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Old 02-07-2006, 01:31 AM   #1
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Hi, I am new here and this is my first post. I have been using Windows XP all along and wanted to try Linux. What flavour of Linux should I install? My friend suggested Ubuntu.
Old 02-07-2006, 12:27 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2005
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try SUSE / Mandriva --> First Recommendation
Ubuntu --> if you fell for the hype
Fedora --> my favorite

don't expect your videos/audio to work out-of-the-box
expect some installing/configuring

Edit: i almost forgot ... Linspire!
Old 02-07-2006, 11:51 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2005
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ubuntu is a good way to go.

Try live-cds before you start installing

Old 02-08-2006, 02:21 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: England, South East
Distribution: Fedora
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give parsix a try its a debian live cd (runs straight from the cd) with gnome and a nice set of desktop apps, and if you like it you can install it to your hard drive.
Old 02-08-2006, 07:07 AM   #5
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You will get various recommendations because our preferences differ. Personally I think Suse, Mandriva, Fedora Core or PC Linux OS are good distros to start with.
Old 02-08-2006, 08:35 AM   #6
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Lists pros and cons for major distributions. Distrowatch is a good place to learn. Asking this question here is going to lead to a range of responses. My suggestion is to read a lot first, then pick a MAJOR distribution that is geared to desktop/personal use. Do not pick an obscure distribution or one geared to advanced users, because you will have trouble and find getting help difficult. Ubuntu is my personal favorite, followed by MEPIS. Lots of people get started with Mandriva. Those can all be had for free. If you want to pay, you can look at Xandros or Linspire.
Old 02-08-2006, 12:14 PM   #7
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My answer is... "several!"

First of all, buy a second hard-drive for your machine. This gives you plenty of space to scribble in, without doing a single thing to your Windows installation. You can select any hard-drive as your boot device. It's very important that, whatever you do ... while (True) { .. .. .. .. .. } .. to Linux, you still have a known-good installation that you can fall back to.

(My main machine happens to have three hard-drives. Splurge. They don't have to be the newest or the biggest or the fastest; they can just as well be "cabbaged" from an older machine.)


Once you've gotten yourself into that position, then the best way to learn Linux is simply to ... install something, and stare at it for a while. Kick the tires. Explore. Start asking dumb questions here. Read some manuals. Try to do something and watch the sparks.

"Give yourself a break... you are learning something totally new." On the one hand, Linux is extremely similar to what you know; on the other, it is altogether different. Linux is considerably more advanced than what you are used to, in some ways. It's gonna look very similar and then really surprise you, often without warning.

Keep a diary. On paper. And pencil. Write down what you learn, write down your questions as soon as they pop into your head (now you won't forget them and you can let the question go).

Good luck. You're among "been there, done that, doin' that" friends!
Old 02-08-2006, 05:32 PM   #8
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Shetland
Distribution: PClinuxOS, Suse 10.0, Mandriva, Alinux,
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As a Newbie also I would recommend SuSE or Mandriva, they are easy to install and use. Suse is my preference but like someone else said, try a few. I found SuSE 10 recognised all my hardware no bother and I easily set up a USB modem for my broadband connection. then I went to this page followed the instructions to add mirrors and download some stuff like Adobe Accrobat, Thunderbird, Java, etc. In the 9 months I have had it I have never had a freeze up or problem of any kind. I chose the KDE over Gnome and like the feel of it. When you first get to desktop the Icons look huge and it all needs to be customised to suit, this agian is easy via Control Center. I got the 32bit version from a mag for 3.99 5 cds or 1 DVD instead of downloading. It has tons of stuff I will never use, there is an automated update every so often just like XP. hope this was helpful ?
Old 02-08-2006, 05:51 PM   #9
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As a newbie, I would recommend you take the following two quizes which might help you pick a distro to start with.

Debian is my ...
Old 02-08-2006, 05:59 PM   #10
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not fedora unless you want to spend ages making mp3 playing etc work. even though it should work straight away in any distro worth it's salt.

slackware if you a steep learning curve. but want to really learn.

ubuntu if you just want to dive in. great hardware support. kde and gnome - you can install kde on ubuntu without having kunbuntu....bad brown themes.... silly names...

biggest ting - linux is not windows. dont expect it to be the same...
Old 02-08-2006, 06:31 PM   #11
Registered: May 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Debian Lenny
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I would say Mandriva, SuSE's YaST (it's system mangagement and software installation program) feels very slow. Also if you have a wireless network card, Mandriva has a very nice implementation of it. Also if you use Mandriva PowerPack it will install ATI/nVidia's proprietary drivers automatically
Old 02-08-2006, 08:25 PM   #12
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My advise to people that want to learn Linux is:

1. Start off with a LIVECD like Knoppix, Kanotix,or PCLinuxOS to get a feel for things.
2. When you are ready install a reasonably newbie friendly distro.
Mepis, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, SUSE and Xandros are good choices.
3. Set up a dual-boot. That way you can boot into Windows when you want and use Linux when you want.
4. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about Windows.
5. Start with a clean slate and an open mind.
6. Accept the fact that the CLI is far more flexible and powerful than a GUI. Learn how to use it.
7. Read the man pages for the various programs.
8. Read ALL of the documentation available for the distro you choose.
9. Accept the fact that it takes time to learn a new system.
10. When trying to address a problem or figure something out:
a) search the forums
b) Google
c) Read How to ask smart questions before posting in a forum.
d) Read Getting Linux Help HOWTO
11. Stick with a single distro for a while until you've actually learned how to use it.
12. Do not get discouraged if things don't always work. If something isn't working correctly learn WHY it isn't.
13. Always remember Linux doesn't assume you're stupid, unlike windows.
14. Read RUTE


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