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Linux -> What version

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posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 02:34 PM
I no doubt think that this will spark off an enormous debate but here goes! Recently I have attracted to the idea of using Linux as I look more and more into the world of open source projects and have decided that maybe now is the time to investigate Linux. My only issue is that with the millions of different commercial and free (ish) versions available on the internet:

Which version do I go for?

At first it will only be used as a fileserver (not for any important data and it can be reformatted many a time until I understand as much as I need to) and as a platform for me to start my understanding into the world of Linux. I have tried knoppix and whilst it was probably fine for the purpose I wanted to know everyone's opinions.

Also, the documentation to accompany the version is rather key as I will be starting from scratch, whilst I am not a novice user (I class myself as intermediate (high ish up) -> think what you want to compare [or ask questions to evaluate yourself, I am not afraid to say I do not know/understand]) I need the documentation to aid my learning, for instance surrounding a load of files is making the files!?!!?!?

Anyway, let the prophecised flood begin!

posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 04:41 PM
If you want good documentation, ease of use, lots of features, and pretty much 100% usable out of the box - then I would suggest using SuSE Linux.

Novell, the people behind SuSE have just brought out a new version; version 10. I have not actually tried it as of yet, the last version I used was 9.2 - but that was really good and prefered it to Windows XP.

The only gripes I have heard about SuSE Linux 10 is that it does not come with DVD Playback and cetain audio playback (such as Quicktime) out of the box.

The thing with SuSE, is that it comes in either a free version or a commercial version. The commercial versions comes with stuff such as Acrobat, RealPlayer, etc - but these can be installed on the free version afterwards anyways. I don't know if the commercial version has the DVD Playback and that out of the box, not too sure on that, but it's pretty simple to get working anyways - just need to install a couple more programs.

If you after a complete package out of the box, with a paper based book / documentation, I would say go for the commercial version. This will set you back around £50 (roughly $80). The free version is complete though, just doesn't include those commercial plugins by default and doesn't have paper based documentation.

The other suggestion, is Mandriva Linux. I think version 2005 is the latest, although 2006 should be out soon (if not alreeady). I have used 2005 and didn't like it that much, only because of the default installation it gave me, like the graphical look. After changing some settings, it's fine.

Mandriva I think is just as good as SuSE, basically just a matter of personal opinion I think.

The last one I will mention is Fedore Core 4. This is basically RedHat (so very mature), but using the latest software - a lot of it still in beta stages though. Have a read up on it and see what you think. All 3 of them are perfect for your needs though.

Many people mat mention Linspire, and although I haven't personally used it - I don't like the sound of it. Please somebody correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds to me like it's trying to be something else other than Linux, which I think is wrong. Linux is great, it doesn't need to pretend it's Windows or anything else.

In conclusion, the distributions I think you should look at are:

* SuSE Linux 10
* Mandriva 2005
* Fedora Core 4

Try and get the latest [stable] version of whatever one you pick.

I have been using Linux for about 4 years now, and I will love it - no matter what anyone else says. So well done for choosing to explore Linux. If you don't like Linux after using it, fair enough... Everyone has their preference. It's nice to hear people wanting to give it a try. I know a lot of people who have never even used it, or even looked at it - but still bash it.

posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 04:53 PM
I'm personally using Debian 3.1 (not 100% on the version, but it's one of the most recent ones). I've got it running as a database/web server for internal project management, although as a desktop/workstation it's as good as just about any Linux I've ever used.

Like MetalHead said, just make sure you get the latest version of whatever flavor you choose. If you aren't going to be delving too deeply into the kernel specific features of Linux, then for the most part they're all the same, different flavors just provide different software packages with the distributions. Even then most of them offer the same (or similar) packages, and most of what they offer is freely available anyways.

To make things easier on yourself though, I'd definitely go with one of the more popular distros--Debian, Mandrake (Mandriva now?), Fedora, SuSE, etc. The main reason is because they have their own packaging formats--deb, rpm, etc.--and the more popular a system is, then the more software will be packaged in that format. Granted, you still have zip archives you can work with, but still...

I know I probably didn't help much, but that's about the best I can do

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 10:08 AM
Thanks to the both of you. I will download one in the next few weeks however I am a little busy at the moment (hence the lateness of this reply). If any other opinions come to anyone then please offer them!

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