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Re: newby trying to go debian



(Tomek,
After finishing this mail it occurs to me that you can easily cause confusion 
throwing the word 'official' upon some different things without explanation. 
I believe a newbie would need some clarification, but i'm not going to make 
my reply even longer) 

On first glance, Debian doesn't seem to be the ideal Linux distribution for 
multimedia, which is a heavily licensed/patented area, through it's rather 
restricting policy which demands strongly for freedom. Nonetheless, Debian 
includes (but marks) so called non-free packages. And it is possible, in most 
cases, to get some bloody-edge or 'dirty' packages from an 'unofficial' repository 
(not from debian), and install without problems.

Please note that the mentioned 64bit problems are not Debian specific,
all Distributions face them and generally they are rather architecture-specific, 
windows had (or still has) them too. It always needs some time to adapt to 
such a major change, but the problems will be solved in some moths
(i hope). 

For multimedia work, it's probably best to instrall one of the official
non-released 'beta' versions, namely 'unstable' or sid, which isn't that
unstable at all (it runs on all my machines) it's just not stable as rock,
compared to the official debian releases used to be. It's not recommended
for real servers, for example. 'stable', however, is not fully up-to-date with 
codecs and features because it got 'frozen' at some point (no new features).
I think you will understand the idea.

SuSE has somewhat more familiarity and support for newbies moving 
from windows, so maybe no bad choice. But Debian supports more ways 
to modify and adapt the system, getting the best out of your hardware; and 
it's package management system is probably the best (though there might be 
human failures as everywhere). 
I would start with a SuSE, to get used to the basics, and if you find Linux is ok 
for you, switch to Debian unstable ASAP. 
It's worth the additional learning effort.

micha







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