[lug] Best Distro for Newbies with New Equipment (was DHCP Question)

Collins Richey crichey at gmail.com
Thu Aug 24 19:54:18 MDT 2006

On 8/24/06, Bill Thoen <bthoen at gisnet.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 06:03:05PM -0600, Collins Richey wrote:
> > It's not really Windows fault. The driver (reverse engineered, I
> > presume) just didn't cover all the edge cases. Hopefully,this will be
> > fixed, and you'llsee it quickly in the FCn series. Unfortunately I'm
> > on Kubuntu 6.06, and I doubt that the developers will considerthisfor
> > their "stable" release, maybe not even in Debian Etch.
> This brings up another point we've been debating in my office. One of the
> things "they say" about RedHat is that you get all the newest and
> experimental stuff you can stand and in fact, you may get buggy stuff as a
> result. Since we have some fairly specific needs at work, we really don't
> need the latest TOIP (Teleportation Over IP) and so maybe we should
> reconsider the reasons we use RedHat software.
> In opposition is a friend of mine who keeps telling me to go with
> Slackware because they don't support all the new-fangled stuff out there in
> favor of (he claims) doing the basics exceedingly well. But if I was using
> something like Slack (or Kubuntu) would I be sort of screwed buying the
> latest low-cost Windows box from Newegg.com only to find out that I need
> new drivers (that I can't write) to keep up with the technology?
> Or do Linux users who are "experienced" start with something forgiving like
> RedHat Fedora Core and eventually migrate to a more esoteric distro once
> they know "The Lore"?

My $0.02.

The only real problem with Fedora is that you get to start over more
frequently than I would like, and the upgrade path is not always
pleasant. I have nothing against Slack; at least they stuck to KDEf or
a long time (my personal prejudice). In an office environment, if you
don't need the latest and greatest whizbangs, and you want to stick
with Red Hat software, give CentOS a try. They mirror the RHEL
distribution exactly except for trademarked art work. They are backed
by a dedicated support team, and it's free as in beer unless you care
to contribute. There are many thousands (maybe tens of thousands?) of
CentOS servers in use. If your company needs a support service, there
are even organizations that sell support for CentOS.

OTOH, if you like to stay a little forward on the development curve
(RHEL/CentOS is always 1-2 years behind current technology), give
Kubuntu (or Ubuntu if you can tolerate Gnome) a try or even Debian
Etch/Testing. My personal favorite is Kubuntu. It's really great for
inexperienced users, and it's only slightly behind the technology
curve. It's a painless introduction to the Debian Way. Canonical, the
backer of Ubuntu, will be introducing / have introduced support
packages for the Ubuntu server variant, if you like to pay for
support. The 6.06 LTS stable release will be supported with security
and bug fixes for several years. Debian Etch is good but not as
polished as Ubuntu IMO. With Ubuntu you get a very active, friendly,
and helpful forum community as well.

Kubuntu will run your El Cheapo Windows boxes with no problems. I've
installed it on older desktop machines, brand new desktop machines,
and laptops with excellent results. The one problem with RHEL/CentOS
is that you need to roll your own for nVidia and ATI driver support,
whereas Ubuntu/Debian has standard addon packages.

I'm sure someone else will follow on with praise for Novell/SuSE, but
I haven't kept up with that.


Collins Richey
     If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries
     of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.

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