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Linux distribution


I need to install linux on a PC, but it's been a while since I used linux. What's regarded as the best distribution at the moment? I've used Redhat in the past, but they seem to have a bad rep at the moment...

el
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I've just installed Suse 9.1 Personal (free iso download) and it went on pretty easily.  That included dual boot, network card, sound card, X, Internet access, mail accounts.  It was about forty minutes from start to finish.  I've used RH and Mandrake in the past.  This is as good as any.

...
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Thanks, I was just looking at Suse's. I'd forgotten about Mandrake, been I while. Redhat's site seems designed to confuse you from finding the download.

Think I'll go for Suse then.

el
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mandrake is probably the easiest to install.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Suse, Mandrake, Debian, and Fedora (Redhat's free version) are all popular right now.

I've heard some very positive things about Mandrake's installer and config, though I've never used it.

I've been impressed with both Suse's and Fedora's install and configs.

If you're really brave, you can always try slackware.  That's what I use for my development boxes.  It's not for the feint of heart though.

KC
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Since you may need to relearn a bit about Linux, you could use Knoppix or one of its variations as a test bed. They have the advantages of:
* Debian
* LiveCD
* Fast installation
If you just want to use the computer as an ordinary user would, then  a distro with corporate support may fit better, like Suse, Xandros or even Mandrake.
Check out the Knoppix forum: http://www.knoppix.net/forum

Dewd
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Do you need Linux or do you need a server? If it's the latter, take a look at FreeBSD or OpenBSD. They're further away from being ready for the desktop than Linux, but they are really good for servers.

Tom H
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

My scale of unix:

Hard core - FreeBSD / OpenBSD
Serious - Debian
Point & Click - Mac OS X

Everything else is just a compromise ;)

m
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Hmmpf! Slackware rules the roost. With swaret*, it's as good as Debian and as easy as Mandrake and no way as bloated as RH.

*Equivalent of apt-get

KayJay
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Hey guys, don't want to start a flame war on which linux is best! Just needed a simple desktop install to run some unix based software.

Anyway, thanks for all the answers.

I'll think I'll check out Mandrake as well as Suse, easy installation saves time.

el
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

all the latest Linux CD iso downloads can be found at:

  http://linuxiso.org

old_timer
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Try Gentoo.  *snicker*

Not for the faint of heart, but cool in a really geekly way.

Aaron F Stanton
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Recommend Fedora Core 2 with the following YUM update modifications:

1. Revise /etc/yum.conf (auto updates):
=======================
[main]
cachedir=/home/yum
debuglevel=2
logfile=/var/log/yum.log
pkgpolicy=newest
distroverpkg=redhat-release
tolerant=1
exactarch=1
retries=20

####################################################################################
[base]
name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - Base
baseurl=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/$releasever/$basearch/os/

[updates-released]
name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - Released Updates
baseurl=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/updates/$releasever/$basearch/

[updates-testing]
name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - Unreleased Updates
baseurl=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/updates/testing/$releasever/$basearch/

#[development]
#name=Fedora Core $releasever - Development Tree
#baseurl=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/development/$basearch/

####################################################################################
[fedora-us-stable]
name=Fedora.US Extra Packages (stable)
baseurl=http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora.us/fedora/fedora/2/i386/RPMS.os
gpgcheck=1

[fedora-us-unstable]
name=Fedora.US Extra Packages (unstable)
baseurl=http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora.us/fedora/fedora/2/i386/RPMS.updates
gpgcheck=1

[fedora-us-testing]
name=Fedora.US Extra Packages (testing)
baseurl=http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora.us/fedora/fedora/2/i386/RPMS.stable
gpgcheck=1

####################################################################################
[livna-stable]
name=Livna.org Fedora Compatible Packages (stable)
baseurl= http://rpm.livna.org/fedora/$releasever/$basearch/yum/stable
gpgcheck=1

[livna-unstable]
name=Livna.org Fedora Compatible Packages (unstable)
baseurl=http://rpm.livna.org/fedora/$releasever/$basearch/yum/unstable
gpgcheck=1

[livna-testing]
name=Livna.org Fedora Compatible Packages (testing)
baseurl=http://rpm.livna.org/fedora/$releasever/$basearch/yum/testing
gpgcheck=1

####################################################################################
[flash-plugin]
name=Macromedia flash-plugin site
baseurl=http://macromedia.mplug.org/apt/fedora/$releasever
=======================

2. Then run these as root:

rpm --import http://www.fedora.us/FEDORA-GPG-KEY
rpm --import http://rpm.livna.org/RPM-LIVNA-GPG-KEY

Then you can install any or all of the following, by running as root
"yum install package-name".  Dependencies will be solved and everything will be downloaded and installed automatically.

hoser
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Maybe they should have timewastix linux.  A distro where you get to configure every single thing down to the keys on your keyboard.  You wouldn't get anything done, but man what an accomplishment getting the pc to work.  Or you could just use gentoo which is almost this bad.

infidel
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Well the thing is that easier to go from RH enterprice to a free Linux then from Windows Advanced Server to a Free Windows operating system.

However you most also consider that if you are running a firewall and webserver any free linux and BSD will do.  Just goto a howto website and do as instructed.

However if you are running some heavy app on a 8 CPU machines and then you have a whole bunch of those. The cost of the OS is peanuts compared to hardware/maintance/electricity/technical support and sysadmins and in those situations you need to be able to sue someone when it goes wrong.

somemorone
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

You mean http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ ??  *grin*

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Opps I awnsered to the wrong thread :(

somemorone
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Infidel,

The term you're looking for is Fritterware. It's where the cusomtizing applications become the focus of the system and you fritter away all your time just rearranging your desktop and doing nothing productive. Many of us get paid quite well to continue creating such things.

old_timer
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I don't know what Mandrake's installer does that is so special, but I really can't imagine an installer more user friendly than Suse's.  Compared to my previous experience with RH 7.3, the installation was almost MS-like in ease. :)

Yet another anon
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Run, do not walk, to http://www.mepis.org/

It is a debian distro. I have installed it 3 times. I have also installed Redhat 100 times. Mandrake a few times, slackware, SuSe, Sun (suse ripoff), Gentoo, Lindows, and some others.

The debian distros are for people who just want to use computer, not tinker with it. If you want to listen to music, watch a move, browse the web, read email ... then get a debian distro. If you are the kind of person who says "isnt' there an easier way to do this" then choose a debian distro.

If you really wanted to learn how to install linux from scratch then use this http://linuxfromscratch.idge.net/lfs/whatislfs.html

Here is a list of distros.

http://www.distrowatch.com/

I highly recommend against any redhat derived distro. Those are for people who believe things should be hard and difficult and only real men should use computers.

Imagine this install process:

You tell your computer to boot from the cdrom. You boot and you have a running system. You then (and this is not really well documented but it's there) click MEPIS something or other and tell it to install MEPIS on your hard drive. You'll have to do some partitioning or can have it do it for you. 10 minutes later you have a running system booting from your hard drive.

And don't even ask about the difference between apt and rpm. No comparison. 

Debian Distros ... I recommened MEPIS.







http://www.distrowatch.com/

me
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

>> <incessant babble>

I've given up Linux, I use only Windows, and I've never felt better.

And I don't care what you think about me.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

"I've given up Linux, I use only Windows..."

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=154868&ixReplies=16

Anony Coward
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

----"the installation was almost MS-like in ease. :) "----

Well it must be much worse than Mandrake, 'cos a Mandrake install is much easier than a Windows/MSOffice install.

The stereotypes were reversed some time ago.

Linux distros are easier to install than the MS equvalents as long as the hardware is supported, and Win 2K is more stable a desktop system than Linux.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Stephen, I guess I've been lucky then, because I've done several dozen Windows installs and never had any problems.  The only headaches I ever had were back in the 3.5" disk days when you had to camp out by the computer waiting for each "load disk X of 25" message.

Yet another anon
Thursday, June 24, 2004

It's not Windows that's the problem (except the hassle of installing the video card in Win9* which was never detected and other plug and pray problems) but Office and other apps, and network printers under Win 98 FE that only pretend to install, or under W2K where you must install for each user.

Remember when you do a Linux distro install you are installing a lot more than the OS.

Office 2000 is a bastard; I once spent three hours installing and reinstalling it on a Win 98 FE machine (a grossly unstable combination). No way could I get it that clip art didn't automatically shut down Word.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, June 24, 2004

"What's regarded as the best distribution at the moment?"

Why oh why did you think there was any chance this would *not* result in a flamewar?  :-)

happy Debian user
Friday, June 25, 2004

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