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Old 09-15-2007, 10:31 PM   #1
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which distro

hey guys, I'm new to Linux well not really I've used Ubuntu before for like 3 weeks when my windows pc stopped working, i need help on picking out a Linux distro. should i get Slackware 12 or backtrack 2?

sorry if this question was already asked its just its late and i'm tired and too lazy to search sorry lol
Old 09-16-2007, 01:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Devilszomg View Post
sorry if this question was already asked its just its late and i'm tired and too lazy to search sorry lol
Yeah, it's definitely been asked before.

I'd recommend Slackware or Gentoo. But then, maybe thats just because its late, and we've all answered this question a thousand times already.
Old 09-16-2007, 03:25 AM   #3
Bruce Hill
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I like Patrick New's answer.

If you want to learn Linux, get Slackware. Search these forums and the internet, especially with <Linux> - Google Search. Some day in the future you'll be glad you did.

If you just want another GUI operating system like Windows, that isn't coded well but tries to do everything for you in the background, don't get Slackware. You'll just whine and rant and tick off old timers who could have helped you learn about Linux and computers using Slackware.

P.S. If you've only used *buntu, you are new to Linux ...
Old 09-16-2007, 04:20 AM   #4
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I'd stick with one of the main distributions - have a look at the distributions section here and go for one with a lot of threads ... Slackware I guess!

You could do what I did (many years ago) and go with SuSE - lots of GUI handholding until you're comfortable with command line and editing confs but it does make it harder in the long run to really understand Linux - if that's what you want to do.
Old 09-16-2007, 05:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Devilszomg View Post
i need help on picking out a Linux distro. should i get Slackware 12 or backtrack 2?
What type of person are you? Someone who likes to mess around with stuff or someone who likes their computer to mostly "just work" so you can spend your time to do things with it instead of fixing things not working on it?

Also, do you like Ubuntu? It's a very nice and polished dist so there is nothing wrong with staying with it if it meets your needs.

I will also give you one very clear recommendation. Whatever you do, stay away from Gentoo. This is coming from a 5-6 year user of Gentoo as the main distribution. Gentoo has a lot of merits, but the problem is that they have a huge flaw in how updates are made that WILL break your system every 6-12 months, usually exactly when you need to do some actual work. The flaw is that updates are done
Install new package -> Remove old package -> Fix what was broken by removing old package
instead of the much better and logical
Install new package -> Update system to use new package -> Remove old package

The irony of it all is that Gentoo already for years has everything it needs to do things the second way, there is just a complete lack of interest from devs to actually fix this flaw (in fact many think its a user error to not first do a large search on the forums & mail lists before making any upgrade to any package, even on "stable"). Another way to put it is that the average Gentoo dev is horribly out of touch with the average user of Gentoo which unfortunately is much more difficult to "fix" then a technical problem.

Last edited by Stedevil; 09-16-2007 at 05:33 AM.
Old 09-16-2007, 07:39 AM   #6
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yeah this question comes down to how you want to use your computer. do you want to get your hands dirty and learn everything about linux? use slackware. if you want it to just work so you can use it, use one of the ubuntu distros or mepis or pclinuxos.

slackware is a great distro and it comes with everything a new user would want or need to do daily stuff but even though it has all that you still need to know how to get it to start the gui interface and stuff like that where as the others listed do that already.

slackware isnt easy to keep updated either, it can be done and once you understand how it works, you can do it usually with no issues. the other distros listed all have auot updaters that let you know when an update is available and will get it for you and install it.

so you have to ask yourself, how do you want to use your computer. then the answer will present itself.
Old 09-16-2007, 08:24 AM   #7
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Before we forget, Welcome to LQ.

As a happy MEPIS user, Ubuntu is not high on my list, but if it works for you, why not stick w/ it?

What have you heard about Slackware 12 & backtrack 2 that interest you?
Old 09-16-2007, 09:18 AM   #8
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Please do not think some of us have goofed up because a non-slackware distro was chosen. Sometimes, being able to tell your bosses that you can purchase commercial support is a deciding factor on which Linux distro you get. Sometimes, the vendor of one of your most important applications (general ledger) tells you what os you will use. Sometimes, you use the same OS for sys admin continuity reasons.

I've never used slackware, but this thread has peaked my curiosity that I should get a distribution and intsll it just to find out more.

Please also take into account that some people are easily impressed by a good looking splash screen -- I'm not immune -- when really it is the stability at the core that counts. I get it. However, I believe it is better to get the Linux culture going in your environment, no matter which distro is chosen.
Old 09-16-2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Stability at the core can be at odds w/ having the latest ver. of software. Usually, this is thought of as being a server issue, but it can apply to a desktop system also.

Case in point: On my desktop I run SimplyMEPIS 6.0 because it uses the Ubuntu 6.06 LTS repositories. LTS == Long Term Support. Long Term Support == security upgrades for 3 years. It does not mean anyone is going to back port OOo ( 2.2 or anything else. That means I have a choice between sticking w/ OOo ver. 2.0.2 - which is part of the original installation, or risking the stability of my system by installing 2.2 from an RPM tarball.

It's not that the RPM tarball scares me -- I have step-by-step instructions from one of the best technical writers I know. In fact I am proofreading those instructions & I want to install 2.2 as part of the process. Fortunately, I also have a SimplyMEPIS 3.3.2 box w/ OOo 1.1.4, so I will do the 2.2 install there.

So even on the desktop there is tension between the goals of "up to date" & stable.


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