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Linux suggestions on install type and sotware

I am considering converting one of my work machines to Linux.

This machine that I speak of is one that I do a lot of work on so I still need to be able to support the software I use for my livelyhood.  It's a P4 3.6GHz so I know it's got enough muscle.

I am a multimedia/web software systems designer.  I use these products daily;
Adobe Products (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Audition, Encore)
Macromedia Products (Dreamweaver, Flash, Authorware, Fireworks, Freehand)
Office 2003
PHP
SQL Server
MySQL
.Net Studio (on occassion)

My question(s) is this.

I've noticed several Linux OS types, (RedHat, Mandrake, SUSE, etc...).
Which one is the preferred type to use?
Are there main differences between the different ones?
What are some suggested software downloads that I should have?
What would be the best windows emulator?
What is the preffered desktop?
I am running a wireless network, are there any limitations?
Any installation issues I should know about?

I've been googling for info but there seems to be so much to sort through that I'd thought I'd post these simple questions and award top points so I can have a clear my conscience for my own laziness. ;)


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alexhogan
Asked:
alexhogan
2 Solutions
 
xDamoxCommented:
The OS you pick will be upto what you like: SuSE 9.1 pro is nice for new linux users has a good feel of
windows also to run your windows applications get: cross over office

http://www.codeweavers.com/site/products/

The best desktop to use would be KDE nice looking. SuSE has a Graphical user interface when installing
you can get live eval which means you can run SuSE without putting it on your HDD unless you like it

SuSE 9.1 live eval: http://www.linuxiso.org/download.php/590/LiveCD-9.1-01.iso

and here are some screenshots:

http://www.macewan.org/menu.jpg
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avizitCommented:
>>What would be the best windows emulator?


The best would be to run VMWARE , http://www.vmware.com/  but its not free , so you may also use "wine" which is fairly good too  ( http://www.winehq.com/ )


>> What is the preffered desktop?

this varies depending on personl taste
KDE/GNOME are nice and beautifiul but they are heavy too. I preosnally have used KDE , then moved to windowmaker ,. trhen to blackbox and now almost settled on fluxbox

>>I've noticed several Linux OS types, (RedHat, Mandrake, SUSE, etc...).
Which one is the preferred type to use?

This again is a personal taste question : anyway you can check
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_10326068.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_20990788.html
and the 1000 or so results you can find by searching EE for "best linux"



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ITcrowCommented:

>> I've noticed several Linux OS types, (RedHat, Mandrake, SUSE, etc...). Which one is the preferred type to use?
I prefer Redhat and SUSE.

For someone from windows background Fedora is best. Driver support is much better.
http://fedora.redhat.com

>> Are there main differences between the different ones?
By loading a widely used core, you can be assured of best help from the users and experts.
Once you load the core (any core), you can add up RPMs to build it up, to get more features.
Redhat 8.0, 9.0 and Fedora seems to have better support, when looking for pre-compiled
packages ( RPMs )

>> What are some suggested software downloads that I should have?
Most of what you will need to play with Linux is all there in installation CDs.
Download installation CDS and also the update CD for that version.

Eg. Fedora:
Download at: http://fedora.redhat.com/download/
CD Images: http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/2/i386/iso/
Updates: http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/updates/

Update Your Linux Build using 'apt-get'
Eg. for Fedora:
http://www.fedora.us/wiki/FedoraHOWTO

>> What would be the best windows emulator?
If you are not planning to go full throttle to Linux. May be you should consider
keeping windows as your main OS on the Dual boot system and then use
'VMware' to invoke linux using Virtual Machine.

Another possibility is to install linux on one box and add the machine to the
network. No keyboard, mouse, monitor. Since you have network going,
use VNC  ( Eg. http://www.realvnc.com/ ) from your windows machine to
start a Linux session ( similar to Exceed or Xwin32 ).

>> What is the preffered desktop?
Gnome and KDE both are good. My preference is KDE.

>> I am running a wireless network, are there any limitations?
As long as your network card is not very latest or not very old, you will be
fine.

>> Any installation issues I should know about?
Installer is very helpful and going by defaults should be good enough. If you
are installing linux on a disk where you want to preserve some windows
data, then pay attention to the part where it asks about creating partitions.
It's simple. Being a first timer, my suggestion will be to install everything
from the installation CDs.

"Partition Magic" is a good software if you decide to resize any partitions,
before installing linux.
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alexhoganAuthor Commented:
Nicely answered ITcrow.
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ITcrowCommented:
Thanks Alex.
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