Learning Linux

Hi, i wanted to start learning Linux, but i'm not sure where/how to start.
first, there are so many different linux out there (suse, debian, fedora, redhat) and i don't know which one to choose.
and i also not sure which one is more suitable to be use as server, which one for developer..
can anyone brief me about them? and give me some recommendation?
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ahoffmannConnect With a Mentor Commented:
> The choice is normally a personal preference.
full ack.

Use knoppix if you want to get full overview with tons of applications, or use ubuntu if just want to have full working desktop. Do not start with debian or gentoo as linux novice. Don't use SusE or RedHat if you plan to switch to another distribution later. Use SuSE or RedHat if you need professional support. Use Linos if you're familar with lot of restrictions and problems like you probably know from m$. Use Puppy Linux if you want a full working one in your pocket (fits on small USBs).
That are my 2 pence about experiance.
best you get a live CD of those you're interested in and compare them yourself
Your question is tooooo vage to give you a description here.
Some people recommend to start using live CD from http://www.knopper.net/ .
InNoCenT_Ch1ldAuthor Commented:
....err... what do u mean by a live CD?

well, basically, i just need some advice from the experience user where/ how they start learning. which 'version' is best suited for developer (Java)...
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InNoCenT_Ch1ldAuthor Commented:
and does the knopper.net have english version?
pjedmondConnect With a Mentor Commented:
A live CD is a CD that you stick in your PC and it runs a Linux distribution without having to install anything on your system. Although this approach is not perfect, and has performance issues (Accessing a CD is slower than accessing a ard drive), it does enable you to try a linux distro by merely downloading and burning the image to an iso.

Knoppix (as already suggested) is considered to be one of the premierliveCDs, and does have an english version:


or if you prefer german;)


Other LiveCDs that you may wish to  try are listed here:


Avoid the specialist distros to start with. Best ones to try initially are probably:

Suse - Live Eval
FreeBSD Live

as these are the more 'mainstream' and well known distros. If you feel in need of something a littel different, then any of the Desktop distros will do. Trying any of the other specialist distros will probably put you off!

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Best I read the Q!

>first, there are so many different linux out there (suse, debian, fedora, redhat)

Yes - there are loads!:


>and i don't know which one to choose.

The choice is normally a personal preference. Most distros are much the same. The difference is normally the interface, management utilities, and method of installation. The underlying kernels are based on the same source code and many of the 'core' packages are the same. I'd always recommend choosing a 'mainstream distribution as a beginner, because more people are familiar with it and it will be easier to find people that can help you. (However, the liveCD approach already mentioned is an excellent way of getting a 'taster' of what Linux is all about).

Fedora Core is probably one of the 'most appropriate' distros to start with as it is closely allied to RedHat (which means that you are gaining skills which are seen to be directly transferrable to a commercial system). There are also a range of 'clones' including White Box, CentOs etc. All are very much the same and skills are directly transferrable.

>and i also not sure which one is more suitable to be use as server, which one for developer.
>can anyone brief me about them? and give me some recommendation?

As to whether a linux system is more suitable for a server, or a developer, depends on what additional modules you install. Most mainstream distributions, as part of the initial installation, give you a choice of packages appropriate to either servers/development etc.

Fedora Core does this nicely.


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AutogardConnect With a Mentor Commented:
"Don't use SusE ... if you plan to switch to another distribution later."


Ahh, I get it.  Because once you've used SuSE you'll never want to switch to another.  *smile*

Seriously though InNoCenT_Ch1ld if you are wanting to learn Linux and use it for development/server and you are already familiar with a Windows environment you should definitely give SuSE a try.  There is a free download at www.opensuse.org.
> .. used SuSE you'll never want to switch to another.  *smile*
probably one reason (I was adicted to for roughly 10 years), but once you have SuSE, you have configured your systems and apps, and you try to move away, you need to forget what you learned about (*your*) system configuration and probably it gets difficult to migrate your data. And if you have security issues, you're lost in nowhere, sometimes, unfortunately (waiting for a fixed bug in ssh for more than 3 month for example is definitely a no-go for me).
Not that I recommend not to use SuSE, just some things to know about.
And I won't tell you what you'll find if you look at some of the (system) scripts. Some are realy horrible from a security point of view /-:guess that the term "script kiddie" gets a new definition there:-/

2 more pence ...
Wow 4p - ahoffman is being really generous today:)

As you can see (or at least will discover), everyone has there own preferences, and there is no substitute for trying out the distros and seeing which you like. You'll find when asking this type of question that some people get really fanatical about the 'best' distro. All have their use, at least to someone.OK, it takes time to download the distros, but on broadband, you can set that up to happen overnight.

For the record, I'm a RedHat fan......but only because I know that serious security issues get fixed almost immediately, and I have access to commercial support if I need it.

If after a few years you find that you don't like the distro that exist, then you can always make your own:)

2p for ahoffman (I don't want to see him out of pocket)  ;)

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veedarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
For an exclusively server version of Linux you may want to take a look at the Linux SME Server from http://contribs.org

SME is designed for ease of installation and administration. Ideal for users with little to no Linux experience. All admin tasks are performed via a web interface.

SME was developed to operate within a MS Windows client network. SME can operate as a domain controller, file, print, ftp, web, email server etc. SME is well documented with active support forums. I use it in practice and can highly reccommend it. SME traces it's roots to Red Hat Linux.

Good Luck an welcome to Linux.
InNoCenT_Ch1ldAuthor Commented:
>>Good Luck an welcome to Linux.

Thanks ;-)

well, I think i will give Fedora a try first.
tks everyone!
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