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The Austin Linux Meetup Message Board › April Linux Meetup Meeting Topic

April Linux Meetup Meeting Topic

Bob C.
Austin, TX
Post #: 12

For the next meeting, I'd like to talk about the popular Linux distributions that are available:

  • Which distribution of Linux are you currently using?
  • Why are you using that particular distribution of Linux?
  • Which other distributions of Linux have you used in the past? Why?
  • What do you know about the different distributions of Linux? Which ones are best for what purposes?

Here is a list of several popular linux distros to get you started thinking.

Please post here with info or ideas, or email me. I'm still working on a meeting location, I hope to make a decision this week. I'll post the location as soon as I can get it finalized. Thanks, and I hope to see you at the next meeting.
Jason N.
user 4645363
Austin, TX
Post #: 1
I replied to this, but since I'm not sure where it went (or if it was publicly received), I'm pasting my reply here:

I've been waiting for a meeting to happen in the North, being that I'm in pflugerville.

1. Ubuntu (was FC6), Centos5, and CygWin (if that "counts" ;-) )

2. Ubuntu: My experience with linux distros is that the documentation made available and the mentality of the helpers on #irc make the difference. Frequently while I was struggling with FC6, I found my answers on ubuntu's forums, or a nice person on #Ubuntu helped me out. ... and then I found out that Shuttleworth was backing the distro!!!

3. FC6, because it seems designed to be more "fool proof" -- applications are made available via RPM, meaning that it is easier to back changes out, other "child proofing" that FC6 does -- all of there system-config-* dialogs made tasks very easy, and when I started out there, it was the easiest place to find answers about FC6.

4. I "know" that Debian is the most difficult distro to use, partly because of the mentality of the maintainers and users on #debian, partly because it practically is the prominent grass-roots movement of linux. ( But my information there dates back to debian-woody. ( My first linux experience/ my worst linux experience. Went back to Windows after that, for a while. ) Fedora is a good one for people unfamiliar to linux, in as much as yum (the package maintainer) is the most simple that I've seen yet. Fedora is also good if you run Centos5 at work, because they are similar. Ubuntu is a good choice for intermediate users (and possibly now beginners), because of the support available and the availability of applications it has. Centos5 is the way to go if you need RHEL but plan on using linux for all kinds of ways that aren't supported by RHEL. Knoppix, I think, had the first live CD's, and was great at detecting hardware, determining screen resolutions and drivers when other forms of linux didn't detect it: then those values could be used in the linux you were installing, and they would work (most of the time). Now, however, I think most distros have liveCDs: Fedora, Ubuntu, and Gentoo, to name the ones I know. I also know that if you really want to know your hardware, then Gentoo is a distro worth checking out. ( I don't. ) -- but I have used hardened Gentoo to install a syslog monitor server (that I never used.)
A former member
Post #: 4
I am fairly new to linux. I setup a VM to run Debian and have some books which I am working though. Debian was recommend to me. Partly because I am a Electronics and embedded software developer. I am primarily a Windows guy but am trying to learn Linux and am especially interested in embedded Linux.

I use MonoWall as my home firewall/router. I also have a Mac Book Pro and have got so far as opening a command shell on it. GCC was not installed however. I wanted to do a hello world program.

1. Learning on Debian. Running Embedded MonoWall as router.
2. Software developer freinds recomended Debian for me.
3. Have installed Red Hat, long aga. Umbunto, Suse etc.. but have never really learned much.
4. I have little clue.
Bob C.
Austin, TX
Post #: 15
I'm going to post a link to some references that may be of help. I recently studied and took the effort to get the CompTIA Linux+ certification. During the process, I found several souces that were extremely helpful, formatted my notes for others to use, and posted them to the web. The two books at the top of my Linux reference list were most helpful when trying to understand the workings of Linux and configuring it to make it do what I want it to do.

The first book, by Michael Jang, is about Fedora Core 5. The way it is written is nearly personal, and as I read it I always felt like he was sitting next to me guiding me through the process. The Linux Quick Fix Notebook is direct and to the point. It has bulleted step-by-step procedures for configuring most of the common services that are used in Linux.

Best wishes and good luck. cool
Jason N.
user 4645363
Austin, TX
Post #: 4
I tried to start with Debian (Back when it was 'woody'). It was a terrible beginning. In your case, I recommend Ubuntu to learn to walk (and maybe run) -- it is based on Debian, so (if you were decide to learn with it) when you switch later, there won't be much difference -- and then after the shell shock period has passed, switch to Debian.

I recommend Ubuntu over Debian because I tend to go to IRC for help on how to do things... and #debian wasn't very nice to me.
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