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Thread: Which Linux Distribution to Try or Use

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    Which Linux Distribution to Try or Use

    Which Linux distribution?

    Asked off topic in another forum. Answered here.

    It depends on a number of factors.

    How interested are you in learning how to use it?

    What do you want to use it for?

    Do you interact with others using Linux for work or friends and family? This is a big one. Learning and remembering how to do things from one distribution to another can be mind numbing unless one is a total geek about it.

    The Red Hat line, RHE, Fedora, CentOS, are solid choices. There is a wealth of info and support for them.

    My needs for Linux are basic and intermittent. I like the Xbuntu variant of Ubuntu for being the most similar to Windows and being easy to install and use. You can run it from a flash thumb without changing the host computer to try it or for occasional use. The installer can make space (repartition) an existing disk and setup dual/multi boot leaving the existing OS, like Windows, completely functional - just pick which OS you want to when the computer boots.

    The other distributions probably have live flash thumbs and the ability to install with multiboot too.

    One of my favorite uses for Linux is to put it on slow, old Windows notebooks. It can turn a Windows dog into an acceptable performing system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Which Linux distribution?

    Asked off topic in another forum. Answered here.

    It depends on a number of factors.

    How interested are you in learning how to use it?

    What do you want to use it for?

    Do you interact with others using Linux for work or friends and family? This is a big one. Learning and remembering how to do things from one distribution to another can be mind numbing unless one is a total geek about it.

    The Red Hat line, RHE, Fedora, CentOS, are solid choices. There is a wealth of info and support for them.

    My needs for Linux are basic and intermittent. I like the Xbuntu variant of Ubuntu for being the most similar to Windows and being easy to install and use. You can run it from a flash thumb without changing the host computer to try it or for occasional use. The installer can make space (repartition) an existing disk and setup dual/multi boot leaving the existing OS, like Windows, completely functional - just pick which OS you want to when the computer boots.

    The other distributions probably have live flash thumbs and the ability to install with multiboot too.

    One of my favorite uses for Linux is to put it on slow, old Windows notebooks. It can turn a Windows dog into an acceptable performing system.
    I'm not going to be a total geek about it, but I've pretty much talked myself into the Fedora distro for now. I have read that some of the other users are concerned that the IBM/Red Hat thing will remove the "openness" that they experienced with Fedora; concerned that Fedora might start phoning home and collecting data (Firefox phones home now and I'm gonna roll it back to a previous version).

    I suppose i like the more structured, polished, if you will, aspects of Fedora. I doubt that I can break it beyond repair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmule View Post
    I'm not going to be a total geek about it, but I've pretty much talked myself into the Fedora distro for now. I have read that some of the other users are concerned that the IBM/Red Hat thing will remove the "openness" that they experienced with Fedora; concerned that Fedora might start phoning home and collecting data (Firefox phones home now and I'm gonna roll it back to a previous version).

    I suppose i like the more structured, polished, if you will, aspects of Fedora. I doubt that I can break it beyond repair.
    Fedora is a good choice, though I don't know about the phoning home issue. I used Red Hat and Fedora at work for years. It is reasonably easy to install and use. It is a bit of overkill if what you wind up using Linux for is 99% web browser. Unless things have changed, the default installation will install many, many, many arcane, obscure packages (apps) that most will never use. Whatever, if you have the disk space.

    Xbuntu is pretty well structured and polished, but I wouldn't use it for business servers. I usually install it on a 20 GB partition of Windows computers where web browser is 99% of the use.

    Learn how to use Wireshark packet capture and you can monitor for things phoning home.

    Kali is an interesting distribution packaged with penetration testing apps, along with the usual basic stuff. One of its features is that it is dead silent on the network unless you intentionally run something that sends to the network. That is handy if you want to watch for other OSs and apps phoning home.

    The flash drive live distros are handy if you need to check a dicey email, link, website, app. Dismount any other local drives and shares and any malware can only infect the Linux running from the flash, and that only lasts until the next boot.

    Good luck

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    I'm trying Linux Mint and Fedora right now. So far I link Mint better, but it's driving me a little mad with the small size of the close window, minimize and maximize buttons. There must be a way to make those bigger, but I haven't found it it.

    Also, the mouse moves oddly and when selecting something in a box it drops it if the mouse cursor moves outside it. Annoying. I imagine there's a forum for each distro out there. It's going to take a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon_73 View Post
    I'm trying Linux Mint and Fedora right now. So far I link Mint better, but it's driving me a little mad with the small size of the close window, minimize and maximize buttons. There must be a way to make those bigger, but I haven't found it it.

    Also, the mouse moves oddly and when selecting something in a box it drops it if the mouse cursor moves outside it. Annoying. I imagine there's a forum for each distro out there. It's going to take a while.
    That's why I like Xbuntu. It works the most like Windows.

    You can probably change the Mint desktop environment to something you like better. Just do a web search on that and dive in.

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    I found how to change the window buttons, but it basically involved something like regedit as Mint doesn't allow different themes for the window buttons (it does for the desktop which is odd). I found a YouTube vid to walk me thru it. And perhaps I can load a theme in Fedora that gives me the desktop I want.

    However, now I'm trying to find a way to remote into my Mint box at home and it's confusing what will actually work. Teamviewer (not listed), NoMachine (don't see a package), others won't download, etc. I use Chrome Desktop on Windows as Teamviewer effectively banned me (unjustly - my parents are on the same domain as me which is our work email as well). But, I don't see Chrome on Mint.

    My biggest question right now is that for programs not on the software installer as to how and whether I can install them. When I get long lists like this and Mint isn't on any of them is there a way to still install them?

    NoMachine for Linux -i386, i686:

    NoMachine for Linux RPM i686
    NoMachine for Linux DEB i386
    NoMachine for Linux TAR.GZ i686

    NoMachine for Linux -x86_64, amd64:

    NoMachine for Linux RPM x86_64
    NoMachine for Linux DEB amd64
    NoMachine for Linux TAR.GZ x86_64
    Which do I choose presuming one even will work?

    I'm hoping this is not the case, but if I choose the "wrong" distro can I just not install some Linux programs? If so is there a matrix of what each supports, so I don't get too deeply into a hole? I hope I'm over-thinking it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon_73 View Post
    ...My biggest question right now is that for programs not on the software installer as to how and whether I can install them. When I get long lists like this and Mint isn't on any of them is there a way to still install them?

    ...

    Which do I choose presuming one even will work?

    I'm hoping this is not the case, but if I choose the "wrong" distro can I just not install some Linux programs? If so is there a matrix of what each supports, so I don't get too deeply into a hole? I hope I'm over-thinking it.
    deb is the preferred package type for Ubuntu based Linux.

    How to install packages is addressed here:

    https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1525

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    Thanks, it worked!

    So, I guess compatibility shouldn't be a big problem on any deb/Ubuntu packages it sounds like? (For Linux Mint)

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