Linux/Unix Flavor

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scuba629, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Scuba629 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    #1
    So at work I use RedHat 5.6 and 6.0 alot. I wanted to bring this to my MBA with VMware and was wondering what Linux/Unix OS I should use.

    Fedora is my top choice as its the "free" version of RedHat but I am not sure if something might run better in general. Or has more features.

    Thanks,

    Scuba629
     
  2. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #2
    You mean RedHat 5.5, there never was a 5.6. As for both of those, they were released in the mid-90s. Might want to upgrade to a newer version. ;) :D

    All Linux distributions have the same features as you can install anything you want on top of any one of them. There is no "more features". As for which is "better" to run, that's very subjective and prone to starting a holy war. If you're used to RedHat Enterprise Linux, either run Fedora or CentOS. If you want to try something new, Ubuntu has a very different paradigm for software management.

    If you really want to get your hands dirty and actually learn how Linux works and play around with the GNU tools and the real deal build system (autoconf + Makefiles), then Arch Linux or Slackware would be "better" choices.
     
  3. bp1000 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2011
    #3
    If you have a beard or irregular facial hair, 5 pairs of underwear and a personality disorder then get CentOS. Otherwise get Ubuntu.
     
  4. quietlurker macrumors newbie

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    Jul 28, 2011
    #4
    He quite likely means RHEL 5.6 and RHEL 6.
     
  5. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    #5
    Or Linux Gentoo:
    • Cleanest package manager there is: Portage.
    • All installs are sandboxed so the filesystem doesn't get messier with each "make install".
    • Lots of ebuilds available. Easy to create or fork one yourself.
    • Their Portage tree and tools (Gentoo Prefix) can even be installed on OS X, and have made it to Chrome OS.
     
  6. RobQuads macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    #6
    Ubuntu is probably the most widely used, user friendly version.
     
  7. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
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    #7
    I know, hence the smilies. :rolleyes: It was what is called "humor", a "quip" if you will. Might you want to hone that sense of "humor" there. ;)



    • Gentoo is a piece of crap and learns you nothing but reading and following instructions.

      The point of using something like Arch or Slackware is that you will be avoiding the package manager all together. That's how you learn how stuff works (dependencies, building software using make/gcc, how the system dynamic linker works with ld.so.conf and LD_LIBRARY_PATH, how to set up scripts for init, etc..).

      Using Gentoo just means your package installs take longer, not that you understand more of what's going on. Quite the contrary, Gentoo is about the least "hands dirty" distro there is thanks to its package manager.

      I equate Gentoo to Ubuntu/Fedora/OpenSuSE. It is not a "down and dirty" distribution.
     
  8. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 14, 2010
    #8
    Yep. ;-)
     
  9. Scuba629 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 14, 2010
    #9
    Never used it so im wondering whats different from that and Redhat stuff. Is Fedora bad?
     
  10. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #10
    None is bad. Ubuntu is based off Debian so it uses the DPKG system rather than RPMs and has the APT front-end tools along with other graphical management toolks. Fedora uses YUM or some other repository based system I don't care to know of to basically do the same kind of package management.

    Ubuntu ships with Unity as the default DE while Fedora still uses Gnome with a heavily modified theme of their own.

    All differences are moot. In the end, you end up with a GNU/Linux system that you can customize to your hearts content. However, that depends what you're trying to do with the system. Obviously, you're quite new to Linux. The question is now do you want to learn about it, use it actively or just learn a vendor's particular variant of it.
     
  11. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    #11
    That's a little harsh... Gentoo does abstract compilation / linking / installation by default. When a package is missing from the Portage tree, or the latest version is outdated, you can simply create an ebuild yourself. And to do it properly, it's best to first build, link, install it "by hand", the dirty way, and then make an ebuild out of what you just learned the hard way (while keeping flexibility with USE flags), for a clean installs.

    Always installing from the source code doesn't only mean longer installs (not so long with SSDs and today's fast processors anyway, that applies to even the kernel), you're also compiling with only the features you like ("configure" flags, abstracted as USE flags) and optimisation levels of your choice... with dependency resolution and sandboxed install taken care of.

    If compilation time really is an issue, packages come in pre-compiled binary form as well (maybe not for all architectures though). It's just an option to "emerge" to specify.

    Again, it's not by default since its package manager is the recommended way to go, but it can very well be "down and dirty" if you want, there's nothing that prevents you from doing it all by yourself. But then, you're on your own with messy installs of course.

    Gentoo is like a superset of pure "down and dirty" distros. It gives you a clean slate to start with. You can either stick with the clean ways, or deviate and handle the cruft leftover from manual "make install"s.
     
  12. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #12
    The problem is that "by default" means people will just lazyly go for that. Back when I started with Linux, packages were scarce and far from bleeding edge. You wanted something, you built it, understanding what was going on.

    Yes RedHat 5.0 (not RHEL) was still RPM based and yes it made for a messy system to have half your packages done with RPMs and half built by hand, but it was much less messy than it is today.

    The best way to learn Linux itself is still Slackware I believe. Even Arch, while out of the way as it is, promotes lazyness through the pacman package manager/repositories.

    Learning yourself about dependencies, what they mean, how libraries are linked by the dynamic compiler, managing versions is how you actually learn about Unix/Linux. In fact, building a kernel straight from kernel.org and updating all the system tools to use it is a big part of understanding what is going on under the hood of the OS (understanding the boot process from boot loader to kernel to ram loaded init image to full OS boot going through init scripts).

    It all depends on what's the OP's goal really, but I wouldn't suggest Gentoo as a "down and dirty" distro ever. You'll be too stuck in the Gentoo way of doing things instead of learning why it was built that way in the first place.
     

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