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Can you recommend a Linux Distribution?

By Gunnar Klevedal ·
Can you recommend a Linux Distribution?

I have one test rig that runs Win2k without problems. P III 733 MHz, 256 MB, 18 GB, NTFS Integrated NIC, graphics and sound, USB 1.1. Swedish keyboard.

1 I will learn PartitionMagic 8.0 by repartitioning the rig. I will have 2 NTFS, 2 FAT32, 1 primary and one extended FAT16, or whatever works. The method will be trial and error. (The manual is 160 pages in PDF).
2 I MUST overwrite every partition / logical unit with zeroes using Killdisk, to remove sensitive data.
3 I have FDISK and FORMAT for DOS 6.2 and Win 98. I have licences for MS QuickBASIC, Turbo Pascal, and Norton Commander 4. I also have licences for MSOffice 4.5, 97, 2k and Borland C++ Builder 1.0. I have licences for Win 3.1, Win 9x and Win2k.
4 The rig is a standalone, has no connection to network or Internet. My other, official, PC has a CD-RW and Internet.
5 I will order a LINUX distribution from Great Britain (no custom fees). The limit is $75, can be pushed. Would you recommend the three best distributions / your favourites? I like command line prompts, but a GUI is always handy. I have not seen UNIX since the time-sharing days in -82, and I have no experience with LINUX. My main interest in this issue lies with Procedural Programming, and small distributions- one or two files. All comments on the other points are also welcome.
6 Gunnar Klevedal

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by Jaqui In reply to Can you recommend a Linux ...

http://www.debian.org

download the stable ( woody ) version.
you only need to download the boot floppy for network install, if you are willing to hook into the net for the few hours it will take to install.

cli installer, and you only add what packages you want / need.
gui is available for use afterwards.
no purchase possible from them.
you an buy burned cdroms from others and get them shipped.

use bittorent or jigdo and download all 7 cdroms of packages to be able to install without going online.

most commercial versions are over 200 USD, so you will only get the download edition of them from 3rd party cd houses.

mandrake, 3 cd download free.
red hat's fedora, 3 cd download free.
suse, 3 cd community version free
slackware, free download, not sure how many cds
xandros, 1 cd, free community edition, but not any real console mode support. ( it's designed to be winders on linux, just as linspire [ aka lindows ] )

distrowatch.org
linuxiso.org

( maybe .com, it changes frequently )
both have lists of the distros, with links to thier downloadable versions.

but to learn console toolsets with linux, and have full distro, go with debian

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by Gunnar Klevedal In reply to

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by lyon_bleu In reply to Can you recommend a Linux ...

Hi Gunnar,

Windows and Linux are organized very differently, and are more
comfortable with their own file systems. I suggest using PM 8 to
set up whatever Windows partitions you would like in the first 9
GB of the HD, and allowing the Linux installer to take care of
initializing the rest ot the drive, particularly if you are new to
Linux and not sure of what is appropriate for your needs. Just
the same, here is a link to a discussion of some of the issues
and options involved: <http://tinyurl.com/4oc2b>
[continued]

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by lyon_bleu In reply to

I agree with the previous response that Linux is oriented towards
open source software developed and distributed over networks,
and that you shall save yourself a good deal of money, time, and
frustration if you at least set up an ad hoc ethernet connection--
an uncomplicated cross-over cable to an internet enabled
computer would do it nicely--even if you plan on running "off-
line" most of the time. If you need to rely on pre-packaged
binaries distributed on CDROM, you shall miss out on much of
the "flavor" of Linux. (I suppose at one point the same thing was
said about those who don't re-compile their own kernel on a
weekly basis, but we each need to find our own balance between
"fun" and "productivity" :) )
[continued]

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by lyon_bleu In reply to

If you have the patience, a 7 disc Debian distro can be found
here:
<ftp://ftp.rutgers.edu/pub/debian-cd/images/i386>
The ISO image files would need to be downloaded and recorded
to CDR; dboot from disc 1, and follow the directions.

At the other extreme is a single disc distro based on Debian that
includes the essential software for every day use and sofware
development, available here:
<http://www.ubuntulinux.org/download/>. Again, something
like this is much more viable if you can arrabge to be connected
to the internet just for a day or so to get set up and then "cut the
cord," so to speak.

Peace,

paul

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by lyon_bleu In reply to

My apologies for all the typos; I was getting really frustrated that I
couldn't post all 1847 characters of my response at a single go

Peace,

paul

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by Gunnar Klevedal In reply to

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by lyon_bleu In reply to Can you recommend a Linux ...

Hi Gunnar,

If your primary interest is access to Linux shells and open source
tools, you might want to consider Cygwin <http://
www.cygwin.com/>. This would be a good choice if you wish to
recompile Linux software--especially the GCC compiler and
related tools--for use in the "comfort" of a Windows installation.
It is not a good choice if you are interested in the experience of
running and administering Linux.

HTH,

paul

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by Gunnar Klevedal In reply to

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by jmgarvin In reply to Can you recommend a Linux ...

I would check Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.org), Gentoo(http://www.gentoo.org), and Fedora Core 3(http://fedora.redhat.com).

Each of these will work for you, but you have to find the one you like.

Ubuntu and Gentoo have Live CDs. That means you can test the OS, but you don't have to install it.

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