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Old 10-06-2004, 11:55 PM   #1
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The most user-friendly distro

What is the most User-Friendly Linux. I've heard a lot about linux and I am interested but I virtually don't know anything about Linux besides that it is an open-source OS and that it is pretty complicated.

Thanks in advance.

Old 10-07-2004, 12:08 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
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From what I've experienced SuSE is the most user friendly. It does a really good job with hardware detection as well.

Keep in mind the easiest isn't always the best.

Also, there are Linux distrobutions that you don't need to install on your harddrive to run. They run completely off of cd. You could always give them a try before you commit.

The most popular live cd is called Knoppix.
Old 10-07-2004, 12:15 AM   #3
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux!!

The best advice, and you will see it said many times here, is to try different distros out and see which one fits you better. I have tried a few, (RedHat, Mandrake, Suse, Fedora Core 2, Slack), and my preference has been to Slack. I had always heard that Slack wasn't for beginners, but I haven't had a bit of trouble yet, (unless you count recompiling the kernel and forgetting to add a few things). So far it has actually been the easiest to install and configure.

As far as the complications, it depends on what you want to do. To start with, I just repartitioned my winxp computer and put a distro on so i could dual boot, just to see if i would even like linux. Well, i got addicted, and now i spend quite a bit of time just trying to find new things to play around with. I have converted several friends and family over to linux, and they all enjoy it too.

Join the club on not knowing much about linux starting out. I can't speak for others, but my experience with linux was that i didn't even know what it was when i first heard about it. The best way to learn, in my opinion, is to jump in and play around with things. Go through some installs, and configurations, you might have to do this a few times with a few distros, and you will eventually find the one that is right for you. My opinion only, others might disagree, but i would either repartition your current pc or if you have another one, use it for linux, but don't get rid of your windows until you feel comfortable with linux.

And you have already found the best place for help when you need it. The people here are awesome, and there is no such thing as a dumb question. (By the way, if you are interested in trying slack out, here is a site which helped me out tremedously thanks to Shilo and all the others who contributed.

or here is the thread here that a lot of people have helped with.

Good luck to you.
Old 10-07-2004, 01:42 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Germany
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Welcome to Linux!

I agree, SuSE seems to be the most beginner-friendly distro. It was my first and I had some problems with it, but with the great help all over the net it was easy to get around.

I can't say it's a very good distri ... but it's the one would recommend for beginners.

Greetings, Sascha
Old 10-07-2004, 03:36 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Philippines
Distribution: Slackware
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my first distro was suse, redhat, slackware, debian, mandrake and now back to slackware i think i'm gonna stick with this distro. many people said it's a hard distro but for me i find it a lot easier than other distribution. though the setup program is like an ms-dos program and doesnt have a very good graphical interface like the one in redhat and mandrake, i found simple and easy to grasp. i also like the packages it includes. there are may configuration that you need to do manually with a text editor but it's really effective and actually gives you more control on the program. linux is linux i'm sure you'll find a distro that will fit your type.
Old 10-07-2004, 09:51 AM   #6
David the H.
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I cut my Linux teeth on Mandrake 9.0, because my research said it was a very user friendly distro. And it was, for installation anyway. It was even easier than Windows to install. But after that it started to get more frustrating. Of course I was a newbie, but it seemed to make a lot of my attempts at configuration and personalization more difficult than they should be. The worst frustration was the RPM dependency hell it kept inflicting on me. And upgrading to new versions required installing everything all over again. After a few months I had enough of it. By then I felt comfortable enough to tackle the supposedly difficult Debian installation procedure. And it was difficult, but not impossible. Once I got it installed though, it was much easier to deal with. Apt doesn't have RPM's problems and I can do much more with it. But I guess you could say it's not a newbie distro. Actually the strongest point going for it is that it doesn't make things too easy. Having to get in and research and do things the hard way had me learning more about how Linux worked in a month than I did during almost a year of using "user-friendly" Mandrake. I don't regret the early struggle at all.

Anyway, I guess the real point is, if one distro doesn't do it for you, you can always try another. Check out the Top 10 Distros on Distrowatch. Then just pick one and go. Stick at it and eventually you'll find one that will suit you.
Old 10-07-2004, 10:03 PM   #7
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What exactly is Linux? What makes it so special compared to Windows and the MAC OS.
Old 10-07-2004, 10:14 PM   #8
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What is the most User-Friendly Linux. I've heard a lot about linux and I am interested but I virtually don't know anything about Linux besides that it is an open-source OS and that it is pretty complicated.
I am going to suggest the Knoppix Live CD as the most user friendly version of Linux because you don't even need to install it to use it.
What exactly is Linux? What makes it so special...
To me the GPL is what makes it "special". Thousands of people working for the public good? That's special.
But you are probably actually asking what makes it different. That is best to see for yourself.
Maybe you will like it and maybe you will not.
Good Luck.
Old 10-07-2004, 10:52 PM   #9
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Philippines
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Originally posted by XenoForce
What exactly is Linux? What makes it so special compared to Windows and the MAC OS.
it is for me the fastest developing and growing operating system. do you know how many programmers contribute in each application project?
Old 10-07-2004, 11:09 PM   #10
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Is Lunix an OS that lets you script? What exactly, in material form, is it?
Old 10-08-2004, 01:43 AM   #11
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: U.S.
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
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Linux is an OS, the same as Windows is an OS, Unix is an OS, etc. The reason many people like Linux is:

It's free.
It's stable.
It has many available programs.
Open Source
Endlessly Customizable

Linux is a standard for an operating system. There are many different distributions available, but they are all inter-compatible, mostly, because they all have some variant of the Linux kernel, which is the core of the operating system for Linux.

You can try to get some more info about what linux is exactly.

As for easiest distribution, definitely the one that runs from a CD, as you don't have to worry about installing it. I personally started on and still use Mandrake Linux ( and I have never had any serious problems with it nor have I found it hard to use.
Old 10-08-2004, 03:39 AM   #12
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: SUSE 9.1 Pro and Debian Testing on Server
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IT depends on what exactly you are interested in Linux for. Xandros and Linspire are like Windows and Mac OS X, very little command line involved (they are both Linux Distributions), or else you can use ones like SUSE, Slackware or Debian, which rely a bit more on the command line. Another good way to learn about it is to visit the different distros home pages ( , , , Distrowatch covers them all very well...and is a good place to learn about Linux in general. You could also pick up a good book.
Old 10-08-2004, 07:45 AM   #13
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: slack 13; I've used it all :)
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the thing you have to do with Linux is throw your windows frame of mind out the window. Remember that the file system is a little different. This will most likely not be an issue if you are just a normal desktop user.

As far as distro go, they generally fall into 2 categories: ones that do things for you (hardware detection, gui tools for configuration, gui for package management). Distros in this category include Fedcora Core, Mandrake and Suse. There are tons of variations on these out there. Then there are distro that require you to edit configuration files by hand to get some things (or everything) to work. Distros in this category include Gentoo, Slackware, and Arch.

Also, there are to 2 main desktop envirnments, Gnome and KDE. Both have their pros and cons. Check out their websites. This could greatly influence of distro as some concentrate on a certain one.

Overall my advice would be to get one of those, linux for dummies books and then go to town. don't be afraid to break things. And remember, USE THE WEB AS A RESOURCE FIRST. Their are tons of manuals, articles and forums out there to check out. This is how I learned Linux. I dumped windows 2 years ago and have never looked back.

Last edited by justin_p; 10-08-2004 at 07:47 AM.


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