Linux! Which One?


Recovering Sega Addict
Nov 14, 2005
Worcester, MA
Here's my idea:

Grab myself an IDE harddrive, hook it up and install Linux on that harddrive, whilst keeping Windows on this one (for games, mostly), and choose, within the BIOS, which drive to boot from every time I want to switch operating system.

Since this is my first introduction to linux from windows, but I want to be able to perform image/video/software editing, too, what distribution of Linux should I grab up?

Linux noob, be gentile.
could i get some sort of pro/con? what's the difference between the three you listed?

thanks for your suggestions, i'll do a bit 'o research :)
There's not too much of a difference, they're all distros for people who are new with linux.

I like Mandriva the best. It has a beautiful installer, comes bundled with a bunch of multimedia applications, and has good support.

I've heard great things about SuSE though I've never used it. Its packaging system is supposed to be one of the best out there.

As far as Ubuntu is concerned, it's clearly the "People's choie" for newb linux distros. There are countless websites that explain and solve nearly every problem you could end up having with it. However, it is based on Debian and Debian has been nothing but a problem with me (and many of my friends) with its packaging system.

I personally recommend Mandriva. If you have the money, grab a subscription based distro. That being said, you don't need to pay anything for a great version of mandriva, as it can be downloaded from one of the many linux torrent sites out there.
i've looked at all three, and i'd have to agree with you that mandriva looks the best... they definitely tote thier distro over all others! the thing is is that i don't have access to torrent or any p2p file sharing, as I am on a campus network, and they blocked the ports for online gaming and p2p programs/networks. probably due to viruses, etc entering the system via these apps.

without p2p or torrents, could i possibly get mandriva updates?

i'm a college student and don't have much dolla dolla bills, 'yall.
You don't really need Mandriva-specific updates, it's just a nice thing to have. There are many mandriva-based RPM repositories online that have packages for free download, and you could always compile from source ;)

Find out just what ports are blocked on your network. Bittorrent can usually bypass its usual ports and use others with no consequence. As an alternative, you can order a set of CD/DVDs for about $15-$20 from one of many online stores, or ask someone who has them already, etc.
interesting that i choose to ask at this specific time, too, because mandriva 2006 is now available! if anything, i'll just download the disks from the mirrors provided. i just would like some auto updates, and having to pay, at the least, 60 bucks a year for them, is quite beyond my budget. but, if you say i can get free updates, that's all i really want, no matter how hard ;) it is to get them...

now for that 200gig harddrive... hmmm.

(i'm thinking x-mas present)

but with another question, about compatibility:

i have a p4, 2.8 ghz... i guess i have to download a specific type of linux for this processor... would that be i586??

and i have an nvidia grafix card... what about drivers, etc?

if those two things aren't compatible then my quest is completely hopeless.
Any processor architecture type with an 'i' in front of it (i for Intel-model) will work with your computer. Get the highest number you can; I'm guessing it's i586, so yes get that.

Nvidia drivers should be downloadable from Nvidia's site. Look around there; if not, use google. They are available.
(why is there no fast reply? i'm so used to using it...)

ubuntu was a good idea till i looked closely at mandriva... if mandriva doesn't work, ubuntu is probably going to be my second choice, but i don't see why mandriva would be a problem.

i have bittorrent, and unfortunately, the biggest transfe rate i can get from it is 1k a second! and that only lasts about fifteen minutes, and then it returns to 0k. i never used bittorrent before, when i actually had a connection :( but i thought transfer rates were friggin great for it....

assuming bittorrent is out of whack for me, is there a nice site where i can get mandrake updates or will i have to go to the individual program webpages and install them all?

it would be nice if the former was available, but i'll do anything... i'm tired of windows.
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I quite like Fedora, actually.

I did use Ubuntu before, though. It's very nice, and I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to get my school to use edubuntu. At the moment they won't even move from IE, but the time will come...

Plus, Ubuntu is notably smaller, fitting on to a single CD-Rom, whereas Fedora Core 4 takes up four.

"I am who I am because of what we all are"
I was just trying to get across on how user-friendly it is. Its almost idiot proof. Except when trying to install wireless card (Pretty simple) or getting an ATI graphics card to work, when the divers dont support it (me, i had to reinstall the entire x-server twice, by using w3m, the best web browser thing ever made.)
screw every build except for GENTOO!

it's my personal favorite... and thus far, from my use, has proved to be the most stable...

get the limited install file (40 megs) and then download the OS from the server as you install it. The server scans your system to only install the software for the exact hardware in your system.

You're not stuck with a ridiculous amount of driver libraries.