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What is the best distrobution for someone who is a newbie to linux but will have to scaleability to convert the machine into a webserver posibly. I want to be able to download the iso for free(thats what open source is should be) what are all od your suggestions?
Actually, I'm all for free stuff but what open source should be, literally, is open source - shipping with the code visible to all with a license that makes it modifiable and redistributable.
Linux is inherently a networking system. Most anything except the most extreme desktop-oriented systems would do okay as a server and most anythiung except the most extreme hardcore distros would be okay for a newbie to Linux.
Nothing to say that you can't learn on one and then switch to another for your server later, too.
Search the site and see what others have said - questions like this get asked a lot and you can get a few answers in this thread or hundreds from all the other threads.
I'd suggest that mandrake is probably one of, if not the, easiest to start with.
You may get other's who say, it's not a "proper" distro. Bullshit. Yes, you can download it. But like most distro's, it's a big download. 3 cd's of about 650megs each. that includes all the server stuff.
But, distro choice is what you get on with. Hence it's a personal choice.
But as digiot says, just search here at LQ and see what others say.
p.s. and don't be suprised if you get a comment from one of the mod's, because the rules/guidance say about searching first - a bit like when you posted this thread and should have seen a nice reminder about "has this question already been asked" ???
I suggest you try a bunch of distros, and decide for yourself which one works best for you. One good site for this is www.linuxiso.org from which many of the most popular distros are freely available. -- J.W.
J.W.'s suggestion is good - the linuxiso site just about has then all.
another easy way that's worth considering, is that if you've access to a burner (it doesn't matter if it's in windows), is to download knoppix, the link is here.
It's only 1 cd (actually, it uses a very clever compression and when you run it, it's the equiv' of about 1.7 gig's of software - about the same as all three mandrake disc's).
Anyway, you download and burn. Then you just leave the disc in the drive. It runs from the cd and doesn't install anything on your hard drive, unless you tell it to (and no you can't do that by mistake).
The good side, is that knoppix has just about the best hardware detection out there, and gives you just about everything to have a look around the linux world.
the only possible downside is, as usual, modem's. It depends on what modem/system you connect to the net with.
If it's adsl, cable or somesuch, then normally it's not too much of a problem. If you use a standard dialup however, I'd suggest that you check what make/model the modem is and then look into winmodem's. That link is a good place to look/check.
For info, a winmodem isn't a proper modem, but one that's software based and relies on windows internal software/drivers - It is possible to get some working, but check that link if that's what you use.
I suggest you to try Mandrake 9.2 or 10 (will be released the 28 of March, it's good and fast!). Then set up the urpmi via this page: http://urpmi.org/easyurpmi/
This enables you to find more precompiled rpm-packages via mandrake install (graphical). It's easier in the beginning than tar-balls. It really can't be much easier, just click install. Mandrake is easy for newbies and powerfull enough to do most things (servers). Comes with firewall, office, you name it.
After a while I'd try other distros as J.W. said. (Fedora/Redhat is pretty much the same as Mandrake, SuSE is similar too). I'd go Slackware or Knoppix to learn more about Linux/GNU. Try one and see what you think.
I found out after trying different Linux'es I could only use one with the hardware on my machine (New, but cheap Dell Dimension 2400), and at the same time compatible with Oracle 9i. After trying Red Hat 9, unitedlinux, suse, mandrake and white box linux, I could only use Red Hat Fedora Core 1. I have also heard http://www.debian.org/ is popular though, and it would have been my next bet if Fedora didn't work.
I would suggest Fedora - bc it will probably detects and configure all your hardware - this is quite important for a beginner.
If u want something more "complicated" get Slackware, u will have to do most things in it manually (so u ll have to search forums a lot for the answers) but its the best way how to learn linux.
muah - I have to disagree with you here. Installing Slack really isn't significantly more complicated than any other distro. What you do need to do during the Slack install is to type in certain info (such as your partition names) but otherwise it's just as straightforward as any other distro, and there really isn't all that much you need to do manually (unless for instance you want to go into expert mode during package installation and manually cherry pick them). The main difference in my opinion is just that the Slack installation uses a set of plain-looking menus, where other distros have fancy graphics, but at least to me all distros require approximately the same amount of effort to install. -- J.W.
Megaman X, i notice you list Libranet in your distros, and i just want to give another plug for that as a beginner distro. super-easy fast install, great hardware detection, and the end product is a working debian system that you can update easily with apt-get and that has the awesome "Adminmenu" gui configuration utility. to your other concern, Patbuzz, i use mine for a web server.
synaptical mate I thought I was alone with Libranet. Libranet is quickly becoming my favorite distro too. It's just not at my main box because I had not time to install it in there . I've made a review of it at this forum:
Originally posted by J.W. muah - I have to disagree with you here. Installing Slack really isn't significantly more complicated than any other distro. What you do need to do during the Slack install is to type in certain info (such as your partition names) but otherwise it's just as straightforward as any other distro, and there really isn't all that much you need to do manually (unless for instance you want to go into expert mode during package installation and manually cherry pick them). The main difference in my opinion is just that the Slack installation uses a set of plain-looking menus, where other distros have fancy graphics, but at least to me all distros require approximately the same amount of effort to install. -- J.W.
Agreed whole heartedly. I steered clear of Slack far too long since everyone kept talking about the install difficulties. I figured any setup would be worsened by my outdated laptop and it's hardware which is hard to find support for under ANY OS. But outside of the partitioning there really is nothing more difficult about installing Slack then any other Linux distro I've seen, (Though, admittedly, Mandrake and Redhat do have a pretty presentation.) But in all, I wish I'd realized it wasn't any more difficult to get running then Mandrake and had chosen it since day one.
For webserver purposes, Knoppix can make for a really secure one. I adminster an Apache server on a Dell running it. It works beautifully for Apache. The thing is, in order for the benefit of being more secure than other distros, it has to be running off the live CD, as it was intended too. If you copy it to a hard drive, it runs like (and IS) a standard Debian installation.
Knoppix is easy for newbies because it detects all of your hardware automatically. I would highly suggest that it be your OS.
Instructions for downloading/installing:
1. Go to http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
2. Download the current version's ISO: 3.3 and whatever the latest date is. make sure it includes the EN tag at the end; otherwise you're getting a version in German.
3. Burn the ISO to a CD.
4. On the computer that you wish to install Knoppix on, configure your BIOS boot order so that CD-ROM is first.
5. Boot from the Knoppix CD.
6. At the boot prompt, press enter, and give it two minutes. You're left with a KDE desktop and it knows all of your hardware.
7. Open a shell prompt and type sudo knoppix-installer.
8. Gives you really easy prompts to install it to the hard drive.
9. Shut down, remove the CD-ROM.
10. Boot again, and welcome to Debian (woody).