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Hi all I have already posted a question in miscellaneous called making-music-linux-whats-best-my-laptop, but the replies I got to that led me to broader considerations, hence this new post. On and ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Am I missing something??!!


    Hi all

    I have already posted a question in miscellaneous called making-music-linux-whats-best-my-laptop, but the replies I got to that led me to broader considerations, hence this new post.

    On and off, for the past few years, I've tried out a few different distros. What I realise is that I'm only really checking out which desktop environment I prefer. If you can install pretty much any desktop environment on top of any distro, then I was wondering what the difference is, really.

    So that question led me to the following:
    49303-whats-difference-inbetween-distros.html
    /coffee-lounge/186244-difference-between-linux-distros.html
    Comparison_of_Linux_distributions on Wikipedia.

    So I now know that package management is a big difference. I can see that Debian-based systems have a different way of handling packages than Red-Hat based systems or Mandriva, or Slackware, etc. But that doesn't really tell me why one would be better for me than another. If the technical aspect of why you would prefer .deb to RPM is too complicated for me to understand, then do I even need to know?

    I'm not competent enough in the ways of Linux to take on Arch or Gentoo or any rolling distro.

    That Wikipedia comparison seems to say that OpenSUSE has the greatest number of software packages available. So I'm thinking, if it doesn't really matter to me what type of package management a system has, as long as it works, then I might as well go for the one with the most software that's easily installable...

    I know other things to consider are the length of time a release will be supported and the support that's there for users from other users, wikis, etc.

    Also, it does matter to me who makes the distro and why. So, for example, that would make me lean more towards Debian than Ubuntu or OpenSUSE or Fedora because there doesn't seem to be that commercial focus behind Debian. But if you were to follow that logic, then would you not want to just go for a distro that is completely open and free, such as one endorsed by the Free Software Foundation? But I've a feeling that one of those distros would be too difficult to operate smoothly for a relative novice such as myself.

    Of course, what best suits my hardware is another issue, but it's very hard to get information on that. Seems that trial and error are the only ways of finding out. (That leads me to a question: if I boot off a live CD/USB key, and all the hardware works, then can you safely say that it will work when the distro is installed fully on the hard-drive?)

    I have other, more specific needs (about making and editing music) that might trump some of these concerns but I'm still curious.

    I feel like I'm missing something....

  2. #2
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    Generally, you should expect an installed system to work if it works from a Live CD/flash drive. I've seen posts by users who have had problems after installation when everything worked on the Live CD but it's free software so there's no guarantee. The Live CD concept is basically to test a system before installing. Most distributions also let you install from the Live CD.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    Generally, you should expect an installed system to work if it works from a Live CD/flash drive. I've seen posts by users who have had problems after installation when everything worked on the Live CD but it's free software so there's no guarantee. The Live CD concept is basically to test a system before installing. Most distributions also let you install from the Live CD.
    What happens when the CD is gone? Is everyone going to use USB?

  4. #4
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Have a look at my post here which discusses a few of the differences between distros
    peGGi likes this.
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


    The Fifth Continent

  5. #5
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    You pose a question I had as a newbie also. My answer was to try the live distro's of several different distro's and settle on the ones that had the most software that I actually wanted to use, then learn that package management. In many cases it was a close call, with debian/ubuntu systems beating out the competition by 1 or 2 apps of the 30 or so I wanted to install. Best answer is to try a few distro's in a VM, install all the apps you want from their repositories, and see how they work for you. You may find that one system or distro has more of the apps that are must haves for you, or you like the way one handles better than another. Linux is all about personal choice, not one programmer's (or team's) decision on what you should use and the features you should have.
    peGGi likes this.
    Registered Linux user #526930

  6. #6
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I got in to *nix about 18 months ago. I was using it in virtual machines as a "buffer" for windows 7 to connect to / surf the web because doze has so many security issues.

    In April of this year I took the plunge and started working with it on hardware.

    I was on doze for 30 years. There is a learning curve with *nix. But it is so flexible that once you get in to it a little bit you'll be amazed at what you can do.

    You want something custom? Then just build it. I still have tons to learn. But, in 7 months I have learned enough that I can now compile (use other peoples pieces are parts to make) my own "remix" (version) of *nix from the shell up (think doze command prompt).

    So, it is just exactly what *I* want it to be, down to the very last detail.

    If we installed it on your system you might not think much of it. But, that's the *great* thing about *nix: You don't have to settle for what *I* think is a good idea!

    Stick with it. It is 1,000,000% worth the learning curve.
    peGGi likes this.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your responses. I'm sticking with it.... Trying out various distros through VM and live usb.

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