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Old 10-20-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Which Linux should I choose Linux Desktop, File Server (Windows Network) Etc

Hi I'm new to Linux and although I've had a few experiments with linux in the past I've never stuck with it. Usually because I've hit a brick wall in what I've wanted to do.

I'm a newbie
Want to do the following:
  • Linux Desktop
  • File Server for Windows Network
  • MySQL Server
  • PHP WebServer

Yes for a Newbie I am certainly trying to run before I can walk but these are the final goals. From From Day one I would wish to do the first two items. The second two some time in the future.

Your help would be much appreciated.

Philip Bailey
Old 10-20-2010, 04:22 PM   #2
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Most any distro can do these things. Everyone will spout off their favorites (use Debian, it's the best! - no really. ). If you know someone using linux, you might pick what they're using so they can help you out. Otherwise, go to and use one of the top 7-10 distros. Try a few of them out in virtual machines for a couple days.

I started with Red Hat 9, then tried Slackware, Mandrake, and then Debian. Debian just felt *right* to me.

Howtoforge has a lot of great tutorials on setting up different types of servers. If you go with Debian, there's a lot to learn at aboutdebian. It's centered more on server setup, but Debian works just fine as a desktop, just like any other distro.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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I will second what pljvaldez said. Any of the major distros should do what you want.

I started with Slackware, learned how to do what I wanted to do with it, and it's still my favorite.

I also have a laptop and netbook with factory Ubuntu that both work just fine.

I ran Debian for a while and really liked it, plus I've distro-hopped Suse, Mandriva, CentOS, and some others--I did like CentOS. Suse and Mandriva, not so much, but it really is a matter of personal taste--all the distros did everything I asked them to do.

The task that I personally found most difficult was getting Samba to work for me as a file server for Windows, because Samba is so big and offers so many options. Samba by Example guided me to success. When I got a samba configuration file that worked for me, I saved it in four different places and have recycled it ever since.
Old 10-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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In all honesty though I'd say use anything except Mandriva that appeals to you. The only thing I have against Mandriva is that it has very specific configuration tools, and the distro itself is in a state of turmoil right now, so if it does go belly up you'd be having to learn a whole new set of tools should you decide you like linux.

My personal favorite, at least for desktops and my file/print server is Slackware, but it's not for everybody. I like Ubuntu fine also, it's generally a good desktop in my experience, but I would use something between 9.04 and 10.04 since Ubuntu is known for instability at first release and 10.10 is just a few weeks old.
Old 10-23-2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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Thankyou everyone
Using Ubantu 10.4
See my new post : Need to dance the Samba!!!!!!


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