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Old 06-02-2009, 05:11 AM   #1
daermo
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Which Distro?


Good morning,
I am desperate to get rid of Microsoft and use Linux but am having problems finding the best distro.
I need to run 3 or 4 screens and also access some sights which seem to be written for MS.
I am NOT a computer wizard and need to use the computer for working rather than having to write/edit code etc.
I am learning and will continue until I "get there" but in the meantime need to find a distro that does most of what I need.
I am happy to pay for software/advice but am struggling to find the best distro for "idiots!!"
Any advice would be gratefully received,
Thanks
 
Old 06-02-2009, 05:16 AM   #2
LaroPol
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one that is very easy to use is Ubuntu.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

"Linux for Human beings" ;-)

download your iso and give it a try:
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
 
Old 06-02-2009, 05:40 AM   #3
linus72
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Another would be Tinycore; which has several modes of operation
( http://www.tinycorelinux.com/ )

Great thing about Tinycore is you only need to install the apps you want.
Any questions, I'll be here today...
 
Old 06-02-2009, 05:40 AM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daermo View Post
I am desperate to get rid of Microsoft and use Linux but am having problems finding the best distro.
If you are having difficulty finding the best distro for your use, we probably can't do it either. Happy to offer sugestions and pointers that might be wildly wrong, though.
Quote:
I need to run 3 or 4 screens and also access some sights which seem to be written for MS.
If, by this you mean something like workspaces (ie, virtual monitors between which you can flip with a keypress or key combo, rather than the need to drive three or four different actual monitors with different things going on simultaneously), then it is relatively easy, but note that it is a function of which GUI that you use; the most popular (kde, gnome) can both do this as can many of the more niche choices (xfce, enlightenment, windowmaker).

I feel that you should try to get a feel for which gui you like first, as that will enable you to prune your list of distros fairly rapidly.
try kde and gnome and maybe xfce. If one of those is to your taste, you want to concentrate on distros that do a good job with that.

(Note: at the moment, there is a dificult problem with kde 4: in my not at all humble opinion, the kde 4 branch isn't really as stable or complete as I would like to reccomend it too non-techies, so I would suggest kde 3.x over kde 4.x for the moment. That situation may soon change and it may be that you feel particularly adventurous, which could change that. kde 4 also looks more dramatic, which might tilt the playing field.)

Have a look at some live cds. Does something take your fancy?

Ubuntu (mentioned earlier) is good, as are OpenSuSE and Fedora, but these are big distros with every conceivable option available (including a choice of guis, although Ubuntu's naming convention tries to hide that fact). Things like linux Mint and Simply Mepis are more focussed.

Don't be worried about getting it 'wrong'; you probably want to spend, say, six months with a distro and review whether it is doing what you want then.

Note that ditrowatch is a good source of information, but that might be too much for you right now. Any of its top distros have something going for them.

Quote:
I am happy to pay for software/advice but am struggling to find the best distro for "idiots!!"
Shouldn't be necessary to pay, unless you want the security blanket of 'support'.
 
Old 06-02-2009, 06:20 AM   #5
monsm
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I too recon Ubuntu is a very good place to start for a newbie. They also have their own forum for Ubuntu specific issues (maybe the best distro specific forum for newbies).
I agree, opensuse and fedora are good alternatives. I would stay away from smaller distros with limited user bases, like tinycorelinux. Sorry linus72.

MS specific websites seem to be reduced now that Firefox is gaining market share. I haven't found any website Firefox couldn't display for ages now.

Mons
 
Old 06-02-2009, 06:58 AM   #6
MEDougherty
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Registered: Jun 2009
Location: New Brunswick, Canada; Montreal, Canada
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Hi daermo!

As mentioned above I would suggest you take a look at a few LiveCD distributions such as Ubuntu, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, and Linux Mint. You can simply boot these CDs and get a feel for the distribution without having to make any changes to your PC.

If you are interested, I wrote an article on BrightHub that outlines my opinions on what distributions are best for each type of user. From the first time Linux user to the experienced Linux user. You can check it out here.

Like I said, as well as others, Ubuntu, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, and Linux Mint are all really great starting places and offer LiveCDs for you to "test-drive". Whichever you choose I'm sure you'll have fun and, hopefully, not see your work productivity suffer! Linux is a lot of fun and you may find yourself tinkering just because you can. The above mentioned distributions will require very little work to get up and running and are what I consider "out-of-the-box" distributions. They should suit most of your needs ... out-of-the-box (you should be back to work shortly after installation).

Michael Dougherty
 
Old 06-02-2009, 07:13 AM   #7
sica07
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Try also the PCLinuxOS Gnome 2009. Normally I would recommend Ubuntu, but I was very impressed by this distro. You can download it from here: http://linuxgator.org/download/download.html
 
Old 06-02-2009, 07:13 AM   #8
pixellany
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Start with anything in the top 5-10 on the "hit list" at distrowatch.
 
Old 06-02-2009, 05:22 PM   #9
threatingbehaviour
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also I'm surprised no one mentioned it but another thing you could do is download vmware player it's free and try out several distros that way
 
Old 06-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #10
onebuck
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Hi,

Try a LiveCD from 'The LiveCD List'. Test drive until you find the One.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

BTW, Welcome to LQ!
 
Old 06-02-2009, 09:28 PM   #11
malkor
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Regardless of which distro or which desktop you choose, there's always Sourceforge and the command line: there is very little that you can do in one distro / desktop that you can't do in another. Also, solutions that are given for one distro / desktop will often work for most others. Having said that...

There are two axes of differences in Linux: "KDE vs Gnome" and ".deb vs .rpm". The first set of camps is fairly easy to describe.

- Gnome makes things easy to use at the cost of choice in configuration: you _will_ occasionally go looking for and option - RE screensavers, for instance - and simply run into a blank wall...Gnome simply doesn't give you a choice for that "option".
- KDE gives you EVERY POSSIBLE choice for anything, which _can_ get confusing if you aren't ready for it.

...so here's my two cents...
1) Start w/ two Ubuntu LIVE CD's: Kubuntu (KDE) and the stock Ubuntu (Gnome). Try out the KDE desktop VS the Gnome desktop, in other words. More than likely it won't take more than 10 min for one of them to leave a sour taste in your mouth.
2) Download Fedora Core 10 LIVE CD in whatever flavor you prefer: KDE or Gnome. Now you're trying out .deb (Ubuntu) VS .rpm (Fedora).

The differences between .deb and .rpm are much harder to delineate. While .deb have been much more dependable RE dependencies (must have "A" to run "B") .rpm function in Fedora 10 and latest SUSE. Again test them against each other and see what you like.

Don't worry...we're here for you regardless of what you choose.

BTW: check out MonsterB's podcast page at http://monsterb.org/podcasting.html. Many of the linux podcasts have done or are doing distro reviews.
 
Old 06-02-2009, 09:36 PM   #12
malkor
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OOPS! Make that 3rd to last paragraph...

The differences between .deb and .rpm are much harder to delineate. .deb (debian/ubuntu) have been much more dependable as regards dependencies (must have "A" to run "B"). .rpm (Fedora / SUSE) function is now as depenable. Again, test them against each other and see what you like.
 
Old 06-03-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
onebuck
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Hi,

Or use Slackware to get away from the dependency hell!
 
Old 06-03-2009, 05:26 PM   #14
ramram29
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The best distros for newbies IMHO are Ubuntu or Fedora. Debian and Slackware are for more seasoned penguins.
 
Old 06-03-2009, 05:39 PM   #15
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramram29 View Post
The best distros for newbies IMHO are Ubuntu or Fedora. Debian and Slackware are for more seasoned penguins.
Yes, if you want some hand holding along with the mix of the OS. I think a newbie could work through Slackware and achieve more that way.

This is GNU/Linux not M$. If it's just a GUI you expect then that's fine. You can setup a GUI with Slackware. But the real thing is to understand what you are doing not relying on someone else to do it for you.

Too really understand GNU/Linux you must be able to explore and read. Then read some more.
There's plenty of documentation out there. A good place to start would be the 'LDP'.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
  


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