Which distribution of Linux should I get?

This is a discussion on Which distribution of Linux should I get? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Here's my dilemma. The computer that I am currently using was on loan from my school for the express purpose ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Which distribution of Linux should I get?

    Here's my dilemma. The computer that I am currently using was on loan from my school for the express purpose of participating in an online history course. Fortunately, that lame history course ended today; unfortunately, the school wants their computer back.

    So, I'm now pressuring my dad to buy me a computer. If he does, he'll probably get one built according to my specifications. I've been trying to think of ways to save money(i.e. going with an AMD processor instead of Pentium) and one of the ways I thought of was to install Linux right off the bat. That'll save me a good deal of money if I won't have to pay for Windows, which I don't like anyway.

    What I am asking all of you out there is, which distribution of Linux is right for me? Frankly, I'm a mac addict. If I had enough money, I'd probably get a new Mac. But since I only have enough money for a PC, I've decided that I'd like to use Linux. Unfortunately, I've never used Linux myself, but I learn quickly and don't doubt my abilities. I'm currently a senior in high school, and if I get a computer, it's going to go with me to college where I am likely to major in computer science.

    Here's what I don't want to see in this thread:
    • Macs sucks!
    • Linux sucks!
    • Windows rocks!
    • Use this distribution because it's right for me, but not you.
    • This distribution is the best. (without any explanation)

    What I'd like to see:
    • You should get this distribution of Linux because . . .(nice, informative list of reasons)


    Cost is to be somewhat taken into account, but anything cheaper than Windows will be a plus. Also, because this computer has to go back to my school rather soon, your swift responses will be greatly appreciated.

    Also, if you have any other reasonable ways to cut the costs of a PC, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your sage advice.
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

  2. #2
    RoD
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    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
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    I reccomend Mandrake 9 because it is imo very easy to learn, very stable, and one of the best distor's available. If not mandrake than perhaps RedHat, although i have never used it.

    If your trying to save money, order all the components for the pc and build yourself, cheaper that way. www.pricewatch.com

  3. #3
    I lurk
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    Go with something EASY, make sure it's easy enough to setup on your own. The last thing you want to do is get an unfriendly distro and not be able to set it up on your own.

    Mandrake and RedHat are two distros which I know have an easy setup. There are others; maybe someone else can enlighten you.

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    For an easy install and newbie friendliness go with either Red Hat 8.0 or Mandrake's newest. I personally use Red Hat but have used Mandrake in the past and can vouch for both being very user-friendly and easy to setup. If you have any questions when you get into using it don't be afraid to ask.
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    geek SilentStrike's Avatar
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    I'd recommend Mandrake as well. I have it installed for my 13 year old brother, and he likes it (It does everything he wants it to do, plays unreal, browses the web, can he can use aim, but my sisters don't like it, so he basically gets the whole thing to himself ).
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    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick replies, everybody. What you guys and everyone else I talk to says is to go with either Mandrake or Red Hat. My question now is, what are the pros and cons of each of them? Seriously, if you guys don't help me out with this question, I think I'm just going to go with Mandrake cuz it has a nicer logo. Thanks in advance.
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

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    RoD
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    >> think I'm just going to go with Mandrake cuz it has a nicer logo

    thats one kickass reason brother, preach it!

  8. #8
    In The Light
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    howdy,
    really the big 3
    • Suse
      Mandrake
      Redhat


    are all pretty easy and they all have great support.
    i just changed from Redhat to Suse and to be honest with you i found Redhat just a tiny bit slicker to install. if you have any nix experience you won't have any trouble with any of them.
    my big hang up was setting up to dual boot win2k pro/Suse, but thats for a different thread.

    M.R.
    I don't like you very much. Please post a lot less.
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    No, I know you were joking. My point still stands.

  9. #9
    Registered User webturtle0's Avatar
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    i've been thinking about getting Linux Red Hat...but first I need a new computer, which I don't have the money for at the time. But when i do, it'll be great. Is Linux easy to work with?
    "Yo"

  10. #10
    In The Light
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    howdy,
    or ask yourself this question

    "is windoze easy to work with"

    if you spend as much time learning Linux as you have probably spent on Windoze you'll find it real easy.

    M.R.
    I don't like you very much. Please post a lot less.
    Cheez
    *and then*
    No, I know you were joking. My point still stands.

  11. #11
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    I've been looking around the Linux houses as well. I have a older machine which is not really being used much anymore so I thought I'd put Linux on it and have a play. I had been told that Linux runs fast and well on "old" machines.

    I was somewhat suprised when I started reading the hardware requirements for some of the distro's. RedHat 8 for example, advises 192MB ram and 4.5G disk - to do that, I'd have to start upgrading my old machine which defeats the point somewhat.
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    Originally posted by webturtle0
    i've been thinking about getting Linux Red Hat...but first I need a new computer, which I don't have the money for at the time. But when i do, it'll be great. Is Linux easy to work with?
    Red Hat can run on a 486-DX as far as I am aware.

  13. #13
    Sir Mister Insane Sako Klinerr1's Avatar
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    i might as well make a warning before you get redhat 8.0. Do not buy a NVidia Geforce vidoe card. Redhat does not support geforce and I dont think there are any drivers for nvidia geforce on redhat 8.0 (but there are drivers for 7.2) I got really ........ed off when I realized I can't use redhat untill i either get a new video card or they come out with patch updates, but that was a long time ago. i havent checked nvidia.com for any 8.0 drivers in a while.
    Email: Klinerr1@nc.rr.com || AIM: MisterSako || MSN: sakotheinsane@hotmail.com

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  14. #14
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> Red Hat can run on a 486-DX as far as I am aware.

    Not according to their hardware spec page.

    http://www.redhat.com/software/linux/technical/

    >>> Redhat does not support geforce and I dont think there are any drivers for nvidia geforce on redhat 8.0

    Click the hardware compatibility list and navigate to the search option, you can see what graphics cards they support - there were some Nvidia GeForce cards there against 8.0.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    If you're getting a distro for the support you might want to aware of this.
    Joe

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