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Old 09-26-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu - Which is Right For You?

From our front-page news:
If you are a frequent reader of our news (I'll assume you are), you are no doubt aware that I'm a Linux user, and a happy one at that. I'm not the type to discredit all other OS' out there though, because even I have a dedicated Windows' machine that I use for Adobe Photoshop and gaming. It's almost a necessary evil to use more than one OS if you happen to want Linux and have important tasks that need to get done that you can only accomplish in Windows, and I envy those who don't have to switch between both (what a time-saver!). But, I digress. If you finally decide to make the shift, how do you know which distro to choose?

Lifehacker hopes to take the complication out of figuring out which distro is right for you by taking a hard look at the three most popular on the market now: Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu. You might think that all distros are alike, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Although all have the same underlying kernel, it's the extra things that make a distro special, like the package manager, hardware detection, ease-of-use, et cetera.

Personally, I think all three of those distros are fantastic, but it all depends on what you are looking for. openSUSE is a bit on the friendlier side, so it's great for newer non-techy users, while Ubuntu is for almost everyone... those who know a lot about Linux and those who know little. Fedora is sweet because the developers build a distro that's ideal for the business environment, so stability is key. Those are just my opinions though. The article has even more.


Fedora is the free, consumer-oriented off-shoot of the enterprise Red Hat system, and is funded and founded by that same group. There's a focus on the latest free software and technologies getting onto the desktop quickly, and it supports 32- and 64-bit Intel platforms, along with PowerPC-based Mac hardware—the main reason Linux creator Linus Torvalds uses Fedora 9.


Source: Lifehacker
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #2
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Ubuntu x64 works well for my needs. It really ticks me off when some of the Linux community say Ubuntu is only for noobs and is not a real Linux distribution. They seem to think if its not hard to use then its not worth using. What's wrong with simple? KISS...keep it simple stupid
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:58 PM   #3
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Eh, I think it was PCMech (or someone else) that just ran an article about *nix elitism. Apparently the leetness of using Linux has gone to a few users heads from the sound of it, so they have to put down anything that average guys can actually use. They don't care if it's real linux or not anymore.

Which is really stupid, because if they have their way then linux will never, ever, have a remote chance in hell of taking a slice out of the Microsoft pie.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slugbug View Post
Ubuntu x64 works well for my needs. It really ticks me off when some of the Linux community say Ubuntu is only for noobs and is not a real Linux distribution. They seem to think if its not hard to use then its not worth using. What's wrong with simple? KISS...keep it simple stupid
Whoever says Ubuntu isn't a real Linux distro is an idiot. I'm not fond of it, to be honest, but that's just me. For the newer Linux user, it's simple to use and get used to, and for the pro, the ability to hack it to hell is there. I'd like to know what a "real" Linux distro is, if it isn't the one with a massive community, regular releases, good support and one that's easy to install and use, regardless of who you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Which is really stupid, because if they have their way then linux will never, ever, have a remote chance in hell of taking a slice out of the Microsoft pie.
You said it, and that to me, IS the reason that Linux is never going to become a serious threat to either Microsoft or Apple. I've wanted to write an editorial on this for a while, and I might still once I find time. It's simple... while having a hundred different distros is a good thing, we need better collaboration between them. No one says that distros can't have their own flavour of applications, but we need some freaking standards.

If one application installs fifteen different ways depending on the distro, it's not good. It means developers actually have to package their product fifteen different ways, and that's just not reasonable.

If you could take a new application, game or whatever else and install it on ANY distro the exact same way, it would increase the likability of Linux as a whole immensely. There are too many package managers and repositories... way too much for most people to deal with.

I still love Linux, but man, could it ever improve if people just worked together.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
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If Linux programs installed like they do in Windows then more people would probably use it.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:25 AM   #6
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So, I was cleaning out the computer room of old parts and decided to just build a system ( side tracked again ) of used parts.
Since this is a cheap rig, I thought of trying a Linux environment again.
Now, there are so many Linux OS's , what would be a good suggestion ?
I guess I asked this last year, but there are newer versions out there.

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Old 10-31-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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Nothing has changed from last year. It kind of depends on what you want to use it for as well. If you want to actually use it as a regular computer, just download Ubuntu or something. If you have a decent GPU installed, you might want to try Sabayon, since it has a lot of eye-candy.

Ubuntu is the first one I tend to recommend though, with Fedora not too far behind. Don't stop at just one though... keep trying different ones until you find one you really like.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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Default Is Linux child - friendly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
So, I was cleaning out the computer room of old parts and decided to just build a system ( side tracked again ) of used parts.
Since this is a cheap rig, I thought of trying a Linux environment again.
Now, there are so many Linux OS's , what would be a good suggestion ?
I guess I asked this last year, but there are newer versions out there.

Merlin
Hi,

I am in a simialar situation to Merlin but my reasoning is a little different.

I am currently in the process of rebuilding my Brother's PC (I'm the IT helpdesk for my entire family, sound familiar anyone?).

The PC in question died a death in mysterious circumstances but my brother suspects that it may have been under the influence of one of his offspring at the start of it's decline.

Cutting to the chase...

He has given me a PC case and a handful of bits and asked me to put together what is essentially a web-book-esque desktop for the little ones to play on and trash to their hearts content, leaving his 'safe' and him still able to do his accounts.

Assuming I have enough bits to actually build a working PC, all be it a low-spec one, would one of the linux distro's be a good option for a 'child friendly' computer?

It needs to access the internet, being able to display flash or graphics heavy websites (such as Disney's offerings), maybe have some games to play, a drawing package perhaps, that sort of thing... but also be easy enough to use for an 11 and 8 year old.

Is linux worth considering for this requirement or should I stick with windows?

I should probably already have mentioned that I have only ever used windows, and have no experience of linux.

Your thoughts and general musings would be very much appreciated.

TIA
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forums timjwild!

I'm curious, that PC in question, did it literally die (as in, it will no longer function as a computer), or was it merely an OS issue? If the latter, then I think the best solution would be to dual-boot the rig, with two different installs of XP or Vista, and then having one of them as "his", and passworded, so no one cuold access it. That way, if someone else in the family disturbs one OS, his would still be fine.

As for kids and Linux, definitely! To truly break Linux, you need to have access to the root password, so as long as he sets one that they aren't going to guess, they shouldn't be able to break anything. Note that the password will also be required when installing new software, or changing system settings, though, so it might become a little bit of a chore after a while. But, given they're kids, they're probably not going to be so fussy that they'll want new software all of the time.

Two choices I'd consider would be to either install the generic Ubuntu version, and customize it from there, or test out Edubuntu and see how that works. It's a customized version of Ubuntu designed for kids, so it would pre-bundle a lot of educational software, and also paint software and the like:

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
http://edubuntu.com/Download

I'm not sure off-hand of the applications you'd want to install, but there are many you might want to download and install before giving the PC back. Once the OS is installed, you can go to Applications > Add/Remove Applications and then look through the list there of things to install. There's an educational section by itself which might be useful, and also a Graphics section that should contain a lot of cool graphic editors (if all else fails, just install GIMP).

There's also a rather significant list of games, but the really good ones are tough to find. You might be best to just go through and pick out whatever looks interesting, the uninstall whatever titles don't appear to be too much fun. I can't recommend that many games, really, but SuperTux (Mario clone) and Supertuxkart should both be good for kids. I'm sure there are a hundred others though, too.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:58 PM   #10
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Rob: That Lifehacker bit makes a specific point about OpenSUSE being friendly to virtualization. With your new passion for all things virtual, would you have any input for a good distro to run various Windows? Or is this predominantly about the VM app I use and the hardware of my PC?
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Welcome to the forums timjwild!

I'm curious, that PC in question, did it literally die (as in, it will no longer function as a computer), or was it merely an OS issue? If the latter, then I think the best solution would be to dual-boot the rig, with two different installs of XP or Vista, and then having one of them as "his", and passworded, so no one cuold access it. That way, if someone else in the family disturbs one OS, his would still be fine.

As for kids and Linux, definitely! To truly break Linux, you need to have access to the root password, so as long as he sets one that they aren't going to guess, they shouldn't be able to break anything. Note that the password will also be required when installing new software, or changing system settings, though, so it might become a little bit of a chore after a while. But, given they're kids, they're probably not going to be so fussy that they'll want new software all of the time.

Two choices I'd consider would be to either install the generic Ubuntu version, and customize it from there, or test out Edubuntu and see how that works. It's a customized version of Ubuntu designed for kids, so it would pre-bundle a lot of educational software, and also paint software and the like:

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
http://edubuntu.com/Download

I'm not sure off-hand of the applications you'd want to install, but there are many you might want to download and install before giving the PC back. Once the OS is installed, you can go to Applications > Add/Remove Applications and then look through the list there of things to install. There's an educational section by itself which might be useful, and also a Graphics section that should contain a lot of cool graphic editors (if all else fails, just install GIMP).

There's also a rather significant list of games, but the really good ones are tough to find. You might be best to just go through and pick out whatever looks interesting, the uninstall whatever titles don't appear to be too much fun. I can't recommend that many games, really, but SuperTux (Mario clone) and Supertuxkart should both be good for kids. I'm sure there are a hundred others though, too.
Rob,

Thank you! Some excellent pointers there.

I don't know quite how dead the PC is yet as I had problem with my own at the weekend so spent all day sunday sorting that out. I suspect it's a hardware issue myself, rather than anything my neices have actually done. The dedicated PC for the kids is a better option as they can then be used simultaneously as required.

Edubuntu sounds like an excellent idea, will definitely have a read up on that.

Thanks again

Tim
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:09 AM   #12
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BlindMonk: Virtualization would have a lot more to do with the software chosen rather than the distro. Some distros might offer easier methods for installing either VMware or VirtualBox, though. VMware on this Gentoo box, for example, was a true pain, but luckily, it was available in the repository, so I just let the OS take care of the arduous installation steps. From what I've seen around the web, VMware is much easier to install on other distros for some reason. VirtualBox is the free alternative, and it's likely much easier to install.

Tim: I agree... two computers is far better than one. Good luck with Edubuntu!
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Alright, thanks Rob. I know when I first registered here I planned to go the Linux/XP/etc. dual boot route. And now I'm finally going to do it virtualization seems the more effortless approach.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:13 PM   #14
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Well, it depends. If you want to take Linux seriously, and really use it, virtualization might not be the route to take. After all, the OS isn't going to be quite as fast under virtualization, and the hardware support isn't as fantastic either. You could certainly give it a shot, but if you want a little more from it, you can install and dual-boot (which is rather easy).
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:44 PM   #15
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Well I had meant running virtualization for Windows from within Linux (thus making "The Switch" regarding my primary OS), though you're right considering I'd want to still be able to have solid access to Windows gaming.
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