Searching for 1st Linux OS

Hello...I am ready to install my first Linux OS. Can anyone recommend a simple, reliable, robust, and inexpensive Linux OS that I can configure with a firewall for use with my cable modem for web travel? Also, after formatting and partitioning my new WD HDD, what procedure exists that will lead me through a "right the first time" Linux install? I want to be able to use the best features that Linux offers. Thank you.
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  1. From my newb point of view, the biggest speed bump in Linux is hardware compatibility. For an easy "right the first time" install, I would research all of your hardware before hand and ensure that it is supported under the version of Linux you want.

    Luckily for me, I have an Audigy that is very popular, and an Nforce2 motherboard that has drivers available for download on the Nvidia website.

    I have recently tried a couple popular versions of Linux, Redhat 9.0 and SuSE 8.2. I strongly prefer SuSE because it had a much easier time detecting my hardware and the interface was more friendly IMO.

    My computer is the leading cause of global warming.
  2. Mandrake is probably the easiest distro to get up and running quickly and correctly.

    Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
  3. Thank you...where is the best source to get that OS and I havent chosen my mobo yet but I may get an InForce mobo or an ABIT, ASUS, MSI, or Gigabit mobo so that I can add a sound card and a fast vid card...any ideas on the hardware and will it matter? Whats a stable chipset if I get a mobo with an AMD CPU?

    Thanks again.
  4. Linux supports all the same hardware as windows does. So long as it's not extremely exotic, you'll be fine.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">The Mandrake homepage</A> has links to all ftp mirrors... The ftp.buffalo.cse or something like that is always fast for me.

    Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
  5. I think it's or maybe something like that. There's a whole page of mirrors there anyways.

    Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
  6. I've installed redhat, turbolinux, & slackware (all except slackware had hardware incompatabilities)... but if you want the easiest linux with the fewest hardware hassles go to and (if you have broadband) download an ISO of knoppix. If your computer can boot from cd-rom, you can boot off the knoppix CD and have it autoconfigure for all your hardware automatically - without even loading it to your harddrive! You do need at least 128 meg the ram, & the more the better. I have a computer that doesn't have a harddrive, and it is running knoppix off CD. And if you want, you can install it to your harddrive. Knoppix has set a new standard in user-friendly installation.
  7. Allow me to ask a "dumb question"..what version of knoppix is best to dlload (I have cable) and what utility is best to use to extract or unzip an ISO file? What does ISO mean anyways? Thanks-(I was ready to buy Mandrake but think that the $54 for it is too rich for my budget.)
  8. i think all versions of knoppix on their website is the same, just in different languages, make sure you get the english one if thats what you speak ;)

    an ISO file is basically a CD image. if you dont already have it go download a copy of Ahead Nero burning rom software. its easy to find, and i belive it has a free trial period in which you can burn your CDs. you want to "create a cd from an image file" and then the select the iso file as the image. viola, bootable cd. sexy huh? now if you dont own a CD burner, i think you might be forced to buy the CD or forced to buy a CD burner.

    either way ill let you know if knoppix is worth it. ive tried using linux before several years ago and basically I was too dumb to figure it out. even by like 13 years old i was already PCized too much. so this thread inspired me to download knoppix which should be done in a little under 3 hours :)
  9. Getin back to "I am ready to install my first Linux OS."...

    IMHO, After I messed around downloadin and creating boot disks, and various distros that came close - after 6 mo... I finally bought a brand new boxed Suse from CompUsa

    Gotta go with RyanPlusOne, I also "strongly prefer SuSE"... same,same..
    and for first time Linux it's a SMOOTH outathebox experience!
    I have "SuSe" stickers on my Box!

    Suse's a "Classy" distro... $39 Personal. $69 Pro
    Try either, Everything, Oneplace, no messing around...
    Nobody can call Suse a bad distro!
  10. The only easy linux distro thats free to download is lycoris.
    Download it from here

    Comparision of major linux distors
  11. umm. linux is free. why pay? unless you want tech support and documentation (on paper) go to whatever distro you want and download the ISO's or just get on google and do a search for whichever. i had mandrake 8.1 for awhile. didn quite like it. Redhat 7.3 is nice. i tried getting RedHat 9.0 but after i downloaded all 8 ISO's and burned them to disc's...only the first one worked, the rest were corrupt. so be careful. i tried a couple of times from several sources to get other ISO's that worked, and still no. so im currently fat and happy with 7.3 ive heard a lot of good about SUSE i may purchase it sometime when i have 50 bucks to throw away. (why pay when you can get it for free)

    so, in closing...find a friend who has it....or download it. Linux is free, it is for you to discover...Linus Torvalds (spelling?) gave his OS away to the open source community and Linux itself cannot be charged for. only the books and support and the os "comes with it"

    so...GET SUSE! or RedHat!

    and what mobo...get an Asus no question, get Nvidia NForce with dual channel...get the A7N8x ddr 3200 with any amd XP....and be happy...your open source!

    OSI, ISO, ITU-T, IETF, IEEE, WEP, 802.1X IPSec, ISAKMP, ATM, FR, 802.3, X.25, 802.11, 802.5, MPLS, RIP, OSPF...
    Welcome to the acronym industry.
  12. I've been using and abusing Linux since it was first created....I was using Solaris before that....and was messing with VAX/VMS even before that. I will tell you right now...MANDRAKE MANDRAKE MANDRAKE MANDRAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MANDRAKE!!!!! *puffs chest and shouts* MANDRAKE!!!

    Mandrake is the easiest install AND it has good support on the web since it is run by enough people to provide such support. If you go with anything other than Mandrake...SuSe would be an ok option. I personally didn't like just felt wrong to me. People that try a lot of distro's will know what I mean when I say that. I cannot stress enough that Mandrake will be your best bet.

    Now to tell you something else. No matter what distro you do decide to run, you will be able to set it up as both a server AND a firewall. So don't worry about that part cuz you still have to get past the Mandrake and install it as a has a great installation GUI that will guide you through it...then concentrate on the firewall: either go to and get you one or browse mandrake's website for one that they provide with the distro. Good luck and have fun.

    ***Remember the two places that you will have the most help with is bulletin boards like this one (or old BBS's) and IRC. I learned everything I know about computers from IRC and it was IRC that first sparked my interest in doing everything other than just chatting with computers.

  13. Hello,
    I am just about to set up my new comp to have duel windows/linex o/s. i have to have both as other people in my house wont be able to use linux. i am currently a uni studinmg doing computer science and my uni uses red hat linux. I would like to know if this is much differen to other linuxes? I want my linux at home to be very smiliar to the one i have at uni if not the same. I will be using programing programs on linux like java, c++ etc. Thanks to this thread i was think of not using red hat what are you guys thoughts? Or should i just stay with what i know how to do ?
  14. There are some small differences between the distributions, but this is mostly about software management and gui tools. Basically, Linux is Linux. RedHat has almost become a defacto standard, and many other distros have been based on it - Mandrake being one of the most notable. RedHat is a popular choice, and will be just fine for Java, C++, etc programming.

    <i>Knock Knock, Neo</i>
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