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The unhelpful answer | 282 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
I vote for Mageia
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 09:03 PM EDT
I recently installed it at home. Working like a charm, no issues at all. You can should check Distrowatch if you haven't yet. Good luck!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Mint
Authored by: cassini2006 on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 09:54 PM EDT

Linux Mint is my favourite by far.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

The usual reply
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 09:58 PM EDT
If you want to learn, install Slackware.

Or if you prefer an advanced crash course, install BSD. After that Linux is easy
peasy.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Which Linux Distro?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 10:56 PM EDT
Why limit yourself to one? Download and try half a dozen or so. The choice is up
to you, but unless you spend at least a couple of hours with each of them, you
won't really know how they feel to you.

I've been using Slackware for a little over 20 years now, ever since Soft
Landing Systems folded their tent. Each time I get a new box, I try out a couple
of others, but so far I have not found anything I am more comfortable with.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

The unhelpful answer
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 11:46 PM EDT
Only you know which Linux distro will fit you, so be prepared to spend a few
years trying out as many as you can.

While it is true it admittedly isn't particularly helpful.

I would therefore suggest this approach.

Run two distros - a day2day main one and an experimental second one.

Split your harddisk in two and install a works-out-of-the-box distro on #1 (Mint
comes to mind).
Use second partition to try out what ever catches your fancy.

You can even have a separate partition (#3) with your /home on it, so as to be
able to access this from either distro...

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Which Linux Distro?
Authored by: Wol on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 04:55 AM EDT
I'd point you at OpenSUSE for your main distro. I know a lot of people don't
like it. It's different - it's one of the few distros with KDE as the default.

And if you're playing with Slack, try playing with gentoo too. I normally
wouldn't advise a noob to go for gentoo, but it really isn't *that* hard. Slack
has a reputation of getting you started then leaving you to make your own
decisions - gentoo likewise but a bit higher up the difficulty scale.

But yeah - like the others - I'd say download whatever takes your fancy and try
it. I won't touch the RH family - just personal ...

Cheers,
Wol

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Which Linux Distro?
Authored by: PJ on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 05:03 AM EDT
First research what your Dell can accept. I
learned that the hard way with an Acer.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Virtualbox images
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 07:06 AM EDT
There are some pre-built virtualbox images sites like this one and this one.

Try before you "buy" :-)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Which Linux Distro?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 08:12 AM EDT
I haven't read any of the above responses, but what I have
found especially helpful to myself is to chooses several
distros that you might like and get a live CD of each one.

Then boot the computer using each live CD and see if the
kernel will recognize and handle all the hardware on the
computer that you want to use. Displays and network
hardware, both ethernet and wifi, seem to cause the most
trouble.

The distro that works the best is the one you want. Also
it is a good idea to try newer versions of the same and
other distros as well every so often to see if they will
work. For example, I had bought a USB microscope camera
several years ago. I could never get it to work with any
of the half-dozen computers I have with whatever distro
was on each one. Then one day I decided to try it with
a recenly purchased notebook that I had intstalled the
latest stable Debian on. And, guess what! It worked!

Until M$ takes over all computers, trying any computer that
you want to buy using a live CD of your distro is a great
method to weed out incompatable computers.

Good luck to you!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Which Linux Distro?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 08:24 AM EDT
I just switched to Gentoo. Maybe not the best choice for a beginner, but I
think it's head and shoulders above the rest.

The final straw that made me switch from fedora was that I was writing a python
2 program. I encountered a bug in python. A couple of minutes on Google told
me that it had already been fixed, but the fix hadn't made it into any releases
yet.

So I downloaded the patch, patched python and continued my work. Then I tried
to use yum again. Turns out recompiling python breaks yum. So I tried to
download and build a new version of yum, but then I entered the have to download
and build x, y, z before I can build yum. After a few minutes of trying to get
everything I needed to build yum, I bit the bullet and switched to gentoo.

On gentoo, I created my own ebuild file to include the python patch, and for
good measure I typed emerge world. The next morning, I had a complete system
with everything that depended on a particular build of python having been
rebuilt. No fuss, no muss.

This morning, I just discovered I left out a critical system utility. All I had
to do was type emerge <utility> and it downloaded the source, built it for
my system, and installed it. Any new prerequisites were downloaded and built
for me.

Gentoo also has a bunch of configuration flags that I can use to customize my
system to exactly what I want. I haven't had the time or inclination to mess
with them, but it's nice to know they are there should I choose to use them.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Crunchbang is neat, also try something with XFCE
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 10:20 AM EDT

Different, but neat. Also I really like the XFCE desktop. Try it, it's nice.

Wayne
http://madhatter.ca

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Which Linux Distro?
Authored by: JamesK on Friday, March 15 2013 @ 11:27 AM EDT
I've been using openSUSE for years. Works for me.


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[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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