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View Poll Results: What is your favorite Linux distribution for new users?

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  • Fedora

    6 7.50%
  • Debian

    7 8.75%
  • Ubuntu (any variety)

    33 41.25%
  • Mandriva

    3 3.75%
  • OpenSUSE

    9 11.25%
  • Slackware

    0 0%
  • Mint

    16 20.00%
  • Damn Small Linux

    0 0%
  • PCLinuxOS

    3 3.75%
  • Other (please specify)

    3 3.75%
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Originally Posted by Etna i strongly believe that newbies should start with Arch Linux before going on to graphical-install distros like OpenSUSE and Fedora. By building up an entire Arch ...
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  1. #21
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etna View Post
    i strongly believe that newbies should start with Arch Linux before going on to graphical-install distros like OpenSUSE and Fedora.

    By building up an entire Arch Linux system from nothing but the command line and individual packages, you learn much about the underpinnings of Linux, which makes it much easier to appreciate graphical distros.
    Most users neither know or care what an operating system is. They just want to create that document, surf the web or read and send email. For them anything that gets in the way of that goal is a no go.

    Then there are those who want to get under the hood and there are systems that allow that, and then there are those like me who like the easy way but are happy to get under the hood when I have to.

    An operating system should facilitate getting things done as it's main function.
    "I used to be with it, then they changed what it was.
    Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me.
    It'll happen to you too."

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  2. #22
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-cat View Post
    Now, most users don't even know how a hard drive works (magic blue smoke?).

    I guess it depends if the user wants to be a knowledgeable and responsible user or just wants an easy to use idiot friendly system. I think most people just want easy, which is why I voted Mint.
    Well, I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about Linux but I have no idea how a hard drive works and frankly I'm not interested. Why should anyone need to understand hardware in order to use software?

    I don't think it makes someone an idiot if they don't want to know how software works either. That's a matter of temperament. I like to know how the system works because then I feel safer using it, but I'm an old woman and probably paranoid. Most young folk today instinctively trust technology, so they don't feel the need to understand how it works. And I wouldn't describe OS's like Ubuntu and Mint as idiot-friendly; they're novice-friendly and designed to be so.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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  3. #23
    Linux Guru D-cat's Avatar
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    The term "idiot friendly" wasn't meant to imply that the users are idiots. I meant it more in the sense that you don't have to really do anything to make the whole system function; Mint is pretty much there in the "just works" department, hardware and software. You don't have to (re)learn anything special to use it, thus you can be an idiot (re as computer illiterate) and not get overly frustrated trying to figure it out.

    I concede my PR error however. Your term "novice friendly" is less insulting and more accurate. Thank you.

    --

    On a side note, in my public school in the early 90's, we were required to take a computer course, in which several days were devoted to the different systems and setup that went into the basic functioning of a hard drive. Many of the arguments for learning this then just aren't relevant today unless you actually intend to manually make use of low level utilities, which no casual user has any business touching.

    I personally think the concept of understanding how the equipment works which you are using extends well beyond any computer. On a hardware level I know how every component in my (x) works, what its function is, how to deal with it when it breaks, and maybe even how to fix (or replace) it providing it's user serviceable (and some cases where it's not... meant to be anyway).

    x= computer, car, bike, TV, VCR, microwave oven...

    It's just more comfortable for me.

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  5. #24
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    I think for me and many others we like an OS that simply works. No fussing with Command line voodoo or other seemingly arcane manifestations. Yet, it is fun for those like me to peer into the command line to get or tweak to obtain a desired result. It was one of the reasons I tried Fedora, there is a lot of online helpful data from real gurus who had already done the tweaks and manipulations and were kind enough to share their wizardry. This is not to say that other distros do not have such help. During my time with the Fedoras I really did like Fedora 9, as I have stated in earlier posts I stopped using the Fedoras because they became slow and buggy on my NC6000 laptop. At this moment in time both my computers are PPC running Tiger. Yes I know there are Linux for PPC, but let's face it, not a lot of choice for PPC based machines. It's fun to use Linux, when I use Linux it is as a main OS. I need to trust my OS to be as complete and stable as possible. When hard drives all become solid state I will miss an important diagnostic tool. The tool riding on the sides of my head!! Yes my ears! INMHO diagnosing hardware is usually not too hard, however a faulty OS is an issue for me and I'm sure many others.

  6. #25
    oz
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    ...voted for Ubuntu.

    I'm not a fan of it personally, but it's a great place to start for those wanting to get their first taste of Linux.
    oz

  7. #26
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    D-Cat, people like you are the reason I usually stay away from the forums. I have been playing around with Linux since the Mandrake days. I always dreaded going the forums and getting the old "RTFM, you noob".

    That being said, Ubuntu 10.04 work so well, I can freely read the forums and I can tell anyone to hose off if they are being rude because Ubuntu 10 is so user friendly, I don't have to read the f*&ing manual. Everything works.

    I was worried about losing Gimp and switching to the rythmbox music player but F_spot and rythmbox are working very well. Digicam is a nice light photo editor that is easy to figure out.

  8. #27
    Linux Guru D-cat's Avatar
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    Sir, quote me. At what point did I ever say anything like RTFM or ever called anybody a noob? Link directly to the post please. I'm good at admitting my mistakes, so I await you to show me the error of my ways. Please.

    I advocate learning how a system works so you can use it efficiently and effectively. It is not the same as forcing CLI and rejecting the use of GUI, but knowing what's going on under the hood can both improve your GUI experience as well as help you avoid fatal errors. I wont cram it down your throat, but I will help anyone who wants to learn, and not just make a RTFM reference and tell them to leave me alone, and I certainly try hard to avoid insulting people (which can be extra difficult in a text interface).

    In this particular thread, I was mentioning MY preferences, MY experiences and motivations, which has nothing to do with the actual advice I give to others. I chose Mint for new users, which is a flavor of Ubuntu, with and because of much less post-install setup. It fits well for those who belive that a modern OS shouldn't require CLI use, and believe it or not, I agree with that. I reiterate, advocating is not requiring. I fail to observe a fundamental disagreement or any legitimate basis for which you seek to insult me.

  9. #28
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-cat View Post
    Sir, quote me. At what point did I ever say anything like RTFM or ever called anybody a noob? Link directly to the post please. I'm good at admitting my mistakes, so I await you to show me the error of my ways. Please.
    I think it was that term "idiot-friendly" that put the poster off. As you yourself said, that's bad PR.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

  10. #29
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Back on topic people....We'll be lucky if this thread doesn't get edited as it stands.
    My Favorite Desktop Distro for New Users - 2010 is Mint Linux!
    It just works with minimal fuss and I think it's a bit easier on the eyes than Ubuntu. Someone once said Mint is Ubuntu on Steroids and I agree with that.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

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  11. #30
    Linux Guru D-cat's Avatar
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    When I was writing that, Hazel, I was thinking of the "Idiots guide to..." and "...for dummys" series. It was more meant as in a light that reflects how some people see themselves in a simple, mildly humorous way. It was not meant to be insulting, but like I said, this can be difficult to convey in a text only setting. This is why I accept your criticism and advice; it is good!

    Okay, Mike. You're right. Let us return. Come come now, to the rose bush.

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