Linux


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  1. Super_Six_Two

    Super_Six_Two Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm sure there are some Linux users here, so I need some advice from them. I am looking to setup a sample Linux machine so I can begin to learn it. Anyone have any suggestions on what would be a good version to start with? Ideally I would like to learn about the versions used in the business world. Any advice is appreciated.
     

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  2. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Well-Known Member

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    Ubuntu is the most user friendly, popular and polished Linux distro.

    There are others like Fedora and Debian that are less user friendly but which experienced users can get more out of.
     
  3. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    Pyromancer is right that Ubuntu is the most popular, but it is not necessarily the most user friendly. For a beginner, I strongly recommend starting with a major stable distribution, and preferably with one that works most things out of the box and that shares a certain similarity with Windows (since most people are familiar with windows). At this point in time I would recommend trying out:

    PCLinuxOS 2010 : (Built Penguin Tough
     
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  4. savoxis

    savoxis Well-Known Member Developer

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    If you want to learn the distros used by the business community you should look into Debian or CentOS, I have worked for many a ISP and these are the most commonly used
     
  5. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    One more thing worth mentioning about linux. For year's linux has been an enthusiasts hobby. You always hear from a lot of people that they tried linux and found it too hard or too complicated to get stuff running, so the never tried it again. You also hear from people who tried one distro and their experience with that (usually not a satisfactory experience) colors all linux distributions, so they write them all off.

    Over the past 2-3 years, there has been a major move in the linux world (especially amongst the major distributions) to move toward polish, user friendliness, and systems that work out of the box with little to no user configuration. Linux today is really not what it was not so long ago. the big modern distros are every bit as polished, powerful and able as any of the major commercial OSs (each having pluses and minuses of course). The good thing is that there are so many different distributions and desktop environments, that even if you try one distro and don' have a good experience with it5, you can try a great many others, until you find the one you like best. And best of all, it is free.
     
  6. Super_Six_Two

    Super_Six_Two Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    One other questions, do you recommend trying the different distros on a virtual machine or on its own system? Is one easier or better then the other?
     
  7. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    That depends. some folks prefer one method over another. If you have a testing partition, then VM's might be the way for you, as that will allow you to test the os natively, and you'll be able to gauge true performance. I understand that VM's have limitations and not all distros test well in them. I'm personally not a fan, and think that VM's only really work for advanced users.

    personally I much prefer the live medium, and more specifically a live USB. Performance is almost identical to a native install, but you change nothing in your current system, and install only if you want to. Plus, using a live medium allows you to test in multiple machines or run lots of different distros, while leaving your existing system intact. Live CD's and Live DVD's do the same, but are much slower (and you can't test them on computers without optical drives).

    There are a handful of very powerful distros that are popular but simply not set up for live medium operation. Thankfully there is fewer and fewer of these every day. in these less common cases, your only option might be a VM or an actual install. All of the major distros allow for live medium testing.
     
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  8. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    Very true. Would you say though that these distros are used in the business community more for server work and perhaps back end work (such as running web servers and the like)? I'm not sure that they are as popular from a regular user level, even at a business level. If anything I would have thought something like Red Hat might be more popular in that regard. What do you think?
     
  9. savoxis

    savoxis Well-Known Member Developer

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    All my experience boils down to the server side machines. I personally have not worked in a business environment where Linux was used on workstation (although I can think of hundreds of companies that would benefit)

    I would imagine if a company where to use a linux distribution it probably would be RedHat because of the support contracts available. CentOS however is == RedHat. If I am not mistaken it was developed using RH as its foundation
     
  10. Hangdog42

    Hangdog42 Well-Known Member

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    The only difference between CentOS and RedHat is the trademarks and logos. They are exactly the same binaries.

    I'd add my support to the Live CD/ Live USB stick with one caveat. If you use wireless networking, odds are you're going to run into trouble. A lot of common wireless chipsets (mainly Broadcom) are licensed in such a way that their drivers can't legally be distributed by the distro maintainers. For installation on hardware, that isn't a problem because you can install the drivers after installation. But with a Live CD or USB stick, installing the drivers may be exceedingly difficult or impossible.

    Now that said, UBetbootin is a great way to try out some Linux distros on a USB stick.
     
  11. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

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    trying under a virtual machine is a nice way to go as well, remembering that windows doesn't have good menory management so it kills the performance so you'll think linux is slow when its not. There are plenty of pre-built ones you can just download and run if you go that route.
     
  12. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    True, though recently broadcom finally made their drivers available to the linux community so the most recent versions of major distros are finally coming with broadcom drivers installed. Still, It's good practice to always have an ethernet connection handy when during the initial instal of a distro, just to make sure that you get all your drivers and updates in order.
     
  13. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer VIP Member

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    CentOS is the most popular in the server world at the moment. Ubuntu for the desktop. Mint is an Ubuntu variant which includes proprietary stuff for graphics, dvds, mp3s out of the box (or iso in this case).
     
  14. Cilraaz

    Cilraaz Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I use a GUI-less Debian install for my home webserver/traffic tunnel. I do nearly all of my work on it via SSH. It's been a very stable build for me, going months at a time without needing rebooted. Even then, most reboots are for kernel updates.

    Anyway, I just figured I'd put my vote in for Debian.
     
  15. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    It's a fair bit more than that. It also comes preloaded with more (and in some cases different) software, has a unique (and very aweseome start meu system, a proprietary interface for the package manager that makes downloading and previewing packages much easier, and is generally a bit more flexible than ubuntu in terms of configuring. a lot of people describe it as a more user friendly and more polished version of ubuntu.
     

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