Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

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Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Calavera » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:51 pm

Haven't really messed around with Linux much. Messed around with Mandrake for a couple days a long time ago, but that's about it :mrgreen: Thought I'd give it a try again and wondered what you'd all recommend as a good beginner distro.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Ex-Cyber » Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:20 pm

It depends on what you're beginning at. What is it that you want to accomplish by installing a Linux distro?
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by nymus » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:49 pm

I recommend SuSe.

Speaking from past experience and recent attempts to install Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu...

It works well for beginners and pros alike.

- The installation CD fits on a standard CD (unlike Fedora)
- almost guaranteed to complete the installation (unlike Gentoo)
- has all development tools in the base (unlike Debian)
- retains long-standing unix/linux system administration methods (unlike Ubuntu and others who default to "sudo") and is admin-compatible (not necessarily code-compatible) with online linux docs
- is well documented, supported (by the distributor)
- stable and 64-bit stable (supported by AMD for a long while... if that means anything). They seem to test and patch their software quite well.

I bought a box DVD of SuSe 9.0 about three years ago and used it as my primary OS all that time. Since then, they've changed to OpenSuSe, but the core SuSe seems to be intact. I doubt the Microsoft-Novell relationship has marred the distribution, but it looks like they've found a nice way to deal with oss/free/non-free.

Simple to use system. Simple software installation profiles... It's simple when you want it to be and is ready for you when you want to try/use advanced commands or techniques. Note, however that some licence-restricted software might not be available/available from alternative sources eg MPlayer, MythTV which I'm still trying to set-up.

I think I've found my permanent linux distro.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by butters » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:15 pm

If you are just wanting to play around with the operating system, I recommend using something like Knoppix, which is a bootable CD distro. You don't have to install anything on your PC.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by |darc| » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:09 pm

I'd recommend Ubuntu; it too boots off of a CD and doesn't require installation.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Juan » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:52 pm

(K)(X)Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Nico0020 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:14 pm

I strongly suggest ubuntu. Get the most up to date desktop CD 7.04 Fiesty Fawn. Though it will not be supported as long as Dapper, it is a lot more user friendly. Ubuntu is quite amazing, I never realized unix based OS could be used by the average person by just popping in a CD. You can run it off the CD and if you like it just click the install icon on the desktop and follow the GUI wizard.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Skynet » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:59 pm

I found Suse to be a really decent distro. That and Ubuntu are the two that I've used the most on my home PC's, but I've used RedHat quite a bit while doing a Linux course a few years back.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Chaniyth » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:47 pm

For beginners, I absolutely recommend the latest Ubuntu. For more experienced, Gentoo.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Stormwatch » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:02 pm

From my (admitedly very limited) experience, I'll say: give Ubuntu and Kubuntu a try.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Covar » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:28 am

ubuntu. because gentoo got rid of the stage one install and whats the point of running gentoo if you can't suffer through the pain of compiling your entire system?
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Ex-Cyber » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:13 am

Covar wrote:ubuntu. because gentoo got rid of the stage one install and whats the point of running gentoo if you can't suffer through the pain of compiling your entire system?
You can still do that after install. )()(
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by |darc| » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:13 pm

Covar wrote:ubuntu. because gentoo got rid of the stage one install and whats the point of running gentoo if you can't suffer through the pain of compiling your entire system?
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Covar » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:37 am

|darc| wrote:
Covar wrote:ubuntu. because gentoo got rid of the stage one install and whats the point of running gentoo if you can't suffer through the pain of compiling your entire system?
There's always LinuxFromScratch
yes but i actually like stuff to run on my system.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Stormwatch » Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:26 am

I'm posting this from Ubuntu 7.10, booting from the CD.

Very pleasant visuals. It detected my 1440x900 monitor automatically, whereas XP needs the video card drivers from the mobo's CD. Things either just work or ask your authorization to download a fix, hassle-free. It runs smooth, although it's running from the live CD. It's easy to get new programs. Only problem is figuring out how things are organized. (hint: your old stuff is likely at /media/disk)

Unless you can say "I need this specific app for Windows, there's no Linux equivalent, and it won't run under Wine/Parallels/DOSbox", or "I have hardware for which there are no drivers"... you should look into it. VERY solid option here, must say I'm rather impressed.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by donnonotin » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:26 am

I'm a beginner linux user and I decided to go with Ubuntu because it was pretty much the most downloaded distro (http://distrowatch.org) other than SuSe. Which i used before but didn't like because I couldn't get sound working. When I was first installing ubuntu it was very difficult to configure. (I hate ubuntu's policy with propriety software and "Restricted" drivers.) After I enabled propriety drivers for my nvidia card my video was good. The biggest issue for me was to get my broadcom wireless working and figuring out I needed "ide_generic_all" in my boot sequence (heh)

I would have to say it's the fastest, smoothest, and coolest operating system I've ever worked under. The visual effects of ubuntu are astounding. Really all it takes is the will to ditch M$ and the want to depend of free software. I even got PS7.0 on this bitch, along with Flash and Dreamweaver. My Ipod connects/updates nicely in it with no problem either. Very fast on a 1.9ghz 64-bit AMD notebook... My only problem is that I haven't gotten Adobe Premiere or Encore to function in Wine, my webcam doesn't work, and when I plug my headphones in it plays out of both headphone and speaker. Nothing too major and for the most part I'm just exhausted from getting my video and wireless g working. Too lazy to fuck with the rest of those non-important things.

It's really a learning process, and I really wanted to use something I could grow on. Now that my hardware is all* worked out I'm more than happy I decided to ditch Vista for Ubuntu. It's also more than easy to install new programs with the "Add/Remove" feature or the synaptic package manager...for the ones that don't want to install through the first method.

It's almost like the between from Windows and Mac OSX, but with a heavy pinch of "something new". At least to the regular windows power user..
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by SuperMegatron » Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:15 am

Linspire. Its a commercial distro with good driver support and a program called click and run that allows you to install a bunch of stuff.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Nemesis » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:58 pm

I've been using Fedora for years, and i love it. I had tried ubuntu/kubuntu, but i just didn't like it. The 'yum' package installer in Fedora is very helpful for beginners, and even now as a more experienced user it really comes in handy & saves me time. I really like the balance of flexibility & stability provided by Fedora.

I'm currently running Fedora 8 w/KDE & latest git install of Compiz-Fusion
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Sir Savant » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:52 pm

I've been a Debian/Ubuntu user from the beginning (luck would have it that my RH set didn't want to install while Debian did) but recently I've been pointed towards Foresight Linux. It autoinstalls everything that I was annoyed at having to manually do in any other Distro. Updates are way smaller as they only update changed files in a package, not just the whole package (Conary). It's definitely easier to build a package from scratch. I love it and recommend it over Ubuntu.
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Re: Whats a good Linux distro to start out with?

Post by Stormwatch » Mon May 05, 2008 8:05 pm

Just saw an interesting article... Linux shootout: 7 desktop distros compared.

A common reaction at Slashdot was: Why isn't [[favorite distro]] in this list? Of course, with hundreds of distros out there... still, seems a bit weird that they didn't try Slackware. Also, they tested the Ubuntu 8.04 on beta, yet tested Fedora 8, although 9 will come in a week now. So things seem a bit biased in Ubuntu's favor.
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