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Old 10-10-2005, 03:11 PM   #1
kendan
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best distro for newb?


Hello,
I'm new to linux, and wanted an alternative to windoze, and am inquiring as to which would be the best for a newb.
I've been using mandrake 10.1 and like it. Its also been suggested to maybe use Redhat or SuSe. Mandrake isn't quite as point and shoot as I had hoped, as I find installing software is a bit of a process, but I can get by with using the command line.
All I want to use it for is internet, listening to music, email, simple spreadsheets, word pro, downloading pics off my camera for printing, just typical home user type stuff.
Thanks!
 
Old 10-10-2005, 03:27 PM   #2
ctkroeker
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This question get's asked a lot. try these tests:
http://eedok.voidofmind.com/linux/chooser.html
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/index.php
 
Old 10-10-2005, 03:34 PM   #3
esteeven
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If you have Mandrake installed and it is working on your system, why not stick with it? If installing software is the problem, use urpmi --- to install a package the command (as root) is "urpmi nameofpackage" ....of course, you need to tell urpmi where to look for the packages. If you installed from a full cd set (1-3) then they should be set up as your repository. Try this page to see how to set up alternative repositories >> http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/
Good luck.
 
Old 10-10-2005, 08:53 PM   #4
IBall
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May I suggest Ubuntu or Kubuntu ?

Ubuntu has a gnome desktop as default, Kubuntu uses KDE but otherwise they are the same. I have found Ubuntu to be very stable and easy to use.

Installing programs is very easy - it is based of Debian, so uses Synaptic as a GUI frontend for apt-get. This fetches the program and all dependencies, installs it and adds a menu entry.

--Ian
 
Old 10-10-2005, 09:08 PM   #5
aysiu
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Re: best distro for newb?

Quote:
Originally posted by kendan
I've been using mandrake 10.1 and like it. Its also been suggested to maybe use Redhat or SuSe. Mandrake isn't quite as point and shoot as I had hoped, as I find installing software is a bit of a process, but I can get by with using the command line.
Any distro with Synaptic Package Manager would be good for you, then. PCLinuxOS has Synaptic, but it's Mandrake-based, so you may like it. Blag is Fedora-based and has Synaptic. Any Debian-based distro (except Linspire) has Synaptic or some graphical form of apt-get (Kynaptic or Adept)--Xandros, Mepis, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Libranet, etc.
 
Old 10-10-2005, 11:49 PM   #6
Agentvenom
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Quote:
All I want to use it for is internet, listening to music, email, simple spreadsheets, word pro, downloading pics off my camera for printing, just typical home user type stuff.
Most distros will do this stuff with ease. I use SuSE 10 and love it to pieces. I used mandriva, but left it because installing RPM's and whatnot could kind of be a hassle and urpmi from the command line seemed....well, old school. Although I'm told you can use the install software manager as a gui for urpmi if you set it up correctly. I love SuSE and will probably stick with it. If you set up your online sources, the rest is a piece of cake. It has been a great distro to learn on. Good luck to you in whatever you choose.
 
Old 10-11-2005, 06:59 AM   #7
bigjohn
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May I suggest that you search for something as this question is asked at least once a day, and often attract a slightly abrupt comment from one of the moderators to remind you of the presence of the search function.

Hence theres probably already plenty of ideas/suggestions to point you in an appropriate direction.

You can even download up to date versions of lots of distros from the "download linux" option on the RHS of the page.

regards

John

p.s. or check some out in the reviews section. Good luck
 
Old 10-11-2005, 02:36 PM   #8
boxerboy
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the distros i found to be the most "point and click" are mandriva, mepis, and i find ubuntu the best all around out of the 3. suse 10 isnt that bad most of it is point and click. i dont think youll find a linux distro that is only point and click for everything sometimes its easier to use terminal. im teaching my windoze using g/f how to use linux and she isnt doing too bad but still only a day into it, im teaching her on ubuntu with gnome kde and enlightenment.
 
Old 10-27-2005, 07:11 PM   #9
ngmlinux
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I would recomend Fedora Core 4 (rpm/redhat package management) or Ubuntu Breezy Badger (deb/debian package management). These two have given me the least trouble of any of the distros I've tried thus far. Fedora seems to be the most polished of all distros that I've tried and easiest to Install (except for maybe Mandriva). A lot of work has gone into the the GUI, the installation process, and if you want to get down into the little pieces of the OS you can still do that. Ubuntu is almost as polished, but provides debian package managment, something most would argue is better than Fedora/Red Hats (they're probably right).

In any case I recommend avoiding Slackware, and Gentoo at all costs. Unless you want the most "Geeky" OS you can find. Slackware is the least up to date and it will probably take about 10 X the amount of time to do just about anything when compared to the other distros. Don't get me wrong, it runs fast, but for example it may take 100 steps in Slackware to do what takes 10 in Fedora. It's good for people that want to waste time messing with their OS or arn't satisfied with 99.9999% stability of other distros. Or if you're running a sub 100Mhz machine. Gentoo isn't that bad but more complex than Fedora, Mandriva or Ubuntu.

I say this after experiences with the following distros:

-Mandriva
-Slackware
-Debian
-Ubuntu
-Fedora
-Gentoo

I've never tried Suse or Knoppix

Last edited by ngmlinux; 10-27-2005 at 07:12 PM.
 
Old 10-27-2005, 10:59 PM   #10
boxerboy
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for a newbie gentoo might be a bit over your head the install will take forever to do you compile and set up everything by hand. i spent somethng like 4-5 hrs working on installing gentoo and never finished i got fed up with it. fedora core 4 is what i started on and i loved it. however it doesnt come with a graphical package manager you have to install it "yum install yumex" if i remember right that is the command. i went from FC4 to ubuntu breezy badger a while back while breezy was in "beta" adn i wont go back. but it really all depends on what you want out of an operating system once you figure that out than you can find one like you want it or find one close and costumize the rest. good luck hope you enjoy linux as much as i do
 
Old 10-28-2005, 05:37 AM   #11
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by boxerboy
for a newbie gentoo might be a bit over your head the install will take forever to do you compile and set up everything by hand. i spent somethng like 4-5 hrs working on installing gentoo and never finished i got fed up with it. fedora core 4 is what i started on and i loved it. however it doesnt come with a graphical package manager you have to install it "yum install yumex" if i remember right that is the command. i went from FC4 to ubuntu breezy badger a while back while breezy was in "beta" adn i wont go back. but it really all depends on what you want out of an operating system once you figure that out than you can find one like you want it or find one close and costumize the rest. good luck hope you enjoy linux as much as i do
Not many would suggest gentoo as appropriate for a new linux user. Though it would very much depend on the abilities of that particular new user.

Because, if the n00b has good understanding of basic it principles i.e. partitions, hardware abilities and similar stuff, then as long as the intended hardware is reasonably mainstream, then I'd alledge that it is indeed possible, for the new user to "do" gentoo.

It's really a case of sticking religiously, to the install handbook. Reading it carefully and not deviating from the instructions. Sure it may help if someone can explain the differences between Stage 1,2 and 3 installations. Plus the new user can't afford to be shy i.e. be fearless enough to use a text browser and keyboard to surf if problems are experienced.

A stage 3 + GRP install took me just over an hour to get installed. Sure my system is pretty mainstream (lower to middling priced kit) and I've never had to attempt the messing about with winmodems - I've always had access to broadband connections since I started with linux, but my general knowledge of linux is that of slightly above beginner.

You needn't compile everything with gentoo, well not immediately. Once you've got a basic system (graphical that is) up and running, theres the wealth of gentoo documentation (IMO some of the best out there) to peruse.

The biggest problem that I see, is that a larger percentage of new linux users, seem to think that they should be able to waive a CD/DVD at their hardware and like magic, a linux system will appear at the speed of light.

One of the few things that I have managed to learn, is that sure, you may be lucky and get an installation up and running first time, but more often than not, it'll take you a while, just to get a base system configured i.e. partitions, graphics, sound, net connection, etc etc and then updated so you can actually put yourself in a postition to "start work".

I suspect that if it wasn't for "pre-installation", lots of windows users wouldn't be quite so enamoured i.e. if they had to set everything up themselves, prior to actually doing something constructive with their hardware!
 
Old 10-29-2005, 03:12 PM   #12
kendan
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Hey, just wanted to say thanks for the responses.
I've been given suse 10.0 cd's, and will give it a try. But its nice to see, if it doesn't work out, then there are a few other choices.

Thanks again!!
 
Old 10-29-2005, 04:57 PM   #13
linuxdemos.com
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Sounds like Xandros could be perfect for what you need, also SimplyMepis is good for media and general desktop use.
 
Old 12-30-2005, 03:17 PM   #14
twysm
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try fedora core...
 
Old 12-30-2005, 09:29 PM   #15
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendan
Hey, just wanted to say thanks for the responses.
I've been given suse 10.0 cd's, and will give it a try. But its nice to see, if it doesn't work out, then there are a few other choices.

Thanks again!!
Well SuSE is probably as good a place to start as any. I last tried 9.3 pro 2 distros ago - the only reasons why I didn't like it so much, was that I found it a bit of a pain to sort one or two minor package incompatibilities - but thats probably because I was comparing it too much to mandrake/mandriva - which IMO is slightly better at that sort of thing. Plus there seemed to be more info about setting up the software repositories/mirrors for online updates/installation.

What I would say, is that it found and configured all of my hardware (even the accursed SAMBA). I just told it what I wanted to use and it sorted it out. It took a bit of getting used to the SuSE way of installing the nvidia driver for my graphics card, but again, that's because I'm used to doing that either the mandriva/mandrake way (downloading and installing the new kernel and kernel sources, then getting the nvidia driver and running their install script) or the gentoo way (emerge nvidia-glx && nvidia-kernel - and bingo it works). The "SuSE way" is midway between the two and can be done from the YaST software manager easily.

So I'm guessing that with any luck, the 10.0 should work fine.

good luck and a happy new year (in more ways than one ).

regards

John
 
  


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