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  • #2188913

    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!

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  • Author
    • #3044457

      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? 😉

    • #3044446

      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.

      • #3043453

        Totally agree

        by groenem9 ·

        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.

        • #3046277

          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.

        • #3045593

          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”.

        • #3045495

          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).

    • #3046713

      We’re very flexible and open minded

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      NOT!!! 😀

      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. 🙂

    • #3046684

      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 😉

      • #3046675

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

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Don’t listen to the rest of these idiots ;-)

        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.

        • #3046659

          The reviewers must have been held at gun point

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Oh yeah? You’re the root of all evil.

          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 🙂

        • #3046635

          like I said

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to The reviewers must have been held at gun point

          No strong opinions either way. 😉

          I love the idea of open source and just figuring out the vast possibilities shows its power. The vast number of possibilities can also be daunting even for experienced techs.

          I finally decided that to be a better tech I needed to work on and eventually implement linux.

        • #3046624

          We are just playing around

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to like I said

          I honestly like to poke at Stress and Apo on their distro choices (and they poke at me).

          I’d suggest checking out Fedora, SuSe, or Debian. They are all great distros!

        • #3046621

          jmg you might be interested in this distro

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to We are just playing around

          I finally decided to use this Sentry Firewall CD for my 366 MHz AMD K6 firewall computer. The computer is equivalent to a Pentium II and it only has 256MB RAM. This is the only distro that could access both my IDE CDROM and my Adaptec AHA1522 SCSI adapter. It has no GUI but it has a lot of network software tools and it runs off of a CDROM. You put your local configuration on a floppy disk. It’s really cool.

        • #3046474

          Looks very cool

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to jmg you might be interested in this distro

          I’ll have to give this a go! I’ll probably post a blog about my experience(s) with it….I’m VERY excited!!

          Oh and a “multimedia” distribution of Linux:

        • #3045293

          might be fun

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to jmg you might be interested in this distro

          I might take a whack at that one.

          I’m probably going to be using OpenBSD for the new firewall at work, though. Everything I’ve heard about pf for OpenBSD is good, and I like the security focus of the entire OS. It’s also convenient that it does things like support S/Key for OPT authentication when using SSH, which is something I’m likely to have to implement in the very near future for Linux laptops to have VPN/remote computing capability in the company.

          Yeah, OpenBSD just gets better and better as a router/firewall OS, the more I learn about it.

        • #3045219

          I’ve been tempted to try OpenBSD

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to jmg you might be interested in this distro

          or NetBSD or FreeBSD. I guess each has its particular strong points. The only thing that has stopped me is that they are just different enough from Linux that I figured I’d get good at Linux before I got sidetracked. Besides, I also support Solaris and Tru64 so that keeps me busy with similar but different ways of doing the same thing. For instance in Solaris you use the format command to partition a disk, in Tru64 you use the disklabel command and, of course, in Linux you use fdisk or cfdisk. The same is true for RAID setup, cluster setup, and numerous other areas. Then I also support Windoze (except 2003 or AD) and VMS which has nothing comparable to Unix. Staying fluent in all these systems makes my brain hurt.

          But the *BSD systems look very good. I think that they don’t get the attention or exposure that they deserve.

        • #3046538

          I thought so

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to We are just playing around

          I figured that was some light-hearted banter between you guys. I’ll probably do the same when and if I settle on a favorite disto.

        • #3046490

          “European” Feel?

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to The reviewers must have been held at gun point

          I’ve got it but haven’t installed it. What characteristics make it feel “European”? Does it use the British spelling of “colour”? Does it take a five-week holiday in August? Do process get priority based on a parlimentary system?

        • #3046472

          Yes ;-)

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to “European” Feel?

          I don’t know a better way to describe it. Everything feels like you are talking with a stodgy Brit or a cursing German. It isn’t the language really, but the entire feel of the distro.

          If you have used other flavors of Linux it would be easier to describe….(have you?)

        • #3045390


          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Yes ;-)

          RH9 for several weeks, and I’ve played with Knoppix a half dozen times on a variety of hardware. We had a departmental goal to at least look at Linux a couple of years ago, mostly as a spare time learning project. After a few months the experiment was pushed to the back burner by other technologies, then eventually taken off the stove, wrapped in foil, and put in the back of the freezer. Since we have other technologies we’ve got to implement, they’re higher priority than something we don’t currently have plans to use. I’d really like to do more with it but I find the number of option daunting / intimidating. The “install, play, remove, repeat” method of learning so many seem to favor is just not my idea of a good time, especially when I don’t have any specific goals or objectives.

        • #3045287


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to The reviewers must have been held at gun point

          Y’know, I’ve seen a few good reviews of SuSE floating around. What I haven’t seen is good reviews of Fedora Core and Debian.

          In fact, I haven’t seen [b]any[/b] reviews of Fedora Core or Debian lately.

          What I [b]have[/b] seen, though, is a lot of really ecstatic, highly positive reviews of a bunch of Debian-based distros that were spun off from the original Debian. In at least half of them, in the midst of extolling the wonderful virtues of all these Debian-based distros, the reviewer will say something like “This is a wonderful distribution of Linux, but I shouldn’t be surprised: it’s based on Debian, so of course it’s great.”

          On the other hand, I seem to run into complaints about Fedora on mailing lists all the time. I think maybe you’re just joined at the hip to a sinking ship, jmgarvin. Come on, join the dark side. Become a Debianista. You know you want to!

          Let go the apron strings! Be a man!

        • #3045217

          Yes the Debian spin offs are getting a lot of good reviews

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to reviews

          I think the Ubuntu and Knoppix/Gnoppix distros are great for the average home or business desktop user. As far as techies are concerned, though, I think they’re for girlie-men.

          Real Debian is a techie distro for manly men. I’m just getting started with it myself. That apt/dselect utility has got me chasing my tail. Package names versus group names, update versus upgrade. Trying to select one package to update seems to be impossible, it’s all or nothing if I read it correctly. Package source URLs. How do you know what’s available for installation? Grrrrr. But I’m tough. I’ll get through it eventually.

          I haven’t used Red Hat since 1998 so I don’t really know anything useful about the current version. I still think it’s probably a manly distro. The only problem that I’ve ever had with Red Hat is that their commercial products are so extremely expensive. As far as I can see you’re just paying for some system tuning. Mind you I appreciate the potential for performance enhancement when an expert custom compiles a kernel and does some post installation tuning in the /proc system. I just think that Red Hat prices are too high even for the benefit of tuning.

        • #3045205

          some apt help

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Yes the Debian spin offs are getting a lot of good reviews

          Think of “update” as an update to the local cache of available packages. You use apt-get update to update the cache, then apt-cache (whatever) to look at information in the cache. Meanwhile, “upgrade” actually upgrades a package version.

          You can upgrade a single package with the “install” command, just as if you were installing from scratch. Thus, if there’s a new version of the cpp package, you can upgrade to it with “apt-get install cpp”. That only upgrades cpp and its dependencies, rather than upgrading all upgradable packages on your system.

          For the most part, avoid using dselect until you’ve got a really firm grasp of apt. It’s just not necessary to use dselect directly, generally.

          If you want to know what’s available for types of text editors, you might try “apt-cache search editor”, for instance. If you want things that only have the word “editor” in the package name or summary line, instead of actually showing all packages that have the word “editor” somewhere amongst the dependencies, long description, and so on, you might try “apt-cache search editor |grep editor”, which of course sorts the output of “apt-cache search editor” for instances of the word editor.

          If you find a promising package and want to know more about it, such as (for instance the cpp package), use “apt-cache show cpp” (substituting whatever package name for cpp, of course).

          If you have any apt-related questions, feel free to hit me up for help.

        • #3045202

          Thanks. The man page is confusing.

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to some apt help

          Thanks for the info. The problem with man pages is that they are not goal oriented so you have to figure out for yourself what options and parameters apply to a given task.


        • #3045145


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to some apt help

          Yeah, they’re just documentation of the subject matter, not tutorials. Gleaning applicable knowledge from them is sometimes an interesting challenge.

          Thank goodness Debian manpages are generally so well cross-referenced, at least. For instance, the manpage for apt will direct you to man pages for apt-get, apt-cache, apt.conf, and sources.list. Meanwhile, the manpage for urpmi on Mandrake 10.1 directs you . . . nowhere. You have to use a forked piece of birch to divine the other necessary commands aside from urpmi for a fully-featured package management system.

        • #3043572


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to reviews

          Ok, I admit it…I use Knoppix-STD and Ubuntu….DAMN YOU DEBIAN!!! 😉

        • #3043556

          Oh, the imagery . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to NO!!!!!

          I can almost see you standing silhouetted against the setting sun, shaking your fist at the heavens in impotent rage as your curse the One True Distro.

      • #3045294

        Did someone say my name? (re: Debian and more)

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Don’t listen to the rest of these idiots ;-)

        I’ve been invoked, and nobody told me!

        TR user jmgarvin said I like Debian, and he’d leave the description of it to me. I’ll start with that, then, though I’ll make comments about others as well.

        [b]Debian[/b]: Debian is an expert system administrator’s wet dream. It’s LSB- and LFS-compliant, stable as can be (even in the up to date Testing and Unstable versions), has the largest core software package repositories of any distributions out there (at close to 20,000 packages), and has the best package management system available (try convincing me otherwise) called APT, so good in part because it’s so scriptable. It is not the easiest distro in the world for a rank Linux newbie to grasp, however, and if you want to try this distro first I recommend getting help from someone familiar with Debian. This is the second oldest Linux distribution still in existence, so it has had a very long time to mature, is committed to “free” (as in speech) software, and has the largest community support base of any distribution.

        [b]Fedora Core[/b]: This is the free/community version of the Red Hat distribution. It is intended to be somewhat cutting-edge, so you might run into some occasional package stability/incompatibility flake-outs from time to time. It is afflicted by the Red Hat way of doing things, which means it has a slightly nonstandard kernel, and is not exactly LSB- and FHS-compliant. It is geared toward use of GUI tools for administration in such a way that command line stuff suffers sometimes (for instance, have fun futzing with a bunch of separate Ethernet interface config files buried five levels deep in the filesystem within a scripts directory, for some bizarre reason, if you want to fine-tune network configuration by hand). Its primary package management system is YUM (adopted form Yellow Dog Linux), which is very capable but is also slow, and tries to do too much for the user at one time. There’s an RPM version of Debian’s APT available, as well, though its use is deprecated in favor of YUM.

        [b]Gentoo[/b]: Like Debian, this is a purely community-based distribution. It is designed to be managed completely from source code, using some automated compile-and-install tools to make the job manageable. These tools are extremely slick, and there’s something to be said for the fine control you get over system configuration in this manner, but ultimately it’s not all that much more fine-tune-able than Debian and Slackware and it’s difficult to justify spending three days compiling and installing your OS and its operating environment software. At least, I think it’s difficult to justify. It’s certainly not something you’d want to use for the standard OS of an Enterprise network: the administrative overhead would bring your organization to a grinding halt. For a single hobby machine, however, many people swear by it. Oddly enough, the original creator of the Gentoo distribution is now an employee of Microsoft. I don’t know what that means for Gentoo.

        [b]Knoppix[/b]: This is the original, and canonical, LiveCD distribution. That means you boot from a CD and run the OS entirely in RAM, then take the CD out when you’re done. Nothing has been installed on the hard drive. There’s about five hundred different variations on Knoppix for different purposes out there. Knoppix is very good at being a LiveCD distro (it detects and handles different hardware types quite well), but is clunky to install and eventually ends up having software issues if you try upgrading software on it much after installing it to the hard drive. Use some Knoppix version as a portable LiveCD OS if you like. I don’t recommend it for hardware installs.

        [b]Mandriva[/b]: This is what happened when Connectiva and Mandrake combined, with Mandrake being the most recognizable influence. I hadn’t really used Mandrake much personally until I got my current job, but before that I did have a vague sense from my occasional dealings with it that it wasn’t what I wanted. It has a reputation for being even more flaky than Fedora, and without the excuse of really being cutting edge, for instance. It’s also very GUI-centric, to the extent that it is sometimes quite bad at CLI-based things that every other Linux distro (with rare exceptions) is good at. It also inherits some of Red Hat’s screwed up system configuration decisions, having evolved from sort of a Red Hat knock-off. You’ll almost certainly see a great deal of similarity in default system configurations under the hood between all RPM-based distributions, since the RPM package system was invented by Red Hat in the first place, and Mandrake is definitely an RPM-based distro. Now that I’ve started having to deal with Mandrake far more often (more than half the Linux systems in the company are running Mandrake 10.1), I not only have a vague sense of dislike: I actively loathe it. The urpmi package manager is even worse than YUM for trying to do too much for you, and it even fails to do some things entirely. It’s also damn near impossible to find good documentation for a lot of stuff on Mandrake systems, including how to use urpmi and related package tools. It really drives me up the wall. I got totally spoiled by the wealth of manpages in Debian, for instance, and Mandrake is at the other extreme. In fact, one of the Mandrake users at the company recently started asking me if there was some way to get more and better manpages on his computer: I’m not the only one that notices that Mandrake has manpages for, comparatively, almost nothing. Yeah, it’s easy to install. The default desktop is very clicky and colorful. Beyond that, my honest opinion is that it’s among the worst of the major Linux distributions.

        [b]OpenSUSE[/b]: This is the community version of Novell’s SuSE Linux. I don’t have any experience with OpenSUSE, but I rather expect it will be a lot like SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and the like, just without the proprietary add-ons. My experience with SuSE is mostly with pre-Novell versions. It’s an easy distro to install, as long as you don’t try to customize anything too much: just go with the options it presents most clearly, and you’ll be fine. It’s very much a kitchen sink distro, in that it’ll include the kitchen sink in your install. The GUI management tools are very slick, but the CLI admin tools rather leave something to be desired. Novell is like an eager, naive kid in the Linux world, wanting to get involved with everything from development to marketing for Linux in general, and even seems to be willing to lose the occasional customer if such is necessary to get that customer using Linux in general rather than going to Microsoft Windows or Sun Solaris (for instance). It’s all very endearing, and I rather hope that Novell SuSE continues to become the powerhouse enterprise Linux distribution it seems intent on becoming.

        [b]Slackware[/b]: This distribution is the oldest still living, even a couple months older than venerable Debian. It’s maintained by one man, and is very bare-bones. You can install anything you want on it, of course, as long as you’re willing to download, uncompress, compile, and install everything yourself, starting with tarballs offered by the myriad of separate open source software project maintainers in the world. Well, that’s not entirely fair: Slackware does have a package manager of sorts (don’t bother using it), and it does come with a big ol’ pile of tarballs if you download the complete ISO set to burn to CD for installation. This is very much an old-school bare-metal hacker’s distribution, though. When someone says Linux is a “hacker’s OS”, they mean Slackware.

        [b]Ubuntu[/b]: This is a very “user friendly” Debian-based distribution. It doesn’t act much like Debian generally does, though. For one thing, Ubuntu doesn’t even have a root account in a standard install. It drives me nuts. It’s probably wonderful for people coming from Windows who just want a working computer and don’t give a rat’s ass [i]how[/i] it works.

        [b]Yellow Dog[/b]: I mention it only because it was referenced in the description of Fedora. It’s Linux designed specifically for installation on the Mac architecture. You’re probably not in need of this distro, especially since there’s a Mac version of Debian available, too. Heh.

        There’s more, but that should tide you over for a while.

        Oh, yeah, and here’s where you can download Debian install ISOs:
        (the network installer CD of the Stable release, for use with a broadband connection)
        (the network installer CD and the full CD set of the Testing release, for use with a broadband connection)
        (a whole slew of options for acquiring Debian installer CDs)

        In general, you’ll probably want the “i386” architecture version, since that’s for the “PC compatible” type computers (aka “IBM compatible”, aka x86, and so on).

        • #3045207

          that’s what I’m talking about.

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to Did someone say my name? (re: Debian and more)

          Everybody has been helpful; but this is the most complete description. Thanks for taking the time.

          I’ll probably start implementing Linux Tuesday and have something to report then.

        • #3045204

          quite welcome

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to that’s what I’m talking about.

          All my experience futzing around with different distros and watching trade news developments should be worth something.

          Information is meant to be shared, after all.

    • #3046634

      Download Linux

      by tonius ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      Xandros is a nice Debian distro. The desktop can be set up as MAC, Windows, BSD and others during set up, so it will bevery familiar when you use it. It can use apt-get to update/install most programs, and even has its own Xandros update network.

      • #3046630


        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Download Linux

        so it emulates these various OS’s?

        • #3045292


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to nice

          It basically makes the window manager look like a default desktop for those OSes. It’s often used as a “Windows replacement” OS, as it can emulate the appearance of Windows fairly well. Other distros that are Windows replacements, depending on what about Windows you want to emulate, are Linspire, MEPIS, and Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, if you want the KDE-using version).

    • #3046633


      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      This all gives me some starting points. I’ll update everyone with my progress if its at all interesting.

      Right now I’ve decided to start with Mandrake b/c of the ease; and then try some of the others mentioned here. B/c of shared bandwidth my download speed is at the low end of high speed so it will take me a while to do that. I’ll probably only download one ISO a day.

    • #3046632

      1 more thing

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      I don’t need specifics yet but how easy is it to network different flavors of linux to each other and to windows?

      • #3046625

        Networking is very easy

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to 1 more thing

        All distributions of Linux use exactly the same code for TCP/IP networking so they are 100% compatible. All distributions of Linux can implement any BIND/DNS role. You also have Unix network file sharing (NFS). Also, many distributions come with Samba installed. Samba is the Windows network software. It is easy to implement. Samba can make any comuter a Windows client or a Windows domain controller. You also have LDAP which is what Microsoft copied to make Active Directory. LDAP is not compatible with AD. Also, SuSE comes with Novell networking software to create or join a Novell IPX/SPX network.

        Linux can do it all. 🙂

      • #3046622


        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to 1 more thing

        If you need info on how to setup wireless, check my blog:

        Apo has included some comments on Debian as well.

        • #3046536

          got it

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to Easy

          bookmarked and ready to reference. Nice blog by the way.

        • #3046471

          Thank you

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to got it

          If you are a gamer, I talk a little about Point2Play/Cedega and getting Windows games working in Linux…

        • #3045289

          You keep mentioning me.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Easy

          Are you stalking me, now?


          re: networking with Linux
          Any networking with Linux is incredibly easy, once you “get” it. Things are done a little differently than the way Windows does, though, so most people moving from Windows to Linux are a little mystified and confused at first. It’s just not what they expect. After having fought with a bunch of Windows VPN issues for two days straight this week, though (and I’m even Microsoft certified), I can tell you without a doubt that Linux networking is far, far easier to configure and manage when you understand both Windows and Linux networking. In fact, even Samba for Linux is easier than Windows network filesharing software, despite the fact Samba basically duplicates Windows networking.

          Samba is an open source, unix-based implementation of the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol, which works over TCP/IP to provide network filesystem functionality. Usually, you’d only use Samba on a Linux system for interfacing with Windows network nodes, since Windows is the only OS that still uses SMB with any frequency. For Linux-only networking, you’re probably better off using NFS for your network filesystem protocol/software.

          For basic TCP/IP networking on Fedora, use the netconfig command at the shell prompt: despite the plague of GUI admin tools, this is still the easiest way to set up basic networking capability on Fedora Core. If you understand TCP/IP at all, the console-based dialog that the netconfig command presents is absurdly easy to use.

          For basic TCP/IP networking on Debian — well, it should be set up by default when you’re installing the OS in the first place. It’ll ask you some questions about how you want to configure your networking during the install, and if you’re on DHCP it’ll even connect automatically (if at first it doesn’t succeed, try, try again). After installation, if you want to make network configuration changes, edit the /etc/interfaces file to make those changes. For information on how to edit the /etc/interfaces file, type “man interfaces” at the command line. There’s a whole lot of information in that manpage.

          Mandrake is the most difficult to do any really precise network configuration with, out of all of ’em I’ve tried out. Stick to the GUI network configuration tools for Mandrake (or Mandriva) until you’re the sort of bona-fide Linux expert that figures he can still make it work from the shell, even if the Mandrake/Mandriva developers really really want to make that as difficult as possible.

        • #3045213

          I prefer SMB to NFS in all cases.

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to You keep mentioning me.

          SMB has better file locking on the server than does NFS. Even the most recent NFS doesn’t have as robust a file locking system than does SMB, and on my Linux system(s) the file locking is not even completely implemented for NFS.

          I prefer to think of IBM when I think of SMB. IBM invented SMB. Microsoft used it extensively and modified it a bit to make it less compatible but basically I think SMB is a good network file system.

        • #3045203

          “good” network file system

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I prefer SMB to NFS in all cases.

          There really isn’t a “good” network file system at all. You’re right about Samba/SMB having better file locking, but that’s really only a major concern in certain network implementations. For most purposes (particularly home networking), you’ll never notice the difference. NFS is better performance than SMB for speed and bandwidth, though, which is why it tends to be a better choice for many unix-only networks than Samba.

          If you really want best network performance in a mixed network, you should probably use both: get Samba on clients that have to access a Windows file service, and get Windows services for unix when you have to access an NFS file service. Stick to native SMB on Windows-to-Windows connections, and NFS for unix-to-unix connections. That tends to provide the best performance and, like I said, the differences in file locking won’t be an issue for most people. For those who do need that better handling, there are even better options than Samba/SMB, though that is an option.

    • #3046563

      Dude, Download Debian

      by jhansen ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      If i were you, i would check debian out. Its a very well written distro about linux. a simple 5 step setup process is written up online at and then it also tells you how to install apache, mysql, php with simple commands that article is located at and finally the instructions to get the KDE working can be found here:

      • #3046455

        that appeals to me

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Dude, Download Debian

        I’ve just downloaded the first ISO for Mandrake and I’m 30% through the second one. There is a third; although I understand I’ll probably only need the first.

        Even so I’m a completist when it comes to this kind of thing and I want to have all three just in case.

        Having said that; after I’ve downloaded and installed mandrake, I’ll definately give debian a try. What you said really appeals to me.

        • #3045310

          seriously ;)

          by jhansen ·

          In reply to that appeals to me

          i started out on red hat, and mandrake. They are alright, My buddy turned me on to debian and hes an old sckool hacker. It just makes everything so much easier, and i would say that debian has much less security problems as well. My buddy (who is a linux god) swears by it, the only thing he said was better is slackware but its too hard to run and takes too much time. I installed apache, mysql, phpmyadmin, KDE and asterisk in less then 10 minutes flat. It brings a tear to my eye! lol.

        • #3045288

          hacker distros

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to seriously ;)

          There are really three major “hardcore hacker” distributions of Linux out there: Slackware, Debian, and Gentoo.

          Gentoo, because you have to know, and learn, a lot to really make that sucker go. You also have to really love compiling everything from source. It gives a clean, well-configured system when you’re done setting it up, though, assuming you have any clue what you’re doing.

          Slackware, because it’s so “bare metal”. It doesn’t have any of the fancy tools, doesn’t have any of the flashy interfaces, and doesn’t really have any huge piles of default software.

          Debian, because it does exactly what a serious admin’s distro should do: no more, and no less. It does it with consummate ease, power, and flexibility, too. It has the slickest administration tools, it’s one of the lean-and-mean distros that runs light and fast (along with Slackware and Gentoo), it focuses on making things work rather than just making you work for them, and is quite possibly the most secure and stable general-purpose distribution available. It also has the most extensive built-in documentation, the most populous support community, and the most wide-ranging and in-depth software availability.

          Generally speaking, being an expert at any of the three will give you all the geek cred you need amongst Linux users. They’re all great hacker distros. Each of them appeals to a different kind of hacker, though. I easily know enough to be able to make a successful go of using either Slackware or Gentoo as my primary distribution, but really, I like to be good at more than just running my Linux systems: I don’t have time to waste being hardcore. I prefer to use my expertise to improve upon an already running system that doesn’t get in my way, rather than using it all on getting the system running in the first place with no time left for managing my network.

          Maybe that’s just me.

    • #3046559

      I’ve been converted

      by brianaaa5 ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      I started with Fortune Unix in 1988, then SCO Xenix and SCO Unix (back when they were a platform provider) and then Slackware. I’ve tried Mandrake, Suse, and settled on Redhat since about 4.0, about 1996. But now it’s going to change.

      Ubuntu has the long-term view, with short-term focus on usability. Unlike Fedora Core, the shortage of ‘ancient’ libraries hasn’t caused me to dump the games I loved from pre-turn-of-the-century Linux: SimCity 3000, Civilization III, or even Quake 2. It’s just easier to run multiple library versions under Ubuntu.

      The desktop looks pretty similar to FC4, just better, and faster. And use of the root account is all run through sudo, and no login is allowed.

      They’ve really done a great job turning an otherwise sleepy distro (Debian) into a real force to be reconed with. Mark Shuttleworth’s got a vision that is both global AND deep; he’s quite a guy and a friend to Linux.

      You’ll like Ubuntu; it’s simple, clean, solid, fast, and VERY easy to upgrade from version to version, from Synaptic, not from the latest CD, like Redhat.

    • #3046447

      What are your feelings on Centos??

      by jepott ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      I’m also interested in Linux – has anyone out there used Centos – I’ve heard a few good things about it from a friend. Any thoughts?


      • #3046418

        What do you want to do?

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to What are your feelings on Centos??

        I’d suggest Fedora Core 4, but if you plan to create a server, go with CentOS.

        • #3045377


          by master3bs ·

          In reply to What do you want to do?

          CentOS is good for running a server? Down the road I will probably start running at least one linux server. Right now I want to get comfortable with linux in general; particularly command line; interacting with hardware and eventually networking.

          The guy that asked about CentOS has mentioned it to me before; so I’ll keep that in mind. I’m assuming that even with the variations; what I learn in one distribution will carry over to the other; at least in command line functions.

          Am I right?

        • #3045357

          CentOS = Red Hat server without branding

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to server?

          Yes CentOS is Red Hat Linux minus the name, more or less.

          The CentOS web site says that they are a generic version of an upstream vendor’s server product with a few changes in software packages. It’s my understanding that the upstream vendor is Red Hat. The same is true of Lineox.

          Since tuning can make a big difference in performance the Enterprise Server products are probably worth something. These two free distributions might give you the benefit of that tuning. Or you could spend a lot of time compiling a kernel with various options for server performance enhancement and then make a bunch of changes in the files in the /proc directory. My impression is that the Red Hat products do that for you. Otherwise they are the very same Linux that you get with every other distribution.

        • #3045285

          running a server

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to server?

          CentOS, as stress junkie mentioned, is Red Hat Enterprise Linux without the branding. If you want high availability (meaning “system stability”) server operation, and want to use a Red Hat based distribution, CentOS (or RHEL, or any other credible debranded RHEL knockoff such as White Box Linux or Tao Linux) is a good way to go. It’s definitely a better choice for high availability servers than Fedora Core which, as I mentioned elsewhere, can occasionally be slightly flaky because it’s very much intended to be cutting edge.

          If you’re running a production network of servers and want to pay your OS vendor to do a lot of the system maintenance, RHEL is definitely one of the better ways to go (along with Novell’s SLES). If you have to run a lot of commercial, proprietary software on top of Linux (such as Maya), RHEL, Fedora Core, and RHEL knockoffs like CentOS, Tao, and White Box are very good choices. Fedora if you want cutting edge. CentOS (or similar) if you want RHEL compatibility for free, but still need high availability. RHEL if you want paid support.

          Meanwhile, if you want high availability servers with stability, security, ease of administration for many servers, extensive software options, and compliance with the Linux Standard Base and Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, without giving a damn whether it’s Red Hat compatible, Debian is definitely the way to go for your server OS among Linux distributions.

          At work, I’m migrating our systems* toward Debian for most servers and workstations, Fedora Core for systems that need to be Red Hat compatible (yes, we do run Maya on one workstation), and OpenBSD for security infrastructure (VPN and Router/Firewall). That may give you an idea of what I think about the comparative value of various free unices as server OSes.

          * = Well, I think I’m migrating our systems in that manner. It’s not only up to me, but probably mostly up to me. We’ll see whether my boss can be made to agree.

        • #3045161


          by jepott ·

          In reply to running a server

          Thanks for the info on CentOS – I am interested in both a great Server Software and something that I can start using in desktops/laptops. I work with Mission organizations, Seminaries, and Christian Schools in third world countries and I’m looking for an easy to use and cheap OS that can be put on some of the older (PII) equipment.

          Thanks for all the answers in this discussion – it really helps.

        • #3045769

          sounds familiar

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to Thanks!

          That organization you’re talking about sounds identical for one I used to work for. It was great, except the head IT administrator kept on asking me the easiest questions. For instance there was this time that he couldn’t get a wireless headset to work after installing new wireless drivers; and all he had to do was turn it off & on to resync to the wireless contoller.

          😀 🙂 ;-P

      • #3045968


        by choppit ·

        In reply to What are your feelings on Centos??

        I used Centos4 for a while without any problems although RPMs are easier to find for Fedora4. Now I use RHEL4 for the business and Fedora4 for home use.

    • #3045387


      by jc2it ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      Mepis is a decent first time user Linux. I installed it on an old HP 1GHz Celeron with 256MB of RAM for my wife to play around with. She is one of those users that never learned about computers as a child, and all of it is foriegn to her (Windows or Linux it is all computer junk to her). She finds it easy to use firefox, and check her email with evolution. But she wasn’t biased one way or the other either. All she wants to do is get done and on with her life. She doesn’t play around on it. Try it out at

      It uses kde and will allow you to boot from CD-ROM to play around with it first, before installing it.

      Job Cacka

      • #3045284


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to SimplyMepis

        It’s much easier to install to the hard drive when you’re done playing with it as a LiveCD distro than Knoppix is, too.

        I’d say MEPIS (whether the original MEPIS or SimplyMEPIS) is probably the best distro for people who aren’t really familiar with any OSes at all — even Windows. It’s a very low-stress, slick, easy to use and easy to learn OS that doesn’t overwhelm you with options, technical details, and attempts to look like something else.

        It’s just slightly less often compatible with various hardware types than Knoppix, in my experience, but I prefer it over Knoppix nonetheless: if a MEPIS variant runs on the hardware I have in front of me, I’d rather use that than Knoppix. I use LiveCD distros so rarely, though, that it’s not really something I think about much.

    • #3045963

      Just my $.02

      by jdgretz ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      I’m currently running FC3 – may move to FC4 just for giggles. I’ve run Slackware and others and am thinking of getting Debian.

      Duh – I’m editing the rest of my post as I was up way too long when I posted that.

      Novell is not the folks I really dislike – it’s SCO. All the sales and trades had me confused at that moment.

      Sorry about that. Maybe I will give SuSe a shot.


      • #3045858

        You don’t like Novell?

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Just my $.02

        The only lawsuits that I’m aware of from Novell are against SCO. Novell says that SCO is trying to collect revenues for something that Novell is entitled to. Also, Novell has a customer protection plan against the SCO lawsuits. If you purchase Novell SuSE then Novell will take the responsibility for any legal action concerning Unix copyrights and patents. Now it seems less important because IBM appears to be prevailing in the lawsuit from SCO.

        One nice thing about SuSE since Novell purchased it is that you get the Novell IPX/SPX client and server software in the retail version. One good way to isolate a group of computers, such as in the Accounting department, is to have them run a network protocol that is not on the other computers on the LAN. It’s just an idea. Of course there are other ways to do that.

        • #3043695


          by jdgretz ·

          In reply to You don’t like Novell?

          Hey Stress –

          Thanks for keeping me honest, if not awake. I edited my previous post after you put me back on track.

          I had not considered the protocol possibilities, but I doubt it is something I would implement, but it’s a good thing to have in the tool box.


    • #3045949


      by timbstoke ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      Red Hat was my distro of choice too, so I opted for Fedora. It’s got about the right balance of usability and control-freakery for me, and the latest version includes the Exchange connector, so you can plug it in at work and still read your email.

      Download at

      • #3043694


        by jdgretz ·

        In reply to Fedora

        Have you gotten that part up and running? Any big problems getting it to work?



    • #3046213

      I installed linux

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

    • #3046088

      Ubuntu Linux

      by elijah_a ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      I prefer this distro than anything else, I’ve tried fedora, mandrake, gentoo … even constructed a linux using LFS, slackware, debian, etc. Out of all these I liked gentoo & debian-based distros, but gentoo takes too long to install in my not-so-powerful pc and dialup connection … so I chose anything debian. This distro is friendly, hardware detection is good and it’s debian-based.

      Click on the shipit link, they give away free CD’s … only it takes awhile. You can download them too …

    • #3123685


      by richard ·

      In reply to Going to download Linux

      Why: because it is pretty mature, quick to release new kernal, YAST.
      I think that Novell adds value to SUSE. they have enterprise experience and it helps Linux.
      Drivers and support for new technologies and hardware make it into the product faster ( Money does that)
      BIG BIG WHY: also, documentation, also training, if you want it.
      Novell provides a lot of documentation, I have always found documentation lacking in linux. Yes there is a lot of it, but much is old, incomplete or only understandable by the writer
      With SUSE I can find my way, make it work and
      Novell pumps in the latest computer science.
      In the past it was almost imposible to download and use SUSE for free. Now it is not.

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