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Choosing a distro: Pros and Cons from real users

Link to this post 29 Apr 10

I think that either Mepis, Ubuntu, Linux Mint would be good for a new user. In no particular order.


Mepis -- nice hardware recognition, quick and easy installation, great user forums; closely based on Debian, so a lot of Debian solutions work fine in Mepis

Ubuntu -- easy installation; there are so many users out there that once you learn to search the forums and documentation you'll probably be able to find an answer to any question you might have

Linux Mint -- quick and easy installation -- most things "work" right away; closely based on Ubuntu, so often you can use the Ubuntu forums and documentation for help in Mint


Those are some "pros." Every distros has its "cons" and Linux folks are never shy about pointing those out! Best thing to do, in my opinion, is to try a distro out, stick with it for more than a few months, and see for yourself. Where one person sees something negative, you might see something positive.

Link to this post 18 May 10

Yeah I think Linux Mint is a great way to start for any new user. Comes with all sorts of packages pre-installed, with most video and sound working right out of the box.

The control center is a basic one stop for most things that basic users need to worry about, ex video sound users passwords desktops menus on and on.

Link to this post 01 Jun 10

Ease of install, an attractive user interface with familiar-sounding software labels and familiar-looking icons, a friendly support mechanism, simple package mangement, plus the OS being a good match for the hardware's capabilities are all-important to most newbies As such, a Linux distro that installs as easily as Unity or PCLXDE, looks like the new openSUSE, has the support of Ubuntu and Fedora, possesses a Synaptic-like package manager with a selection of software like Debian, and performs like antiX would, in my judgment, be ideal for a newbie. Alas, such a distro does not exist!

Unfortunately, the new LTS versions of the Ubuntu family seem, at present, to have install problems and video issues. As such, I must at this point in time choose the new PCLOS in all its flavors for most newer machines with lots of RAM, high BUS rates and fast CPUs and pick antiX for for those new Linux users with limited-resource machines (including notebooks, laptops and older machines of all types, down to a PIII with 256MB RAM). Modern 64-bit users can go to Fedora first, openSUSE second and Salix third. Netbooks I do not claim to know, so I defer to others on these minis.

There, you have my considered opinion based on experience that is not too extensive. It's the best I can do. At Present.

Link to this post 01 Jun 10

@nanodiamond
That pic is a keeper...LOL

Link to this post 07 Aug 10

Well, I my self have used a couple of Linux distros, starting from RHEL4, RHEL5, Fedora7, Fedora8, Fedora9, CentOS5 , SUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu7.10-Ubuntu 10.04.

Among all these, I liked the Ubuntu series most. The Ubuntu has a very nice package manager and binaries of almost all the popular Linux softwares (like Google Chrome, Opera, Skype and all). Apart from these Ubuntu has got a wide online support.

Link to this post 08 Aug 10

I would urge anyone using Ubuntu (including Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu... whatever 'buntu) or anything based on Ubuntu to do this first thing immediately after installation: Set Update Manager to accept only security updates. Ignore the "recommended" updates. I have no idea why, but a lot of crazy updates are coming at Ubuntu users that can totally b0rk a perfectly good working system.

Mepis is based on Debian Lenny (so it's ultra-stable - soon to be "Old Stable" as Squeeze, newly frozen, makes it's move from Testing to Stable), but it's KDE, which is kinda heavy for older 'puters like my hand-me-down Dell Dimension. The "Mepis Lite" alternative is AntiX, which can be loaded with Xfce (my favorite) or the ultralight LXDE environment for older hardware. Not that it needs a desktop environment though. It's pretty newbie friendly without one!

-Robin

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