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Old 02-14-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
bafoos
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Registered: Feb 2008
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Total Newb having to choose between a milliiiiion Linux distributions!


Hello everybody
as u can read im a neeewbie when it comes to linux, and ill probably be spendin a lot of time here since im starting from scratch. But first things first! i need to install a linux, and since its free i started checkin the web for LInux and then got to see that theres at least 4 major distr. witch a million variations to them ! so now i dont know which to take, i mean... i could take one like that, out of the blue, but id propably be havin a bad feelin all allong since i dont really know what im installing there. At the moment im running WinXp and what i wanna do is make my PC double bootable, so what i need first of all is Linux dist. that i can make double bootable. That process needs to be easy and reproducable since dont wanna mess up summing and then have to Format my whole PC! then that version shouldnt be to big since i want my Linux partition not to be to big. Then the main purpose y i need Linux is that i want free programming tools for C++ and data processing tools like ROOT for example, but of course that distr. schould also have basic programms to listen to Mp3s watch movies got to the web look at pictures and write txts etc. u know the very basics of every PC. Oh and it should have a graficall interface aswell as terminal/console if iwish so(switchable). heres another problem whats the difference between KDE and GNOME they look quite the same i mean how many ways are there to make an intuitive grafical interface. Whats also quite important i d like my Linux to not be toooo complicated i mean when i tried to install Linux software i didnt even manage to download what i wanted, because there were like many files in defferent folders in the web and i didn t know which ones i needed and which i didnt and then there was no nice little exe..... and i got completly lost, i geuss once u work longer with linux ur able to understand all that but i got extremly confused. Another thing is i will probably have to work with RED HAT so im wondering, if i get another version of linux will it be totally different? will i have to learn everything again, the way i install things open things do things etc?
So in short i need a stable, slim( but extendable with compatible software), compatible to being double bootable, easy to install ( since i dont want to loose all my windows data if i mess up installing), one where the software comes in exes :P(if that even exists), a distr with basic features of a PC(Mp3s, Movies, Web, Office), secure(i mean with a firewall) or where i can install a firewall, with graphical interface, i dont know which is better KDE or GNOME. And of course one that s compatibel with my Hardware : Intel Dual Core E6400 2,3 GHz, Gigabyte mothaboard, ATI Radeon X1950, Line 6 tone port as soundcard or Realtek audio, LG Flatron PLasma screen, I have a FR!TZ wireless lan usb stik that needs to work under linux otherwise no internet,Kingston RAM.
OMG i wrote like a whole Book sorry guys no ones ever gonna answer that probably( i hope it even makes sense). BUt those who do ( or even show me some good links where i can catch up a little with linux knowledge) I want to thank very much! So greetz to everyone and THX again !
 
Old 02-14-2008, 06:56 PM   #2
rickh
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Close your eyes and pick.

Carriage returns between paragraphs are nice.

Look in the "Distributions" forum for a Megathread on the subject.
 
Old 02-14-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
zephyrcat
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Wow! Thats a lot of info!

Almost any distro should work, but I would recommend Ubuntu, since most people (myself included) think it is the most newbie-friendly.

For dual-booting, any distro should work, but I have to warn you that you really should back up your data first. I actually wrote a guide to dual-booting, so you might want to check that out.

http://linuxloop.com/dualboot/index.shtml

My recommendation, however, would be to use a program called Wubi.

http://wubi-installer.org/

It is a program that runs on Windows and automates the install of Linux. It does not mess with partitions at all, but the set up you get will look similar to if you were really dual-booting. I have not personally tried it, but it should work.

Exes only exist on Windows. When you download a distro, you will get a .iso file. (Except for Wubi, which is not a distro.) Look at this tutorial for more info:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

The GNOME vs. KDE issue is a much debated issue. They are both desktop environments which basically means that the user interface will be different. Just try one and if you don't like it try the other.

Hope that helps!
 
Old 02-14-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
jay73
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Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
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Red Hat inspires both Fedora and CentOS . Fedora is more innovative and is pretty much what Red Hat may look like in a year or so while CentOS is a clone of the current RH release . It's essentially innovative and potentially unstable versus conservative and well-tested.
Neither is awfully difficult to install or manage but you won't find any exes because that's simply not a Linux thing. You still seem to think very much in windows terms. Installing stuff from files picked up God knows where on the internet is a pretty primitive approach. Modern Linux distributions use repositories instead, which are large central software databases that can easily be accessed from your distribution. Just select the items you want and they will be installed for you. The number of packages that you actually have to search and install manually is extremely limited.
A modest install of Fedora/CentOS is something like 5 to 8 GB although you may want to reserve more so you don't need to start resizing or moving stuff around if you need to install more.
Switching from one type of distro to another one needn't be an overwhelming experience. Switching between Fedora/Red Hat, Debian/Ubuntu/Mepis/Mint, Mandriva/PCLinux or Suse is fairly straightforward although each of these families has a different way of installing and managing software but they are quite easy to get used to. It's more of a challenge to switch to something like Arch or Gentoo, which are a lot less automated and which require that you already know fairly well what you want.
All Linux distributions can switch to console - in fact, the console is universal and with the exception of a few specific commands, it works the same for all distros. When it comes to developing software, I still find Ubuntu and Debian unsurpassed.
As for KDE or Gnome, you can have either or both or even something else. It's easy to switch at any moment. Which is best is just a matter of personal preference. I used both for a while and then I decided on Gnome because I don't like the way that KDE clutters its windows with a milllion and one options that are frequently precisely not what I need. Then again, I'm sure you'll find many who don't like Gnome because it is a bit more basic.
By the way, your computer is more than powerful enough to install any distro but the ATI card may give you some issues. The open source x1000 driver is still experimental and ATI has never been too fond of open source systems so their own drivers often take more effort to configure than nvidia or intel.

Last edited by jay73; 02-14-2008 at 07:40 PM.
 
Old 02-14-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
bafoos
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Thx ppl! and that was probably the fastest response i ever recieved in a forum !!! i ll check out ubuntu and fedora more carefully at least that narrows it down to about 20 versions :P. i read some stuff about fedora already and it seems as though it is a more advanced ver. of linux at least more seemingly experienced ppl seem to be fond of that while ubuntu has a kinda hipper touch and flashier design if i can say it that way:P.
So ubuntu also has the pro that u said (jay76) that is was better for software developement!
Also from what i got i should have no hardware/driver problem except for my graphics card, which is good but ill have to check ati installation more thoroughly. and thx zephircecat that tutorial is what i needed! as for backing up my data itl be some work to back up my 200gigs. OK thx again for the pointers ill work maself into it a bit.BUT as the Terminator put it ILL BE BACK :P for sure, there will probably b a lot more questions!

BB
 
Old 02-14-2008, 09:03 PM   #6
bigrigdriver
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Probably the most comprehensive listing of distros currently available is distrowatch.com, which lists the top 100 in the right-hand sidebar. There are more than 100. You can use the Search feature to select distro by category, such as country of origin, liveCD, etc. Check it out.
 
Old 02-14-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
johnsfine
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I tried a bunch of liveCD distributions of Linux before deciding which I wanted. LiveCD means you can run Linux from the CD, somewhat slow but otherwise pretty complete, before deciding whether to install it on the hard drive.

Many distributions combine liveCD and the installer in one .iso file.

I chose Mepis because of the documentation and because the liveCD worked well. I like to do more in GUI mode and less in command line mode than typical Linux users seem to end up with. Mepis (and KDE) support that.

I suggest skimming through the Mepis users guide before selecting any Linux distribution. First, much of what it says applies to other distributions as well. Second, try to find documentation that friendly (to a Windows experienced Linux newbie) from some other distribution. I couldn't.
http://www.mepis.org/node/6679

Quote:
Originally Posted by bafoos View Post
so what i need first of all is Linux dist. that i can make double bootable.
Any.

Quote:
that version shouldnt be to big since i want my Linux partition not to be to big.
Express that in real numbers (hopefully gigabytes) or the request means nothing. Some Linux distributions are much easier to make small on disk than others. But using a relatively small share of your 10G hard drive is a very different request than using a relatively small share of your 250G hard drive.

Quote:
Then the main purpose y i need Linux is that i want free programming tools for C++
Mingw and Qt together in Windows are a very powerful free C++ programming tool and there are many other choices. Qt is certainly easier to learn in Linux than in Windows. But if you need to learn Linux itself at the same time, you're not taking the easiest path to free programming tools for C++

Quote:
schould also have basic programms to listen to Mp3s watch movies got to the web look at pictures and write txts etc.
As others have mentioned, most distributions have package management software accessing giant repositories of free software. You learn to use one simple package management system and then everything downloads and installs the same way. Much easier than installing even free downloads in Windows. So don't worry about what is or isn't in the basic initial install of the distribution you might choose.

Quote:
Oh and it should have a graficall interface aswell as terminal/console if iwish so(switchable).
Yes. They all have terminal/console. Almost all have GUI, and any with GUI make it trivial to switch to and from terminal/console.

Quote:
whats the difference between KDE and GNOME they look quite the same i mean how many ways are there to make an intuitive grafical interface.
I tried a bunch of different desktop managers, including KDE and GNOME, using the Knoppix liveDVD (I don't know whether the liveCD version has them all). Coming from Windows, they all seemed to be seriously lacking. But I found KDE much more complete the GNOME. With KDE (especially with KDE in Mepis) you have a nearly complete system in GUI mode. With other desktop managers, you need to use text mode mode. With any desktop manager, terminal/console mode is available inside the desktop manager as a window (as well as being available outside the desktop manager). And even with KDE/Mepis you can do any of the usual text mode operations in that mode if you choose. The issue is how much you need to do in text mode.

Quote:
Another thing is i will probably have to work with RED HAT so im wondering, if i get another version of linux will it be totally different?
Depends what "work with" means. A few of my coworkers are experts in RED HAT. As I started playing with Debian and Mepis and asking them for help, I was surprised that they have so little idea about how certain system administration operations work (related to run level and init files etc.) So I guess that stuff is very different in RED HAT, so as I'm gradually learning system administration in Mepis, much of it must not apply in RED HAT. But if "work with" means something else (such as C++ programming) no problem. KDE at work on RED HAT is fundamentally the same thing as KDE at home on Mepis (only now that I've used it at home I have a clue how to use it at work. The C++ compiler and related tools are even more the same Mepis to RED HAT. System administration tools seem to be different (no one will be asking me to do any system administration in RED HAT at work). Documentation seems to be very different (even for programs that aren't different). My work remains 95% or more MS Windows, but Mepis documentation at home has made it easier to do the few % of my work that is on Linux (even though that is not Mepis).

Last edited by johnsfine; 02-15-2008 at 08:40 AM.
 
Old 02-20-2008, 06:48 PM   #8
bafoos
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Registered: Feb 2008
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Hi again,
Ive installed Linux Mint:P. Its been quit easy so far havent changed the graphical interface yet, but u guys said it was easy so ill check that out later. what gives me problems is what is that ./configure command everyone seems to use but with me it says that that command doesnt exist. and ehat is all that environement setting thingy what am i doin with the export ... command .. what are build commands ? and when i google ./Configure i get nothing of use ! i encountered all that trying to install the cern "root" programme another thing is it ask me for LibCore.os files i dont have them where can i get them?. THX guys
 
Old 02-20-2008, 07:21 PM   #9
jay73
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Registered: Nov 2006
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./configure only makes sense when executed within a source code folder that supports it. Most source code does but not all. If there isn't a "configure" file, then it doesn't.

Many programs can be installed from the repositories, by the way. Nothing could be easier. Since Mint is based on Ubuntu, it should have Synaptic Package Manager to do that. Gnome usually puts it under System > Administration. Just tick off all the packages that you want, click on "apply", done.
 
  


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