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Old 01-23-2006, 05:57 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2006
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Distros for newbies

What distros do you reccomend for newbies?
Old 01-23-2006, 06:01 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: England, South East
Distribution: Fedora
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SimplyMEPIS and Ubuntu are two of my fav newbie distros.
Old 01-23-2006, 06:17 PM   #3
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Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Suse 10.0
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I tried SuSe 10.0 but it wasn't so easy to configure everything. I'm trying PCLinuxOS right now and it's much easier, especially since it is ready to play all media except for DVDs from the get go. Just install libdvdcss2 from Synaptic and DVDs are good to go too. Just need to get sound to work (I think my computer is an odd case, sound should work automatically), and the only other problems I have are about learning how to use KDE 3.5.

PCLinuxOS is supposed to be the most user friendly Linux distro that still remains true to Linux. Lindows is supposed to be much like Windows, but it has security flaws because you are automatically logged in as root user. PCLinuxOS also has a super friendly support forum for newbies like us.
Old 01-23-2006, 06:21 PM   #4
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My personal bias only:

Pick any of the FREE distros at random---chances are very high you're going to try several before settling down. I like Ubuntu, but Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc. are all fine. Check out distro watch for more info.
Old 01-23-2006, 06:25 PM   #5
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Location: England
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MEPIS is very good because it is a live CD so you get to use it working. If you like how it is you can install it to your hard drive just as it is. The icon is on the desktop. It has good hardware detection as well.
Old 01-23-2006, 06:40 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: University of Maryland
Distribution: FreeBSD
Posts: 268

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i guess mandriva is good for newbies...its got alot of stock apps and from what i rememeber (madrake 10.1) it has all the codecs and such by default...

my first "distro" was freebsd, which isnt even linux, and it worked out fine. i downloaded it cuz beastie is the greatest mascot ever.

Last edited by Ha1f; 01-23-2006 at 11:43 PM.
Old 01-23-2006, 06:57 PM   #7
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Toronto Canada
Distribution: Debian
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use mepis!

I have tried sooo many distro's by far Simply Mepis is the easiest to install , set up and run for a newbie, and also as you grow into the system and become more of a power user you get to use the depth of a Debian based system to tweak and tune to your own preferences (apt-get/synaptic). mp3,and java runs from the get-go and getting dvd support is just a few clicks away! Mepis is a live cd that you can run to see if your hardware is supported and you can surf and play games while it installs!(plus it makes an exellent rescue disk)..........Good luck!
Old 01-23-2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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Distribution: Suse 10.0
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Yep, PCLinuxOS is also free, and it's also a live CD that you can choose to install onto hard drive if you like it. And it is supposed to be derived from Mandriva and improved upon. I would recommend that first, but definitely try other distros. Many people like Ubuntu, SuSe, and the others mentioned here.

My only qualm with PCLOS is that it doesn't support AMD64 or PowerPC. I have an AMD64 processor, and I'm stuck using 32bits, but I hear the 64bit version is coming out soon. And it's faster than my SuSe AMD64 install, so go figure... SuSe is kind of bloated.

Last edited by puffarthur; 01-23-2006 at 07:05 PM.
Old 01-23-2006, 07:02 PM   #9
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: IN, USA
Distribution: debian etch
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Mepis or ubuntu are good because they are debian based (awesome package management) and installation is pretty easy. I never really liked mandriva. Then went to debian, and after figuring out how to get things configured never looked back.
Old 01-23-2006, 11:01 PM   #10
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: CA, USA
Distribution: Gentoo
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I have used Mandrake 10.1, Fedora, and Arch. I'd have to say that Mandrake was the easiest to get everything running with.

Of course, yum and pacman are pretty awesome tools...
Old 01-24-2006, 04:36 AM   #11
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Finland
Distribution: Suse 10, Suse-factory , RHEL4, SLES9, SLED10
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Ubuntu/Kubuntu is everyones new favourite, well nothing bad to say about that one. Great distro.

If you want more eyecandy and some more variety then check Suse or Mandriva. They come with more stuff because ubuntu is released with 1cd and for example suse takes the everything needed approach with 5 cds. Mandriva is released with 3-5 cds.

Fedora in my opinion is quite stable, but it isn't as user friendly as it could be.

Slack, debian and gentoo are maybe too hard to setup for a newbie. After some months of training with something else I would also try those a bit challenging distros.

The main advice I can give you is to try couple of different ones and then choose side.
Old 01-24-2006, 08:05 AM   #12
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Oxford, UK
Distribution: Debian Etch (w/ dual-boot XP for gaming)
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Originally Posted by onjoo
Suse or Mandriva... come with more stuff because ubuntu is released with 1cd and for example suse takes the everything needed approach with 5 cds. Mandriva is released with 3-5 cds.
I wouldn't consider the number of CDs that come with the release indicative of how much stuff you can get for a distro. I always use net-install methods where available, simply because I don't see the point in downloading ISOs full of packages that I may never use. What really matters (especially if you're using a Debian-based apt-get system) is how many packages are available to be easily installed. Ubuntu more than likely release on one CD for simplicity, not because they don't have the "stuff" to fill five! Once you've got it set up, you can apt-get install just about anything you might want - which is much more relevant to a newbie than how many ISOs they provide for download.
Old 01-28-2006, 10:08 AM   #13
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Thanks guys, I've looked into few you have mentioned and I think that meips and PCLinuxOS are the best for me right now, I'm also going to try Fedora just to try.
Old 01-28-2006, 10:24 AM   #14
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Atascocita, Texas
Distribution: Mepis/ Debian / Windows XP Pro
Posts: 16

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Xandros Open Circulation is the easiest I have used as far as Newbie Distro. It works without any modifications. Since it is a Commercial disrto the Open Circulation version is limited (no DVD playback, 4x CD burning for example). Also if you are on a network and have other PC's, Windows can see it and it can see Windows without configuring so file transfers are easier, which is a plus.
Old 01-28-2006, 11:19 AM   #15
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Distribution: [Redhat] [Slackware] [SuSe] [FreeBSD]
Posts: 81

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I guess, you can use Suse, Because you just learn one it's 'yast'. You can run yast todo anything.ok


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