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  1. #1

    How do I know which Linux distro would be the best one for me?


    I know this might be a stupid question, but I'm looking for a version that will be able to satisfy my demands.

    Since I'm new to the Linux world (I've just tried out some distros and familiarized a bit), searching an answer for my first question "What is the best Linux distro?", I've discovered that it actually depends on one's needs. I repeat, I've got no idea how many distros are out there and what is their general porpoise, and due to lack of time to review every one of them, or the most popular ones at least, I'm asking you.

    I'm a student with intermediate Java/Python knowledge and learning the basics of C++, I'm security-oriented, I've been using Windows since I've laid eyes on my first PC and I plan on changing that due to major issues with security (I connect with other PCs for work/projects collaboration, and as of late I can't expect each one of them to be clean), and this brings me to the sequent question: What is, in your opinion and experience, the distro better suited for me?

    If you need additional information of any kind, please ask and I will try to answer. Thank you for your time.

    Note: I've took the "distro quiz" and I'm still not sure since I get as result different versions, I repeat, my question applies to the community's experience, thank you again.
    Last edited by aLx_v1; 01-15-2012 at 12:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome!

    Sounds like stability and development are important factors for you.
    There are sure to be more opinions forthcoming, but just to start you off:
    • Debian
    • Slackware
    • CentOS or Scientific Linux

    Any one of those will do nicely as a stable platform with easy access to development tools.
    Jay

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  3. #3
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Distrowatch.com has over 600 distro's, and that isn't all there are. You can search their list by different criteria, or go to the top 100 downloads and work your way down until you find one you like.
    Registered Linux user #526930

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  5. #4
    If you never used linux before I probably would start out with Mint or Open Suse.

  6. #5
    Hi,

    I would recommend CentOS or Fedora to you. They both have the considerable reputation and experience of Red Hat behind them (Fedora is an upstream, community-driven off-shoot of it, and CentOS is a free, binary-compatible clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux). They also have a wide array of software packages available to them, and as they are so popular, finding support for them when you have problems is not too hard to find. The same can be said of Ubuntu, on those last two points, but, for various reasons (not least amongst them, development and administration related tasks), I personally prefer the Red Hat based distros.

    Test drive a couple of them before installing (most all of the big distros support that), to see if anything grabs you.

  7. #6
    Thank you all for your suggestions, I've decided to go with Debian KDE, the Gnome interface seems just to be a fancier one, and KDE provides quicker access based on what I've seen. I have one more question though, I've decided to use Debian as my working space and keep Windows for anything else. So is it possible to create a dual boot with Windows and Debian in the same HDD, as Ubuntu seems to be able to, or do I have to do it manually? Thanks again for your time.

  8. #7
    The short answer is yes: you can install ANY version of Linux along side Windows on a single hard drive. The long answer is, how easy that is depends upon the distribution. And the newer the distribution, the more sophisticated and simplified that process becomes. A quick googling indicates that Debian has no problem with that:

    Dual Boot Windows and Linux Grub - Debian Linux with Windows 98 ME NT 2000 and XP

    That tutorial seems dated, but for that very reason, would indicate to me that Debian will currently happily and easily do what you want. The only catch is to make sure that you have enough space on the drive for Linux, if your intent is to put both Linux and Windows there.

    If you do not have enough space, or Windows is hogging the whole drive, you can boot with a GParted Live CD to resize your partitions to make room for Linux. Back up important data before doing any of this, though.
    Last edited by atreyu; 01-15-2012 at 03:40 PM. Reason: typos

  9. #8
    Another vote for mint

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