never tried linux whatsoever whats the easiest distro to learn?
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Red Hat versions 8 & 9 are easy to install and there is plenty of online support for them. Mandrake 9.2 is also easy to install and again there is plenty of online support. I would recommend either of these as they are the most popular, however you will probably find different answers, it's all a matter of personal choice. The two I have mentioned are the most popular though.
I hope you decide to stick around.
I agree with atko. You could also try SuSE 9.0 if you like. If you don't mind buying SuSE it would be a great choice. The disadvantage is the lack of knowledge on SuSE. There is not a Forum here for it, and there are not a lot of folks who use it. It has great multimeda support and many other things.
Fedora Core from Redhat is also an option. I don't care for it.
I think you might like Slackware Linux too, but it may be a bit too much for you as a starter OS.
Mandrake 9.2 would probably get you up and running the most quickly, but it's becoming so good at the whole graphical thing it might not be the greatest for actually 'learning linux'. One possibility would be to create a spare partition when you're installing Mandrake that you can use later to build linuxfromscratch (lfs) http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
lfs provides a great linux learning experience.
Mandrake's Control Center provides the most comprehensive and cohesive set of GUI tools of any Linux distro. Hackers will make fun of you, calling it a click-and-drool interface, but the majority of personal computer users just want to get working with a minimun of fuss and could really care less about the command line. Don't get me wrong, you can still do everything with Mandrake at the CLI if you so choose, it just doesn't force you to. Their automatic hardware detection/installation utility (harddrake) is probably the best in the business IMHO.
how much ram and hard drive space do you have? mandrake with gnome or kde might be too bloated for your system, though in general i guess mandrake is okay otherwise. something like gentoo with xfce4 or fluxbox might also be a good choice. that would fly on a 400Mhz system. you'd really learn a lot installing it, too -- their install doc and forum is great. definitely more time consuming to install than something like mandrake, but in the end well worth it.
Mandrake is a good way to get used to Linux - then you can try something a bit harder later on if you want. That's what I did. I find Mandrake to be more bloated and slow than Slackware, but it was still a nice distro to start out with.
"Don't get me wrong, you can still do everything with Mandrake at the CLI if you so choose, it just doesn't force you to. Their automatic hardware detection/installation utility (harddrake) is probably the best in the business IMHO."
Absolutely. I use shell and vi a lot, and windowmaker rather than kde or gnome. Using Mandrake I get the easy setup, and even though I'm not using the kde or gnome environments, I can still fire up gnome and kde apps with little problem at will (konqueror is the best man viewer I know of, just pop man:/man in the location field).
But I've also learned a lot of value from lfs and gentoo. Personally I think lfs is great for building a lean, mean server machine, and gentoo is great fun to mess with if you want to spend a weekend or two or three tinkering. Rather than regard Mandrake as "click-and-drool" it could be regarded as a really nice platform from which to explore whatever. Or not. That's what I think concerns some power-geeks, that you really aren't compelled of necessity to learn just to be able to use Linux. It's up to you.
My first experience with Linux was RedHat 5.1 and setting up X properly was something akin to pulling my own teeth out. I really think getting Windows users into a familiar (if not exactly identical) GUI environment as quickly and easily as possible is essential to making new Linux converts. Hackers may find it hard to believe, but there are MCSEs who have never used the command line under Windows. Statements like "you'll always be a noob if you don't use the CLI" isn't making users jump ship. First get people using Linux, then you can convince them there's a better way. Some may never leave the comfort of the GUI, and that's fine too, but at least they aren't using Windows anymore. Of course, there are others who would rather Linux remain a techno-geek only OS and never become popular, I'm just not one of them. Even though I (sadly) make a living off M$, I also believe the competiton is good for everyone.
I'll vote for suse 9.0, having never used any other distribution except suse 8.2.
My reasons: the books are good, fairly user freindly, online updates good, lots of good stuf on the cd's , knowledge base useful at suse.com or suse.co.uk which make installing programs much easier.
it is a shame that there is no forum for suse on this board, but have had lots of excellent help here.
1. Download and run Knoppix. What do you think? You have not done anything to your hard drive at this point.
2. If you liked what you saw in Knoppix, aquire (download or purchase) any distro of your choice. Suse and Mandrake are usually good bets. Dual boot with Windows.
3. Do what you want. Continue to dual boot, delete Windows or delete Linux. It's your informed choice.
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1, Slackware 9.1, Windows XP
i have mandrake 9.1
it was very easy to set up
im still working on installing programs
but everyone has to learn this no matter which distro u use
havent tried Mandrake 9.2 but 9.1 works fine for me
hope this helps