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Pobega
09-30-2006, 11:57 AM
I'm looking into getting Linux for my college Notebook, but I am (as you can tell) pretty new to the whole *NIX thing. I'm wondering what version of Linux is good for new users, but at the same time teaches me skills so I can move on and use the more advanced versions of Linux rather than leech to the user-friendly ones.

My first friend told me to get Gentoo Linux, but friend #2 said that Gentoo is mostly console based and I really know nothing about the Linux commands. He told me I should get Ubuntu, but friend #1 shuns Ubuntu. So I'm asking for some third party ideas on which version of Linux I should use.

Thanks ahead of time.

laserlight
09-30-2006, 12:14 PM
If you are new, Ubuntu would be good. They have a fair amount of hand holding.

From what I have heard, system76 (http://system76.com) is worth a look.

Pobega
09-30-2006, 01:02 PM
Wow thanks, that site is really helpful.

I think I'm going to buy my laptop from there. Pretty cheap, too.

maxorator
09-30-2006, 01:16 PM
SUSE uses much disk space, but is worth a shot.

Mad_guy
09-30-2006, 02:23 PM
I'd advise Ubuntu if you want an easy to install linux distro for beginners. You can learn from it, and it's a good starting point for learning to use linux.

CornedBee
10-01-2006, 01:14 PM
My first friend told me to get Gentoo Linux, but friend #2 said that Gentoo is mostly console based
That's nonsense, but Gentoo still isn't the right distro for Linux newbies. I follow the others in recommending Ubuntu, or Kubuntu, if you've heard better things about KDE than Gnome. Personally, due to continuous problems with Gnome's session manager, I much prefer KDE.

SlyMaelstrom
10-01-2006, 02:50 PM
Just jump right into Slackware... man up a bit. Geez.

joeprogrammer
10-01-2006, 04:13 PM
Just jump right into Slackware... man up a bit. Geez.
Yes Sly, you said it... another "manly" distro is Debian. It's not too hard to use, and it's almost as fast as Slackware.

Decrypt
10-02-2006, 08:38 AM
I have to agree with Sly as well. I fooled around with SuSE for awhile, but didn't learn nearly as much as the week I installed Slackware (no windows manager) onto my laptop. I think (from my limited experience) that you'll learn much more about how Linux works that way. Go with the command line only for awhile; get to know your computer.

psychopath
10-02-2006, 08:42 AM
I use Mandriva, which I much prefer over Debian. Maybe i'm just not man enough to handle Debian.

lilrayray
10-03-2006, 01:50 PM
Im using ubuntu right now, and I have to say it is the best i have used thus far. I tried Suse, but it didnt like my hardware and wouldnt start. Another really easy disto to use is xandros.

Kennedy
10-03-2006, 02:01 PM
My first friend told me to get Gentoo Linux, but friend #2 said that Gentoo is mostly console based and I really know nothing about the Linux commands.

You mean there is something other than the command line???

Agree with Sly -- Slackware.

Agree with CornedBee -- KDE - if you wanted something like graphical web pages. . . doesn't anybod (else) use gopher anymore? -- j/k.

Wraithan
10-03-2006, 02:57 PM
Slack with fluxbox, no need for the KDE/Gnome stuff takes too much resources for my taste.

maxorator
10-03-2006, 03:05 PM
My friend has SUSE set up on a very old computer, works fast with no problems.

Jaqui
10-03-2006, 04:41 PM
Just jump right into Slackware... man up a bit. Geez.
take your own advice, use Linux from Scratch or DIY Linux.
where you have to chase down the sources for everything you want installed and build it yourself, not download a prebuilt os like a wimp ;)

Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Edubuntu all have one critical error, they use a no root account and sudo only securty model, which makes them as vulnerable as any windows box to malware exploitation. No-one that ants to have a secure and reliable system would even concider using them.

Xandros, Vector*, Archie, Yellodog ... [ basically all single cd distros ]
each are targeted at a specific use / user experience, they all have extremely LIMITED resources available, as in software to work with their customised layout.

Pick a gui by default distro if that's what you want. the main GUI options boil down to GNOME for the Macos look and feel or KDE for Windows.
the light weight, low resource using options blackbox, fluxbox, enlightenent** windowmaker..... [ long list ]

the gui by default distros are all but lfs, diy, slak, debian and gentoo, the rest treat you like microsoft, keep you in the dark and feed you bullsh!t.

you won't really learn the power of linux by using a gui on it, you'll only learn that from the cli.

*Vector SLAK based single cd distro
**enlightenment is the only one with a truly minimal gui, no taskbar, no system tray, no menuing, outsde of the popup menus for each mouse button, minimal support for any bloat.

CornedBee
10-03-2006, 05:04 PM
Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Edubuntu all have one critical error, they use a no root account and sudo only securty model, which makes them as vulnerable as any windows box to malware exploitation.
Huh? They disallow direct root login, and that somehow makes them more vulnerable?

Jaqui
10-03-2006, 06:49 PM
not that they disable root login, they disable root account, making that single user system one with the user logged in as super user, since it is the user password that grants access to system applications, not a different password.
so they have every single user system running as root without a root account, the windows equivalent of running as administrator. [ which is the norm for the windows world and the reason windows flaws get exploited so easily ]

I went through ubuntu, and found a number of areas it failed in meeting my needs, like it can't be installed for a multiboot linux box, it has to be the only distro on it. I find having multiple distros available handy for testing, since only slak, debian, gentoo are guaranteed to use the fsh standard, and only debian of those three has support for rpm to meet the lsb standard. not any other distro is standards compliant, making testing and development for them a nightmare if you don't have a copy on the system. the from scratch distros can be compliant, it depends on the person building them, if they don't make sure they meet the standards then their distro isn't compliant.

but to promote linux as a viable development platform for commercial software houses, the distros need to be fully standards compliant, so they can build once and run on any distro, with no distro centric tweaking needed. Red Hat, Suse, Mandriva and Ubuntu / Edubuntu, Kubuntu are all minimally compliant, the *buntu's for filesystem, the red hat, mandriva and suse for package manager.

Security wise, debian, slak, suse are the distros that have gained a security rating, the others are all not available with a configration that gets one. they may have SELinux available, but it isn't installed and configured effectively by default.
[ SELinux is known to cause major interactivity problems, it killed smbclient on a rhel system being used by a system admin to examine porting their entire netork to linux. naturally he wasn't impressed by that, yet he doesn't know linux well enough to be able to secure it without uing selinux ]

laserlight
10-04-2006, 05:36 AM
so they have every single user system running as root without a root account, the windows equivalent of running as administrator. [ which is the norm for the windows world and the reason windows flaws get exploited so easily ]
From what I understand, that is not the case. The Windows model has the user running as Administrator all the time, unless they take pains to create non-Administrator accounts and use them. The model used by Ubuntu has the user running as non-root all the time, except when they sudo to perform system administration, which is effectively no different from simply logging in as root.

I guess the rationale is that since the distro wants to do a fair amount of hand holding, having the root account enabled by default could lead naive Windows users to copy what they do on Windows and simply run as root. It should be possible to enable the root account anyway, but I suppose those same Windows users would be unlikely to attempt that first.

Jaqui
10-04-2006, 07:36 AM
the real issue is that the sudo password is configured to require a non root password for system administration.
with root account disabled, there is no root password to put in for sudo.
ths means that there isn't an administration password different from the non root user, making it a more fragile security model than the Ubuntu development team wants to admit.
they actually claim that all unix system admns are disabling the root acount and going with the same model, which I find extremely doubtfull.

then we can continue to rip their design policy of bloating the system with unneeded services.
[ bluez-utils when no bluetooth devices are on the desktop system, laptop utils on a desktop system, GNOME, with it's absolutely insane requirement of samba client*. [ who in their right mind would even be running windows servers when windows desktops are so fragile as to be utter insanity to use? ] firefox, required?!?![ try removing it, it un-installs the entire distro, making the system useless. ]
as I mentioned earlier, can't have any other linux partitions on the system when installing ubuntu.

essentially Ubuntu is designed for those who have more money than brains and can throw hardware resources into the system to fight off the bloat lockups and slowdowns, not designed for any real world use.

* 100% linux network, zero acceptance of ms support products or protocols in it. MS can start using the international standard tcp/ip for their client-server connections instead of some proprietary format.

cboard_member
10-04-2006, 08:02 AM
Has anybody tried Freespire yet?

Pobega
10-04-2006, 11:00 AM
I think personally I'm going to be sticking with Ubuntu, I'm just gonna get my Notebook from the sales site originally posted. If I got a notebook from there though, would I be able to (In the future) over-write Ubuntu with a more advanced Distro?

Wraithan
10-04-2006, 11:02 AM
Yeah you will be able to, one thing is, make sure your college wireless is linux friendly. My girlfriend's college wont let you connect to the wireless unless you are running some program that is Win/Mac only.

Pobega
10-04-2006, 12:18 PM
To be honest I'm not even sure if the school has a Wireless Network; It's a trade school, and I have yet to go to the actual campus yet (I plan on visiting sometime during Christmas Vacation). When I go I'll ask about the Network.

I've never heard of a Network that requires a program to get into though, most of the time it works through Wireless cards or built in wireless adaptors. I just hope that's the case with this school.

divineleft
10-04-2006, 04:06 PM
If you're new, go with ubuntu. If you jump right into slackware you are going to become so confused and frustrated that it won't be worth it. I recommend easing your way in.

I personally use ubuntu because it's the only distro that supports my graphics card (ati 9250) and I can't get a new one because I have no pci X16 slots :(:(:(:(:(

I hate dell.

lilrayray
10-04-2006, 07:36 PM
Im not sure about this whole root ubuntu stuff. I ahve only been using ubuntu for a bit now (great distro) and from what I have gathered, root is simply disabled by default. You can activate is simply by typing "su" and then your password. How this makes it more prone to malware, I do not know. Last I checked, there was only one known linux virus (I assume that includes malware?), so unless you are going to some really bad sights, you have nothing to worry about.

webmaster
10-04-2006, 07:57 PM
ths means that there isn't an administration password different from the non root user, making it a more fragile security model than the Ubuntu development team wants to admit.

I must be missing something because I don't see how this is the same as Windows having users default to Admin privileges. The fact that the user has to enter his password to execute a command with elevated privileges is a very big distinction since it forces the recognize that some sytem internals are being modified. In Windows, when you're running as admin, the script just needs to be initiated by the user, there's no requirement of having the user enter a password. I don't see the distinction between a "user" password and a "root" password since in most cases that we're talking about, the user is going to be the person who's also admining the box, and if you don't want a user to have root, leave them out of the list of sudoers.

On the other hand, if you did have a root account by default, I wouldn't be surprised to see people decide to log in as root and then you get no protection. All in all, seems like a reasonable approach to me.

lilrayray
10-05-2006, 04:19 AM
ths means that there isn't an administration password different from the non root user,

I must be missing something. In the terminal, you can set different passwords for the "administrator".

laserlight
10-05-2006, 04:26 AM
I must be missing something. In the terminal, you can set different passwords for the "administrator".
In Ubuntu, you have to enable the root account first (or rather, at the same time).

lilrayray
10-05-2006, 06:48 PM
In Ubuntu, you have to enable the root account first (or rather, at the same time).

Yeah,but how would this cause security risks?