What is the Best Linux OS?

sjpetry

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
I have a Mac running 10.3.7 and I want to start playing around with Linux. I know their are many different types of Linux but what one is the best (and well rounded) for the beginner Linux user (I am very proficient with Macs and PCs and a fast learner). I could run it on Virtual PC 7 but would prefer not to. Any thoughts would be great. :)
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
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The soggy side of the Pacific NW
You are going to get 100 different answers from 100 different people. :D

For x86 architecture I really like Fedora Core (the free, cutting-edge version of Red Hat Linux). If you're going to run it in VPC, you're going to want the x86 varieties. But it's going to be rather slow running in there.

I would suggest that, instead, you investigate some of the "Live CD" Linuxes that run natively on PPC architecture. This will let you play around with Linux without touching your OS X setup, yet will be much faster than anything running in VPC. I'm pretty sure Gentoo and Ubuntu have Live CDs for PPC, and I think Mandrake may as well. But you'll hear much more on that subject (and many tangents) as people respond to the thread, I'm sure!
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
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sjpetry said:
I have a Mac running 10.3.7 and I want to start playing around with Linux. I know their are many different types of Linux but what one is the best (and well rounded) for the beginner Linux user (I am very proficient with Macs and PCs and a fast learner). I will be running it on Virtual PC 7. Any thoughts would be great. :)
all you need is in your OS X -- the OS is based around UNIX --- so anything you want to do with linux (for the most part with the exception of several commands) you can do with OS X
 

sjpetry

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Oct 28, 2004
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revenuee said:
all you need is in your OS X -- the OS is based around UNIX --- so anything you want to do with linux (for the most part with the exception of several commands) you can do with OS X
Ok so what are the "best" for OS X.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
sjpetry said:
Ok so what are the "best" for OS X.
So say more about what you want to do? If you want to explore GNU X apps or Unix command line, then I agree with the "stick with OS X" since you can get a lot of the free X apps through Fink and you already have the command line. If you want to learn Linux for the joy of learning Linux...

I would recommend getting the Knoppix live CD, which I believe is based off Debian. It runs very easily and smoothly without a lot of configuration. Once you learn more, you'll have some Debian background. :)
 

ravenvii

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Mar 17, 2004
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Melenkurion Skyweir
Back when I played around with Linux, I tried Knoppix, SuSE (my favorite - expecially with the Ximian desktop - but it seems Novell killed Ximian and integrated it into their SuSE Linux Desktop) and Gentoo (it truly forces you to learn the inner workings of Lunux. Not recommended unless you really want to know Linux intimately).

In the end, I decided I don't like Linux, I don't like the "cheap, guickly thrown together" feel of Linux, and the hassles it forces you to go through to get anything to work. It's even worse than Windows :eek: Still the journey was worth it - it's a large part of the computer world, and worth experience at least once.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
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London
If you want to get up and running quickly then a Live CD is probably best. If you want to learn more than you will ever really need to know about how Linux works the install Gentoo (on a spare disk, you will probably want to boot back to OSX) from Stage 1. This way you will get to see every little thing that is going into the OS and compile your own customised kernel with the bits you want.
 

musicpyrite

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Jan 6, 2004
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Cape Cod
For x86 and beginners I think Red Hat would be best. For a live disk I think Knoppix. (my personal favorite is Damn Small Linux)

For PPC try Yellow Dog. (based off Red Hat if I remember right)
 

inlimbo

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2005
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Sydney, Australia
I too have been dipping my toe into the world of linux (But now im dipping my toe into the Mac OS world)... A couple that I have found quite good for linux newbies:

1) Mandrake linux
2) SUSE linux
3) Xandros - probably the easiest for newbies/Windows switchers
4) Yopper - havent tried this one yet but it is apparently the fastest linux out there. (One complaint about linux is that it is a bit slow - slower than XP dont know about MAC OS).

http://distrowatch.com/ is a great place where u can read up on all the distros floating around out there. On the home page they have a list on the right hand side of the screen showing the most popular distros.
Here's an article on the top 10 distributions that I found helpful http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

Live CDs are a good way to go but its easy enough to create another partition on your hard drive and it can run side by side with your other operating system. (When u install Xandros it does this for you!!!)

Have fun
inlimbo...
 

blodwyn

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
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Portland, Oregon
For Linux on a PC, then Xandros is the most newcomer-friendly (but it's not free). The file manager automatically displays windows shares, and it has integrated CD and DVD burning.

For messing with, the Mepis is great
 

auxplage

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2004
331
1
Virginia Beach
igucl said:
Out of curiosity, what is the right way to pronounce "Linux"?
I have had this discussion with people who use Linux and there is much debate. Here is my conclusion conclusion (I apologize for my "ghetto" phonectics (considering I do not know phonetic symbols)): say "in" put an "L" in front of it and then say "uks".
 

sjpetry

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Oct 28, 2004
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cluthz

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Jun 15, 2004
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Norway
sjpetry said:
I pronounce it as "Links".

Can anyone help me to make it run on OS X.
You need to download the version compilerd for PPC, not a x86/i386/i586/i686.
You must boot from the knoppix cd, not start it from OSX.
 

MoparShaha

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May 15, 2003
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San Francisco
I'm downloading the x86 version right now (going to try it at work).

I want to try it on my Mac too, but I couldn't find a pre-compiled PPC version on the site. Has anyone else found it?
 

sjpetry

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
MoparShaha said:
I'm downloading the x86 version right now (going to try it at work).

I want to try it on my Mac too, but I couldn't find a pre-compiled PPC version on the site. Has anyone else found it?
Of Knoppix?
 

JeDiBoYTJ

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2004
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Ft. Lauderdale, FL
I tried running linspire in VPC7, and it ran worse than XP... then when I went to load a program, then screen just turned black and didnt do anything for 2 hours.... then I deleted it.

so knoppix is PPC Native?