Which distribution of linux?

  • Thread starter Dathascome
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  • #1
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I'm planning on installing linux on my hard drive, having never done it before, and was doing a bit of research and found out there seems to be tons of different distributions of it!
As one without so much knowledge of such things, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what would be a good one to install.
I'm going to be doing astrophysics/astronomy in the not so distant future perhaps there's one that's geared more towards that field?
Like is it better to go with something like Scientific Linux or redhat or ubuntu?

Thanks much.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Dr Transport
Science Advisor
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Scientific Linux is a variant of Redhat, I forget which release. Unbuntu and its related releases I have notheard too much bad about. I recently bought a laptop, had it set up in dual boot for FedoraCore and XP and it runs fine.

Mandrake has commercialized somewhat but I have not heard if anyone is complaining. I will say that the best I have heard is Gentoo, but it is hard to get up and running unless they finally got their installer working correctly. Gentoo had the most complete list of applications ported to it that I had ever seen and makes it possible to upgrade on a weekly basis to the latest of everything you have without too much trouble.

Now, I am not a complete expert, I dork around with Linux at home and am forced to use XP at work.
 
  • #3
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I have no qualms in recommending Ubuntu. And for someone new to Linux, I
would definitely suggest installing it. Yes, a few people might say that
they had problems installing proprietary drivers and such, but my comp's
hardware is somewhat old that I didn't have any of those problems. The
installer of the latest version (7.04 Feisty Fawn) is supposed to have a
Windows Migration Tool, which lets you transfer all your bookmarks, IM
contacts etc. from XP. I haven't used it, though. Also, the Ubuntu
Forums is a great place to seek help. Whatever questions you might have,
I'm sure most of the them would have been answered at least twice
earlier. :biggrin:

And here's a site that you are bound to visit in the initial stages, if
you do go on to install Ubuntu.
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/index.php
 
  • #4
ranger
Gold Member
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Ubuntu is an OK distro. But the integrated installer that starts from the liveCD has been known to cause major problems for people. Especially when it comes to installing grub (bootloader). I myself have had the unfortunate experience of having several of its installations fail. The partitioning tool (gparted) also seems to be confusing for some new users, because I've had several people as me to help them with it.

I would recommend that you use Zenwalk linux, which is based on slackware. However, it takes much of the hassles out of managing the system (most things are automatically done for you). It still retains the pkg package management system that is native to slackware, but they've added a tool called netpkg which does dependency checking. This is in some ways similar to ubuntu's apt-get system. I'm sure that you can find programs within your area of interest on the zenwalk repositories or linuxpackages.net. If you cant, drop by the zenwalk forums and request that someone make a native package!
http://www.zenwalk.org/
 
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  • #5
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wish i could use XP in my office =] Forced to use linux: mandriva...not liking it all too much...the shortkeys are alot different from windows. And linux crashes on me way to often(3-4 times a day)?
 
  • #6
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The partitioning tool (gparted) also seems to be confusing for some new users, because I've had several people as me to help them with it.

In that respect, I haven't had troubles, because I have always installed Linux on a second hard-drive. Also, I have only used the altenrate installer CD...the LiveCD runs too slowly for me. But, yes, installing a linux OS alongside XP can be a hair-raising experience to the new comer.
 
  • #7
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Thanks so much all for the suggestions. I'm planning on doing the deed some day this coming week:biggrin:
 
  • #8
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Yeh all newbs must do ubuntu first. Just try out others once you get the gist of it.
 
  • #9
graphic7
Gold Member
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May I ask why you are only considering Linux as an alternative operating system to install? There are many free UNIX/UNIX-like variants out there that do not all follow Linux's mis-designs and flaws. It may be advantageous to start out on the right foot by using an operating system that respects standards and presents some level of backwards compatibility to the user for future releases of the operating system.
 
  • #10
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May I ask why you are only considering Linux as an alternative operating system to install? There are many free UNIX/UNIX-like variants out there that do not all follow Linux's mis-designs and flaws. It may be advantageous to start out on the right foot by using an operating system that respects standards and presents some level of backwards compatibility to the user for future releases of the operating system.
http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/9898/berylkv8.jpg [Broken]
 
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  • #11
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http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/9898/berylkv8.jpg [Broken]

Hehe...use the eye-candy to lure in the newbie. :biggrin: I hope to increase the RAM and put an improved graphics card in my comp. to enjoy all that.
 
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  • #12
graphic7
Gold Member
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http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/9898/berylkv8.jpg [Broken]

That's absolutely grotesque.
 
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  • #13
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Hehe...use the eye-candy to lure in the newbie. :biggrin: I hope to increase the RAM and put an improved graphics card in my comp. to enjoy all that.
^_^

That's absolutely grotesque.
lol yeah kinda. I like the green, but I couldn't find anything to go with it so I just left the starry background from the previous wallpaper. I don't spend much time with it in midair anyway. The http://www.socksoff.co.uk/00001/page01/Ruined_Hopes_1600.jpg" [Broken] looks a lot better on its own.
 
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  • #14
graphic7
Gold Member
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^_^

lol yeah kinda. I like the green, but I couldn't find anything to go with it so I just left the starry background from the previous wallpaper. I don't spend much time with it in midair anyway. The http://www.socksoff.co.uk/00001/page01/Ruined_Hopes_1600.jpg" [Broken] looks a lot better on its own.

No, I meant the whole concept of Beryl and Compiz, in general.
 
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  • #15
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No, I meant the whole concept of Beryl and Compiz, in general.
To each his own? Now that I'm used to it, I find it hard to do without it. I'm fairly sure that's where desktop linux is going.
 
  • #16
graphic7
Gold Member
450
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To each his own? Now that I'm used to it, I find it hard to do without it. I'm fairly sure that's where desktop linux is going.

And I'm completely uninterested in 'desktop Linux,' which has become a wasteland for Microsoft-escapees who have a clue-level of approximately zero. None of the hardware I own is capable of running such an environment (an assortment of SPARC systems, a Tadpole, an IBM pSeries, and several peecees), and I feel that I would gain nothing by 'upgrading' [sic] to hardware that would run Compiz or Beryl. I often ask 3D desktop monkeys what advantages does it offer over a standard windowing system, and I rarely get anything but nil. (non-nil values are usually nonsense and a mis-understanding of user interfaces)
 
  • #17
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Yeah I wonder why you rarely get anything, seeing as you ask so nicely. The answer is you're asking the wrong question & probably because you're getting old. This appeals to generally younger people who buy new computers & wonder what to do with the power that's otherwise going to waste. It's so much better than the standard windowing system that I don't even need a taskbar anymore.
 
  • #18
graphic7
Gold Member
450
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Yeah I wonder why you rarely get anything, seeing as you ask so nicely. The answer is you're asking the wrong question & probably because you're getting old. This appeals to generally younger people who buy new computers & wonder what to do with the power that's otherwise going to waste. It's so much better than the standard windowing system that I don't even need a taskbar anymore.

Check my 'blog' in my signature. You'll see that I'm 18.
 
  • #19
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Check my 'blog' in my signature. You'll see that I'm 18.
"Probably" being the key word. Worse for you, anyway.
 
  • #20
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If you are just starting out Fedora isn't that bad. One thing you should be ready for is that it is completely different thand running XP or Vista. Also you may have a little difficulty installing some windows programs. But there are programs like Cedega out there or WinX to help you out. I like Linux way better than Windows, I just wish there was a little more support for Gaming, other than that they have OpenSource everything and you are all set.
 
  • #21
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other than that they have OpenSource everything and you are all set.

No IM client with video and voice chat.
 
  • #23
2,076
2
I came across this a while back. Never tried it though.
http://gaim-vv.sourceforge.net/
Their most recent update is nearly 2 years old. I would prefer one that is in the official repos. None has come to that level.
 
  • #24
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I have tryed and testing different Linux distros, something like the last ten years ore something like that, to see how things devolopes.

Today, I would say that Linux is not only one thing it is a collection of different operating systems with different properties.

If one should want a general all round Linux, Ubuntu has allready been mentioned. Thats really a good one: http://www.ubuntu.com/

And even bether if you like a general linux, CentOS: http://www.centos.org/
(Derived from RedHat)

If one like the eyecandy style Linux Sabayon Linux is something interesting:
http://www.sabayonlinux.org/

If you Like some other easy to install software that is open souce but not Linux, then PDBSD is an alternative: http://www.pcbsd.org/ [Broken]

And if you just want to look what there is look at distrowatch:
http://distrowatch.com/

.. And if you like something more spesialized thing like a Linux distro booting from a USB memory or some other electronic memory, Slax:
http://www.slax.org/

Its a Linux for any taste and need.

For the purpose as mention in the start of the tread, I think I would recommend as no 1 Centos and then Ubuntu as no 2.
 
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  • #25
397
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No IM client with video and voice chat.

I have never needed to use voice chat or video chat, therefore I didn't include it. But if it is essential to your daily life, then you are right neutrino. I would not go with Linux if you rely on voice messaging
 

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