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Old 10-10-2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Need some advice please about distro (becoming desperate)

Hey folks,

I am really new to linux and since this summer I decided to migrate definitely from Windows to Linux (I am really tired of the crashes of Windows and the insane monopoly and patents of software from Windows). This is the first time that I post a message on this forum; I've waited a long time but now I would like some help because I wanted to figure out it myself first. Since July I 've been testing several distro's but I've not yet found the one that I really like. The distro's that I already have tried (I have had help with the installation of these) are: Ubuntu 5.04, Kubuntu 5.04 &5.10, VectorLinux, Mandriva 10.2, Yoper, Linspire and Mepis. Other distro that I have not tried but are not interessant to me are: Xandros, Lycoris, Slackware, Beatrix, Caldera, Gentoo and DamnSmall. The reason I don't like these distro's is to much too tell at this time but I am sure I don't want these.
I am becoming desperate in a way and losing my faith in linux. A friend had told me that it was a brand new exciting world. To me it was like that at first sight, but now, 4 months later, I don't know anymore. The problem with distro's is that one time Superkaramba cannot be installed or the printer cannot be connected through network or something else matters that bugs me a lot. Then I ask myself: "But why did that work in Windows and not in Linux?" I must tell than that these things are made by my friend who is more familiar with linux. It's like no distro is perfect, they are all not finished. I'm a total newbie and have never installed a distro by myself. Furthermore, I do want to install distro's myself in the future and being not anymore dependant of my Linux-friend. I am seeking for a distro that is a finished product for end-users and is stable and directly usable(and has a KDE as GUI). I am prepared to learn about linux environment but I keep struggling where to find the right information.
For the moment I am thinking to try out SuSE. What do you think about it ?
I know I sound a little confused but I hope you understand my situation.

Thanks in advance,
Old 10-10-2005, 06:25 PM   #2
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Try OpenSuSE 10 - and if you like it buy the retail boxed SuSE. I found that lots of hardware I had to configure manually in 9.3 just worked out of the box with OpenSuSE even when it was considered really unstable. I'm upgrading my production machines next week, assuming the DVD comes in this week. *waits impatiently*
Old 10-10-2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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But why did that work in Windows and not in Linux?

One important reason for this is that many hardware manufacturers only support Windows. This means that to write a driver for such hardware for Linux, developers have to reverse-engineer the hardware, which is a difficult and time-consuming process. This also means that you might want to go a little bit easier on Linux than on Windows, because in Windows, you have paid for it to work, and then it should better. I would say that it is a considerable feat that so much hardware is actually working well in Linux.
Old 10-10-2005, 07:33 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Canada
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Your first mistake is thinking that there's a perfect distro for you. Your second mistake is trying a bunch of distros in the vain hope of finding the "perfect" distro. This can only lead to frustration where you're trying to find someone else's idea of the perfect way to run your computer. That's what the MickeyMouse distro is ... a pre-packaged Bill Gate$ idea of how a computer should work, what you can do with it and how you should do it.

GNU/Linux is all about freedom. It gives you the opportunity to control how you want to run your computer. But this freedom comes at a price. The price is that you first have to understand how your computer works before you can hope to control it with a powerful operating system like GNU/Linux. This can be a difficult process for someone weaned on MickeyMouse's "o/s", where the computer and how it really works has essentially been hidden from you.

I suggest you pick a relatively easy distro to install and learn on. An easy distro is one where the developers of the distro have provided you with some nice GUI interfaces to the command line. These GUIs will be just enough to get you to a graphical desktop with enough configuration tools to deal with the desktop, the menus and icons there and the basic configuration tools you'll need to install software packages, configure your network, get a printer working, etc. At the very least this will get you a working system, but not very much understanding of your computer and how it really works.

The next step in the process is to start learning your way around this most powerful and configurable operating system. That means it's now time to RTFM. Find a task that you want to do and then start learning how to make this happen. Once you've accomplished this, you are ready to move on to the next thing. Each step of the way will be a learning experience, filled with much frustration and eventual success and more knowledge acquired about what your computer is doing and how to make it do what you want it to do.

You WILL NOT get there by simply jumping from distro to distro. I suggest you ignore all the pundits that will suggest ... "hey have you tried this distro" ... next time you're confronted with a "problem". All the distros are pretty much the same. They use the same kernels, the same shells and the same commands, and pretty much offer the same software packages. No distro is going to give you everything you want out of your computer with no effort on your part. If you want the easy, spoon-fed, controlled computer eXPerience, then stick with Windoze. Sure, you'll have to continually fight to keep that insecure toy operating system stable and secure and you'll probably be re-installing it on a fairly regular basis, but you won't learn bugger all about how your computer really works.

You've already tried some pretty "easy" distros, like Mandriva. Go back, and stick with one and then start learning how to use GNU/Linux. Eventually the logic of the way GNU/Linux is organized will start to sink in, the blinds will open up and you'll shout from the tallest building your great discovery of what a real operating system is all about.

And, one other thing ... have fun!

Old 10-10-2005, 08:15 PM   #5
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I agree with NoStop: it sounds as if there will be no "perfect distro" for you. Stick with a distro, suck it up, and learn how to make it work. Your hardware was not made for Linux, and Linux may not be made for your hardware. Still most problems can be solved if you just ask. Ubuntu isn't the greatest distribution in the world. Do you know why I use it? Because the support at the Ubuntu forums ( is amazing--quick, helpful, and gentle. When I have a problem and post it on the Ubuntu forums, I usually get a response back in minutes or at most an hour. The responses are helpful about 90% of the time.

Sometimes people just create their own distros because they haven't found "the perfect distro." That's why Mepis came into being. That's why Gentoo came into being.

Honestly, though, if you want the "perfect" distro, make one from scratch. Linux from Scratch, Debian, Slackware, and Gentoo allow you to customize your Linux experience to exactly how you want it. Automatic = imperfect. Manual = just right. Manual also means work, though. You either pay Dell (or some other company) to do the manual work for you, or you do it yourself with Linux and the Linux community's help.


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