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Old 12-02-2006, 06:42 PM   #1
curleyg
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Advice on a distro


I am, unfortunately still an M$ user. I've spent the day looking for a Linux distro that will work for me. This may be a little too restrictive, and please let me know if it is, but what I'm looking for is:
A live CD, so I can learn, and make sure all my hardware works. A general purpose distro. I'm not a gamer or a multimedia fanatic or anything like it. I need basic desktop stuff with good internet tools.

I've had my own home computer since 1988. Prior to the first Windows. I'm tired of desktops with icons. Something with a desktop as far away from M$ as possible would be great.

Did I say it's got to be user friendly?

Thanks for any response.
Even flaming is constructive.
George
 
Old 12-02-2006, 06:52 PM   #2
btmiller
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Have you looked through the distribution forum? There's lots of good advice over there. Offhand I'd say Ubuntu or one of its derivatives looks good for you since it's a live CD that can be installed. But be prepared to play around with several different distributions to find one you really like. If you're going to want to get really familiar with Linux, I suggest Slackware (the Slax Live CD is based off it) but it's probably a bit more of a jump (I find Slack very user friendly in the sense of it's quick and convenient to administer and definitely not in the sense of lots of GUI tools to hold your hand).
 
Old 12-02-2006, 07:24 PM   #4
curleyg
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Thanks for the quick response. I did look at the distro forum. I saw a lot of tech questions about specific distro's, so I thought the newbie forum might be my best shot.

As you can see my by my joined date, I tried Linux one time before. I took the plunge and installed it on a laptop. I believe it was redhat. Nothing worked. I fought with it for a few weeks then sadly had to give up. There are so many distros, one doesn't know where to go. I saw one today in my research that was for bioengineers.
Anyway, thanks for your help. I'll check all the links that were sent.
George
 
Old 12-02-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
beagle2
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Loads to choose from here - http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php which is referred to from here - http://distrowatch.com/
 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:00 PM   #6
mikieboy
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Quote:
Originally posted by curleyg:
I tried Linux one time before. I took the plunge and installed it on a laptop. I believe it was redhat
Installing on a laptop is not really recommended for a first-timer and combined with RH (not the easiest of distros), well no wonder you had problems! I really can't think of a better live CD for just trying out Linux than Knoppix. I used to have it on my hard drive and still keep the CD handy as a rescue disk.

Whatever you choose, read the manual and keep it simple at first.

And have fun!
 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
ehawk
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PCLinuxOS or SimplyMepis

I think either of these two would be great live evaluation CDs for a first distro. Both are simple to install, have great hardware recognition, and both have many proprietary codecs/format compatibility out of the box. PCLinuxOS might have slightly more of these than SimplMepis, but either should work well. I was able to get both to work quite well on my Compaq Armada M700 notebook (256 MB RAM, 20GB hard drive, PIII 1 GHz processor).
 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:25 PM   #8
IndyGunFreak
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I'd recommend one of the Ubuntus 6.10. Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu. Pretty much all the same except for the user interface.... The latest release(6.10), is really good.

http://www.ubuntu.com

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Edgy - A Great FAQ to help you get some various media codecs going. The Ubuntu Install CD will operate as a Live Cd, so you can test your Net Connection, etc.

IGF
 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:31 PM   #9
pixellany
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Or Mepis....Essentially the same as Ubuntu but without the "no root user" nonsense.

More generally, anything that uses the deb/apt/synaptic package management (also adept in Ubuntu, but I like synaptic better)
 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:57 PM   #10
bigjohn
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Well I'd say that Kanotix might be just as good i.e. it's sort of "polished" knoppix (so it's got the same excellent hardware detection) - but uses more of the original debian sources/repositories.

If managed with some of the "suggested" scripts (and no, it's not hard, even for the newer user) it's very easy.

Doesn't insist on doing things in "someone elses way".

Is initially a live distro, but also designed for HD install. In otherwords a little more "convenient" than knoppix IMO.

Finally, if a nugget like me can use it, then pretty much anyone can.

good luck on your choice curleyg.

regards

John
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:21 AM   #11
curleyg
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After some reading, some of which I understood and some I didn't, I think I'll give PCLINUXOS 0.93 a try. I have saved this post with replies so I can try the others you have all so kindly suggested. One last question. After I download the ISO file do I just burn that to a cd? Or is there something else I need to do?
Thanks again for all the advice.
George
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:38 AM   #12
b0uncer
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Quote:
Installing on a laptop is not really recommended for a first-timer and combined with RH (not the easiest of distros), well no wonder you had problems!
Why is that, laptops are pcs too and I've encountered more non-working desktop pcs than non-working laptops, and I've used many. And I don't think RH is "not the easiest of distros", it's got graphical tools for pretty much everything, a graphical installer which is by far the most user-friendly I've seen after Ubuntu, and..well, I consider RedHats/Fedoras one of the easiest to use for new users.

Quote:
Or Mepis....Essentially the same as Ubuntu but without the "no root user" nonsense.
That's not "no root user" nonsense, if you read what it said when you installed. Root account is locked by default, and the first user created during setup has a right to use sudo to do whatever the user wants. One example is to run passwd and change root password, thus activating the account.

It's meant to put some more security on the system since many users use root account when they don't need to, and thus endanger the system security pretty easily. If you want it, you can get it -- but if you're not familiar with it, just use sudo, it's less dangerous than having a root login open all the time.

I think Mepis and Ubuntu are quite the same, except that I always liked Ubuntu more. I don't know why, but Mepis seemed to be something "too much"
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:44 AM   #13
sleekmason
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Yes just burn it to cd, check the mdsum if you like, and boot from the cd. have fun! Also, after the basics, try a few more distros. Ive tried something like 14 total now, with about 10 of them for at least a week. mepis 6.0 to me, is the easiest for a newbie to get his or her feet wet, but what you are planning will work just fine.
 
Old 12-03-2006, 10:56 AM   #14
curleyg
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Thanks to all of you. If the live CD works well I'll probably be back for advice on setting up a dual boot system. Then one day get my soul back from M$. Deleting Windows would be such a thrill.
Thanks again.
George
 
Old 12-03-2006, 05:52 PM   #15
ehawk
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burn as iso bootable image

if you burn the iso image as simply data, you will not be able to boot from it.
 
  


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