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-   -   how do you pick the OS (

Mr-Imacdaddy 06-12-2008 08:16 PM

how do you pick the OS
With so many different OS by linux, how do you know which one to use? I sold off all my windows based computers to my family last year. Sold them and all. I have been with windows since 3.0. long time i know. i even bought stock back then. When you didnt need 5000 or 10,000 to buy. i think it was like 9.00 a share or some crap like that. anyway,, i just tired of MS BS. after selling everything off i bought a 20" imacduo core 2.66ghz p4 3 gig ram 750 gig hrd. with 1.5 tb fire wire hdr. i then bought a 24" imac both flat panels. 3.1 ghz 4 gig ram 1 tb dr in system 1,5 tb firewire. i got for my birthday on march 22 a toshiba 17" widescreen HD p4 2.0 dou core 2 gig ram 250 gig hdr. but it came ith vista,, ewwww.... what would be a os to run on this laptop? someone told me linux xp desktop 2008? i also need to be able to connect to a ssl irc network, i must be able to set up the certifcate . i have the pem file.. ok lets start with the first os. i know this ant gonna be easy but what the hell. im retired i have all year!! lmao. thanks for all ur help in-advacne...let the games begin..

watcher69b 06-12-2008 08:20 PM

Mirror Mirror on the wall which distro is best of all???????

it all depends on what you want to do.
I like Fedora9 for my laptop b/c it is a generic OS so it works with most modern hardware
and CentOS for my servers b/c they are geared more towards servers and server hardware.

both are based on Red Hat code b/c i used RH at work...

chrism01 06-12-2008 08:26 PM

Well, any distro should be able run on the Toshiba easily with those specs.
There 'might' be issues for the odd HW driver, so google the Linux Hardware Compatibility list if you are worried.
As for picking a distro, the usual advice (if you look at the many other LQ threads with that qn) is to try out the top 10 at until you find one you like. They're all free, so it'll only cost you time, which you now have...

... and welcome to LQ

Zyglow 06-12-2008 10:02 PM

To get you on the right track, Linux is the operating system. The distributions are are collections of software and utilities that work in similar ways.

While any "distro" will work with your laptop, Ubuntu and its derivatives are the easiest to get working with very little effort. At least in my opinion.

Welcome to LQ!

i92guboj 06-12-2008 10:43 PM


Originally Posted by Zyglow (Post 3183208)
To get you on the right track, Linux is the operating system. The distributions are are collections of software and utilities that work in similar ways.

If you want to get picky about the words, strictly speaking "Linux" is just a kernel, not an OS. Unlike BSD's, which are complete OS's with a proper kernel, a toolchain and some user land tools.

Linux is only the core, and will be of very little use without additional tools.

So, yes, we could say that a distribution conforms a whole OS and add some extra capabilities as well. There are many differences between distros, even if they share the same kernel, even the init system can differ, and the system layout (that includes the file system) is also very different from one to another).

Some people like to call the OS with the string "GNU/Linux", since "Linux" alone is just a kernel, not a proper OS. I'd say that "Linux", indeed, is just a kernel, and each distro is an OS (in fact, nothing forces you to use GNU pieces along with the Linux kernel, you could use whatever you want if you feel brave enough).

But I am sure that this stuff would get pretty boring for the OP if we continue talking about words and useless definitions.

I agree with the poster above, you should try some distros and choose yourself. It's very hard to tell you what is the best distro for you, since we don't know you and we have no clue about your aptitudes and the effort you are willing to put into learning something new.

If you are the kind of person that like things that just works you should check the top list at distrowatch, probably SuSE is a good candidate. Ubuntu is also famous, though I highly dislike it, but that's just me.

If you are brave, you might want to check Arch, or even Gentoo which is what I use. But you are going to have to learn in that case.

pixellany 06-12-2008 11:27 PM

I use a dart board....;)
Seriously, anything in the top-ten at Distrowatch is a fine place to start.

Interesting to see Arch recommended--it is no frills and requires some experience to set up. The flip side is that--once you know a few things--it is hands-down the fastest and easiest distro to get going.

onebuck 06-12-2008 11:32 PM


Welcome to LQ!

You could/should look at some LiveCD based GNU/Linux distributions. When you choose one to download be sure to burn the image to the cd/dvd media. You should also check the md5 sum for the iso image that you download before you burn. This is so that you get a valid copy of the distribution. By using a LiveCD you can experience a distribution without installing. Some LiveCDs do allow you to load the cd/dvd to ram to speed things up a bit.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

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