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Old 04-02-2004, 04:35 AM   #1
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Help me decide

Ok I have been using linux off and on for about 6 years. The problem is I, until recently, havent really stuck to using it because I didnt really think it was really dekstop ready. Well Im def. ready to use it as my full desktop and I have been using mandrake 9.2 now 10 for about 3 weeks steady. My problem is with mandrake, the only distro I have really tried, it really does alot of things already for you. Until yesterday I really didnt know how to do anything if it didnt have an RPM for it I didnt know how to compile. Well I do know all that and I would like to learn more. Do you think it would be wise to jump into a Gentoo install and ditch mandrake. I have been reading a lot about Gentoo and it seems to be the distro if you really want to get a good grip on the command prompt. Please let me know what you think I should do. Stick with mandrake or change to gentoo. Also is gentoo easy to recompile when a newer version of kde or gnome would come out?
Old 04-02-2004, 04:42 AM   #2
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We can't tell you what to do - only you can decide after trial and error.

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Old 04-02-2004, 04:53 AM   #3
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I've found mandrake to be a desktop ready enviroment. Also, I think it's a lot better to slowly get used to the command prompt than redhat for example. Ever since redhat 8 I've found it to be more and more annoying with each release.

As to installing stuff, yes an RPM is nice but a decent package in source will include a clear Readme with instructions. Often installing an application from source is not much more difficult than

1. read the readme
2. open a terminal windows
3. su
4. ./configure
5. make
6. make install

But, by all means, try gentoo and let us know what you think.
Old 04-02-2004, 05:01 AM   #4
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I do know that I have to make my own decision. I was just asking opinions. Yeah I pretty much figured out how to get src files working. Im currently trying to get Juk to work on my mandrake box but Its not working. I have downloaded and updated everything it says and its still not working. I got an old version to come up but it crashed on me...anyway the reason I want to try gentoo is because, from what I have read, its pretty easy to stay up to date with the most recent kernel.

Last edited by bertcakes; 04-02-2004 at 05:04 AM.
Old 04-02-2004, 06:01 AM   #5
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I'd say try slack first ... THEN delve into gentoo.
Old 04-02-2004, 06:39 AM   #6
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I've tried gentoo and you really should only try it yourself if you have lots of free time to do the installation. It's a very long process and I personally wasn't that impressed with the finished product once I got it completely installed on my system. But it was a great learning experience for me when I did the install. If you want to learn more about the command prompt and how to create and edit configuration files, it is a good choice for that. But personally, after trying out several different types of distros, I like apt-get best over emerge. You have to try them out yourself to see what you like best.

Last edited by CBlue; 04-02-2004 at 06:42 AM.
Old 04-02-2004, 08:21 AM   #7
Marc A
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I tried gentoo and failed. As I don't want to work on it full time for a week, i keep Knoppix (debian based) running. And will work on slack or gentoo a litle later.
You'll only learn by trying and it takes lots of time reading and testing.

Good luck. MarcA
Old 04-02-2004, 01:06 PM   #8
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All very true. I actually think what im going to do is try and put it up on my second box. To be totally honest I really do like this new version of mandrake. Its just a little bloated with packages. I am going to strip it down a little. But like I said I am going to try and put it on a different box just for the learning experience. Seriously in the last 3 days I have become SO much more fluant with linux. Like I said before if it didnt have an RPM I had no idea how to install it. Im still a little confused at times as to where everything goes when I compile it. But when I read through the make install it usually tells you.

For an example I installed superkaramba. Now should I be able to just type in superkaramba at the prompt and it will load? That is what I had read. I can get superK to work fine i just have to navigate to: /usr/local/kde/bin/ and the things I install are in there.
Old 04-02-2004, 01:36 PM   #9
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I don't see what the big deal is about using an rpm type system. I know how to install from source and find it quite easy but with rpms and the like, you have a database that keeps track of everything you have. Just seems to make more sense to me.

I am actually going the reverse of you....I am moving away from installing from source to all rpms. Plus you can take a source programs and turn it into a rpm and then install it that way.

Good luck with the command line though...I found that your skills grow exponentially. When you first start it is very intimidating, but once you learn a few commands the it just gets easier and easier. Keep at it



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