Trying to give Linux ago, as i only have 1 box at work running it and thats our Asterisk VoIP server running on CentOS, and the most i have done is used ifconfig and vi to edit a few config files.
Thought i would try Ubuntu as thats the one thats chatted about a lot, and well, i just did not like the interface at all. Do any other distros have majorly different GUI?
You can change the gui - bet then if your using linux command line is best :)
KDE underwent radical changes a while ago - it didn't suit me, so I went to Gnome. Guess what - Gnome is undergoing (undergone) radical changes with Gnome 3. I tried Gnome 3, and it's OK.
I use Ubuntu with the standard Unity interface. At first, I didn't like it. It was new and strange. I went to/from Gnome 3, not quite sure if I liked it or not.
Now, I'm back with Unity and love it. I find it fast, clean and efficient. I can do everything I want in a click or two. For me, OS menu systems seem archaic now. But that's me, I enthuse about Unity but I know many dislike it.
Trying to argue with personal preferences is largely a waste of time, but if you don't like Unity, you can change it easily - there's no need to change distros just because you don't like the default desktop environment.
For a more traditional interface, you could try the excellent LXDE or XFCE. Installing these interfaces is just a click away in Ubuntu, you can choose your desktop environment when you log in.
If you want to try something that isn't Ubuntu, Sabayon should be the next thing you look at. Hardly anybody knows about it, but I don't know why. It's a tremendous distro. It's got good hardware recognition, and is very up-to-date.
Sabayon | Home
I used to use ubuntu a lot, but since they changed the UI to unity, I can't get on with it. Switched to Linux Mint since December and haven't looked back since. It does what I want out and does it quickly too.
Originally Posted by kabads
Seconded, i do prefer the mint interface at the moment. The whole mint experience seems to be quite nice so far.
Originally Posted by CyberNerd
Personal preferences, eh!
I tried Mint and disliked the menu system - it reminded me of the KDE Kickoff menu which always irritated me.
Well, that's the beauty of Linux. I may be the lone voice who loves Unity, but everyone's entitled to my opinion... :rofl:
Unity is ideal for the tablets but not for desktop
At the minute I am working on my own custom distro which installs what I want on the initial install :)
FWIW, you can get Fedora "spins" with different interfaces, see Fedora Spins, including KDE (my preference), XFCE, etc.
And with the base install, you can choose either Gnome 3 or KDE, and tyou can even install the cinnamon variant.
Mint is currently getting more hits on Distrowatch
I running Ubuntu 11.10 but I switched the unity interface for Gnome Classic see How to revert to GNOME Classic? - Ask Ubuntu - Stack Exchange
You could also try LXDE which I believe is a good starting point for someone trying to leave Windows
I Run LXDE at home and Gnome2 at work, both on top of Ubuntu.
Originally Posted by JJonas
Don't forget, one of the beautiful (and sometimes dangerous) things about Linux is that if you don't like something, you can change it!
I'd recommend sticking with one distro and changing the desktop environment until you find one you like.
I tried no less than 8 of the ones here before I settled on my current setups.
Most distributions have a simple way of installing new software, e.g. apt-get on Ubuntu or portage on Debian.
Desktops can be installed and removed through these systems just like anything else.
I moved from Ubuntu to CentOS, as CentOS is meant to be supported on HyperV. It works better then Ubuntu did on HyperV anyway, so i'm sticking for now but I'm not a fan of the Fedora/ Red Hat way of making websites, I changed my .confs to look liek ubuntu and it makes way more sense
The basic Fedora 16 DVD gives you a choice of KDE4, Gnome 3, LXDE, XFCE or no GUI. I installed it yesterday on a EEE PC, with just a CLI.
Originally Posted by mister_z
Personally I use Mandriva as my distro and IceWM, but the latter is perhaps not the best choice for a noob. However if you want to a configure something yourself, IceWM isn't too bad and I think it will give you a nice grounding in editing config files. I also favour rpm based distros
If you want to learn unix/linux its worth trying to do as much with the CLI as possible. I recommend Ubuntu Server.