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Old 11-25-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
willtc
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Starting Out/Choosing Distro


Hi there,

Im very new to Linux (tried a version of Ubuntu previously on my Windows laptop.) I recently purchased an iMac and wish to dual boot a very of Linux but not 100% which to go for. What I am really looking for here is to become more familiar with coding and be able to advance to different programming languages. I have read that the best to start off with is Python then move on to more complex such as C etc.

So in a nut shell, which Linux distro should I go for and will it be compatible for installation on my mac based computer.

Thanks.

- willtc
 
Old 11-25-2008, 03:59 PM   #2
sycamorex
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This is a list of powerpc-compatible linux distros taken from www.distrowatch.com. Well, I assume
that your architecture is powerpc)

http://distrowatch.com/search.php?ca...&status=Active

I'd recommend fedora,debian,centos, others would also recommend slackintosh and gentoo
 
Old 11-25-2008, 04:01 PM   #3
claudius753
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You will probably want to install rEFIt to enable your dual boot.

In my experience, Ubuntu 8.10 was the only distro I tried on my iMac (Aluminum 8/07 model) that worked with the Broadcom wireless chip, so if you need wireless networking out of the box, that's something to consider. I also had little luck getting audio to work properly, so just be ready to work on that.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 04:04 PM   #4
claudius753
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sycamorex, all Macs sold today feature Intel chips, despite the aesthetically pleasing exterior, on the inside it's just a plain PC with components you can find in a Dell or HP, etc.

I think PPC Macs haven't been sold for something like 2 years now?
 
Old 11-25-2008, 04:11 PM   #5
willtc
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Umm OK, well does that affect which distro I should choose from that list, and is there much of a difference with the GUI between these ( fedora, debian, centos etc) I am quite new to this, so just quite eager to install one on my partitioned hard drive and get exploring. And is Python my best bet to get started. I know Visual Basic from school, thats about as complex as my programming language gets
 
Old 11-25-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
claudius753
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Fedora and Centos are Red Hat derivatives, and should be similar. I recommend Fedora over Centos as Centos is an enterprise focused distro. Debian is powerful too, but Ubuntu is based on it, so Ubuntu is a good choice.

All of these, as far as I know, come default with gnome so the should be fairly similar. You can always install KDE or any other desktop on any linux distro.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 06:34 PM   #7
sycamorex
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claudius, thanks for the info.
It means that you can choose any distro from the top 10 list on distrowatch, which means
that you could anyway install fedora, debian, centos. At least these are the distros
that I'd recommend, but those are just my personal preferences. I have tried other distros
like ubuntu, opensuse, pclinux, linuxmint, etc. I always come back to the three I like.
good luck
 
Old 11-25-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
lakedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
claudius, thanks for the info.
It means that you can choose any distro from the top 10 list on distrowatch,
Top 10? Why top 10? Where a distro is on that list has very little to do with how good a distro is.

Mint is currently 3rd and is the slowest distro I've ever seen.

Kubuntu is 14th yet KDE users will prefer it to Ubuntu (1st). Kubuntu is Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome.

All the Ubuntu variants are a bit slow compared to Gentoo(18th) and Sabayon(11th).

All the full sized distros are really slow compared to Puppy (12th).


Arch (15th) and Slack(16th) are very popular here at LQ.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 07:07 PM   #9
SqdnGuns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedude View Post
Top 10? Why top 10? Where a distro is on that list has very little to do with how good a distro is.

Mint is currently 3rd and is the slowest distro I've ever seen.

Kubuntu is 14th yet KDE users will prefer it to Ubuntu (1st). Kubuntu is Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome.

All the Ubuntu variants are a bit slow compared to Gentoo(18th) and Sabayon(11th).

All the full sized distros are really slow compared to Puppy (12th).


Arch (15th) and Slack(16th) are very popular here at LQ.
Distrowatch is a popularity contest........not a real gauge as to what is the best distro. The best distro is what you enjoy using.

With that being said, some distros I won't use because they remind me of M$.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 07:31 PM   #10
pinniped
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I agree with lakedude - top 10 on distrowatch is not a good indication of what to try.

Historically, the ones which have enjoyed the best communities around them over a long period of time have been RedHat, Debian, SuSe. You may count Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) as well, although they had a few bad years. Slackware and Gentoo have their own following, but I wouldn't suggest either to a newbie. (Well, until 'Etch' I wouldn't suggest Debian to a newbie either, and I still have some reservations about recommending it.) X/K/Ubuntu is still a relative newcomer compared to those distros, but is very popular and it looks like Shuttleworth will continue to support the project.

Then there are the numerous specialist distributions; Puppy for example is meant to be a lean system which would work on high-end machines but also work on pretty low-end machines. For older machines, Puppy may be an excellent choice. On newer machines Puppy may still be an excellent choice; it really depends on the needs and preferences of the end user.

For people who don't mind the bloatware so much, I'd still go for RH, Debian, Suse.

As for GUIs, there are so many to choose from. The most popular are KDE and Gnome; for people with more experience on MSWin (and who don't care about software bloat), KDE would be the GUI I recommend.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 09:12 PM   #11
salter
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There quite some Linux distro's capable of running on Macs - but I really wonder why you got yourself a Mac if you want something else.

If it's only for learning about programming, you can just as well stick with the MacOSX system, as the majority of UNIX concepts will be available anyway. My advice would be to decide for one system and learning/exercising on that one. Doing cross-platform work right away will be rather confusing and time-consuming.

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 06:10 PM.
 
Old 11-26-2008, 01:22 AM   #12
willtc
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Well I am going to try out Fedora on a live CD to see how I find it Thanks for the info guys, I will be sure to come back here if I need anything else.

-willtc
 
Old 11-26-2008, 01:24 AM   #13
SqdnGuns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willtc View Post
Well I am going to try out Fedora on a live CD to see how I find it Thanks for the info guys, I will be sure to come back here if I need anything else.

-willtc
Good luck!
 
Old 11-26-2008, 08:42 AM   #14
willtc
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Ok one quick thing. I made my live CD today using 'Disk Utility' and the iso file that I downloaded from the Fedora website. Now when I restart my mac and choose the CD to boot (from holding down my option key) all I end up getting is this black screen with a white cursor continuously blinking. I am pretty sure that the CD burn well so not sure why it isnt loading. Any ideas would be great? Thanks again.
 
Old 11-26-2008, 07:52 PM   #15
claudius753
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From where did you download Fedora? If through bit-torrent you should be fine, but if you downloaded from a mirror, did you check the md5sum? Use MD5 for Mac to make sure that the iso file is not corrupt.

Also, did you download the PPC version or the i386 version or the x86_64 version? If your Mac is new, you need either the i386 version or the x86_64 version, if it's old you would need the PPC version. In OS X, open Terminal and type

Code:
uname -p
and it will return the processor type.

Last edited by claudius753; 11-26-2008 at 07:54 PM.
 
  


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