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Old 05-21-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
notnor
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Linux noob, howto and what dist?


i have been programming for a few years and that is what i mainly do on a computer and of course some general surfing.
i program in Python and LISP mainly but also some ruby, c/c++, haskell, erlang etc.

i have only ever used windows but i plan to buy a Mac as my next computer and want to learn Linux too.


so what Linux-dist would you recommend for me?


also i have 120GB harddrive and half is full.
to install Linux i have to partitionn the harddrive right?

do i have to uninstall and reinstall windows too?
 
Old 05-21-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnor View Post
so what Linux-dist would you recommend for me?
That's a subjective question and you will get a lot of people recommending their favorite distro. So I would, of course, recommend CLFS. I can't think of any distro that won't do what you want it to do (i.e., allow you to program and browse the internet). Take a look at the top 10 distros at distrowatch.com. Starting with one of those, especially one that provides a LiveCD, is probably a good place to start your almost inevitable distro hopping. Remember they're in the top 10 for a reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by notnor View Post
to install Linux i have to partitionn the harddrive right?
That is correct. You will need a minimum of one partition for Windoze, one for Linux, and a small one for swap (an old rule of thumb for swap is 1 - 2 times system RAM).
Quote:
Originally Posted by notnor View Post
do i have to uninstall and reinstall windows too?
No, most of the top 10 distros will come with an installer that will detect the Windoze and configure the bootloader correctly. If not, this can be done manually and there are plenty of folks here that can help you.
 
Old 05-21-2008, 12:06 PM   #3
indienick
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Ahhh - another Lisp programmer.
My suggestion would be to start with Ubuntu, and if you're a programmer, eventually move on to Ubuntu's grand-daddy, Debian.
I used Debian the longest (~ 2 years) out of all of the other distros I have tried. Currently, I'm dual-booted with Slackware and Debian. Slackware's nice, but not for the faint of heart.
 
Old 05-21-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
salasi
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I'd sort of go with ubuntu. Let me explain that:

i) I don't particularly like Ubuntu for a couple of reasons, but if you want an unix-style OS with stabiliser wheels, it does have a lot going for it.

ii) Using linux doesn't dictate which user interface you use. This may seem an arcance point, but you can go for Ubuntu (Gnome-based), try that out for a while and if you feel vaguely unsatisfied with the UI, add the KDE UI (turning it into Kubuntu) without removing Gnome. If you still feel vaguely unsatisfied with that, you can add XFCE (or enlightenment, or fluxbox) while still leaving all the stuff that you've already got intact.

iii) If you see any live CDs (some of which are DVDs), these are a good thing. They allow you to try out a distro without installing. Many act as installers too, so this is a no brainer, really.

iv) By this time, you'll have a bit of experience, be able to define more clearly what you want and what you don't want (features vs bloat, hevyweight vs nimble, configurability vs simplicity of use) and that'll put you into a good position to make an even better choice next time around.

(I don't like (k)ubuntu because kde on ubuntu doesn't feel as fully developed as, kde on SuSE, for example. But its still a good starter Linux, as are PClos, Mandriva, Xandros, Mint... But Ubuntu has a pretty good community, too.)

One piece of advice: When you want to add apps (eg, languages as well as, say, office apps) to your linux box, the first place to go is to the distribution's app installer, rather than scurrying round the net to find a downloadable file in the first instance. Its easier and safer, if the distro has an adequate set of repositories set up by default. Often this throws linux newbies who are still working the windows way.
 
Old 05-21-2008, 04:03 PM   #5
notnor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weibullguy View Post
That's a subjective question and you will get a lot of people recommending their favorite distro. So I would, of course, recommend CLFS. I can't think of any distro that won't do what you want it to do (i.e., allow you to program and browse the internet). Take a look at the top 10 distros at distrowatch.com. Starting with one of those, especially one that provides a LiveCD, is probably a good place to start your almost inevitable distro hopping. Remember they're in the top 10 for a reason.That is correct. You will need a minimum of one partition for Windoze, one for Linux, and a small one for swap (an old rule of thumb for swap is 1 - 2 times system RAM).No, most of the top 10 distros will come with an installer that will detect the Windoze and configure the bootloader correctly. If not, this can be done manually and there are plenty of folks here that can help you.

i have 60GB free and probably want another 20 for windows, that leavs me with 40GB or so for linux, is that enough?

i mainly want to test linux to learn about it and see how it works, not have it as my main OS(yet).
 
Old 05-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
oskar
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Ubuntu is great up to 7.10 - which is still supported for about a year I think. 8.04 is problematic for a lot of people (hence the PCLOS in my profile). At this point I can wholeheartedly recommend Ubuntu 7.10 and PCLinuxOS, although the latter has yet to stand the test of time.
 
Old 05-21-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
weibullguy
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40GB is plenty of space to install Linux with room to spare.
 
Old 05-21-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
urbansaint
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Maybe u can use VMware to install a virtual Linux on your pc. That way u dont have to install into ur system with the windows together.
Currently i am using Fedora Core 8. Its good and can actually learn a lot from it.
That is jz my 2 cents.
Hope it helps.
 
  


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