Linux Advice Wanted

GwarGor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
188
What Linux distro would you guys recommend for a first time Linux user? I'm mainly going to use it to learn about Linux, but will be playing ET: Quake Wars with it also. I've very open to start using it for a lot of things, but I'm sure I'll still be using XP32 and Vista64 too(because I'm a gamer). I have the new Ubuntu distro, but want a few opinions before I start. I also have heard of Mandriva 08, but I'm basically clueless about Linux in general.
 

young wing

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
2,552
Start with Ubuntu and DL Automatix. Ubuntu sees my Audigy 2ZS, so audio is never a problem. Installing Nvidia graphics can get frustrating, if you use it.
Ubuntu has goof forums, with tons of posts, wikis and general chat.

http://ubuntuforums.org/
 

spikeyone

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
113
Third vote for Ubuntu. Installing nvidia drivers is usually as simple as clicking a notifying popup on first log-in.
 

digital_exhaust

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2008
Joined
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6,903
Ubuntu is a pretty good distro to start with due to the amount of support and advice available, and as mentioned before, the Ubuntu Forums are huge, and there are a lot of really helpful members there.

I have used and really like Zenwalk, it's pretty newbie friendly, and there is a lot of documentation available for it as well... might want to have a look if something a little different interests you.....
 

GwarGor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
188
Well I'm using an ATI x1900xt and have heard the ATI Linux drivers aren't that great, but I know they did release a new set last month and that there are some open source ATI drivers too.
 

digital_exhaust

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2008
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Well I'm using an ATI x1900xt and have heard the ATI Linux drivers aren't that great, but I know they did release a new set last month and that there are some open source ATI drivers too.

Yep, the bottom line is that ATI drivers, either the ones from ATI or the open source versions aren't worth shit right now. They simply don't work well at all with newer cards. Don't expect any eye candy, at all. There are hackish methods of getting around some of the compatibility issues, but I use the term "hackish" for a reason, and they are methods that will do nothing other than cause new users to run away from Linux like their ass was on fire.

I'm not new to Linux or Ubuntu specifically, and I have had no success getting my X1950pro to cooperate with 7.10, no Compiz, no visual effects... nothing. The really frustrating thing about it all is that I have 7.10 on another machine, using an ancient ATI Radeon 7000, and Compiz runs smooth as glass with no driver issues at all, it literally worked straight "out of the box".

So, if plug and play eye candy is what your after, and you use ATI cards.... unless your ready for a steep and frustrating learning curve, Ubuntu ain't for you...
 

Gigamo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
266
Go with Linux Mint if you want it even easier. It is based off Ubuntu. Also, installing vidcard drivers is np with a program called Envy. ETQW runs like a dream on Linux btw. :)
 

GwarGor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
188
Go with Linux Mint if you want it even easier. It is based off Ubuntu. Also, installing vidcard drivers is np with a program called Envy. ETQW runs like a dream on Linux btw. :)

Well I don't want it to be too easy, because I want to learn the ins and outs of Linux and Ubuntu does seem to be the way to go because of the forums that [ T ] A C O mentioned. I will check out Envy though. Thanks guys great info...:D
 

digital_exhaust

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2008
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Also, installing vidcard drivers is np with a program called Envy

That's true, but they could automagically install themselves and make you a ham sandwich at the same time, and none of that would matter if they don't work..... which is a widespread and well documented problem with Ubuntu and newer ATI cards.....
 

AMD_Gamer

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Messages
18,287
you can get Ubuntu up and running without ever having to touch the command line
 

GwarGor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
188
you can get Ubuntu up and running without ever having to touch the command line

I'm not afraid of a command line(used dos back in the day), but I don't know the language of Linux:), so Ubuntu seems to be what I'm going to do. I have booted Ubuntu from a cd before, just messing around...
 

Jailer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
238
Another vote for Ubuntu. Tons of support out there in the forums in case you get stuck somewhere along the way.

Just set up my first linux box as a file/print server with Ubuntu server 7.10 and if it wasn't for the Ubuntu forums I probably wouldn't have got it going. Tried 3 different distros before I finally got it to work.

Yes, I'm a linux noob.
 

Gigamo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
266
There is no distro in which you will NEVER have to use the commandline. There will always be something. Not to mention that it can be very handy and much faster to do certain things than a GUI as well.
 

eeyrjmr

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Messages
4,363
There is no distro in which you will NEVER have to use the commandline. There will always be something. Not to mention that it can be very handy and much faster to do certain things than a GUI as well.

true, but Ubuntu does a very good job of getting the user use to a non-windows desktop before they may have to goto the command-promp

but yer... its easier in forums/irc to get help by asking to paste a command and report back the output then describe the sequence to go through on a GUI &| screenshots
 

Digital Cro-Magnon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
194
If you want to learn about Linux, try Gentoo or Slackware. It is a good experience, but time consuming for new users of Linux.:D Once you have it up and running, it is very customizable to what you want to do with it.

I am an advocate of using the tools that make you, personally most productive and comfortable. But, I have learned that sometimes command line is the way to go and other times the GUI. I like to use both:)
 

Carlosinfl

Loves the juice
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
6,633
you can get Ubuntu up and running without ever having to touch the command line

So what then would be the point of trying to learn Linux? Your system breaks and only boots in run level 3 and you've rebooted 12 times...now what? Oh yeah. You never touched CLI but you had awesome Compiz installed so it's all good...
 
Joined
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Messages
975
While automatix is great for n00bies, I would not recommend it, it can be a pain to upgrade and can break stuff.

Also folks before you suggest envy give people the heads up when the kernel is upgraded the video card drivers need to be re-installed via envy.
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
Joined
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17,765
I guess I'll be the odd man out here and suggest openSUSE 10.3. It's what I run on 4 of my 5 machines ranging from a P3 800 up to a C2D E6400.

Yes, it is bloated and will run a bit slow on older hardware, but it does get the job done. I really like Yast and the way most of the system configuration options can be done through that.

Personally, I don't like Ubuntu. It seems too limiting in regards to the base install as far as configuration and management is concerned. That is just my opinion, though.

When talking about ATI drivers, I'm not sure what to tell you. I have a 7600GT nVidia in my main machine and it's the only thing I've really messed with for the most part as far as video drivers go. My P3 has a Radeon 8500 in it and I had no trouble with it but it's just a server box and runs headless. I have an XP1700+ with a Radeon 9600XT in it but I haven't really messed around with 3D on it. I had no trouble installing drivers for it, though. My X2 system has integrated X1250 ATI video and I had no trouble installing the drivers for it, but I haven't messed around with any 3D things since it's just my secondary box and mostly just sits there in case I need it. All these systems are running either 32 bit or 64 bit openSUSE depending on the processor.

The one system I have Ubuntu on is another headless system and it's just using the integrated graphics. It's a P3 1Ghz and I think it's an SIS chipset board. I really don't know and don't care as all it does is sit there and run WCG and nothing else. However, after tinkering with a couple of other lighter weight distros, I'll probably end up putting something else on there just because I don't care for Ubuntu.

 

Hiltonizer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
1,202
Ubuntu is the MacOS of linux. If you are looking to learn the real mechanics of linux, I would advise a distro that has a community less proliferated with noobs.

Ubuntu is perfect if you just want to know how to get your mp3's and dvd's working, and rely on precompiled packages within the repository.

If you want to be a mechanic or become familiar with operating linux as a server, just regular debian, gentoo or fedora will have a more advanced community to learn from. Fedora is my personal favorite as it is a good mixture of both ends of the spectrum for me.

CentOS is where its at if you want to eventually operate linux servers.
 
Joined
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Messages
975
Ubuntu is the MacOS of linux. If you are looking to learn the real mechanics of linux, I would advise a distro that has a community less proliferated with noobs.

Ubuntu is perfect if you just want to know how to get your mp3's and dvd's working, and rely on precompiled packages within the repository.

If you want to be a mechanic or become familiar with operating linux as a server, just regular debian, gentoo or fedora will have a more advanced community to learn from. Fedora is my personal favorite as it is a good mixture of both ends of the spectrum for me.

CentOS is where its at if you want to eventually operate linux servers.

Sorry but last I checked debian, ubuntu, fedora and gentoo, all have pre-compiled packages, and try to have as many packages as possible to limit user compiles or simplify compiles. So than my question is how does using Ubuntu make you less familiar with the mechanics of *nix or linux operating systems?
 

:LJ:

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Messages
1,348
Sorry but last I checked debian, ubuntu, fedora and gentoo, all have pre-compiled packages, and try to have as many packages as possible to limit user compiles or simplify compiles. So than my question is how does using Ubuntu make you less familiar with the mechanics of *nix or linux operating systems?

Seconded. There are many advantages to using pre-compiled packages from your distribution repositories, only one of which is convenience/ease of use. Getting up-to-date security updates for every single one of your apps is one - another is the fact that the packages have all been tested and integrated properly.
 

Hiltonizer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Sorry but last I checked debian, ubuntu, fedora and gentoo, all have pre-compiled packages, and try to have as many packages as possible to limit user compiles or simplify compiles.

I agree, I love RPM's personally, but what I was getting at was that not all items are packaged. And especially since the OP is looking to learn linux in depth, he will most likely encounter compiling his own when he comes across something that doesnt have a .deb available.

Trying to do so in Ubuntu will be far more of a nightmare than in the other mentioned distributions, especially where the userbase of the other distros have higher proportions of users inclined to help with such a task.

So than my question is how does using Ubuntu make you less familiar with the mechanics of *nix or linux operating systems?

For the same reason everyone recommended Ubuntu since he is a beginner, it's too damn easy. And that is great, the more people than can use linux the better. However the point I was trying to convey was that there are other distributions more inclined to force you into working at it, which teaches you along the way.

I was also taking into consideration the possibility that he would want to learn linux to use as a marketable skill in the workplace. Might as well get used to whats out in the enterprise, RHES (CentOS), not some FiestyDrakeHog.
 
Joined
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Messages
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I agree, I love RPM's personally, but what I was getting at was that not all items are packaged. And especially since the OP is looking to learn linux in depth, he will most likely encounter compiling his own when he comes across something that doesnt have a .deb available.

Trying to do so in Ubuntu will be far more of a nightmare than in the other mentioned distributions, especially where the userbase of the other distros have higher proportions of users inclined to help with such a task.

1. debian and ubuntu both use debs, and for the most part both exchange packages. Also for the most part .debs, can be used across different debian based distros. That being said, I don't under what in ubuntu would prevent the user from ./configure, make and sudo make install.

For the same reason everyone recommended Ubuntu since he is a beginner, it's too damn easy. And that is great, the more people than can use linux the better. However the point I was trying to convey was that there are other distributions more inclined to force you into working at it, which teaches you along the way.

I was also taking into consideration the possibility that he would want to learn linux to use as a marketable skill in the workplace. Might as well get used to whats out in the enterprise, RHES (CentOS), not some FiestyDrakeHog.

this I will agree with debian taught me the mechanics a lot better than ubuntu at first when I wanted to dabble into linux. However I think that was because I did not rtfm, with debian I did have to rtfm. That being said it is possible to learn the mechanics in ubuntu, I would say I have learnt a lot more in ubuntu, once I grasped the basics of debian based distros.
 

Drudenhaus

2[H]4U
Joined
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Messages
3,126
Sorry but last I checked debian, ubuntu, fedora and gentoo, all have pre-compiled packages, and try to have as many packages as possible to limit user compiles or simplify compiles. So than my question is how does using Ubuntu make you less familiar with the mechanics of *nix or linux operating systems?

Virtually everthing in Gentoo is from source unless it is not open source. Some packages have binaries available (OpenOffice comes to mind) as well as source.

Personally I dislike using package formats like .deb and .rpm as it is a pain in the ass to use across different distros. Typically packages are compiled against a specific kernel and may not work on others (drivers exhibit this behavior most often).

With regards Ubuntu:

Ubuntu doesn't require the user to interact with the CLI nearly as much as almost any other distribution. Learning the mechanics of Linux requires a good working knowledge of the CLI. If you want to learn the "mechanics" of Linux then a good distro to use would be a source distro like Gentoo or if you have alot of time: Linux from Scratch.

With that said, if you are ok with just using the OS like a typical Windows user, go with Ubuntu. If you want to actually learn the workings of Linux then Ubuntu is a poor choice.

P.S. 90% of the Linux appliances I see at work don't even have X installed.
 

ScYcS

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
3,960
Linux Mint is a great starter distro. It takes the fiddling out of installing linux for the first time without cutting into your fiddling desires if you actually WANT to.

I recommend it.
 

ScarsUnseen

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
121
Well, I've been a Windows XP x64 user and decided to dual-boot with Ubuntu last month just to try something new - ah, boredom. Ubuntu was definitely the best way to go - it's very GUI-friendly. After customizing the interface, I must say it's a LOT nicer to look at than XP also. If you'd like a screencap of my desktop, send me a private message. I also learned a lot by using the Terminal program. (It's kinda similar to DOS.) I'd eventually like to learn the mechanics of Linux, but Ubuntu is a very great introduction. I vote Ubuntu. :)
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
975
Virtually everthing in Gentoo is from source unless it is not open source. Some packages have binaries available (OpenOffice comes to mind) as well as source.

Personally I dislike using package formats like .deb and .rpm as it is a pain in the ass to use across different distros. Typically packages are compiled against a specific kernel and may not work on others (drivers exhibit this behavior most often).

Yeah, I know how gentoo works, and how portage works, you make a good point packages are compiled against specific libs, or even the kernel. That being said it saves the user time, and simplifies the process, just because I can does not mean I want to, using portage, and freebsds ports infurated me at times waiting for compiles.

With regards Ubuntu:

Ubuntu doesn't require the user to interact with the CLI nearly as much as almost any other distribution. Learning the mechanics of Linux requires a good working knowledge of the CLI. If you want to learn the "mechanics" of Linux then a good distro to use would be a source distro like Gentoo or if you have alot of time: Linux from Scratch.

With that said, if you are ok with just using the OS like a typical Windows user, go with Ubuntu. If you want to actually learn the workings of Linux then Ubuntu is a poor choice.

P.S. 90% of the Linux appliances I see at work don't even have X installed.

Ubuntu does not take CLI away, anyone interested learning linux can do so, in fact I will make that argument with any 'friendly' distro.
 

Cheetoz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Messages
1,972
then you might as well recommend him LFS :rolleyes:

and theres apt-build if you want to compile
 
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