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The first question:
I am new to linux and really want these questions to be answered.
What is the difference between all the distros?
Me being a newbie has only seen the difference in xwindow managers and some minor differences is in the distros like package management and various other things. What I really want to know what is the key aspect that makes all the distros so different.
Slack is a good distro, but NOT one I would recommend to a newbie. Largely because "Slackware is distro which YOU have to configure." That is a sure way to send most noobs back to Windows.
Mandrake is the distro I usually recommend to newbies. It installs easily, and works well. It is my distro of choice. (Although I generally recommend a newbie try other distros, once he is comfortable in Linux, and make a choice as to what they like best.)
And to reiterate what others have said, the main differences between distros are the software that comes pre-packaged, and the package management system used. Actually, I think most distros are more similar to each other than Windows is with previous versions of itself.
Well, well, well Yes, I was using Mandrake9.2 fo half a year. And I tell you 1 thing: I was VERY new to Linux (as I am almost now) and after I installed some app, menus in GNOME and KDE were spoiled so much! I couldn't find apps! Imagine: U're a newbie, don't know any command. Menu is the only way out of here. And it spoils! Aaaahh! Catastrophe! But Slack... it force you to learn commands, it force you to read manuals! (I read only tutorial about Emacs for now, it's about 1000 strings "weight"). It makes you to KNOW your PC! But Mandrake is as lazy as Windows! That's another reason why I hate it. Of course, in the end I found how to "unspoil" menus, "I found" command in /sbin, smth like 'manudrake'. And I hate that it's always drake! Egoism! menudrake, smthelsedrake...
Agreeing with above. The three main differences between linux distros are
1. the pre-compiled software
2. the package manager, which is software used to install programs without having to compile them from the source code
3. The kernel version it comes with. I think, probably the main flamewar you might see is which series kernel is better, the 2.4 or the 2.6. However many distros allow you to install either. If the default works for your system go with it. If you have the choice on what kernel to use and the default doesn't work go to the other option. I personally use kernel 2.6.7 and have no trouble with it.
kornerr: Mdk 9.2 was one of the best distros, ever! I'm surprised you had those problems.
But I'm glad you're happy with Slack. It's a good distro for a Linux zealot, like yourself. (Nothing wrong with being a zealot, I was one once, too. ) But when you say Mandrake is lazy, like Windows, you're right, but for the wrong reasons.
Mandrake (along with many other distros) has leaned something thet MS already knows: if you want people to use your system, you have to make it simple to use. Mandrake has a clean, easy-to-use installer, at least as easy as Win2K's, which is the last one I used. And when it is done, you have a nice, easy-to-use syetm that works, for most people, without ever having to start a Konsole/command line. I know that souonds almost blasphemous, but that's what most people want! Most people want a computer to do their email, surf the web, and maybe produce/print some documents. With Windows, you can do that, and also heve the most inscure system on the face of the Earth.
With Mandrake, you can do that, while enjoying all the stability and security of a solid Linux system. The good news is, with Mandrake (or any other distro), you aren't limited to using a gui, and paying through the nose for more guified apps. If you want to, you can pop up a terminal window, and use the command line to do things, including fine-tuning and tweaking of your system.
For instance, while I know how to do quite a lot of cli tweaking to my system (and I do do that, occasionally ), most days, when I get home from work, I just want to check my email, browse some forums, and chat with friends. And I want to do that with a system that just works. Mandrake works for me.
Originally posted by Padma
[B]For instance, while I know how to do quite a lot of cli tweaking to my system (and I do do that, occasionally ), most days, when I get home from work, I just want to check my email, browse some forums, and chat with friends.
This maybe right, but you only have to do it once...
Not a big deal I should say.
Originally posted by AxeZ This maybe right, but you only have to do it once...
Not a big deal I should say.
Yeah, but my zealot days are long gone.
Twenty-five years ago, before the "IBM-PC" and MS set back home computing for over a decade, I was very much into this kind of stuff. Heck, I even wrote my own Assembler for programming. I no longer feel the same urge to get under the hood. I formatted a new hard drive a while back, and installed mdk 10.1 OE on it. I was back surfing the net and relaxing in less than half-an-hour. Can I do that with Slack?