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

Lennart Sorensen lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at
Tue Nov 8 21:33:21 UTC 2005

On Tue, Nov 08, 2005 at 09:05:22AM -0500, Fernando Duran wrote:
> 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?)

How many bugs they come with, how well they resond to security issues,
how good the comunity support is, etc.  All the things that really

> 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)

I believe most surveys of linux users seem to list Debian in the top 2
or 3 along with some version of redhat.

> - If you like/dislike Gnome over KDE

Many distributions include both.  Why pick when you can have both.

> 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.

Certainly a good thing to try, and great for checking if your hardware
has a chance of supporting linux at all.

> 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.

Lennart Sorensen
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
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