Mandriva.

Quote:
What would you recommend to a newbie based on years of running a particular Linux distro for general purpose computing out of the box?
I would recommend to try a few or more and stick to that distribution that fits your needs and feels comfortable with you. But don't stick on that for ever, trust me, it will change over time, as many distros and almost all users change over time.
I, for example, started with Ubuntu, went to Debian and now I am using Slackware, all with a lot of distro-hopping. I think I will stay with Slackware, but who knows the future, I thought the same about Debian.
 
Old 08-01-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
snowpine
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Debian, Slackware, and Red Hat (including its derivatives like CentOS and Scientific Linux) are well-known for their stability.

For a new user who doesn't want to learn basic terminal commands, your best bet may be the Long Term Support (LTS) releases of Ubuntu, currently 10.04.
 
Old 08-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
KBD47
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In the past three months the only Lunux I've tried and used the command line on is Puppy Linux to pull up some software. I've been using SimplyMepis 11 on my desktop for three months and haven't touched the command line once. I'm suspecting that it is very stable as I haven't screwed it up yet. I also like Mint 9 which I'm using live persistent usb on my netbook. I know someone will ask me for advice about Linux eventually, and other than telling them to try a live cd to see if it works with their hardware and drivers, I'm curious what you folks think who have used Linux for years rather than my months regarding the various distros for newbies.
KBD47
 
Old 08-01-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Which distro one uses is, IMHO, almost totally up to personal preferences. You can achieve any task that you do with a newbie-friendly distro also with a more "difficult" distro, and vice vers. I think if you are not afraid of the command-line you will automatically use it sooner or later and when you become more proficient in it you will see that the "difficult" distros aren't difficult.
Just don't be afraid of the command-line, you can't harm your system as long as you don't work as root, and you don't have to fear about data loss if you have a good backup plan. Or better, just use a different install in a virtual machine for testing things you are unsure about, this way you can easily revert to a known good state.

Or in short, if you like Mepis, just use it.
 
Old 08-01-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBD47 View Post
In the past three months the only Lunux I've tried and used the command line on is Puppy Linux to pull up some software. I've been using SimplyMepis 11 on my desktop for three months and haven't touched the command line once. I'm suspecting that it is very stable as I haven't screwed it up yet. I also like Mint 9 which I'm using live persistent usb on my netbook. I know someone will ask me for advice about Linux eventually, and other than telling them to try a live cd to see if it works with their hardware and drivers, I'm curious what you folks think who have used Linux for years rather than my months regarding the various distros for newbies.
KBD47
Honestly if you are happy and familiar with a particular distro then there is no real need to switch just because someone says something else is "more reliable."

The most "stable" distro would be one that never changes, evolves, or updates (except for minor bug fixes). But of course most of us like to upgrade our applications from time to time and enjoy newer features; this introduces a risk of instability, so it's a trade-off of what are your individual needs.
 
Old 08-01-2011, 05:30 PM   #10
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It might actually help to to include newbies in your poll. A lot of your seasoned Linux guys forget what it was like actually learning Linux for the first time. I'm an extreme newbie, with just a little over a year of experience, not only with Linux, but with the technical side of computing in general. After struggling a while with Slackware, I finally tried CentOS, which I've found to be very intuitive & friendly, and has a very good reputation as a nearly exact clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In a production environment I recommend CentOS.

Last edited by bluegospel; 08-01-2011 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Removed quote that was the orginal post (redundant)
 
Old 08-01-2011, 05:36 PM   #11
KBD47
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bluegospel, you might be right. Guys who have used Linux for a long time probably can't imagine or remember not using a command line. I looked up Slackware and it sounds very stable, but also sounds difficult for newbies. Maybe someone like yourself who has used Linux for about a year or so could speak to both a newbie friendly and very solid distro.
KBD47
 
Old 08-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
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Already mentioned - Debian. Do normal install not minimal and you will be fine. Arch requires lot of reading material and Slackware also(not to mention Gentoo) but Debian is "universal operating system" for reason and is very stable.
 
Old 08-02-2011, 11:09 AM   #13
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We've really got three questions here.

1. Is is stable? That can be judged (at least in part) on how quickly new software is incorporated. Rolling releases (Debian Testing, Arch) may have occasional problems, while anything that has a release cycle of more than 12 months (Debian Stable & Mepis, CentOS & Scientific Linux, Slackware & Salix) should be very stable.

2. Will it work with my computer? This can be the opposite! If you've got the very latest graphics card / wifi card / printer, then there may not be a driver pre-installed in the more conservative distro. The question of free versus non-free is also relevant. Some distros (Fedora) won't put non-free software on their installation disk, which may cause a problem in getting drivers.

3. Is it friendly? Very few distros require a lot of manual configuration (Slackware, Arch). All require occasional use of the command line, but that doesn't make them difficult: merely different to Windows and OS-X. Far more important is getting the right GUI: a Gnome person may be happy with Xfce, but will seldom appreciate KDE, and vice versa. And, above all, read the installation instructions before you start.

Since you ask for a general purpose distro that runs out of the box for a newbie, I'd say
KDE: Mepis, Pardus
Gnome: Mint
Xfce: Salix
 
  


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