To be able answer any of these question, yuo need to know they exist in the first place! How can I decide what I want Linux to do when I don't know what it can do in the first place?
To emphasise my point, I am looking to begin installation of Oracle databases (11g) and Grid Control components on a Linux distribution of one flavour or another. I know nothing about Linux.
As I started my research I discovered that Oracle recommend Unbreakable Linux (an RHEL variant) although the most documented seems to be Solaris.
So I downloaded both to see how each performs.
Irritation does not even begin to describe how I felt when I discovered with both distributions that firstly I had to create a folder structure by hand. I needed to create users and groups and manually assign permissions at folder and executable level (if indeed it is called an executable in Linux) before I could even get the setup routine started. And then I had the problem of the program claiming the wrong OS (read incompatible) was installed and the setup couldn't continue.
As I read through the documentation I could see no problem with what I had done. I am a very experienced Windows admin and equally experienced with Oracle 10g and 11g. So what was the problem? I still don't know.
None of the items on this list are how I would recommend someone new to Linux should begin. Start with understanding what Unix is, understand the command syntax and why things happen the way they do. Then go on to looking at different distributions and the differences between them. Then select the one that works for you.
The bottom line is this: There is no shortcut route to learning Linux in any form. Decide you want to learn it, and then learn it. Personally, I don't know why the Windows method of installation (click a setup routine and install everything on the fly) couldn't be adopted by Linux.
The one thing I did like though is that software couldn't be installed by root. If Windows adopted this philosophy then perhaps there would be less security problems.
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