[thelist] Which Linux?

Emma Jane Hogbin emmajane at xtrinsic.com
Wed Jul 23 10:42:09 CDT 2003

On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 07:41:06AM -0400, Hershel Robinson wrote:
> I am interested in advice from evolters about which Linux distro would be
> best for a web developer like myself. To avoid wasting bandwidth and because
> this may not be germane for many readers, I have summarized what I am

Learn with Red Hat or Mandrake (or even SuSE) and when you feel totally
frustrated move to Debian. 

I've heard only really nasty things about Red Hat and the ease of setting 
up a LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) system for development. Red Hat changes 
a *lot* of things in its package system. Benefits? Installer is dead easy.
This is what I started on.

Two of my friends are Mandrake users. One is a developer the other is a
librarian. Also very easy to install. I don't know much about the package
system that they use though. I tried version 8 and wasn't keen on it.
Mostly I didn't like the graphics in the installer. Which is not a very
good reason to give up on a distrobution, I know. :) My developer friend
uses Mandrake + Fluxbox (see last paragraph). I think the other uses KDE.

The classrooms at school all use SuSE, but all I've really done with it is
edit HTML pages. Don't know much about the install or the package system.
Those who like it, like it a lot.

I'm personally a Debian fan. Debian is more difficult to install.
Which some say is a con. Others say you spend most of your time working on
the system, not installing the system. I tend to agree with the latter. I would
not recommend it as your first Linux distribution. The install process
does not hold your hand--it expects you to read instructions and make
decisions (albeit not very difficult ones). Coming from a Windows world
where no reading is required, this can be a very scary thing.

The knoppix CD is a good recommendation. If you're going with an old dead
machine to play around on I wouldn't bother with a dual boot. Windows eats
up a lot of space and creating a dual boot system is slightly more
difficult than just a straight Linux one. If you decide you don't like
Linux after playing with it for an appropriate amount of time, just throw
a windows CD in and overwrite your installation.

I would start with a desktop environment. I prefer KDE to Gnome because I
don't like the little feet in Gnome. They weird me out. (My issue, not
yours.) A desktop environment comes with lots of "tools" like: browsers,
email programs, more calculators than you can shake a stick at (etc). This
is a good way to go if you're not sure what you need to install. I
personally hate all the clutter (and it's clutter because I don't use it,
not because it's bad). So I use a "window manager" called Fluxbox. It does
*nothing* other than draw windows for you to run your applications from
(basically). Again, I would not recommend this to start, but I love my
Fluxbox. :)

Hope that helps,

Emma Jane Hogbin
[[ 416 417 2868 ][ www.xtrinsic.com ]]

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