phreakmac

First time Linux distro

36 posts in this topic

Ok i want to start getting into linux, i have been a mac-boy for a long long time. I know a little unix from what i have played around with in OSX. What i would like to know is what do you think would be the best distro to start off with?

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Ubuntu or kubuntu - easy to install and operate

a bit more advanced

Slackware, Debian,...

If you want to spend some time learning how linux works and compiling programs i would recommend Gentoo

Edited by BloodCROSS
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I have always to this day sworn by slackware. Sure it's a little tough to start out with but you'll thank yourself later once you know how to use it properly. I'll give a little tip right off the bat... www.linuxquestions.com For all the questions/problems your bound to have. We do our best helping out with *nix stuff, but if you get stuck they are the ones to go to.

Problem with Redhat is depite it's ease of installation, it has a funky way of updating files, and it's SLOOOOOOOW.

With Gentoo, you can get yourself a great system, but you really need to already know what your doing when you go to gentoo. You'll need to know whether you want to use kde or gnome, knoquer or firefox, a million things that you won't know yet, hence I stay away from it for a first time user.

Slack will install pretty simply, and if your willing to take the time you can even read about what each package does during the install (think 4-6 hours to install though using this method.) Of course you have the option of just installing everything (only about 2 gigs, I recomend this method).

If you just what to give linux a quick try to see how you like it download a live cd! This is a fully bootable workable linux installation from a CD. You'll have linux, without having to repartion and install anything, and you'll get a taste for it. For live CD's I recomend either Knoppix, or my personal favorite slax (made by none other then slackware!).

However you go your bound to have tons of questions ;) We're happy to help just try to form then into a specfic question and only after a little bit of goggling for the answer, yourself. Good luck!

-Dr^ZigMan

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I recommend Knoppix for all the reasons stated above. Plus this is overall a very nice distro, and if you like it it is very easy to install permanetly.

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I started with Slackware.

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I'd say to play around with a live cd a bit before installing linux just to get the feel of it. Once you've done that and want to install, I would say slackware. Slackware has a simple install but at the same time is pretty powerful and allows a lot of control while still being fairly easy to use.

Some alternatives would be: Gentoo if you want to learn A LOT. If Gentoo is your first installation of linux then you will fail miserably, but in doing so you will learn a shitload about linux and how it works. So you will know a lot more after that for installing something like Slackware.

Personally, I use Ubuntu. This wouldn't be a good choice for beginners though because you don't learn enough using it. I like it because its easy as fuck and im lazy as fuck :D

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I solely use Slackware and Ubuntu. Sure, Ubuntu is easy to set up but it's as powerful as any other Debian-based distro and offers much more upgradeability than Debian itself does.

Slackware will be a hard to use distro out of the box because that's the nature of Slackware, just like Stage 1 Gentoo. I learned to use Linux on Slackware over SSH and that was the hardest thing to do but I learned a lot.

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I solely use Slackware and Ubuntu.  Sure, Ubuntu is easy to set up but it's as powerful as any other Debian-based distro and offers much more upgradeability than Debian itself does.

Slackware will be a hard to use distro out of the box because that's the nature of Slackware, just like Stage 1 Gentoo.  I learned to use Linux on Slackware over SSH and that was the hardest thing to do but I learned a lot.

Read the man pages, tldp.org, etc. Slackware requires you to read the documentation. That's all.

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I started off with slack. It makes you learn it, which is why I love it so much. I wouldn't recomend putting it on your main box. I put it on a old computer and played with it when ever I got a chance.

But, if you want to get into linux fast and quick without having to learn the techy stuff, I would suggest (as above) Ubuntu or Knoppix.

I will give you this piece of advice, it's hard as hell to find a fourm (besides this one) that is not pretentious as all hell, especially to noobs. Don't be discouraged if you get flamed by some pricks. just keep rolling along.

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Bro, do yourself a favor. I used Slackware off and on from like 8.x - 10.0. It is great, and I love it. My prefered distro is Debian though. So I say Ubuntu. It is as powerful as any other distro, it's fast and it's clean. It is also nearly idiot proof (not saying anything bad at all, it's just made to be idiot proof). Easy hardware detection and configuration (#1 on any newbs list), and a top notch support community.

http://ubuntulinux.org/

http://ubuntuforums.org/

And... for a new user, this guide is a very easy to navigate guide to using your new ubuntu system. All you old pros, if you haven't seen this, read it. Hopefully learn from it, and carry it's greatness over your distro's docs. This is what gives it the one up on any distro for a new user. Chua Wen Kiat is an open source hero...this guide is assisting the transfer to a Linux OS for many, many, many, many^ users. Kudos!

http://ubuntuguide.org/

Edited by Evolve
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I would have to suggest Debian. I had toyed with linux for short periods before and finally got debian going full time and I have no reason to turn back. It's not too hard to learn, but at the same time you will have the opportunity to learn a lot about linux. I've never used ubuntu but being a debian based distro I would have to assume it would also be a good alternative to debian.

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Evolve Thanks for that info. i will most defiantly be trying that out. i was looking for something new to try in the ways of Linux. i will also be playing around with Mac x86 project.

Thanks

belial

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Cool thanks guys, I think im going to try a live CD of yellowdog and see how that works. (Don't have a pc laying around atm) have any of you played with yellow dog?

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Unless something has changed, YellowDog is a PowerPC (Apple) Linux distro. If you wanted a distro that will run on only Apple hardware, fine...but if not you want one that has an x86 version too. In either case, I still say Ubuntu, which supports both architectures, and has a live cd as well. This way when/if you get a PC, you still know the distro well. Also you get the great Ubuntu Guide to use. I have no experience with YellowDog documentation or even the software myself. :)

http://us.releases.ubuntu.com/releases/5.04/

HTH

EDIT: I changed it up a bit and added a link for downloads.

Edited by Evolve
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Cool thanks guys, I think im going to try a live CD of yellowdog and see how that works. (Don't have a pc laying around atm) have any of you played with yellow dog?

I haven't played with Yellow Dog, but I ran Debian on my G3 iBook for a while. Debian supports a number of different kinds of machines, including x86 PCs and PowerPC Macs. I had good results with it except for one thing: I never got the laptop to suspend correctly when I closed it.

IMHO, it's always harder to get GNU/Linux going on laptops than it is on desktops, so if you have a choice on which machine to experiment with for your first try, go for the desktop. Just my $0.02.

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Cool, that makes it easier. I thought only yellow dog ran on ppc, thanks!

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i dont know to much about linux, but what i did when i installed it, i set it up in a way so i could boot into windows or linux, so when i got boored i just used linux and when i had to get work done i used wondows.

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i dont know to much about linux, but what i did when i installed it, i set it up in a way so i could boot into windows or linux, so when i got boored i just used linux and when i had to get work done i used wondows.

Thats why im probably going with the live cd first so i can check it out without partitioning my drive.

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Thats why im probably going with the live cd first so i can check it out without partitioning my drive.

Using a live CD first is a good plan if you can find one for your Mac. The Macs you can buy today use PowerPC CPUs, while PCs use the descendants of the venerable Intel x86 CPUs (or chips made by other companies to be compatible with these descendants). In general, if you get a GNU/Linux CD, it will be designed to run only on one kind of CPU. Since most people own PCs, people sometimes forget that there is any other kind of CPU. So if you get a "live CD" that doesn't specifically say what kind of CPU it runs on, it probably is intended only for PCs.

Are there live GNU/Linux CDs for Macs? I'm not sure. Google showed me this:

Knoppix for Mac

This post describes an effort by one individual to make one, but it says it's still "under development", which means that some things may not yet work perfectly. Perhaps someone else here could post a better alternative? I like to use non-PC machines, but the fact is that the support for PCs will always be better, because so many more people have PCs.

i dont know to much about linux, but what i did when i installed it, i set it up in a way so i could boot into windows or linux

This is also a good idea. This is called "dual boot" or "multiple boot", and is different from using a "live CD". The goal of a dual-boot machine is to produce a machine that provides the user with a small menu when you turn it on, allowing the user to choose whether they want the machine to start OS X or GNU/Linux (or some other OS). Both OSs are installed on the hard drive.

To make an OS X machine into a dual-boot machine, you'll have to first make room for GNU/Linux on your disk. You probably have only one partition on your disk now for OS X, you'll need to use some kind of tool to make that partition smaller, and then create a second partition in the freed space. Such tools exist for PCs; I'm not sure if they exist for Macs. When I made my G3 iBook dual-boot, I just wiped the disk, made two partitions, reinstalled OS X in one, and installed Debian GNU/Linux in the other. It may not be easy to make a dual-boot Mac without destroying your existing OS X installation, but then, I never tried. Perhaps someone else here has?

Note that if you just get rid of OS X and install only GNU/Linux, you will probably be able to just accept the GNU/Linux installer's defaults and not worry about these scary partition details at all.

Note also that although it may be hard to find a "live CD" for Macs, you should have no problem finding a regular install CD (at least from Debian).

... so when i got boored i just used linux and when i had to get work done i used wondows.

:) Once you get used to GNU/Linux, you may find yourself using it to do work and going back to windows only when you're bored and want to play games. :)

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a good starter distro would maybe me fedora core 4, suse, ubuntu, or a live cd.

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Unless something has changed, YellowDog is a PowerPC (Apple) Linux distro. If you wanted a distro that will run on only Apple hardware, fine...but if not you want one that has an x86 version too. In either case, I still say Ubuntu, which supports both architectures, and has a live cd as well. This way when/if you get a PC, you still know the distro well. Also you get the great Ubuntu Guide to use. I have no experience with YellowDog documentation or even the software myself. :)

http://us.releases.ubuntu.com/releases/5.04/

HTH

EDIT: I changed it up a bit and added a link for downloads.

I tried the live cd with my ati card and it didn't work with the gui, but my laptop worked fine with it. I wonder why it doesn't work with my graphics card?

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My personal recommendation is Debian. I found when I was learning Linux I wanted to basically be able to create a web hosting machine, play with some web server, database, and other software and have something to show (i.e. functional blog hosted off my box, etc.). The reason Debian is so easy is apt-get, an auto-RPM installer.

With apt-get you can grab a copy of SysCp which is a control panel system, but with this it will install Apache, PHP, MySQL, BIND, Postfix, and others. This gives you an out-of the box hosting machine that you can start tinkering with.

Not to mention a stock install of it leaves it insecure as hell, which is a great opportunity to put up a website, install some network monitoring, IDS stuff, have fun with it!

IF yuo need help with any of this, or more detailed explanation you can definitely email me at s0u1d13r@gmail.com, don't get discouraged, Linux is like coke.......hard as hell to get into....but great once you cram it up your nose??? (ok that sucked)

S

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For a starter? I don't think that Debian is a "simple" install for a first timer. I mean you are compliliing your own Kernel ;) . A task that may be daunting for a beginner.

Hahahahahaha.........coke! Nice one :D .

Maybe you should try Suse! Red Hat was my first though.

Edited by sharpwun
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For a starter? I don't think that Debian is a "simple" install for a first timer. I mean you are compliliing your own  Kernel  ;) . A task that may be daunting for a beginner.

Gentoo is the distro that you compile everything, I have never compiled a kernel for Debian.

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