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Well, I had a problem with my most recent up2date runs on Red Hat 8 Linux where it said there was a problem with the XFree86 updates (the PC froze and when I rebooted it seemed to be trying to reinstall an update it had already done). I followed some advice I found in Google Groups that seemed pretty close to my problem and now the Red Hat desktop no longer loads "ddcprobe returned bogus values" and the automated attempt to diagnose/restart XServer does not seem to work. I originally included the URL of the advice I followed, but since I'm a new member I wasn't allowed. Therefore I am forced to cut and paste the most clipped down version I can do of the advice here (sorry):
I can e-mail anyone who wishes the URL if desired, but what I'm thinking is, as long as I've got to do something, would this be a good time to switch over to the next version of Red Hat? And I'm not sure I understand this Fedora stuff. I gather they're splitting the free and enterprise versions? Or maybe I should switch away from Red Hat totally? A friend suggested Suse might be better for my purposes and situation. Too many options for a newbie.
Some high level details: this is my extra PC, not my main one. I'm using it as a file server and to learn Linux. It has three partitions: grub dual boot RH8 Linux and WinME, and a third pure data partition. The machine itself is a new P4 1.8gig with 256 meg. but the monitor is an ancient Packard Bell which I had to fiddle with RH8 to get working. The video adapter is an SIS 651 with 32meg. I also use Samba so I can do file sharing over a Windows Workgroup. Although I've been in computer programming since 1975 most of my experience has been mainframe and then Microsoft/Windows. I realize questions should be as detailed as possible but since I'm a newbie in Linux I'm not sure what is most relevant. I hope I gave a reasonable amount, if not please advise what I should have included.
As for Distro selection, I would probably go away from redhat at least for a while. This is for two reasons, one being that I would love the oportunity to try out a new distro, it gets boring using the same thing all the time. Also, I think there are still some bugs to work out with Fedora, and I would wait a few months until it is a bit more secure in it's position. It is a relatively new distro.
Suse or Debian would be my pick for a newbie, but if you're feeling a bit more adventurous you could try out Slackware. It dosnet have the graphical configuration tools like RedHat does, but it is the closest thing to the original linux project that you will find in a distro.
I started with Red Hat as a newbie, and switched to slackware after a few days. You really get to know your system good after using it for a little bit...but the best part is most of the knowledge learned could be applied to any other distro.