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robshanahan

Best Distribution For Learning?

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I finally put together all my spare parts into my old gateway comp (P4 1.4, 640MB RDRAM) and have decided to devote it to learning Linux. I burned Knoppix the other day and have been goofing around with that, but since I don't have anything on the hard drive (20GB) worth keeping, I'd like to install a linux distro.

I've been reading all the links (thanks to everyone for those!) on the various threads about different options but I'd like everyone's opinion on the best one to learn first

My initial opinion has been swaying between Mandrake and Fedora, but I've read things that argue for Slackware and Gentoo.

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions!

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If you've never installed Linux before I'd go with Mandrake or Fedora, either are good distros. Go to the hardware compatibility lists of the version of linux that you choose and ensure that your video card, modem, NIC, sound card, etc. is Linux compatible. In other words you've got to do an inventory of the hardware in your PC. Know your PC before you install Linux.

If you have some experience with Linux and are comfortable with the command line then try slackware or gentoo.

Good luck, man:-)

hitest

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there is a big debate on most Linux boards on what is the best distribution to learn Linux on.

here is my opinion.

one what do you mean by learn?

if you what to learn how to navigate then www.knoppix.org or www.morphix.org,. one is gnome based and the other KDE based. but like the standard windows user, running programs does not mean you know anything about the OS. running programs in Linux is the same as running programs in Winders... there is a standard to making GUI based applications. after you run Linux from Mandrake or SuSE (put in the standards here) it will be the same as running winders. the only difference is the name of the applications and the way some work. this is great if you just want to use the computer for the Internet or play music or you know the standard winders things.. but doing all of this will still leave you knowing nothing about Linux. why..

you can run Firefox in winders, along with the GIMP and OpenOfiice. you can even use VI, TED and GMACS. you have access to GCC and KDE and Gnome under windows. there is a bittorrent, GAIM and cdrecord tools also made for windows. so why use LINUX...

this comes to the key answer to your question...

what do you mean by learn.?

If you what to see if a more stable system will run the type of applications you use then fedora, mandrake, SUSe, linspire, sun java workstation are all your choice. they all rate the same.

if you are looking at this as education on how UNIX type OS work and would like to work in this field or just what to be a power user then these are all wrong, (note. unless your like HITEST, who uses these board to help others and help him self learn more.. )

I would go with slackware or Gentoo. while they are "hard" to install this is about learning not something holding your hand and hiding all the magic.

so what is the point. they are all Linux correct? we'll yes.. but if you install Slackware or Gentoo and understand the boot sequence (RC) and you understand how to build a kernel and modules, when you go to work or a friends house and they run Fedora and they can not get there wireless card to work because there is no program to hold their hand, you will understand the steps needed to make it work.

once you learn the "hard" versions, others will be easy. plus why do most IT people who understand Linux like it..

It no because its free. Free means little to an IT pro who just needs to get the job done. I would pay lots of money (or have my company) to make sure my system does not crash and I can go home before 6pm .

so why do we like it.. Its stable but the wrong applications can make it crash like a windows system.

but the key is its flexible. I can make it run with no GUI (talk about a boot to horse power). I can script out programs at the Command line. I have a choice of command line.. don't like bash try csh, or bourn. I can install programs where I need them. no big registry to break your system...

if you really get brave a good way to learn Linux is Linux from scratch. this way you build your own distribution. see why Red hat choose to do thing with RPM's while Gentoo uses portage.

good luck...

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Well that last post just went way over my head...lol

It was greek to me...LMAO

I'm still having trouble with Pong, Ateroids,Pac-man and Defender and you come here talking about this...lol

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Hi Folks,

If you get into some real trouble with Linux we are very lucky to have some Gurus who are logging in here now. jcl, iccaros, and TheLetterK are advanced users that can help you with complex problems. I've known these guys for quite some time, they are the real deal in Unix/Linux.

When I get stumped I ask these guys for help. They are professionals, who give generously of their time.

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They are professionals, who give generously of their time.

Actually, I'm an amateur, and I can afford to give my time freely because it has no value :-)

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They are professionals, who give generously of their time.

Actually, I'm an amateur, and I can afford to give my time freely because it has no value :-)

I'd trust your Linux/Unix advice over some professionals I know, jcl :D Thanks for helping out on the boards, man. We appreciate it!

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this comes to the key answer to your question...

what do you mean by learn.?

If you what to see if a more stable system will run the type of applications you use then fedora, mandrake, SUSe, linspire, sun java workstation are all your choice. they all rate the same.

if you are looking at this as education on how UNIX type OS work and would like to work in this field or just what to be a power user then these are all wrong.

good luck...

I now understand your point, iccaros. I used Mandrake for a week or so and didn't really "learn" anything. There was nothing wrong with it, in fact it was a very refreshing change from XP. However, I couldn't really say I knew anything more about Linux than I did the week before. (probably because everything was working so well, I didn't have any problems to solve!)

So, l decided to give Gentoo a shot. (I was too chicken to try LFS) Wow! I certainly did learn a lot more about CLI and troubleshooting and editing conf files, etc. I wimped out and did a stage 3 install from a LiveCD, so I didn't do any bootstrapping, but I still became more familiar with both Linux and my comp than I did with Mandrake. (I'm really not saying Mandrake isn't worth the effort, I think it's a fantastic alternative to windows.)

Thanks for the encouragement and the push to challenge myself!

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