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OK, this is probably a dumb question not even worth answering, but I have to ask. I will call myself a n00b, even though I have been running Linux as ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Never mind which Distro, do I need a Distro???


    OK, this is probably a dumb question not even worth answering, but I have to ask.

    I will call myself a n00b, even though I have been running Linux as my primary OS for 2 years or more. But I am not a Linux guru like some people I have met.

    Background: Started on SUSE 9.0, got irritated because it seemed like it was never updated and I had a devil of a time playing video files. switched to FC3. Tried to upgrade to FC4 but could never get the RedHat notification tool or SAMBA to work. Went back to FC3. Tried to upgrade to FC5 but it locked before it even gave me the option to install or update.

    I am not running a standard FC kernel, I had to manually compile my kernel to get my Gigabit card to work.

    hardware: Athlon 2800+ XP, 1 40GB HD, 4 120FB HDs set up with mirrored RAID with seperate partitions for my various data storage needs (home, MAME, etc) NVIDIA graphics card, ASUS MB)

    My question: Do you have to use a Distro? I have only tired one flavor of SUSE and three flavors of Fedora, but it seems like nothing fits my needs. Can you start with a kernel veriosn, and then add the latest KDE and just run with it? Or do I need to pick a Distro and stick with it?

    My main applications: Firefox (gotta have the TotalFark!) Thunderbird, Crossover Office (Gotta have the Quicken!) a versatile media player (currently using XINE with every codec I can find) and Krusader as my file manager.

    Please. take pity on me and guide me!

    Thanks!

    Rick

  2. #2
    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    Do you mean something like this: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/?

  3. #3
    oz
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    Also, distros such as Arch, Crux, Debian, and Gentoo allow the installation of a base system from which you then can add whatever you want to it.
    oz

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    A distro basically includes a base system, a package manager, and other such things so you don't need to do all the hard work yourself. Linux From Scratch is good if you want to make your own distro, and is uber customizable (well, duh).

    There are a few distros that are uber customizable and controllable. I personally love Gentoo, and have found it the greatest and most customizable distro I've ever used. Debian is also pretty good for just a base system, but I do strongly disagree with their idea that only software they judge completely free can be official.

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    Thumbs up

    OK, wow thanks! I guess the proper question would have been "what's a distro", I like the description that Cabhan gave, I was thinking more along the lines of all the bells and whistles that are provided rather than the basics such as package management.

    I've read up on linuxfromscratch and that looks like a whole lot of work and still probably way far over my head. Gentoo on the other hand looks like exactly what I am looking for, if I understand what I read this morning it pretty much sounds like "here, boot off this CD and lets get your environment and the tools you need set up, now lets download and compile a kernel and go from there.

    Well, off to read more about it... thanks again!!!!

    Rick

  7. #6
    oz
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    Gentoo is great, but installation can be a slow process. It usually takes me the better part of a full weekend to get the base system and desktop environment installed and running. It's the installation/compiling from source that takes so long. Once it's all done, you'll probably love it.

    ozar
    oz

  8. #7
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    I would recommend Linux from scratch, helps you a lot, and makes you learn things, although, while doing that, you would probably be better off with Gentoo or Sourcemage linux, where it installs a base system, configured for your system.

    www.gentoo.org
    www.sourcemagelinux.org (iirc)

    Anyways, good luck

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