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Re: debian versus ms1998

John said:
> October 31st 2002
> I am currently an MS Windows 98 user, but am very interested in Linux
> since  seeing a programme about it on the BBC World Service a few weeks
> ago.
> A simple question I would like answered please.
> Is debian an alternative to MS Windows or complimentary to it?    Can
> they  work together or not?   If it proves not quite suitable can users
> revert  easily or not?
> MS Word seems to have ironed out most of the problems.  Can the same be
> said of the debian system?

It heavily depends upon your needs. I would not reccomend Debian to be
a user's first Linux distribution. Unless you have at least some prior
UNIX experience, or are really motivated to dig into Linux. I started
using Linux seriously back in 1996, and chose slackware because it was
more difficult then redhat(it paid off well, my skills are quite good now).

It is an alternative to MS Win in many enviornments. The only places where
it may not be an alternative just yet is those enviornments who are
dug in deep in MS products. that is they use MS stuff everywhere, have a
lot invested in software & support & staff, and use a lot of the "advanced"
features of MS software. This is the minority of computer users.

Xandros, which is Debian based came out recently with a updated rev(this
is based on Corel Linux which was pretty big a couple years ago), which
includes WINE addons which support specific Win32 apps such as MS Office
and Internet Exploder. If your really tied to products such as those,
you are probably better off going with Xandros. I don't know how stable
it is, the reviews I have read have been positive. Note you can't run
just ANY application, only a select few(probably a few hundred). For
even more users this can "bridge the gap".  For most users(such as my
mother, grandparents, sister) their computer experience is VERY limited
so I give them a locked down copy of SuSE, which they use day in and day
out without any issues. I really think SuSE is the strongest desktop
linux available right now(Haven't tried Xandros yet though).

But as a Linux user since 1996, and a Debian user since 1998, I can say
that Debian is NOT for a new linux user. If you know someone that can
install/configure the initial system then it is fine, but configuration
and installation(on specific pieces of hardware) can be much more difficult
then other distributions.

for most desktops at the moment I reccomend SuSE Professional, which is
not free, the full version runs about $80. But it comes with "Everything
including the kitchen sink", which is the approach that makes it easy
for my family to interact with it(no need for 3rd party software).

that said, I do preferb debian over any other linux or UNIX system out
there, and I've used aout 15-20 variants of unix/linux.

Lindows is available too, but I reccomend against using it, since it
runs everything as root by default. Xandros accomplishest the same
(or similar) results without using the root account for everything,
they are based on the same code(both are based on Debian as well).


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