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Year of the Linux Distro

By Dumphrey ·
Well, another year has come and gone, and Linux is still not a household name. Great strides have been made by many companies to put Linux in the hands of the masses, (Everex and Dell), but there is a long way to go.
Historically, Linux has been viewed as too "technical" for the average user, and "nothing will run on it".
Of these two "faults" only one can be laid at the feet of the Linux Gods, that being that "Linux is to technical". And, I would say this is no longer true. It is, in my opinion, less work to set up a Linux workstation (on bare metal) for office tasks then a Windows machine, and Linux window managers and desktops are giving a "windows-like" feel (though to be honest, was Mac not the first commercial GUI?).
All that being said, do you think Linux Distros are going overboard in their attempt to "dumb down" Linux in an attempt to reach the ?average? user? Should Linux remain ?pure? and in the hands of ?geeks??
Note: Please limit this to Linux Distros, this is not a Linux/Windows whine fest =\

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Thats one of the big differences

by Dumphrey In reply to Although it took a few ho ...

between Suse and Fedora. Suse is stable once its up and going. I imagine Fedora can be stable, but I have yet to experience this. Every other release or So, I give FC a spin, and am left feeling a little damp. I want to like it, I jsut can't.
Suse is much the same way. Its a good distro. Yast rocks. but I just can't get into its groove.

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well Ed

by Jaqui In reply to Jaqui, I hesitate to ask, ...

I personally don't use the prepared distros, because I'm extremely picky about what I have installed and how it's configured.

I recommended PCLinucOS because they did a fantastic job of creating a distro targeted at people on the 12 step program to wean them from windows. That is what it's meant for.

in time, when you delve deeper into how linux works, you will have the knowledge to pick a distro that will suit your needs better. A first distro is exactly that, one to help you "get your feet wet" in the linux waters, just don't expect any distro to be a perfect fit forever, until you get to the point of building your own from sources. :)

PCLOS is debian based, with Mandriva's DrakXtools gui config wizards, combined, they make for a very easy to use and powerful tool set. It uses the Mandriva live installer as well. A very easy to use install.
My preferred web development tool is SCREEM, which always throws a crash notice on closing in PCLOS, they boo-booed on it somewhere.

Just because it's not a good fit for me, doesn't mean it's not a good fit for someone just learning linux.

edit danged typos

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Windows 12 step the hard (but fulfilling) way.

by faradhi In reply to Jaqui, I hesitate to ask, ...

Ed, I am currently migrating from windows to Linux.

I do not use any distro. My first real for a purpose install was using Linux From Scratch. It was for a webserver running Apache and Wordpress. It took me three days (and long nights) to complete the whole book and use BLFS to install the webserver and word press. However, I learned more about linux from working through that book than any class I took.

I know that this not an easy transition. This is actually the hardest way I can think of to move to linux. However, I know everything that is in the box. I have it neatly documented and it boots in under two minutes.

I am currently working on my desktop at home. This is taking longer because of my now limited time. But if you really want a challenge, I recommend trying LFS. You will learn a lot, and may even develop a few more grey hairs, but you will completely understand your machine.

However, if you are not really sure and just want something that works, go with Jaqui's rec.

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thought that was you.

by Jaqui In reply to Windows 12 step the hard ...

I saw your posting about the server build on he LFS email list
I always suspected you as being a masochist, that just proves it.. doing LFS for a first time linux experience.

LFS actually states that it is meant for people who are comfortable with the linux command line.

It is meant as a learning tool, to help you learn the internals of the OS.

for the desktop build, try using jalfs
it's build scripts that will pull the configure command lines from the book sources, saves you a lot of typing and reading.

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Yep that is me...

by faradhi In reply to thought that was you.

masochist and all. I thought everyone enjoyed a nice beating every once in a while :^0 .

I have had some training and experience at the command line. I forgot that part so it is not a gut wrenching. I did use the man pages alot though as I needed some reminding on the commands.

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It's a Linux based OS.. just don't install the cruft and bloat. (nt)

by Neon Samurai In reply to yes!, completely and un-e ...
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not that easy

by Jaqui In reply to It's a Linux based OS.. j ...

some distros don't give you the option. they put really insane dependencies into their package lists.

That's why LFS is my personal prefference, no garbage I don't need. :)

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LFS has been on my

by Dumphrey In reply to not that easy

"to do" list for a good long time. I guess I should hunker down and do it now that the new year is here. Heck, I may even clean up my work room..

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No, There are plenty of distros.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Year of the Linux Distro

Your use of the phrases "dumb down" and "pure" indicates a bias on your part, but I'll attempt an answer anyway.

There are plenty of distros out there tailored to all levels of experience. If you feel the distros pre-installed by the hardware vendors are too GUI-dependent (I assume that's what you mean by "dumb down"), you're probably experienced enough to load something more suited to your preferences.

I thought having multiple choices and options was one of the cornerstones of the open source movement. Some "ease of use" concessions have to be made for home users, or they're going to run an OS they consider easier, like OS X or Windows. To most home users the computer is an appliance, not a hobby in itself; they don't care about "pure" (whatever that means).

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the problem is

by Jaqui In reply to No, There are plenty of ...

that the distro groups have all equated ease of install & use with bloat that bogs the system down.

You can have a full gui, easy to use distro without having absolutely everything possible supported hardwarewise.
[ the kernel doesn't need to be 100 MB with hardware support that is not there. ]
Thee Graphic Server does not need to have support for EVERY graphics card that has ever been on the market installed, only the graphics card in the machine needs to be installed.

This is part of the reason I don't like using any distro, they ALL do stupid things like that.

yes, have the hardware drivers available, but don't install drivers for hardware that is not there.

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