1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    henrikb4's Avatar
    June 2005
    217 Posts
    So to all of you who are interested in trying Linux or are interested in trying a new kind of Linux, I've started this thread. Here I and others, will write about the pros and cons of different Linux distributions. The goal of this thread is that anyone, new comer or novice user, can find the flavor of Linux that fits themselves the most.
    Nearly all distros have a LiceCD or DVD. With it, you can just burn a disk and boot up Linux. When you take out the disk, your computer is the same (unless you edited something something on the drives!)
    Remember, all Linux distros can virtually do the same things: Printing, editing photos, make servers, compile kernels etc. But some are more focused on a specific subject, therefore the community will also be focused on that subject.
    Bionic Apple has also written Beginner's Guide, it goes through what Linux is, and in the end you install Ubuntu.



    Ubuntu
    Ubuntu is by far, the most popular Linux distro. Therefore it also got a big community that can help users. It's considered as one of the easiest Linux distros to use, at least for newcomers to Linux.
    Ubuntu is based on Debian, and can install Debian packages (apps etc.).
    New versions of Ubuntu are released twice a year, one in the spring and one in fall.



    Pros
    * Easy to use and install.
    * Big community.
    * Many guides.
    * Debian apps can be installed on Ubuntu.

    Cons
    * If you want to learn more about the inner works of Linux, Ubuntu is not the best choice.



    Linux Mint
    Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and therefore it can use the same packages (apps etc.) as Ubuntu. Where Linux Mint differs is that it's build to run much better out of the box. Many additional wireless drivers, codecs and plug-ins are preinstalled. For example, Flash is already installed, so you can go browse YouTube without any installation.
    Mint is also shipped with some additional tools called Mint tools to make it easier to configure and use the system.


    Pros
    * Easy to use and install.
    * Many preinstalled codecs and plug-ins.
    * Ubuntu guides can be used (to a certain extend) on Linux Mint.
    * Debian and Ubuntu apps can be installed on Linux Mint

    Cons
    * If you want to learn more about the inner works of Linux, Linux Mint is not the best choice.
    * Since it includes some proprietary codecs and drivers, it's not completely Open-Source.



    Mandriva Linux
    Mandriva Linux was originally released by MandrakeSoft as Mandrake Linux as an easy to use and powerful Linux distribution for both those new to Linux, and powerusers. When Mandrake was released in 1998, Linux was already well known for it's stability and power, but any use of it required such extensive technical knowledge that it had no hope of becoming a mainstream operating system. MandrakeSoft saw this as an opportunity to introduce a more user-friendly distribution than ever seen in the Linux community.

    Pros:
    * Extremely fast if your computer can handle KDE 4 or Gnome.
    * Somewhat light (Approximately 650 Mb. That's better than Red Hat. Even Red Hat 9 from 2003 took up four times as much space)
    * Very user friendly, while still being powerful
    * Ships with Gnome or KDE4. Works flawlessly with Enlightenment, XFCE, or Fluxbox (These are the only alternatives I've tried on Mandriva.)
    * Will boot on literally anything. I've run it in CLI on a computer with 512 K RAM and a pre-Pentium processor.
    * Has a free version that's as good as the enterprise version, but misses a few non-essential programs that nobody uses.
    * Uses RPMs, so pretty much any program will work on it.

    Cons:
    * Runs extremely slow if X is enabled on old hardware (I'm talking pre-2000 old. If you have this problem, you should be using Damn Small Linux or Puppy anyway)
    * Doesn't work too well with JWM, although not much does.
    * Default DE is KDE 4, this makes changing to a different DE or WM painful on first boot. I suggest using CLI to download another WM with urpmi before you do anything.

    Notes:
    * Slow package manager, but that's not a big issue.
    * Has an enterprise version.
    * Network install isn't an option.

    Thanks to ButtsexV2, for the section about Mandriva.




    Arch

    Arch is an advanced distribution, and is similar in ways to Gentoo. It also has to be installed and built up from command line. It is famous for it's efficient package manager: "Pacman".
    I installed this distribution because I was looking for a nice lightweight distribution that had customising capabilities and could look pleasing to the eyes. I was also looking for a way to become more familiar with a Linux system and be as close to the code as I could. Arch covered all of these perfectly for me, and more.

    That wasn't actually supposed to sound baised, but it turned out like it. Still, it's a fantastic distribution for someone who is looking for something more advanced and configurable.

    Pros:

    Basically all of the same pros as Gentoo, it's also super fast if you want it to be.
    The documentation is also fantastic, it guides you through everything perfectly.

    * Doesn't come with a desktop environment/any GUI at all (See Cons).

    Cons:

    * Relatively complicated unless you know what you are doing (Also a pro if you are looking to gain knowledge of Linux).
    * Pacman can sometimes not find the right dependancies, but this is fixable. It also may just be something to do with my mirror.
    * Doesn't come with a desktop environment/any GUI at all (See Pros).

    Thanks to nos217, for the section about Arch.



    Gentoo
    Gentoo is one of the most configurable distros that exist. The installation of Gentoo is not graphical and it involves compiling you own kernel. But don't fear, Gentoo has a great and very complete guide that walks you through all of the steps and in the end, you might get a highly optimised system (graphics are optional).
    The nature of Gentoo is that all packages are compiled from source, and therefore you only install exactly what you need. You don't want network support? You think unicode is bloated? You think xterm is too slow? Gentoo is for you.

    Pros
    * Highly configurable.
    * Can be extremely optimised.
    * Nothing is installed unless you say so.
    * Teaches you about how Linux is put together.
    * Very big repository of packages that is frequently updated (Several times a week)
    * Big community that can help you make the right choices.

    Cons
    * Hard to install without knowing how to use the shell.
    * May seem like a configuration hell.
    * It takes time to master optimisation.
    * Gentoo is stable, but your likeliness to kill the system is higher. (Can be fixed in 99% of the cases)

    Comming up: KDE vs. Gnome, Fedora and more!

    Do you find something missing? A distro you want to write about? Is something outdated? PM me your changes or suggestions.

    Tasks I want help with:
    * Other kinds of Ubuntu
    * Damn Small Linux
    * Slackware
    * openSUSE
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    TerabyteS's Avatar
    June 2009
    2,997 Posts
    For me, Ubuntu is the best

  3. Post #3
    Recording...'s Avatar
    April 2009
    272 Posts
    Linux Mint 7

    www.LinuxMint.com

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    July 2008
    17,590 Posts
    Mandriva Linux
    Mandriva Linux was originally released by MandrakeSoft as Mandrake Linux as an easy to use and powerful Linux distribution for both those new to Linux, and powerusers. When Mandrake was released in 1998, Linux was already well known for it's stability and power, but any use of it required such extensive technical knowledge that it had no hope of becoming a mainstream operating system. MandrakeSoft saw this as an opportunity to introduce a more user-friendly distribution than ever seen in the Linux community.

    Pros:
    ►Extremely fast if your computer can handle KDE 4 or Gnome.
    ►Somewhat light (Approximately 650 Mb. That's better than Red Hat. Even Red Hat 9 from 2003 took up four times as much space)
    ►Very user friendly, while still being powerful
    ►Ships with Gnome or KDE4. Works flawlessly with Enlightenment, XFCE, or Fluxbox (These are the only alternatives I've tried on Mandriva.)
    ►Will boot on literally anything. I've run it in CLI on a computer with 512 K RAM and a pre-Pentium processor.
    ►Has a free version that's as good as the enterprise version, but misses a few non-essential programs that nobody uses.
    ►Uses RPMs, so pretty much any program will work on it.

    Cons:
    ►Runs extremely slow if X is enabled on old hardware (I'm talking pre-2000 old. If you have this problem, you should be using Damn Small Linux or Puppy anyway)
    ►Doesn't work too well with JWM, although not much does.
    ►Default DE is KDE 4, this makes changing to a different DE or WM painful on first boot. I suggest using CLI to download another WM with urpmi.
    ►Slow package manager, but that's not a big issue. More of a note than a con.
    ►Has an enterprise version.
    ►Network install isn't an option. Once again, more of a note than a con.

    Edit: Will write one on Fedora, and maybe one on Damn Small Linux.

    Edit again:
    There we go. That totals up to something like 300 words.
    That line isn't meant to be included

  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    henrikb4's Avatar
    June 2005
    217 Posts
    That line isn't meant to be included
    Fixed!

  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    nos217's Avatar
    December 2006
    2,663 Posts
    Ughh, would everyone stop posting that everywhere.

    Edited:

    Arch

    Arch is an advanced distribution, and is similar in ways to Gentoo. It also has to be installed and built up from command line. It is famous for it's efficient package manager: "Pacman".
    I installed this distribution because I was looking for a nice lightweight distribution that had customising capabilities and could look pleasing to the eyes. I was also looking for a way to become more familiar with a Linux system and be as close to the code as I could. Arch covered all of these perfectly for me, and more.

    That wasn't actually supposed to sound baised, but it turned out like it. Still, it's a fantastic distribution for someone who is looking for something more advanced and configurable.

    Pros:

    Basically all of the same pros as Gentoo, it's also super fast if you want it to be.
    The documentation is also fantastic, it guides you through everything perfectly.

    * Doesn't come with a desktop environment/any GUI at all (See Cons).

    Cons:

    * Relatively complicated unless you know what you are doing (Also a pro if you are looking to gain knowledge of Linux).
    * Pacman can sometimes not find the right dependancies, but this is fixable. It also may just be something to do with my mirror.
    * Doesn't come with a desktop environment/any GUI at all (See Pros).

    Overall, a fantastic distribution. Definitely my favourite so far.

  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    Ubuntu is by far, the most popular Linux distro
    Fedora claims their community is larger.

    According to Fedora's Stats they have 13,397,110 users.
    And Fedora 8 still has the most users. (more than 7, 9, 10, and 11)

    I'm too lazy to do a full Fedora thing, but here are some Pros and cons.
    Pros:
    Backed by Red Hat.
    Super up to date. (at least when it's released :3: )
    Works the bugs out of unstable software which works its way down to other distros like Ubuntu.

    Cons:
    Really unstable (see super up to date)

  8. Post #8
    hrothunder's Avatar
    March 2008
    43 Posts
    I thought red hat was the most used??

  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    I thought red hat was the most used??
    On servers it is.
    And Fedora is officially sponsored by Red Hat, and a lot of Red Hat employees work on it.

    Like I said in the post above, Fedora claims to have more users than Ubuntu. But they keep much better statistics so it's hard to tell.

  10. Post #10
    Creator of Exsto
    Prefan's Avatar
    January 2009
    1,049 Posts
    Fedora claims their community is larger.

    According to Fedora's Stats they have 13,397,110 users.
    And Fedora 8 still has the most users. (more than 7, 9, 10, and 11)

    I'm too lazy to do a full Fedora thing, but here are some Pros and cons.
    Pros:
    Backed by Red Hat.
    Super up to date. (at least when it's released :3: )
    Works the bugs out of unstable software which works its way down to other distros like Ubuntu.

    Cons:
    Really unstable (see super up to date)
    Wow, I might just install that distro to see what its like. I love being all the way up to date in the new software. Ubuntu never managed to do that for me.

    Quick question, whats the difference between the DVD and CD Fedora.

  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    Wow, I might just install that distro to see what its like. I love being all the way up to date in the new software. Ubuntu never managed to do that for me.

    Quick question, whats the difference between the DVD and CD Fedora.
    I don't think the DVD has a live environment. It just goes straight to the installer; you don't get the desktop to play with. And it has a lot more stuff on it.

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    July 2008
    17,590 Posts
    I don't think the DVD has a live environment. It just goes straight to the installer; you don't get the desktop to play with. And it has a lot more stuff on it.
    This, it is all correct.
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    nos217's Avatar
    December 2006
    2,663 Posts
    I never really used Fedora. I went from Ubuntu -> Mint -> Debian -> Arch. I deel like it would be a downgrade if I went to fedora because of the effort I put into my Arch system.

  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Bionic Apple's Avatar
    September 2006
    121 Posts
    Has anyone tried Foresight Linux? Looks like an interesting distribution.

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    July 2008
    17,590 Posts
    Has anyone tried Foresight Linux? Looks like an interesting distribution.
    That does look pretty nice. I'm going to try it out tonight.

    Dling Foresight XFCE x64 dvd now.

  16. Post #16
    Recording...'s Avatar
    April 2009
    272 Posts
    Has anyone tried Foresight Linux? Looks like an interesting distribution.
    Thanks for this, DLing x64 now.

  17. Post #17
    MichaelFTW's Avatar
    June 2009
    175 Posts
    Ubuntu ultimate edition
    http://ultimateedition.info/

  18. Post #18
    Budgie's Avatar
    June 2009
    78 Posts
    Suse is good but it's huge.
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  19. Post #19
    Dennab
    December 2008
    858 Posts
    This should be Stickied

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    nos217's Avatar
    December 2006
    2,663 Posts
    Thanks for the thanks :).

  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    Tu154M's Avatar
    October 2008
    5,713 Posts
    That website is ugly. I wouldn't want to get an OS that claims to be innovative and the 'ultimate' from a website that looks like something you'd see in the web archive.

  22. Post #22
    Traxxasred's Avatar
    August 2007
    449 Posts
    What about Fedora.

  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    henrikb4's Avatar
    June 2005
    217 Posts
    What about Fedora.
    Write about it and I will include it.

  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    nos217's Avatar
    December 2006
    2,663 Posts
    Eww what the hell?
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  25. Post #25
    User Name's Avatar
    July 2005
    65 Posts
    I think I am going to give arch linux a shot. I heard you can customize almost everything to get a minimal install.

  26. Post #26
    Recording...'s Avatar
    April 2009
    272 Posts
    I think I am going to give arch linux a shot. I heard you can customize almost everything to get a minimal install.
    Don't forget about functionality as well. You get a great balance of both with Arch and Gentoo.

  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    nos217's Avatar
    December 2006
    2,663 Posts
    I think I am going to give arch linux a shot. I heard you can customize almost everything to get a minimal install.
    Go for it. It's really fast too.

  28. Post #28
    compwhiziitothemax's Avatar
    May 2009
    1,276 Posts
    Bump for justice.

  29. Post #29
    FUCK YOU
    Denzo's Avatar
    November 2006
    1,922 Posts
    Arch Linux is amazing. At first I was a bit scared of fucking shit up, and at first I failed to set up my X server. Once I finally got some more skills and finished my install ( Got X running, installed GNOME and customized everything to the bone ) it has been amazing. It's actually really easy once you have the knowledge. Installing it the second time was a breeze. It's way easier ( but not as user friendly ) to manage your system compared to other distros with rc.conf. Want ssh to start up on boot? Just add it to rc.conf, no problems! It also hasn't got devs whining about "AMAGAWD WE WONT PUT THIS IN REPOS IT'S NOT FREE SOFTWARE BAWWWW" like Ubuntu.

  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    It also hasn't got devs whining about "AMAGAWD WE WONT PUT THIS IN REPOS IT'S NOT FREE SOFTWARE BAWWWW" like Ubuntu.
    What? Ubuntu has tons of non-free stuff.
    Arch doesn't even have the proprietary Ati driver anymore.

  31. Post #31
    FUCK YOU
    Denzo's Avatar
    November 2006
    1,922 Posts
    What? Ubuntu has tons of non-free stuff.
    Arch doesn't even have the proprietary Ati driver anymore.
    Well, maybe that's because ATI's Linux drivers suck so much ass they don't want to hurt their users.
    The NVIDIA proprietary drivers are still in the repos.

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    Well, maybe that's because ATI's Linux drivers suck so much ass they don't want to hurt their users.
    The NVIDIA proprietary drivers are still in the repos.
    Yeah, I think that was the reason. Catalyst does blow.

  33. Post #33
    Gold Member

    June 2005
    4,438 Posts
    Damn Small Linux

    Also known as DSL, this is the distro you want when your piece of ./sh is older than yourself. So yeah, with the low-end requirements being 486DX you really won't have any problems in any PC you find that has been made in the past decade.

    As the live-cd distro is less than 50mb, you can fit it in just about everywhere, especially the 50mb card-CD:s. Don't get me wrong, 50mb is filled with apps, like 3 web browsers and nice games.
    Cost like 1$ a pop, and are the size of CC:s, so burn one and keep in the wallet. Just like a condom, but you probably will get to use it. :smug:

    You can also install it into the HDD, run it from USB, floppy+network installation, and some fancy frugal installation (I remember that it was cloning the image to the card, so it will be like a live-cd, so you can't fuck it up) to a CF card in a Ide adapter. Those adapters cost 3-5$ including worldwide shipping, just ask from me if interested. Completely silent system with old PC:s, as they won't need active cooling, and the PSU is the only noise generator. Probably next you can install it to your toaster via bread.

    Modules are also nice, you can just select from a menu and press a button, and it loads the application that you dowloaded. In a live-cd it's nice that you don't have to install stuff, you can drop the modules to some floppy/usb stick and load them from there.

    Pros
    *It works in just about any PC
    *Fast as hell
    *Can be used even if you don't know a lot about what's going on under the hood

    Cons
    *Not pretty (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/images/dsl-4.2.x2.jpg ugh, but as I watch the apps I don't care)
    *Not that much software via the modules (Almost all popular ones tho)


    Conclusion: For low end PC:s and as the Live-distro that you carry around.

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    Turbis's Avatar
    April 2007
    2,045 Posts
    Damn Small Linux

    Also known as DSL, this is the distro you want when your piece of ./sh is older than yourself. So yeah, with the low-end requirements being 486DX you really won't have any problems in any PC you find that has been made in the past decade.

    As the live-cd distro is less than 50mb, you can fit it in just about everywhere, especially the 50mb card-CD:s. Don't get me wrong, 50mb is filled with apps, like 3 web browsers and nice games.
    Cost like 1$ a pop, and are the size of CC:s, so burn one and keep in the wallet. Just like a condom, but you probably will get to use it. :smug:

    You can also install it into the HDD, run it from USB, floppy+network installation, and some fancy frugal installation (I remember that it was cloning the image to the card, so it will be like a live-cd, so you can't fuck it up) to a CF card in a Ide adapter. Those adapters cost 3-5$ including worldwide shipping, just ask from me if interested. Completely silent system with old PC:s, as they won't need active cooling, and the PSU is the only noise generator. Probably next you can install it to your toaster via bread.

    Modules are also nice, you can just select from a menu and press a button, and it loads the application that you dowloaded. In a live-cd it's nice that you don't have to install stuff, you can drop the modules to some floppy/usb stick and load them from there.

    Pros
    *It works in just about any PC
    *Fast as hell
    *Can be used even if you don't know a lot about what's going on under the hood

    Cons
    *Not pretty (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/images/dsl-4.2.x2.jpg ugh, but as I watch the apps I don't care)
    *Not that much software via the modules (Almost all popular ones tho)


    Conclusion: For low end PC:s and as the Live-distro that you carry around.
    What would make it pretty would be if you installed a minimalist theme or something.

  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    Kirth's Avatar
    July 2009
    415 Posts
    Eww what the hell?
    I know how you feel. I'd rather not get a distribution from a website that's hardly informative, that uses the name of a different distribution..

    We don't even know what's it on about. As far as we know (and I can tell) it's just Ubuntu with a different theme and some more software. There're also some spin-offs.. I don't see the purpose in a "Gamers Edition", seeing it just contains some pre installed games for Linux.


    Currently, I'm giving Arch Linux a whirl - but I'm a bit stuck with getting it to work with my network.

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member

    June 2005
    4,438 Posts
    What would make it pretty would be if you installed a minimalist theme or something.
    Yes, I tried messing around with them and all, but fluxbox or the other managers (Like Windowmaker) will never become as pretty as KDE or Gnome.

    But it really isn't a con to me, but seeing as you other guys fap over 4D Desktop cubes defying the laws of nature...

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    HubmaN V2's Avatar
    November 2007
    885 Posts
    Yes, I tried messing around with them and all, but fluxbox or the other managers (Like Windowmaker) will never become as pretty as KDE or Gnome.

    But it really isn't a con to me, but seeing as you other guys fap over 4D Desktop cubes defying the laws of nature...
    <3 window maker. Makes me think I'm running a proprietary UNIX again :D

  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    Turbis's Avatar
    April 2007
    2,045 Posts
    Yes, I tried messing around with them and all, but fluxbox or the other managers (Like Windowmaker) will never become as pretty as KDE or Gnome.

    But it really isn't a con to me, but seeing as you other guys fap over 4D Desktop cubes defying the laws of nature...
    :P Me myself currently running windows xp with the original pre xp gray theme. It's minimalistic so I'd rahter use that haha

  39. Post #39
    Dark_dragon1's Avatar
    October 2007
    71 Posts
    Good for hacking... I'm a white hat by the way don't get scared lol
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  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    nos217's Avatar
    December 2006
    2,663 Posts
    Good for hacking... I'm a white hat by the way don't get scared lol
    I almost spat out my coke reading that.
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