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Old 10-16-2005, 08:30 PM   #1
howlleo
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Question too much advice- need more.


I want to try using linux because I've heard it gives you more control over your computer and requires the user to be geekier. I'd like to become a computer geek.

I've been asking around for what Linux platform would be best for me: a home user, student, wants it for basic office-type applications, maybe internet, maybe some gaming, mostly for fiddling around to see what it can do and how its different from Windows.

I've gotten suggestions for:

Knoppix- because you can boot it off a cd.

xangros- Home-user freindly.

MEPIS- no explanation or description given.

KDE- user freindly, lots of apps.

Ubuntu- popular. No reason for why given.

Fedora- home user version of Red Hat which is user freindly.

SUSE- reccommended if you are a KDE fan (???)

Debian- good, but Ubuntu is better.

What exactly are the pros and cons of each system, and how are they different and similiar?!
 
Old 10-16-2005, 09:09 PM   #2
Sargek
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Re: too much advice- need more.

Quote:
Originally posted by howlleo
I want to try using linux because I've heard it gives you more control over your computer and requires the user to be geekier. I'd like to become a computer geek.

I've been asking around for what Linux platform would be best for me: a home user, student, wants it for basic office-type applications, maybe internet, maybe some gaming, mostly for fiddling around to see what it can do and how its different from Windows.

I've gotten suggestions for:

Knoppix- because you can boot it off a cd.

xangros- Home-user freindly.

MEPIS- no explanation or description given.

KDE- user freindly, lots of apps.

Ubuntu- popular. No reason for why given.

Fedora- home user version of Red Hat which is user freindly.

SUSE- reccommended if you are a KDE fan (???)

Debian- good, but Ubuntu is better.

What exactly are the pros and cons of each system, and how are they different and similiar?!
Let me answer each quickly, then make some clarifications:

Knoppix --> this is a "live cd" which means it doesn touch your hard drive. No install. KDE desktop.

xandros --> This is a good distro, has some commercial elements, and is difficult to get software for. Easy install. KDE desktop.

MEPIS --> A nice distro, based on Debian, OK install, KDE desktop

KDE --> Not a Linux distro, but a desktop environment.

Ubuntu --> A great distro and based on Debian. Good install. Ton of software available, Gnome desktop.

Fedora --> Very polished, very well built, easy install, Gnome desktop.

SUSE --> Very nice distro, very polished, very professional. Slow as hell. KDE desktop.

Debian --> Great distro, lots of software, advanced install (for noobs), any desktop you want.

Having said all that, you have to ask yourself what you want. Live CD's are nice because you don't have to install them and you can play around and see what Linux looks like. The drawback is that they are slow, because you are running them from the CDROM. If you have a large hard drive, you can install Linux in some free space and dual-boot between your current OS and Linux. I am making the assumption you are running windoze here. If you are running a Mac, I can't help you there, sorry. You can also completely format your entire system, lose everything, and install Linux. Your choice.

Personally, I would try a Live CD first, because you can use them without doing anything except booting a CD. If you choose to install Linux, I would choose a major distribution like Fedora or Suse. I have used both, and they are both good distros. Fedora has an easier install, I think, and is easier (for me) to configure and run. Fedora uses the Gnome desktop, which is very simple, clean and pretty fast.

Suse has a good installer also. In my experience, Suse is very slow. It uses the KDE desktop, which out of the box uses a lot of resources, but is pretty easy to get around in. KDE looks a lot like Windows, so it may be better for you.

As for gaming, don't look to Linux as the ultimate gaming platform. Keep in mind that without commercial software, or some tweaking, you will probably not be able to run your windows games. Food for thought.

People are going to slam me for knocking Suse and KDE, but I am just expressing my opinion. I use an esoteric, source compiled version of Linux which is extremely fast, and my desktop is very lightweight, so my perceptions of speed and slowness are different. Anyway, hope this all helps!
 
Old 10-16-2005, 09:11 PM   #3
mebrelith
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Location: Torreón, Coahuila, México
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Hrmm... too much advice? No problema.

Lets take this step by step.

Knoppix: Is a LiveCD distro, this means you dont have to install it to see whats what. You simply boot your PC with the Knoppix disc in and get working. I recommend this distro mostly for ppl who want to do some fast work on public computers or who need to do repairs. Lots of tools for those purposes.

Xandros: A distro for users who just left their Window$... never tested it myself, so no much advice.

MEPIS: Much live above. Tried once just for fun and nearly burned my monitor. Hehehe.

KDE: its not a distro itself but a Desktop Environment. Great flexibility, great looks and lots of apps. Some distros mentioned use it by default (such as Knoppix, MEPIS, Kubuntu and SUSE.

Ubuntu: the new (well not so new) guy in town thats making a lot of buzz this days. Mainly for ease of use, great support and a nice bunch of apps available.

Fedora: Powerful distro full of options and with a food support basis. I recommend this one for ppl who want to really get started with Linux.

SUSE: recently went open (now is free as speech), nice system tools and a strong user community.

Debian: think of it as the mother of several distros out there. Some ppl say its the one of the best out there, dont believe them. I dont recommend it for starters.
 
Old 10-16-2005, 09:18 PM   #4
titanium_geek
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KDE is a desktop enviorment (the gui bit) - a distro is a collection of different software and the linux kernel.

So, check out these "personality" tests on picking the distro- pick was slightly different for me between both tests- but reccomended distros I use and like.
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
http://eedok.voidofmind.com/linux/chooser.html

this is a summary of the most 'famous' linux distros.
http://www.psychocats.net/essays/whichdistro.php

titanium_geek
 
Old 10-16-2005, 09:19 PM   #5
General
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If you have at least 5 GB of free harddrive space on which to test out a new distribution, I recommend that you try out Mandriva 2006 or SUSE 10. These distributions very easy to install.

You can install both GNOME and KDE desktops to see which one you prefer.

Once you have tried those distributions and desktops out, then head over to Distrowatch and Window Managers for X for more to explore.

The only way to know which distribution and desktop environment is best for you is to try them out for yourself.

Last edited by General; 10-16-2005 at 09:21 PM.
 
Old 10-22-2005, 08:26 PM   #6
howlleo
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Thanks, y'all

What is the difference between KDE desktop and Gnome?

If I download a distro off the 'net, (presumably to my windoze desktop?) how do I then install it to the harddrive? Do I have to burn it to a CD first?

Otherwise I guess i have to order the relevant CDs to test drive them?

Thanks for explaining the differences btwn the distros.
 
Old 10-22-2005, 08:36 PM   #7
shengchieh
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> I'd like to become a computer geek.

I use Xandros and I like it. But honestly, if you want to
be a geek, go with Debian, Slackware, Fedora, or one
of those more "geeky" distro and force yourself to learn.
Xandros, Mepis, Ubuntu, etc. are for beginners.

Sheng-Chieh
 
Old 10-22-2005, 09:44 PM   #8
titanium_geek
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yep, you download the ISO file, to your windows desktop, then... read this howto to find out what to do with it next. If you are downloading linux, then use the LQ iso site.

http://iso.linuxquestions.org

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...iewcat&catid=8

hope this helps.

titanium_geek
 
Old 10-22-2005, 10:07 PM   #9
howlleo
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partitioning



technically I have an old computer I can wipe and install linux on, except that it has Age of Empires installed and I dont want to lose that.

I partitioned a drive once, when my new computer crashed 3 days after I opened the box but that was for one partition. Is there a way to ADD a partition to the drive of the old computer without wiping the current OS, and preferably for free?
 
Old 10-22-2005, 10:23 PM   #10
mcmillan
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I think the differences between Gnome and KDE are a bit superficial, mostly try check them both out and see what you like. I've also heard people say KDE is more windows-like and Gnome more Mac-like, but I don't really see that (the menus by default are on the bottom for KDE and top for Gnome, but that's easily changed and incredibly superficial). I've felt like KDE has more default applications integrated into it while gnome is more flexible.

As for distros, if you want to learn to be a geek then some of the more advanced ones that shengchieh suggested would be useful. I actually think Ubuntu is a good middle ground between beginner and advanced. It's real easy to get a basic system up and running, but there's also a good amount of tweaking to really get everything you'll probably want working, so you also learn how to do this kind of configuration. I've also tried out Mandriva and Mepis. Mandriva was pretty newb friendly for me as a first distro, but didn't really seem like anything too special. Mepis I only tried as the live CD version not installed. The biggest drawback was that I prefer Gnome by default, I actually might test it out again some more when I have more time. The cool thing about mepis is that it can install off the liveCD real easily, so if you test it out and like it you don't need to burn a seperate CD to install it. The best advice really is to try out a couple that seem to interest you and see what you like since it's really subjective.

Most installers let you partition when you're installing, and allow you to resize the current windows partition to make room for the linux partition, but you should be careful and make sure it's doing this if you're worried about losing data. It'd probably be real smart to back up everything you want to keep before you try an install since there's a risk that something might not work the way you want to anyway.
 
Old 11-17-2005, 07:29 PM   #11
howlleo
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Oh, so I dont need to wipe the drive and start over! *relief!*
Thanks!
I ordered Ubuntu for starters, and raided the library for linux books that come with CDs. (so far, all the CDs were missing, but I'm still trying.)

How longdoes Ubuntu take to arrive? ITs been almost a month so far.
 
Old 11-17-2005, 08:48 PM   #12
titanium_geek
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Ubuntu: took mine 4(?) months- and I'm at the end of the earth (Bolivia, South America) pretty cool to look at the round about way it came. Also, they have slower shipouts when they are updating the version over.

Sometimes the librarians remove the cd's to keep them save- have you asked at the desk?

titanium_geek

Last edited by titanium_geek; 11-17-2005 at 08:49 PM.
 
  


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