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Thread: Linux?

  1. #1
    Ach Mein Tongue!!!s
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    Linux?

    Soo... Im thinking about possibly making a Linux partition on my hard drive. But I have no clue on what to do, or whats a good distro. I know theres some Linux people on here, so maybe you could help me out

  2. #2
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Gentoo or Debian.

    Both are metadistributions - built from individual packages. Both are also quite bandwidth-intensive during install and both require consistent internet access.

    Gentoo is source-based. This means you can compile, optimize and tweak the operating system out to match your processor, motherboard and favorite color. The source code is downloaded and then compiled locally. If you have Linux installed on several machines already, along with distcc, you can shorten your compile time dramatically. Installation of new programs is very quick, very easy and generally completed in one command.

    Debian is binary-based. This means the installation is quicker and less painful, although the application is generally not targeted specifically to your platform and it will include fewer aggressive optimizations (like O2 instead of O3, including frame pointers for debugging support and fewer instances of loop unrolling, among other things). Installation of new programs is very quick, very easy and generally completed in one command.

    The only other serious options I can give you would be derived from Debian, such as Ubuntu. If you want to try out a UNIX-like OS, but don't have your heart totally set on Linux, I'd suggest sampling a bit of FreeBSD. It's closer to its UNIX heritage and it's the operating system Solaris, NextStep and MacOS X are all based on.

  3. #3
    Ubuntu if your only interested in a desktop, Debian if you want a workstation (for web, app devel, etc)

    For the record, I run Debian Sid on my workstation, Debian Sarge on my server, and Ubuntu on my laptop...
    And when the moment is right, I'm gonna fly a kite.

  4. #4
    Tack on another vote for Gentoo. The installation seems scary, but follow the huge step by step installation guide, and you'll find it is easier than many other self-installers.

  5. #5
    Balls of steel.
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    I love my Gentoo, but if you're just starting out, I'd say to go for Debian. The long compile times and lengthy installation of Gentoo can sway away all but the most determined of n00bs.

  6. #6
    I can tell you from experience that Ubuntu works like crap on slow systems. I sure wish someone had told me that before I wiped my Windows 98 installation...

    Before you try linux, just make sure you *really* want to, and back up any and all important files, and have a Windows CD at your side just in case.

    /has bad memories involving linux

  7. #7
    Nananananananana BATMAN!
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    My vote goes for Gentoo. It seems like a complicated install, but there's a huge support base, and you actually get to see what you're doing with your system, which, for me, is one of the integral reasons to use Linux.
    :master::master::master:

  8. #8
    Everyone's favorite alcoholic administrator!
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    Windows Server 2003! >.>

    Look a shiny distraction!

    If you want to go minimalistic, try Slackware. I think it's packaging system is good, and they are in .tgz format. The installation is simple, is text based. If you're careful, you can probably get Slackware to fit on a 128 MB thumb drive. Haven't tried Ubuntuu, nor Debian, I tried to do Gentoo but I got fed up with the installation. My impatient personality. :p I was given a FC3 (Fedora Core 3) disk to tinker around. It's all right. FC3 is like Windows XP of Linux.
    Code to the left of him, code to the right of him, code in front of him compil'd and thundered. Programm'd at with shot and $SHELL. Boldly he typed and well. Into the jaws of C. Into the mouth of PERL. Debug'd the 0x258.

  9. #9
    I tried Slackware first and then switched to Gentoo. After you're done installing you know so much more about your system then when you started. Slackware just installed everything like it wanted to and afterwards gave me lots of error messages I had no idea what to do with.
    Gentoo just leads you step by step through setting up a Linux workstation/server/whatever. There are documentations about everything.
    But the best thing about Gentoo IMHO isn't the optimisation, but that you only need the source of every program to install it. With every binary-based distribution you have to wait for a binary release of a program that's suited for your distro (or you compile them by hand but then what's the point of having you packages managed).
    Sorry for the lousy German

  10. #10
    Do not start off with Gentoo. You want to like Linux, don't you? I don't want to start a Gentoo war, but I think even the Gentoo fans can agree that it might not be the best distribution to start off with. It is a source based distribution, which means your computer compiles all the software that you will run (including the operating system itself). While this supposedly configures the software "just for you", it will take you several hours even on a reasonably muscled machine just to get your machine up and running.

    I recommend Ubuntu. It is based off of Debian, but there is a large, user friendly support base, and it's currently the hot thing to do. Package management is great (it inherits the same apt philosophy from Debian, and Debian packages should even work fine on Ubuntu and vice-verca). You can have a system up and running in 20 minutes, and software installs will take literally seconds if you have a good internet connection (since it is a binary based distribution, your computer does not have to compile the software itself).

    Whatever you decide to use, research it first. Sometimes I find it helpful to search in the angry-geek-hype-buster-machine for impartial bickering. Feel free to try a few before you settle down. Linux is about choice.

    For the record, I have two machines with Ubuntu installed, and one with Debian.

    Peace,
    Archi

  11. #11
    I second the Ubuntu vote.

    It is an excellent Distro, one that gave me no problems at all.

  12. #12
    Balls of steel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dj Yoshi
    Gentoo can also be extremely easy to configure. It's not like you HAVE to do a stage 1.
    Except that if you do a stage 3 install, you might as well be installing any other binary-based distro.

  13. #13
    Redeemed Scoundrel
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    damn future posting....

  14. #14
    Stands for *MMRPH!*
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    I would recommend Ubuntu.
    That painting was a gift, Todd. I'm taking it with me.

  15. #15
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shintock
    Except that if you do a stage 3 install, you might as well be installing any other binary-based distro.
    Eh, not really. It still has portage. Besides, you could always make that compromise :p
    D E A T H

  16. #16
    Registered User
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    Gentoo can also be extremely easy to configure. It's not like you HAVE to do a stage 1.
    D E A T H

  17. #17
    From personal experience, do not use Slackware, especially as a first distro. It isn't fully compatible with a lot of systems, so it often will ditch you halfway through install or screw some vital thing up, and produce a ton of errors that you have no idea how to solve. (And since Slackware's package system is nigh-non existant, you have to do the harder makefile compiling stuff, which leads you to dependency hell, etc etc.)

    Like above, Gentoo is great if you are willing to put the time and effort into it. Ubuntu to me is a cop out, you don't learn anything, and everything is preselected for you. If you want to go that route, you might as well go Knoppix.

    Debian itself is decent too, although it has it's own headaches.

  18. #18
    Balls of steel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dj Yoshi
    Eh, not really. It still has portage. Besides, you could always make that compromise :p
    Except using portage with binary packages is basically the same as using apt or yum.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Shintock
    Except using portage with binary packages is basically the same as using apt or yum.

    Do not ever compare any decent package program to YUM. YUM is the linux package distribution program equivalent of a pile of larve infested crap.

  20. #20
    Doesn't have the gall
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    1,032
    I recommend Ubuntu, especially if this is your first time with Linux. Apt is great as you don't have to worry about all the dependencies like you would compiling the software.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Zecks
    I recommend Ubuntu, especially if this is your first time with Linux. Apt is great as you don't have to worry about all the dependencies like you would compiling the software.
    Keep in mind that Debian also has the exact same package system, since Ubuntu = debian, for all intents and purposes. It's just overly simplified.

    As for compiling, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, SuSE (DONT GET IT), Knoppix, and a few others have package systems which avoid the dependency issues.

    Slackware (unless you install one yourself) has no package system. There are a bunch more also, but that's all that has been mentioned here.

  22. #22
    Insert Custom Title Here
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    For Slackware, you can install NetBSD's pkgsrc system. It's pretty versatile and allows for either port or package based installs.

    I'm a BSD guy, so that's what I would reccomend for someone who really wants the UNIX experience. If you just want a non-Windows desktop, Ubuntu is excellent. If you are interested in BSD, you can try PC-BSD. PC-BSD is to FreeBSD like Ubuntu is to Debian; it's easy to install and has an easily manageable package system.
    [This message has been edited. Deal with it.]

  23. #23
    http://funroll-loops.org/

    warning: maybe language, cannot remember

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty
    Ubuntu to me is a cop out, you don't learn anything, and everything is preselected for you. If you want to go that route, you might as well go Knoppix.
    This is wrong. No matter what linux distro you pick, youre going to get really comfortable with the console and the [gn]unix environment. Why do people have such a candypanzy view of Ubuntu? All it is is Debian testing with a friendly installer and nice hardware support.

    As for "everything is preselected for you", I guess you mean that you cant configure your own from-source packages? Well, you can.
    Code:
    ./configure
    make
    checkinstall
    This creates a Debian package of the software, which means you can now manage it in your apt frontend, easily remove it or reinstall, or do whatever with it as if it were an official package.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Archimedes
    This is wrong. No matter what linux distro you pick, youre going to get really comfortable with the console and the [gn]unix environment. Why do people have such a candypanzy view of Ubuntu? All it is is Debian testing with a friendly installer and nice hardware support.
    How is it wrong, it's an opinion

    Despite that, everyone has a candypanzy view of Ubuntu because 99% of people who install it will install it exactly as configured, with no change except where required.

    In addition, there have been a ton of complaints about the Gnome integration, and how it can be hell to pry it from Ubuntu. This is a major issue if you wish to use Fluxbox or some other less demanding window manager. (Not to mention Gnome sux0r the big one!!!111oneone )

    Finally, the installer doesn't give you options. Which means you get a ton of crap you may never use, and then you have to go through the effort of wiping everything out you dont want, finding dependencies and deciding if you want a dependency of said crap program, etc etc.

  26. #26
    I love how the linux fans scare 99% of n00bs away from linux by turning every thread into a huge debate about which distribution is better, etc... Seriously, stop scaring away the potential converts! First off, quit it with the unfamiliar terminology. Someone who is just starting out is not going to know what dependencies or binaries are, or the difference between KDE and GNOME or whatever. Second, you should stop arguing with yourselves about whatever you're arguing about, and just recommend a good distro for a person with no prior linux experience. I know we're somehow inferior because we weren't born with intricate linux knowledge pre-programmed into our brains, but perhaps a "candypanzy" linux where its a bit easier to install and run would be better for us, so we can learn and eventually move on to something a bit more difficult. But for now we don't need to see your penis-measurement contests of who's running the linux distribution that's so complex that it takes an entire team of MIT graduate programmers three years to install it.

    Overlord, as you may have guessed, your first experiences with linux WILL be painfully frustrating. So either grit your teeth and work your way through it, or get murderously angry and give up, like I did. And don't expect the linux "community" to be of any help. I know they are rumoured to be very welcoming and helpful and whatever, but I don't think it counts if you aren't already one of "them". In my experience, you'll first be criticized for choosing the wrong distro, then you'll get made fun of for not knowing how to do something basic (the "stupid n00b" effect), and then if you're very lucky someone will post a helpful response - or at least it would be helpful if you had a Ph.D. in Advanced Linux and possibly a Bachelor's degree in C Programming. Truth is, you're on your own. Don't expect the documentation to help you, because it assumes you already have a working understanding of linux. And no matter how hard you google, there will never be a good starter's guide for linux. This is because once you understand linux, it alters your brain chemistry in such a way that you regard non-linux users as a lower life form. To them, writing a starter's guide to linux would be like writing a television operator's manual for a squirrel - completely pointless.

    So my advice is to just stick with Windows. And before all the linuxers start protesting, I'll answer their three main arguments that they have for convincing people to attempt the switch:

    1. Linux is free!

    This is the most common argument they use. A variation is "Linux is open-source!", however we'll consider them equal (oh yes, we're all just *dying* for an OS that we can add to ourselves - it's a good thing I have years of free time so I can read the source code, and I'm glad I'm the smartest person on the planet so I can actually understand it, much less be able to make useless modifications to it without accidentally causing it to format my hard drive or blow up the processor...). You know, lots of things are free. Dirt is free. But more importantly, YOU ALREADY PAID FOR WINDOWS. So why are you getting rid of it?

    2. Linux is more stable!

    Windows XP has crashed maybe twice since I got it three and a half years ago. I think that's stable enough.

    3. Linux is more secure!

    So is Windows if you install a decent virus-scanner. Unfortunately, this fails as an argument anyways because the people who need the most protection from virii and hackers and the like (you know, the type of person who opens every single email attachment) are the least likely to even have the mental capacity to install linux


    So there. Just stick with Windows. It's like the blue pill to Linux's red. But I happen to agree that ignorance is bliss.

    P.S. I'm not coming in this thread anymore; too many bad linux-associated memories being dragged up. I'll post this on my blog, so if you're pissed off at me (and there's bound to be a few that are) you can post a response there.
    Last edited by kyle90; 08-02-2005 at 09:27 PM.

  27. #27
    ^^^^

    That's what happens when you pick a crappy distro to start with.

    /me runs for the hills.

  28. #28
    Stands for *MMRPH!*
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    Anyone who doesn't like Gnome wouldn't know quality if it threw up on them.
    That painting was a gift, Todd. I'm taking it with me.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by BV
    Anyone who doesn't like Gnome wouldn't know quality if it threw up on them.
    Anyone who likes Gnome wouldn't know efficiency if it crapped on them.

    Fluxbox runs on my 750mhz lappy, no prob. Gnome makes my lappy cry. 'nuff said for me.

  30. #30
    Balls of steel.
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    Then get a better laptop.

    I love KDE just for all the apps that come with it, or that are made with the Qt libraries. KDevelop ****ing owns, as does Amarok and Kopete.

  31. #31
    Stands for *MMRPH!*
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    Yeah, at least it's not as bloated as KDE. *ducks*
    That painting was a gift, Todd. I'm taking it with me.

  32. #32
    Balls of steel.
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    7,150
    /me stabz BV

  33. #33
    Doesn't have the gall
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    As kyle90 pointed out, the first distribution you use can be painful. Going with Debian or Ubuntu are fairly painless, especially compared to some. Apt is a package system found in Debian-based distributions that allows you to easily install new programs. Rather than downloading the source for a program and having to compile it, it downloads a binary version. It also downloads any dependencies (programs that are needed in addition to the program you want) that are required. With source in distributions like Slackware, you would have to go searching for dependencies for the program you want, and even dependencies of the dependencies. It could be a real pain.

    A side note for those complaining about Ubuntu's use of Gnome: It's not difficult to switch to a different windows manager. There are a number of them found in Ubuntu's universe repository.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by BV
    Yeah, at least it's not as bloated as KDE. *ducks*
    *sigh*

    I use KDE on my desktops. I can apply as much or as little eye-candy as I like, and the performace is usually pretty good.

    I use GNOME on my workstations. The GNOME desktop, to me, is less bloated, and more "no-nonsense", which is what I want when there is work to be done. I just wish there were a GNOME equivilent of KDE's "quick-browser"...

    In either, however, for file management, I use Konqueror. kio-slaves totally kicks Nautalus' "spacial viewing" arse.
    And when the moment is right, I'm gonna fly a kite.

  35. #35
    Stands for *MMRPH!*
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    My experience is of course completely biased because I've only used KDE with Knoppix and only used Gnome with Ubuntu.
    That painting was a gift, Todd. I'm taking it with me.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty
    How is it wrong, it's an opinion
    You're right, I'm sorry. I should have said that I disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyle90
    Linux is free!
    Linux is freedom.

    I think what we need right now is some peace, love, and harmony:

    Ubuntu (IPA: /ùbúntú/) is a South African ethic or ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other... A rough translation in English could be "humanity towards others." Another translation would be: "The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity."

    Peace,
    Archi

  37. #37
    Everyone's favorite alcoholic administrator!
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    I'll say one thing about the GUI aspect of Linux that kind of frustrates me both as end-user and developer. There are a myraid of different widget libraries. Motif, GTK, QT, what have you. I see really nifty program that assists me in accomplishing task X. It's written using GTK. Ah I have to get GTK libraries. Oh this program, it's using QT. Gotta install those. Ah ****, the current libraries aren't compatible with what the program uses. Gotta update! Kind of seeing where I'm going? Now of course the modern distrobutions do come with the major widget libraries installed and reasonably up-to-date. The aforementioned problem was more prevailent when I first started using Linux (1998? Ah Slackware 3.2). There's always that one program that's really helpful or necessary that's written in some oddball library. Also sometimes things don't look good with all sorts of different windowing styles. GTK widgets in a KDE WM, Motif widgets in Gnome. QT in...**** Blackbox. Sometimes you get some odd combinations of menus and taskbars.

    From a developer: Not really so much of a problem now that I think about it. I can really stick to one library. Nothing tells me to branch out in to GTK when I all ready know QT. Waste of my time. Actually I've not really written any GUI apps under any widget system so I should probably shut up on this subject. :p

    I don't know what the **** I'm saying. :p I just felt like doing a small vent on an issue I had with the GUI end of Linux.
    Code to the left of him, code to the right of him, code in front of him compil'd and thundered. Programm'd at with shot and $SHELL. Boldly he typed and well. Into the jaws of C. Into the mouth of PERL. Debug'd the 0x258.

  38. #38
    Stands for *MMRPH!*
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    And no matter how hard you google, there will never be a good starter's guide for linux.
    Well, I know you used Ubuntu because you told me about it. So logically, the first two words I would think to google would be: Ubuntu, and Guide.

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=ubuntu%20guide

    First result.
    That painting was a gift, Todd. I'm taking it with me.

  39. #39
    Redeemed Scoundrel
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    I've never had much luck with linux, even though I've tried several distros this past year. I'm so used to getting things done with ease in windows, it's very fustrating to suddenly have my hands tied when it comes to doing something that I take for granted in windows (such as getting linux to find my printer over a small lan, plus the fact that I had to kludge it b/c i couldn't find the exact driver for my printer)

    Plus, I don't like the endless configuring and tweaking that I've had to do. I just want the damn OS to do whatever it is supposed to with minimal tweaking on my part, so I can get my work done.

  40. #40
    Doesn't know that mice use holes.
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    If you want to compromise and get a tasty modular no-nonsense shell over the [in my experience] remarkably stable xp kernel, go for bblean, it's a *box window manager that you can use to replace explorer.

    The whole thing is plugin-based so you have exactly as much or as little functionality as you want.

    I've been back in xp for the last couple months due to a certain WoW addiction and not being arsed to get it working under Linux. [In my experience the wild claims that cedega makes of compatibility and increased performance are somewhere between wishful thinking and outright sophistry].

    That way you get all the sex of windowshading and multiple desktops without the overhead of an entirely new boot. This isn't to say that I am not a big advocate for Linux [particularly Gentoo/Enlightenment], merely an alternative if you just want to get away from the grody XP front-end.

    Link is here: http://bb4win.sourceforge.net/bblean/
    Sexy example here: http://dor.nullmind.org/arc/dskxp06jul05.png


    Also, if you have an ATI card, particularly the somewhat older variety, and want to use linux: slit your wrists with a rusty can lid right now, it will save you so much pain later.

    Getting my old ATI 7200 to work at all was tortuous, and getting it to work well [as in anywhere near the performance for 3d as windows] was nearly impossible. Currently I have an ATI 9200 SE, which apparently in combination with a newer machine [AMD 1Ghz] than it used to be on [p2 600] freaks out and dies any time I try to load a graphical environment, freezing my entire system. This appearently is a very common known issue with the 2.6 kernels at least in Gentoo. I don't know about other distros, however I am very hesitant to switch over to anything else.

    Stay well away from SUSE, it will make you weep, gnash your teeth, and become stupified by its claims to user-friendliness and functionality. THe packagaing system barely deserves the name and you /will/ spend half your days trying to find a server that hosts x dependency that you need to install y package.

    This is similar to Slackware, except slackware isn't as shiny or Fisher-Price-like as Suse. Slackware will simply install your system and then let you guess what it did; most often you will guess wrong. Similarly, you will [if you are anything like me] have recurring nightmares years later waking up in a cold sweat screaming:
    tar -xzvf foo.tar.gz
    ./configure --prefix=/usr
    make
    make install

    All the while twitching, waiting for the inevitable missing dependency that will crop up an hour into the install making you hunt for another hour to find /that/ archive, and repeat the above incantation. If you are lucky there will only be about three nested levels of missing deps until you get something installed-- somewhere.

    Needless to say, after using that for a while, Gentoo was an absolute god-send.. I spent the first few weeks of our honeymoon making soft sweet love to Portage, and carressing Enlightenment. After the initial afterglow wore off, we settled into a very comfortable open relationship, often spending long hours sipping tea in rocking-chairs on the porch. It wasn't easy, the courtship was long [and sometimess tedious and frustrating], and we are still learning new things abuot eachother every day. But it all was worth the effort in the end.

    Gentoo is like Wesley wooing his Princess Bride, enduring trials tribulations pain and rouses, but eventually finding yourself embracing the world's most perfect breasts.

    Suse is like a Russian mail-order bride, who turns out to be a large hairy Germanic man who hates foreigners- especially you.
    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

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