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View Poll Results: what distro make you learn about *NIX ?
Fedora 18 14.17%
Debian 16 12.60%
Ubuntu family 11 8.66%
Slackare 40 31.50%
Arch 5 3.94%
Gentoo 10 7.87%
LFS 5 3.94%
other 22 17.32%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-2007, 01:39 PM   #1
arnuld
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general knowledge of *NIX


i am in "distro-dancing phase" and used lots of distros: Fedora, Debian, Frugalware, Foresight, CRUX, Arch, Gentoo and some others i have forgotten.

what i have found is that "there is no perfect distro" or should i say in generally, "there is no my-distro kind of thing that exists". Gentoo and CRUX taught me most about UNIX internals but Gentoo is too much of work because of its extreme-customisation philosophy of which i am not a big fan. CRUX lacks a good package manager and CRUX people say it is its feature. i have seen whatever i have learnt in Gentoo is not applicable to *NIX in general while some things are really applicable. e.g. learning about alsa-setup on Gentoo is completely different from Debian alsa setup but "ifconfig" is same on both Debian and Gentoo and at the same time "eselect" is a tool that exists on Gentoo and quite helpful there but does not exist not on others and i will be completely lost on others distros without this tool and hence i will be handicapped by this tool :-(

i want a distro where i can learn about *NIX in a general way rather than distro specific way. things that apply to nearly most distros with "principle of least-surprise".

finally, i am just looking for a distro with stability, text-based configuration and good package-management and one that keeps me hooking on learning on the way . i am not a *NIX newbie.

any ideas/help ?
 
Old 06-09-2007, 02:07 PM   #2
MensaWater
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You're question is a little misleading. Obviously you want to know which Linux Distro. *NIX includes UNIX (e.g. HP-UX, SCO, Solaris, AIX, *BSD) as well as Linux and all "UNIX like" systems such as Xenix. However your poll only mentions SOME of the Linux distros and leaves out the rest of the broad category.

I learned on AT&T System V (the folks who wrote UNIX were at Bell Labs which at the time was part of AT&T). I moved on to SCO UNIX, SCO Xenix (not to be confused with M$ Xenix), Astrix (NEC's flavor of UNIX), Solaris A/UX (Apple's short lived UNIX OS long before OS X), NCR, HP-UX, AIX, Dynix etc... When Linux finally made an appearance (late in the game compared to UNIX of which it is a clone) I first worked on Caldera and a little on Slackware.

My Linux distro of choice is Fedora/RedHat (Fedora being the non-commercial stuff and RedHat after version 9 being the commercial stuff). I've used Debian but don't much care for the apt style of package managers. The rpm/yum one has on present day Fedora/RedHat is very user friendly IMO.

However, having said all that. In general most commands ARE similar between UNIX variants and Linux distros. Some will have flags not available on others but for the most part they're the same. Where they differ usually is in the administrative commands as you've found. For that you're NOT going to find a single distro that does it the "general" way.

The best thing to do is determine what it is you want to do with the distro. If its for personal use only (e.g. you don't want to do it for a living) you can pick any one whose features and philosophy (yes philosophy has a lot to do with why there ARE different distros) matches yours. If you DO want to do it for a living I'd suggest you use Fedora (as this is essentially the same as RedHat so will help you in shops that use RedHat) or Suse as that is the other big commercial distro.
 
Old 06-09-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
arnuld
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DMAN it, i did not even know that "Linux Distributions" forum also has a general distro list. i always thought one can only post questions specific to one distro only. i request moderator to please move this thread to Linux Distributions. sorry for the mistake
 
Old 06-09-2007, 03:37 PM   #4
XavierP
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As requested, moved to Linux-Distributions
 
Old 06-09-2007, 08:50 PM   #5
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I mainly used Mandrake/Mandriva when I started with Linux. I learnt a lot about Linux/Unix using that distro and I still have a soft spot for it so always have it installed on one of my machines even though its glory days seem to be over. These days I spend more time using Fedora, CentOS, Gentoo and FreeBSD. The Linux/Unix basics are all the same so you will learn a lot regardless of the distro you choose.
 
Old 06-09-2007, 09:32 PM   #6
phantom_cyph
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How about...all of them? Distros are built differently, but set up similarly, so some things are easier to learn in one that isn't in another. (I distro-hopped for about 2 years straight.)
 
Old 06-09-2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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Distro-hopping is pretty hard when it's the first time. Most of the foundation is common, of course (such as the coreutils), but configuring apache, changing the init level or restarting or enabling services is confusing on a debian-style distro such as Ubuntu, when you come from the Fedora/RedHat/CentOS world.

And I'm not even talking about something like Slack, Gentoo or LFS, Linux for people who really know their stuff, with the craftsmanship, the delicate thinkering of hundred of compilation flags. I see these people in an whole different class than the rest of us.

The mainline distributions with their precompiled packages and their (for the most part) resolved dependencies are so easy, so comfortable, and the new stuff is getting better all the time. So you might as well stay with one or two good ones get to know them and use them, even if you have to periodically reinstall from scratch every 18 months.
 
Old 06-10-2007, 09:49 AM   #8
arnuld
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
You're question is a little misleading. Obviously you want to know which Linux Distro. *NIX includes UNIX (e.g. HP-UX, SCO, Solaris, AIX, *BSD) as well as Linux and all "UNIX like" systems such as Xenix. However your poll only mentions SOME of the Linux distros and leaves out the rest of the broad category.
i thought *NIX means "UNIX like" only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
The best thing to do is determine what it is you want to do with the distro. If its for personal use only (e.g. you don't want to do it for a living) you can pick any one whose features and philosophy (yes philosophy has a lot to do with why there ARE different distros) matches yours. If you DO want to do it for a living I'd suggest you use Fedora (as this is essentially the same as RedHat so will help you in shops that use RedHat) or Suse as that is the other big commercial distro.
yes it is definitely going to be for "living". i want to do a job as "OOAD and C++ expert on Linux platform". can never use Suse, look at the Suse-Microsoft deal. i can go for Fedora but if you say all are nearly same (except at some places) then will Fedora be your suggestion or a must for me?
 
Old 06-10-2007, 10:24 AM   #9
MensaWater
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My suggestion about Fedora is because:
1) The top commercial distribution is RedHat
2) Fedora is the non-commercial distribution that RedHat contributes to and uses more or less as a beta for what goes into RedHat.
3) Fedora is free unlike RedHat.

I concur that Suse should be shunned due to their sellout (IMO) of OSS to M$ but mentioned it because it is the other big commercial distribution. You will, however, see some Suse adherents here tell you many things about why Suse is great but never quite mention why the agreement should be ignored. With M$ recent claim to patents infringed by Linux this sellout is even more onerous because it gives M$ something to point at as tacit support for their position.

So yes - I'd suggest Fedora as the way to go if you intend to get a job somewhere in the future. On resumes you'd want to say "Fedora/RedHat". Most recruiters look for keywords and don't understand similarities (or differences) so wouldn't look at your resume if it didn't say "RedHat" anywhere on it.

By the way - since I brought it up: Using OpenSolaris might have some value. Solaris is probably the biggest commercial UNIX variant so knowing OpenSolaris might be better for getting a UNIX job rather than a Linux job.

Last edited by MensaWater; 06-10-2007 at 10:38 AM.
 
Old 06-10-2007, 11:46 AM   #10
arnuld
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
My suggestion about Fedora is because:
1) The top commercial distribution is RedHat
2) Fedora is the non-commercial distribution that RedHat contributes to and uses more or less as a beta for what goes into RedHat.
3) Fedora is free unlike RedHat.
thanks for the advice. BTW, i think RHEL is Free (not talking of money here) as CentOS is built from the RHEL source which is freely available for download but may be, i am wrong here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
I concur that Suse should be shunned due to their sellout (IMO) of OSS to M$ but mentioned it because it is the other big commercial distribution. You will, however, see some Suse adherents here tell you many things about why Suse is great but never quite mention why the agreement should be ignored. With M$ recent claim to patents infringed by Linux this sellout is even more onerous because it gives M$ something to point at as tacit support for their position.
this i what i HATE about Suse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
So yes - I'd suggest Fedora as the way to go if you intend to get a job somewhere in the future. On resumes you'd want to say "Fedora/RedHat". Most recruiters look for keywords and don't understand similarities (or differences) so wouldn't look at your resume if it didn't say "RedHat" anywhere on it.
hey buddy, thanks for this GREAT job-tip. never knew that "recruiter's thinking". a BIG THANKS to you :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
By the way - since I brought it up: Using OpenSolaris might have some value. Solaris is probably the biggest commercial UNIX variant so knowing OpenSolaris might be better for getting a UNIX job rather than a Linux job.
a new thing for me: OpenSolaris. in my country, INDIA, i have seen most job requirements as "C++ on UNIX" (with Linux in brackets). i will google for it,

BTW, just curious, how about FreeBSD ? (or OpenBSD, NetBSD etc)

Last edited by arnuld; 06-10-2007 at 11:49 AM.
 
Old 06-10-2007, 12:44 PM   #11
arnuld
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i have also found these RHEL based system: CentOS, Scientific Linux.

just wanted to mention :-)
 
Old 06-10-2007, 02:50 PM   #12
MensaWater
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CentOS is out there and lot of people like it. By all accounts it is indeed a RedHat like distro but is is not exactly RHEL any more than Fedora is. So far as I know, however, RedHat (the company) doesn't contribute directly to that distro as they do to Fedora.

*BSD is technically "UNIX" because it is based on the Berkley style UNIX that many of the commercial variants (including Solaris) were originally based on. However Berkley and "System V" (the Bell Labs/AT&T UNIX) diverged somewhat very early on. Most of the commercial variants (including Solaris) moved back towards the System V way of doing things as time went by. (In fact one of my reasons for not being a huge fan of Solaris is that it still has a lot of Berkleyisms in it and uses symbolic links etc... to make it more like System V.)

In the above I mean "UNIX" as based on original UNIX source code as opposed to clones. However, since *BSD is open source much of what is available for Linux is available for it and vice-versa. (For that matter you can get gcc and most OSS packages installed on your Commercial UNIX variants such as HP-UX and AIX.)

However, my take is that so far as open source operating systems go Linux has the lion's share. *BSD is probably a distant number 2 but OpenSolaris is probably growing fairly quickly. A lot of open source operating system users are professional UNIX admins. If they're already using Solaris on commercial systems and didn't already have Linux they'd likely use OpenSolaris rather than Linux so long as they had applications that would run on it.

A lot of folks using UNIX/Linux use commercial applications/databases on top of the operating systems. For example Oracle will tell you their products run on RHEL or Suse (or now the so called Unbreakable Linux they're trying to push) but won't give you support on other Linux distros. However, I was able to setup a Fedora Core 6 system that let us run an Oracle R12 database. You just ignore the "RHEL" specification and use the packages for FC6.
 
Old 06-11-2007, 10:39 AM   #13
farslayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
CentOS is out there and lot of people like it. By all accounts it is indeed a RedHat like distro but is is not exactly RHEL any more than Fedora is. So far as I know, however, RedHat (the company) doesn't contribute directly to that distro as they do to Fedora.
Centos basically IS RHEL. What the CENTOS project has done, is to download all the freely available RHEL source code available from RedHat and compile it while removing all references to RedHat (for legal reasons) You are right that RH doesn't contribute to it directly, but it is basically the same OS


Quote:
CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible.
 
Old 06-11-2007, 02:33 PM   #14
MensaWater
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Right but you could say Fedora is RHEL because what is done in Fedora is what goes into RHEL. Not only that - the Fedora update occurs before the RHEL update.

Wasn't trying to dis CentOS - just pointing out that it isn't RHEL any more than Fedora is - just very close to it. IMO there isn't any more reason to use CentOS than there is Fedora and there may not be any less reason to use it than Fedora.
 
Old 06-11-2007, 03:04 PM   #15
anomie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlightner
IMO there isn't any more reason to use CentOS than there is Fedora and there may not be any less reason to use it than Fedora.
If you are running a box where stability (in the form of less-disruptive updates) and long-term maintenance updates are important, you want to be running CentOS over Fedora.

CentOS is literally built from RHEL SRPMS. It is very close to being a clone. Fedora is a distro that developers can experiment on with bleeding edge features that may make their way into RHEL in the future -- Fedora is focused on rapid releases.

Different missions, different distros.
 
  


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