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Old 05-24-2007, 03:04 AM   #31
Tomermory
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Registered: Mar 2007
Location: Amiens, France
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When I first started out with Linux I used Mandriva. It's an excellent distribution, being easy to use and configure. Also, for someone coming from Windows it's very reassuring - it does have that Windows "feel". But I got chodded off with Mandriva because it was full of bugs. I've heard that it was a problem with the version of Mandriva I was using, but as I haven't tried the latest one (Mandriva 2007 Spring) I can't say how it is now.
I then played with Fedora for a while, which is a nice system but a bit of a headache for a beginner to set up.
Then I moved onto Suse. Like Electro and AwesomeMachine, I really think this is a distribution to avoid. It's pleasant to use, that's true, and it's really very highly polished. On this front, Suse has nothing to envy Windows Vista - it looks just as good, if not better. Also, Suse really is the easiest to get going. It has everything you need, including Java, Flash and Realplayer. However, it's no bad thing having to install these applications as you have your first taste of the procedure for installing and running programmes on Linux, which really is nothing like Windows. Using the command line, making soft links, compiling....you'll have to face up to all of this one day, so best get stuck in!
But what I really don't like about Suse (apart from the fact that it isn't a "pure" Linux distribution in the same sense as are Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Gentoo...), and the reason I took it off my computer in the end, is that it may be an easy system to use, but it's a pain in the rear to administer. Everyday you have to update something, and this process is excruciatingly long. System updates can take over an hour as it synchronizes with Zenworks, parses etc. Another thing that happens is that when you run YaST (all Linux distrutions have a tool like this - it downloads and installs software for you) it can take a very long time before you can actually use it, and then sometimes it tells you that there is a problem with one of your software repositories, which means you have do yet more configuration. I've heard that Suse will change all of this in the future, but as it stands Suse could seriously put you off Linux.
Oh, and one more thing with Suse, although I haven't heard of anyone else having a problem like
this. When I installed it as a dual boot with Windows for the first time, I couldn't boot up Windows afterwards. The problem was resolved when I re-installed Mandriva (which really has the easiest install I've seen on Linux) The second time I tried (after I'd got fed up with Mandriva's bugs) I couldn't boot up Windows even after I'd re-installed Mandriva. In the end, I had to wipe off Windows, but that was no loss I can tell you!
Finally, I tried Ubuntu. Oh what joy! This is the perfect distribution for me. It's really simple ...and FAST. the equivalent of YaST (Synaptic) works amazingly quickly and is extremely easy to configure. Ubunutu recognised my Internet connection immediately (the only distribution to do so) and all my hardware was detected. Although Realplayer, Java, Flash etc don't come pre-installed, the install is easy enough to handle. It's perhaps not surprising that Ubuntu works so well, as it is based on Debian, arguably the best Linux distribution, but, in my opinion, a bit too daunting for beginners.
This is why I think Ubuntu is the best distribution for a beginner - but perhaps someone coming from Windows should try Kubuntu. It's the same operating system, but it's presentation is similar to Windows (Kde rather than Gnome, which gives it a very similar feel to Mandriva and, dare I say it, Suse!) and Kubuntu is perhaps a little more polished than Ubuntu.
Whatever you decide, and you may need to try several distributions before you find "the one for you", good luck. But be warned, Linux isn't Windows and it does take a bit of getting used to at first. Perseverance is necessary, and don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Cheers

James
 
Old 05-24-2007, 08:45 AM   #32
kummiliim
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I have only used two distributions in my life.

At first, about a year or two ago, I started with Suse. It was pretty easy to set up and I got a nice pre-set desktop which pretty much worked. Because I didn't know what to do at that time, I had problems with all the small things such as installing software and the like. Got back to Windows at that point.

Now it's been some months that I've used Slackware. I really intend to get to know Linux better and Slackware really gives me everything that I need, the control freak that I am. Everything is highly logical and stable and every time something went wrong, once I understood what it was, I had nothing to do but to bash myself for doing something stupid. It's all very transparent, you have all the chances to know what's going on in your system. I'm slowly working my way up for a perfect personalised coputer and once I get there, I'll be sure to try all the other distros. I'm pretty sure that I'll still stick to Slack in the end. Just seems tailored for me.

I agree with the people who suggest you to try all the main distros. All I can surely suggest to you is, if you love control, have a go with Slackware.
 
Old 05-24-2007, 09:19 AM   #33
rocket357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kummiliim
I agree with the people who suggest you to try all the main distros. All I can surely suggest to you is, if you love control, have a go with Slackware.
Depending on what the user is looking for, each distro has something to offer...

Using Ubuntu/Fedora/SuSE/etc...is like purchasing a car from a dealer. It's prebuilt, and while you can tweak it a bit, it's still going to be a <insert your car's make and model>. But you don't have to fuss with much choice, since it's all ready to go.

Slackware is something like owning a car parts store. You can choose whatever you want to build the car up. Good for choice, and afterwards you get a car that's personalized.

Gentoo is like owning a machine shop. You have to build everything (from the "frame" to the "decorations"). Gentoo comes with some seriously cool power tools, though, and you can build a highly personalized system with tremendous ease.

Linux from scratch is like Gentoo, but without all the snazzy power tools. You still have to build all the parts, but you don't get the impact wrenches and whatnots...


Point is, you can build whatever you want out of virtually any Linux distro to "personalize" it...but some distro's are better suited for some tasks (like Gentoo's compile from source automation, or Ubuntu's user-friendly GUI). Also, you learn more about the inner workings of cars when you build all of the parts from scratch, but it takes a LOT of trial and error sometimes to get parts working just right.

Last edited by rocket357; 05-24-2007 at 09:22 AM.
 
Old 05-24-2007, 12:16 PM   #34
Macxpower
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Registered: May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket357
Depending on what the user is looking for, each distro has something to offer...

Using Ubuntu/Fedora/SuSE/etc...is like purchasing a car from a dealer. It's prebuilt, and while you can tweak it a bit, it's still going to be a <insert your car's make and model>. But you don't have to fuss with much choice, since it's all ready to go.

Slackware is something like owning a car parts store. You can choose whatever you want to build the car up. Good for choice, and afterwards you get a car that's personalized.

Gentoo is like owning a machine shop. You have to build everything (from the "frame" to the "decorations"). Gentoo comes with some seriously cool power tools, though, and you can build a highly personalized system with tremendous ease.

Linux from scratch is like Gentoo, but without all the snazzy power tools. You still have to build all the parts, but you don't get the impact wrenches and whatnots...


Point is, you can build whatever you want out of virtually any Linux distro to "personalize" it...but some distro's are better suited for some tasks (like Gentoo's compile from source automation, or Ubuntu's user-friendly GUI). Also, you learn more about the inner workings of cars when you build all of the parts from scratch, but it takes a LOT of trial and error sometimes to get parts working just right.
nice way of putting it

I have to agree with the people who suggested to try livecd's first, you get a lot of trials without committing to anything.
I am currently using ubuntu feisty fawn, it was the easiest in my opinion to set up and get running, everything worked "right out of the box" as it were, and the package installers are super easy to use (it has two based off the same system (synaptic), one more automated then the other) and you can find pretty much any program you want/need on it.

I am also, on a side note, using the beryl gui program, it is a very cool system that lets you customize your desktop greatly, it is a bit odd to install and set up though if you aren't computer/linux savvy in the slightest.
 
  


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