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Hello, I have dabbled with linux for some time now, but never comitted to it. I work with Windoze systems everyday (It's my job), but I am looking for more ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Best Distro For Me


    Hello,

    I have dabbled with linux for some time now, but never comitted to it. I work with Windoze systems everyday (It's my job), but I am looking for more out of an operating system. There are Pros & Cons to every OS, but Windoze is starting to feel too "Cookie-Cutter" for me. Plus, I want to expand my experience by learning something new (and having fun doing it).

    On my PC I am currently running SuSe 10.0 (Gnome), Linspire 5 (KDE), & Windoze XP. I am trying to play with different flavors of linux to see which one I like best. I have several Live CD/DVDs.

    That being said, I wonder if anyone has some advice as to which Distro(s) to try. My system that I am testing on is:

    P4 2.4 HT
    512MB RDRAM ECC
    DVD-+RW DL (16x)
    eVGA Nvidia 6800 AGP Dual-Head (Two- 17" Compaq LCD monitors)
    4 HDDs (40GB Mator PATA x2, 200GB Maxtor PATA, 120GB Seagate PATA)
    Asus P4T533-C
    Kingwin 480W PSU

    The things I would like out of an OS (Distro):
    -Friendly GUI
    -Easy Updates
    -Support for my hardware (without a major hassle)
    -Large choice of applications (out-of-box)
    -NTFS, MP3, AVI/MPEG support (out-of-box preferably)
    -Windoze Application(s) support (Wine/Xen maybe)

    Those are the things that come to mind. I want to be able to utilize both my monitors (preferably with 3D). I am not a gamer, so that is not an issue. I want to be able get work done. I may need to run Windoze applications, and I have never used Wine, Xen, or CrossOver Office. So if there is a difference in getting these apps to work (umong distros) then whichever one works best.

    Like I said, I know it is going to be a learning experience and I am willing to put forth effort (Time, research, money) to get what I want. However, Using Linspire for a little bit has given me the impression that they are focused on having me buy apps vs. using OpenSource ones.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Even such as good apps to use, which desktop to use (Gnome vs. KDE), and which distro. Any online resources/books too. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    -MyLeS

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    Linspire is a hold-your-hand distro. That's why you pay for Click N' Run, as opposed to taking charge of it yourself.

    As far as Gnome vs. KDE, this is really your own choice: which do you prefer? I like most of KDE's apps more than Gnome, but I love Gtk. Personally, I use Fluxbox, which is a minimalist window manager, but I can use KDE and Gnome apps there, so I'm okay.

    As far as having packages readily-available, almost no distro comes with, say, wine preinstalled. You need to get it, which you can do in SuSE through YaST.

    For what you want, I'd say Debian or Gentoo. The only issue here is that neither of these provides an easy-to-use graphical install (I know this about Gentoo, and unless Debian has changed in the past few months, Debian too).

    Both of these have HUGE repositories, are easily updatable, and allow you a LOT of control of your system.

    If you decide on Debian, make sure to add some non-free repo's... Debian is kinda Nazilike about Free Software, and it's repos don't provide any non-free stuff (including proprietary nVidia drivers or Java).

    So yeah...take a look at Distrowatch and read around at the Debian and Gentoo websites, and see what you like!

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    Just a comment here. AFAIK, there are only a few apps that even dare messing with an NTFS partition. And even then it is extremely dangerous (again, this is what I think I know). Getting MP3, AVI/MPEG, DVD support is not a huge issue either, but I don't think you can find a distro with this support out of the box (legal reasons). As well, I am a KDE lover (even though it's not perfect). I am a beginner linux user and have tried many a distro, and thusfar have found mandrake (mandriva) to be easiest to learn.
    Kevin

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  5. #4
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    Thank you for the advice. I am going to do some research right now. Any other advice is greatly appreciated.

    -MyLeS

  6. #5
    Just Joined! Ekim's Avatar
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    Suse
    *comes with Wine preinstalled
    *VERY good hardware detection
    *GUIized (kida too much

    *it is kinda slow though because of its monstrous Kernel (which is what enables it to have such good hardware detection)

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deminois
    which desktop to use (Gnome vs. KDE),
    try to aviod that question, it can invoke a holy war. Just try both and go with the one you like
    All i want for christmas is a new liver....a second chance to get afflicted with Cirrhosis

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