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Linux - Distributions This forum is for Distribution specific questions.
Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Novell, LFS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora - the list goes on and on... Note: An (*) indicates there is no official participation from that distribution here at LQ.


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Old 04-08-2005, 11:11 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 2

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Total Noob

Hello all:

I am glad I have found this forum. There seems to be a ton of information here for the Linux user. Now, on to the matter of my post - I am a total noob. Although I have extensive experience with Micro and Cisco products, I have absolutely no, 0, zilch, nada experience with Linux. I want to learn now, as I have a business in the works and I refuse to pay that "other" company copious amounts of money when I can do it for less with Linux.


I need to get my feet wet. Now, not to start a war anew on which distro is the best, but I would like to know which would be the best to start with. The best for someone who just learned how to spell Linux. I know no linux commands, no..well you get the picture. As a matter-of-fact, I am going out tonight after work to look for the Linux for Dummies book at the local B & N.

Anyway, thanks for your suggestions and/or direction.


P.S. To lend some idea of the direction I will be heading to, I want to set up a Linux box first that will be mainly a file server for backups from Linux work stations and cross platform work stations (i.e. Microsoft.) I would also like to set up a work station for day to day tasks in an office enviroment on another box... Don't know if this matters as to where I should start but more info from me may help.

Last edited by icadeal; 04-08-2005 at 11:14 AM.
Old 04-08-2005, 11:21 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 51

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I use Fedora/RedHat. If you're using it for business, you might consider RehHat Enterprise Linux - basically Fedora is the testing ground for stable Enterprise releases, or so the Germans would have us believe.
A book that I found helpful when I made my migration from WinDoze a few years back was called 'Linux for Windows Addicts'. It was helpful because it described linux commands/etc. in terms of the Windows/DOS commands/etc.
If you know Cisco, you've got a head start - Cisco uses Unix, and the commands are very similar (my fiance'e is a CCNP).
You may also want to check out Crossover, a windows "emulator" (it's actually not an emulator, but you get the point) so that you can run windows apps like Office XP on your linux machines (conversely, you can use the program wine to do this, but Crossover has a pretty GUI and is pretty cheap).
Best of luck!
Old 04-08-2005, 06:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: May 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3,545

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Any distro will do. If you really want to learn then I suggest not using a newbie distro such as Fedora or mandrake or SuSE but a slishtly more advanced some such as Arch, Gentoo or Debian. You're probably looking at this post as if I'm a raving lunatic but I swear, you'll be better off in the long run. Gentoo is a pain because it takes a while to compile stuff and even my hyperthreaded P4 gives me the shits but it has fantastic documentation to walk you through the install. I'd almost recommend just installing it, then you can remove it if you wish, just good experience
Old 04-10-2005, 10:32 PM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Following the white rabbit
Distribution: Slackware64 -current
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Slackware if you're serious about learning about Linux.
Old 04-11-2005, 09:02 AM   #5
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Registered: Apr 2005
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Thanks for the quick response all. I have decided to take on both worlds. I am going to go at a GUI base version (Fedora) and a slightly more advanced version on my other PC (Slackware or Debian) for command line experience.

I think those 3 look to have a ton of support on this forum alone so now I take the plunge.

Be talkin to ya and thanks again...
Old 04-11-2005, 10:15 AM   #6
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Johnstown, Co
Distribution: Mint (debian edition)
Posts: 541

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linux n00b rule # 1: never ask which distro is good for a newbie

reason: youll have people naming every distro they use. slackware, fedora, suse, mepis, mandrake, ubuntu, they will name everything.

i would say ubuntu, but that may not be your thing, so i always tell people to just try out different ones, and see which one is easiest for you to use. try them all, im not going to name specifics.
Old 04-13-2005, 08:22 PM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Malaysia
Distribution: RH9.0
Posts: 15

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Hi.. I'm a total newbie as well.. After viewing all ur conversations, I was wondering. What is Distro?? Izzit a different version of Linux?? Is Fedora Core and Red Hat considered as distro?? Pls advise. Thank you
Old 04-13-2005, 08:46 PM   #8
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Gentoo 2004.1
Posts: 56

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ricc: yes, distro is short for distribution. they are different flavors of linux, if you will.

icadeal: you say you have no experience with linux, does this mean you have no experience with UNIX, also? if so, then read up on some basic UNIX commands, they will be invaluable to you during installation. and for what you need, Gentoo can do all of it

i was (or still am) a linux n00b, and with their great install docs, and awesome forum/irc channel, no question will go unanswered. it took me about a week to get my gentoo system up, but once it was, it was awesome.


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