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*nix Thread, Choosing A Linux Version in Technical; Hello Edu, Sorry, I'm only new here. Please go easy on me, I'm not sure if this is the right ...
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    Question Choosing A Linux Version

    Hello Edu,

    Sorry, I'm only new here. Please go easy on me, I'm not sure if this is the right place for this and I did check the suggested threads. Please if this has been done already or is in the wrong place, Please re direct me and delete this thread.

    I have my sisters old computer just sitting in the study, she has no need for it. No idea what the specs are, It's from 2004 or 2005. I'm thinking about using it as a server for File sharing, Printer and running the Router from and Network monitoring(Stop my sister wasting our bandwidth on Gossip Girl) between the 5 computers in the house.

    What Linux version should I run? What do I need to know? I'm TOTALLY new to Linux but I'm not totally computer illiterate.

    I took a test and I got openSUSE as a result but I would like to know your opinions.

    Please and thank you in advance.

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    Any distro will do all that you describe but it'll take some work to set it up. My personal favourite distro is Debian.

    If you wanted to have the machine do one specific job, there are distros out there which require minimal setup:
    * file sharing - OpenFiler or FreeNAS
    * firewall/proxy - Smoothwall Express

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    Well, I don't NEED it to do anything. I just want to learn something knew and take up some time of my holidays between work. Any major differences between Debian and openSUSE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocaj1994 View Post
    Well, I don't NEED it to do anything. I just want to learn something knew and take up some time of my holidays between work. Any major differences between Debian and openSUSE?
    Since you just want to learn, pick any full distro (of which Debian and OpenSUSE are two) and away you go. The major difference between Debian and OpenSUSE is the package management (how the programs are installed). There is also some differences in the directory structure. Debian just makes more sense to me!

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    Awesome, I'll go with Debian. Thanks for the help.

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    also if you can't find any info on something (eg setting up a proxy) for debian, just search for instructions for ubuntu (as ubuntu is based on debian).

    I tend to use debian for servers and ubuntu for newer desktops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocaj1994 View Post
    Awesome, I'll go with Debian. Thanks for the help.
    Give Mint Linux a try. It's based on Ubuntu, thus Debian.

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    I'd also suggest Debian, and in case you don't know and would like something more 'friendly' ubuntu is based on debian and linuxMint is based on ubuntu. Both of which are easier for the novice to get to hands with.

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    If you really want to learn how Linux bolts together, try Linux From Scratch which takes you through building a linux system from the source code.
    Something which I think is worth doing once to see how it all works, then for production just go with something like Debian.

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    A word of warning about Linux From Scratch.....I have done it once......and once is enough! It will eat your life and soul.....you will have nights of no sleep......if this sounds like fun go ahead! If not go for something a little more complete, like any of the Debian 'brands'.

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    I'd also go with Debian, naturally, but it can be tough to start out with. Ubuntu is much friendlier, you can always practise on it for a bit first. The Debian bias is down to me being a contributing member and maintainer.

    Ubuntu do do some weird things though - almost daily updates to stable, for example, so take it all with a pinch of salt.

    Quote Originally Posted by computer_expert View Post
    also if you can't find any info on something (eg setting up a proxy) for debian, just search for instructions for ubuntu (as ubuntu is based on debian).

    I tend to use debian for servers and ubuntu for newer desktops.
    Likewise, pinch of salt. There are some awful tutorials and even worse advice out there from 'experts'. Best bet are the Ubuntu forums and mailing lists and the Debian equivalents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midget View Post
    I'd also suggest Debian, and in case you don't know and would like something more 'friendly' ubuntu is based on debian and linuxMint is based on ubuntu. Both of which are easier for the novice to get to hands with.
    Ubuntu: ancient African word meaning "can't configure Debian"

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    +1 for ubuntu, i used to use fedora (red hat based) which was good but i found thier "get the newest stuff ASAP" approach often meant i had to apply little fixes after updates so that things worked how they where supposed to.

    I also used to use Arch on my server but i found that programs often didnt support it fully and i had to spend ages fixing things every time i got updates.

    But now its ubuntu on my machines and ubuntu server on my server and i havent had a problem since, even when i find things that dont work straight away theres allways a blog article that has the solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocaj1994 View Post
    I'm thinking about using it as a server for File sharing, Printer and running the Router from and Network monitoring
    Although ultimately you would run a specific server distro on the machine and have it tucked away headless somewhere I would recommend you initially work with a version with a GUI installed. It can be more forgiving and easier to get things set up.

    Both Ubuntu and Debian have live distros so you can check if they work on your machine before committing to installing. They also both have versions 'with' (aka normal) and 'without' (aka server) GUI's so you can experiment and get the system running how you want before creating your ultimate machine.

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    I use debian. I learnt to use linux on debian, the main reason is that there is tons of info out there on debian, perhaps not as much on other distros (my friend prefers CentOS). Debian has a few quirks about it (get rid of the fecking network manager as soon as you can). But I have those documented so I can get a server up and running quite quickly.

    Personally I would set yourself a goal and get that working. Do you have an internet filter? If not then have a go at setting up squid and dansguardian. That is a challenging project that will get your server mapped onto your domain and doing something useful. How about setting up an internal "pupil only" webserver so they can host their ICT projects? Also get used to working from SSH whether or not you put a GUI on. I always put a GUI on as a safety net so im not exactly a purist although I do use SSH from the minute I removed network manager.

    Did I mention I hated network manager? its apt-get remove network-manager

    oh yes, clonezilla is your friend. Once you get something working CLONE IT (or tar your system). The amount of times ive changed "something" and wished I hadnt...
    Last edited by KK20; 7th July 2010 at 10:48 AM.

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