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Re: New to Linux

To quote "The Grand Oral Disseminator" <VBQs@hotmail.com>,
# Hi...
# I'm new to Linux, let's start with saying that!  But I am thnking
about installing Linux on my PC (Intel PIII 667MHz)...  Can you give me
some information about which distribution (A free distribution, since it
is just my goal to have a mere 'meeting' with Linux, to get to know it -
if you wish) would be best for me (I know about the Debian
Distribution), where I can downlaod it, how I should install it, what
other items I need, etc..

I think it depends on how much you know about computers, how quickly you
learn new things, and how much you're willing to read. The last point is
very important.

People who know next to nothing about computers, and arn't too
interested in learning should stick with Red Hat or Mandrake; they take
care of a lot of setup chores which a lot of people just don't get. Most
hardware in Debian has to be configured manually, at least partially.

If you don't learn new things too quickly, I'd suggest Red Hat. It does
a pretty good job of adding an eyecandy layer to everything, but
underneath it it's a Linux system, no matter what. And no matter what
people say, it's still designed primarily as a server OS. Using Red Hat,
you'll likely be able to get up and running quickly, using a nice GUI,
and then you can slowly get yourself accustomed to the hairier aspects
of Linux.

If you're unwilling to read much, you might as well not use Linux at
all; you'll be stuck in GNOME or KDE, and you'll be missing out on the
best things Linux has to offer.

If you're a quick study, you don't mind reading, and you're familiar
with the hardware within your computer, I strongly suggest Debian. It
takes a little while to learn where everything is, and how you
accomplish tasks, but once learned, Debian is extremely easy to use.
Things are laid out, generally, with a fair bit of forethought. There
are lots of little, very handy, Debian-specific utilities that are
invaluable. Maintaining a Debian system is generally easier too, if
you're using the stable variant. With Debian, "stable" means more than
"it won't crash", it also means "we won't change things out from
underneath you without due notice". On a Potato(the stable variant of
Debian) system, you can generally safely upgrade the system without
paying attention.

I've also found that Debian's packages are generally of much higher
quality. Since it's a community of volouteers, most people just package
the apps they use on a daily basis, the apps they're most fond of. Since
they only have one or two, and since they'll be using it themselvse, I
find that they take to time to really make things right.

Anyways, just my thoughts :)

David Barclay Harris, Clan Barclay
    Aut agere, aut mori. (Either action, or death.)

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