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I've just boguht a shuttle which I will be using as my 'idling' machine, networked with my 'big pc' which i use for day to day use.
It is mainly used for running downloading programs, irc [bots etc] and general storage of installation files.
I have some very basic linux command experience, however I would prefer the OS to be more GUI based. Can someone recommend a linux OS that could possibly read / write NTFS and is stable as a rock [something WinXP is missing].
I believe most linux distros include SAMBA which is what you need to share files across a network with windows. I think most people agree that Mandrake Linux is the most user friendly of the major distros. My own experience supports that conclusion. Although many would argu that if you like fiddling, slackware will further you knowledge of linux much faster than Mandrake. IMHO. If you are talking about R/W NTFS files on a local hard drive and not over a network, then this is something that I have not done so I cannot speak of it.
I've been told that the Fedora Project would be good for me. At the moment I have 2 PC's, one of which is not the PC is question but for info sakes runs WinXP on an NTFS partition.
The PC in question runs win XP at the moment, with an NTFS partition, on both the 30gb drive, n the 120gb drive. I was thinking of having dual boot, but if linux is that good, was wanting to run linux full time on this machine.
Read/write support is not dependent on the distro, you need a kernel that supports it. Only 2.6.x kernels allow your to write to NTFS as far as i know, distro such as fedora, mandrake etc.. come with the 2.4.22 kernel which has only read capabilities. So you will need to compile 2.6.x if you really need this. As for which distro, from what i can tell your only doing server type functions and even though your a newbie, i would recommend Vectorlinux for this because of its size. Vector is based on slack with a little more user friendly approach, and its iso is only about 250mb.
the write support in the 2.6 kernel is extremely limited (can only save small files that do not change the size of the original file)
search the fourms or go to www.distrowatch.org and read the reviews on the distros; my personal suggestion is either redhat or slackware (fedora is still in early stages, but i have never used it so cannot say much for it)
as for going up to 2.6 kernel, i think that slackware is best suited for this as it doesn't depend on "special" kernels like in mandrake, suse, redhat, etc.; but the 2.6 upgrade isn't required at this point
redhat and slackware is the choice for security, definitely slackware for stability and reliability
I think everyone is making this more complicated than it neads to be. Will these computer be networked? If not, why not? I don't see why you don't just have one linux box and one windows box. You can share a directory from which ever one has the larger drive and keep you data there. You don't need a 2.6 kernel to simply connect this way. I would set the linux box up as a server with the larger drive as linux is much more suited for this than windows.