what is the best distro?

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dtugg

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I've been using redhat, but with no end user support, they can keep it. I've looked at suse for my production machines, but what is good for home? I want updates to be free! I'm looking at fedora, but am not sure. any help is much appreciated.

dtugg
 
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Well, the best distro is like asking if smooth or chunky peanut butter is better. Everyone likes different things.

If you want to stay with a redhat core, then fedora is the way to go. However if you want to learn more about linux (read figure out problems/ get help here for anything elsethat might happen) then perhaps look at slackware, or gentoo, debian any other then red hat. Theres a few of us that do okay at linux, and a few that excel at it :).
 

dtugg

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I found another thread that everyone seems to like Debian. An associate here at work also preaches about how awesome Debian is on a daily basis. I've never used it, but apget (if that's the right term) is apparently the shiznit! Lemme know if anyone has any other thoughts. I've also seen a lot of peeps talking about slackware. So many choices!!!!

dtugg
 
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Well i'm a gentoo user and the only time ihave to really do something manually, is when I need to install a new kernel. Say go from 2.4.22 to 2.4.25, well for me personally i'm running 2.6.4 and running amazingly stable on a p3 500.

emerge is the gentoo version of apt-get (its either apt or ape ^.^ ) Course i'm biased so :). Debian is a excelent stable build. Part ofthat is because all the stuff that it uses is proven tried and true some months ago. It therefore is a great choice for a server. There is also a development version that I believe White is using, and when he's here. He can tell you about the experience with it.
 
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Well I'm also a RedHat user for 5 years and I love it.
But as you mentioned, is this fedora free-of charge too?
 
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Fedora is a open source version of redhat, it's basically a way to save face for them going entirely commercial, so its developed by both red hat personal and anyone who want's to contribute to it. So yep its free of charge :)
 
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tsunam said:
Well i'm a gentoo user and the only time ihave to really do something manually, is when I need to install a new kernel. Say go from 2.4.22 to 2.4.25, well for me personally i'm running 2.6.4 and running amazingly stable on a p3 500.

emerge is the gentoo version of apt-get (its either apt or ape ^.^ ) Course i'm biased so :). Debian is a excelent stable build. Part ofthat is because all the stuff that it uses is proven tried and true some months ago. It therefore is a great choice for a server. There is also a development version that I believe White is using, and when he's here. He can tell you about the experience with it.
Yup. Here i am, dyed in the wool debian user. (Yes, it is apt-get... apget...hehe... cracks me up. (y) )

The thing about debian, as compared to other distros, is that there are three diffrent versions at any one time. First off is stable. Stable, you will find is just that. Rock solid to the core. This is because everything has been tested for months, if not years. If you havent picked it up on it yet, this means that stable (Woody, its code name.), is a little behind on "modern" times. (KDE in stable is still 2.2).

Then there is "Testing". Testing is a machine built distro, updated often (Usually anywhere from more than daily, to every three days.). In this section are all the programs that have come down from "Unstable" (See below), as not breaking anything. From the debian site:
Packages are installed into the `testing' directory after they have undergone some degree of testing in unstable.

They must be in sync on all architectures where they have been built and mustn't have dependencies that make them uninstallable; they also have to have fewer release-critical bugs than the versions currently in testing. This way, we hope that `testing' is always close to being a release candidate.

More information about the status of "testing" in general and the individual packages is available at http://www.debian.org/devel/testing
Testing(Code name Sarge) is usually safe to use, and more people use sarge than woody. The only thing with testing is that you need to know how to recover from the occasional Screw up. (KDE 3.2.1 is in Testing/unstable)

Unstable is last but not least. From the Debian site:
sid or unstable is the place where most of the packages are initially uploaded. It will never be released directly, because packages which are to be released will first have to be included in testing, in order to be released in stable later on. sid contains packages for both released and unreleased architectures.

The name "sid" also comes from the "Toy Story" animated motion picture: Sid was the boy next door who destroyed toys :)
Sid is the most up to date debian release. Usually update daily, at least, it is where you will find your cutting edge software. The downside to unstable is that it is all automatic. No one has control over possibly system destroying packages (Everyone after using debian for a while hears the story about how PAM broke, and people had to figure out how to log into their fubared machines).

I personally use Sid, beacuse it is the most up to date. That and i dont have a problem with reinstalling if necsisary. (I got used to that under windows, though i still prefer to try to FIX linux, instead of reinstall).

As Tsunam has said before, alot of this comes right down to personal preferance. Some people are in heaven in an RPM distro, but personally i like not having to deal with dependancies (BTW, did i mention that apt will automagically resolve all dependancies?)

Gentoo can be a great distro, if you have some time, and a decent computer. (i wouldnt reccomend it for any computer that you cant have out of commisin for 4+ hours compiling somthing. Or anything slower than... 400....)
 
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Okie since White finally went with the debian versions, I'll comment a bit about about gentoo.

Gentoo, is a from source distro. Meaning that whenever you install a package for it, that that package (weither it be kde or distcc) will be optimized to your specifications for your processor. Ie on this machine everything is optimized for running ona intel pentium 3 500 :). Overall this helps programs to be speadier then they'd be say in redhat that has just a general one size for all.

As both white and I pointed out the gentoo version of apt-get is called emerge. Its makes it amazingly simple to install practically anything you'd want to for linux(I've only had to install about 3 things not in the portage tree). Basically there is two steps. First is to use emerge sync. So that your system is up to date for what's available. Then you just emerge whatever package you want. This will then proceed to install it, and its dependencies along with optimizing it for you :).

The other thing you'll notice about gentoo because it is a from source distro, there's different versions you can choose from. i386, amd, amd64, sparc, and powerpc for whatever hardware you can.


The one thing that is true, is that it does take time to install. to get a operating system took me ohh about 6 or so hours on a p3 500, thats just a kernel alone. (course this was my first time installing so doing it again would be a lot quicker. It then took me another 51 hours to get kde installed (thats 51 hours betweeen xfree and kde). SO yes its time consuming but ithink well worth it.
 
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Did we mention that Debian and Gentoo remove dependancy hell? Just making sure.
 
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nope, don't think we mentioned that they take care of dependancy hell ;)

THEY TAKE CARE OF DEPENDANCY HELL!!!!!

*whacks people who ask about debian and gentoo with the dependancy hell avoidance sign.*

p.s. i'm feeling especially goofy today :D
 
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:)
Its worth mentioning that there are many alternatives to the debian installer that many people new to debian complain about. If you are willing to pay, Xandros is a favorite of many. Other than that there is the beta sarge installer.
 

dtugg

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Thanks a lot you all for all the great input. I'm still not sure what we should use on production machines, but I have a lot to go by with all these great posts. I never heard one person mention suse though. (that's what I was leaning toward) Anyway, thanks again!

dtugg
 
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Ah, SUSE... I've tried that and... dumped it. As a noob, I thought easy configuration would be the way to go and I learned first-hand about "dependency hell" (or at least, that was what appeared to have happened to me). I tried to "update" something on my PIII machine and found it very difficult to do because there were other software that I was totally unaware of was not installed/configured/etc. on the machine prior to installation. I did this months ago and have since tried other distros, so I don't quite remember what I was trying to update (I think it was my for my sound card because it wasn't working).

Right now, I've managed to get Gentoo on the machine but can't get past the command line (read: no GUI desktop) so I can't tell you whether I like it or not. Thinking about Debian, though.
 
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Shadowcat,

to get a gui for gentoo. http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/desktop.xml follow that guide, and yes when they say to go take a nap. Do SO!. On my p3 500, it took 51 hours to do xfree and kde ^.^;;. It covers both gnome install and kde. though if you want to install something else it'd be similar up to the point when you go install whatever desktop manager you want.
 
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HOnestly, if you want stability on a production machine, with linux, debian woody is the way to go. Because of the intense testing, it wont have any un-reported bugs. However, it will NOT be cutting edge, without some apt-pinning, or some backports.
 
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