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i am not new to UNIX or LINUX. I think the first unix install that I was a part of was back in 1993 when my roommate installed att unix on his PC in our dorm back at college.
I have since used various SUN, HPUX, and other command line based UNIX installs. to me the only thing I care about is the shell I am working in. I have watched solaris installs and have done my own network printer setups under UNIX. We have a Linux box at work running SAMBA and it has the KDE desktop and tools. I am not a total newbie, but I do want to lessen the pain of installing.
I definitely want to be able to run Netscape (sorry, lynx is just not fun anymore) and if it is possible to run my TV tuner card under linux, I would be happier than a fly on sugar.
I have no fear of command line interfaces, but want a somewhat easy install.
I am attracted by Slackware simply because of it's name/community/awe-factor but don't know if I really want to have as long a down-time as I think it would be to get it up and running.
well, on installing the new mandrake distribution (8.1) it's not uncommon to have your tv card fully installed on first boot even. it's certainly the most painfree experience i've ever had, installation wise. I'd suggest installing that, and then after a few months ditch it and go for slack if you feel like it. You should be fair enough installing a new redhat (7.2) as well, not quite as easy, but then not quite as insulting as mandrake tends to be at times.
Slackware all the way with your *nix experience. Slackware 8 install isn't as pretty as Mandrake or RedHat but I am sure you would much more appreciate the power and stability and the configurability. The install is actually quite simple and can be done in a matter of 5 minutes with the right options. So if you are planning on spending money (and it's the cheapest) put it on Slack. I don't know where everyone (not saying you) gets the idea it's a daunting and tedious install. It has been given a bad wrap from it's past versions perhaps, but 8 is as smooth as you'll ever want and you won't get a kernel panic everytime you do something. Go with what you're curious about, it's great!
if there's any particular weaknesses in any distribution, you can easily justreplace that package, easier to do that in an RPM distro than slack, so get my vote for configurability, and i've found other configurations easier in redhat etc, such as xinetd over inetd. more logical files, easier to configure... And of course, from a newbie POV, the configurability of mandrake goes through the roof.
But flame wars are boring. i've seen threads here like 'mandrake vs redhat' etc... bit pointless i find.
and.... WHY WHY WHY do people always put a star in UNIX? is it like "the scottish play"???
No problems here, I don't ever try to get into arguments or "flamewars". The main objective facts i've gone by to select Slack as my distro instead of RH, Mandrake or any other are that; Slack is still sticking to the universality of tarballs and the need to compile things yourself. RPM's and the like have only caused me personally trouble in the past. Linux is starting to splinter off into different arenas where i believe Slack has stood closest to a Unix-like system. Other distros come with a load of eye-candy and crap you may never use. Slack comes with everything you need and would want plus some, though still remaining leaner than most of the rest leaving it faster and more reliable. The more stuff you pack into a system, the more room you have for error, system crashes and freezes. I've had them all with mandrake and although Red Hat is not by any means crap, is still segregating itself from the linux community to move into the workplace as a pretty server. It may be good for that, but for home, with Slack, I have the ultimate say in what happens on my system, the knowledge that i've never crashed and outside of human error, never had a problem compiling a program or kernel. Yeah, it's hard to be objective, but the fact is that Slack has (even if it's not pretty menus) more configurability and hands on system need. It's faster than any i've used so far, Mandrake and RH being two of them. It is one of the closest to stay as universal as possible, while giving you the tools even if you do have a "cross-distro" need. Perhaps it's being left behind due to the fact that most others ARE going gui-based the further they go and will become another windows-like system of which is so claimed to be hated. That's just industry and the way things work. Slack is lean, very console intensive and so far as i've seen and read greatly stable due to it's no-frills get to business style. I worry about it because it may indeed get left in the dust. But for now, believe it's the best option. IMO! Therefore my recommendation...In the end, if someone wants RH, they'll get it, or Mandrake or maybe an unknown distro rarely heard of. So by now, the smoke clears and as my virtual mouth shuts. I only have what i've seen to go on and that's all. If Debian is better, ok. OPenBSD, ok. But I Slack...
Ok I got a little defensive, I admit it...But no worries here. Ultimately one has to try everything to have a 'fully' factual base on thier opinions, of which I and many don't have. So it's cool. You called me on it...Life is like poker, how's my poker face?
Thanks for all the suggestions! Still a bit undecided. I looked at the slack page and it does look my style, but I still have to give this thought. It's not that I think the install would be tedious/etc., it is more that I would rather hack up a perfectly good install of Linux once it is installed than hack an install to pieces and have to live with whatever quirks i introduce from the beginning. (hack being the more oldschool meaning without any numbers in the word )
anywho, i have some time to think about it and do my research. I am glad to hear that Slack is not completely a no-no, but also happy to hear that if i really want a no-brain install it would satisfy the hardware I have without much pain.
now back to your regularly scheduled discussion...