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Old 10-23-2004, 11:50 PM   #1
Kami.JZ
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Very common question regarding distros


I wanted to start with linux, reasons are I heard its lot secure and efficient than Windows, and I cant afford a Mac. And I currently have nothing else to do for a while.
The very first question is choosing distros, I've read quite some sites explaining the distros, and tried some live CDs (Mandrake, Slackware, SuSE and Gentoo which I can't even start up to a desktop). I found all distros are similar and didn't notice much of a difference. Thus I have a problem deciding which would best suits me.
Which linux (I know its asked N times already) is most efficient at surfing the net, chatting, downloading, watch movies, listen to mp3s, has a gui, have a clean interface (don't want to have lots of un-understandable stuff confusing me, or useless programs), and in which I can learn basic to intermediate usuage of linux, the daily tasks have to be done in easy ways though, until I get more knowlege with linux.
One more thing, if there is a new release of the distro, do I have to reinstall linux again, or I can just update the files.
Any help is appreciated.
 
Old 10-24-2004, 12:17 AM   #2
cadj
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do as i did,

use mandrake linux, make sure the version you use is no less than version 10
it has a nice installer and easy tools (like a conroll centre)

On installation, choose the KDE desktop environment, it is easy to use and looks nice, allso check the "web workstaion" and "configuration tools" to be installed

you will have some fun, installing packages is easy by going to the controll centre - package management - install software

hope ive helped
 
Old 10-24-2004, 12:19 AM   #3
totti10
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All you said above are exactly what i did in last few days.Because i used redhat before and i want to try something new and I read lots of articles about how to choose a linux system. Finally i got mandrake 10.1CE. I can tell you that it is what i want. And mandrake is a good choice for beginners as well>
 
Old 10-24-2004, 12:21 AM   #4
dalek
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Mandrake and Redhat are best for noobies. I started with Mandrake myself.

You can use the same partitions you made earlier for Mandrake. Just point it to the old partitions and let it install for you.

Gentoo only installs command line at first. You have to go back and install the GUI. They come on a seperate CD if you were doing off a CD. emerge kde would likely fix that.

Later

 
Old 10-24-2004, 12:29 AM   #5
xode
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Quote:
I wanted to start with linux, reasons are I heard its lot secure and efficient than Windows, and I cant afford a Mac.
Linux is also far more stable than Windows, especially when its comes to memory management and the file system. You will see that for yourself after you begin to use it. The Mac uses OSX, a commercialized form of FreeBSD (UNIX) much like Lindows is a commercialized form of Debian Linux (UNIX, Linux being a form of UNIX). So, with Linux, you are essentially getting stable software somewhat similar to what you would get on a Mac.

Regarding what distribution to use, you might want to choose Mandrake 9.0, which is what I use. It can do everything that you have described above. It even has the ability to simulate the hosting of a web site, so that you can build and test a web site on your computer and then put it on the net.

[QUOTE]One more thing, if there is a new release of the distro, do I have to reinstall linux again, or I can just update the files.[QUOTE]

Manually updating files is very tricky; these distributions have become very complex animals. If upgrading, I would always run the (re)install program, which has been specifically built to remember everything that needs to be done and the order in which it all needs to be done.
 
Old 10-24-2004, 02:54 AM   #6
cadj
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mandrake is fine, but after a while i wanted something a little more custom and advanced.

debian is fantastic for me, and updateing is as simple as typing
apt-get upgrade

i find debian to have fewer bugs than mandrake allso
 
Old 10-24-2004, 05:08 AM   #7
motub
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For what it's worth, I started with Mandrake, moved to a multiboot of 5 systems (+ 2 Windows), to compare distros more directly, had a brief period of Slackware use, and now use Gentoo (which is where I'm staying).

I would also suggest starting with Mandrake (although SuSE is also very popular among new users, it not only costs money, but I find it does too much "its own way" for me to recommend it to a totally new user).

All distributions are Linux, there is not going to be one that's "more efficient" for common jobs like surfing the net, chatting, and playing media files. That said, however, SuSE and RedHat/Fedora Core are the two (and a half) largest distros that will not allow you to play media files (DVDs and MP3s) "out-of-the-box". If it's going to annoy you to configure them to allow this, then skip them immediately.

All distributions are Linux, so any efficiency factor for common tasks is going to lie in the programs chosen by the distro, not the distro itself per se, since they're all the same programs. So if the current Mozilla (1.7.3) is more "efficient" than 1.6, then you just update it, you don't change your whole distro because Distro B has the new one already, and Distro A didn't.

But efficiency is also a personal thing, and that's why people are recommending Mandrake (or at least why I am). Some people find it more efficient to work from the command line, some from a minimal GUI, and some prefer a full-service GUI. Windows users generally are used to a full-service GUI, and certainly while they are getting used to a new OS, a setup fairly similar to what they're used to is a good thing, especially when you don't know how to change it to something that works better for you (or even what might work better for you).

Mandrake is, imo, very good about showing you what kinds of choices you have, while still letting you do things the way you're used to (i.e., via the GUI).

Oh, and for the record, there is no desktop on the Gentoo LiveCD (it wasn't that you couldn't get one because of you ). It's very different from LiveCDs like Knoppix; everything is done from the command line, and that mostly consists of installing Gentoo rather than trying out Linux without disturbing your HDD, although you can certainly use it like that if you're comfortable with the command line and text-based tools (rather than GUI tools).
 
Old 10-24-2004, 09:26 AM   #8
Kami.JZ
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Thanks for the replies, I have just downloaded Mandrake, and I am about to install. Here's another question, is it possible to resize Windows during Mandrake installation, I want to keep Windows as an alternative, some guides mentioned I have to create /boot in begining of the drive, how can I achieve it if my Windows already used up 15GBs in what I am assuming the begining of drive.
And also can I view files on a NTFS partition, or change the filesystem type to linux compatible.

Edit* There is something else I am confused about while reading installation guides, whats the difference between /usr and /home, and I think I only have to create /root /home /usr /boot the others are not necessary, please correct me if I am wrong.

Last edited by Kami.JZ; 10-24-2004 at 09:44 AM.
 
Old 10-24-2004, 02:53 PM   #9
xode
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Quote:
Here's another question, is it possible to resize Windows during Mandrake installation, I want to keep Windows as an alternative, some guides mentioned I have to create /boot in begining of the drive, how can I achieve it if my Windows already used up 15GBs in what I am assuming the begining of drive.
If you are running Windows 95, 98 or ME, convert your entire hard drive over to Linux, get Win4Lin and install that under Linux, and reinstall your Windows under Win4Lin. Then you will have Windows running as an application under Linux which will be able to run virtually all of your Windows programs (the only exceptions are some old MSDOS VGA graphics mode games which you can run under DOSbox under Linux and most Windows "system" utilities which you won't need). The benefits that you will gain is that your Windows and Linux programs will be able to run side by side and be able to exchange information just as easily. Further, your Windows will be far more stable since it will be Linux that is managing your memory and file system. Dual boot is horrible and you want to avoid it if at all possible. If you are running Windows NT, 2000 or XP, you can use VMWare in place of Win4Lin, but it costs much more and is more awkward. You might want to replace your later version of Windows with Windows 98 and use Win4Lin. Windows 98 will accept Office XP (but not office 2003).

Quote:
Edit* There is something else I am confused about while reading installation guides, whats the difference between /usr and /home, and I think I only have to create /root /home /usr /boot the others are not necessary, please correct me if I am wrong.
You want to create / /usr /var /home and a swap partition. /boot /root and the others will go under /. For the 76 (binary) GB hard drive that I have, I made / 4 GB, /usr 4GB, the swap partition 2 GB, /var 20 GB and /home 46 GB. For a different size hard drive, you will want to change the sizes of each partition while keeping the ratios between partitions.
 
Old 10-24-2004, 08:11 PM   #10
cadj
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is there any advantage to having a /boot partition? ive never used one, my drive layout is usually

hda1 /
hda2 /home
hda3 swap

all using reiser fs

its actually up to you, people will say whats more efficiant but the above works perfectly for me and for a while now.

if you choose to, you can just create one big / partition if u want. all partition are mounted as directories in linux.

Last edited by cadj; 10-24-2004 at 08:15 PM.
 
Old 10-24-2004, 09:16 PM   #11
dalek
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Well if he is like other Mandrake users, he will eventually want to install some other distro. Then he will need a seperate /boot. It is easier to make one now than to try to move everything around later.

It is also more secure if /boot is not mounted by default. That way noone can mess with your boot stuff as easily.

My $.02 worth.

 
  


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