[thelist] Which Linux?

Alan McCoy a.r.mccoy at larc.nasa.gov
Wed Jul 23 07:59:00 CDT 2003

=> 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 looking for here:
=> <http://galleryrobinson.com/family/newbie.htm>

Most any distro of Linux will come with Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, c
compilers, GTK tools, etc...basically a whole slew of dev tools. As for
the features you listed on your site...

=> 1. Downloadable CD image. I am a sucker for instant gratification.

Whatever distro you choose, you can get the free ISO images at
<http://www.linuxiso.org> or at other FTP mirrors

=> 2. Broad selection of development tools (I am a programmer and I
basically want the machine for work). 

Again, most any distro will have an abundance of these.

=> 3. Easy learning curve. 
=> 4. Powerful and robust--something that will allow me to switch from
Win 2K to Linux for my main machine. 
=> 5. Easy install (I think they all are today).

Since you're coming from being primarily a Windows user (AND since
you're planning to dual boot with Win2K), I'd recommend Mandrake (9.1 is
the latest). It installs VERY easily and has a nice tool for setting up
a dual-boot install on a machine that already has Windows. There's a
demo of the entire Mandrake install process at

Of course, everyone has their favorite distro and others will certainly
give very valid reasons to choose another distro. It really all comes
down to which one YOU prefer.

As for learning Linux, one of the best resources I had when I was
starting out was IRC. Joining #linux or #linuxhelp and posting questions
there was extremely helpful. Also, see if there's a Linux user's group
in your area.


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