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Author Topic: which linux flavor to go with  (Read 5581 times)
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« on: October 06, 2007, 10:26:48 AM »

I know nothing about linux anymore, but gonna play around a bit on my laptop with it.

what flavor would you recommend and why?

ubuntu seems like a solid choice, but i want some options, with reasons.
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 11:34:33 AM »

Here's the deal: It depends on what you want to do (Big surprise, that ROFLMAO )

If you are creating an appliance for webserverness (PHP, MySQL etc) then it really doesn't matter that much because they're all based on the same kernel. I've used RedHat and now Fedora for the longest time because it's just convenient not to switch. I set the inittab level to 3 right after install (that makes it a text-based startup rather than starting XWindows) almost immediately, and once a box is up I never go back to Gnome. I log into the machine with SSH entirely. The Fedora Core 6 CDs are easily torrented down and the install is smart and painless.

If you are thinking of experimenting with a GUI (Gnome or KDE) first off, after years of Windowing I'd set my expectations PROFOUNDLY low. Think 3.1 man. No matter what the Linux boyz will tell you, the Linux windowing environment is years, perhaps even a decade behind Windows. (Sidenote: That is why I was most happy with the Mac - Unix superstructure, for-reals GUI). Ubuntu seems to have a great user following so that would mave a good choice I think.

My biggest suggestion though, would be to purchase Parallels Desktop and install your *nix flavor in a virtual box rather than as the main instance on a machine. If you're just playing, this will give you handy little abilities like "snapshotting" the OS before you dick with things, and then you can go back if you don't like what you did. If this is your first install, you can probably count on redoing it about 3 times before your even remotely satisfied.

Good luck with it all. Have ye some Advil handy? Wink
/p
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 11:50:19 AM »

i thought about parallels as well. Im just gonna install it on my laptop and see how it goes.

My intent is desktop use. The problem may be my dependency on some windows apps.

google has some solutions for spreadsheet,powerpoint and word. gmail is not acceptable though as a email package. google calendar probably is.
I can use the outlook web access, on my exchange server, but that has its own set of issues.

the entire Adobe suite however is the biggest issue for me.
flash
photoshop
illustrator
indesign
premier
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 01:13:54 PM »

Everything will work fine in a virtual world - the options are either to go Linux with a Windows virtual, Windows with a Linux virutal - I'd recommend the latter. In any case, I've only run across 1 windoz process that did not fly perfectly under the virtual, and that was the initial configuration of an ExpressPort card for my Mac that gave me Sprint broadband access - the virtual PC could not control the port correctly without it having been configured for the Mac first - but Sprint made it a prerequisite that it is initiall configured and connected on a PC ... but that's pretty esoteric.

The "Coherence Mode" in parallels (at least on the Mac) is VERY cool, because it allows you to run apps from the guest OS right on the desktop for the parent OS. Seeing IE run (what looks like natively) on my Mac is just damn cool. Well, kinda - it is IE after all Wink
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 04:10:46 PM »

Ubuntu
It is really easy for newbies to set up, detects most hardware off the bat etc.
Also has good support, and 100% free.

Openoffice is better then MSWord in most cases, opens MS files etc, and has many feature MS does not have.
For you windows apps you could try http://www.codeweavers.com/ which is based on wine.
Faster then a machine emulator, and supports most office type proggies.
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 05:15:01 PM »

wine is an emulator too tho... and it's somewhat flaky as well. I think it is really a trap set that maps the Windows function calls in the guest application into X-Windows functions. That's why I'd recommend the Parallels route because it "cuts a window" through the OS to allow the guest OS have almost unrestricted/unrestrained access to the processor. It's really fantastic.
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2007, 08:24:47 AM »

so Im on ubuntu right now.

install was piece of cake,
getting specific hardware to work... different story

in particular, my wifi card, man that was annoying.

though now in playing with it, its just another OS. has its quirks, and issues. The biggest one though, Is that I actually think I am tied to windows for enough reasons to not change. running windows under linux or linux under windows seems pointless.
My cell phone
my zune
my gps workout watch
etc
etc
etc
then all the software, which I COULD run, but need an extra layer to do it, which seems dumb to me.

I guess actually what would work, is a really thin client Remote Desktop for my Laptop. Since I usually just remote into my desktop from my laptop anyway, and never really do anything directly from my laptop. Maybe a web browser too.

any suggestion for that? an OS that is stripped down to nothing, and I can add firefox and Remote Desktop to it. that would be it.
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 01:12:38 PM »

I guess in all of our discussions I never really thought you'd consider Gnome/KDE etc as a viable alternative to Windows... my thought was more that you'd build a Linux instance on a box then put a LAMP sort of config on it.

If you do that with Parallels for example, you can share the drives between both OSs. This is important, because you could use development tools you are familiar with in Win to mod the LAMP appliance on the box. Going this way, you could get more comfy with the notion of an offsite appliance but not step away from your dev zone. Then in the future, you build a VPN to your boxes around the globe, and you're editing in the way you like best against the best webserver appliance available.

This is exactly how I use my Mac - it is the best platform for me to dev/live on, but my servers are all LAMP. (and Solaris, but that is fading).
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 02:20:09 PM »

yea, i was mostly curious to see the viability of linux as a desktop OS. Not that I REALLY was going to change, but I am researching it. While doing this though, I realized my laptop really only needs to be a thin client with a browser (FF) and remote desktop client.  For that purpose, linux might be perfect.

as a dev environment, I would just use a host and not bother with any of it, or just get a dedicated machine. I have no real need to set up a LAMP in my office.

for a while it seems I am trapped in Windows, and I am OK with that.
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 02:24:45 PM »

for a while it seems I am trapped in Windows, and I am OK with that.

 ROFLMAO couldn't be more aptly said
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 03:15:41 PM »

If you are thinking of experimenting with a GUI (Gnome or KDE) first off, after years of Windowing I'd set my expectations PROFOUNDLY low. Think 3.1 man. No matter what the Linux boyz will tell you, the Linux windowing environment is years, perhaps even a decade behind Windows. (Sidenote: That is why I was most happy with the Mac - Unix superstructure, for-reals GUI). Ubuntu seems to have a great user following so that would mave a good choice I think.


Uh...have you checked out Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon? Runs Compiz Fusion by default...If you think that's years behind windows or even OSX, I must say I strongly disagree. Neither one of the aforementioned windowing systems is hardware accelerated natively, and neither uses OpenGL.
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 03:31:34 PM »

yea, i was mostly curious to see the viability of linux as a desktop OS. Not that I REALLY was going to change, but I am researching it. While doing this though, I realized my laptop really only needs to be a thin client with a browser (FF) and remote desktop client.  For that purpose, linux might be perfect.
Pretty much all you need.
Also since linux/unix was designed to be a development env from the start, all the compilers etc are built right in.
Probably if u get rid of all those silly windows toys you will be more productive Smiley

I was going to keep mouth shut, but go with vsloath with that one.
linux gui go from just an xwindow to kde Smiley
Personally i use gnome,

Kde has stuff like DCOP (interprocess communication you can script somehow, i do not know how to use it, just it is there Smiley ).
The trolltech (QT) widget set which KDE is based on, makes other widget sets look primitive.
If you need true cross platform, with speed and have tons of $$$ to shell out QT is the way to go.
(considering what it does not really that expensive).

Bottom line is OS really does not matter as much anymore.
I use ubuntu because it works out of the box.
Also a proper command line, unlike windows
All my tools are there, very easy to emulate what happen on server with laptop, no nasty surprises Smiley
Stuff like ssh,scp and all the commandline tools are there.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 03:34:33 PM by nop_90 » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2007, 09:25:49 AM »

Debian @ run level 2

everything else is for poofs
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2007, 11:06:37 AM »

Personally, I prefer Kubuntu or Xubuntu over Ubuntu due to my dislike of Gnome (try connection Evolution via Ximian to an Exchange server and then checking all the fsking extra processes running and you'll see why).  The Gnomelings are re-creating all the deep-hook application interconnection crap that makes Windows a steaming pile.  This is why you get into dependency hell when building apps.

The core principles of UNIX: a) everything is a file, making it easy to talk to hardware, sockets, whatever; b) small tools pipelined together to make flexible more powerful wholes.  Gnome completely ignores b.  KDE does to some extent as well, but not nearly to the point that Gnome does.

The ultimate demonstration of UNIX philosophy, IMO: OpenBSD, complete with die-hard project greybeards that will bite your head off at the first chance.  Grin

=RT=
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