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Patrick Patience
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Linux...?

Hey all, I have a question looking for your PERSONAL opinion.

My question is, what's the most practical, efficient, easy to use, and simplistic Linux distribution for someone who as never used Linux before, but spends a lot of time on the computer.

I was hoping to try out a distribution of Linux, maybe starting with something along the lines of windows display with a desktop, and some kind of icons, etc.

This question is for BOTH you PERSONAL OPINION as well as COMPARISONS with other Linux distributions. If you're going to suggest a distribution, please let me know, how long, and how often you've worked with it.

Thanks in Advance!

Ryan McCue
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My first distro

I used was Puppy Linux and I found it easy to use.
I've also used Ubuntu, but it's a little harder to work with, but has much more power.
Whatever you choose, try and choose one that has a live-CD so you can try it.
----
Ryan McCue
Current Fav. Songs:

  • Ballroom Blitz - The Misfits
  • Manic Monday - Cyndi Lauper
  • I Don't Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

Patrick Patience
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Okay, thanks.

I've checked out Puppy Linux, as well as Gentoo (bacuase I heard alot about it) Problem with Gentoo is, I burned the live version to disc, and tried to get it up and running, but it kept stalling my dvd drive...there was various download sources for Gentoo such as Alpha, and I forget the rest, ha, they're too confusing) So what is this difference between the downloads, as well, regarding Puppy Linux, I also checked that out, but I'mn not sure whate exactly to download, can you help me out?

rich.bradshaw
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Ubuntu?

I definitely wouldn't attempt Gentoo until you really really know what you are doing.

Each distribution (e.g. Puppy, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Suse etc) all are essentially the GNU/Linux kernel with a selection of applications. Each distribution has different aims, Gentoo's is to provide the user with unlimited choice about everything, Puppies is to be small and suitable for older machines, Ubuntu's is to provide a desktop that anyone can use.

I would recommend Ubuntu, as it has a large userbase, and helpful forums. It comes with all the software you will probably want as a home user (Open Office, Firefox, etc etc), and is easy to use.

It is a Live-CD so you can boot from the CD without messing anything up. The Live-CD also doubles up as the installer, though I wouldn't install it till you are sure of what you are doing. You will need 2 spare partitions on your drive - the default option is to install to your first harddrive, which probably has Windows on currently.

arqbrulo
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When I was looking around

I found a lot of users saying that Ubuntu is the easiest to learn (more "user friendly"). Also, a lot of people like KDE (Kubuntu), but I personally prefer Gnome (Ubuntu). Now for something small that can fit and run from your usb flash drive, there's also DSL (Damn Small Linux) and Knoppix. The one Ryan mentioned (PuppyLinux) is available as a "portable" version. You are able to run it inside Windows with QEMU (included). Or you can download QEMU separately and use (almost) any Live CD you want, just to try it out without having to restart your computer every time.
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Patrick Patience
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THANK YOU EVERYONE!

I decided to go with Ubuntu, seems like a fantastic system, I'll let you know how it goes once I try the live C.D., but it seems wonderful, and perhaps sometime I'll try PuppyLinux or DSL on my USB drive. Thank agains for your input.

Ryan McCue
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If you do try Puppy,

You choose the .iso from the FTP server which should be something like puppy-iso-1.2.3.4-mozilla.iso
----
Ryan McCue
Current Fav. Songs:

  • Ballroom Blitz - The Misfits
  • Manic Monday - Cyndi Lauper
  • I Don't Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

Buzzygirl
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I think you will like Ubuntu!

HaveSomePatience,

Just so you know, the Ubuntu Live CD needs about 256 megs of memory to run, and it will run slower than if you actually installed the OS on your computer, so if the Live CD seems to run slow, don't take that as indicative of the native speed of the OS.

Please post about your experiences once you've had a chance to use the Live CD. I'm anxious to hear what you think.

chezduong
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Metropipe Portable Private Machine

Try Metropipe Portable Private Machine. It is based on Damn Small Linux (DSL) and runs under QEMU right under Windoz. No need to burn a CD, no need to reboot, etc. Just click on the Windoz batch file after downloading and Linux starts up in a separate window.

Very convenient for trying out Linux. Great for newbies. Leaves no trace.

There is just one caveat, you need a computer that has at least 512 Mb RAM and a processor that is faster than 2.5 Mhz because the QEMU emulation causes Linux to be very slow.

www.metropipe.net Click on Portable Private Machine under Privacy Tools on the left side of the page.

Bahamut
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and a processor that is

and a processor that is faster than 2.5 Mhz
I think you mean 2.5 GHz.

Vintage!

chezduong
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MHz v. GHz

Ooooppppssss. I must have slipped into nostalgic mode for a moment there. Smile

zikarus
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Well...

1. If you once do try out Puppy, look out for the special qemu-puppy by Erik Veenstra. Somewhat like the beforementioned Metropipe stuff but smaller in size and more up to date (e.g. Firefox 2.0.0.1 if I remember right)...

http://www.erikveen.dds.nl/qemupuppy/index.html

Bootable like the normal stuff but including an .exe which you can run under Windows too! Just unpack the download (link under 3.1.) to your stick...

2. A real great and fun to use Linux is the new sidux distribution!

http://sidux.com/

Quite new - the very promising follow-up to the well known Kanotix with a very active community and a nice look and feel.

Only downside: You need to 'really' install this Linux to your flash drive (Burn the download to a CD, boot from the CD and use the installer included - but be sure to have your stick (or partition) formatted to the ext3 file system before you give it a try). The Lite version of sidux requires 1,2 GB, the Standard edition about 2,1 GB. So you should not care about space to much when deciding to use this one Wink

3. Another great one is the Backtrack 2 distribution which includes a lot of very interesting forensic tools. The Final version is close at hand. Right now one can download a last Pre-release (somewhat the third beta) here

https://offensive-security.com/bt2-pre-release.iso

To make this one run from an USB-stick is very very easy and needs no more than around 650 MB on your stick and no CD-burning (like the Puppy-stuff) - just have a look here:

http://backtrack.offensive-security.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

and follow the link to the 'Changelog' and then another link to the 'Easy USB installation' guide. Works like charm. Some more eye candy when you run the command 'leetmode' in the shell after the boot has finished...

BR
zikarus

PS. 2. and 3. are very up to date with 2.6.20 kernels and FF 2.0.0.2 etc. pp.

BigD
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MEPIS for me, and BeaFanatIX as a little one

After experimenting with quite a lot of distros, I have repeatedly come back to SimplyMEPIS 6.0 (soon to be 6.5) - see http://www.mepis.org/ and http://www.mepislovers.org/ - for my production desktop systems and server. It uses KDE (which I much prefer to the more rigid Gnome), has superb hardware detection, and uses the Ubuntu Dapper core and repositories. (Knocks the spots of Kubuntu, certainly!) Comes as a single liveCD, with useful free proprietary stuff already pre-installed, so it can be tested without installation to hard disk.

BeaFanatIX 2006.2 rev 2 - see http://bea.cabarel.com/ - is a slick but powerful little distro which is only a 157MB ISO download. It produces a speedy liveCD which works on very low spec hardware and can be installed to hard disk. It is based on Ubuntu Breezy plus Gnome, some Knoppix stuff and the ideals of the older BeatrIX. And, unlike (the otherwise very good) Puppy, uses APT package management with Breezy repositories.

A couple of crackers!

Patrick Patience
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$...

SimplyMEPIS cost money? All I found, if not, link me please. And as for Ubuntu, I can't seem to burn it to disc properly, the .iso file, I hae NTI CD & DVD Burner 7. There's lot of Choices, like Data, Back=up, etc. Which do I use to burn?

BigD
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Absolutely no $ or £ required!

Unless you wish to buy a subscription, SimplyMEPIS can be downloaded for free.
See 'Free Downloads' and the mirror sites mentioned at: http://www.mepis.org/node/1462

You would want to download one of the ISO files named something like: SimplyMEPIS_6.0_i386.iso

Also, SimplyMEPIS 6.0 has featured several times over the past few months as a distro on some of the DVDs (or CDs) given away free with Linux magazines.

Buzzygirl
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Ubuntu rocks.

I use Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) on my primary computer (I have a separate computer with Windows XP that I use for work). I had used other varieties of Linux in the past, but gave up on them because they either wouldn't play nice with my hardware, or something critical just wouldn't work.

I got a new computer late last summer and had it spec-built by a local shop. I requested the shop put no OS on it, because having heard so many positive testimonials about Ubuntu, I wanted to try Linux once more. I am very glad I did. The whole OS took 20 minutes to install, it comes with hundreds of programs, and I had to do very little tweaking to get everything the way I wanted it.

I cannot overstate how much I like Ubuntu. Not only is it an "it just works" operating system, it's also well-supported by developers and the Ubuntu community via the Ubuntu forums. It is so easy to install new software via the Synaptic package manager (I'm not a command-line guru, and have only had to use it a couple of times in the past six months).

As far as I'm concerned, Ubuntu (and Kubuntu, if you prefer the KDE interface) makes desktop Linux a reality for lots of people who might otherwise not bother with any distro of Linux.

Patrick Patience
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Cool, thanks...

IT WORKS. Biggrin Now, I'm gonna go dig up an old computer to install it to. Thanks everyone! I chose Ubuntu BTW.

Buzzygirl
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Ubuntu CD

I actually ordered a CD from ShipIt.com... they're free, but they take about 6 weeks to arrive. If you would rather not wait that long, there are excellent instructions on how to burn an Ubuntu CD at this link:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

Ignore the stuff about "MD5 Sums." You'll need an 80 minute disk (700 MB) for the burn.

Once you've burned the CD, you can easily check its integrity by following this link:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/CDIntegrityCheck?action=s...

Buzzygirl
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Good luck!

I'm interested to hear your thoughts about Ubuntu after you've had time to check it out. I feel it's a great operating system and certainly the easiest-to-use Linux distro that I've come across.

Patrick Patience
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Since....

Since Ubundu wouldn't load onto one of my machines...I'm trying to do the live C.D. on my laptop. Except, I can't get it to boot from C.D. When i go to the Boot Options...There's a list that looks like this.

Hard Drive
CD/DVD Drive (Something like that)
Floppy
Removeable Storage? (Maybe)

OKAY CANCEL

How do I apply for it to start from the C.D. it won't save...and I think it did one time, but it said there was an error starting Windows, and my only options were to Start if Normally, With Most Recent Options, Safe Mode, Safe Mode With _____, Safe Mode With _____.

Can anybody help me out here? The laptop is an acer. And for my other machine, even in my computer, when I open the C.D., it says The Device is Not Ready
RETRY CANCEL

And retry won't work, I put in a very recent (4 year) C.D. drive...It still won't work. And my desktop won't support booting from C.D.

Any help? Thanks.

zikarus
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Backtrack2 is final

Backtrack2 is final now

http://www.remote-exploit.org/backtrack.html

@Have Some Patience

Don't get me wrong, but maybe you should try out one of those distributions that run from a stick very easily - like Puppy, MCNL or DSL - and play a bit around with Linux first?

By the way: You do not need to burn that many CD's. Get VMWare or Virtualbox and WinRar (to open the .iso files) and try them out virtually...

BR
zikarus

Espreon
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Puppy is best for

noobs since Puppy can access NTFS formatted hard drives. And besides it is straightforward and ease of use! I think Puppy should adopt a new slogan, A guide Puppy to the Linux world for newbies. Even I admit Puppy was my 1st distro.

Patrick Patience
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Thanks...

I've got Ubuntu on disc, the .iso file, te live C.D. works fine, it's just, quite recently we got rid of a LOT of old computers, a couple weren't bad thought, running 2000. All I've got now are three. One has a trash hard drive, one won't start up, one has Win 98 Plus, but now won't start up. Is there any possible way to load on Ubuntu to my Windows machine, but have the option to switch back to Xp if I wanted?

sergentsiler
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F R E E S P I R E !

i know its a little late but freespire is exactly what you are looking for. windows like icons, ease of use, good for first timers up. download it (if you want) from www.freespire.org.

Zoop

Zach Thibeau
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Then there

Then there is Ubuntummc Right now development is pretty slow as I don't have the high speed connection that I used to have. (yes I am ubuntummc's developer)

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

sergentsiler
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schweet!

sweet dude!

Zoop

Patrick Patience
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Actually, I just got.

Ubuntu 6.06 loaded onto Virtual PC 2007 last night. It runs A LOT nicer than 6.10 on virtual PC, where I had some major problems with graphics, and I had to follow a tutorial to change the graphics. But it never ran to well for me in Virtual PC, wheras 6.06 does great! I actually checked out the name in your link yesterday for the Ubuntu MMC and it seems pretty cool. I'll try to see if it works in Virtual PC sometime.

Zach Thibeau
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Well

Well it's still RC1 I'm setting up QEMU on my usb drive and installing it there so I can continue to develop it every froday (as thats how I get to a computer with high speed (Next release I am hoping to have a full feature menu that will make it run like a true multimedia center.

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

nanobreaker
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Freespire eh?

I think it's really cool that Freespire legally licenses codecs and software to make it easier for the end-user. How would you say Freespire stacks up against Ubuntu?

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There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't. - Anonymous

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