General questions about Linux

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by unknown_soldier, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. I want to add Linux to my laptop, but need to keep windows and the files that are currently on this computer.

    Can anyone give me suggestions or the differences between the main Linux versions?
    (Mandrake, Gentoo, and SuSE)
    I want to install and learn Linux and broaden my abilities, but I'm not sure which to start with, and what the differences are among them.

    Can anyone give any help or insight as to which I should attempt first? I would really like to learn and not sure where to start. Can someone shed the light on these three Linux versions? (Mandrake, Gentoo, and SuSE)

    I searched around some more and seems as if Gentoo is harder to learn, but more customizable. I'm fresh and brand new at Linux, but I want to learn it and be able to work with the system. Any suggestions at all? What do the different versions have to offer and what's the difference?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2005
  2. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    The different distros are basically different packaging for the same product. They'll include different programs by default and they have different installation systems and such. Mandrake and SuSE are both pretty easy, they have nice graphical installers and easy program management systems. Of the two, nearly everyone would agree that SuSE is better. Gentoo is much harder to use, no graphical installer and no nice package manager. IMO, it's not worth the time and fucking around it takes to get it setup, but some people like it because it's very customizable and efficient.

    Personally, I'm a fan of Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntulinux.org). It's easy to install and use. Although the current version doesn't have a graphical installer, the text-based installer it does have is very easy and fast (and the next version - which will be released in early April IIRC - promises a graphical installer). It has an excellent package manager (Synaptic), and is based on the Debian package management system, which is much better (IMO - most people would probably agree with me) than the RedHat system (which is used by SuSE, Mandrake and Fedora). Also, things are generally kept in more standard places than on other "beginner" systems (SuSE and Mandrake), so you can edit and configure things by hand and start to become familiar with where things are and how things work on a "standard" Linux system.

    I started with Mandrake (back in the day - '98ish), used SuSE for a couple of years, and have been using Ubuntu for the past few months (I also had a one-weekend experiment with Gentoo, but it made me want to kill small children so I gave up). For a beginner who wants a usable desktop system to learn the ropes on, Ubuntu would be my top recommendation, with SuSE being another good choice. Also, if you want to try Linux out without actually installing it, you can download Gnoppix or Knoppix, both of which are Linuxes that run off a CD without touching anything on your hard drive. Gnoppix is based largely on Ubuntu and uses the Gnome window manager, while Knoppix uses KDE, so they'll look and feel a little different.

    Have fun.
     
  3. hm.. that really does help quite a bit. Thanks for the info. Much better than what I was able to find searching the forums. I welcome anybody elses input
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    If you actually want to learn linux, then you should format your drive and ditch windows until you're versed in linux... You must FORCE yourself to work with linux and not go back to windows until you have either given up for the time-being, or you are comfortable with linux. Don't give yourself the easy way out. The best way to learn is to do everything with it.
     
  5. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    That's pretty much what I did, except that I never actually used Windows in the first place (as soon as I had my own computer it was Linux, my parents have always used Macs, so that's what I grew up with).
     
  6. korrupshun

    korrupshun New Member

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    i agree with ogre on this one, the learning curve is very steep for a lot of people and if you give yourself any outs, then theywill be taken and you wont learn much.....for a starting distro i think it really depends on a few things, how in depth you want to go, how patient you will be with getting things up and running, and what you want to use it for

    personally when i finally got the bug up my ass to learn as much as possible i chose the freebsd distro (i know its not linux but its close enough) simply cuz their book > * (IMO)....it taught a lot of the behind the scenes stuff as well as had a very easy package system (similar to debian distros)

    if you just want something up and running quickly so you can familiarize yourself with the simplicities of the OS i would go mandrake or fedora (fedora has up2date so you dont even have to compile your own kernel....tho i strongly recommend you do...heh) because they basically do all the "hard" stuff for you
     
  7. as soon as I graduate I plan to ditch Windows, but some of my classes require me to use certain Windows programs both in class and out (Access, Photoshop, Macromedia programs, etc). It'd be nice to have a second computer to do it with, but that isn't an option yet. Thanks for all the input and help. Not sure yet which I will choose
     
  8. bleak

    bleak Guest

    I know a lot others won't like hearing this, but I'm a big Slackware fan. Yes, it's a bit more difficult than a lot of the "Windows wannabes" linux distros, but I see that as beneficial if you're really interested in learning linux. I started out with Slackware, and, because it's not as user friendly as some others, I was forced to learn how linux actually works. As a result, I can also easily adapt to other distros, as I'm sometimes required to do in the workplace.

    In short, if you really want to learn linux, don't go with a distro that basically does everything for you (much like Windows).
     
  9. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I say start with Fedora to get up and running. Once you know how to run a linux system, then you can start getting into it's inner-workings -- with Gentoo!
     
  10. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    IMO, learn the command line well before you try to do any adminstration-type stuff with the graphical tools.
     
  11. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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    :werd:

    CLI is MUCH more powerful then GUI.
    Usually I won't even install a GUI on a linux box. Just extra, unneeded overhead. (For servers).

    If it is for personal desktop use, yeah, a GUI is nice. (Fluxbox)
     
  12. are there any websites where I can find basics for understanding and using the CLI? I've never used Linux before, so I'm not sure what to expect. I've only seen it running on a few machines
     
  13. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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    i think this link (http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/cli.html) will help you a lot. read it 1st so you know what you are getting into (not like it is a bad thing, just can get confusing when piping, etc)
     
  14. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Meh, I think GUI admin tools are great for a beginner, but I would agree that it's good to learn how to use the command-line ones as well. Once you have a good grasp of the command-line tools, you'll naturally stop using the GUI tools anyway, since the command-line ones are simpler and more powerful.

    As for resources, www.tldp.org (the Linux Documentation Project) has lots of excellent guides and how-tos that are good for people with all levels of experience. If you ever have specific questions, the forums at http://www.linux-questions.org are very helpful (as is this forum, but there's a bigger linux-using population on LQ).
     
  15. RyanL

    RyanL OT Supporter

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    gentoo... the install will suck and you will hate it... i dont even remember how many times it took me, however, i have never learned so much in my life...

    the gentoo forums are amazing too, they will help you all you need a long the way

    not to mention gentoo will leave you with one freaking fast distro compiled specifically for your computer
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2005

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