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Recommend a Linux distro for a complete newbie please..?

Recommend a Linux distro for a complete newbie please..?

Questions and Answers : Unix/Linux : Recommend a Linux distro for a complete newbie please..?
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Message 7177 - Posted: 5 Jan 2005, 9:50:44 UTC
Last modified: 5 Jan 2005, 9:51:03 UTC

Hi Guys

Recommend me a Linux Server distro for a complete newbie please - I need something that will run a Dual Nocona (EM64T) Xeon server / workstation for me with 'proper' server functionality.

Eg. Standard WinServ03 (£458 OEM, bit 'ouch' for what will be mainly a home LAN server..! :-( ) can handle streaming video, plus a whole shedload of other stuff I'd probably never use but it does tweak my interest simply because it's in there...

M$ are now selling a version of WinServ03 called 'web server edition' at a not totally unreasonable price <i>except</i> it is so cut down in functionality one might as well say they pillaged it first. :-(

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Profile Andrew Hingston
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Message 7182 - Posted: 5 Jan 2005, 14:08:17 UTC

As a linux newbie myself, I'd encourage you to jump in and try it - the 10% gain I got running on a P4 made up for a lot of head scratching. It was a bit like going back to the DOS days, though. A much more powerful OS, of course, but you do need to go back to the command line, and things are not always intuitively obvious after Windows.

I took the plunge and bought a copy of Suse Prof 9.2. An extravagance, but worth it for a set of manuals, and two DVDs of software plus a set on CD. I recommend a good book as well though.

I've only run it on one machine, but my impression is that what you get with this distro will be fine for building a network. You can get a free 30 day evaluation of Novell's server package but others will have to advise whether it is worth it.
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Message 8737 - Posted: 6 Feb 2005, 13:07:46 UTC

If you just want to get your feet wet I suggest you try knoppix.de. It will not touch your HD at all but there is a boat load of software on the compressed file system CD. You can try out many things with it. It auto-detects a lot of hardware and thus runs OOTB. This is often a weak point with Linux. Knoppix tries very hard not to alter your HDs. HDs are mounted read-only by default unless you explicitly tell it otherwise. This can sometimes be frustrating for a first-timer that actually does want to alter files, so keep this in mind if you stumble upon an error that your file cannot be written to. It is not a bug, it is a feature!

If you are really serious about going the Linux route I'd certainly suggest Debian or one of its descendants (Ubuntu, maybe, which might fit your situation). It is just the best and most powerful distro going forward. It is not always easy to set up at first. But maybe go to your local LUG (Linux User group) and ask for help installing.

Do not hesitate to ask me personally -&gt; http://home.arcor.de/leggewie has my contact details.
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Message 8747 - Posted: 6 Feb 2005, 17:39:49 UTC

I like knoppix too, it was what helped me to decide to use linux. I personally think that you can't beat the Fedora/Red Hat route though, especially if you're a linux novice. Really easy to install and learn to use, and when you want to install/uninstall software, you just use the rpm -ivh and rpm -e (I think...) commands to do it. There's also at least 4 different programs available on the installation cds, to do any given task you might want to do. But it doesn't come much easier than fedora, in my experience.

Just beware that with (certain?) 2.6 kernels in many different linux distros, you get problems with samba, the windows filesharing service.

A fedora-specific issue is that you need to install an mp3-codec to get mp3 music to work.
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Message 8897 - Posted: 8 Feb 2005, 8:01:59 UTC

i'd go for knoppix! i've been running knoppix for close to 2 years now. started with it being a complete newbie. i think it's the best distro to start with. you should have no probs, and it comes with lots of software.

recently started with ubuntu. sofar... not sure. it comes with too little installed, and i think that in the end i don't like gnome too much (altough it was the main reason to give ubuntu a try).

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Message 9398 - Posted: 16 Feb 2005, 15:25:11 UTC

I recommed you to go little by little. Start with Mandrake 10 with KDE.
The reason for Mandrake is becouse it's very simple to install.
The reason for KDE is becouse it's graphical interface it's very similar to Windows.
I think this is the easear way to start. After you feel comfortable try other distributions and move the one you like most.




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Questions and Answers : Unix/Linux : Recommend a Linux distro for a complete newbie please..?

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