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Old 11-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Simple linux distribution

Dear all,

can anybody pls. advise me which linux distribution is simple and good for learning ?

Old 11-11-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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for beginners,
or every major distro in the top 10 at

You can start with the live cd's.
No need to install.

Last edited by repo; 11-11-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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I think Mepis is a little simpler to install and learn than other easy Linux distributions.

I also think the KDE desktop is easier to learn and use than Gnome or other desktops.

Mepis defaults to KDE (but you can switch desktops if you like).

Ubuntu seems to be the most popular beginner friendly distribution. It defaults to Gnome (but you can switch it to KDE or you can get the the variant of Ubuntu that starts out with KDE). Ubuntu with KDE is largely the same user experience as Mepis. I think there are a few ways in which Mepis is slightly more beginner friendly, but the similarities are much larger than the differences.

Originally Posted by rajendran View Post
good for learning ?
Maybe that depends on what you mean.

There is a surprisingly popular idea that a more difficult Linux distribution is better for learning because it forces you to either learn or fail.

I disagree. Learning is better when it is focused. An easy Linux distribution lets you learn and lets you choose your focus while learning. The things you don't focus on will default well and not distract you from wherever you decide to focus.

You can choose to use an easy Linux distribution more like Windows or other closed environments. Let it own your computer and never learn to take control of any of the details. But that is just your choice. Even the easiest Linux distributions are still open. They may be better than a harder distribution at letting you choose not to take control, but they aren't any worse at letting you choose to take control.

Last edited by johnsfine; 11-11-2009 at 02:41 PM.
Old 11-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
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I'm very new to all this and I've been using Linux Mint 7 (since yesterday). Very easy to install and it has worked great for me. I haven't had any trouble with it, and I like the menu system that it comes with.

The other distro I've been playing with is Crunchbang linux, which is a nice, light-weight distribution (I installed the minimal version). Doesn't come with all the stuff Mint comes with and getting around the menu isn't as intuitive. On the other hand, this distro is enabling me to learn a little about linux because I've already had to go into the terminal for a couple of things.

But to get back on topic, as a newbie I'm extremely happy with Linux Mint 7.
Old 11-11-2009, 07:16 PM   #5
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I see johnfine's point; when I've introduced others to Linux, I've leaned towards CentOS and Ubuntu, especially when they weren't interested in learning about computers, but just wanted to surf the web, do email, and write documents. My own experience, though, was the opposite.

I started with Slackware and I'm glad I did. It has a reputation for being difficult, but I didn't find it so, but it requires you to do stuff that other distros automate, like setting up Samba and resolving dependencies. Then again I was pretty good at the DOS command line as a user, so the Linux command line didn't bother me. As a result, I have a pretty good idea about what's going on under the hood.

The only reason I'm not using it on this computer here is that this box came with Ubuntu from the factory and I'm big on if it ain't broke don't fix it. Both my webserver and file server run Slack and will probably never run anything else.
Old 11-11-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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Do you mean **simple** or **simple to learn**?

Arch is simple and it will force you to learn some things.
Old 11-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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Yes, I think the answer changes dramatically if you think that the OP means 'a distro which is, in principle, simple and sort of pure linux' (Slackware, LFS, and pixel's favourite, Arch would be candidates...but I particularly wouldn't suggest LFS for a beginner, but it really, really does force you to learn, rather than just encourage learning)

In the opposite camp, and what most newbies are looking for, is something that is easy to use (the Ubuntus, Mepis, Mint) and easy to get started with, but may be frustrating after a while.

The second category tends to do stuff 'automagically', behind the scenes, and that, when it works, can make life a lot easier. OTOH, when you have to fight it to get what you want, the automisation will seem like less of a bargain.

(You might also consider a third category...the do everything, be all things to all men, distros, such as Debian, Fedora, OpenSuSE...but then you might consider them hopelessly compromised and not focussed enough.)

I'm afraid that this is a choice, and everyone has to strike a balance for themselves. The good news is that you could choose an easy to use distro now, and move on to something more hands-on later.

And a point raised by johnsfine:
I also think the KDE desktop is easier to learn and use than Gnome or other desktops.
Probably selecting a desktop is the first thing to do (and then use a distro that offers your choice of desktop). Ex-windows users tend to adapt more easily to kde than gnome (which are the two heavyweights in the field). XFCE, LXDE and Enlightenment might also be worth considering, depending on your preferences.

Ideally, grab a certain number of Live CDs (more than one, not more than half a dozen) and see what takes your fancy. Install that and see how you get on.
Old 11-11-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
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Dear all,

Thanks for your advise. I decided to download 2-3 distributions like MEPIS, ubuntu etc.

I am really surprised with the quick response of this forum.

once again thank you all.
Old 11-11-2009, 10:24 PM   #9
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1. Mepis and ubuntu are not simple. They manipulate a lot of system configs for the users interests.

2. they are certaily not good for learning.

I'd suggest -> Archlinux or slackware. If you want simplicity coupled with elegance. They will definitely teach you a lot of things.
Old 11-11-2009, 10:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rajendran View Post
I am really surprised with the quick response of this forum.
The reason you got multiple fast responses is that you gave people a almost legitimate reason to tell you that you should use their distro of choice :-)


Old 11-12-2009, 02:45 AM   #11
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For the begineers I think Ubuntu is goood for starting.
Try Ubuntu 9.10.

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