Linux distros?

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Best linux distro?

ubuntu
16
42%
mint
2
5%
fedora
4
11%
red hat
0
No votes
debian
3
8%
gentoo
1
3%
openSUSE
1
3%
puppy
1
3%
other
10
26%
 
Total votes: 38

speedster217
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Linux distros?

Postby speedster217 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:36 am UTC

I'm currently using windows xp, but I'm thinking about trying out linux, just to see what its like. Anyone got any tips for a linux newbie or any recommendations on what distro I should be using?

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zed0
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby zed0 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:21 am UTC

For a newbie I'd suggest Ubuntu, because they set up a lot of things to "just work" and the support forums are pretty good, but I would by no means say it was the "best" distro.

Personally I use Debian but that's mostly for legacy reasons. If I reinstalled now I'd probably go for Ubuntu with a different window manager.

speedster217
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby speedster217 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

Well, I was actually thinking about Linux Mint, because isn't it basically ubuntu with a lot of extras prepackaged? Like the ability to play mp3 & wma files, which is what i would need since I'm switching over from xp.

SpookyAction
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:25 pm UTC

Re: Linux distros?

Postby SpookyAction » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:41 pm UTC

Ubuntu is a pretty great one to start off with, it's what my brother uses, and one of the best things it makes easy for you, at least, from switching from XP, is the way that it handles packages (basically, programs, and related things). It has an integrated program where you can browse programs, and install them in a single click. As Ubuntu is based on Debian, it does it also, and I believe Mint does as well. I personally preferred fedora, but I couldn't use it on my machine, so that's mostly based on a first impression. Looking at the vote above, I would discourage you from using Arch or Gentoo, as they're a bit focused on the command-line, which you might want to learn in another distro before choosing one like that.

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TaylorP
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby TaylorP » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:10 pm UTC

I don't use Linux as my main OS, but I do have an Ubuntu virtual machine for when I feel like playing around with it. Ubuntu is great if you're not too familiar/comfortable with using terminal, and prefer to have a more graphical Linux experience. As a Linux newbie myself, I'd definitely say that Ubuntu is a good starting block if you'd like to get into Linux.

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undecim
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby undecim » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

Go with Mint. It's Ubuntu without the BS (i.e. "unity")
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Pseudoku
Posts: 28
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby Pseudoku » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

Of the distros I've tried, Fedora has my vote, even if I'm still getting the hang of Gnome3.

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Readout
Posts: 54
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby Readout » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:38 am UTC

The first question here is: What is your opinion on docks? If you're the type of person who gets along with them, go with Ubuntu for first time totally newbie-friendly. If you want something slightly less handholdy but still easy, Fedora is a solid option.

If you don't like docks, and you want something that is nice and friendly for a new user, my recommendation would be Kubuntu, which is simply Ubuntu with a KDE desktop. It's nice and simple and just works (mostly) but doesn't have the pain of a dock interface, which I personally hate.

Personally, I started with Ubuntu, tried Fedora and Mint (neither really ever made an impression on me, and I personally never got on with Yum, which is Fedora's package manager) and have now moved to Arch with an xfce desktop which is great and super-customisable, but not really newbie friendly. My best piece of advice would be install K/Ubuntu to begin, then when you're comfortable enough in a Linux environment to maybe try something more adventurous, stick a virtual machine on your computer and try out some other distros until you find one that you like.

--edit--
Oh, and install VLC as your media player and you won't have to worry about codecs for DVD/MP3 support (assuming all you want to do is play them rather than manipulate/create them).
Anyone who can identify the language these people are really speaking wins three internet cookies

webgiant
Posts: 252
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby webgiant » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:18 pm UTC

My personal favorite so far is Ubuntu, with Medibuntu installed as a repository for all the "restricted extras". I've tried RedHat/Fedora variants and find the rpm package manager more difficult than deb. Debian is out because they're even more "free" (annoyingly so) than Ubuntu. Arch and Gentoo sound like good concepts but they also sound like a pain to implement and maintain.

And if you use Linux for any length of time, install Swiftfox, which is a Linux i686 compile of Firefox. The default Firefox for Linux uses the i386 architecture, which works but doesn't work as efficiently as Swiftfox on a high-end processor. They include a few command line commands to get it installed properly but its mostly cut-and-paste (you have to decide whether your processor is just i686 or Prescott, and usually its just i686).

Unparallelogram
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby Unparallelogram » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:11 am UTC

I currently use Ubuntu, and I would recommend Ubuntu to people as a good choice for a first distro. In particular, the useful features for your case are:
* good hardware support out of the box
* large community of support
* codecs and such are in the repos

Most things will be the same regardless of distro. The choice is not as important as you might imagine, in most cases.

webgiant
Posts: 252
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby webgiant » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:33 am UTC

Unparallelogram wrote:I currently use Ubuntu, and I would recommend Ubuntu to people as a good choice for a first distro. In particular, the useful features for your case are:
* good hardware support out of the box
* large community of support
* codecs and such are in the repos

Most things will be the same regardless of distro. The choice is not as important as you might imagine, in most cases.

Well, in my experience the distro does make a difference because distros are created with target user bases in mind. Arch and Gentoo are not for beginners. Ubuntu Netbook is not for Netbooks (not yet anyway). Debian is not for people with huge collections of MP3s. RedHat is not for people who get annoyed at the words "dependencies not found" (and if they've made rpm more like apt, please let me know). And so forth.

You are correct that Ubuntu is a good first choice, because anyone who would use another distro has been using that different distro for years, and you can pry Slackware out of their cold dead hands.

Unparallelogram
Posts: 336
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby Unparallelogram » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:28 am UTC

I should have qualified that statement. Source based distros are another story entirely. Starting off with Gentoo or Slackware is probably a very, very bad idea.

I think I should have said, "modern distro with package manager and repository support". At that point, relatively few things need to be installed independently, and even then there are usually scripts or external repos for it.

After that, it's mostly the same kernel, mostly the same stack of software, and mostly the same environment that will run most of the same things any other distro can.

PhDP
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Re: Linux distros?

Postby PhDP » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:27 am UTC

My vote goes to Fedora (Gnome3 !). I really like its philosophy: cutting-edge, a focus on upstream changes, great selection of packages for software development, and I use RPM fusion to play mp3.

That being said I also like Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Arch, Gentoo, RedHat, etc... What makes Linux so great is diversity. Take that Apple :

speedster217
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

Re: Linux distros?

Postby speedster217 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:46 pm UTC

Thanks for all your replies! I'm currently using Linux Mint because it has the support of Ubuntu, but without all the untested gimicks.


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