[nSLUG] which linux??

Ben Armstrong synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
Fri Sep 8 10:27:09 ADT 2006


Doug Kampen wrote:
> SO back to my question.which linux do I use? A commercial copy or a free
> one? Where do I get it? I've been trying to dl a copy but it's taking 3 days
> so far and only have the first 3 disk iso's. 
>   

Although there are an enormous number of options to choose from, in
general unless you have quite specialized needs, you'll be happiest with
one of the mainstream distros.  As a hobbyist, I consider having broad
support of a large volunteer developer/user community important.  Also,
I consider the support of those closest to me important; knowing other
people personally who use the distros I use is a great help.

So you might want to sample Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, Fedora and Gentoo
for starters.  These are all well-supported mainstream distros with
considerable community support.  Keep in mind that the default
applications and desktop environment included on livecd editions of each
of these may differ widely, so in your evaluation, don't fixate on which
application is or isn't included, or what the default desktop
environment (GNOME, KDE, etc.) is.  Find out about what the goals of
each project are, and see whether they match your needs.

Finally, be aware of the difference between a "flavour" of a mainstream
distribution, maintained within that distribution itself (e.g. Kubuntu,
a KDE flavour of Ubuntu) vs. a derivative maintained outside of the
mainstream distribution, (e.g. Mepis, a Debian derivative).  In general,
derivatives are much harder projects for the developers to maintain
because they need to duplicate a lot of the infrastructure of the
distributions on which they are based (i.e. a whole separate bug
reporting system, ftp archive, etc.)  Users are affected because unless
a derivative has a large following, (e.g. Ubuntu,) packages and support
for that derivative will be harder to find.

Ben

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