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When it comes to deciding which os you use, what would make you lean towards one version of linux over another?
Would you choose fedora core, suse, ubuntu? Which is the best? or if that is a question which does not have an answer, why would you choose one over another? are some better at certain environments?
What works for some, doesn't work for others, and vice versa. The desktop environment you choose, is strictly preference, I like Gnome and Xfce, and despise KDE. Many others have a completely opposite opinion. If you try, for instance, Gnome, and want to try the other to, its as simple as going into the repositories, and installing the Xubuntu desktop and the Kubuntu desktop, and then you can choose which version you want before you login. I've used Suse, and it wasn't bad, but in my opinion it doesn't compare to Ubuntu 6.06 and Fedora Core 5, which are my two favorites.
Main reason, there's alot of help available out there for these two. They are both reasonably fast, and just about any program you want, will be available in the repositories for the respective OS. If you're just looking to set up a simple desktop PC, Internet access, basic home computer, its tough to beat either one of these. I'd give a very slight edge to Ubuntu. apt-get makes installing applications almost as easy as windows. If you want several point and click programs for install, you can check out Automatix, which installs several programs, media codecs, etc. for Ubuntu with absolutely no thought on your part. Fedora has a program similar to Automatix for its OS, its called Fedora Frog, but I've never used it.
I just downloaded Ubuntu 6.10 last night, and haven't had a chance to install it, so I can't comment on it, but I don't anticipate a problem.
All the sites below will help you with either one.
They're right, it's mostly a matter of preference. You will likely try a few distributions before you settle on one.
I started on Red Hat 9, and switched to Fedora Core 3 when it came out. I have since run Fedora 5 and 6. I am looking into trying some other styles just for the experience.
I think that for beginners it may be best to start out with a popular and proven distribution in order to ensure adequate support, tutorials, etc. For me, that was Red Hat and FC (basically the same thing). Others would tell you something completely different because it's what worked for them.
No matter what anyone says, the only way you can know if a distro is right for you is if you try it.
I would suggest trying distros with different bases... i.e. Debian and Debian-based Distros like Ubuntu, Slackware and Slack-based Distros like Zenwalk, as well as RedHat based Distros like Fedora Core.
This is the distro I use and recommend, Why because it works right out of the box. No need to configure Everything, everything just works. It also comes as a 1 CD install that is a live CD that you can install later if you wish.
From my own experience, it is best to start with an easy distribution and then moven to one you feel confortable with. I started with Mandriva+KDE two years ago, It is very good for new linux users as it is similar to linux. Now, I am using Gentoo+WindowMaker, I feel very confortable being able to configure everything and to be in total control of my desktop.
I use Slackware 10.2. This is a good distribution to use if you want to learn how linux really works and how to work from the console. This is also a good distribution to use if you have older equipment. If you need a system setup quickly and be ready to use I suggest Ubuntu 6.06 (my equipment has issues with 6.10). Put the disk in and answer a couple of questions and you are ready to go in about 45 minutes.
I've been registered for a while, but haven't posted, because I didn't have much to say that so many weren't saying so very well, anyway! I'll come in on this topic, as it might give some who are 'having a look at Linux', but feel a bit intimidated by all of the Distros and Choices, nervous about where to 'have a go' and get started, a little boost.
My background is Windows Station/PC Technician, at Dealer level, for 11 years, but now on disability pension. I tried so many times to 'get into Linux', but it's awkward for 'the Microsofted Mind' to make the transition. That's not a 'whinge' - after all, I made quite a good living from Teching Microsoft Products for a long time...
Obviously, no Distro can suit everyone, of course. I tried many, including Mandrake, later Mandriva, Suse, Ubuntu - 'all of the usuals', indeed. All very nice people on their Forums, but rather above my Linux-ing ability levels.Then, I found PCLinuxOS - and didn't feel that way there.
I've been with PCLinuxOS for 6 months or so, and it 'feels right' to me. Heaps of friendly help and advice, no 'RTFM-ing', and a lot of tolerance for newbie questions. It's a very easy version to 'get into', but doesn't 'Clone' anything else, so is quite okay for 'us-newbies', and the more advanced folks, as well.
For those 'still looking', it might be well worth a visit.
Dont forget about Mandriva its a very easy distro to start with
Mandrake/Mandriva 10.0, was a pretty good OS, and really was easy, helped me cut my teeth. Mandriva 07, was probably the worst version of Linux I've ever tried. Slow, slow, slow.
I've got a reasonably fast PC(2.4ghz Atlhlon, 1gig of ram, 256mb ATI 9550), so I can only imagine this is why I don't suffer the speed problems with Ubuntu/Kubuntu that others talk about. It honestly is probably one of the faster distros I've used.
In the end though, its up to the user to decide whats best for them.