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Hi all. My current OS is WIn98se and I have decided to slowly scrap the insecure Win platform and go with Linux. In my research, it appears that RedHat seems to be a very user friendly OS that I can become familiar with and eventually use as my only OS. But for the time being, I have partitioned my HD so that I can run both OS's until I become confident in only Linux. I am looking for a secure OS that is moderately user friendly (only because I have only been exposed to only Win OS's). I have heard that RedHat is perhaps the best secure OS best suited towards Windows users looking to change to, is this correct? Does anyone have any suggestions for proper/seamless/troublefree install to my PC? This will be installed on my desktop PC which I use mostly for word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and online web browsing. My free time has been limited lately, so I plan on doing much more researching on this, but in the meantime, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or advice in regards to this OS switch. I assume that Linux can handle all the above duties, is this correct? Is it likely I would need to use another modem other than the one that came on my Compaq/Windows-based PC? Again, I plan on doing much more research, but hoping to get some answers here also. Thank you very much in advance for any answers and/or suggestions.
Mandrake or Suse for a first timer. Commercial disto's, come with great documentation, VERY easy to install, and the advantage over Redhat, more multimedia support out of the box (MP3, Mpeg, etc). Redhat is great, but having to add baseline multimedia to get to the others is why I don't pick it. (I use it, and have installed it on over 25 other computers, but each time, I need to install multi-media, and configure it). Software for Redhat, i.e. RPMs are the easiest to find, every program has a Redhat rpm, etc, so it isn't a big deal if you are even a little computer savy.
Any distro will do what you want. They either come with OpenOffice or StarOffice, KOffice, 14 Web browsers, 3-4 burner programs, email clients galore, ftp clients, desktop environments, etc, and virtually everything anyone needs for day to day operation.
IMO nothing's secure out of the box, there may be differences on the default configuration of each distro but if you're really concerned about security you need to do your own research.
I suggest that you grab a copy of Knoppix and see what its like, it runs entirely off the CD and pretty much comes with most common software packages you'd expect to see on other distros(you can also install it to your hdd if u wish to).
I feel your pain-I weaned myself off Win98 only a few weeks ago.Google Distowatch for a supreme listing of distros out there-and full details on each version(Red Hat 7.3,8.0,etc.)to boot! Once you have a vague idea,go to the sites and download if you have broadband,otherwise Google Linux and BSD store for a nice fellow who will burn and ship for about two bucks a disk.
If you want my personal favorite,i'm running Lycoris Update3 on this box.Like Red Hat and a few others,it's about forty bucks-and has about as much stuff as Windows+Quicken+Word+Even More! The evaluation version is free if money is tight,has a few less toys included and marked with logos to prevent resale-but still runs great! Both versions have Flash,Real,Java and Acrobat pre-installed in the browser,hence out the box usability.
Knoppix,Demolinux,Slackwaredemo and others will boot from CD-rom,using the Ram for temporary functions-remember to make your CD-rom bootable from BIOS and enjoy! Mandrake has a great rep for newbies like us,but i've only tried 8.0(somebody gsave it to me).
Oh,be careful about dual-booting,as the windows MBR can and will bite you on the butt-it hates sharing Ask the experts many questions about partitioning and bootloader vs.MBR -or do what I did,load Linux on a cheap second box(got my backup on Ebay for $70.00+S&H) and leave WIN98 safe on the main box for now.If you play a lot of games,you'll need Windows somewhere,otherwise you probably won't miss it at all.
By the way,WELCOME! The folks who drop by here are really nice,and very patient with like you and me.Later!
For a first timer who really wants to get into Linux I would always suggest Mandrake over Red Hat or Lycoris. It has great newbie install, partitioning is very easy with it even for duel booting, and it is very easy to install. It will also grow with you, it has the gui install software and configuration end, but it also has alot of console tools available too, something Red Hat doesn't. Lycoris is ok if your looking for the ease of click and install but it doesn't give the full linux experience if your really looking to get into the Nuts and bolts. If your not and you want ease of use it would be a good choice for you.
Alot of people nowdays come over on Mandrake to Linux, I know I did a while back. Its a good distro although your tastes might grow out of it.
I'd go with Mandrake too (9.1 or 9.2), very easy to install and get started with and with luck it should all work right out of the box... and chances are any questions you might have have already been answered here. You will be totally blown away by how much better Linux is than Win98, the difference is incomprehensible. I recently had to temporarily install 98 on one of my boxes to test some software and I just couldn't handle it, it was absolutely ghastly.
Like someone else said, no distro is secure (by *nix standards) fresh out of the box, but anything is better than 98.
Wow, thanks for all the help everyone! I have decided to start with Mandrake. I guess the only question I have now is regarding web browsers available for Mandrake. From a quick online search, it appears Mozilla is fairly recommended. My greatest concern for picking a browser is its security and privacy settings. I like to tinker around with settings for the greatest amount of privacy and security. Anyone have any personal favorites in the browser category in Mandrake? Oh, also, is it likely my Compaq/Windows-based modem will not work with Mandrake? Thanks a lot!
Mozilla (as web and email client) offers privacy and pop up blocking, as does firebird, (browser). Come to think of it, so does Opera, Konqueror, and I think all of them, all of which work on all distro's. For the modem, provide more info on exact type, and/or toodle over to www.linmodems.org and check it out. A LOT of winmodems now work in Linux. Odd are extremely good that a search here on "modemtype' will produce some hits.
HINT: Perform an 'Install All' option. It takes up more room, but you get everything for you to play with and virtually any Mandrake RPM for any program you download/install will just work without dependancy problem.
Thanks. I have a PCTel HSP56 MicroModem which I read is nicknamed a "WinModem" as it looks like it was designed for just Windows. I will look into it further and see if there is any chance to config or modify anything to get it to work with Linux without any issues. Thanks.