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Would it be an idea if someone is going to install a Linux distro he/she didn't use before to write a little review here? That way, we can read about ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Enthusiast
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    Write your experiences with a new distro...


    Would it be an idea if someone is going to install a Linux distro he/she didn't use before to write a little review here? That way, we can read about it based on experience by members of this forum instead of using "general" information from sites like Distrowatch.

    I'm not saying those sites are wrong, but what I always find interesting/important, is why a distro is satisfying or not. Did it work, anything you noticed, etc.. Of course, this way, we get "coloured" reviews, but believing we're all serious in what we're doing, that shouldn't be a drawback

    At the moment, I'm installing Ubuntu, so unless you don't like to, I'll write my review within the next days.

    And for now... add your own review(s) if you like

  2. #2
    jvx
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    I will write a review of Fedora Core 3
    And edit this post when i'm ready!

  3. #3
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    Let me inform you of Gentoo. I've installed it on both of my computers (server and desktop).

    --GENTOO--
    Website: http://www.gentoo.org
    Media: Pick one of two options. Minimal CD, which boots into a live CD environment so you can compile your system via emerge. Universal CD, which boots you into a live CD environment so you can compile your system without downloading anything (but the enormous CD itself).
    Installation: This could get long...

    The installation is an 8+ hour ordeal (depending on your processor's compilation speed and what "stage" you begin from) of maneuvering past obstacles and hand-coding much. It requires building almost everything from your scratch (although there are a few configuration utilities for kernels, systems, etcetera that are offered). There is a really great manual available on the Gentoo site which basically walks you through the entire installation and also allows for customization. Fortunately, the IRSSI client comes on the live CD. In case you need to talk at all.

    First boot: Your first boot into Gentoo will be straight to... the CLI! Yay! You are granted a minimal system to work in for your first time. But, simple commands such as "emerge fluxbox," "emerge kde," or "emerge gnome" and then patience will have you running X.
    Everyday running: Works perfectly, since Gentoo must be built from scratch. Gentoo is not the kind of thing that will crash during your work or games. Fedora apps sometimes crashed on me, for instance. Gentoo can handle anything, source or binary (though of course source-compiled applications are more stable) and can automatically download, compile and install thousands of applications via emerge.
    Server usage: Well, Gentoo is a rock-solid OS. The compilation of all of your apps is responsible for that. My server, which I stuck Gentoo on five days ago, now has an uptime of... Five days.

    Edit: Boldness.
    --Dachnaz [Fuzzy Llama]

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    All my distro experiences are catalogued in all their obscene glory on my personal website. I've posted the link here before but I thought I'd once again give a disclaimer that these are mostly HUMOROUS reviews meant to make fun of features I didn't like about the various distros, not to be THE distro review site. That being said, once again for your guilty pleasure:

    TechieMoe's Tech Section
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

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    WOW TechieMoe, that is a lot of distros. I looked at a couple of reviews and from the SuSE review I think that you are using that currently? Would be nice to know after all of those what you use / rate the best.

    I have just installed SuSE 9.0 from a magazine cover DVD and after using Mandrake for ages I am well impressed with SuSE, now I just need a more recent version. My biggest issue with Mandrake is upgrading, the last time I tried I had to do a total reinstall, it was a total mess. What is SuSE like in this regard?

  7. #6
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunx
    WOW TechieMoe, that is a lot of distros. I looked at a couple of reviews and from the SuSE review I think that you are using that currently? Would be nice to know after all of those what you use / rate the best.
    Well, as I've mentioned in my reviews, what distro I like best depends on my life situation at the time. Since right now I live in the middle of nowhere (a situation I hope to rectify in coming months) I have no access to decent internet of any kind, so what I need in an OS is something that's stable, works out of the box, and includes working software on the actual CDs (rather than making me get what I need online). For me, SuSE was the answer to that. I've gone through 2 versions so far (9.1 and 9.2, both Professional Edition) and I'm quite impressed. I plan on upgrading to 9.3 in a few weeks.

    My biggest issue with Mandrake is upgrading, the last time I tried I had to do a total reinstall, it was a total mess. What is SuSE like in this regard?
    I had a little trouble upgrading from 9.1 to 9.2, but it was mostly because in that version they decided to shift to X.org rather than XFree86 and I had to reconfigure my X environment. As far as I can tell I've had no issues with any package upgrades. I can't say how well the Yast Online Update (YOU) works however, since as I said I don't get online at home.
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

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    Fedora 3

    Been trying to use Fedora/RedHat for couple of years now. Presently, have Fedora 3 installed and trying to use it. As a long time Windows user, I consistently get complicated with Linux commands and syntac.

    Even using the best GUI's, it is still difficult to solve problems when using Fedora 3. KDE is lots of help and so is GNOME but I still have "mounting" problems.

    My floppy drive "B" is a 5.25 drive and is needed to move old files from 5.25 floppies to CDs or DVDs. It just does not want to "mount". Fedora sees the drive but it will not mount.

  9. #8
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    Nice site techiMoe!
    Linux registered user #358842
    Human knowledge belongs to the world.

  10. #9
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    Okay... my review of Ubuntu 4.10:

    Installation: easy going, text-based. Within 5 minutes the installation was running, I needed only to supply some network settings (IP adress, subnet, gateway) and configure the harddisk/partitions. I couldn't select which package (not) to install. But the whole distro is on one cd, so installation goes quickly.

    Usage: everything is done from the point of a regular user. Root account is disabled (you can't login with Gnome or console). I found that a drawback. Now, you have to use the "sudo" command. When I booted into runlevel 1, changed the root password, I could use the root account in console. After adjusting the login procedure so that I could login with Gnome as root, I got in. BUT... after loging out, I ended up in textmode, without X. Some "admin" things require a password, but the password of the user, not the root.

    Deployment: since it's a one disc distro, it's extremely usefull in a "install and run" enviroment (such as in an office). I do miss a "install/remove software graphical tool", but that's personal. The distro is fairly complete, OpenOffice, Mozilla Firefox (0.9.3), Evolution, Gnome, Gimp, Evolution, Gaim, Sound juicer. This distro is intended for a workstation, server related applications aren't around.

    Conclusion: if you're new to Linux, this could be a distro to look for (among others though). Installation is pretty straight forward and within a short amound of time, you're up and running (on my 333 mHz laptop with 64 mb RAM, it took aprox. 90 minutes). As regular user, you might have a bit too much rights, where havoc could be created a bit too easy?

  11. #10
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    Alright, well, let me do Mandrake 10.0, as this was my first real Linux usage:

    I found Mandrake to be very open to beginners. Having no real hardware knowledge, the installer was very easy to use and the automatic partitioning became very useful. Also, the package selection installed many things by default, but left a lot up to me, thus giving me customability while ensuring proper operation.

    My problems with Mandrake were twofold: first off, I had to compile my own kernel. While I enjoy doing this, my hardware knowledge is not sufficient to create a working, efficient kernel. My second problem was a number of small glitches that added up after a while. For example, if I didn't press Esc when running LILO, I ended up with a graphical glitch that made me unable to access the Ctrl-Alt-F# terminals (which I greatly enjoyed using). Also, the desktop applet for network strength was not correct, and my desktop icons would just disappear after a while.

    I didn't necessarily dislike Mandrake, but I decided to go distro-hopping and see what would fit me better. Thus, I came to Debian:

    Debian was an odd choice...in that it was horribly complicated to install. I was told that once installation was done, Debian was awesome, so I decided to stick with it. The manual partitioning was actually a learning experience, and I kind of appreciated that. The main problem was the package selection, which took me 2 days, and I ended up without any X running. I wasn't even gonna bother looking for a solution. I sought out a new distro.

    SuSE 9.2...

    It took me WAY too long to get the DVD ISO for this (I finally found a torrent, but my manual downloads kept freezing and restarting). And when I did, I had to buy DVD-R's, and then I couldn't boot the DVD. I had to actually rewire my DVD drive in order to make it appear in my boot menu.

    Then I booted SuSE. OMG.

    For one thing, the installation was very smooth. I enjoyed every part of it.

    I then ran SuSE. I found my menu already sorted into categories. It was kind of annoying, with the lack of specific names, but I got used to it after a while. I especially like how, if you have 2 IM apps (Kopete and Gaim, for example), it will categorize the both, and name both.

    The next thing I loved was YaST. Although it was a pain to get FTP sources into it, I found YaST an invaluable resource. I don't know if other distros have such an app (well, Debian has apt-get, I know, and Gentoo has something of that sort), but YaST is very smooth and very good for finding appropriate packages. Very well done. The only problem I'm having is with installing downloaded RPM's with it, but it has worked very well besides.

    All in all, I am currently using SuSE, and I am loving it. A wonderful distro.

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