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Hello to all Linuxonians! This is my first thread here.
A little intro about me:
I am Abhay, i am from India. I am currently pursuing Masters in Embedded Systems.
What brought me here:
I finally decided to quit Windows,for good.I wonder why i didn't do it before , but better late then never.So i felt that this esteemed forum would facilitate me, in pursuing my Zeal with Linux.
I am about to enter the world of Linux. Hence Which distro would you suggest me?I have done my homework like ..how to install Linux/ Things one has to know before & after Linux,but however indecisive about which Distro should i go for.
I know that would be to too vague question..what i am basically interested in is " A Distro which really needs to be challenging"
My friends suggested Slackware. If Slackware ..then which version of it?
Thanks in advance.
Last edited by linuxnewbe3; 08-06-2009 at 09:56 AM.
Slackware is pretty easy, once you read a little.
I think Ubuntu is extremely easy. If you have no idea what you're doing, you can install it and use it very quickly and easily.
Gentoo isn't that difficult if you go by the handbook, but it is much more difficult than others, and it takes forever to download and compile everything, and using the portage package management can be a real pain for dependencies and things that like ... mostly I've read about these problems, because I haven't used Gentoo much - but I have had components of the packages blocked and things like that, and had to go out of my way to get it to work.
With slackware, I've personally done things the easy way. I used a full install, used xorgsetup to configure my x.org, and use slackpkg for my package management ... but I'm pretty new to Linux, myself.
congratultions on leaving the Windows world behind. If I understand what you
are wanting to do, I would suggest that you use two hard drives. the first has
a working version of linux on it that you dont play with. the second hard drive
you can put what ever version of linux on it you like.
If you are using a laptop it is usually easy to swap out the drives depending on
what type it is. If it is a desk top you can rig up a couple of relays with a
switch and run the power connections through the relay contacts to each hard drive.
(one of my guy friends set mine up that way for me.)
so basically you flip the switch before you boot and either play or do
whatever you do without screwing up your computer.
If you only have one version and you break it by playing with the settings
or something, you always have a working drive that you can do your everyday
that is what i did when I got started in linux two years ago. Im not an expert
by any means but I have broken my linux by playing with it to much.
Having the second drive saved me from not being able to do my everyday computing
and let me post on the forum to find out why I broke my linux
I'm going to recommend against Slackware, actually. What Slack promises is stability and configurability. Any Linux is really as configurable as you want it (and there's no reason you have to do that in icky console graphics at install-time). The stability is really not necessary for just learning how to use the damn thing, and the other side of that coin is that you're working several versions behind current. You probably want to get familiar with current software, and then you can discover if you think there's a reason to run older an release of something. If you set up a server someday that you want to spend as little time maintaining as possible, Slack may be a good choice then.
So, what do I recommend? Well, the reason I like Fedora is that it's pretty close to the cutting edge - I'd say usually, but not always, one step behind Ubuntu - but it doesn't coddle you in any way. It has the added bonus that if you're familiar with Fedora, you're familiar with Red Hat, which is one of the more commonly-used Linuxes in places where you aren't going to have control of the machines you're working on (like university computer labs).
That said, it might be wisest for you to install Ubuntu for a little while (it's extremely n00b-friendly and has the most voluminous, if not the highest quality community support), get VirtualBox and play with every distro that catches your fancy, and then choose for yourself.
so basically you flip the switch before you boot and either play or do whatever you do without screwing up your computer.
Oh jesus. That doesn't strike you as needlessly dangerous given that you could just control which drive you boot off of with grub or even the BIOS?
I agree ... I'm not sure why I didn't mention that Slackare stays a little ways behind current. Most popular distributions use more current software than Slackware does when you just install it and update it, and the help you get with Ubuntu (from the Ubuntu site) is good.
I would disagree that Fedora coddles you less than Ubuntu.
Then let's discuss, since this is highly relevant to OP's (and potentially other posters') interests. Fedora doesn't attempt to hide the root user from you, makes you configure a root password, during install, and doesn't actually try to get you to set up an unprivileged user until firstboot runs on your first boot (which you can and may prevent, should you so choose). Fedora provides the usual set of Red Hat GUI utilities for configuring a bunch of stuff - I find that they don't normally hide the underlying software much, if at all. Of course, it's all there, and there's no difficulty in using that instead. In earlier versions, Fedora did not include /sbin in unprivileged users' paths, which I thought was dumb (and probably more a misguided attempt at security, but I'll accept it as coddling). So did enough other Fedorans (?) that they changed it in the current release or the last one.
What did you have in mind? If you're running both Slack and Ubuntu, I imagine you've got a pretty good grasp of the spectrum here.
I'm just thinking along the lines of making it easy on you or "shielding you". I don't see where Fedora does this less than Ubuntu. I guess that what you're talking about is sort of true ... but I don't understand when people make a big deal out of not having a root account by default, and other things along those lines. Using the root account with Ubuntu is very quick and easy. I would hardly call it "hidden". It's no effort. Obviously if you're being shielded from the underlying software at all, you're using a GUI. I see how one GUI could shield you less than another, but if it's important to you to not be shielded from the underlying software you can avoid the GUI. If you don't have something in your path, add it to your path. None of these things are very difficult to take care of if you're bothered.
It just seems that when people say "this shields you" or "that's not the way it should be", a lot of times it's very simple to change. If you have a distribution that is set up a certain way by default, and it takes a few minutes to set it up the way you'd like it, it's not worth criticizing.
Not to say you make a habit of complaining about things, or to argue with your personal view of things. It's just that, in a lot of cases, it seems to me like the upsides or downsides of everything are exaggerated. As far as making everything very simple and usually point and click and enter a password, Fedora and Ubuntu both do, unless you choose not to use what's there when you install them.
ok, slackware is a bit oldfashioned. But it lets you see what's really going on with the system. On many of the "easy to configure" systems you will never see whats really going on. On those systems you learn to use the distro but less beyond this.
I recommend slackware or Linux From Scratch.
Surley slackware does not come with current software but its in your hand to install current software on slackware.
I forgot to make a point about what you just said, also.
I was thinking something along those lines, also. As far as using it teaching you a lot about the distribution and not a lot about Linux, that's often true of Fedora, too.
It's a very steep learning curve, starting with a "most challenging" distro. How about starting with an easier one, mastering that and then switching to a more challenging one. there's plenty to learn, even in an easy one, if you want to dive behind the GUI.
..... How about starting with an easier one, mastering that and then switching to a more challenging one. there's plenty to learn, even in an easy one, if you want to dive behind the GUI.
Well, ok, but what does one learn this way?
I'd suggest another way of thinking. When looking at the various distributions there are those which are easy to install, like ubuntu or slackware and those which are not, like Linux From Scratch or Gentoo.
Using slackware you'll have a running system directly and can study it. With ubuntu you'll also have running system in a short amount of time, but it teaches nothing.
With gentoo or LFS it takes a longer time to get the system running. But surly this teaches much more since you'll have to do much more of the configuration by yourself.
You have a point in saying this: "I'm going to recommend against Slackware, actually. What Slack promises is stability and configurability. Any Linux is really as configurable as you want it (and there's no reason you have to do that in icky console graphics at install-time)."
But, the truth behind your statement suddenly erodes if you try evaluate comparison between a top-three popular distro and a slackware, both same freshly installed: issue this command in both terminals after first boot up:
karamarisan@host--#: ps axu
see, the multitude of daemons, unknown to you, uncontrolled, unconfigured but involuntarily spawned at simple booting: if you understand the meaning of security these are enough to get your knees trembling. This is my experience. To a normal system keeping non-critical files or service this may not be a threat, but if otherwise the thing becomes serious. Whereas, under Slackware system this does not exist. Aside from the necessary services you must "make" a daemon work if you need its service.
There are other reasons that makes Slackware worth of the reputation it merited for years now but needless to mention here. Only, in fairness to linuxnewbe3 here is what and why Slackware needs not catch up the most recent:
"Slackware, started by Patrick Volkerding in late 1992, and initially released to the world on July 17, 1993, was the first Linux distribution to achieve widespread use. This private distribution quickly gained popularity, so Volkerding decided to name it Slackware and make it publicly available. Along the way, Patrick added new things to Slackware; a user friendly installation program based on a menuing system, as well as the concept of package management, which allows users to easily add, remove, or upgrade software packages on their systems."
"There are many reasons why Slackware is Linux's oldest living distribution. It does not try to emulate Windows, it tries to be as Unix-like as possible. It does not try to cover up processes with fancy, point-and-click GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces). Instead, it puts users in control by letting them see exactly what's going on. Its development is not rushed to meet deadlines-each version comes out when it is ready."
"Slackware is for people who enjoy learning and tweaking their system to do exactly what they want. Slackware's stability and simplicity are why people will continue to use it for years to come. Slackware currently enjoys a reputation as a solid server and a no-nonsense workstation. You can find Slackware desktops running nearly any window manager or desktop environment, or none at all. Slackware servers power businesses, acting in every capacity that a server can be used in. Slackware users are among the most satisfied Linux users. Of course, we'd say that." :^)
I hope this can help to the OP.
Last edited by malekmustaq; 08-08-2009 at 05:26 AM.
That's not quite quite what it looks like, but I did a lot of that. Checking out what services what on, what ports were open, and doing complete audits of what I did and didn't need... I don't know of a time when I've experienced more efficient learning. Since we're not risking any important data - for one's first install, one shouldn't even have one's private data accessible, should one nuke something - throwing him into a system running lots of common things means he's going to have a chance to learn what they all are, instead of getting used to a minimal system, coming here wanting to help, and wondering what nfs is or something. I turn your counter back on you.