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I am looking for a basic no frills distro to start learning linux with. I'd prefer a free one, but I could probably get around $50.00 (US) to spend on one. I use my PC for internet access, student research, basic office apps, and a little gaming. I've got some of the latest hardware so compatability is an issue. I have to have SATA support as well as support for AMD 64s, and the latest nvida GPUs. (Specifically the nVidia 6800GT) I do have a slightly older ATI 9600SE I can fall back on, if there is no support yet for the 6800.
I am a total newbie to linux, so be gentle! Thank you.
I've never used fedora before, i used red hat but never fedora. Out of Mandrake and Suse i personally like better suse, it's been a while since i tried mandrake so i'm sure you'll be better off by trying them yourself. Any of those two distros are fairly easy for a new comer. I don't think you can download the latest suse release for free, but you can sure download mandrake for free.
Thanks for the speedy responses! I will be sure to check out all these distributions, I actually have RH 9.0 on disk someplace. But after having seen it in action on a co-workers PC I decided it wasn't for me. Also he said the free version was a little hard to get going properly. I have looked into Mandrake before, but couldn't find the free download on the website. Guess I'll head back and dig deeper.
here's the link to the mandrake download site: http://www.linux-mandrake.com/en/ftp.php3
if you don't want to pay for it just say ok to the second question, then choose the mirror you'd like from the top of the site.
I have been checking out Mandrake's website, looks good but I am not seeing most of my hardware on any lists. Might be prudent to wait a couple months for a new kernel. Still I am downloading it now, might as well chance it.
Distribution: SUSE 9.1 Pro and Debian Testing on Server
You probably won't see your Nvidia chip on any of their websites because due to some legal issue (I think it is anyways) most distros don't ship with 3D support for Nvidia Cards. Go to www.nvidia.com and they actually have linux and bsd drivers on their website. That would be the best place to look for support of your Nvidia cards because I have tried about 15 distros and one of them came with Nvidia support out of the box, and thats it. SuSE has awesome support for Nvidia cards, you just use YOU (Yast Online Update) and download the Nvidia Driver update and then in one of the system settings menus there is a program called SAX2, go in their and tell it what your card is and then restart X. All the other distros you are going to have to compile the driver yourself.
Also, do you actually want to learn Linux or do you just want a replacement for Windows. Because if console work isn't your thing and you want something similar to Windows go with Xandros or Linspire (formerly Lindows) (If I have to use either, I prefer Xandros. Much better product).
Mepis linux,, (mepis.org) its pretty cutting edge in terms of hardware support and is very friendly to beginners.
Its major plus is that its a live cd, meaning that you can boot from the cd stright into linux without installing anything this lets you see if:
1 all of your hardware is supported.
2 you like the distro..
Then if you do like it theres a great installer built in which will guide you through the entire installation proceedure
it also has a good following and support both here and at the 3 mepis forums on the web.
Oh yeah it based on Debian,, that makes it bulletproof, easy to update, easy to use
and installing software is an absolute pleasure thanks to apt-get.
Last edited by The Bad Penny; 08-24-2004 at 05:55 AM.
To answer your question rm6690, yes I actually want to learn linux, as well as replace windows. After this last round of hardware upgrades I did a clean install of XP. It is one of the first distros shortly after it came out and it has NO patches. As a result the first time I got on the net with my squeaky clean PC to update it I instantly contraced about 5-6 different virus' that exploit XPs security loopholes out of the box. Took me the better part of last weekend to get it resolved, and I am still fairly certain something is still there but Nortons won't pick it up. I am probably going to get another AV package, I am currently shopping around. Also I knew about the nVidia drivers, downloaded them last night. I knew switching from ATI to nVidia was going to be a good choice.
Proud, I found the info on Mandrake 64 last night and right now its my number one choice.
The Bad Penny, I like the sound of running off the CD. Ill probly get it and check it out as well.
myriad-zero, I'm not so sure this one is for me. After checking RH website I see it isn't supported by RH themselves. Is there a good userbase to get Q/A from?
I will most likely try out several distros before settling into one. I thank you all for your advice!