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

Anthony Fortenberry afortenberry at ogov.org
Thu Aug 24 20:34:15 MDT 2006

Bill Thoen 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"?
> -Bill Thoen
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I used SuSE (9.0, 9.2, 9.3, 10.0) on desktops and had pretty good luck 
with overall hardware support and stability.  Lost data with ReiserFS 
twice (9.0), but have recently had reliable service from ReiserFS, EXT3, 
and XFS.  SuSE typically shipped with several proprietary binaries, so 
multimedia, PDF and so forth worked well.  Which brings me to my main 
complaint about SuSE: the multimedia configuration became more of a 
headache with each release.  Difficult to excavate and replace the 
SuSE-modified versions of Kaffeine/Xine (doesn't play commercial DVD's 
by default) and audio apps (won't play MP3 by default).

So, I recently moved to Ubuntu/Kubuntu 6.06, and have had a good 
experience thus far.  Appears to support my hardware equally well, has 
an excellent package management system (IMHO), and is easy to configure 
for multimedia support if desired.  Biggest problem I've run into with 
Ubuntu thus far is that it won't correctly install when /boot is 
formatted as XFS.  (So I switched to EXT3.)  Another potential issue is 
that OpenOffice.org shut down on me a couple of times.

A big advantage with Ubuntu for me is that I prefer non-commercial 
distros.  Ubuntu seems to be on mission, as they have put together a 
slick presentation of Debian and offer great documentation to educate a 
broader audience about the difference between FOSS and proprietary software.

Disclaimer:  Although I just complained about support for closed media 
formats, which for me is a convenience issue, I would like to point out 
that I now use OGG and FLAC formats for audio.  But it irks me to not be 
able to play a DVD or listen to an MP3 file when the mood strikes.  The 
best solution, of course, is the widespread adoption of open formats for 

I'm happy with the transition from SuSE to Ubuntu/Kubuntu, which should 
be my home for awhile.  Hope this perspective is useful...

--Anthony Fortenberry

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