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-   -   Learning Linux, need help picking out Distro. (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/learning-linux-need-help-picking-out-distro-826133/)

Digikid13 08-13-2010 10:48 PM

Learning Linux, need help picking out Distro.
 
Hello, I am new here and not really sure how to ask this, so I'll just say it. I want to start learning linux, seeing as I'm going to college for IT and I also want to. I want to know what Distro I should use, or an order of them (like from easy to hard). I also need a guide to get that distro dual boot with windows 7. I am also using a laptop, I don't know if that will matter or not.

I need overall help with linux I am so confused on what to do and how to do it and such.

I thank you in advance for taking your time reading it, and also replying if you do.

frankbell 08-13-2010 11:41 PM

Keep reminding yourself: Linux is not difficult. It's just different.

I've never used Mint, but I've heard it described as Ubuntu done right. It may be one of the easiest.

I have also used CentOS, Suse, Ubuntu. and Debian, and didn't find them particularly difficult, but that was after three years as a Slacker.

I prefer Debian to Ubuntu; the reason I'm using Ubuntu on two boxes is that they came with Ubuntu from the factory and the wireless works.

I've fought the wireless wars before and I choose not to fight them again. If Linux has an Achilles heel, it is wireless, because many wireless manufacturers do not make Linux drivers, or do make lousy Linux drivers.

I like Debian.

Here's some tutorials I recommend:

Very basic, but clear: http://linux.about.com/

Machtelt Garrels Introduction to Linux. Garrels writes great manuals.

The Slackbook.

If you really want to learn, start with the same distribution I started with: Slackware. It always works, if never breaks, and it expects you to RTFM.

There is great support in the alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup and here at LQ.

The most difficult thing about getting started with Slackware is that it does not automatically install itself. It expects you to be able to partition the HDD yourself.

I posted a tutorial on installing Slackware at a blog I participate in. This link will point you to the last of six posts. It links to the preceding posts.

When you get Slackware working to your satisfaction, you will feel at home in any Linux distribution. There is a lot of other information out there that you will find by including "slackware" in the search string.

Digikid13 08-14-2010 12:00 AM

Ya I'm going to install Mint, since I don't have 6 CDs.

I will look into those links after I get mint working.

Thank you for you help, I'm sure I'll be asking more questions though.

Unless there is a different way to install slackware?

linuxlover.chaitanya 08-14-2010 12:10 AM

Mint is fine. It is easy and works. Its based on Ubuntu so I expect it to be binary compatible with it. Lot of packages with package manager. Easy to start with and easy to install. Dual boot is easy to setup. If you want to go for Slackware but still want something which a newbie can start with, try Vector or Zenwalk. They are based on Slackware but they do use package management as well.
Whatever distribution you choose to go with, make sure you have the latest version.

schism 08-14-2010 01:17 AM

If you are looking at getting your feet wet but don't want to install it on the hardware try portable Ubuntu http://sourceforge.net/projects/portableubuntu/ it works well and gives you access to an Ubuntu install you can carry from machine to machine and gets you used to the software.

Bill

Digikid13 08-14-2010 10:17 AM

There is no option to dual boot when I am installing Mint, and I need to help this be a dual boot, can someone help me?

I going to actually install Vector and see how that turns out.

basheer 08-14-2010 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Digikid13 (Post 4066194)
There is no option to dual boot when I am installing Mint, and I need to help this be a dual boot, can someone help me?

I going to actually install Vector and see how that turns out.

For dual booting with Windows u have to first install windows then linux mint. Mint will ask u where to write the bootoader, u select MBR. U can then dual boot.

Kenny_Strawn 08-14-2010 12:01 PM

Actually, Digikid13, the option to dual-boot in the Mint installer (called Ubiquity, because it originated in Ubuntu) is "Install operating systems side-by-side, choosing between them each startup". I know it's complicated, but that's how you do it.

konsolebox 08-14-2010 12:04 PM

Depends on your taste but if I were you I'll always start the very normal way: Slackware. It's also best to try an older version first as those versions only require 2 CDs. Slackware 9.1 or Slackware 10.x.

Kenny_Strawn 08-14-2010 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by konsolebox (Post 4066260)
Depends on your taste but if I were you I'll always start the very normal way: Slackware. It's also best to try an older version first as those versions only require 2 CDs. Slackware 9.1 or Slackware 10.x.

Slackware?!?! It's not for newbies, and for Windows users is one of the hardest distros to learn, as you have to type commands just to get Internet working (and if you want to get wireless working using net-config, good luck).

Oh, and Gentoo is no different.

Peufelon 08-14-2010 12:21 PM

[Sorry, I posted this before I noticed "laptop", which may be a game changer...]

I've tried Mint live CD and Ubuntu (live CD and hard drive installation) on a desktop computer, and they both worked well out of the box for me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by frankbell
I have also used CentOS, Suse, Ubuntu. and Debian, and didn't find them particularly difficult,

I have also used these distros (live CD or hard drive installations).

Debian Lenny, the current "stable" edition of Debian, is no harder to install using the installation disk (CD #1; you need only download that one iso file and burn it to CD, assuming you have a working installation, or else purchase that one CD) than Ubuntu. At least not for me.

The great advantage of Debian, I think-- at least for a desktop computer-- is the unparalleled variety of free open source software on offer in the repositories (many can also be installed by Ubuntu users, but not all, I think) and the fine package manager (apt and its front-ends like aptitude, kpackage, synaptic). But depending upon your current needs/tastes, another distro might work better for you. The important thing is to not give up the first time something goes wrong (computers are complex, so at some point something will probably go wrong!).

The disadvantage of Debian for laptops is that it may be hard to get your WiFi working, or so I hear, whereas Ubuntu will probably work out of the box.

One thing you may find helpful is to buy some books on maintaining a Linux system. Inevitably, these will tend to focus on one or two popular distros, and authors are not always careful about warning readers about distro-specific comments. Carla Schroder, Linux Cookbook is an exception.

If you have heard good things about Red Hat linux (a commercial distro used by many organizations), CentOS is closely based upon that, so books which discuss maintaining a Red Hat linux will probably help you to learn to use CentOs without getting confused by the fact that Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE all do various important things in different ways from Red Hat derived distros.

Digikid13 08-14-2010 12:29 PM

Well I think my computer is special or something. It is running Win7 btw. I tried installing Vector Linux to dual-boot with windows, but it didn't work it overwrote the MBR and not it only lets me pick Vector. That wouldn't be to big of a problem, if the X Sever wasn't failing on me every time I started my computer up and I can go back to windows. I am lucky my HP came with quickweb, or I would be screwed seeing as I'm using it to post this here. I'm going to try to reinstall Vector and see if I can change anything about it, I'll tell you guys what happens.

Peufelon 08-14-2010 12:34 PM

An extremely useful tool, whether you use mainly a linux or some other OS, is the Knoppix live CD (I happen to particularly like v. 5.1 from 2009), which you can obtain as an iso file in various places, and then you can burn a live CD from that. Especially if used with a very useful book at hand, Kyle Rankin, Knoppix Hacks. Particularly useful for situations where the MBR has been messed up, or for some other reason you can't boot up your OS.

If you were installing on a desktop, I'd add that the Debian installer is excellent and should automagically set up a dual-boot installation for you, provided that you first used a partitioning tool (a Knoppix live CD can do this) to shrink a Windows partition and create a new partition ready for Debian to use. But I don't know how well it does with laptops.

Digikid13 08-14-2010 12:43 PM

I already did the partitioning, I'll have to wait until later to check out Debian.

konsolebox 08-14-2010 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenny_Strawn (Post 4066265)
Slackware?!?! It's not for newbies, and for Windows users is one of the hardest distros to learn, as you have to type commands just to get Internet working (and if you want to get wireless working using net-config, good luck).

Oh, and Gentoo is no different.

Well when I was a newbie, I started learning with Slackware. I told you it depends on the taste. Why did you mention Gentoo? Or at least why do you have to?


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