linux on x86

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mkaake, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    i have a question for my brother in law... i've finally convinced him that he needs a mac, but his funds are too short, and he's really starting to hate ms. so for the time being, he wants to dip into linux, to further himself from windows. problem is, i don't know linux at all, and i need to recommend a distro to him (non computer geek) - and he won't really have any support for running this.

    So i guess the real problem is, i need to find him the easiest to use, mac like linux distro that has basic features available...

    so what should i recommend? i went to, but the search yeilded over 50 distros that were 'recommended', and i really don't know enough to give him an answer...

  2. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Mandrake would probably be your best bet. Its pretty easy to install and learn. If you want to get a feel for Linux before you install it, get Knoppix... it can run off the CD without being installed.
  3. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Lindows (or whatever its called) is a very good distro for the non linux person. It has one click installs and does the job nicely.

    Mandrake and Suse are also very good starter or desktop linux distributions, they detect most hardware and have very good USB support.

    Before you run into installing it, check that all the hardware is supported. Especially modems.

    You could even download a distribution like knopix which boots and runs off the CD, so you wont loose your windows, its a good try-before-you-partition system.
  4. mkaake thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    he's not completely ready to wipe and partition just yet, so i'll be donating a smallish (6 gig maybe) hard drive to him so he can play around w/o messing up his current windows install.

    oh, btw, he's got DSL... I'm guessing as long as his NIC is supported, he'll be good to go, right?
  5. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    I agree with the above. Throw Knoppix in the CD drive and you can test what devices work and what don't. In addition, it's totally non-destructive as it runs totally from CD, as stated above.

    As for a distro, I use SuSE. It can resize Windows partitions during setup, and has a very easy to use configuration interface for updates, hardware, system services, etc.
  6. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Of the prebuilt distro's I always liked SuSE. Before I switched to the mac I ended up with Gentoo on x86 though I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to Linux newbies. It requires a fair bit of background knowledge to install it. I does howver give you exactly what you want on your computer with minimal bloat - consequently it runs much faster than some of the more full-featured (kitchen sink) distros.

    Most distro's provide iso's (disk images) of their install disks on their ftp servers. SuSE doesn't - they provide all the packages separately or an ISO of their Live-CD.
  7. davecuse macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2004
    Have him download the iso for a SuSe LiveEval CD. You can boot up from the CD it loads the whole OS, and you don't have to do any formatting of hard drives. It's the best way to get a look at Linux before you dive in head first. I've tried both SuSe and Mandrake, they are pretty similar distros, but I prefer SuSe .

    SuSe Live Eval iso
  8. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Download the Personal Edition of SuSE (or install the FTP version if you have broadband). It's very good :)

    Mandrake = Bugfest :eek:
  10. Diploid macrumors newbie


    Jun 27, 2004
    Make sure he understands Linux is not OS X

    Just a little word of advice if I may...

    Make sure he understands that the so-called "user-friendliness" of the recent linux distros is still a far cry from that which is offered by OS X...
    I work on linux at the office and let's just say I'm happy to come home to a computer that really "just works" ;)

    Don't get me wrong: moving away from M$ is certainly a good choice but offering him to use Linux might unnerve him a bit and make him reconsider moving to other flavors (albeit more delicious ones) of UNIX...

    Just my two cents...

    PS: I would also recommend SuSE :rolleyes:
  11. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    My recommendations goes like this: SUSE (with the Ximian DE... what a absolutely sweet DE) - Knoppix - Gentoo.

    But I second the above. Linux is NOT user-friendly. The hype is a lie - it's a far FAR cry from OS X, and even a far cry from Windows XP. If you install Linux and it works... you're lucky. If it doesn't, be parepared for some conf hell. You've been warned.

    I use Linux as a hobby - I enjoy learning about it and about how it works. I am now working on THE perfect Gentoo installation. It's all purely hobby, and it also gives me a reason to turn on my PC that I've been severely neglecting in favor of my iBook. But if your brother-in-law wants to use the computer, and I mean use it, I recommend him to stick to Windows XP for now until he gets his Mac.

    YMMV of course.
  12. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
    I can get you a free copy of linux 8.1 in box if you pay shipping...

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