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Could anybody reccomend a distro for a begginer/intermediate user that isn't Ubuntu? I like Ubuntu and all, but I feel I need something more challenging. I did some surveys in ...
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  1. #1
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    Distro for intermediate users?


    Could anybody reccomend a distro for a begginer/intermediate user that isn't Ubuntu? I like Ubuntu and all, but I feel I need something more challenging.

    I did some surveys in the FAQ thread here, and they recommended Ubuntu, Linux Mint (Obviously Ubuntu, so neither of these), Fedora, OpenSUSE, Mandriva, and Gentoo. I'll take Gentoo off, as I'm not brave or skilled enough for that.

    I really just want to have more command line experience, but because Ubuntu is so "user friendly", I don't see this happening in Ubuntu, aside from installing, removing, and compiling software. It should also be compatible with the eee 1000ha, which shouldn't be a problem.

    Aside from Fedora, OpenSUSE, or Mandriva, are there any other reccomendations you guys can think of? Any suggestions would be appreciated, or reasons for why or why not I should use one of the three I mentioned.

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    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Well, I'm a big fan of Arch Linux.

    It's definitely more command line oriented, but not nearly as involved as Gentoo. If you decide to go that route, I cannot emphasize enough to read and follow the Beginner's Guide during installation.

    Also, it a rolling release system, which means no reinstalling every six months. As long as you keep your packages up to date, you're always current. Downside is, on occasion things break. It's not a good idea to upgrade blindly. Always check the announcements and forums for trouble.
    The documentation is excellent, though, and you'll learn a lot.

    I spent the first year after I switched to Linux distro hopping, until I found Arch.

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    Linux Enthusiast gerard4143's Avatar
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    You could try Slackware 13
    Make mine Arch Linux

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arinlares View Post
    I really just want to have more command line experience, but because Ubuntu is so "user friendly", I don't see this happening in Ubuntu, aside from installing, removing, and compiling software. It should also be compatible with the eee 1000ha, which shouldn't be a problem.
    You can use the command line in Ubuntu ... your just not forced to use the command line. You are likely to find similar with the other distros you mentioned.
    If you want a binary distro then Arch or Debian are probably worth you checking out, and if your after source based distros then Gentoo or Crux may work for you.

    I don't think you need to know quite as much about your hardware to get Debian or Arch to function because you are not forced to compile kernel. Gentoo has genkernel which you can use to put drivers in for everything but I think for Crux you do the kernel config manually.

    Personally I like the rolling release idea so I use Arch and Gentoo ... you can get this from Debian as well.

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    Reading the Beginner's Guide in the Arch wiki, I couldn't help but grin. It looks like a day of frustrating fun, and quite the learning experience.

    Random question: I was reading techiemoe's rant about Arch, and he made what I'm assuming is a joke about compiling the kernel. Was it just a joke?

    And, for the Arch users, is it good for a beginner to use Arch? It seems like the best way to get into Linux, but I want to know what people who know what they're talking about think.

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    oz
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    Lots of new Linux users have had success with Arch, and it's probably fair to say that even more new Linux users have not had success with it. Arch seems to make sense to some users and it doesn't for others. It's not considered a good distro for beginners, but again, there have been plenty who took it on and still use it to this day. I've been running it for the last 5 years and not likely at all to leave it any time soon.

    From the About Arch Linux page:

    To summarize: Arch Linux is a versatile, and simple distribution designed to fit the needs of the competent Linux® user. It is both powerful and easy to manage, making it an ideal distro for servers and workstations. Take it in any direction you like. If you share this vision of what a GNU/Linux distribution should be, then you are welcomed and encouraged to use it freely, get involved, and contribute to the community. Welcome to Arch!
    Best of luck to you should you try it.
    oz

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    It looks like Arch, then. I'll try it in VirtualBox as soon as possible, and go from there. Thanks, guys!

    Gotta admit, by the way, philosophy for computers never really got to me, but "The Arch Way" seems like the best way.

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    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Random question: I was reading techiemoe's rant about Arch, and he made what I'm assuming is a joke about compiling the kernel. Was it just a joke?
    You do not have to compile the kernel yourself.

    And, for the Arch users, is it good for a beginner to use Arch? It seems like the best way to get into Linux, but I want to know what people who know what they're talking about think.
    It's not beginner friendly in the way that phrase is normally meant, ie, useable by someone who isn't interested in knowing anything about the machine or software they're working with.

    But if you're interested in learning and willing to be patient at first, it's great. As I said, I had ~1 year of experience with linux at all before switching to Arch, and I have no background in computers. My experience before was basic office stuff and surfing the web. My first install probably took 5 or 6 hours and a couple of attempts. After that it got easier and now I can throw together an install in not too much more time than it takes to install Ubuntu. And most of the additional time is downloading the packages.

  10. #9
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerard4143 View Post
    You could try Slackware 13
    Agreed. Slackware is another you should have a look at. The install in command line but not too complicated. I love CRUX but first I loved Slackware because it taught me much about Linux and is a very solid and stable distro.
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

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    I'd consider Slackware, but I've only got a 1GB flash drive for an install medium. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think Slackware would fit. I'll see what I can do as far as testing it in VirtualBox, and maybe consider it for a future desktop system, however.

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