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hi, i'm fairly new to linux, i've installed it many times, but found that for various reasons i've gone back to windows due to something fundamental i need being missing, e.g no USB support. therefore, i thought i'd ask you guys which distro best suits what i need. i mostly want to use linux for internet, email, and also for working on photos from my digital camera. i'd like to not have to spend a week configuring a network adapater or trying to compile to include USB, (i've tried and failed ). Therefore i need the following:
USB 2 Support built-in from first installation
Good NIC detection on installation (tried Mepis 3.3, doesn't detect it. I've got an onboard NIC, realtek i believe.
I'd like a distro that is easy to update. I've only tried mandrake before, found it a bitch to patch kernel, update software etc. I quite like the sound of the apt system on Debian based stuff.
Don't mind if KDE or GNOME is main GUI, i prefer KDE and can always install it if it's not there.
Essentially, a Plug&Play sort of thing is what i'm after, not necassarily the most application packed distro but one that works without too much configuration. Net being a priority to work.
Fedora Core 3 was very simple for me....however some times I wish I had used Debian. But FC3 ran perfectly out of the box for me. Just make sure you install all the developer tools and legacy tools during your installation. I've found it a big pain to try and add these later for compiling things.
Only thing that hasn't worked on FC3 for me is my Audigy LS card...so I reverted to my onboard sound. KDE is more of a pain to me for running my games...I've had sound issues with TeamSpeak and my games. Things which work correctly right out of the box with Gnome.
I have onboard realtek audio and network..which works fine.
Other than that things are fine with FC3.
Most mainstream linux distributions will support the hardware you were talking about without too much of a fuss. As far as the update question, I would definitely recommend Gentoo. Portage makes updating, installing, and removing packages a breeze. For instance if you wanted to update every package you had installed on your system, you could do it with one command "emerge --update --world --deep" and portage would take care of everything for you from there. Check it out here.
thanks guys. i think i used mandrake 9.2, didn't seem to go well for me. i tried installing gentoo last night, however i think i'm too inexperienced with linux to install it at this point, i got rather confused with what to do to be honest. i may try fedora core 3, what is it like for speed, stability etc? would any of you recommend mepis also? i've heard it's got many great out-of-the-box features for people looking to start to get into linux.
I didn't have a problem with Fedora Core what so ever... It only took me about 20-30 mintues to fully install. Hard thing was once it was installed, it found my sound but I still had no sound..lol... you have to turn on the output for your sound in the sound mixer. Its muted by default for some reason.
Updates are simple through the GUI with Up2date or terminal via yum. Last time I used linux I was using Mandrake 7 and upped it to 7.2 ...Fedora Core was just as simple for me as Mandrake if not easier.
Gnome on FC3 has been much better to me than KDE has lately. Most KDE apps run on Gnome, so it doesn't matter much to me.
Gentoo is a hard one to get going for a beginner. Most people want something perfect out of the box...you won't find that much on any linux distro.
you can d/l the fedora core from www.linuxiso.org if you want. GL! it was simple for me!
thanks, i'll download images and burn now. i'll keep you posted with the progress. i think the best thing for me to do will be to just install it and really have a good go and sorting any potential problems, it's the only way i'm going to learn i guess.
yeah, i tried suse 9.1 free download one, but it didnt even have gcc etc if i can remember correctly, i couldn't compile anything from it. don't really have the money to buy pro 9.2, though wish i did. i guess i'm limited to free distros. oh yeah, noticed ur from south wales - me too, barry. living up in bath uni tho.
Most unis have decent download speed (T1+) so use their connection to grab the DVD and boot CD if you can. At Glamorgan we have a "student download area" where various ISOs are kept locally for students to copy so have a word with your Computer section.
At home it takes about 24 hours to download whole lot at 1mb BB rate.
You can get them all at www.linuxiso.org .... I had all 3 of 4 Fedora Core 3 CDs in about 45 minutes... mind you I have a Comcast cable modem (3meg) ... But they have really good mirrors. All of the distros on the site are free. Last time I "bought" linux, it was Mandrake 7 from Walmart..I only bought it because it came with the books.
went with fedora core 3 in the end, using it now. what a breeze to install, everything's setup. my network for uni already worked without any config, good old dhcp. i only had to change the monitor to a default 1024x768 i think. one question though, i have a GeForce 6800. which graphics driver should i select for it? GeForce FX (generic) ?