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What's the deal with Linux?

Posted on 2004-09-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Hi all,
   I just got a new laptop and i was wandering of a way to put the old one to use, then i came up with installing linux on it to see how it works...
  The problem is first i search for linux and i see some websites trying to sell different versions from $15 - $3000 ( I thought any software assocaited with an OSS was supposed to be free?) and then i see another website where you can download them for free(linuxiso.com). But the problem is there are over 14 different types of Linux.

I was just wandering, which one is the best for Professional (Aspiring) personal use and is "windows-like"?
 I think the most popular ones i've heard or seen is Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE, FreeBSD.

Adecold
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Question by:adecold
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20 Comments
 
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:avizit
avizit earned 320 total points
ID: 11976311
mandrake is quite user friendly too .


also in opensource  'free' is 'free' as in "free speech" not "free beer". i.e you are free to change the code , sell it again , provided you transfer the same freedom to others. ( thats the definition in a broad manner)

while ist slao strue that many such software are also free in cost. but thats not the required quality of opensource software.

0
 
LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:knollbert
knollbert earned 320 total points
ID: 11976334
For a newbie
Red Hat, SUSE, Mandrake are good.  they are relatively easy to use and setup.
RedHat split its free side off its called Fedora.  Its accessible from the Red Hat site.
If you want to learn the ins and outs of linux slackware, gentoo, or debian are good choices

But no one linux distro is better than other in every situation.

The price 15 dollars is probably them sending you a CD.

$25-$3000 is tech support free upgrades for x years help setting up, etc.

Most have free version that you can download
0
 
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
avizit earned 320 total points
ID: 11976373
and oh the usual customary knoppix suggestion :)

you may also try "knoppix"
its lets you try linux without actually installing , its runs off the cd so if you dont like you just take out the cd and reboot

from http://www.knoppix.org/

KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:knollbert
ID: 11976563
Thanks avizit, I forgot about knoppix

adecold:
If you have problems with one of the above installations recognizing hardware
Use Knoppix
Knoppix Recognizes Almost everything as avizit stated and is very useful in laptops.

If you find that you love knoppix there is a harddrive install feature
check out  http://www.freenet.org.nz/misc/knoppix-install.html for a howto
0
 

Assisted Solution

by:Guitarman316
Guitarman316 earned 160 total points
ID: 11976678
I just started a few months back usiing linux. I payed $90 bucks for Suse Pro at Compusa.  It's an extremely easy install, as good or better than windows.  The gui environment is pretty familiar too.  Suse has a live cd that you can download as well for free, additionally their personal edition is free.  It was a good start.

Now I've just finished installing an SuSE Open-Xchange server and am about to bring up a PostgreSQL database server (gentoo linux probably).  Besides application development I don't do anything on Windows hardly at all anymore.  Performs better, it's more stable and you don't have to worry about all those viruses.

Good Lucj
0
 
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:xDamox
xDamox earned 160 total points
ID: 11977415
You sould use SuSE 9.1 it is very user friendly it is also plug and play:

Some screenshots of SuSE in action:

http://www.macewan.org/java.jpg
http://www.macewan.org/menu.jpg

Installation interface:

http://img.osnews.com/img/5157/suse3.png
0
 
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:owensleftfoot
owensleftfoot earned 100 total points
ID: 11977720
No-one mentioned fedora. Im disapointed :) http://fedora.redhat.com
0
 
LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:pjcrooks2000
pjcrooks2000 earned 320 total points
ID: 11978045
I can't really speak for many of the others except debian.  

I prefer RedHat myself as it is probably the best documented of all of them... that is my opinion.

pjcrooks2000
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:xDamox
ID: 11979748
No one mentioned Fedora because its a beta system and classed as unstable its a test bed for RedHat enterprise server
0
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
Karl Heinz Kremer earned 360 total points
ID: 11979818
Good, once I'm not the first one to suggest SuSE :-)

The prices you quoted for Linux distributions contains (as somebody else already mentioned) support, but in most cases you also get additional commercial software that is not part of what you can download for free. You also are paying for documentation. SuSE comes with two excellent printed manuals. What good does it do you if you have the manual on the CD if you cannot get your computer to work?

You can install the Personal version of SuSE for free by downloading an ISO image from http://www.suse.com/us/private/download/ftp/personal_iso_int.html

0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:xDamox
ID: 11979995
The down fall of SuSE personal is that it does not have server or development tools :-(
which means you cant compile your own software you will need the SuSE .rpm's
which you can get off the site you can download the development tools off SuSE's ftp
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11980011
All you need to do is to change the installation source in YaST2 from the CD to the SuSE ftp server. Once you've done this, you can add the additional packages - without having to download them one by one only to realize that you forgot to download a library that they depend on.
0
 

Assisted Solution

by:subsis10ce
subsis10ce earned 100 total points
ID: 11980331
What about lycoris www.lycoris.com
0
 

Expert Comment

by:subsis10ce
ID: 11980357
Mandrake is also a good choice, its up to you what you want to get into. Why not get them all and try them out one by one. Most of them are very simialr sometime being built off one another.
like you said readhat and mandrake are the most popular and well add debian into it. anyways good luck with your choice , if things go well you should appreciate any which distribution you choose.
0
 
LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:pjcrooks2000
pjcrooks2000 earned 320 total points
ID: 11980374
I think we should keep with the main nix's and those that are best supported otherwise we will probably have thousands of versions.

You will notice from his question that he went to (www.linuxiso.com)  and he was confused at that point because it listed 14 different versions.  Also he saw that some Nix's were trying to get money for the product and that frankly except for extended support is not in the nature of how Linux and suchlike were supposed to be.

adecold I suggest you go with one of the older versions or Redhat and not one that asks for some money to be paid up.  You will always get free add ons and utilities from the man redhat website http://www.redhat.com/  and places like ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/ there is tons of advice for would be linux newbies all over the web, so no matter what you want to do you can do it.

So what can you do with it, well why not get a book on the matter such as this one for version 9 of linux http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764539388/104-1783640-6147163?v=glance

I found other nixes do not come with as much support as Redaht but they are all good in their own ways.  I stand by my choice RedHat Linux for you.

Regards

pjcrooks2000
0
 
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
Karl Heinz Kremer earned 360 total points
ID: 11980797
Don't use any old version of RedHat!
Let me repeat this: DON'T USE ANY OLD VERSION OF REDHAT!!!

RedHat is no longer supporting any of it's consumer versions of RedHat Linux. This means that you will no longer get any security updates for your Linux system, which potentially means that you are leaving your system open for known exploits.

THERE IS NO SUPPORT FOR REDHAT LINUX ANYMORE.

Regardless of which Linux version you get, make sure that you keep your system up to date. This is very simple for e.g. SuSE or Mandrake: You will see an indicator on your desktop when new security updates are available.

For a beginner I would strongly suggest to not get Debian. This is a fine distribution, but harder to install and to maintain than other of the big name distributions.
0
 
LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:troopern
troopern earned 160 total points
ID: 11980870
First of all FreeBSD is not Linux. BSD == BSD and not Linux =)

And I don't even need to mention what distro's I think is good for newbies. All relevant distros are mentioned already =)
0
 
LVL 6

Author Comment

by:adecold
ID: 11981019
Thanks all... I think i get the idea..

I'm going to start of with using Knoppix to see how linux looks first.... Then i'll install SuSE... then mandrake.... then anything else...
SuSE was the first i saw and I thought it looked really cool and different

I better close this question before i end up splitting the points among 50 people

Adecold
0
 
LVL 6

Author Comment

by:adecold
ID: 11981226
Pont increase to try to increase individual expert points
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:pjcrooks2000
ID: 11982157
Thanks adecold, it wish nice assisting you :)
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