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Re: Help with Linux selection please?

On Sun, Dec 18, 2005 at 10:45:37PM -0500, Chinook wrote:
> I have an X86 based PC (with a ATI AIW 8500 card) on my LAN that I'm 
> expunging XP from and am trying to decide which Linux to install.  I AM 
> NOT :-) looking for a heated debate of which is best (whatever that 
> means), but rather which might better facilitate a couple personal 
> general criteria.
> 1) My wife will be using it for documents and communication.  I'm sure 
> OpenOffice will satisfy the documents use, and she prefers Thunderbird 
> and Firefox for communications.  Oh yes, she says she has to have her 
> card games :<))
Debian may do fine. Depends on the cardgames - but add in the games from
KDE games.
> 2) I mainly play at (I'm supposedly retired) software development on my 
> PMac G5 using ObjC/Cocoa.  I would like to be able to expand into the 
> Linux world using GNUstep.
Debian possibly the only major distribution to have heard of GNUstep :)

> So, a combination of a simple home system and one on which an old SE can 
> keep his head busy :-)  I'm comfortable using Unix, but have had no 
> experience using Linux.
Shouldn't be too hard to switch.

> Though it may be as unneeded as on a Mac, I'll want to include ClamAV or 
> an equivalent.  Some sort of firewall would also be a consideration, as 
> well as a volume cloning tool for backup and whatever system maintenance 
> tools might be appropriate.  Maybe I'll even have more luck keeping it 
> networked with my Mac than I had with XP.
Clamav is there. IPtables and a GUI front end (guarddog) or script
(shorewall) to assist configuration will do your firewall. Volume
cloning - amanda for backup? partimage. Mac networking - Debian speaks
AppleTalk at least :)

> Any comments are appreciated.
Debian like distributions vary. Start with a LiveCD / DVD to test out
a system without really touching the hard disk. The latest KNOPPIX 4.02
DVD is really good for this. 

Ubuntu provides a smooth install - but a much smaller list of packages
by default. I prefer the KDE version kubuntu myself - but it doesn't
matter because one can be converted into the other straightforwardly :)
Try a live CD for (one of) Ubuntu (GNOME desktop) Kubuntu (KDE).

Once you've tried these for a week or so, then slide to a Debian
install. Debian stable will work well - but "feels" very old
to some people. Debian testing is updated much more regularly - but
there are occasional breakages as large packages like KDE
change API / library versions and have to be coaxed in - that usually
means a few days wait until your favourite application is there again. 
Debian unstable Just Works 99.9% of the time - but if it breaks, it breaks 
a lot :)

Lurk on the list for a couple of weeks and get a feel for user issues
and/or lurk on debian-devel to see the sorts of "stuff" going on there.
Most questions at user level really do belong on debian-user - if you
inadvertently post to the wrong list, someone may jump at you - but
others will probably answer a misplaced question anyway :)

HTH, all the above in my opinion only

> Thank you,
> Lee C
> -- 
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