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Hi! I've made some half-hearted forays into linuc in the past, but I've decided to get serious about it and really learn it. I really don't remember anything from before, just installed a couple of different versions and changed the wallpaper. What would be the best distribution to learn linux? I guess when I weigh your answers, I'll be able to find tutorials for that distribution, and basic linus to learn the installing and uninstalling of software, etc. If I remember correctly, the hardest part was familiarizing myself with how the file system works. Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Your question has been asked and answered a million times. It's too personal for anyone to answer it for you. Burn yourself a bunch of Live CD's for a variety of distros and see which one or ones suit you and like your hardware. Play with each for a while and then you can make an informed choice. One key factor to consider is: ease of use or learning about linux, which is your prime concern?
cheers and have fun,
It's true that this is a personal question that can't really be answered for you, but Ubuntu is actually a very good answer for a few reasons:
It mostly works right "out of the box" (meaning you can spend time learning Linux instead of learning how to fix a broken distro).
It's very popular (meaning that there are very many forum posts and tutorials on the Web that deal with Ubuntu specifically).
It's software repositories usually have the most recent stable packages (this means that the software you use on Ubuntu will tend to be the latest and thus the "standard" for that software).
Once you're as comfortable in Ubuntu as a fish in water, it would be good to check out Fedora to get experience with an RPM-based distro (Ubuntu, of course, is Debian-based and thus uses .deb packages). After Fedora, Slackware is perhaps the way to get valuable Linux experience under your belt while still having the support of a strong, solid distro.
For the ambitious, there's always Linux from Scratch, which is not a distribution but instead a series of steps you follow to construct a working GNU/Linux installation from the ground up. You can choose any distro at all for your daily use, but, to get a good handle on Linux, I would always recommend starting out with the user-friendly, dead-simple Ubuntu, and then moving on to the more complex.
Gentoo is a very quality distribution, and you might learn a lot from it. i haven't used Slackware much, but i'd have to say that when i didn't know all that much about linux i learned more from gentoo as far as installing everything - all at once - than Slackware. Linux From Scratch would be a good learning experience. as far as learning goes, most distributions are good for many things. i've learned a large amount using Ubuntu and the internet, and it seems to be agreed that it's the most "noob" distribution there is.
Thanks for the responses. I have a ATI Radeon X600 Pro video card, and I just checked out Ubuntu, and it doesn't have the card listed there. It has X300 then X700. Does this mean that my card won't work with it? Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated.
Get vmware-server (which is free, even for Windows) and install a few distros in virtual manchines.
That way you can have several distros installed at the same time without having any accidents with your Windows filesystem.
There are two drawbacks - you won't get 3D acceleration as vmware will keep your real hardware hidden from the guest.
There is a small speed penalty, as the guest filesystems exist in a file on top of Windows, so they are slower than being on native partitions.
When you find a distro you like, install it for real.
If you really want to learn Linux, as opposed to use Linux, I vote for Slackware.
You have to partition your harddrive yourself--it doesn't do it for you. It does not resolve dependencies--you have to do that for yourself (resolving dependencies is Not the Slackware Way). And the configuration is through configuration text files, not through the GUI.
I started with Slackware. By the time I was done, I knew how to configure an rc.firewall file, Samba, LISa (the really neat KDE Lan Information Server), xorg.conf, rc.local and a lot of other stuff in a plain text editor; you'll learn how to compile software.
When I set up my first Slackware box and went to put F-Prot on it, I learned about CPAN as a rank Linux newbie. That's when I said, "This stuff is for me."
This box here on which I'm typing has Ubuntu, because it came that way from the factory, but my webserver and file server are Slackware boxes.
With Slack, you will find yourself RTFMing, but there's a lot of help out there. Just add "slackware" to the search string.
I would agree about Slackware. I was mainly pointing out Gentoo because I have used it more and Slackware was already suggested, but from what I do know about it and what I've read about it, it seems that Slackware would be very good. I have the 12.2 CD right now, but I was going to hold off until I read more about certain things to use anything other than Ubuntu, just because it's so quick and simple and I'm reading about things that I don't really need that kind of distribution or experience for, for the time being.