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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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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.

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"good" network file system

by apotheon In reply to I prefer SMB to NFS in al ...

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I've been converted

by Brian 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.

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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?


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What do you want to do?

by jmgarvin In reply to What are your feelings on ...

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

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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?

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