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Old 09-03-2009, 02:35 PM   #1
chrisavann
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OS Question


I'm very new to Linux. I have tried Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE to see which I'll like. Ubuntu because I've read that it's the easiest to learn. The other OS because I'm going to school for computers and want to learn a version of Linux that is running on corporate servers. I'm running a windows server with active directory. I've read that ubuntu is the easiest, but trying to set up the ADS wasn't easy (again, i'm a newbie). I liked SUSE because it can be setup during installation and network directories can be mapped. I want to run linux on all the computers in my household (6 laptops/1 desktop/1 server) and have them connect to server through ADS, but I want the easiest OS to learn on (for me and my family).

More thoughts going through my head: I would really like to run a linux server, but would hate to give up my windows server and have a big learning curb with linux. Right now i'm running SFTP server, DNS, DCHP and remote software RealVNC to connect to server. Once I finish my web page, it'll also be a web server. Also, I'm trying to learn how to setup my own email server. Just my reason for not giving up windows server.

Oh, going to school for IT, that's why i'm trying to learn all of this. Alright enough already.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 03:10 PM   #2
windtalker10
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I'm not into servers myself but have a friend who is.
According to him, in order to be certified, you need proficiency in Centos.
As for which is the easiest to learn, you'll get as many answers here as there are members.
There is a learning curve on every distro out there and each distro will do things differently.
I would personally go with the CentOS on one box as you'll need it for school.
If you're wanting to learn "Linux", Slack 12.2 as there is a good bit of terminal time getting it set up but a breeze afterward, also can be for school and normal use.
I have ran a slew of Linux distro's as well as BSD's and Slack is hard to top on reliability, maintainability and stability.
For the rest, as I said, there is a learning curve and I would go with what everyone would recognize,, kde on all boxes as it's windows like in appearance and it helps cut back on having so many learning curves to contend with.
OpenSUSE or maybe PCLinuxOS might be a good choice there.
If everyone is wanting something "different" Gnome is a good choice and the crowd favorite seems to be Ubuntu.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
MensaWater
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Or to expound that somewhat: RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the most prevalent "Commercial linux" used in the corporate world. CentOS is a binary compile of the RHEL sources so for someone wanting to learn RHEL without paying RedHat for a subscription CentOS makes perfect sense.

Fedora also helps because it is used to beta much of what ends up in RHEL. Learning Fedora can help you a lot with RHEL but since Fedora's life cycle is shorter than RHEL's much of what you do in Fedora may not yet apply in RHEL.

Suse is the second most prevalent "Commercial linux" but isn't nearly as big as RHEL in that regard.

You can even get commercial support for Ubuntu from Canonical but their numbers in that market are fairly low. However, there are many that choose a distro and use it without support. (We had RedHat's non-commercial stuff for years without support as well as FreeBSD.) I know of at least one cable network that is using Ubuntu and MySQL in a fairly big way.

However, here we use RHEL as did a large network gear provider I used to work for - in the local UNIX group meetings we occasionally have a tech recruiter speak and he always says the demand for RHEL administrators is higher than for anything else.

P.S. You don't have to completely blow away Windows to load Linux. There are ways to make it dual boot so you can either boot into Windows or boot into Linux depending on what you choose.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 04:06 PM   #4
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisavann View Post
I want the easiest OS to learn on (for me and my family).
There is a very important distinction there in what you want to learn vs. what you probably want your family to learn.

Installing and managing Centos is very different from installing and managing Ubuntu. For a single workstation, Ubuntu would be simpler, but it sounds like you are putting together a complex enough network that Centos is likely simpler than Ubuntu. So for what you want to learn, Centos is probably both better and easier.

Your family might want to just learn how to use Linux, rather than how to install and maintain it. There isn't much difference between Ubuntu and Centos for the user. The differences are mainly seen by the system administrator.

To get from a single empty workstation computer plus distribution CD to using Linux, Ubuntu is much easier. But your family won't be doing that, right? To learn how to log into and use an already installed Linux system, there is little difference between Ubuntu and Centos, and where they are different, Centos may even make it easier for the system administrator to make things easy for the user.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
jstephens84
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I just want to add that he can also use Virtualbox or vmware server to run linux and windows on the same box. That would make learning even better as you would get the change to integrate AD and samabe/winbind together.

As for which one to choose I can't say much that has not been said already. Just remember to also take into account what your family will find most familiar to them. This will take their defensive mind set down a little.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstephens84 View Post
Just remember to also take into account what your family will find most familiar to them. This will take their defensive mind set down a little.
Choices such as KDE vs. Gnome will make much more difference to users than Ubuntu vs. Centos. I suggest KDE, especially for users used to Windows. KDE is not similar to Windows desktop but Gnome is quite a bit less similar to Windows desktop.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
Choices such as KDE vs. Gnome will make much more difference to users than Ubuntu vs. Centos. I suggest KDE, especially for users used to Windows. KDE is not similar to Windows desktop but Gnome is quite a bit less similar to Windows desktop.
While I agree I have also seen that some distributions of linux have a hard time with plug and play, and such things as codecs for playing movies, dvds, and other such as this. I have found in this area Ubuntu to be a little bit better out of the box than with Centos. I am not saying that CentOS can't do those things mind you. I am simply stating some distributions are better desktop choices than others.
 
Old 10-11-2009, 01:21 PM   #8
chrisavann
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Thanks all. Decided to go with CentOS for me and OpenSUSE for kids.

Reasons:
CentOS – liked web support (found web guides to install wireless, active directory integration), compatibility to RedHat which is used in corporate.

OpenSUSE – easiest FOR ME set up active directory and shares during setup, was great out the box. Think it will be good for family to used (good point John). First choice was Ubuntu, but setting up active directory wasn't easy.

Installed KDE on both. Just for FYI I'll list computers used:
Thinkpad X60 -CentOS
Dell D610 x2 -OpenSuse
Dell D630 -OpenSuse
Thinkpad T400 -Windows 7
 
Old 10-11-2009, 04:29 PM   #9
AwesomeMachine
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I would try Fedora or SuSE. They're both easy. CentOS, like Red Hat, is old software, but it's very stable. Fedora and SuSE are more fun to play around with, especially since each offers a lot of packages. If you want the largest selection of possible packages, Debian is the one, with roughly 25,000 available packages to possibly install. You don't need to install them all. But Debian is cryptic. It's not the best to learn on.

Everything you can do with Ubuntu you can do with Debian, it's just not as easy with Debian. Ubuntu IS Debian, albeit with a little more window dressing. I would say SuSE is probably the easiest, with a gui to do everything, even the install. But SuSE is not like other linux distros. It's totally different in some ways, such as sax2 and yast2.

CentOS hardly comes with any software, and if you try to install anything modern it won't work. I haven't used slack recently, but slack has been around the longest. It comes with a lot of experience, and it's very stable, although cryptic like Debian; even more so.
 
Old 10-11-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
catkin
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There's a key difference here between easy to (learn to) use and easy to (learn to) administer, especially if "administer" is taken in the the sense of fully-understand-and-make-it-sing-and-dance-to-my-tune.

Generally they are incompatible, at least in my experience, because "easy to (learn to) use" means a lot of GUIs with complex (and hence buggy?) coding to make them work (and usually to make them look slick while they're working) whereas "easy to (learn to) administer" (fully) means simple designs mostly configured from text files.

I think I had too many parentheses for supper and got indigestion (maybe).
 
Old 10-11-2009, 07:09 PM   #11
chrism01
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As you seem to have gone with Centos, you'll find this very useful, if you haven't go it already http://www.linuxtopia.org/online_boo...ion/index.html
 
Old 10-15-2009, 03:50 PM   #12
MensaWater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeMachine View Post
I would try Fedora or SuSE. They're both easy. CentOS, like Red Hat, is old software, but it's very stable.
RedHat is NOT "old software" unless you're distinguishing between RedHat pre-RedHat Enterprise Linux and the RHEL stuff. The RHEL stuff is only "old" compared to bleeding edge stuff like Fedora. Both distros are done that way by design. Fedora is designed to have a new release every 6 months for people that like to test the latest greatest. RHEL (and therefore CentOS) on the other hand have a longer lifecycle and are designed to allow for stability of one's environment. RHEL does update packages for bug and security fixes all the time but won't necessarily ship the latest and greatest of certain packages. (e.g. RHEL 5 had BIND 9.3 whereas the latest release from BIND is 9.7.) This doesn't prevent you from downloading and installing BIND 9.7 from ISC - it just means that people that use the RHEL blessed version won't suddenly get changes that break their production environments.
 
Old 10-20-2009, 09:36 PM   #13
chrisavann
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Awesome Machine - just tried Fedora 11 for a couple of days. All hardware worked fine, but couldn't get Fedora 11 to authenticate with Server 2008 ADS.

Tried CentOS, could get it to authenticate, but couldn't get my wireless to work. Really wanted to used something that is RedHat based.

Going to OpenSuse now (or Windows 7 and just wait until I take a Unix/Linux class).

Again, thanks all for comments.
 
Old 10-20-2009, 09:46 PM   #14
jmc1987
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If you want to learn enterprise Linux then CentOS is the way to go. Its free Redhat. CentOS Dev Team has done a great job with the project. You picked a good choice.

Me myself I like CentOS as a server but hate it as a desktop. (no real reason) Just found slackware is my fav desktop.

Good luck learning Linux
 
Old 10-20-2009, 11:06 PM   #15
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisavann View Post
Awesome Machine - just tried Fedora 11 for a couple of days. All hardware worked fine, but couldn't get Fedora 11 to authenticate with Server 2008 ADS.

Tried CentOS, could get it to authenticate, but couldn't get my wireless to work. Really wanted to used something that is RedHat based.

Going to OpenSuse now (or Windows 7 and just wait until I take a Unix/Linux class).

Again, thanks all for comments.
Look here for getting your machine to authenticated to a AD domain.
http://likewise.com/active-directory...f-5764d93c97bb
 
  


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