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Old 03-10-2004, 11:24 PM   #1
thelandrew
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I need advice on distro and setup.


I am planning on installing linux on a "new" system. I am a linux newbie (hense this forum for advice), and am not sure what distro is best for my needs. I am not a computer newbie... I am quite comfortable using Windows and (strangely for this day) DOS as well.

I do NOT know which distro I should use... but am limited in my choices by the need for support of a slightly unusual piece of hardware... The hardware has "support", IE Drivers and badly written instructions, for Redhat 8 & 9 and SuSe. I assume that the redhat drivers would work with Fedora...

At this time, I have redhat9 installed on the system but did not load the RAID controller driver when I loaded the OS and have been unable to load the driver (or at least unable to get it to work) since. The documentation seems to imply that everything works more smoothly when the driver is loaded with the OS.... so I am planning to format and reload.

{In the long run, If I can't get a driver for the RAID to work, then I'll have to go to planB and load win2k. But I'll be trying linux one more time...}

I'm hoping that this forum's users can:

1) Help me choose "the best" distro.

2) Set it up so that I can use it. / Set it up so that is useful.

3) Possibly help me set up slightly more advanced features. I'd love to be able to host a web page from this system.




Step (2) is ultimately the most important. I want to setup whatever linux to default to Command Line Interface of some kind. My experience with linux GUIs to date is that they are very limited... limited in the same way that Windows 3.X was limited. Sure it looks pretty, and if you know how you can change the background, but if you wanted to accomplish anything useful, you'd need to know DOS. So I suppose i need to learn to use linux from the CLI.


Anyway, step (1)

Which distro should I use? redhat9, fedora, SuSe?


-landrew
 
Old 03-11-2004, 12:11 AM   #2
Qzukk
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board_20621 = 2, /* FastTrak S150 SX4 */

Looks like that is supported natively in 2.6.3. Not sure if any of those distributions are using 2.6 yet, much less the very-new 2.6.3. (I have a promise sata controller covered by this driver (device drivers -> scsi -> lowlevel drivers -> sata -> promise in menuconfig) and the driver wasn't usable until 2.6.2.)
 
Old 03-11-2004, 12:21 AM   #3
thelandrew
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Well, native support would be nice, but I'd need tons of specific advice/support in setting it up since 2.6 isn't exactly common (and since I'm a n00b at this). Also, simple driver support is not enough. There is a CL utility for linux that is supposed to allow the configuration and management of the array(s). I do not know what the dependencies are for this util, so I'd probably still have to stick with RH/Fed/Suse except for the kernel?

-landrew
 
Old 03-11-2004, 12:42 AM   #4
Nick1104
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The distro you may want to look into is Fedora and it may make a nice transition from what you're used to. For me things are running well, thankfully. There are some nice books that will walk you through. Easy ones like Sams Teach Yourself Fedora in 24 hours, and other, more detailed books.

You should be able to look at the Fedora subforum here as well as sites like http://fedoranews.org/ for some additional information.


Very best,
Nick
 
Old 03-11-2004, 01:19 AM   #5
thelandrew
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Perhaps I need to clarify. I am not in fact "familiar" with any linux distro. I've installed Redhat9 to defaults... but that is a no-brainer with any of the distros right now (AFAIK). I was able to browse the internet... but beyond that I could not DO anything as everything I wanted to do (notably, driver installation and management of a RAID card/array) seemed to require extensive knowledge and use of the completely undocumented and opaque and inaccessable command line.

Unfortunately, I NEED to run linux on this system... Unless someone out there wants to recommend an inexpensive (<$80) product for home users that will allow me to configure Win2k as a HTTP/FTP/POP3 server.

So what I am trying to do is get a distro that can be easily be customized to boot to a command line only. Ideally one that has useful help files so that I can read up before I ask here. My plan is to force myself to learn linux CLI since it seems that it is currently the only way to get things done... and I need to know which distro-if any- will facilitate ths.

Because of my hardware, I think I can only use one of 3 distros.... so does anyone have any recommendations?

Currently: 1 vote for Fedora

-landrew
 
Old 03-11-2004, 01:24 AM   #6
beejayzed
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Mandrake was the first distro I used. I've been using Linux for about 3 moths now and it's great.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 01:36 AM   #7
pingswept
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Hi Thelandrew,

Maybe what you want is actually OpenBSD? You seem reasonably literate, and the OpenBSD documentation is outstanding. If you're looking for stable and sensible with no GUI, I'd go to OpenBSD. Warning: I am probably starting a holy war here, but I can honestly say that after trying several distros (RedHat, Gentoo, . . .) I switched to OpenBSD for my web and mail servers and don't regret it. Worth a look at least . . .

From the Linux distros, I'd probably pick Fedora or SUSE-- large, helpful user communities for both.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 10:10 AM   #8
thelandrew
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Ok, thats 1.5 votes for Fedora, .5 votes for Suse, 0 for RH9.

Mandrake is out since it does not support my hardware

OpenBSD may be a consideration... but for now I'd like to try to stick with a linux distro.

Anyone else?

-landrew
 
Old 03-11-2004, 10:10 PM   #9
jsmarshall85
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well the only distro worth considering for a server IMHO is slackware. slackware is by far the most stable and secure of any distro i have ever used. it defaults to a cli upon bootup. the install is fairly straight forward if you understand your hardware and how linux names and numbers drives. it has a very strong community support group, has a large following here (you can always get answers) and slack is the longest running distro out there, if not the first. version 9.1 is rock solid and is only on 2 cd's and you might not even need the second if you dont install any graphic interface. slack is ideal for servers. slack is configured for the most part by config files and if you want to work from the command line, then this would be ideal

like they all say, once you go slack, there is no going back
they also say that if you want to learn fedora, run fedora. but if you want to learn linux, run slackware
 
Old 03-11-2004, 10:50 PM   #10
J.W.
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Bro - there is no "best" distro, period. Arguing over what's the "best" distro is pretty much as productive as arguing over who is the "best" baseball player of all time, or which movie is the "best" of all time, or which band is the "best". It's all a matter of personal choice.

I suggest you give them all a try, and decide for yourself which one best fits your needs and preferences. One great central site for downloading any of the most popular distros is www.linuxiso.org Give each one an honest tryout, and make your decision based on your own data. -- J.W.
 
Old 03-11-2004, 11:27 PM   #11
Nick1104
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Good advice J.W. btw, thanks for the link to that site, I've picked up some great webite links off this forum. Yours was bookmarked as well.
 
Old 03-12-2004, 12:12 AM   #12
SML
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My vote is with slackware also. If you have problems, then they can usually be fixed with a few tweaks in the CLI. With Fedora and SUSE, it usually turns into a headache.
 
Old 03-12-2004, 12:18 AM   #13
PolyPerception
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What was that quote I once read:

"Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics even if you win you are still retarted." ~ JRR's STFU Foundation
 
Old 03-12-2004, 02:24 AM   #14
J.W.
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Poly - ?????? what exactly is your point? If you have something to add, then by all means speak up, but if you only want to toss in random comments, please move on
 
Old 03-12-2004, 03:54 AM   #15
jong357
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Actually, I disagree J.W... I've ran 13 distro's extensively over the past 2 years and none of them compare to Slackware..... The BSD's come close but not quite..... Its stability is just phenomenal... Nothing short of.... Not a single problem in the year and a half I've been using it..... That and your learning pace just takes off at full speed by using it as well.... Of course, You already know that judging by your distro sig.....

Fedora is a good distro too. Thats a great one to be starting out on..... Mandrake blows.... Arch is really nice tho a bit buggy/young... SuSE and Redhat seem to be about the same to me. Both fairly stable but on the bloated side.... I like all the BSD's... Nothin' bad to say about any of them... Gentoo, I won't even go into.... It could be a great distro if not for a few things.... LFS rocks.... It's in between Slack and FreeBSD....

Yea, I suppose everyone has their opinions.... I wouldn't count on settling in to one distro so soon if your just starting out and happen to get into it... It's a fun process.... Why be so anxious to decide on one right away? ANY distro will work as a server. Just install one and keep a free partition for playing with others until you finally decide....
 
  


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