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Which Distribution of Linux?

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December 30, 2008 8:36:55 AM

Hi,

i am looking to experimaent with linux and am wondering whcih is the best distribution for my needs.
im using a dell xps m1530 laptop which i have created a partition on already.
i only really want tot learn how to use it properly and hope to learn so i can begin to learn about programming.
Does anyone know which distribution would be the best for me?
I have considered ubuntu and also fedora.

More about : distribution linux

a b 5 Linux
December 30, 2008 1:43:21 PM

Either will do you very nicely indeed, or you could install both! It's really just a question of personal choice. Both have liveCD's that you could run without installing anything just to get a feel for the default UI etc. Both will allow you to install just about every last flavour of development platform you could ever want.

There are other distros out there that might be more developer specific but unless you were a seasoned developer wanting to play with a very specific development language / API then you won't gain anything. By staying with an active an popular distro then you benefit from active support forums and better driver support built into the distro.

Do you have any specific ideas on just what you want to learn in terms of programming? It might be people have some ideas on packages to install to get you started in the right direction.
a b 5 Linux
December 30, 2008 3:51:16 PM

Both are very good :) 

Try them both. They will coexist peacefully on the same system :) 
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December 30, 2008 6:41:35 PM

Alright thanks.
a b 5 Linux
December 30, 2008 11:18:05 PM

Both are good although I am biased towards Fedora.
December 31, 2008 6:12:49 AM

Heh, I have a special place for fedora in my heart just because it was my first ever Linux distro. I must say they are both really good distros. If you are the kind who likes to experiment a bit more and have more control up front, I'd recommend Fedora over Ubuntu. If you want a basic system up and running quickly that you can add to later, go for Ubuntu. Really, when it comes down to it, Linux distributions are like Englilsh dialects: some things may be said (or done) slightly differently, but the end result is that the same information is conveyed (or the same tasks are accomplished) with a high degree of understandability between dialects (or high degree of interoperability between distros).

Have fun!

-Zorak
a b 5 Linux
December 31, 2008 9:32:12 AM

^

Ubuntu is great for VMs

Fedora is great for booting

BTW: Did you mean European dialect?
December 31, 2008 10:30:09 AM

k. i downloaded fedora 10 live cd and have been using it however i fail to see the point of using it. it is simple i was expecting to have to learn how to use commands and what not in order to achieve my goal of increasing my knowledge of programing and operating systems. am i missing something, is there a more difficult side of fedora?
a b 5 Linux
December 31, 2008 10:34:09 AM

You tried terminal yet?

best if you install fedora first.

First terminal command you need to know in fedora is
  1. yum install [program]
December 31, 2008 11:09:26 AM

Wat does that command mean?
a b 5 Linux
December 31, 2008 11:15:04 AM

it installs a program eg. firefox

so like:
  1. yum install firefox


You use it terminal
a b 5 Linux
December 31, 2008 3:04:18 PM

Install Fedora 10 and select the software development option during installation, in fact select everything.

Fedora has a bazillion commands and a lot of programming languages.

C, C++, Perl, Python, PHP, ruby, shell, java and a lot more.

Good luck :) 
December 31, 2008 4:46:42 PM

Well every linux distro with a terminal has tons of commands, the command you saw is a basic command. [package manager] [install/get] [program] for .deb apt would be like the only package manager so it would look like: apt get [program]. .rpm has many package managers to choose from (yum, SMART, and more). So rpm would be like yum install [program] or SMART install [program]. There's Konsole/Terminal wiki's if you want to learn more, just google it.
December 31, 2008 5:01:28 PM

Most modern distros have a GUI, so using the command line to get everything done just isn't necessary. However, you can still run them without the GUI if you so choose and use the command line.
December 31, 2008 6:59:31 PM

True, Synaptic is awesome and just about every .deb user uses it. It also works with .rpm tho.
a b 5 Linux
December 31, 2008 9:44:42 PM

^+1 it's like yum for ubuntu.
December 31, 2008 10:15:44 PM

What does all this yum, deb and rpm mean? Also how can i select the software development option if im using the Live Disc. will i have to download the full distro and then install? finally when i was running it off the disc yesterday, on the desktop there was the option to install to hardrive. i tried this but i cannot figure it out. i had previously made a 10GB partition in Vista but when i select this (sda\3 ... 4 or something) it wont let me install, it says i havent specified a root (\) something or rather. ANY ideas?
a b 5 Linux
December 31, 2008 10:35:51 PM

make sure it's in the ext3 file system.

then try root.
a b 5 Linux
January 1, 2009 2:20:47 AM

Also I recommend a 40GB partition.

10GB is going to be small.

Good luck :) 
January 1, 2009 3:08:16 AM

Thanks. Ill try what you suggested.
a b 5 Linux
January 1, 2009 6:05:34 AM

Or you can buy an extra hard drive. Both are great options.
January 1, 2009 2:00:15 PM

falconhr92 said:
k. i downloaded fedora 10 live cd and have been using it however i fail to see the point of using it. it is simple i was expecting to have to learn how to use commands and what not in order to achieve my goal of increasing my knowledge of programing and operating systems. am i missing something, is there a more difficult side of fedora?


Hmmm...Maybe you want ArchLinux. :ouch:  But really GCC + Gedit or Kwrite or append from shell input and compile. Get going!
a b 5 Linux
January 1, 2009 6:03:49 PM

Everyone knows real coders use vi :lol:  :D 
January 2, 2009 2:35:00 AM

amdfangirl said:
^+1 it's like yum for ubuntu.

Actually yum is more like apt. Synaptic is only a front-end for apt while yum is a complete package manager so an apt-yum comparison would be more appropriate. There's seems to be a lot of confusion over .rpm, .deb, yum, apt, etc.
.rpm and .deb are package formats like .exe, .txt.
apt, SMART, and yum are package managers. They manage dependencies, installing, uninstalling, and compatibility checks.
Synaptic is a front-end meaning it's a GUI for apt, apt is only available in the terminal via
  1. apt get
so Synaptic is a GUI for apt where you can point and click. It also taps into apt's advanced capabilities which would be unusable or useless through text.

Formats | rpm | deb

Managers |yum, SMART | apt

GUI's |yum, SMART | Synaptic

I don't know much about fedora but if you want to learn more about OSes and programming I recommend using Gentoo because you compile the apps yourself. Slackware can help you learn linux, there's a old saying
  1. [i]Use slackware and you learn about linux, use red hat and you learn about red hat[/i]
Of course now that's more like
  1. [i]Use slackware and you learn about linux, use [insert disro] and you learn about [distro name][/i]
a b 5 Linux
January 2, 2009 3:41:31 PM

You forgot a little something there :) 

  1. apt-get install <selected package>



All major distributions are LSB compliant.

:) 
January 2, 2009 4:53:47 PM

I thought it was apt get [package] but I only included apt get because that's the command like that's the verb.
a b 5 Linux
January 2, 2009 5:33:18 PM

It is actually apt-get command package_name

:) 
January 3, 2009 12:38:24 AM

Hi,
So yesterday i install fedora, no problems.
i was looking through the applications and noticed no Python.
i then went on the net and downloaded the latest one for linux.
I am having alot of trouble installing because of all the new jargon.
Basically i have run the configure script and it generates makefile, i look in the readme and it says to then execute the "makefile" by typing make in the top level directory.
I am completley lost some one please HELP!
a b 5 Linux
January 3, 2009 4:33:51 AM

Applications => System Tools => Terminal

  1. su -


then enter the root password and hit enter

  1. yum -y install python


All done :) 
a b 5 Linux
January 3, 2009 7:45:53 AM

This is the one bit that blew my brother away when I set his EeePc up. All his software in one place, all updated automatically.
a b 5 Linux
January 3, 2009 6:27:10 PM

:D 

The repos do indeed kick some serious butt :) 

With a fast connection or the DVD you can install almost anything in no time.

On windoze with all the bloat and stuff it can take a long time, not to mention you have to spend half your life rebooting.
a b 5 Linux
January 3, 2009 11:37:04 PM

I've got his Eee for the next couple of weeks whilst I'm away on business. Free wi-fi in the hotel so he'll find some new toys installed by the time he gets back... For some reason kismet might just be one of them ;) 
a b 5 Linux
January 4, 2009 2:17:34 AM

You might as well install some nice stuff on there or download some pr0n just to say thanks for letting you borrow it ;)  :D 
January 4, 2009 6:46:24 AM

When it comes to drivers and Windows updates, yeah, there is rebooting involved. However, updating most software doesn't involve a reboot.
a b 5 Linux
January 4, 2009 10:12:40 PM

:(  The old rig that I gave my brother some time ago (and which he was going to use whilst I had his Eee) decided to burst into flames on Sunday morning. Fortunately he was there and managed to throw the burning PC out of the house before it caused him or his home any damage. This is not just a blown cap, the thing actually burnt IDE cables with flames licking out the side!! I've yet to see the rig to try and establish the cause but it's all a bit strange...

I had to let him take his Eee back :( 
a b 5 Linux
January 4, 2009 11:41:02 PM

That sucks :( 

Please post some pictures for us and let us know exactly what was in the PC.

I'm sure a lot of us would like to know, so we can avoid those parts.
January 5, 2009 2:13:34 AM

P4? I once used a OC'ed one to scramble eggs. GFX card? My 7300GT reached 110C that time the fan broke. Still works with a new cooler.
a b 5 Linux
January 5, 2009 10:16:58 PM

audiovoodoo said:
:(  The old rig that I gave my brother some time ago (and which he was going to use whilst I had his Eee) decided to burst into flames on Sunday morning. Fortunately he was there and managed to throw the burning PC out of the house before it caused him or his home any damage. This is not just a blown cap, the thing actually burnt IDE cables with flames licking out the side!! I've yet to see the rig to try and establish the cause but it's all a bit strange...

I had to let him take his Eee back :( 


Ouch... tell me you didn't use the same parts as my rig.

linux_0 said:
That sucks :( 

Please post some pictures for us and let us know exactly what was in the PC.

I'm sure a lot of us would like to know, so we can avoid those parts.


I'm gonna expect chargrill.
a b 5 Linux
January 9, 2009 2:26:34 PM

I've just got back from a week out of town training for my new job. I'll be round there shortly and let you know. PC spec was:

AthlonXP 2500 (running at STOCK)
Akasa Carnival cooler with 8cm fan
MSI Delta (summit or other) MB
2Gb DDR400 generic ram
Enermax 420w PSU

From talking to him the other night it sounds like the power switch on the case shorted and lit up some fluff. I'd totally stripped and cleaned the rig 3 months back and I doubt it had had 50hrs run time since then.... I'll let you know but it looks like a freak accident, that said my bro did once manage to kill one of my lovely MF MA50 class A monoblock power amps a few years back so I'm wondering if it's a carbon based error....
a b 5 Linux
January 9, 2009 7:36:15 PM

Well I'd savage what you can... that DDR-400 might be swappable for some DDR-800... if you manage to sell it...

Too bad there's no warranty...
a b 5 Linux
January 10, 2009 2:43:50 PM

I'm on DDR2-1066 so not much point, I'll save the RAM and maybe the DVD drive but the rest is heading for that great dumpster in the sky. It's just not worth taking a risk with kit that has been on fire, thrown out of a door and then had a cup of water thrown at the burning bits! The RAM is so unlikely to kill anything if we try it that I'll fire it up in the housemates rig and see if it works - it didn't get wet and otherwise looks fine.

I've had a good look at the rig now and think I've found the seat of the fire. It looks like the cathode lighting kit I left in there shorted out and blew. The cathode was not inside the case, itprobably went flying when the case did. If you want to take a look I've got some pics up on Flickr now:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/audiovoodoo/sets/721576123...
a b 5 Linux
January 10, 2009 7:46:10 PM

Holly ******** ********* *********** ************!

That's bad :( 

Thanks for the pix :) 
a b 5 Linux
January 10, 2009 8:18:11 PM

Well no harm in blowing up someone else's rig... right?*

*unless they find out of course :p 
a b 5 Linux
January 11, 2009 11:03:09 AM

amdfangirl said:
Well no harm in blowing up someone else's rig... right?*

*Especially if it's an Apple :p 


Fixed.
a b 5 Linux
January 12, 2009 5:24:31 AM

Why do most people bash Apple?

I'm not a fan myself, but why?

(I got my Macbook from my school for free)
January 13, 2009 1:51:25 AM

Most people don't bash apple, most people bash MS. I bash apple because they aren't held to the same standards as MS. The mactards then counter with the fact that MS is a monopoly and therefore other companies don't have to be held to the same standards. This is a rather assinine thing to do as it is akin to answering the question "why is the sky blue" with the answer "Because the sun is in outer space". While the answer is technically correct, it has nothing to do with the question at hand. This is much the same as how a company's status as a monopoly has NOTHING to do with whether or not their business practices are anti-competitive.

I remember reading an article a while back about how apple was using hidden APIs which granted safari an unfair advantage over Firefox. Nobody really gave a **** about it. However, if Microsoft did the same thing, everyone would scream bloody murder. I am not a fan of Microsoft, but I am a fan of consistency in the law and fair business practices.

There are plenty of other reasons why I don't like apple, but I'll not stoke this fire any further.

-Zorak
a b 5 Linux
January 13, 2009 5:42:50 AM

Ay, I'm totally cool about it.
a b 5 Linux
January 16, 2009 3:19:36 PM

Oh come on, you know I was just taking the piddle. Don't you remember the apple thread down here where I picked up a lot of flack for defending Sypher (who later got banned in the other) when he asked why there was no apple section?
a b 5 Linux
January 16, 2009 8:51:43 PM

I really wouldn't go too off topic...
!