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Which linux should I use?

There are many linux editions...



9:20 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been looking around on different OS, and it seems that there are many Linux OS.

Which one is the best one on the market today?

Where can I download the latest version?


9:42 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


A lot of people have different and personal opinions about the differences in the linux operating systems.

To judge which will be best for you, it is helpful to know what the box will be used for. ie: web server, network server, file-server, worstation etc etc.

After knowing that, you can make your decision, and then making it "the best" means it has to be well configured.

Let us know what your box will be used for.



9:45 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am going to use it for software development, also to create a http server and allow the creation of dynamic web sites.

Besides, it is going to be for personal use.

As you can see, nothing really complicated, I could say it is for learning reasons.

Thank you.


10:03 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Okay, heres a collection of posts from past times here on the board:

FreeBSD or Redhat Linux, What is the difference? [webmasterworld.com] - Fantastic post by stlouislouis in this one.

Is FreeBSD anything like Linux? [webmasterworld.com]

RedHat vs Debian [webmasterworld.com]

Top 10 list of Linux distributions [distrowatch.com] - Worth a read as it gives a detailed explanation of each distribution.

Hope all this helps.



5:46 am on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've been using RedHat Linux for my webserver and have been happy with it. However, RedHat is planning on moving away from supporting the 'normal' (and free) versions such as 7.3, 8.0, 9.0 and solely focusing on it's Enterprise level products. These enterprise thingies aren't free by a long shot! Add to that the fact that the version of Perl shipped with RH 9.0 is shoddy and I'd say stay away from RedHat right now. As a matter of fact I was about to install RH 9.0 on a new server until the above info came to my attention and I started thinking about Slackware Linux instead. Definitely read the 'Top Ten List' in the above post... that article is one of the things that makes me lean toward Slackware for mission-critical servers.


1:30 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

However, RedHat is planning on moving away from supporting the 'normal' (and free) versions such as 7.3, 8.0, 9.0 and solely focusing on it's Enterprise level products

I've been pondering the move too something else too in light of the announcement. I'm currently on 7.2 and using it for my home mail/web/file server. Anyone have experience with Fedora?


11:36 am on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you are new to Linux there is Knoppix, it boots from CD and rocks!



12:22 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you are new to Linux there is Knoppix, it boots from CD and rocks!

I tried it for the first time last week. Burned a Knoppix 3.3 CD and....

Ran it on a Celeron 500 w/128 megs of ram. Pretty decent performance, couldn't be used as a daily machine (but I guess that's not really the point. Soudblaster card was recognized and what really impressed me was that the WinTV card worked with no problems. I just had to switch the TV program's default mode from PAL to NTSC and to US-Cable.

Tested on an older IBM T21 Laptop with a "mobile" P300. Not enough ram and it had to create a swap file BUT it prompted me if I'd like to create one. No problem and the machine ran alright but KDE was very slow. Switched to icewm (nice that there are like a half dozen window managers included) and it seemed to run more smoothly. CD-Rom access was crazy, probably because this T21 was quite old and had little ram. Ran "knoppix tohd=/dev/hda1" to copy the CD-image to HD. From there and it performed much better. Only hitch was that it didn't recognize the sound card.

And finally ran it on a Dell Optiplex GX260 (brand new) and it ran wonderfully, not to mention super fast. Everything appeared to be recognized.

I'm impressed... entire linux distro on a 700 meg CD. Recognizes most hardware on boot. Listening to the CD-Rom constantly whirr is annoying. BUT... I'm definately keeping a copy of this in my "toolkit". Seems like a great recovery tool & Demo program.


12:43 pm on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There's a neat little distro called puppy linux. It boots off a CD like knoppix, but it's much smaller (35M) - even boots off a USB memory stick or flash card it seems.



2:29 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

As a matter of fact I was about to install RH 9.0 on a new server until the above info came to my attention and I started thinking about Slackware Linux instead.

OK, so maybe an overreaction. From the sound of it Fedora is kind of like 'RedHat Linux 10' and I've read that one can simply upgrade from RH9 to Fedora. Based on the fact that RedHat will be 'testing' it's enterprise level stuff in Fedora it sounds like those of us who don't need/want phone support and are willing to deal with a little more bugginess will be getting almost the same thing that the people who buy Enterprise Linux are getting.
While I've heard great things about Slackware for production servers RedHat Linux (and now Fedora) are so prevalent and well suppported ('everyone' knows the name & many are able to offer advice about it and a lot of people build custom support/driver progs for it) that it seems rash to just switch to Slackware. Add to that the fact that I have no time now and I'll probably stick with RH 9 for the time being (and when Fedora has been around the block a little upgrade to that).

That being said it might be worth installing Slackware on a test box and seeing how it goes... One thing I didn't like about Slackware was having to make like 6 floppies in addition to the CD to install it. It was like, man, if installation is this much of a pain what is running the server going to be like.

stinky wet dog

11:18 pm on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I tried RH back in 1999 (RH 4or5?)and I could not figure out those pesky rpm files. (real long file names and I also could not figure out were the rpms went after I ran them or even the dependancies and stuff, etc.)

Distros I tried:
1. Redhat, mentioned above. (Also, yes the xconfigurator was weird stuff)
2. mandrake, RH with different xwindow.
3. Suse, had to much green color for me and the howto's were hard to read & different language back then.
4. Debian, I was to stupid to install the software.
5. Caldera, the ms wheel mouse worked out of the box but the video cameout grainy.
6. Tiny linux, good for computers without cdroms.

I personally like slackware, I use 7.1 on one of my workstations behind a 486 LRP box at home. Slackware uses tgz files and they are easier to install.

I guess it's a personal choice and one that will be figured out by just trying them all.

Just make sure you have a program called "Midnight Commander" installed. If I only knew of this program back then. =;)


4:43 am on Dec 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I like Mandrake - www.mandrakelinux.com - The new install utilities are really slick for newbies and you can run a lot of it on autopilot until you get to know it a bit. You can get it with the Apache webserver installed out of the box, and there are a variety of menu driven utilities you can use to play with it once it is up and running - even webmin so you can administer it remotely from the web if necessary.

You can download it free, but it is 3 full CD sized ISO's so you might want a broadband connection if your gonna grab it. You can also pay them and get it on CD's.


1:30 pm on Dec 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just got a new 80 gig hd for cheap so I partititoned it and installed SuSE 9.0 on half the drive. Here's my experience:

Went to Suse.com's site and downloaded the boot.iso, burned a boot CD. No problems there. Ran the boot CD and started the install but my network card was not automatically detected. I ended up having to pull my card out, wrote down the model and then tried to manually pick the card... except the SMC model I had was not available. Tried all the SMC's and none worked. After some googling I found out I could use a different driver... that ended up working and I started my FTP install.

Picking the packages & configuration was very simple. The installer has a clean interface that was fairly easy to understand. Partitioning seemed odd, because it seems to default to just /boot, swap, and a root. (no separate partitions for say /var and /home). I just went with the standard partitioning scheme.

The FTP install went fine except one of the OpenOffice packages did not install. I skipped it and continued.

Got right into KDE after a reboot. Things seemed pretty slick but I noticed several issues:
- My WinTV card had no sound. Reconfigured it about a dozen times, still no sound. Booted using knoppix & windows and sound worked fine. Three days later, sound magically started working.
- USB Microsoft wheel mouse doesn't work (just the wheel). It's configured correctly (at least it appears to be) but it doesn't function.
- When adding additionals packages in yast it defaults to CD 1. Errors, then I can choose an FTP site to get the packages from. I'd like to default to something OTHER than CD 1 or prompt me for an alternate location.
- While Kaffiene is a decent movie player I can't seem to get all the windows codecs working in it (yes, I did install them in the win32 directory). I tried installing Mplayer, but that seems to be having issues displaying movies on my display. I suppose this really isn't an SuSE issue... but it's damn annoying.

What I like:
+ The automatic update appears to work fine. Opened it up and it updated two installed package. Seems to make for easy system maintenance.
+ yast & Control center are very refined. I was able to get in there and easily customize my setup, adjust my display, desktop settings, check hardware.
+ All general use applications were included (Office suite, gimp for graphics, browser, chat, etc). Although I really expect this for most linux distro's I use.

I've only been using it for a week and I'm not sure if I'll stick with it. I haven't found 9.0 packages for Evolution yet which is something I'd really like to have. I would assume that since Novell has aquired both Ximian & SuSE there will be some tight XD2 & Evolution integration in future releases. I'd like to use that if/when it comes out.


12:34 pm on Dec 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member henry0 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I use on two machines an RH 8 and a RH 9 (which is fine)
I was thinking to purchase the business version (RH)

but I cannot find details on bundles

will it feature same HTTPD, MySQL and Quanta editor?

does anyone know?




3:28 am on Dec 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Fedora Core 1 has worked pretty well for me -- more stable than most RedHat Linux releases. I'm just watching my desktop machine upgrade (from RH 7.3) to it now.


5:46 pm on Dec 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just tried the latest version of Suse and am impressed with it. Did a great job of detecting my hardware etc....

No matter which distro you try, I recommend buying a copy off of Ebay. It's much easier than trying to download the iso images off of the web.

My latest copy of Suse cost me $9.

Good Luck.


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