General discussion


Going to download Linux

By master3bs ·
I'm going to try it again. Its been a few years since I've really used linux, and I'm about to try it again on some computers here at work.

The problem with open source is I'm overwhelmed with my choices. I used Red Hat before and was happy with it. I've heard good things about mandrake and centos too; but nothing specific.

So for you Linux fans; what flavor(s) do you like and why? I'd be even happier if you tell me why and give a url to download; but I can find it if you don't. Thanks!

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by master3bs In reply to Going to download Linux

Incindentally; I've been poking around at which appears to be a great resource for downloading the iso images of various versions. I think I'm going to download red hat first since I'm more familiar with that; but I'm willing to try multiple if anyone has opinions.

I guess linux is one of those things not many techs have strong opinions about though, right? ;-)

Collapse -

Mandrake for ease of use

by geobeck In reply to Going to download Linux

I played around with Linux for a while, and found Mandrake to be very easy to install and use. No need to compile a list of your hardware specs before you start, and you can do everything through the GUI (although of course you have finer control through the command line). It uses RPM packages similar to Red Hat, and has a good support newgroup at alt.os.linux.mandrake (I think).

Not the most powerful distro, but good if you want something functional that won't take forever to administer.

Collapse -

Totally agree

by groenem In reply to Mandrake for ease of use

I tried Fedore Core 3, Ubunto, Red Hat 7.2. Mandrake is easier than those and has its own GUI for configuring your PC. This is very helpful if you are new to Linux or don't want to struggle too much with configuration and typing in commandlines.

Collapse -

I don't know

by master3bs In reply to Totally agree

something may have gone wrong in the installation; but the only thing I could get to come up was the command line. Its been a while since I've used command line in linux.

Collapse -

nVIDIA driver?

by geobeck In reply to I don't know

If you have an nVIDIA video card, the drivers don't some with the free version of the distro. You have to download them from nVIDIA. Google for "nvidia linux howto".

Collapse -

not entirely true

by apotheon In reply to nVIDIA driver?

There are free/libre/open source drivers for both nvidia and ati cards, but the fully functional drivers that give full 3D video support are closed source and, as you say, have to be downloaded. Since I'm not playing games or rendering high-resolution 3D models on this laptop, I'm quite happy with the open source drivers for the ATI FireGL card, which does indeed come with the distro (in this case, Debian).

Collapse -

We're very flexible and open minded

by stress junkie In reply to Going to download Linux


I like SuSE because it has a great installer and configuration tool called YaST. Another reason that I like SuSE is that when you are finished installing it you have a fully configured system with GUI interface ready to run. They are also very good about providing patches, which is true of most Linux distributions. Patches are easy to check for and to install using YaST. The one problem with SuSE is that it doesn't support DVD movies and it's a bit of work to get the software for playing DVD movies. You can choose between their free download version or their $95 version. More information is available at:

SuSE was once a German project but it has been purchased by Novell in the USA. The Novell people still offer SuSE as a pure Linux distribution but they have also adapted all of their old products to work with SuSE which they sell as add ons for the enterprise desktop market.

I've tried several distributions of Linux. Recently I auditioned a few to run on an older machine. These included Slackware, Gentoo, and Debian. All three of these distributions are mature and very good. The only thing about all of them is that they create a basic Unix-like environment and leave you to figure out how to get your network going and how to install a GUI system. So I would say that none of them are for beginners. In fact the Slackware DHCP client software did something crazy when it tried to connect to my ISP. I was unable to get a DHCP address with it and even when I booted another OS I couldn't get a DHCP address from my ISP until I changed the network card. So I'd say definitely stay away from Slackware.

Good luck. I hope you enjoy your experience. :)

Collapse -

Don't listen to the rest of these idiots ;-)

by jmgarvin In reply to Going to download Linux

If you need to look around check out:

If you liked Red Hat, check out Fedora Core 4.

The popular distros:
FC 4 - Free Version of Red Hat
Debian - Apo likes this, so I'll let him comment
Slackware - Harder to install, but it is roll your own
Gentoo - Same as Slack, but uses the 2.6 kernel and is slightly easier to build
Ubuntu - A nice debian based distro that is pretty friendly
Knoppix - meh...
Knoppix STD - Security Tools Distribution of Knoppix, way cool
SuSe - The root of all evil, if you value your soul, don't install this ;-)

Collapse -

Oh yeah? You're the root of all evil.

by stress junkie In reply to Don't listen to the rest ...

My mommy said you're mean. So there.

A few days ago I read an enthusiastic review of Unbuntu. Then there's Kubuntu, which uses KDE instead of Gnome.

However in the same time period I've read two enthusiastic reviews of SuSE 10. I'm still using SuSE 9.2.

Collapse -

The reviewers must have been held at gun point

by jmgarvin In reply to Oh yeah? You're the root ...

SuSe 10 getting GOOD reviews, no way ;-)

Ok, I have to admit, I'm a little excited to try it, but I still can't get over the whole "European" feel of it....I will give SuSe 10 a shot, just to see if I still hate it :-)

Related Discussions

Related Forums