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

CLIFFORD ILKAY clifford_ilkay-biY6FKoJMRdBDgjK7y7TUQ at
Wed Nov 9 21:31:52 UTC 2005

On November 9, 2005 09:55, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 08, 2005 at 05:05:37PM -0500, Fernando Duran wrote:
> > - actually I forgot one big thing: the default
> > software packages that they come with. If the user has
> > broadband then it's not that important.
> Also how many packages (at least that you care about) are available
> with the distribution, or at least for the distribution certainly
> can make a difference in how enjoyable and easy it is to do things.

I would also look into how easy it is to create packages and maintain 
private package repositories. If one knows how to configure/make/make 
install, one already knows most of what is necessary to package one's 
own RPMs.

One thing that has not been mentioned as a criterion for selecting a 
distro is the culture of the community. I know Debian is a solid 
distro but, I have found #debian to be a distinctly unfriendly 
environment, especially to newbies. They seem to have a propensity to 
eat their own young there. Flame fests and "mine is bigger than 
your's" contests seem to erupt on a regular basis. I have not noticed 
that to be the case with #gentoo, which is equally busy. I don't know 
what #fedora or #ubuntu are like because I haven't spent enough time 
there. #mandriva is moderated so that sort of nonsense is nipped in 
the bud quickly there. #suse was moribund though there seem to be 
signs of life recently. Anyone who is new to Linux should hang around 
the IRC channels for the various distros to get a feel for what the 
community is like. Are they tolerant of newbies? Are the answers 
mostly "RTFM!"? Is foul language tolerated? (It is not on #mandriva 
because the channel ops have decided that they want to keep it a 
friendly place for people of all ages and cultures. Foul language 
will get you kicked on #mandriva.) Is there a good mix of people with 
different levels of expertise or is it just a bunch of newbies trying 
to help one another? Is there an effort made to teach people to fish 
rather than giving them fish?

Note: none of the above absolves the newbie of the responsibility of 
putting in some effort to help themselves first before asking a 
question. By the same token, it does not let experienced people off 
the hook for being solicitous with newbies even if the newbies happen 
to ask a "stupid" question.

Clifford Ilkay
Dinamis Corporation
3266 Yonge Street, Suite 1419
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326
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