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What's The Best Choice?

Hi!

OK, the time has come for me to get involved with Linux.  :-)  Thing is, there are so many variants out there, and I want to know which to go for.  This is what I want to do:-

1) Firstly, I want to be able to dual-boot into it.  I want choice of Windows as well.  I would be happy to create partitions, one for each, but then what will come with a boot manager that will help me out?

2) I need a variant that is up for running busy HTTP and FTP servers, and that would be secure from the outside world.

3) I need to learn some of the advanced stuff about Linux.  I've done lots of Perl scripting, which should help me a bit, and I understand the CHMOD stuff......what I want is access to the harder stuff as well as the pretty interface (though I don't care if it ain't too pretty!).

4) I would much prefer it if it was one of those free distributions that I can FTP to my machine and burn images for.

So, what would anyone consider the best choice?  I like the look or Redhat so far.  It looks to do what I want, but any red herrings I should be aware of there?

Thanks a lot!

Jonathan
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jwcs
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jwcs
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vsamtaniCommented:
The answer to your questions is going to be "take your pick of the mainstream distributions" - they all do what you want, pretty much. RedHat is a good distribution to learn on, because there are so many other people out there who use redhat and can help you. Likewise SuSe, Mandrake, Caldera, and even Debian. I wouldn't let the availability or not of downloadable cd images sway you - go to www.cheapbytes.com to find cheap burnt cds of almost all the mainstream distributions. Spend $10 and you'll be ready to go.

Vijay

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elniniokevCommented:
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elniniokevCommented:
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elniniokevCommented:
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dorwardCommented:
(1) Almost any
(2) Any (some are more secure by default then others, Debian for example).
(3) Any (the cute stuff can be turned off)
(4) Almost any

The best distro is "The one your friend uses" - that was you can get help from him :)

If you don't know anyone who uses Linux already then Mandrake (aimed at newbies) or Debian (aimed at people who want lots of stability) both have good online communities that can help you.
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dorwardCommented:
Of course if you want a really secure system that will teach you lots of detailed stuff you could take a look at http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ - it does take quite a lot of work though!
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mrn060900Commented:
If your in the UK goto www.cheaplinux.co.uk , you can buy 7 different distro's for about #25. Try them all and pick to one your most at ease with :-)

Regards Mike
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jwcsAuthor Commented:
Hi there!

Thanks everyone.  I've actually gone for Mandrake in the end - it looks to do what I want, and someone I know has a copy of that too - while he doesn't use it or know about it, he did say setup was easy and that it did the dual-boot thing fine.

So, thanks for all your help.  I'll award the points to Vijay for being fastest to it and he (or she???) explicitly mentioned Mandrake.  But thanks to everyone else!

Take care,

Jonathan
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jwcsAuthor Commented:
Hi there!

Again, thanks for your advice and for being so quick to it.  Sorry for not being so quick to the points.....  :-)  But they're yours now.

Thanks - take care!

Jonathan
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