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Best distro?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well I'm thinking of trying out Linux, right now I have a mac mini with a separate partition for windows 7. But I would like to learn more about linux which is why I want to install it.

However, I don't know which distro is best?


Aside from learning more about distro eventually I'd like to get into the securty aspect of it.

Also is it possible to install games on linux? Is it like windows, any special things you have to do?
post #2 of 35
There is no best. There is only beginner and advanced. If you want a beginner distribution, then you can choose Ubuntu, Mint, Debian or one of their variants. If you want advanced then you can choose something along Arch, Gentoo, or many of the other barebone or minimal distributions. And plenty of distro's in between that try to marry the two. Best is subjective to what you want, how you work, what you want to achieve, and what you want it for. There is no solid answer there.

If you want to learn and get into the security aspect, then you'd be better off with Arch, Gentoo, or another minimal install. As it'll force you to figure out where files are located, and how to work from the command line to get a functional GUI up.

Yes you can play games, through Steam and WINE ( PlayOnLinux frontend for WINE makes it easier ).

No it really isn't like Windows. The GUI can be similar, and practically an exact copy if that's what you want. But the inner workings are different. You install programs from a central repository and not from random executable's from the internet. Always use the package manager to install programs, it's there for a reason. Only install from source if you have no other choice or you need a program compiled with certain flags, and even then you can wrap it with your package managers format and install it via the manager. To leave your home directory and get to the rest of the system you have to enter root. Pretty much all you need to know to get started.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

There is no best. There is only beginner and advanced. If you want a beginner distribution, then you can choose Ubuntu, Mint, Debian or one of their variants. If you want advanced then you can choose something along Arch, Gentoo, or many of the other barebone or minimal distributions. And plenty of distro's in between that try to marry the two. Best is subjective to what you want, how you work, what you want to achieve, and what you want it for. There is no solid answer there.

If you want to learn and get into the security aspect, then you'd be better off with Arch, Gentoo, or another minimal install. As it'll force you to figure out where files are located, and how to work from the command line to get a functional GUI up.

Yes you can play games, through Steam and WINE ( PlayOnLinux frontend for WINE makes it easier ).

No it really isn't like Windows. The GUI can be similar, and practically an exact copy if that's what you want. But the inner workings are different. You install programs from a central repository and not from random executable's from the internet. Always use the package manager to install programs, it's there for a reason. Only install from source if you have no other choice or you need a program compiled with certain flags, and even then you can wrap it with your package managers format and install it via the manager. To leave your home directory and get to the rest of the system you have to enter root. Pretty much all you need to know to get started.

Thank you that was very informative.

I've read about backtrack 5 is that in the middle of beginner and advanced?

What would be the difference beween a beginner and advanced version of linux?
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaseshift View Post

Thank you that was very informative.

I've read about backtrack 5 is that in the middle of beginner and advanced?

What would be the difference beween a beginner and advanced version of linux?

I wouldn't recommend Backtrack. It's meant to be a live boot distribution, and not so much a full install.

The difference between them is simply the amount of work to get it up and running the way you need. Most beginner distro's will plop you right down in an already set up environment ready to go with absolutely no configuration needed. More advanced ones will drop you in to the command line and expect you to make it what you want. Setting up all of the daemons, programs, GUI's that will ultimately become your system.
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

I wouldn't recommend Backtrack. It's meant to be a live boot distribution, and not so much a full install.

The difference between them is simply the amount of work to get it up and running the way you need. Most beginner distro's will plop you right down in an already set up environment ready to go with absolutely no configuration needed. More advanced ones will drop you in to the command line and expect you to make it what you want. Setting up all of the daemons, programs, GUI's that will ultimately become your system.

If I decided to go into one of the more minimalist installs which is the advnced distros, do you have a website where I can read up on how to setup everything? Since pretty much i'll be building something from the bottom up I don't really know what to even do.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Also, would you say learning Linux is important in the Information Technology world?

So pretty much I would like a career in information technology, network administrator to be exact and then maybe branch of to security.

Would knowing linux help me in that career field?
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaseshift View Post

Also, would you say learning Linux is important in the Information Technology world?

So pretty much I would like a career in information technology, network administrator to be exact and then maybe branch of to security.

Would knowing linux help me in that career field?

Linux experience would definitely make any admin type resume look a lot better.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaseshift View Post

Also, would you say learning Linux is important in the Information Technology world?

So pretty much I would like a career in information technology, network administrator to be exact and then maybe branch of to security.

Would knowing linux help me in that career field?

Depends on your personal definition of "IT." If you mean the guy who sits in a corner office in a building filled with cubicles and does remote support and small system repairs and troubleshoots random network glitches - then no, not really. If you mean "IT" as in a large scale systems administrator, with a need for knowledge in mass deployment of software, management of a core network of servers, and content delivery services - then yes, its incredibly important. That said, a Unix systems administration certification always looks good on a resume, even for a computer programming position. Experience with Linux (development or use) is also heavily beneficial in many computing fields.

You note 'network administrator' as your desired career path, and I would say that it can be heavily beneficial in that field, chances are you will run into linux based networking equipment and firewalls (most hardware firewalls and hardware VPNs use Linux in some sense, and so do almost all Cisco networking devices.) Having some background in *nix will be crucial to your success.
    
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post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

Depends on your personal definition of "IT." If you mean the guy who sits in a corner office in a building filled with cubicles and does remote support and small system repairs and troubleshoots random network glitches - then no, not really. If you mean "IT" as in a large scale systems administrator, with a need for knowledge in mass deployment of software, management of a core network of servers, and content delivery services - then yes, its incredibly important. That said, a Unix systems administration certification always looks good on a resume, even for a computer programming position. Experience with Linux (development or use) is also heavily beneficial in many computing fields.

You note 'network administrator' as your desired career path, and I would say that it can be heavily beneficial in that field, chances are you will run into linux based networking equipment and firewalls (most hardware firewalls and hardware VPNs use Linux in some sense, and so do almost all Cisco networking devices.) Having some background in *nix will be crucial to your success.

Great! Thank you for that, now I just need to figure out which distro to start with.

Knowing that I'd like to be a network administrator, which distro would you guys recommend to start with and build on?

Mint, Ubunto...Fedora or CentOS? There's so many. But I think I would encounter mostly RedHat in network administration when it comes to linux correct?
Edited by phaseshift - 4/8/13 at 2:40pm
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaseshift View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

Depends on your personal definition of "IT." If you mean the guy who sits in a corner office in a building filled with cubicles and does remote support and small system repairs and troubleshoots random network glitches - then no, not really. If you mean "IT" as in a large scale systems administrator, with a need for knowledge in mass deployment of software, management of a core network of servers, and content delivery services - then yes, its incredibly important. That said, a Unix systems administration certification always looks good on a resume, even for a computer programming position. Experience with Linux (development or use) is also heavily beneficial in many computing fields.

You note 'network administrator' as your desired career path, and I would say that it can be heavily beneficial in that field, chances are you will run into linux based networking equipment and firewalls (most hardware firewalls and hardware VPNs use Linux in some sense, and so do almost all Cisco networking devices.) Having some background in *nix will be crucial to your success.

Great! Thank you for that, now I just need to figure out which distro to start with.

Knowing that I'd like to be a network administrator, which distro would you guys recommend to start with and build on?

Mint, Ubunto...Fedora or CentOS? There's so many. But I think I would encounter mostly RedHat in network administration when it comes to linux correct?

yes, start with centos if that is your key goal.
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