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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Do these answers really help you decide which you would like to use? Linux is Linux the communities surrounding the distro make the difference hang out in communities of a few distro's and see which appeals to YOU.
I started on Debian, then moved to RedHat, then to SUSE. I even tried Ubuntu for awhile while using my old PC as a TimeMachine server for my Mac. I have ended up on openSUSE simply because I like the integration better. But, its purely a matter of personal taste. The capabilities are similar across all flavors.
My system today is a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.9, a Windows 8.1 Pro virtual machine, a Windows XP Pro virtual machine and an openSUSE 13.1 virtual machine. I can run all the software I need using the above combinations. Note that I have some old legacy SW that I keep the XP machine around for.
openSUSE works great for running my Altera, Xilinx and ModelSim tools.
Debian if you talking about professional use, stable is hard to beat. OpenSuse does have nice integration, Yast is great. But repos of Debian, larger community, more likely to find help... It is a no brainer for me. I actually wanted to use OpenSuse but the latest 13.1 was a glitchy mess for me. Gave up and went back to Debian, testing this time and am perfectly content with it.
Over the years I've noticed "former" m$-windows users find KDE (desktop environment) easy to use and it is included in many Linux distributions. The Xfce DE can also be setup to mimic the Xp desktop.
That was my experience. Eventually, before the arrival of KDE 4, I moved to fluxbox and then to openbox.
I still have konqueror as my file manager though. It's simply unbeatable. Once you get used to it, tweaking it to your taste, every other FM feel either ridiculously limited, or a clunky, useless, piece of junk.
debian for me. I started on SuSE but the next version (> 6.1) wouldn't install (easily) on my laptop at the time. I've tried others, but I always end up back on debian. It seems to be the easiest long term option out there. For those of us who don't reinstall an OS every two weeks or even once a year, debian wins. At the end of the day they all run basically the same software. Some minor quirks with versioning and availability, but basically the same (for now).
With the questionable decision to abandon Gnome 2.xx, I, with thousands of others, fumed and searched for a suitable replacement. I eventually settled on the Mate desktop environment running on Linux Mint. Since about 2004, I stopped using anything MS as my primary OS, preferring the more stable and secure Gnu/Linux OS. I do have VirtualBox installed, and using it, virtual XP, WIN7, and WIN8 machines. Of those three, I've only used Win8 since discovering "Classic Shell" http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/ which gives us the classic shell we've all become used to. And at that, I only fire up that to handle tax prep software or to try to help family/friends with problems on their Windows machines.
I'm really impressed with the evolution of the Mate DE.... it is about as close to the old Gnome as I've seen. And from what I've read, Mate DE will be around for some time.
The next release of Linux Mint 17 will have the new Mate 1.8 available as a DVD installation iso. Great news!
The answer will depend on your clients! There is no "best Linux" and what does for one will not do for others.
If you are talking about business users, they need stability. If they are prepared to pay for support, there's Red Hat and SUSE. If they want it free, there's CentOS (the same as Red Hat), Debian Stable, and Slackware.
An important consideration is the GUI, which is not built-in. Anyone will want something that is not going to be too much of a culture shock. If they are used to the XP interface, then they may not like Gnome: there may be cries of "Help, my computer looks like a smart-phone!" KDE is reliable and configurable, although some people find the special effects irritating. It's traditionally said that KDE is more Windows like, but I'd say that applied to the older versions. Mate and Xfce are more traditional. Then there's the question of the age of the computer. Some are going to be running XP on very old machines! AntiX will install Debian Stable in such a way that you can run a professional word-processor in 128MB. A modern KDE desktop will not perform well with less that 1GB.
So, we have
- Red Hat or CentOS with Gnome or KDE
- SUSE with KDE or Gnome
- Debian Stable with Gnome or KDE, or installed with Ice via AntiX, or installed with Mate via Point
- Slackware installed via Salix (more user-friendly configuration tools) with Xfce, KDE, or Mate.
Been using Linux Mint for ages, but I gave Debian Stable 7.4 Wheezy a shot. And I'm hooked. Went for the minimal net install cd. So I had to download the rest of the programs and interface and ended up with the Gnome desktop. However there are also cd iso files with XFCE and LXDE available next to KDE
Debian Linux for sure, because I like the environment, and interface, but I must confess to liking Libre Office a great deal. I am a novelist/poet/political writer and I prefer the odt. format for writing. I will be trying some server software this summer, but haven't really decided which system to use. I hope to go normal and gopher too.
Debian Wheezy with XFCE desktop. I like the full functionality and low memory footprint. In my setup a clean boot into XFCE idles at about 90mb (only 30mb more memory usage than Fluxbox). I still keep a Windows 7 system around only for driver availability and driver quality for my printers and scanners. Professional quality print output and scanning is the one area where Linux has not worked for me, but possibly this is due to the old age of some of my hardware. Oh yeah - it would also be nice to watch Netflix videos but that is a Netflix DRM issue, not a limitation of Linux.
Debian Testing (Jessie) at the moment. Had Wheezy 7.4 Stable running, but decided to give Testing a try. So downloaded this weeks iso with the XFCE desktop and it's running like a charm here. Debian is together with Mint my favourite distro.