[GUIDE] Choosing the right distro

Discussion in 'Linux (All Distros)' started by mohaas05, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. mohaas05

    mohaas05 New Member

    Confused on which Linux distro to install? This guide should help point you:

    1. I am a Linux noob. I can't tell the difference between a Linux distribution and a piece of toast and have no idea what "/dev/hda1" means.


    Ubuntu is a distribution based off of Debian. It has a stable base and is frequently updated. It also has a strong focus on usability and simplicity. In addition, the Ubuntu community is one of the biggest in the Linux world.


    Linux Mint
    Linux Mint is based off of Ubuntu but uses a new graphical environment and a simplified bootloader designed to appeal to those new to the Linux operating system.


    2. I am familiar with Linux and am eager to try a distribution with the latest, bleeding-edge technologies.
    Fedora is a distribution based off the widely popular, now defunct Red Hat Linux. It contains new bleeding-edge software not seen in other distributions such as KDE4 and OpenJDK. Many of these technologies are later implemented in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat's commercial implementation of Fedora.


    OpenSUSE is a distro based off the retail SUSE Linux. It also includes many new technologies like KDE4.


    3. I am a fairly advanced Linux user interested in a distribution that is stable and proven.
    Gentoo is a distribution designed to be flexible and optimized. It is based off of many FreeBSD technologies, making it ideal for transitioners from FreeBSD. It is also popular for its lightweight-ness and speed.

    4. I have an extensive knowledge of Linux and am interested in a bare-bones, no-frills, extensible distribution
    Slackware is one of the oldest currently maintained Linux distributions. Regarded for its stability and Unix-likeness, Slackware has been the basis of many Linux distributions.


    5. I own a small business and am interested in a Linux distribution that is stable and easily scalable to my needs.
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a commercial distribution based off Fedora. It is built off of proven technologies used in earlier versions of Fedora. A subscription to RHEL includes access to Red Hat's technical support and the Red Hat Network, a large repository of updates and patches.


    CentOS is a free distribution rebuilt from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Though lacking in Red Hat's support and the Red Hat Network, CentOS is 100% binary compatible with RHEL and it has a devout community.



    Though it is a Unix system and not a Linux one, Solaris does a good job at where RHEL leaves off. It's is well known throughout the industry for its high scalability and support for a variety of implementations.

    6. I am a Linux expert. I eat Linux for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I want to create a Linux distribution that revolves around me, does what I want, and runs on my hardware.
    Linux From Scratch
    Linux From Scratch is a guide to build your own Linux system from the ground up. Though naturally, it is complicated and not for the faint of hearted, LFS allows you to create a Linux tailored to you, the main goal of Linux itself.


    7. I have a PC that has the computing power of a rock. I don't need anything fancy, but would like a usable desktop Linux.

    Xubuntu is a variant of Ubuntu with the XFCE Desktop Environment, a lightweight GUI for Xorg.


    Damn Small Linux
    DSL is a very light distribution that can run on hardware as old as a 486. Despite its small size, It has nearly all the features of a full distribution.


    DeLi Linux
    Desktop Light Linux is a linux distribution that can run on hardware as old as a 386 and smoothly on a 486. It requires only 400mb of HDD space.


    Possibly the most popular LiveCD distribution, Knoppix can also be installed to the hard disk for a minimal desktop system.


    Feather Linux
    Feather Linux is a lightweight distro that can fit in under 128Mb of space. It uses the Fluxbox window manager and includes many GTK+ apps such as AbiWord.

  2. Seth

    Seth MD Party Room

    Very nice.
    If I may I'll build on this

    I am a Linux noob. I have little knowledge of the workings of Linux and don't want to be hassled by complicated installations and setups
    Linux Mint

    Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback.Linux Mint is compatible with Ubuntu software repositories.

    I am familiar with Linux and am eager to try a distribution with the latest, bleeding-edge technologies
    Open Suse

    I have an extensive knowledge of Linux and am interested in a bare-bones, no-frills, extensible distribution

    Linux from scratch.

    I have old hardware that I wouldent mind throwing linux on.

    Damn Small Linux - a very popular low-resource Linux, based on Debian and Knoppix.
    DeLi Linux - this is a real pearl. DeLi stands for “Desktop Light” Linux. It is capable of running on a 386 computer in a graphical mode!Certainly worth trying on some very old PCs.
    Zenwalk - minimal requirements for Zenwalk are: Pentium III, 128 Mb RAM and 2Gb HDD. However, it can be run pretty fine on PII, as well. Zenwalk is a modern Linux distro for low-resource PC-s
    TinyMe - based on pcLinuxOS, but with Openbox 177Mb
  3. mohaas05

    mohaas05 New Member

    Certainly. That's what its here for.

    EDIT: Added Linux from Scratch and Solaris
  4. ChurchedAtheist

    ChurchedAtheist Your resident psycho hobo

  5. RoBz

    RoBz sucker

    Hmm, it needs 192 MB RAM to run.
  6. Noriyuke

    Noriyuke Member

    Now for the :I have old hardware that I wouldent mind throwing linux on. Suggestions, how about providing links as to where to download good copies of this software? Rather than forcing someone like to moap around the net looking for one that has been possibly altered and could fry my little 800Mhz, 120mb ram Toshiba system?
  7. Nimsical

    Nimsical Hi, I'm Nima

    The second post isn't from the author, so you can't really object.
    But you're right, Vanden should have given more detail on his post if he really wanted to help.
    It's really mohaas05's job to add the suggested distros.
  8. Noriyuke

    Noriyuke Member

    Gotcha, well i guess ill have to wait for him them!
  9. Seth

    Seth MD Party Room

    9 times out of 10 it the distribution home page. But here it must be super hard to use google

    Let me google that for you. http://letmegooglethatforyou.com:/?q=Zenwalk+download&l=1

    I say you try out Zenwalk first and see how that runs on your pc. If not then go with deli.

    That a Pentium III you got right?

    Sorry I been waiting to use that let me google that for you website for a while.. and sure I add the links to the post... and all I was really doing was recommending some distro for mohaas05 to add to the list. But I fix up the post and add a little detail to it about the distro....
  10. mohaas05

    mohaas05 New Member

    Updated to include suggestions.
  11. Noriyuke

    Noriyuke Member

    lmao, you get propz for that made me feel more like an asshole, which is always appreciated. I have no idea if its a pentium 3 or not, ill check later on tonight. Its a laptop tho. if that helps.

    i will check out zenwalk first, lol.
  12. soha

    soha New Member

    I think LFS should be added to the "i'm a sadomasochist" section
    also, why isn't arch linux on your list???
  13. Noriyuke

    Noriyuke Member

    Ok, this is more of a fear filled question more than anything else, but how am i going to get the drivers for this linux OS? When usually the driver pages on the toshiba site say their drivers only work for WINXP. So where do i go?
  14. ChurchedAtheist

    ChurchedAtheist Your resident psycho hobo

    what system is it? it may already be supported the instant you plug it in.
  15. soha

    soha New Member

    we need more info, driver for what and what linos are you using?
  16. Moose

    Moose Meta Moose

    What are the advantages Linux has over, say, Windows? I'm just wondering because I am dual-booting Ubuntu on my laptop with Windows XP, and I booted into it and thought to myself, "Why am I even on here?". I mean... Windows has everything I want/need, but is there something I'm just not grasping?
  17. Seth

    Seth MD Party Room

    Depending on your system the drivers are built into linux.So there no need to download or install anything out of the box.
  18. Seth

    Seth MD Party Room


    If you feel like you like windows more then there no resion to stay with liunx.
  19. Noriyuke

    Noriyuke Member

    Ok! Sorry for the wait guys! I was getting a little to into Mercenaries 2, as well as some George Carlin.

    The Model is: Toshiba Satellite 1805-S203

    So tell me, where exactly are you guys getting the info that declares this PC automatically compatible, driver wise with the Zen walk Linux Distro?
  20. mohaas05

    mohaas05 New Member

    There are many reasons. I'll summarize the link so its shorter.

    1. It's more secure
    Since Linux is an open source OS. Bugs and security holes are continuously watched for and are usually fixed in days, if not hours. Compare to weeks or months for Windows.

    2. It's open source
    Open Source means you or anyone else can modify it to whatever suits your liking rather than taking what some programmers in Redmond give you.

    3. It's versatile.

    Linux supports a large variety of programs. And for those not supported, the vast majority of Windows programs can be run in Linux under WINE, a full-speed compatibility layer.

    4. It's easier to use.
    Though the learning curve is steeper, you will find that many tasks such as copying, deleting files, managing settings, and most other basic tasks can be done 10x quicker through the command line. And updating is much simpler with a package manager since it updates ALL of your software, not just Windows.

    5. Freedom
    Using Linux means you are free from the unfair practices of Microsoft. For years, Microsoft has done unlawful things to ensure it has the monopoly on computer usage such as illegally modifying programs and technological standards so they only work on Windows. They also harassed hardware manufacturers by threatening to pull Windows support for their hardware if they did not meet Microsoft's wants. By using Linux, you are no longer contributing to this totalitarian practice. By using Linux, you are instead supporting the efforts of a community that has teamed up with their collaboration, to produce an operating system for the people, by the people.

    I use Linux as the only OS on my laptop and I wouldn't dare switch back to Windows ever. I would use it on my desktop too but my stupid wifi card doesn't work in Linux. (Until I buy a new card at least).

    By the way, Fedora 10 is set for release tomorrow with a lot of promising new features. Can't wait to upgrade!

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