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For all wondering which Linux is for them

by null. / January 7, 2006 5:53 PM PST

Take the quiz. Only takes a minute.

It suggested for me to use Mandriva or Open Suse, I currently use Suse 10. I guess I picked right then.

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by phil66 / January 7, 2006 9:12 PM PST

was the #1 suggestion for my computer.
It states that it partations NTFS and my system is FATS.

Second suggestions was Kubuntu which I am currently using as my os.

Also suggested Linspire,Xandros,and Debian.

Some help but too many suggested distros IMO.

Good test thanks for the info

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What my friends are running.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 7, 2006 10:36 PM PST

Knoppix (as live CD), Suse (more OpenSuse 10 now), various Fedora's and a scattering of Ubuntas. I'm not sure what happened to Mandrake/Mandriva users.

I have one more item to get straight with OpenSuse 10 and then I'll be set.


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Where they went
by bulldogzerofive / January 9, 2006 5:50 PM PST

I was one of them (10.0 and 10.1 only). Crappy support and a lackluster forum. It had problems with library management under urpmi; seemingly unrelated applications would break when you installed something new. Slow mirrors, too. There were (many) entries in kmenu after a clean install that led to nowhere. If I were using it today I could fix these annoyances no problem, but it is a distro that relies on being easy to use. These are not things that an easy to use distro has, especially if you paid for a club membership.

I think that when Mandriva openly said they did not care about the home desktop but instead wanted to focus on the corporate environment, it put off a lot of home users as well. It appears to me that they are trying to get into the (profitable) office environment to be used by non-technical users who have full-time technical support.

In short, they are trying to earn money by selling GNU/Linux. Nothing wrong with that (people should give a bit to the developers of the software they use, IMHO), but that is going to put off many "volunteer" developers and Q/C types that they need to make the distro palatable to John/Jane Q. Public.

Then, the Ubuntu jugernaut came along (to quote distrowatch); that was, I think, the end of Mandrake on the home desktop.

Now, I am on debian and kubuntu. Debian just works on my desktop (never had to tweak anything), and kubuntu only needed a little love to work on my spouse's laptop. OpenSuSE appears pretty tempting as well; if only they had been in existence when my mandake club subscription ran out.

So, that's where the mandrake users went, me thinks. I wish Mandriva well; they gave me and many others a good introduction to linux for a fairly good price but both the company and home users are moving to greener pastures.

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I've had the opposite experience with Mandrake
by chuckieu / January 10, 2006 3:33 AM PST
In reply to: Where they went

I used 10.0 (good), 10.1 (had many problems), 10.2 (good, most problems fixed) and now mandriva 2006 (very good, all problems fixed as far as I can tell). I am quite happy with it. My only quibble with it is the many steps
necessary to shut down. I find it very user friendly-but like all Unix/Linux, you have to learn Something. chuck

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by bulldogzerofive / January 10, 2006 11:02 PM PST

That was just my experience. Everyone has different hardware and wants the computer to do different things.

I agree absolutely that you have to learn something. Even with Windows this is true.

I have no regrets about learning with Mandrake, I just did not find it to be "all that and more"... I do find debian to be all that and more, though (just an opinion... and apt is really nice). But for the new user it is really frustrating to have problems with, say, your screen blacking out with no return save the "reset" button on a daily basis and all the empty (or broken) menu entries, or the broken libs. It got so bad at one point that I was making a mirror of my hard drive every time I ran the update tool because I was afraid of breaking something. Maybe it was because I left after 10.1, which everyone seems to agree was buggy.

The slow mirrors are really what bit it for me... maybe just my location.

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by Keneda / February 10, 2006 2:11 PM PST
In reply to: Absolutely

Would it be possible for me to contact you? If so (or not), I'd be greatful if you could let me
know via my profile.

Best Regards,


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(NT) (NT) Thanks bulldog, for letting me know. :)
by Keneda / February 17, 2006 8:14 PM PST
In reply to: bulldogzerofive,
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Me too
by jbndhs / January 8, 2006 7:16 AM PST

Took the test said the same for me.

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Great Test
by Scott Simontis / January 8, 2006 7:27 AM PST

I saw it the other day of Newsforge, it is pretty accurate. Recommended Debian for me, which I was interested in trying, although I don't have a machine to play around with. It also mentioned Gentoo, but I don't think I'm ready for it. Tried Gentoo once before, screwed something up along the way, a whole day wasted.

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Another resource
by bulldogzerofive / January 9, 2006 3:33 PM PST

To read about many distros go to:

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Wondering which Linux is best - ?subcompacts on the march
by septus / January 9, 2006 7:41 PM PST

Thank you "donericksonjr" for an enjoyable test. I have felt tempted to try the one suggested to me, but also like and use e.g. MEPIS and Xandros (as mentioned by other posts here). Distrowatch is enjoyable to follow and I can see that the "subcompacts" (less than 100MB) are moving upwards. The most innovative and portable distro I have seen for years is Puppy, running entirely in RAM, and saving to e.g. a DVD-R.

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picked several for me (including SuSE)
by Cadillac84 / January 13, 2006 12:42 AM PST

I've been running SuSE 8 for several years text only, recently bought 10 and 9ESE. So far I've been running Linux on very old machines and scrathed the one GUI install because it was too slow. Now I can offer up a machine with better video performance and I think I'll install SuSE with KDE this time.

When will I quit reading and "just do it"?


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For an older machine, try.....
by chuckieu / January 13, 2006 3:21 AM PST

Beatrix 2005 (built on Ubuntu). 190MB-single disc. Has
all the popular programs instead of specialized programs in smaller distros like Damn Small Linux (using that on
old Thinkpad). Anyway, Beatrix has Firefox, Evolution, Open Office, Gnome 2.8 (takes less resources than later version), etc. The only reason I'm not using it on the Thinkpad is it won't recognize older 16-bit Pcmcia cards.
FWIW chuck

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old boxen
by irignak / January 13, 2006 4:27 AM PST

Well I've run Slackware 10.2 on my old P1@166Mhz. Ran fine, course no gui (it was a server) But with a GUI 7.1 should work fine.

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I wish this was better advertised
by carolina1 / January 13, 2006 11:17 PM PST

This logical selection process for linux is a great tool. Which distro, is the most popular linux question.

However, it did tell me that my machine was too slow for Mepis. I use it without any problems and I can finish my work before my XP system finishes booting. Okay... a little exageration.

Also, Suse comes up as a program that you do not have to pay for. I have not found any new distributions of this that do not require a purchase. Am I wrong?

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by chuckieu / January 14, 2006 1:50 AM PST

A number of Linux distros are free if you have broadband.
Mandriva 2006, Open Suse 10, Ubuntu are just a few. chuck

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Thanks but I was talking spercifically about SUse
by carolina1 / January 18, 2006 9:31 AM PST
In reply to: Yes

I actually run Mepis and Knoppix and am so very happy to not be running XP, exept for this lousy aptop from work that has XP.

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may be too late for you to see this, but for what it's worth
by Cadillac84 / February 6, 2006 12:19 AM PST

SuSE is free and not free -- and that is becoming increasingly true among Linux distros.

A few years ago, you could buy SuSE from SuSE GmbH (or whatever) and get some support online and so on. Or you could try to download it over the net (which was difficult because it was pretty big and the ''net'' was not as fast for most of us then as it is today with the proliferation of broadband). Or you could go to one of the Linux ''stores'' and buy for a very very modest few bucks the set of CDs of SuSE or SuSE Pro or whatever others you wanted.

Then you could install SuSE on your computer and get whatever help you needed from SuSE if you had a regged up copy or places like Linux Newbie Org (now justlinux dot org) and eventually get things working nicely.

Then you could use YaST to update online. YaST would contact ftp dot suse dot de and download a list of all the currently available modules and patches and then YaST would scan your system to see which of those you did not already have for things you had installed and come up with a ''shopping list'' which it would then submit to the ftp site and begin the download. The whole process (similar to what Micro$oft uses for WindowsUpdate) was handled in one of your tty sessions without much interfering with other activities.

I would perform this update during the workday while people in the office were being routed to the Internet through the box and while they were sending and receiving Email via the Exim MTA which was also running on the box, etc. It did take a while, but I'm talking about running this on a 90 MHz Pentium with about 80 MB of RAM, so I didn't expect supersonics! Happy

So, we're talking about free as in ''free.''

Then, along comes Novell -- and I don't mean to disparage Novell, but Novell bought SuSE GmbH and decided to make a proprietary system of it.

Now, I want to say this carefully and I am not trying to start an argument. I am not a lawyer, but I'm sure Novell is operating within the law and in accordance with the GPL. But, you cannot get updates any longer unless you purchase from Novell a ''subscription'' (my word for lack of any proper term).

You may obtain the SuSE 9 or 10 or SuSE Open from any number of places as before. You may install it and it will work. But when you use YaST to try to update, the only thing which will be updated is YaST.

For your information, under the previous system as with the current system, YaST itself was (and is) always the first thing updated. At some point, you will be prompted for your registration number which you will not have unless ...

You might still want to do this. For $360 USD more or less, you can get a single-server registration for one year which will include tech support, updates, patches and so on. Novell provides excellent support and my view is that by the end of the year you would have everything pretty well tuned up and maybe decide not to renew.

On the other hand, your one year ''subscription'' includes update protection -- so if SuSE Enterprise Server 10 (or 11) were to be released during your ''subscription'' term, you would get it along with tech support, etc.

For a small business with a single server and twenty to thirty connected ''client'' PCs, that is a very modest charge compared to the $1,500 to $2,000 for NetWare. However, when you bought the NetWare license, you had it forever as long as that version was supported; whereas with the SuSE product, the charge is recurring.

For me, I'm pretty comfortable with the ''free'' versions because there is so much help available.

But, I must admit: my principle reason for selecting SuSE some years ago was that the YaST utility made installation a ''breeze.'' If you got the system running and then tried to do something which needed software you had forgotten to install, you simply called up YaST and searched for the software you needed which it handled seamlessly including dependencies giving you choices if appropriate, and so on. That is still true, but the update feature was important and I have to decide now if I want to pay for that.

I recommend you call Novell's toll-free presales number where a very polite and knowledgeable rep will guide you through the selection process based on your situation. No pressure. I talked to them and even accused them of trying to take a public domain product out of the public domain. My rep defended Novell's actions with good logic and did not get angry or abusive with me.

I hope this makes sense and that I have not made factual errors in my statement of the situation.

By the way, RedHat has done almost identically the same thing.

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(NT) (NT) Can you comment on OpenSuse?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2006 12:25 AM PST
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thanx, great link
by 0wnz / January 20, 2006 9:35 AM PST

I had some noob questions that I was hoping somebody could help me with though:

1)are there any apps out there that allow the use of windows programs on linux without performance loss.

2)will the latest version of openSUSE be possible to dual boot with xp?

3)are there drivers available for the 855GME chipset for openSUSE, specifically for a dell 700m?

4)if anybody out there is running linux on a dell 700m, what are your experiences?

5)Are there linux programs available for advanced tasks such as dvd burning, working with iso and other image files, working with microsoft office files, etc. (not an issue if it is possible to run windows apps in linux)

As I am sure you could tell, I have never seen a linux os, much less used one; I am, however, well versed with windows. Thanks.

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by null. / January 20, 2006 4:27 PM PST
In reply to: thanx, great link
1)are there any apps out there that allow the use of windows programs on linux without performance loss.

A. No, but I use WINE - acceptable loss in performance

2)will the latest version of openSUSE be possible to dual boot with xp?

A. Yes, most definetly

3)are there drivers available for the 855GME chipset for openSUSE, specifically for a dell 700m?

A. Not sure

4)if anybody out there is running linux on a dell 700m, what are your experiences?

A. Not me

5)Are there linux programs available for advanced tasks such as dvd burning, working with iso and other image files, working with microsoft office files, etc. (not an issue if it is possible to run windows apps in linux)

A. Yes
Some of the available choices but not all by any means
(dvd burning - K3B, iso and other image files - K3B fileroller Ark many more,
microsoft office files - Open office kword microsoft office using wine)

There are many applications which run well in wine here are some links
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by Cadillac84 / February 6, 2006 1:07 AM PST
In reply to: thanx, great link

I can't add anything specific to the answer give by Don Erickson, but I can suggest something fun for you.

Go to someplace (there are many) like pctech101 dot com and order some Linux CD sets.

Here's what you will find:

SuSE 9.1 Professional 5 CD Set
Receive a 5 CD Set of SuSE 9.1 Professional shipped to the US free for eight bucks US.

Slackware 10.2 4 CD Set
Receive a 4 CD Set of Slackware 10.2. *Note* This pricing is for customers WITHIN the USA and Canada. for nine bucks US.

Or pick something else. The SuSe is not the latest version, but it is quite a nice product -- as is the Slackware. I think for a noobie, the SuSE is a better choice because the intallation is more guided.

If you've been messing around with 'puters for a while, you've got an extra hard drive that you can ''donate to the cause.'' If your PC with that drive in it will boot from CD, you're ready to go. If not, you can use the included utilites to make the boot diskette set (it will typically take about four diskettes and I would recommend making the boot disks (1, 2, and 3), and ''Modules 3'' for a good chance at getting through it on the first try.

After you put the 2nd drive in, use the label facility of Windows to give the ''donated'' drive a name that you will recognize just to be on the safe side. When Linux installs, it will ask you if you want to do such-and-so. If you have named your ''donated'' drive ''SuSE'' or ''Linux'' or ''Experimental'' you will easily recognize that the target of your install will be that drive and not the WindowsXP drive which you don't want to mess up.

SuSE in particular will not do anything during the install setup period. You will be given ample opportunity to quit without changing anything if you want to go through again and change your mind about anything.

You can probably leave the Windows hard drive in the computer because Linux will identify it and won't just stomp on it.

You will have a choice of boot managers and the default will be a thing called Grub, but I prefer Lilo (Linux Loader). By default, after the installation is finished, Grub or Lilo will boot to SuSE after a delay of about eight seconds (which you can later change to longer or shorter) and if you touch a key during that period, it will stop and let you choose to boot to Windows.

You can set the default boot to be Windows and so on.

You can have a lot of fun with this though you should not expect perfection first crack out of the box.

If you have an entire computer to ''donate'' you can use a keyboard, video, mouse switch like the very modestly priced F1DK102P (for PS/2 attached keyboard) or F1DK102U (for USB attached keyboard) and use just one monitor and keyboard and save some tabletop real estate!

Go to the justlinux dot com and register for a ''handle'' free and start looking around in the noobies areas for help as you need it.

The frustration and the fun are in good ratio -- the initial frustration being the result of having too many choices and not knowing which way to go. Compare with Windows which gives you few choices and a very smooth initial experience followed by frustration that you can't have choices that you later wish were available.

There are a lot of ''distros'' out there and every one of them has adherents who will swear their favorite is the ''only way to go.''

So far, I like SuSE best and hate RedHat the most. Your mileage may vary. Grin

I am Cadillac84 here and at justlinux dot com and I'd be happy to provide additional ''steerage'' if you want to send me a Private Message either here or there.

Good luck! Have fun.

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thx, good idea
by 0wnz / February 10, 2006 7:34 AM PST
In reply to: suggestion

actually, I have a high speed connection and I know how to use bit torrent, so I am going to use the torrent provided on the novell site to get SUSE 10. My hope is that I can burn it to one dvd (I've heard thats possible), and then find some free room on hd to make a partion to install to. I would love to install to a seperate computer or HD, but unfortunately, I am a college student living in an apartment that I can barely fit my 12 in. notebook in, so partitioning is the only way to go. My hope is that I will be able to adjust to the linux environment and get all the software I need, at which point I will remove the windows partion and be completely dependent on SUSE. Oh, and one more question...what sites would you recommend for finding SUSE drivers. Thx.

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Some answers to your questions
by netgk5815 / August 11, 2006 3:23 AM PDT
In reply to: thanx, great link

1)are there any apps out there that allow the use of windows programs on linux without performance loss.
Not that I am aware of. The WINE project (free) and Crossover Office (not free) allow some Windows applications to run on Linux. But there is always a slight performance penalty. These solutions, however, are not ''emulators'' and so the performance penalty is very small.
Windows emulators are running on top of Linux and acting like parts of Windows instead of mapping the Windows API to the native Linux calls the way the WINE Project and Crossover Office do. So emulators extract a much heavier performance hit.

2)will the latest version of openSUSE be possible to dual boot with xp?
Properly configured, most any Linux distribution will dual boot with Windows XP. Key words: properly configured.

3)are there drivers available for the 855GME chipset for openSUSE, specifically for a dell 700m?
Don't know. Drivers are usually the hard part. For a Dell machine, unless it is a new model, there are probably drivers for its chipset and peripheral components.

4)if anybody out there is running linux on a dell 700m, what are your experiences?
I'm not, so I can't.

5)Are there linux programs available for advanced tasks such as dvd burning, working with iso and other image files, working with microsoft office files, etc. (not an issue if it is possible to run windows apps in linux)
CD/DVD recording is available. Open Office 2.0 is good with MS Office files except maybe the very latest formats or some of the more esoteric options in Excel or Word files. If you must have complete MS Office compatibility, Crossover Office is worth the price so you can run the real MS Office. Just make sure they support your distribution of Linux and the version of MS Office you need to run.

Best of luck to you.

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by 3rdalbum / August 18, 2006 11:32 PM PDT

It suggested Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora... I'm running Ubuntu and I'm interested in Fedora.

SUSE was also suggested but failed because "the full version is not gratis"; I'm also interested in OpenSUSE, so I suppose this test is pretty good!

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