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Old 01-27-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
Silphx303
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Question Help picking a distro


Hi all,

sorry if this seems like im a parrot chirping the same question as anyone else but i could do with some advice on picking a distrobution thats right for me, here's my story

about a week ago i finally decided i had had enough of microsoft and windows(all though im keeping a partition just incase) and promptly decided linux was my new direction, i have downloaded most of the major distro's(ubuntu, mandriva, fedora, suse and debian) and one or two tweaked ones (ubuntu ultimate gamers edition and linux mint) i have used the live cd's of each but still am unable to decide which is right for me. ill be completely honest im a total noob when it comes to linux until last week all i knew of linux was what i had seen on the telly, since i have learnt a few basic commands for the terminal but still find it quite confusing. getting used to the way programs and apps install is tricky for me having to use the command to make and install is somewhat time consuming and not to mention nerve racking for a noob.

my hardware is as follows:

Acer Aspire 5920

intel core 2 duo 1.86ghz
3.00Gb Ram
Intel 965 Graphics
250gb Hdd
intel pro 945 and broadcom wifi adapters

any help or advise you could give me would be much appreciated as i am currently back on windows and want to get back to linux asap


Steve

Last edited by Silphx303; 01-27-2009 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Spelling
 
Old 01-27-2009, 07:53 AM   #2
pixellany
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I could tell you that---after 5 years, 10,000 posts at LQ, and 100 gallons of coffee---I know how to pick the "best" distro. But I would be lying......

The best distro for you is often simply the last one you try. Start with anything in the top ten in the "hit list" at http://distrowatch.com and stay with it until you are reasonable comfortable with the basics. Then, if you go off "distro-hopping", you'll know more about what you are looking for.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
bitpicker
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Load each of the live CDs. Check which one supports your hardware best. Weed out those which don't set your screen settings correctly, or which don't recognize your printer immediately etc.

Stick with the one which seems the least hassle.

Or if you have space enough on your harddisk, install several of the distros, try out different GUIs, play with all the distros until you find the one which appeals to you the most. It's not as if you're on a deadline.

The tricky-seeming things, such as using the command line, are the same in all the distros anyway.

Another thing to look at is the community surrounding each distro. You can of course ask all your questions here, but usually there are specialized support forums for each distribution, too: take a look at those, and at the subforum of the distro here if LQ has one, look at the questions which get asked and the answers which are provided. Where do you feel more at home?

Robin
 
Old 01-27-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
salasi
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You have a reasonable spec of machine (people with 64M of ram have a harder time) so anything should run on the machine. Some distros will do a better job of setting up the wireless automatically than others, so you should probably ptrefer the list of ones that do a good job with wireless.

Decide which GUI you prefer, or, if you really, really, can't decide, which GUIs that you are going to have. (Many distros have a single or a preferred GUI; ignore them for the moment if they don't include the gui(s) that you want. Remember while Ubuntu is nominally the Gnome version of Ubuntu, you can just use synaptic to add the kde stuff, if that is what you want. One of the reasons that I like SuSE is that it does a decent job with more than one GUI, but, if you can decide on a single GUI (gnome, kde, xfce, windowmaker,...) so much the simpler).

Select from the list of distros which meet all of your requirements.

Stick with that distro for around six months and then think whether you want to change.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
Silphx303
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hi again guys thank you all for the help and advice youve given so far i really wasnt expecting to be treat so nicely compared to a few other forums ive joined in my life where noobz are tormented at all costs lol

now to my 2nd question, since starting this thread ive been surfing around looking on torrent site and at various distro site when i stumbled across a Sabayon 4.0 i done a little reading but i haven't actually come across anyone thats has used it that isnt bias. if any of you have used it could you tell me a little about it and what your thoughts of it where please

or alternatively tell me to shove off n do it myself lol


thanks in advance
 
Old 01-27-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
Chriswaterguy
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How to choose a Linux distro, at wikiHow, may help. (I started the page after it took me months to learn some key things the hard way.)

Link fixed following salasi's comment.

Last edited by Chriswaterguy; 01-27-2009 at 06:42 PM. Reason: fix link
 
Old 01-27-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriswaterguy View Post
How to choose a Linux distro, at wikiHow, may help. (I started the page after it took me months to learn some key things the hard way.)
Well, when I tried it, it said "Oh no you didn't". Perhaps what you created was
http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Linux-Distro
which was only one change of case away. Picky, picky, picky.

Quote:
when i stumbled across a Sabayon 4.0 i done a little reading but i haven't actually come across anyone thats has used it that isnt bias
Well, in a distro hopping mode sometime over a year ago, I did briefly try sabayon. I didn't really like the default appearance (but that would have been easy enough to change, had I really wanted too). As it is a Gentoo offshoot, I wasn't really sure whether I wanted to go with Gentoo (the upstream distro, but which had lost some focus) or with sabayon (had the focus that gentoo lacked, maybe not the 'real deal'). In the end, I didn't have any real reason to stick with the experiment; i.e, I wasn't bowled over by any particular positive virtue that would have made up for the effort needed to make the change. Probably I should have stuck with it a bit longer
 
Old 01-27-2009, 06:51 PM   #8
Chriswaterguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Well, when I tried it, it said "Oh no you didn't". Perhaps what you created was
http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Linux-Distro
which was only one change of case away. Picky, picky, picky.
Oops. I got the link from my browser history. Not sure what went wrong, but I fixed the link above, and also created a redirect. Thanks!
 
Old 01-27-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
Silphx303
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thanks guys after taking that helpful quiz and doing a little more research i have decided to go with Mandria 2009 im still finding a few things tricky such as locating sum extra repositories but im sure ill manage finding them under my own steam but input is welcome

but thanks again hope i wont be such a noob in the future


steve
 
Old 01-27-2009, 08:43 PM   #10
Chriswaterguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silphx303 View Post
thanks guys after taking that helpful quiz and doing a little more research i have decided to go with Mandria 2009
I really like Mandriva in many ways - it was the first distro that worked well for me, and 2009.0 is a good one. If you want to use Skype, you may be out of luck - there are suggestions on the excellent Mandriva 2009.0 Errata page, but I didn't get audio working with Skype on my machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silphx303 View Post
im still finding a few things tricky such as locating sum extra repositories but im sure ill manage finding them under my own steam but input is welcome
I assume you know http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/ - that should give you what you need. Though you still have to figure out which packages you need (e.g. win32 codecs if you want to play videos).
 
Old 01-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #11
Silphx303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriswaterguy
I assume you know [url
http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/[/url] - that should give you what you need. Though you still have to figure out which packages you need (e.g. win32 codecs if you want to play videos).
cheers sound as

thanks alot guys

Last edited by Silphx303; 01-27-2009 at 09:07 PM.
 
Old 01-31-2009, 11:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silphx303 View Post
now to my 2nd question, since starting this thread ive been surfing around looking on torrent site and at various distro site when i stumbled across a Sabayon 4.0 i done a little reading but i haven't actually come across anyone thats has used it that isnt bias. if any of you have used it could you tell me a little about it and what your thoughts of it where please

thanks in advance
I downloaded the latest Sabayon DVD; all the checksums and whatnot were fine, but it wouldn't run. Just crashed during boot-up. So I junked it without further investigation. This can happen frequently with some distros and the best thing to do (IMHO) is to just treat the disk you wasted burning it as a frisbe and try out something else instead. Of course, you could mount your unburned .iso file as a loopback device and try each one out before you burn, but media is so cheap I personally just burn regardless. I think I have tried over 10 distros before finding one I could live with and actually liked (Etch) and up until I found that one I was on the point of going back to Windoze. Team Debian saved me from a life sentence of M$ dependency, thank God!
 
Old 01-31-2009, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silphx303 View Post
thanks guys after taking that helpful quiz and doing a little more research i have decided to go with Mandria 2009 im still finding a few things tricky such as locating sum extra repositories but im sure ill manage finding them under my own steam but input is welcome

but thanks again hope i wont be such a noob in the future


steve
If you did one of those live, interactive distro choosers, I wouldn't pay too much attention to the suggestions you get. I found that the one I used at the outset recommended the distros I absolutely CANNOT get on with (Suse, Mandriva and Fedora) as first and second choices. As someone said above, the best advice is probably to try the top ten and see which one recognizes the most of your hardware (particularly important in this area being networking/wireless).
 
Old 02-20-2009, 01:20 PM   #14
donec
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It should be said that Linux has made many changes recently and due to these changes the need to be able to use the CLI (command line interface) has been reduced to almost non-existent. I have been trying to use Linux for a couple years and at first I was looking for distros that let me avoid the CLI and it was not very easy. Now however it is much easier. I am still not able to use the CLI except for copy and paste lines. However I am rather comfortable using Linux. The path I took of successful distros starts with SimplyMEPIS 3.0, SimplyMEPIS 6.0, MEPIS 7.0, Ubuntu several versions (had quite a few problems but most worked some), Elive, Mint, Fedora, Linpus (too restrictive unless you can use CLI) and Mandriva 2009 Gnome and it is what I use now. With Mandriva I don't even need to open a terminal so I don't need the CLI other than to look at something that someone has ask about on a forum and they give the commands so they can be copy and pasted.
 
Old 02-21-2009, 10:52 AM   #15
computerophil
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I started with Puppy and I loved it - now there are some I like.

big: Mandriva, Ubuntu,
medium: Knoppix, openmamba
small: Puppy


I've made a small table with links to Homepage, Wiki, Manual,... of my prefered Distributions. If you think that could help you, send me via Visitor Massage a eMail-address, where I could send it to you.

For beginners best is, if those drivers you need, plugins, ec., are already included, so they can start with it, without having too many problems to solve. And a good documentation and a Forum to ask are essential.
 
  


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