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Old 12-30-2003, 04:18 AM   #1
mosko
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best distro for a graphics designer turned software engineer?


I'm a newbie to Linux but have been messing around with computers since I was 3. I have a technical background but really love visual things the best. I have worked as a graphics designer (web and print) for about 8 years and just for the past year I have been working as a software engineer. I'm quite familiar with all the windows OSí and OS x.

I've tried Linux about every couple of years since 95 and have never been excited by it enough to spend the amount of time to really "understand" it.

I guess I caught the 2.6 bug....with all the commotion I really want to try Linux again. I just bought a VIA Eden board and plan to run some distro on it. So here's my question.

For a graphics designer turned software engineer (that still loves a beautiful visual experience above all) what is the best distro? Iím not against getting my hands dirty and I'm not afraid to install anything.

Right now I'm leaning towards SuSe or Fedora, but after reading some posts even Slackware seems surprisingly appealing. SuSe is a bit irritating because I love the "freeness" of the Linux community. I'm not against spending the $90 for the Pro version if SuSe is indeed that much better. But please keep in mind that my new found interest in coding is still just for making a "better" user experience. I'm mainly a UI designer. This is why Iím so taken by Os X. To me they got just about everything right with this Os. Now, I want to use Linux, too. Life is boring with 2 systems, right? Any suggestions?
 
Old 12-30-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
jailbait
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"Any suggestions?"

I ran SuSE for about three years and recently switched to Fedora. Red Hat has tried to standardize the Gnome and KDE desktops with something that they call Bluecurve. The result is that you have much more artistic freedom in creating login screens, desktops, etc. with SuSE than with Fedora.

The other reason for you to buy SuSE Pro is the documentation. SuSE Pro has excellent documentation and I recommend that the first time that you install SuSE that you buy it to get the manuals. You do not need to buy the manuals on future releases of SuSE because by then you will know what you are doing. Fedora is undocumented and you are on your own.

___________________________________
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Steve Stites
 
Old 12-30-2003, 07:19 PM   #3
mosko
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Thanks a lot for the reply. I kinda am leaning towards SuSE Pro but I'm curious as to why you switched from SuSE to Fedora. Is it because SuSE doesn't stay as current as Fedora?
 
Old 12-30-2003, 08:32 PM   #4
jailbait
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"I'm curious as to why you switched from SuSE to Fedora."

I started out paying for SuSE. After I learned Linux I started using the free version of SuSE. Both SuSE and Red Hat provide free versions of their distributions but they deliberately create inferior versions for free distribution in order to encourage people to pay for Linux.

I prefer the free Fedora version of Red Hat to the free version of SuSE. Red Hat did a good job of separating out the free version from the pay version when they created Fedora. I prefer the pay version of SuSE to the pay version of Red Hat, and SuSE is cheaper.

"Is it because SuSE doesn't stay as current as Fedora?"

Pay SuSE is usually slightly behind pay Red Hat. SuSE also deliberately delays releasing the free version of each SuSE release for at least 30 days after the pay version goes on sale. Fedora is actually ahead of pay Red Hat. This point was high on my list of reasons for switching to Fedora. Fedora has become the bleeding edge distribution, which I prefer.

I also configure the GUI eye candy a fair bit, enough so that I feel cramped by Bluecurve. However appearence is far enough down my must have list that this drawback was not enough to tilt the balance back to SuSE.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 12-30-2003 at 08:34 PM.
 
Old 12-30-2003, 09:17 PM   #5
mosko
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Wow thanks for all the great feedback! This is really helping. There is so much information about distributions out there but it seems so hard to get anyone to say anything specific when comparing versions. Everything is always so general. You're quite a find for me...using exactly the two versions that I'm interesting in.

Please forgive me for asking a few more questions....

I live in Taiwan, but my main language is english so I prefer to use an english OS. This turns SuSE Pro into a $100+ (USD) operating system with shipping costs. Money is not a huge deal to me but I'm not too keen on dumping that kind of money with any frequency to use an OS that I believe should be free, (or at the very least when lots of comparable free versions exist). So if I buy SuSE the first time (for the manuals) and later want to just use the ftp install, can you make the ftp install the same as the boxed set by downloading more programs yourself? I actually like to find some on the net system. Kind of like a treasure hunt when youíre a kid feeling. If not then this could be a big issue Ė and could even lead me to choosing Fedora. Oh and I, too, like bleeding edge things.

With all things equal (money, time, etc... -- no issue) would you recommend (use) SuSE Pro or Fedora?
 
Old 12-31-2003, 10:09 AM   #6
jailbait
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"can you make the ftp install the same as the boxed set by downloading more programs yourself?"

No. But the differences are small. Some of the SuSE distribution is proprietary programs owned by SuSE. SuSE does not include all of the proprietary programs in the free distribution. This was never a problem for me. I did read a review of SuSE where a school teacher talked about installing SuSE on all of his student's computer. He definitely found the pay version of SuSE easier to mass install on a lot of computers than the free version of SUSE.

I went from SuSE 8.0 to SuSE 8.1 by downloading a few packages at a time on a dial up modem and installing them. This took me two or three months of part time work. I will never do that again. Instead I buy the CDs from an online discount CD store in France. It costs about $3 per CD.

"With all things equal (money, time, etc... -- no issue) would you recommend (use) SuSE Pro or Fedora?"

For myself I use Fedora. Your selection criteria are different. For your set of criteria I recommend that you buy SuSE Pro the first time and then later switch to the free version of SuSE Pro. If you get interested enough in Linux that the bleeding edge technology becomes more interesting to you than the graphics then you could switch to Fedora.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 12-31-2003 at 10:10 AM.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 09:06 PM   #7
mosko
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Thanks for all your help! I'm going to try to SuSE pro today.
 
Old 03-17-2007, 03:04 PM   #8
mipia
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I know this is an oooold post. A few years old actually. But how did things turn out in the end?
 
  


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