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Old 10-03-2003, 07:54 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
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Which is best?

Iím not a Linux user Yet First off Iím a win-XP user Iíve been using IE. From when it first came out, until that is 6 weeks or so ago when I, stumbled a-pone Firebird, and Thunderbird. Loved it, removed IE, from this box. after the first week of using Firebird.

Iím not even a newbie as of yet because Iíve yet to be born Iím still in the womb sort of speaking. Iíve decided that after reading this forum for the past few days that I would sign up and see if I could learn what Linux is all about. But which would be better Mandrake or Red Hat? Iím leaning more to mandrake 9.1 as itís readily available at best buy. My question is would mandrake be the way to go or would another distribution be better?

Old 10-03-2003, 08:30 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 8
Posts: 25

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I would recommend Red Hat. It was my first linux distribution, and I'm sticking with it. I must admit, I've never tried mandrake, so I can't say anything bad about it. But, I expect it would be any more user friendly than Red Hat.

It's funny that you should mention Mandrake being available at Best Buy, I would have thought that both would, but when I checked I found Red Hat, but not Mandrake.

At any rate, I would recommend downloading Red Hat rather than buying it. You can do that at any of the following addresses:

(note that there are some links to tutorials on iso images at that last url)

you could also download mandrake here:
or here:

I would guess that if you wanted to go ahead and spend the money on buying it in a box it's probably so you could have the documentation and such. I think you'd be better of buying a book on it. Several of them come with cd's with Red Hat on them, like this one:

for mandrake, there's an online book here:

All in all, my advice is, download Red Hat 9 for free, find some good online tutorials and reference sites, print off some stuff if you need to, and you could be running linux by the end of the day. Well ... if you have fast download speeds.
Old 10-03-2003, 08:34 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Currently Suse 11.1 but have RH7,8,9 / Fedora 7,8_64,9_64,&10_64
Posts: 634

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redhat 9 tutorial

with screenshots
Old 10-03-2003, 08:45 PM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
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First, thanks much for the replies and input along with the added links. The documentation is why I wanted to go out of the box. Best buy in Salem NH has 6copies of mandrake 9.1 there currently out of stock of Red Hat." Perhaps another indicator as which way I should go". Iíll take youíre all advice Iíll do the Download for Red hat. Iím on cable so it shouldnít be just fine.
Old 10-03-2003, 09:04 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: May 2003
Location: Malaysia
Distribution: Slackware, LFS, CentOS
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My suggestion is to download _both_. I've got my introduction to Linux in 1998 (IIRC), with Red Hat 5. It was a _major_ pain! It really put me off Linux for years, literally! Then the Linux itch needed scratching again and this time I gave Mandrake a shot.

Mandrake was the distro that gave me faith that Linux is in fact very ready for the masses now. It's just a choice of picking the right distro... so in the end, it's all up to you.

However, in the long run, if you want to learn Linux, get something more traditional like Slackware or Debian. During my Red Hat and Mandrake days I've discovered that I actually learnt zilch from the two because many commands taught in the manual is distro-specific (eg. linuxconf, drakeconf) and not a "standard".

But if just want to "use" Linux, stick with the big three: Mandrake, SuSE, Red Hat.
Old 10-04-2003, 12:59 AM   #6
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: NY
Distribution: RH9, RH8, Slack, Vector
Posts: 497

Rep: Reputation: 31
I have done installs on six completely different hardware configs with RH and have never had a problem. Other Distros have given me issues, but they are excellent learning opportunities ( in hindsight). I think RH would be a great way to go for a desktop. However, It is not the best option for a Laptop, although it works well after some config and i am using it on my lap right now.

After you download it you may be able to pick up one of the books at your local B&N on clearance if your town is anything like mine. I dont think i have ever paid full price for a computer book there, but after reading them certainly would have.
Old 10-04-2003, 02:14 AM   #7
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: cyberspace
Distribution: Redhat 9
Posts: 61

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I would recommend redhat too. I have installed it many times, always went smoothly. Mandrake was a lot more trouble. I would also recommend to try a one-cd live cdrom like knoppix. Give you a flavour of other linux's, more experience
Old 10-04-2003, 04:21 AM   #8
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

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Gungnir - I recommend that you try as many different distros as possible. You would be amazed at the differences between distro A, B, C, etc. Try a bunch of them and decide for yourself which one _you_ like best. All of the previous posts contain useful advice, but I would encourage you to experiment with them yourself, and to do a little comparison shopping. Nothing beats personal experience, that's for sure.

In any case, this is a great place to d/l a number of the most popular Linux distros:

-- J.W.
Old 10-04-2003, 11:02 AM   #9
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Dry, Dusty and Conservative
Distribution: OpenBSD, Debian Wheezy/Jessie
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My 2 cents is you want to get a distro that works for your first attempt. That can be highly dependent on your hardware. All distros have supported hardware links at their sites. Another thing that may help is to post your hardware and if the computer is presently running windows go to the control icons and list the hardware. Your ISP can also make a big difference ie: AOL dialup needs the peng dialer as a patch.

For me, my first distro was Mandrake on a laptop. I read about problems with software modems so I had gotten a hardware modem for the slot. Mandrake found everything. My sense is that most people give up on linux when they can not get something to work and you may actually be dealing with unsupported hardware.

More Examples: Lucent AMR modems entirely unsupported,
Sis 630 onboard video with video bridge in XFree 4.2
required a patched driver
Nvida graphics card require drivers from the manufacturer
and kernel patching
Certain sound chips work best with ALSA drivers
Conexant modems now require a $15.00 driver
USB keyboards require some special parameter be passed
to the boot kernel in some distros.
Old 10-08-2003, 04:21 PM   #10
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 3

Original Poster
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What I ended up doing was downloading both Red Hat and mandrake. On an two year old win2k box. Instead, of using my primary box. Mandrake was nothing short of a horror show, Red Hat on the other hand. Was pretty smooth. Iím just starting to understand the ins and outs of this. all comes together,whatís strange is learning how things are done, but that strangeness blow off after each goal is 60 days after that Iím loading it on my primary box after I remove everthing that is Microsaft related,

Last edited by Gungnir; 10-08-2003 at 04:22 PM.
Old 10-09-2003, 02:45 AM   #11
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 8
Posts: 25

Rep: Reputation: 15
All linux all the time ... that would be nice. Unfortunately I'm stuck with Windows at least until Microsoft Virtual Machine is completely a thing of the past. One of these days though, I'm going to polish my Linux skills and go hardcore ... I'll see you on the other side.


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