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Old 02-18-2005, 02:56 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: The Imagination
Distribution: Suse 9.3 Professional
Posts: 176

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What distro is most flexible and compatible to hardware?

Ever since i started using Linux I've gone through a large number of distros. Being a newbie, I needed to find something that would be flexible and has a lot of compatibility. Going through all the distros that I had, I found that the best ones for me are Suse, Ubuntu and Fedora. I've been using Suse because it is probably the distro that's most compatible to all the things that I need.

Under Suse I managed to get my Wacom Tablet to work because there's a thing in Yast to specifically configure the Wacom Tablet. I also have access to the Netatalk daemon which the other distros I've used did not. For Suse I could just look through the package selection and install netatalk via the DVD. For the other distros I had to find Netatalk on the web then compile it myself and sometimes it didn't even work. I blame this on my naivette since I was new.

Since then I have had some more experience with Linux and feel that I can probably go try a new distro. The only one I'm most familiar with is Suse 9.2 Pro because I've used this distro for almost 4 months already. I really enjoy Suse because everything works and I can configure things as needed. The problem that I'm having now is that Suse has trouble updating to the newest software.

I have to update software via Yast but sometimes the latest software for 9.2 on the servers I search for are out of date software. I personally would like to have all my software up to date. One example is updating Gaim. In Suse 9.2 Pro, Gaim 0.8 came with the installation disc. So I installed it and wanted to upgrade since I knew that Gaim 1.1.1 was already out. To my dismay, when ever I ran Yast, it kept saying the lastest version of Gaim for Suse 9.2 Pro is v0.8. I had to find the RPM out on the web that someone had already compiled for Suse 9.2 Pro and installed it manually.

For me I'd just like to be able to update the software I have online. I'd like the distro to download the new version, compile and install the program for me. I also would like to have the distro to have support for my hardware and software needs such as the Wacom tablet and netatalk.

I've come to understand Linux a little bit more but I'm definitely no expert. I personally would like to have a GUI to help me configure Linux like in Suse, Ubuntu, and Fedora but I'd also like to have the ability update anything and all software I have to the latest stable versions. I've tried Slackware and Gentoo which I heard is supposed to be really good but for me there were too many commands I had to do in straight Linux with no GUI. Being that I'm new, something I can see and use a mouse to get to would be good.

Any suggestions to help me find the distro best for me would be great. I really like Suse and if there's something like Suse out there but more flexible with the updates, I'd definitely like to try it out. Thanks for reading this long post.
Old 02-18-2005, 05:34 PM   #2
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Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
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Unfortunetly after reading all that, If you want to be as up-to-date as you describe, you'll be manually installing RPMs or compiling. Gentoo is probably the most up to date. Ubuntu is suppose to be quite up to date, but I've never tried. As for as hardware compatibility, the kernel is what you would need to update, as the distro doesn't support hardware, the kernel does. If you want to keep using SusE, you have to wait until they release the updates. There is the option of being slightly more up-to-date, add the yast-sources for the "experimental" packages. They are located on the mirror under
Old 02-18-2005, 05:58 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: The Imagination
Distribution: Suse 9.3 Professional
Posts: 176

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Yeah I figured that if I stay on Suse I have to update as the packages become available for Suse 9.2. Ubuntu was on my next choice as a distro since I've used it before and didn't have too many problems. When I was searching on the forums I didn't find a subforum for Ubuntu which made finding information more difficult. If I'm going to use Ubuntu, I still have quite a few questions such as how do I add programs that were not already installed be default. I know that there's a command something like "apt-get" but other than that, I have no idea.

My main concern if I go for Ubuntu is getting the Wacom tablet and Netatalk working. From the last time I tried Ubuntu, pretty much everything else was working well except for the tablet and Netatalk. I believe that Ubuntu recognized who developed the tablet but perhaps the driver for it just was installed. For Netatalk, I didn't find the daemon package for that at all.

I think that I might go with Unbuntu. I've read up and it seems to be the most up to date and user friendly. Gentoo is really good also I hear but without much of a gui to help me update and configure, I know that I'll get very lost. If you're using Ubuntu, are there any tips and tricks on how to get it working pretty well? In regards to compatibility and such I personally think that Unbuntu is slightly less than Suse.
Old 02-18-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: Slackware10.2,SUSE,FC,RHL,Vector Linux,WHAX,PHLAK,bt4,ubuntu,debian,aptosid,backtrack,blackbuntu
Posts: 529

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incase u r so interested in graphical interface try

Xandros or Mandrake

personally Slackware is the best ..
Old 03-10-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Following the white rabbit
Distribution: Slackware64 14.2 Solus
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I'd recommend learning how to use the command line and configure your system manually instead of using a GUI instead of searching around for a different distro that is 'flexible' and 'compatible'. You'll find that there is a lot of power in the command line and all the flexibility you could desire.
Once you have become profient with using the command line and understand the configuration of your system better, you will be able to configure any distro to fit your needs. Then you can choose a distro based on speed, package management, etc...
Old 03-12-2005, 12:29 AM   #6
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: The Imagination
Distribution: Suse 9.3 Professional
Posts: 176

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Honestly, I'd have to attend a school for that. By the way, isn't there a school of some sort to teach Linux because I could definitely use something like that to my advantage.


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