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Old 02-12-2006, 10:28 PM   #1
fadeone
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Choosing a right distribution..help..


Hello,

I will be purchasing a External USB HDD to install Linux on and I'm puzzled between which distros to try (I don't want to download 20 distros, ya know?).

I was hoping you guys can help me out. This is what I will be using it for.
  • Learning experience
  • Taking various certifications (Linux+ LPIC, Redhat etc)
  • Playing music
  • I would like to have atleast one pure distro, one that isn't included with a billion games and useless applications and one user friendly one (ubuntu, i'm guessing)
  • Introduction to linux, I don't mind if it's not user friendly

That's all I can think of at the moment.

I don't mind if it'll take me a while to understand, I don't mind troubleshooting and reading books about it. These are what I'm thinking of downloading and trying out:
  • Slackware (clean, "stripped to the bone" linux distro as I heard?
  • Gento (Just seen screenshots
  • Ubunt (User friendly)
  • Red Hat (heard lots of blah blah, and it's commercial, thought it's worth a try)

I don't mind experimenting and installing and formatting bunch of times. I'm looking to end up with 3-4 distros to try out.

If you have any comments on my plan to use a external USB HDD (40 GB) please let me know.

Also, I saw a Gentoo screenshot that looked like a mac with all the shorrtcut icons in the bottom center of the screen and calendar and weather around the desktop, how is this done?

THANK YOU!
 
Old 02-12-2006, 10:35 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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I would say to take the two quizes in my signature to see which linux may be right for you. All are good. My understanding of the above is Slackware you'll learn a ton because most everything is compiled by source and there's few (if any) gui config tools. Gentoo also does some compiling everything from source (although I think there's binaries too) so everything gets optimized for your machine. Ubuntu is a good user friendly distro. Red Hat I've personally never liked, but people swear by it (and a lot of the certification stuff I think is geared toward enterprise servers, of which many are RedHat). You could use CentOS, which is a clone of RedHat Enterprise Linux, only free. I think Fedora is like 95% of RHEL...

My other personal recommendation is Debian. Ubuntu is based off of Debian, but I've always like the pure form. You can run either rock solid stable (a little outdated) or bleeding edge unstable (which is actually as stable as any of the others you mentioned above).

I've never tried installing to a USB HDD, but I've noticed a few posts around here of troubles doing so. If you're only planning on using these distro's on one machine, you might be better off with a regular internal disk, but I don't really know.
 
Old 02-12-2006, 10:39 PM   #3
fadeone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez
I would say to take the two quizes in my signature to see which linux may be right for you. All are good. My understanding of the above is Slackware you'll learn a ton because most everything is compiled by source and there's few (if any) gui config tools. Gentoo also does some compiling everything from source (although I think there's binaries too) so everything gets optimized for your machine. Ubuntu is a good user friendly distro. Red Hat I've personally never liked, but people swear by it (and a lot of the certification stuff I think is geared toward enterprise servers, of which many are RedHat). You could use CentOS, which is a clone of RedHat Enterprise Linux, only free. I think Fedora is like 95% of RHEL...

My other personal recommendation is Debian. Ubuntu is based off of Debian, but I've always like the pure form. You can run either rock solid stable (a little outdated) or bleeding edge unstable (which is actually as stable as any of the others you mentioned above).

I've never tried installing to a USB HDD, but I've noticed a few posts around here of troubles doing so. If you're only planning on using these distro's on one machine, you might be better off with a regular internal disk, but I don't really know.
Thanks, I'll take those quizzes.

Other then a USB External HDD, do I have any other options? I kinda want it to be external..
 
Old 02-12-2006, 10:47 PM   #4
pljvaldez
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Here's a link that might help with the external drive:

http://www.simonf.com/usb/

It sounds like you can install fine to a USB hard drive, but it may take some work to make it bootable. You might have to carry around a boot disk or decipher what this guy did and adapt it to whatever distro you're installing...
 
Old 02-14-2006, 04:21 AM   #5
SonoranFun
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I'll second Debian, of all the distros I've played with (no less then 100) it's the one I stick with for every day use. All of them are going to have some bugs and issues to work out but to be honest, I ran debian 100% trouble free for 9 months with uptimes of 30+ days. I just reformatted my system so I could do a clean net install and just add the couple of programs I use and fluxbox instead of gnome.

I would go to their site and download the net install, then use that as it's an easy install. Of them all I would say Blag has the cleanest looking and easy install but I never had it running great. My thoughts are that Ubuntu and some of the others are putting out new stuff quicker then they fix issues and while this is a great driving force it still doesn't have them running as well as Debian Stable..

GOOD LUCK!
 
Old 02-14-2006, 04:26 AM   #6
SonoranFun
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As a side note, I took both tests and for me it came up Debian both times.. I will also say I started with Ubuntu and while I liked it Debian is just much more stable, seems to have more support and you can find EVERY program on the planet just about with apt-get..
 
  


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