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i am considering moving to linux, but i am unsure which type (distro?) to use. i am fairly computer literate, but not at anything scriptish. i have a fairly fast computer which windows has wrecked.
Can anybody tell me the various pros and cons of the various types? i intend to use it for surfing the web, and a bit of animation.
Take the two quizes in my signature. They'll help with a starting point.
As for fairly fast, does that mean fairly new? The newest hardware is usually not supported right away (takes a bit for the linux gurus to reverse engineer drivers), so if you just bought it last week, you may have to wait a bit.
As a starting point, I'd recommend to download a Knoppix 4.02 DVD or CD and put it in the drive. It won't touch anything on your hard drive, but will let you try out linux. It'll be a bit slow because everything is being compressed/decompressed from the CD/DVD drive, but you can get a good feel for what linux is like.
The pros and cons of each type is kinda personal. Something I see as a pro you might see as a con. But I would recommend trying to start with one of the mainstream distros from the quizes and advance from there. Also, check out distrowatch.com for more about linux distros.
for starters i would recommend something like Ubuntu especially if you have never installed an operating system. However if you are up to the challange and want to learn a bit more i would try something like gentoo. But no matter what choice you make you cant be WRONG. It is often a good idea as a newbie to linux to try several to find what you like and dislike. Take a look at distrowatch.com for more distros
with reply to ur question on which o.s of linux you should use.
i would suggest to start with fedora4 personal desktop it's a user friendly and also features many additional packages which are not available in the previous O.S.
As all the four different installatios are availble in fedora4 u can choose you best installation
When I started with linux, I did not have broadband access. I went to the bookstore and bought the "RedHat 7.3 Bible". It was a complete linux howto (RedHat centric of course) which also came with a complete version of RedHat 7.3 on 3 CD's. Even though I moved on to SuSE and Debian and finally Slackware, I must say that the purchase of that book (as well as the books that came with Suse 8.0 and 8.2 - also purchased at same bookstore) was the smartest thing I ever did.
I have seen that there are fedora and other distro books now that come with the distro on CD's. I would strongly suggest getting one - not because I love Fedora, but because (in my opinion) there's nothing like a dead tree version of a howto, particularly if you have a difficult time getting online at first. Also, there's alot of basic linux knowledge that can be had from these books even if you change distros - and believe me, you will - several times.
You may think that it's silly to spend money on something you can get for free, but it's nice to support the community - even if it's only to buy a book. If we don't buy them, they won't write them.
I found fedora core to be relatively easy (as in it detects a wide variety of hardware automaticly) and fairly unimposing for a windows user (the default gui can be made to behave a lot like Windows by clicking through a few menus). If you want to jump right in and get your hands really dirty in text I recommend getting Slackware and reading the book (pdf) that they include on the third disc. It should install pretty painlessly, but will leave a lot of the more detailed configuration up to you (a lot of command line work, usually).
I'm just speaking from my own experience, of course, and you may end up trying half a dozen other distros before you find one that really fits your style. I have friends that started using linux about the same time as me who have ended up using things as diverse as Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Vector Linux for the time being.
Did Fedora ever fix their palm USB problem? Syncing wouldn't work because it took too long to create the USB devices when syncing was started or something like that - I abandoned Fedora because of that although it otherwise seemed very good.
Would recommend Ubuntu which set up very nicely for me and has been the best at finding and working my hardware out of the box.