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Old 10-13-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2011
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Best linux distro for a total noob?

Please don't say Ubuntu, please. I've tried it, and it is very buggy for me.

I like how fedora looks... Would that be good for a new user to linux?

What do you think would be the best distro?

~I have been a Windows XP-7 user my entire life so...
Old 10-13-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Mageia, and whatever VMs I happen to be playing with
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You will get as many replies as you get views for your post.

Everyone of us has his favorites. I started with Slackware and it is still one of my favorites; it doesn't hold your hand and it expects you to RTFM, but, when you get it installed with the full install selection, you have a fully working system. Slackware and Debian remain my favorite distros.

I would suggest you download and burn some Live CDs of various distros, boot to them, then install the one that you feel comfortable with and stick with it for a while.

There will be a learning curve, because Linux is different from Windows--do not it expect it to work like Windows on the inside. Not harder, just different.

About dot com has a good set of tutorials on Linux.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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I think it depends on what your goal is.

If you want to learn about the core of Linux, build a Gentoo machine five times in a row, each time with different config. Get everything working you can, sound, wireless, 3d, etc... trial by fire and may never stop compiling, but you'll come out of it well off. Also, try to get some server level apps going, nfs, ldap, heartbeat, etc... That will really make it a learning xp.

I still fall back to Debian or Slack. If you are just going for "install and fool around as a Windows replacement," you already mentioned the easiest.

OpenSUSE and RHEL are overall easy to use, but they tend somewhat toward the corporate world.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:53 PM   #4
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If you just want a working system I would recommend Mint or Mepis, but you will get better suggestions if you clarify what your purpose on running Linux is.
Old 10-14-2011, 01:08 AM   #5
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Mageia/mandriva is easy to use.
Old 10-14-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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I personally would suggest Ubuntu or LinuxMInt
Old 10-14-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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This one is very nice for newbies:

Or you can you with LinuxMint like others said.
Old 10-14-2011, 02:48 PM   #8
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Another vote for Mandriva/Mangeia

Mandriva/Mageia has MCC and DrakeTools and usually a root account native. The docs for basic use are very decent. For a beginner there is no Linux competition to MCC and DrakeTools.

Fedora is best for an intermediate user that desires the biggest repository. Mandriva's repos usually have everything major you could want. Fedora's Package installer graphic front-end is not as good as Madriva's.

Both Mandriva's and Fedora's Package Managers are cumbersome to get going but work well after a short time so don't get discouraged early on.

Last edited by theKbStockpiler; 10-14-2011 at 02:56 PM.
Old 10-14-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Try Debian stable for learning, it's rock solid and will get you started.

Mepis, Antix, Mint are good. So is Puppy.

Go to and take a look at the list of OS.

Have fun!
Old 10-14-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
Registered: Mar 2010
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Linux Mint 10 or 11
Old 10-14-2011, 05:00 PM   #11
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The great thing is to get a user interface that you like. The wrong one is like a mouthful of chili sauce when you were expecting strawberry jam!

Xfce: Mint or Salix
KDE: Mint or Mepis
Not Gnome; Gnome 2 is obsolete and Gnome 3 (in Fedora) is still a bit rough around the edges

These distros are stable and not buggy (especially Salix and Mepis) and don't get you to jump through a lot of hoops to get things set up (especially Mint).

PS Welcome to LQ, and have fun!
Old 10-14-2011, 05:13 PM   #12
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Having been in your shoes a few months ago I ended up going with Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS. That said, and what Ansuer touched on, is that you should really provide us with a bit more info.

First, what are you looking to do with Linux, are you looking for a workstation with a GUI similar to Windows, or are you looking to run a Server? Also, what is your goal in the level of understanding you want to achieve? Are you doing this as a learning project, or are you doing it for some kind of practical reasons. If you are looking to use Linux for regular desktop use, I'm not surprised that you've had issues with Ubuntu as their latest interface is widely regarded as complete garbage. It's a step in a different direction and a sound idea, but the implementation is just abysmal.

In short, tell us WHAT you are looking to do with Linux, and WHY you want to switch from Windows. This should allow us to steer you in the right direction.

After having crashed and burned with Ubuntu as a desktop platform I would suggest Linux Mint first, and if that doesn't work out, go with Fedora or Mandriva.
Old 10-14-2011, 06:20 PM   #13
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+1 for Mint
Old 10-14-2011, 09:00 PM   #14
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I want to learn about linux, because, mostly I know ALOT about windows... I can fix my neighbor's Windows PCs and stuff... I think i might try Mint 10 KDE or Kubuntu... Would Kubuntu have the same bugs Ubuntu has?
Old 10-14-2011, 11:06 PM   #15
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Big thing is to pick the thing that takes your fancy. Don't worry about 'it'll be too difficult for me'. Then change later if you feel the need. I'd always go for the free est of the free Debian.


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