LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 02-11-2009, 06:14 PM   #1
Silabus
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Angry I am having the most DIFFICULT time!


I can't figure out what distro to use. Now keep in mind I'm just preparing to install Linux, I can't do it for about another month. I'm making the switch from being a Windows user to a Linux purist(When I do things I go all-in). I'm not stranger to bash or anything, my campus' CIS program uses a UNIX box.

I can't decide between Ubuntu and Gentoo. I have read the installation manual for Gentoo 2 or 3 times and it doesn't seem too terribly difficult at all. I was looking at Debian but I can't even find where the installation manual begins. I know they are 2 different ends in terms of goals, but I was hoping some direct input would help me decide. I seem to be naturally indecisive.

I really want to learn Linux, and I think installing and working with Gentoo would help out the knowledge in my field (Software Development/IT). I like the idea of customizing specifically for my machine, even if the performance increase is minimal. And from what I gather from my searching, Ubuntu isn't much of a learning operating system.

BUT

I like the idea of Ubuntu being ready after install and user-friendly. The thing that's so daunting about Gentoo is that after install it seems like there's a lot of customization that still needs to be done between things like xorg and X11 (I still don't know the difference or how to know which to use) to setting USE flags and the likes.

I want to learn a lot but I also want to be able to use the darn thing without having to struggle with my PC too much, or get myself in over my head.

I also have a 64 bit processor and I want to install wine but it's looking like to convert it to emulate 32bit is a very small script so that doesn't worry me too much. I'm not THAT big a PC gamer, though. I pretty much just play a few Valve games and whatever MMO I am on at the time (Switches between World of Warcraft and EVE-Online).

Am I even looking at a good distribution of Linux? I'm just looking for a balance of learning, customization, and something that works without too much trouble to get it to work. And I say that mostly in regards to installing programs. I basically want the installation to run when I activate it, not have to configure the installation so that it CAN run, or configure it AFTER it installs to run correctly.
 
Old 02-11-2009, 06:25 PM   #2
amani
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Kolkata, India
Distribution: Debian 64-bit GNU/Linux, Kubuntu64, Fedora QA, Slackware,
Posts: 2,766

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Go in for Slackware or Slamd64

Then you can learn in a stable and up to date environment.

Fedora-10 is more bleeding edge, but is very usable for the purpose.

*buntu is different ... from the other two

Or you can go in for Sabayon (Gentoo minus the pain)
 
Old 02-11-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
Quakeboy02
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Distribution: Debian Squeeze 2.6.32.9 SMP AMD64
Posts: 3,277

Rep: Reputation: 126Reputation: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silabus View Post
I was looking at Debian but I can't even find where the installation manual begins. I know they are 2 different ends in terms of goals, but I was hoping some direct input would help me decide. I seem to be naturally indecisive.
If you have an interest in installing Debian, don't get caught up in the user manual thing. Just install it. If you have a good internet connection, choose one of these two install links, burn it to disk as an image, and install it. Any install issues you might have will be common to any distro, such as overwriting the Windows bootloader on a dual-boot system(you have to do it but we can help you get windows back if you don't install directly over your windows partition), or overwriting windows and not understand that that's what you're selecting to do.

Debian Lenny 32-bit network installer:
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/le...86-netinst.iso
Debian Lenny 64-bit network installer:
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/le...64-netinst.iso

General Lenny install page: http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/


As to 64 bit vs 32, if you don't have programs that can only run 64-bit, and don't run programs that will run faster on 64-bit (such as video editing, or other math-intensive programs) then just load the 32-bit version and be done with it. For most of us, there is little to no improvement from switching to 64-bit; although the negatives are starting to fall by the wayside.
 
Old 02-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #4
Silabus
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
If you have an interest in installing Debian, don't get caught up in the user manual thing. Just install it. If you have a good internet connection, choose one of these two install links, burn it to disk as an image, and install it. Any install issues you might have will be common to any distro, such as overwriting the Windows bootloader on a dual-boot system(you have to do it but we can help you get windows back if you don't install directly over your windows partition), or overwriting windows and not understand that that's what you're selecting to do.

Debian Lenny 32-bit network installer:
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/le...86-netinst.iso
Debian Lenny 64-bit network installer:
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/le...64-netinst.iso

General Lenny install page: http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/


As to 64 bit vs 32, if you don't have programs that can only run 64-bit, and don't run programs that will run faster on 64-bit (such as video editing, or other math-intensive programs) then just load the 32-bit version and be done with it. For most of us, there is little to no improvement from switching to 64-bit; although the negatives are starting to fall by the wayside.
Thanks for the tip. I think I'll do that.

Though this is going to be on a brand new hard drive. There's not going to be a windows partition.
 
Old 02-11-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
digerati1338
Member
 
Registered: May 2007
Location: CO
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 152
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 18
I second the vote for Debian.

Also note that Lenny (currently testing) is about to become the stable release (expected Feb14?). I recommend sticking with the testing branch unless there is a reason you need extreme stability. Once you are comfortable with debian, you can try the sid branch if you want more bleeding edge software, but you compromise some stability for that. Testing is relatively stable.
 
Old 02-11-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
John VV
LQ Muse
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: A2 area Mi.
Posts: 16,990

Rep: Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448Reputation: 2448
i like fedora BUT it is a FAST development distribution so you need to take that into consideration
but ubuntu or gentoo
Ubuntu

stable and very easy to use ( short learning curve)
Gentoo -- if YOU DO want to learn EVERYTHING ( long learning curve)
 
Old 02-11-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
theNbomr
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: OpenSuse, Fedora, Redhat, Debian
Posts: 5,396
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908
Since there is a good chance you will decide you've messed up something or would like to re-do something to make it perfect, I suggest Fedora. It comes with a huge amount of stuff, all pretty much the latest and greatest, and will give you lots of opportunity to explore. When you do decide to scrap everything, it will probably be about the time Fedora releases a new version, and you can upgrade, or will have a better feel for what you preferences are and switch to a more suitable distribution. It might be prudent to determine which distro has the greatest amount of online support, both from the vendor and from other sources, such as LQ. There is much to be said for advice that is specific to your particular situation, when you need to know into what file to insert the magical incantation that makes your whatsit whistle. Perhaps you can find some poll results online that have those kinds of numbers.
--- rod.
 
Old 02-11-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
i92guboj
Gentoo support team
 
Registered: May 2008
Location: Lucena, Córdoba (Spain)
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 4,063

Rep: Reputation: 381Reputation: 381Reputation: 381Reputation: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silabus View Post
I can't decide between Ubuntu and Gentoo. I have read the installation manual for Gentoo 2 or 3 times and it doesn't seem too terribly difficult at all.
That's the reason why you discovered that the Gentoo learning curve is not that high: because you read the handbook. If you can read manuals then you are going to find it easy to deal with, because the documentation is excellent. People complaining about how difficult Gentoo is are people that just don't know how to read a manual, or simply don't want to. Nothing against that, Gentoo is just not for everyone, but not because of the high difficulty.

Quote:
I really want to learn Linux, and I think installing and working with Gentoo would help out the knowledge in my field (Software Development/IT). I like the idea of customizing specifically for my machine, even if the performance increase is minimal. And from what I gather from my searching, Ubuntu isn't much of a learning operating system.
Performance is not a thing that I would consider when choosing Gentoo. Nowadays the difference between a generic x86 or x86_64 build against any specific subarch is completely negligible in most cases. However things like USE flags are more appealing, You can configure your whole dependency tree just using USE flags, because the dependencies are tweaked accordingly by portage. If a feature is not going to be enabled, then the dependencies required by that feature are disabled as well.

This way you can install mplayer without having +200 packages dependency tree.

Quote:
I like the idea of Ubuntu being ready after install and user-friendly. The thing that's so daunting about Gentoo is that after install it seems like there's a lot of customization that still needs to be done between things like xorg and X11 (I still don't know the difference or how to know which to use) to setting USE flags and the likes.
Ubuntu is a great OS for those who want something that just works.

The X protocol is a networked protocol to serve graphics using display devices.

X11 (concretely X11R6 is the current version of the protocol.

Xorg is just one of the implementation for this protocol. There are many others like XFree or kdrive to put a couple of examples.

Abut USE flags, do not worry much about them. The default profile has sane USE flags to start. After that, if you want to change or add flags you can do so without problem, and recompiling the related packages using a single command "emerge -auDvN world".

Quote:
I want to learn a lot but I also want to be able to use the darn thing without having to struggle with my PC too much, or get myself in over my head.
Getting gentoo running shouldn't be too long on actual hardware, you should be able to compile a working system in some hours, and even in the worst cases you should be able to get a running full blown desktop with bells and whistles in one day or two completely from scratch. Of course, the thing can be more difficult if you have hardware issues. For example if your network adapter or modem has no support for Linux. But that can be an issue in any other distro as well.

Quote:
I also have a 64 bit processor and I want to install wine but it's looking like to convert it to emulate 32bit is a very small script so that doesn't worry me too much. I'm not THAT big a PC gamer, though. I pretty much just play a few Valve games and whatever MMO I am on at the time (Switches between World of Warcraft and EVE-Online).
I don't know how other distros handle this. In Gentoo it's handled thru multilib. The default profile for x86_64 (amd64, but don't be faked by its name) support multilib. You can install wine without problem on a Gentoo amd64 installation and it will be compiled as a 32 bits program and run without problem. The required 32 bits libraries will be pushed as dependencies when you are in amd64.

Quote:
Am I even looking at a good distribution of Linux? I'm just looking for a balance of learning, customization, and something that works without too much trouble to get it to work. And I say that mostly in regards to installing programs. I basically want the installation to run when I activate it, not have to configure the installation so that it CAN run, or configure it AFTER it installs to run correctly.
emerge <package>

It really can't get any simpler.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Having a difficult time with Cedega CVS crontab Linux - Games 2 01-22-2006 03:02 AM
TOTAL noob -> Difficult time adjusting to Linux no1sos Linux - Newbie 7 10-27-2003 06:10 AM
Difficult time getting online. Manyguns Linux - General 2 09-13-2001 11:28 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:14 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration