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Old 10-15-2010, 11:09 AM   #1
Hatman KZN
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Question Slackware v/s Fedora and Mandriva


I have never used or even seen Linux in any form before.
A local Slackware user and enthusiast has convinced me to give it a try.
He swears by Slackware but I have read the "Introduction to Linux" manual and it hardly mentions Slackware at all. Why is that?

I must admit that after reading the manual I am more enthusiastic about gravitating to Linux than ever but I do need to know which distribution to use. I would like to go with Slackware because of the "hands on" guidance I can get from the local aficionado.

What to do? What to do?
 
Old 10-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
Stephen R. Besch
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Try some of the Live CD's. I know Ubuntu has one and I'm sure that many of the other distributions do too. The Live CD will let you run a distribution from the CD without actually installing it. That way you can get a feel for which one you prefer. As for help from your friend, while there are differences between distributions, a great deal of his Linux knowledge will be transferable to any distribution. Why there appears too be a shortage of postings about Slackware is a good question. It was my first linux distribution, but since then I've tried RedHat and finally moved to Ubuntu, largely because the process of installing apps was so much less painful.
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
MS3FGX
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Slackware is not particularly well suited to an absolute beginner, as the system is largely configured by hand. There are few setup tools or scripts, you will need to edit configuration files by hand and that sort of thing. Not to say a person can't start with Slackware (I did), but most people consider it a more advanced distribution choice.

So in that respect, I am not surprised if it isn't listed in an introduction guide.
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:25 AM   #4
/evilbyte
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Thumbs up

Hi Hatman,

Please take a look on this:

http://polishlinux.org/choose/compar...tro2=Slackware
http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/93393/

In the first link, you can choose between several distros to realize the comparative.

Personally, i started with Caldera (SCO), then Mandrake (now Mandriva), then Fedora, finally i knew Slackware and fall in love. Actually i use Ubuntu to very basic and home tasks and to my wife

Regards,
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:34 AM   #5
GrapefruiTgirl
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which distro?

"Introduction to Linux" sounds like something that aims to gently introduce the average Windows user to something other than Windows. Therefore, it probably mentions such distros as Ubuntu and Mandriva and PCLinuxOS and Mint, and maybe some others. Those distros are (generally understood to be) the least likely to give a brand-new Linux user a hellish time & a load of work to do, while trying to adjust and get used to the new OS.
By the same token, this guide probably goes out of its way to not mention Slackware, Gentoo, and any number of other OS's, because (whether rightly or wrongly) those are not "friendly" enough for the shiny new Linux user -- too much command line, not enough package management, too complex, blah blah blah..

What to do, depends on you!
Are you an enthusiast, or are you someone looking to switch from Windows but not get thrown in too deep at first?

If you have a keen interest in how things inside a GNU/Linux work, and you want to fiddle and tweak, and like configuring & customizing things yourself and learning what's what, I highly recommend Slackware, as will many others probably too. But if you're looking for something that you hope will work 100% right out of the box, and you prefer clicking mouse-buttons over typing stuff, and you prefer having choices made for you, Slackware may not be right for you.

All the above aside: If you're keen to learn and fiddle, AND you have a Slacker friend who is willing to teach & help you along the way, by all means, try it out! Plus, the Slackware community is very active and helpful here on LQ, so help is everywhere.

Ultimately it doesn't matter what you choose - as long as it makes you happy and you get out of the experience what you wish for - so it'd be wise to go to distrowatch.com and check out the top 10-20 distros on their "top page hit rank" list, pick a few that look interesting to you (visit their homepages and whatnot, read about them) and download a few, burn to CD and boot up. Try them out as LiveCD's (not all distros offer these) and see what you think, without even installing them. If you like one, install it (it'll be faster that way -- liveCD's are slow) and away you go.

Whatever you choose, good luck with it!
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
H_TeXMeX_H
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Yeah, just try lots of different distros and see which one you like. If you do decide to try slackware, do read up on how to install it, because if you have never used Linux before, you may be scared off when it drops you at a console and you don't know what to do (which it will, but if you read up, you will know what to do). It's true that other distros may be easier on the beginner, but if you ever find them getting in your way or being unstable and buggy, try slackware.
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:41 AM   #7
malekmustaq
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Hatman,

Good that you are honest to tell what you think and what you want.

Gnu/Linux (proper name for the OS) is not a theoretical subject that can be understood by the mere reading. This excellent OS is learned faster when you apply information to actual use. "Hands On" as commonly said.

So go to a distro that is easy-install, fully-supported (in terms of drivers, media formats, and applications) then from there you can start learning from it and progress to other distributions.

I usually suggest Linux Mint (it is derived from the foundations of Debian and Ubuntu). As you learn from the easier Mint use a good tutorial (download here) for faster pace of learning.

When you know the basics its time to fall in love with Slackware.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
Timothy Miller
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As far as the 3 you're talking about.

Mandriva is in flux. A large core of it's developers just forked it, and who knows if Mandriva itself will recover. Right now I'd say don't bother with it regardless.

Fedora is very bleeding edge distro. Newest softare, latest hardware support. Not the absolutely blindingly fastest because it does try to give you "everything and the kitchen sink".

Slackware is one of the older distro's that focuses on simplicity. So there isn't anything fancy about it. All system maintenance is done manually, setup is done from a terminal, configuration is done by editing files. While difficult to learn, it results in a fast, responsive system, and a VERY high degree of user knowledge.

It basically boils down to how much do you REALLY wanna learn. If you want a system that "just works" Fedora is great. If you wanna know every little thing about your system, then Slackware is the way to go.
 
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
DavidMcCann
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Visit the Ubuntu web site and you'll find a very useful guide for Windows migrants. Then install Mint: it's better for handing video files.

Slackware has very few easily usable tools for configuring things, and tends to stick with tried and tested methods from the 1990s. It's fine if you are experienced, but do you really want to have to keep calling on your friend for help? Most people tend to recommend their own disto (if they didn't think it was the best they wouldn't be using it!) and a lot of Slackware users are here because it's the only distro without its own forum.

As you see, my distro is Fedora, but I'm not recommending it for you. Get Mint: it must be good, it's Irish!
 
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:50 AM   #10
Hatman KZN
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Smile Slackware v/s Mandriva & Fedora

WOW
I am overwhelmed.
You guys are fantasmagorical.
I never expected so much response to my question.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Mint seems to be the recommendation of choice. It is almost as if you guys knew that I was a geriatric old fart. (81 last birthday )

It is not just that it takes me a long time and many repetitions to absorb new knowledge, I also tend to get side tracked and forget what I was doing quite a bit.
But I do so love learning new things.
I will view the trip as an adventure rather than a daunting task which I hopefully will be able to conquer before it is time for me to clock out.

Thanks again guys and expect many more quessies from me.

PS. It is never too late to have a happy childhood.

Hatman
 
Old 10-16-2010, 06:19 AM   #11
GrapefruiTgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman KZN View Post
... It is almost as if you guys knew that I was a geriatric old fart. (81 last birthday )
Heh Well I didn't suspect at all, but big kudos to you for the initiative at 81. For what it's worth, I believe you aren't the only LQ member who's as chronologically enhanced as yourself. You're among friends of all ages.
Quote:
...I also tend to get side tracked and forget what I was doing quite a bit.
I'm 30-something and this happens to me already. I guess it's normal... Wh--what was I saying?
Quote:
But I do so love learning new things.
I will view the trip as an adventure rather than a daunting task which I hopefully will be able to conquer before it is time for me to clock out.

Thanks again guys and expect many more quessies from me.

PS. It is never too late to have a happy childhood.

Hatman
Marvelous outlook! Best of success with this new adventure. Take your time and have fun!
 
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:39 PM   #12
Hatman KZN
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Unhappy Slackware v/s Mandriva & Fedora

Hello again Guys and Guyesses. (the saviours of my sanity)

Following your advice I went looking for Ubuntu Mint
There are 5 versions and the write-up on some of them is a bit off putting.
So I had me a gander at the latest Ubuntu release. (Ubuntu 10.10) and before I knew where I was I had downloaded it, using up almost all of my monthly bandwidth allowance.
Dratt. Botherations and Dang !!!!

Then came the tricky bit. Installing it. That is where the fan came into play.

To cut a long story down to a mini series:-
I got a black screen with this message.
(initransfs) cannot mount / devloop0 (cdrom/casper/filesystem.squashfs) on / filesystem.squashfs
Enter help for a list of built in commands


When I entered help I got another screen with (built in commands) and a lot of gobbletygook on it


So now what? It looks like a long creek and I'm a tad short on paddles

HELP !!!!!!

Pretty please with sugar on.

Hatman

Ps I do not really suffer from insanity.
I enjoy every moment of it.
 
Old 10-18-2010, 12:52 PM   #13
H_TeXMeX_H
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The problem is listed here:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1588547
 
Old 10-18-2010, 01:48 PM   #14
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman KZN View Post
Following your advice I went looking for Mint.
There are 5 versions and the write-up on some of them is a bit off putting.
If you are in the USA and wish to respect software patents (which were never intended by Congress, as I read the law), get Mint's USA-Japan Edition. If you aren't or don't, get their Main Edition.

I'm sorry you had bad luck with Ubuntu. Leprechaun's revenge for not getting Mint?
 
Old 10-18-2010, 03:17 PM   #15
yancek
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It's a little late since you've used most of your bandwidth for the month but for future reference, you can have an Ubuntu Installation CD mailed to you at no cost. See this site:

https://shipit.ubuntu.com/

Did you do the md5checksum after download? Did you burn the iso as an image? How did you try to install it? Was the error message the first thing you got after booting? Other steps completed before the error?
 
  


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