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Old 09-02-2005, 01:01 AM   #1
SolidSnakeX28
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Picking a new distro


Well, I'm at a crossroads here; a turning point in my linux experience. I've used SUSE for a while now, 9.1, 9.3, and I'm using 10Beta4 right now, but I'm SICK AND TIRED of it's dependencies for every little thing! When I used Fedora, I don't remember having had these problems at all! Plus, this distro feels glitchy. Is it just me, or is SUSE really this way?

So I was thinking about using another distribution to use. I want it to look as slick and polished as SUSE, but also one that can help me learn more about linux. Suggestions?
 
Old 09-02-2005, 01:22 AM   #2
jonas_larson
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Hi,

Well this is a religious question, but I'll go for ubunutu (http://www.ubuntulinux.org)

Why?
- it's a one cd install
- Debian based
- great hardware detection
- wireless works out of the box


my 2 cents...

//jonas
 
Old 09-02-2005, 02:25 AM   #3
syg00
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Try a few - disk is cheap these days. Your time may not be, up to you.
It's as good to learn what to shy away from as well as what to like - for yourself.

If you get burnt, strike that one off. I've done it to a couple of (major) distros.
Just make sure you have good backups before you start - including (especially ???) the MBR.
 
Old 09-02-2005, 08:53 AM   #4
bigjohn
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Re: Picking a new distro

Quote:
Originally posted by SolidSnakeX28
Well, I'm at a crossroads here; a turning point in my linux experience. I've used SUSE for a while now, 9.1, 9.3, and I'm using 10Beta4 right now, but I'm SICK AND TIRED of it's dependencies for every little thing! When I used Fedora, I don't remember having had these problems at all! Plus, this distro feels glitchy. Is it just me, or is SUSE really this way?

So I was thinking about using another distribution to use. I want it to look as slick and polished as SUSE, but also one that can help me learn more about linux. Suggestions?
Yeah! My suggestion is Gentoo. The documentation is excellent. If you tried the Stage 3 + GRP (GRP=precompiled packages) you can have it installed inside an hour. Sure updates are then quite lengthy, but you probably will never experience a dependency problem again!

You have the same convenience as debian when it comes to installing new or updating software i.e. single line command (I seem to remember that theres a graphic front end as well if you want)(I'm doing my update in the background as I type this).

Polished look? If you just pick all the gentooised stuff, the overall look is almost more "corporate" than SuSE. Also the package choices are very up to date.

Your choice!

regards

John

p.s. Oh and yes I do understand where you're coming from, as I've not long moved away from SuSE 9.3 Pro - it was annoying the hell out of me as well!
 
Old 09-02-2005, 09:53 AM   #5
sarunya
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I haven't that much experience with Linux, but I have installed RHEL3, RHEL4, NLD, Ferdora Core, Suse 9, and different version of SLES, (pretty much most of Redhat and Suse Families). One main thing I like about Suse is that you can easier install package (WITHOUT a CDs) using yast or even better yast2.
Can't really do that on Redhat families unless you have some ideas of what rpm you need to install. beside SUSE can self-fix itself from the CDs .
 
Old 09-02-2005, 11:26 AM   #6
SolidSnakeX28
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After having looked around distrowatch.com, I found Mepis Linux. Does anyone here recommend it? I'd like for the distro to be speedy too. KDE is the desktop of choice. Thanks alot, btw, I'll look into Gentoo.

EDIT: Well, I just downloaded gentoo. Are there any suggestions from you guys before I take this plunge into the unknown?

Last edited by SolidSnakeX28; 09-02-2005 at 12:29 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2005, 05:30 PM   #7
syg00
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Mepis is good - perfect for my lady to get her off Windows. Loads too many services for my liking, startup stalls for too long if the network is down, but comes with everything a Windows user expects.

As for Gentoo, READ THE HANDBOOK.
Then go back and read it again.
Then start.

Make sure you get the full handbook - don't even think you can do it first time with the quick start guide.
Sign up at forums.gentoo.org - extra useful.
 
Old 09-03-2005, 08:29 PM   #8
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by syg00
Mepis is good - perfect for my lady to get her off Windows. Loads too many services for my liking, startup stalls for too long if the network is down, but comes with everything a Windows user expects.

As for Gentoo, READ THE HANDBOOK.
Then go back and read it again.
Then start.

Make sure you get the full handbook - don't even think you can do it first time with the quick start guide.
Sign up at forums.gentoo.org - extra useful.
Spot on there syg00. I'd have suggested exactly the same i.e. follow the handbook as a "walk through".

Oh, and for speed, you should be considering a "stage 3 + GRP" install. Sure, if you feel confident enough to try a stage 1, then "fill yer boots", but make sure that you have all the relevant bits of additional information (system/hardware), so you can just input it.

Don't forget, while stages 1 and 2 have the greatest chances of optimisation for your specific system, they can take some time to complete. Stage 3 with the GRP (pre-compiled) packages can usually get it up and running in about an hour.

Make notes if necessary i.e. settings/customisations and the like.

If you follow the install hand book right the way through, then start with say, the desktop documentation, the desktop doc seems to start just before the end of the install hand book i.e. you will already have some of the first parts of desktop setup completed from the end of the instll handbook

Don't get too fazed. Keep at it. It's very good too learn from.

regards

John
 
Old 09-04-2005, 06:48 PM   #9
tkedwards
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Quote:
One main thing I like about Suse is that you can easier install package (WITHOUT a CDs) using yast or even better yast2.
Can't really do that on Redhat families unless you have some ideas of what rpm you need to install. beside SUSE can self-fix itself from the CDs .
All of the modern distros have depedency resolving package management systems: fedora has yum, mandriva has urpmi, suse has pacman/yast, debian and ubuntu has apt and so on.
 
Old 09-04-2005, 07:25 PM   #10
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by tkedwards
All of the modern distros have depedency resolving package management systems: fedora has yum, mandriva has urpmi, suse has pacman/yast, debian and ubuntu has apt and so on.
Fair comment, but it's also my understanding that not all package managers are "created equal". Some seem to work better than others. Personally, having recently moved to Gentoo, from SuSE 9.3 Pro and before that, Mandriva 2005 LE, the gentoo portage system is vastly superior.

Sure it can take a while to compile the package, if it's a "biggie", but I kept having snags that SuSE wouldn't resolve. I only tried it, because I wasn't so impressed with the default packages that Mandriva had selected (older kde etc). Sure they'd rushed the 2005 LE out, post connectiva purchase, but I still couldn't follow why they might have done that, if they were trying to make a bit of a splash.

Mandrake/Mandriva, well I never had any other problems as long as I stuck to "mandrakeised" RPM's, try anyone elses, and it was a recipe for "dependency hell".

Similar applies to SuSE, but YaST would occassionally "play up", plus I didn't like what "they" seemed to have done to some of the packages to make them "SuSEised" i.e. curiously missing facilities and things like that.

So it was back to Gentoo, which can be a bit of a bugger to install if you don't follow the install handbook properly, and of course it can take a while to install, if you try the Stage 1/2 options, but for ease of management it's "a doddle".

You might say that debian is just as good because it also has a similarly clever package manager. Sure, and because it supplies pre-compiled binaries it is also quicker, but their documentation, to my mind, isn't anywhere near as good as Gentoo. Plus the insistance on the "F/OSS" ethos, means that they would prefer you to use a completely open source/free app, even if it's not necessarily the best one for the job (all that "tainted kernel" crap that shows up when you install the nvidia driver, when the nvidia driver beats the generic, free nv one hands down). Theres quite a few other examples as well, but I won't "kick the arse out of it".

So it's really down to personal favourites, etc. But hey, isn't that what linux is all about? Choice?
 
Old 09-04-2005, 11:45 PM   #11
SolidSnakeX28
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Ok, well I just recently looked at Debian, and am very interested in it. The only problem is that I don't want to download or buy or have anything to do with those 14-15 discs that they show for download! Plus, I just plain don't want to install over the internet, it would take too long. Plus, it doesn't use KDE.

But my interest remains: I want a more hardcore system like debian and gentoo, only thing is that I'm not skilled enough to install gentoo (nor have the resources, as I can't get the handbook on another computer or printed to follow during install). However, is there another distro like gentoo? Fast, not exceedingly difficult to install, uses KDE, minimalist, good package management, looks good too?

If that narrows it down too much, feel free to make suggestions that you still think are good.

And btw, what about Slackware? Does it follow my criteria? I hear it required alot of manual .cong tweaking...

As a matter of fact, forget the last item, "looks good too". I'll take care of looks.
 
Old 09-04-2005, 11:54 PM   #12
aysiu
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Quote:
Originally posted by SolidSnakeX28
Ok, well I just recently looked at Debian, and am very interested in it. The only problem is that I don't want to download or buy or have anything to do with those 14-15 discs that they show for download! Plus, I just plain don't want to install over the internet, it would take too long. Plus, it doesn't use KDE.
You need only the first disc, not all fourteen discs. And it does use KDE. In fact, if you do a basic desktop install (i.e., let Debian pick the base apps for you instead of you selecting them all manually), Debian installs both KDE and Gnome. It defaults to Gnome, but you can change that easily.
 
Old 09-08-2005, 07:16 PM   #13
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by aysiu
You need only the first disc, not all fourteen discs. And it does use KDE. In fact, if you do a basic desktop install (i.e., let Debian pick the base apps for you instead of you selecting them all manually), Debian installs both KDE and Gnome. It defaults to Gnome, but you can change that easily.
Which is what I understood as well. Though my problem when I tried debian, was that I had too keep meddling with apt-sources to try to get all the up to date stuff that I like i.e. to see if the experience can be any more "windows like" (click, click, bosh! Job done).

It can be done, but does take some effort to suss it out.

As for gentoo, if you read the online version of the hand book, theres instructions on how to get access to the install guide which is on the disc(s) during the install process. Plus, you should be able to get either links or lynx running (sorry can't say if you use dial up as I only have broadband connected via ethernet/LAN) so you can use text browsing.

You don't need too much prior knowledge to get it installed, you just follow the install instructions verbatim. As I posted earlier, stage 3 plus the GRP packages is the quickest. It just makes life easier if you have a printed copy of the install handbook or another connected computer to read it off screen.

If you register at the gentoo forums before starting, you should, connections permitting, be able to check out the forums during install with the links and/or lynx text browser - again, you have to make yourself familiar with basic navigation from a keyboard, as text browsers have a slightly "foreign" feel to them if you've only ever surfed graphically.

regards

John
 
Old 09-08-2005, 08:23 PM   #14
DeusExLinux
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Quote:
suse has pacman/yast
I didn't know that SuSE started using Pacman, from what I understood, there were only two distros that took advantage of the wonder that is Arch's package management system.

If you wanna look into something as fast as a gentoo stage 3+grp install, and don't wanna run your way through the beast of an install that is Gentoo, take a look at Arch, it's not quite as popular, but you get the same amount of control, and can still compile your packages if you want (it has a great system called ABS, and is SUPER easy to make packages that you can compile and add through the package manager... about as easy as Slack)

I used so many distros, and finally ended up with Arch (been using it for about a year, which is really long for me!)
 
  


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