[lug] linux distro for a beginner
mdhirsch at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 16:36:42 MDT 2005
On 6/16/05, Michael Hirsch <mdhirsch at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/16/05, Hugh Brown <hugh at math.byu.edu> wrote:
> > On Thu, 16 Jun 2005, Michael Hirsch wrote:
> > > On 6/15/05, Hugh Brown <hugh at math.byu.edu> wrote:
> > > > As I discuss what I do by day (linux sysadmin) with folks and complain
> > > > about windows periodically, I sometimes get asked which Linux distribution
> > > > I recommend for someone who wants to get started with Linux but doesn't
> > > > want to be their own sysadmin. So far, I've been telling them to get a
> > > > Mac.
> > > >
> > > > Which distribution would you recommend for someone that thinks MS is vile,
> > > > doesn't want to support them, but doesn't want to become a techie?
> > > >
> > > > I use Debian and I suspect that may be a bit out there for someone just
> > > > starting out. I've heard positive noises about Ubuntu (they'll even ship
> > > > you CDs for free). No idea where Fedora is, though I suspect it may
> > > > change a little too often/too quickly for a home user.
> > > >
> > > > Any recommendations?
> > >
> > > There are lots of good ditributions out there. My acid test is
> > > whether the users ever have to worry about mounting CDs, floppies,
> > > thumb drives, etc. For instance, it should be possible to eject a
> > > drive while you have a file browser (or shell) open looking at that
> > > volume.
> > >
> > > So far I know that Mandrake and SuSE can both do that. RedHat used to
> > > fail my test--I don't know if it still does. I haven't heard of
> > > others that can do it, but there must be some out there.
> > >
> > > I believe that if a new user finds that they can't just pop a
> > > floppy/CD in, use it, and pop it out whenever they feel like it, they
> > > will think the OS is broken. And IMHO it is.
> > >
> > > Michael
> > I remember in college getting a call from a guy that lived nearby. He was
> > writing his term paper in Word and saving it to the floppy. As soon as he
> > finished it, he pulled the floppy out, ran to the lab and tried to print.
> > When he opened the file in the lab, it was corrupt. When he took it back
> > home it was still corrupt. He hadn't closed Word and the file was still
> > open on the floppy. He had managed to do this twice. So, there are times
> > when it is useful that users understand that disconnecting r/w media is
> > something that should be done with some care.
It would be nice if it were impossible to remove a floppy while it was
still being written. Maybe Macs have it right where you have to tell
the OS to do it for you.
I tend not to think of CDs are writable media. A read only medium
should be ejectable at any time.
> > Point taken about user expectation though. RH4/gnome will now
> > automatically put an icon on the desktop for a usb thumb drive.
> > I didn't try unplugging it while
> > it was mount'ed (I've been typing mount/umount for too long :)
Rh has done that for CDs for a long time, but there were definitely
situations where the CD would be buzy and refuse to eject. Behind the
scenes, RH is doing a mount when you click on the CD icon, and an
unmount when you ask to eject it. If a process was using it the CD
would refuse to eject.
With Mandrake and SuSE if you eject a busy CD the application gets an
IO error, but the CD ejects and the OS is happy.
I have no idea what Linspire does. It is billed as very user
friendly, but I don't know if they've solved that problem.
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