Simple Linux Question, Which Flavour :p


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Jun 10, 2003
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ok long story short, i want to cross over my home FreeBSD skills to Linux for work.(been hacking about since freebsd 3)

This is for work/future move from my current place of work to another, whats the best flavour to use, i know its rather subjective to what version a company uses etc but i hope to get a good head start on the Linux "industry" standard.

this is primarly for server side stuff rather than the desktop side.

I'll continue to use FreeBSD as my workstation at home and support the MS stuff at work.

I do infrastructure stuff at work if that helps.

red hat?

which is the best to get a "foundation" of this disjointed world of the penguin.
Hmm this will very quickly progress into Holy War so I'll get my subjective input over and done with. Debian Unstable.
good point so only those folks that use Linux in a work/production environment, please give input, this will be my lively hood and not a muck a bout at home jobby.
Nice to see I'm not the only BSD user here. :)

I don't use Linux at work (I wish) but if you're planning on learning it for work, you'll probably want to look at the "enterprise" Linuxes. That means RHEL, SuSE, etc. Of those, I personally have a preference for SuSE. It's a fairly friendly all-around system but it doesn't coddle you if you want to move past the basics. If you're going to go with Red Hat, look at CentOS. It's basically RHEL minus the logos. Of course, this is assuming your employer doesn't already use a particular Linux distro, in which case you should probably just learn that one. The skills you learn will transfer from distro to distro fairly easily and in the short term it will benefit you to know the system your employer uses. Knowing BSD, you've already got a leg-up on most new Linux users but there are a few "gotchas" to be careful of.
DON'T use Debian Unstable (Sid). It will crap out on you constanly, and you'll be very disappointed.

Slackware. That's it. If you are a linux developer, I feel slackware's your best choice. It has the most flexible packaging system out of any of the binary distros.

If you need a little more support with linux itself, you may want RedHat or SuSe. But if you are capable in basic computing skills on Unix platforms, I strongly suggest Slackware.
If you are comfortable with the ports system, Gentoo testing would be familiar to you.

If you are fluent with Perl, Python, YACC and shell scripting, you would like Slackware.

If you are a rookie, SUSE is fairly easy to get started with as well as Fedora Core.

If you are an average user and don't have the time to compile everything yourself, or run trough endless config scripts, Debian Testing or Unstable will give you GCC 4.0 and a working system (graphical desktop etc) in a couple of hours. Like iignotus said, from there don't upgrade or broken dependencies will leave you with console only.

Now, if you are serious about linux, use Slackware sources and try out Do-It-Yourself Linux. Be prepared to learn, it's a steep curve. B)

Best bet, download several LiveCDs (Gentoo, Knoppix, Ubuntu etc) til you find what you are most comfortable with. Be prepared, each distro tends to change script file locations, names etc

Happy penguin hunting :p
thinking about it, i need a flavour that has hardware support/drivers from Dell/HP/IBM no point having it on a platform that doesnt directly support it.
I'm hearing Ubuntu 5.04 is very good. Scored highest on finnish Mikrobitti-PC magazine's test, with five stars. Suse 9.3 got four stars, being the runner-up.
If youre used to BSD style stuff, I'd reccomend Gentoo (portage package manager similar to ports) or Arch (BSD style init scripts, normal linux package manager and makepkg and pkgbuild which are similar to ports)..
done a bit of testing and

mmm, so many tarted up kde environments, looks the same as my bsd workstation with erm kde installed :)

me thinks a large portion of "linux" users think that KDE is linux :)

in about a week i'll have thrashed the hell out of the kernel etc so that will be linux done with

not sure what all the fuss is about with linux (the "top distro's" aspire to bsd's ports and packages system) suppose its the non MS companies trying to make money as they couldnt exploit bsd that way.

anyhow thanks to all that have replied.

sob why couldnt BSD of taken off more with its "commerical hipness"
but then again OSX is coming out on intel processors mmmmm
I can highly recomend Ubuntu for desktop and server use :) All the config files are all very neatly laid out and is very intuitive.

I have been running a very stable mail server on ubuntu 5.04 for nearly 2000 users for about six months, only restart needed once because a colleague thought it would be a good idea to 'optimize' the settings on my raid card :angry: