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Old 11-30-2005, 02:36 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Texas
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which distibution to choose???

I am completely new to Linux and was wondering which distibution to choose (Mandrake, Fedora, ....etc). I didn't know if there was one that is considered more user-friendly for people who know absolutely nothing about Linux. I want to be able to do these things with minimal issues (if that is possible)

- set up a web server
- use a dual-boot system w/windows xp
- set up a LAN
-set up a firewall
-create a database
-use a digital camera

Is there a distribution that someone would recommend for a newbie like me?

Old 11-30-2005, 02:58 PM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Distribution: openSuSE 10
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I'm also new to Linux. I went with SuSE 10, and I can tell you I couldn't be more pleased. Easy install (easier than Windows), found all of my devices, and dual boot was a breeze.

From what I understand reading these boards, Debian, Ubuntu, and SuSE are very good for "newbie" users to set up. Fedora, Slackware, etc. are more configurable for "advanced" users.
Old 11-30-2005, 02:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Bristol UK
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu
Posts: 1,057

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Hello Smoothy04
I am sure that you can imagine that this question has been asked a thousand times before on this forum. The answers are usually:
1 this has been asked before. Have you searched this forum for an answer to your question?
2 there are many distros and many different needs and preferences. Have you tried searching this forum for an answer to your question?
3 what I suggest as the perfect distro will not necessarily be the perfect distro for you. Why don't you try a couple of distros?
4 you can do all of the things you want to do in Linux with any distro. Underneath they are all *similar* (or the same, depending on who you listen to ) Have you tried searching this forum for answers to your specific needs?

Please don't be offended but there is no answer to the "which distro" question. Some are to be avoided if you are a newbie (though a baptism of fire can be a good thing, I think) and some are very "helpful" on setup issues.
I am going to avoid ending with a suggested distro.
Good hunting!!
Old 11-30-2005, 03:02 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Annapolis
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 278

Rep: Reputation: 41

Actually, I'd throw Debian into the "Advanced" user category. Having said that, it sure will do all the things you want to do. Ubuntu is a very good newbie distro and is Debian based so is intrinsically capable of the same things. Debian or Ubuntu, you'll love synaptic.
Old 11-30-2005, 03:30 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, Mandriva, DSL, Fedora, Redhat Entrerprise
Posts: 113

Rep: Reputation: 15
Best advice I can offer is try them all till you find one you like. Suse, Mandriva, Xandros, Ubuntu, and FedoraC4 are ones i would suggest.
Old 11-30-2005, 03:50 PM   #6
Registered: May 2004
Distribution: Slackware / GoboLinux / LFS / VoidLinux
Posts: 107

Rep: Reputation: 22
I would stick to

I believe either Ubuntu or SuSE is best suited, maybe SuSE but you should not forget that Ubuntu HAS a very big and active userbase. It is a bit more complicated than SuSE, I would say so, but it might be worth it (you can switch to debian lateron easily, and if you are familiar with debian, you are familiar with spin-off projects like knoppix, kanotix etc.)

However, and this is my personal opinion, the best distributions for a long term goal are those that are harder, but will be more enjoyable on the long run. (I was unhappy with several things thats why I switched from SuSE back then to debian. And while i dont feel perfect, It works for my set-goals.)
Old 11-30-2005, 04:12 PM   #7
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Ohio, USA
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 464

Rep: Reputation: 30
I was playing around with a Simply Mepis live cd for a few days
and was amazed at how easy a hard drive install was.
If the live cd works well on your system, the install takes less
than a minute of interaction.
Old 12-01-2005, 03:21 AM   #8
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Shetland
Distribution: PClinuxOS, Suse 10.0, Mandriva, Alinux,
Posts: 126
Blog Entries: 1

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Hi smoothy04, I am also new to Linux but tried Suse and Mandriva, could not honestly choose between them except to mention the YAST part of Suse that makes everything so easy to install. Suse 10.0 is great, it detected all my hardware no bother and has so many programs to use. It has automated updates and after adding more mirrors (from article the Jem Report) it is better to use than XP. (in my opinion) I also find that as soon as you install any Linux disto you start learning about your PC, computer languages and the O/S you are using, unlike MS where you are not allowed to look below the GUI. hope this was of some help? Adrian


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