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Old 07-28-2005, 04:26 PM   #1
seashell11
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Which Linux Version is Best?


I ordered parts and built a computer about half a year ago, and since windows was all I had run, I installed Windows XP Professional. Online a few days ago I started looking up Linux, and decided to try it. I have a new 80 GB hard drive I just stuck in my computer (windows is on a 200GB one) and I am planing on installing Linux on the new hard drive. I ordered a pack of Linux CD's that include a Mandravia Linux 2005 Limited Edition, Fedora Core 4, FreeBSD 5.4, Slackware 10.1, Debian 3.1r-0a, Yopper 2.1.0-4, Gentoo 2005, Mepis Linux, UbuntulLinux 5.04 Hoary, and a few live CD's. Which should I install? I want one that is stable, fast, and isn't to hard to run.
 
Old 07-28-2005, 04:36 PM   #2
craigevil
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Mandrake, MEPIS and Ubuntu are all pretty easy. It depends on what you want. MEPIS is more point-and-click.

If you really want to learn as much as you can about Linux give Debian and Slackware a try.

Heck on a 80GB HD you can install several different distros to play around with.

The same question is asked at least once a week. Search the forum and read what others have to say. Play around with a few LiveCds.
 
Old 07-28-2005, 04:37 PM   #3
Bryanlee
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Your question is very subjective, but i used Mandrake 10.1 to start with. I have also heard that Mepis is a very friendly distro. If you have enough common sense to build your own computer then you should be able to use Mandrake with minimal problems. Just keep in mind that Linux isn't windows and don't get discouraged. Linux (any distro) is well worth the effort it takes to learn it.
 
Old 07-28-2005, 04:52 PM   #4
Matir
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Well, since BEST is a matter of perception and opinion, I'll go out on a limb here.

Though not the user-friendliest, I think Gentoo is "best". Not best for everyone, but best for me. Just like Linux is not (yet) best for everyone. For user-friendliness, I like Ubuntu.
 
Old 07-28-2005, 06:25 PM   #5
seashell11
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Quote:
Originally posted by craigevil
Mandrake, MEPIS and Ubuntu are all pretty easy. It depends on what you want. MEPIS is more point-and-click.

If you really want to learn as much as you can about Linux give Debian and Slackware a try.

Heck on a 80GB HD you can install several different distros to play around with.

The same question is asked at least once a week. Search the forum and read what others have to say. Play around with a few LiveCds.
I tried installing Debian on my computer, it went through all the steps OK then it said it was done and I could log in at the prompt. I typed in my user name, and it showed it on the screen, but when i typed my password it didn't show anything. It must have logged me in though, cause it popped up some more text on the screen (but stayed command prompt), and I could type logout and it would put the log in prompt back up. Did I do something wrong, or why won't it bring up a desktop? Or is Debian all command prompt?
 
Old 07-28-2005, 06:52 PM   #6
saman007uk
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Quote:
Originally posted by seashell11
I tried installing Debian on my computer, it went through all the steps OK then it said it was done and I could log in at the prompt. I typed in my user name, and it showed it on the screen, but when i typed my password it didn't show anything. It must have logged me in though, cause it popped up some more text on the screen (but stayed command prompt), and I could type logout and it would put the log in prompt back up. Did I do something wrong, or why won't it bring up a desktop? Or is Debian all command prompt?
You have to install a window manager. To install kdm (which looks bit similar to windows):
Code:
apt-get update && apt-get install x-window-system kdm kde
 
Old 07-28-2005, 06:58 PM   #7
kencaz
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Hmmm, another religious debate brewing here...

"Resistance is Futile" You will use MDK or SLACKWARE....Simply because I do...

KC
 
Old 07-28-2005, 07:08 PM   #8
jonaskoelker
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Quote:
I tried installing Debian on my computer (...)
Excellent choice

A few general comments while I'm at it:
Read `Smart Questions'--google for it. Your problem description is a bit whimsical to me.

Read `Effectful Bug Reports' (SQ links to it).

Quote:
...

I typed in my user name, and it showed it on the screen, but when i typed my password it didn't show anything. It must have logged me in though, cause it popped up some more text on the screen (but stayed command prompt)
Looking sorta' like this:

Code:
foohost login: baruser
Password: 
Last login (date) from (where)
no mail

baruser@foohost:~$
?

that's perfectly normal.

Quote:
Did I do something wrong, or why won't it bring up a desktop? Or is Debian all command prompt?
You probably did most of it right--except reading all the documentation (at least I *think* that's in the documentation)

Debian isn't all command prompt, but *the base system* (which I think is what you have installed) is. Try running `startx' when logged in.

If it says (something like) `not found', I'm 98% sure you only got the base system, and just need to install it:
Code:
# apt-get install firefox
... that should resolve X as a dependency (sorry, can't remember the exact X package name--look it up in an install guide).

If startx reports some error messages, I'm not sure what's gone wrong--I'll leave that case to someone else.

---

Also, worth knowing for us: how did you install it--specifically, which media did you download: net-install CD? floppies? Full CD set? ...

Which version of the distro are you trying to install: stable (sarge)/testing (etch)/unstable (sid)? Experimental?

(I generally recommend testing for desktop uses, in case you care about my opinion -- good balance between up-to-date-ness and stability).
 
Old 07-28-2005, 08:29 PM   #9
ctkroeker
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I'd say, try Mepis, SUSE or Fedora Core first.
Then move on to Debian or Slackware, when your ready.
Then to Gentoo, when your really good at it and finally LFS.
You'll notice I started with the easiest and ended with the most difficult and time consuming.
 
Old 07-29-2005, 12:33 AM   #10
seashell11
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Quote:
Originally posted by jonaskoelker
Excellent choice

Also, worth knowing for us: how did you install it--specifically, which media did you download: net-install CD? floppies? Full CD set? ...

Which version of the distro are you trying to install: stable (sarge)/testing (etch)/unstable (sid)? Experimental?

(I generally recommend testing for desktop uses, in case you care about my opinion -- good balance between up-to-date-ness and stability).
I am trying to install Sarge i ordered it from SpiderTools so that I would for sure get a version that had nothing wrong with it ( I thought ). They didn't send any information out, just the CD. I didn't know that you could get different versions, because all I have had was windows. Now I am doing a lot of research online, and hopefully I can get this computer running without having to do to much more.
 
Old 07-29-2005, 12:46 AM   #11
New2Tux
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I've used Linspire and Fedora so far. Linspire and Mandrake are both usually listed as top picks. I found Fedora to be an easy install but not as simple as Linspire. I tried going in easy like you are, jump right in and get Debian's latest. If you can survive some of the more difficult distros you can work with any of em. Almost all are Debain or Fedora/Redhat based anyway. I picked up a book called Linux for Non-geeks and it came with Fedora. Installed easier than XP did. LInspires new one is also easy to install I've heard. I have the older version still but I can upgrade for free.
 
Old 07-29-2005, 01:02 AM   #12
JediDB
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Hi,

All i can say to you is MEPIS!

I love this dist. and love how easy it was to install for a Linux noob like myself. The partitioning program that comes with Mepis is awesome and very easy to use.
It has everything i want and more from a Linux system.

Its great to start with and it uses KDE. More or less like a Windows OS where you point and click.

I did try to install the latest version of Ubuntu but all i got was problem after problem. It looks great from the CDLive version though so i was very dissapointed when it wouldnt install after 6hrs of playing around with it.
 
Old 07-29-2005, 10:50 AM   #13
jonaskoelker
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Quote:
I am trying to install Sarge
If you're planning on using the machine as a normal `desktop' system (i.e. browsing, games, word processing, -- that sort of thing), I would recommend using testing (currently Etch) instead.

In my opinion, it has the best balance between maturity/stability and up-to-date-bleeding-edge-'ity. Of course, Sarge has that too, *now*, but with so long between releases, it will become old soon enough that you want to upgrade.

No worries, though. If you install sarge and change /etc/apt/sources.list (s/stable/testing/), then apt-get dist-upgrade, it'll be as if you had installed testing.

Quote:
I ordered it from SpiderTools so that I would for sure get a version that had nothing wrong with it ( I thought ).
I don't know SpiderTools--I just grabbed floppy images from www.debian.org and the rest by `teh intarweb'. In any case, there's documentation on debian.org; I'd suspect you can find some relevant documentation on the other distro homepages (should you choose to try others out)--just google on the distro name.

Quote:
They didn't send any information out, just the CD.
Hmm... WYPFIWYG (What You Pay For Is What You Get)?

Quote:
I didn't know that you could get different versions, because all I have had was windows.
... which also comes in different versions

--- context-switch ---

In any case, did you get X installed? If not, then find & read a debian (post-)install guide, or explain what problems you're having (probably better to make a new thread) -- and, well, read `Smart Questions' (thank me & yourself later ).

If you need a console web browser (for reading the guide while trying out stuff), try `links' (# apt-get install links).

hth --Jonas
 
Old 07-29-2005, 12:18 PM   #14
seashell11
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Thanks jonaskoelker I am installing Ubuntu and will run it for a while till I figure out linux. Then I will most likely try Debian again.
 
Old 07-29-2005, 09:22 PM   #15
scales
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is there a page that compares these distros and what they were designed to do?
ex. mandrivian linux is perhaps for beginners, it includes.......
that kind of thing?

i have tried kanotix(livecd), suse(livecd), and am considering mandrake, slackware, or debian. i would like to know why they are harder, or what i should expect from them.
 
  


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