planning to go back into Linux, what distro do you recommend?

Fernando Duran liberosec-FFYn/CNdgSA at
Tue Nov 8 14:05:22 UTC 2005

--- Simon Tonekham <stonekham14-bJEeYj9oJeDQT0dZR+AlfA at> wrote:

> To whom it may concern:
> I'm living in the Ajax-Pickering area and I'm
> planning to go back into 
> the world of Linux after a long absence of going
> into the operating 
> system. I used to try Mandriva linux, but I quickly
> lost interest, so 
> I've uninstalled it off my computer system. My
> computer system consists 
> of the following:
> - Intel P4 at 1.4Ghz
> - Intel D850GB Mainboard
> - 256 MB RDRAM
> - 120GB Western Digital Hard Drive 7200rpm, 8mb
> cache (currently 
> occupied by Windoze XP Pro SP2)
> - 30GB Quantum Maxtor Hard Drive 7200rpm, 2mb cache
> (currently vacant)
> - LG 16X DVD-ROM drive (equiv. to 48x Max CD-ROM)
> - LG GSA-4163B 16X dual-layer DVD burner
> - Nvidia RIVA TNT2 AGP Video card at 32MB
> - ATI TV Wonder VE PCI TV tuner, complete with
> remote wonder remote control
> Anyway, I used to try Mandriva, but what are the
> other distros that I 
> should get into? I want to know that if there's a
> distro that can:
> - Read NTFS partitions
> - Read/Write VFAT partitions
> Some distros allow you to read an NTFS partition,
> while others don't. My 
> other option is to create a VFAT partition, probably
> on either on my 
> 120GB hard drive or my 30GB hard drive.
> I'm considering getting into Fedora, Ubuntu,
> Kubuntu, SuSE or I may go 
> back to Mandriva. I have Knoppix and I already got a
> "feeling" into the 
> operating system.
> Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Many Linux enthusiasts would recommend their favorite
distro. Just to confuse you a little more I think it
doesn't matter that much which one you choose.

Philosophies and commercial vs non-commercial issues
apart, for the user the difference among distros
basically comes down to distro-specific configuration
utility tools ("control panels") and the desktop
(mainly Gnome vs KDE). There are other differences
like package management and deeper things like
initialization scripts style (there are two), where
things are in the config directory /etc and kernel
options/patches that doesn't matter that much for a
new user. (did I forget anything?)

That said, there are things that can help you decide
which distros to try:

- the "philosopy" or being commercial
- that the distro is a "mainstream" one, meaning it
has a strong community, support and good
documentation. You pretty much said it: Red Hat /
Fedora, SUSE (or whatever the spelling is this week),
Mandriva and (K)Ubuntu. (now wait for the "what about
[some distro]" flames)
- If you like/dislike Gnome over KDE

LiveCDs are also a great idea to get the feeling of a
distro and check for hardware issues. You already have
knoppix, and Ubuntu and Suse have LiveCD versions.

I think most recent distros (or the maintream ones)
can read NTFS partitions.

Since you have an empty disk you can also try several
of them like William suggested.

Good luck.


> you.
> Simon
> --
> The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
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