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Re: Debian for Joe Average

I would go for Debian and install it for them. Once installed debian is a breeze (stick to woody and let them loose on aot-get/apt-cache).

The best bit of advice I have heard for newbees is use the distribution your mates use (then when you have got the hang of that make your own judgment).

The easiest to install is probably Mandrake (based on Redhat). In fact Knoppix and run the HD install utility is also a quick and easy option but the installer is unstable and it is only an option if knopix installes/probes OK. And its based on Debian.

The other thing to bear in mind is alough redhat/mandrake have an apt-get type util the packages are not centrely manages so there can be incompatibility/dependenct problems.


ScruLoose wrote:

On Wed, Oct 01, 2003 at 10:37:26AM +0200, sturla wrote:
Ron Johnson wrote:
On Sat, 2003-09-20 at 22:29, sturla wrote:
If I should advice somebody new to Linux, I would say RedHat, that's
where I started.
RedHat 9 has a great installer and contains anything a normal user
will ever need, including OpenOffice.Org.
Gak!  And send him into Dependency Hell?

Hehe, why do you think I made the switch?
I don't say RedHat is better than Debian, but it's easier for Joe Average to start with.
Some of the problem in the discussion about what distro to use is that everybody has their favourite and sticks with
it at all cost.

Considering that here in this thread (on debian-user, don't forget)
there have been recommendations for at least four other distros, I
wonder how you can make this claim at all.

As I said, I like Debian, but lets face it: For Joe Average RedHat is easier to understand at first, so give him that, get him hooked on the stability of Linux and when you see him tired because he's been up all night trying to solve dependencies
to install something new THEN tell him about Debian and apt.

Your entire argument seems to be based on the assumption that there are
only two choices: You can have ease of use (RedHat/Mandrake) OR you can
have apt (Debian).
This assumption is false.
If our friend Joe installs Xandros, or Libranet (or Knoppix?); he gets
BOTH the ease of use of a newbie-friendly system for the desktop user
AND an apt-based system. In what arena can RedHat compete with this?

This has two immediately obvious benefits for Joe: First, if he uses
his system for a couple years and a new version of his distro is
released, he can buy the new version, drop the CD in the tray, do a
dist-upgrade, go for coffee, and continue with a working system.
Second, if he turns out to be a little more tech-oriented than we
thought and starts peeking under the hood, he'll be learning the
*right* system, rather than giving himself ulcers by messing with RPMs.

If you wait until poor Joe's been up all night trying to install
something before you inform him about apt, you risk losing him back to


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