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I am new to Linux, so please excuse my total n00bness (a little relief, since I am posting in the newbie forums ).
Anyway, I may be going with a Linux installation in the not-too-distant future, and am wondering how Mandrake stacks up against the competitors in terms of server performance. I know most Linux servers are using Red Hat right now, and don't want to make the poor decision of using another distribution if it is not up to par in the performance (and compatibility... if that's a problem?) departments.
Any starter information on this, and any other information on the differences in Linux distributions, is highly appreciated.
Mandrake is often suggested as a "starter" linux, and I don't see anything wrong with that. But, if you are going for pure power you would probably want something like slackware (or even one of the bsds). If you want to learn enough to move up to more power, I would suggest installing mandrake but then using the command line to do everything (just ignore the pretty little windows with checkmarks and radio buttons that make it easy to set stuff up).
In the american corporate world, red hat is the default for service, but most of that has to do with name recognition, service agreements, and company stability.
If you are used to a DOS based environment Linux is easy, I picked it up in less than a month, I find the gui not very useful. I always use the console, I get things doe a lot faster. I am currently running Mandrake 9.1, was running Caldera (Never use Caldera) and I find it just as good as any distro (Played with RH, Corell (don't ask), Caldera, and Mandrake. For Install and Configurability, go with Mandrake. Especialy if you are learning.
Thanks again for the help. I am learning, yes, but I am also in a time-bind for moving my production (it gets half a million hits a day, and Windows isn't handling it too well) to Linux or Unix. I want to learn Linux, but I can't afford to take the time to learn it with one Distribution, only to find out that I'm suffering performance problems and need to move to Red Hat or Slackware.
I took a look at both Red Hat and Slackware yesterday. I was impressed with the help manual and web site for Slackware. It was very easy to use and intuitive, unlike Red Hat's. The only problem is that Slackware seems to be an individually packaged Distro, would would seem less-stable than Red Hat would be, for example.
Just how big of a difference is there between all these Linux distributions? Does it really make that big of a difference?
It seems that I'm constantly conflicted with which Linux Distro to go with. I don't know how quickly I'd fit into something like slackware (though it's definitely the coolest looking, and I love their site to death). I've heard that slackware doesn't do as much auto-detecting and things like that, and I'd hate to get stuck in a bind.
So I thought about Red Hat for a while (and even bought "Red Hat Linux 9 for Dummies"), then I read that Red Hat is the least standard of the top Linux Distro's. I don't know if this is acceptable or not. I wouldn't want to get caught in a bind with a company that's heading in the M$ direction, though.
Then I wantered over to SuSE. and was immediately intimidated, not to mention I can't find their documentation *anywhere*. Plus, I don't know much about SuSE other than that it's very commercial, and doesn't really seem to focus on Linux so much as it does selling you its software.
*sigh* So now I'm back to Mandrake. I don't want to seem like a "wuss" by going with inferior (in terms of performance), newbie software - because I want to learn Linux. But I'm lost as to what I'm able to handle starting out, while still being able to host my ever-growing site that's rapidly outliving my M$ box - and securely at that.