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Old 04-10-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Which Linux distro?

First- this thread shall not degrade into a holy war.

Now, the last time I dicked around with Linux was back in '95-'98, before all the fancy desktop environments were around, when it was basically just something you ran on a server to pool 3 or 4 dialup modems together to create a high-speed internet connection and then share (via coax 10base2) it to a bunch of other machines. At least, that was my intro to it.

So I'm pretty out of the loop on the new stuff. New being anything that's happened this century. I've got kind of a hair up my *** to play with it again.

On my primary machine, which normally runs XP, I wish to repartition the drive (I've got 100Gb free, of which I can probably spare 50 or so) and set up a dual-boot configuration. The question is- which one of the hundreds of distributions out there should I get, and why? Some of the popular ones I've at least heard of (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, Debian) but most are just totally foreign names to me.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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Since you are new to linux I would reccomend trying out Ubuntu first. They have a live cd so you should start with that. Use it for a few days and then if you decide you like it install it. If you do not like ubuntu check out Kubuntu which uses KDE instead of GNOME as the GUI. Feel free to ask any other questions. I have been using Linux since 2001 so I got a fairly good grasp of it.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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Ubuntu ftw for newbs
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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Actually, I have run Ubuntu off the Live CD in the past. It's how we brought up a test platform in the lab to run some new exciter software on. And it was horrifyingly painful. Slooooooooow. Not that there's anything wrong with the OS itself I'm sure, just running it off CD sucks. (The scary thing is, I was the "expert" since I actually knew how to use the shell. Most of the guys there mistook it for DOS, and then withdrew in horror as they know nothing but Windows.)

But seriously- what about the Ubuntu distribution makes it either better or more newb-friendly than any of the others? I'm trying to learn the nuances here.

I don't really know enough about the GUIs to be bigoted one way or the other, just seeking opinions on which package, as a whole, is going to be most satisfactory from a user standpoint, without being impossible to install.

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Old 04-10-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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ubuntu has a pretty decent package management system compared to all the other distributions, that usually makes it pretty painless. It also has pretty good out of the box hardware support, and its really ready to go after an installation. Its more turn key then anything else. Suse used to be the other turn key distrib, but ubuntu just got better at it. I think its also based on debian which gives it a leg up.

Personally I am a FreeBSD *****.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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Ubuntu is the most window-esqe setup for all the reasons mentioned above (ease of use, easier transition for non-linux users). Hell, they did a study where they had Ubuntu stood up on a PC and had all the users thinking it was the new windows. Everyone loved it.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:01 PM   #7
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Ubutnu has the easiest package manager for a newb. The core of Ubuntu is based of Debian so the .deb packages have been around for years. Installing new programs tends to be the hardest part for people new to linux. Ubuntu with its GUI program called Aptitude makes installing packages a breeze. Other then that most distros now adays are user friendly. It more comes down to personall prefrence. I myself use Gentoo, but thats because I enjoy haveing complete control over my install.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
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I'll add yet another post about Ubuntu being easier because of it's packet manager. I put Ubuntu on out desktop for awhile so my GF could do her programming at home instead of the computer lab at school. I was a bonehead and fucked up the dual boot and ended up just booting Ubuntu...figured it was a good excuse to get more familiar with a linux console.

It did everything I needed it to do (after much frustration) except full screen flash on my TV. I even finally got extended desktop to work, played HD movies and figured out 5.1. However, since I couldn't do full screen flash it wasn't for me. We are back to windows 7 and the lady isn't going to continue with her computer science major.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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So, Ubuntu vs. Kubuntu. Opinoins?

One thing that's important is that I'd like to still be able to run the occasional Windows app. Not dual-boot, I mean natively. I've seen a screen-shot, for instance, of MS Office running "natively" under Kubuntu (ie: not booted into VMware) though I have little idea of how to accomplish same. I'm aware of the existence of Wine, but not at all experienced with it.

And yes, I'm aware of OpenOffice. I hate it. Seriously, the way some of the formulas work in Calc suck ***** and make me want to hurt somebody.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:11 PM   #10
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They are identical, difference is the X-Windows system that you are using. Kubuntu runs KDE, which is my favorite. Ubuntu runs Gnome.

Quote:
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I myself use Gentoo, but thats because I enjoy haveing complete control over my install.

Please tell me your not a Gentoo elitist, I want to stab every one of them in the heart.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:22 PM   #11
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So, no difference in app support between the two?
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post


Please tell me your not a Gentoo elitist, I want to stab every one of them in the heart.
I used to work with a bunch of those guys, i feel your pain.

Joe, I had to run a windows app, cant remember what, and used something called "virtual box" I think. It worked surprisingly well...but this was not a native solution.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:33 PM   #13
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Joe -

Another vote for Unbuntu. KDE vs gnome is a wash in my book; both have their advantages.

If you must run a Micro$oft app, a virtual machine (vmware, etc.) will scratch that itch.

- L
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
So, no difference in app support between the two?
yes sir, they are both identical except the window manager.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:48 PM   #15
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i run most of my servers on ubuntu.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #16
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Ok, I've downloaded Kubuntu and am in the process of doing a backup on my primary drive. Gotta pause for a few moments as I'm working on a new ignition output design for the Megasquirt.

Any tips for the install? I'm assuming I'll have to use Partition Magic or similar to slice off a chunk of my hard drive. Will the installer handle the process of setting up a bootloader and configuring the system for dual-boot?
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:33 PM   #17
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Yes to both.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
Please tell me your not a Gentoo elitist, I want to stab every one of them in the heart.
Nope not an elitist. I actually will not even reccomend Gentoo to most people.

I started using Linux back in 2001ish time frame. Started with Redhat 7.3. I then moved on to what ever was the freshest newest distro. Eventually I tried out Gentoo and just stuck with it. I like the minimalist appeal it has. I was a big slackware fan for a long time, but it was slow with updates, and its package management was weak.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:54 PM   #19
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Well, on the plus side Kubuntu is up and running. Pretty damn easy, actually. The installer took care of repartitioning the drive and setting up the bootloader, and it automagically loaded the drivers for my sound card, network card, video card, USB mouse, etc. I'm writing this from Konqueror.

Can't get my dual monitors to act like dual monitors. It sees that I have two video outputs, and allows me to select settings for each, but no matter what, my screens stay mirrored. I'm guessing someone somewhere has has this problem and it's just a matter of searching.

On the minus side, I'm failing pretty hard at installing any applications.

Can't get Megalogviewer to work. When I click on the .JAR file, it just opens it inside Ark. When I try launching it from a terminal, it throws an error and that's it.

And no luck with MegaTunix either. I'm following the "How to Install MegaTunix on Ubuntu Linux" howto, and it's claiming that there's no make file.

I guess this is how normal people feel when they try to use a computer...


I think I'm gonna try a regular Ubuntu install and see how it performs.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Can't get my dual monitors to act like dual monitors. It sees that I have two video outputs, and allows me to select settings for each, but no matter what, my screens stay mirrored. I'm guessing someone somewhere has has this problem and it's just a matter of searching.
I have never tried dual monitors in Linux before so I am not sure how exactly to set that up. If you search the Ubuntu forums I am sure some one will have a solution for that though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
On the minus side, I'm failing pretty hard at installing any applications.

Can't get Megalogviewer to work. When I click on the .JAR file, it just opens it inside Ark. When I try launching it from a terminal, it throws an error and that's it.
You need to install Java to get the .jar file to run. If you open a terminal and enter the cammand "su" then your root password. Then run "apt-get install java" or something alongs those lines. I am not sure what exactly the java package name is for ubuntu. Once it gets java installed you should be able to run the .jar file.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
And no luck with MegaTunix either. I'm following the "How to Install MegaTunix on Ubuntu Linux" howto, and it's claiming that there's no make file.

I guess this is how normal people feel when they try to use a computer...


I think I'm gonna try a regular Ubuntu install and see how it performs.
Can you post a screen shot of all the commands and the outputs you have run so far in the terminal for the megatunix install? If I see those I should be able to figure out why it is claiming your make file isnt there.

Also switching to normal Ubuntu probablly wont fix these problems. You will just have Gnome as the GUI frontend instead of KDE.
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