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Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


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Old 08-25-2004, 07:14 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Missouri
Distribution: Suse 9.1
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Best Linux for a Noob?

What is the best linux for a noob to start out with, aka easiest, and so forth?
I have:
Suse 9.1 Pesonal
Linux Console
Redhat 5.2
Pc Linux O/S
Damn Small Linux
Old 08-25-2004, 07:30 AM   #2
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has pros and cons.
Old 08-25-2004, 07:30 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
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This is subjective. While you may be a n00b, there are a lot of things that you may already know, that will help you immensely. You must be a hacker at heart, I feel, to successfully run Linux. When I say hacker, I don't mean "3l173" script-kiddie kinda hacker. I mean someone who is driven to understand it (Linux) for NO OTHER reason - than because he or she can.

There is no "perfect" n00b distro.

There are subtle differences between them, that make them what they are.
Some of what you have listed, have proprietary technology, that make them seperate from the others. For instance, Debian features apt-get - an app that can fetch applications from the internet, and install them for you. Gentoo also has a similar technology in Portage.

RedHat, is usually how people begin, but I don't like RedHat for a number of reasons. You may love it. RPM's (RedHat Package Manager) is what is used to install apps on RedHat. Most distros have RPM functionality, but I personally don't care for them. Just ask one of the Gurus here what "Dependancy Hell" is.

I started with Slackware. I feel, that this is an excellent distro to begin with for a number of reasons. Patrick's Slackware team has done a great job of being as faithful to UNIX as possible. My favorite thing to tell people is that if you can run Slack effectively, you can run any distro effectively. It will teach you the basis for all the technology. Not to mention, it is one of the few distros that I have found, that will ALWAYS accept applications installed from source. Try that with RedHat.

Whatever you pick, stay with it, come here for help, and remember - figure it best you can........on your own.

One last thing....
Old 08-25-2004, 07:33 AM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: India
Distribution: all linux
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1. The best one to start with would be boot straight off from Knoppix CD and start using it.

2. Second best option for log term use would be Mandrake 10 or Suse 9.1.

3. Best way to learn Linux is to try out all different Distros available. So install all that you have and use them for some time and keep changing then you would find something that suits your need.

4. is a good place to get information of all different latest downloads available.

Old 08-25-2004, 07:34 AM   #5
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Try this thread:

It's a std qn
Old 08-25-2004, 07:35 AM   #6
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One of the easiest is probably Suse,
but if you really want to learn something and have a really stable system you should get slackware.

It has no graphical cnfig tools, buts is easy to use anyway ( in my oppinion ), because it just works.
Using slackware gave me the first time a really and complete running system ( suse crashed the whole time, mandrake didnt recognize my usb modules and pc didnt shut down )

Maybe you should just try which one you like best.
It also depends on your hardware ( like is it completly new and so on )...
What do you want to use your linux for....
Old 08-25-2004, 07:36 AM   #7
Registered: May 2004
Distribution: Slackware Current
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This type of question will obviously receive many different responses based on personal preferences and experience. I am a recent linux convert and I use Mandrake. I found the install very intuitive. I've been able to setup everything including compiling my first kernel downloaded from As I want to learn linux and not a specific distribution I attempt to solve issues and configurations via the command line employing a more "linux purist" method as opposed to using some distributions' GUI tools. Hopefully, I will not become distribution dependent and am focusing on learning linux.

Old 08-25-2004, 07:44 AM   #8
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Louisville aka Derby City
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If you are a proficient Windows user, Xandros 2.0 free edition is basically the same on the surface but has the advantage of the Linux kernel under the hood. It is one Linux that allows the user to dive as deep as the want. Kind of like training wheels on a superbike.
Old 08-25-2004, 11:18 AM   #9
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: VectorLinux 5.0 SOHO
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I'll second Xandros. If you know your way around Windows you'll know your way around this. A good url to help you with this distro is this one.

I've tried lots of distros and I stuck with Suse 9.1 Professional with KDE, just because I like the look and feel of it, but things that work perfectly on one PC can be hell on another...I would NOT recommend Suse 9.1 Personal (anymore, I wrote a positive review about it, and I still stand by it, but the Pro is a much better OS), except for having a look around, and if you like what you see, upgrade to Pro with ftp install.

But yeah, if you're new, try Xandros.

Old 09-16-2004, 08:16 PM   #10
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Be careful about that Xandros. I had it for a while but it messed me up. Every time I got on it was like i was trying to make it more like windows. How can I get this and that to run on wine and blahblahblah. I liked xandros at first, but now I kind of hate it because I couldn't make anything install outside of Xandros Networks.
Old 09-16-2004, 09:12 PM   #11
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: slack 13; I've used it all :)
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when it come down to it there are not many. They all use the same tools and programs. The only difference is package management and handholding. If you really want to learn linux do this. Start with Fedora Core 2. It's well supported, easy to configure, easy to administer. Then, after 6 months, switch to Slackware, there is no handholding. You'll configure ton of text files. Use it for 6 months. Then you;ll come back to Fedora due to ease of use. that what i did.


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