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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

I've rescued an old server from our rubbish dump and thought I'd have a play with Linux. It's a 300MHz PII with a single 8GB scsi HD and 64MB ram. One twin port and one single port network cards. Not sure what sort of graphics card and a soundblaster of some sort. Everything except the single port network card was picked up and configured by XP when I tried a test install. SCSI bios works OK.

Any recommendations on which is the 'best' distribution for a total Linux novice. I'd prefer something that is completely automated for starters that I could then play around with once it's up and running.

Would the non-standard system be a problem.
19 REPLIES
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

SuSE
Gentoo
Fedora

all good Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

http://www.lycoris.com/ is an easy start for a novice.
Go for the free evaluation version.

Or http://slax.linux-live.org/ and you do not even have to install.

From your description this machine would make a great firewall.

Chilly
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Great firewalls :

OpenBSD (the best)
SmoothWall (heard lots about this but never tried it personaly)

Buz
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

http://www.mepis.org/

Mepis (SimplyMepis) is very impressive.

Live CD that can be installed. Based on Debian.
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

http://www.mepis.org/

Mepis (SimplyMepis) is very impressive.

Live CD that can be installed. Based on Debian.
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Quote

Fedora

all good Smiley


Fedora is good, but it's also at the front edge of the technology, so things may be more likely to go wrong. You might want to play it safe if you're a novice.

[Moderators note (by Thomas): BBCode enabled in the post for you.]
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Id go for suse ! easy to use and understand for the novice much the
same as fedora
As for smoothwall its great works a treat, it does need a little messing
about with to get set up but once done you just leave it alone
and it does its job
for the novice though it can be a bit tricky and i would recommend
reading carefully the installation and set up procedure which you will
find all on there web site which you can download in pdf format
megadyptes
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 03-08-2007

Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Folks!

Would anyone have any recommendations for a Linux distro, also for a newbie, that would run on a crappy old DX4 :lol:

I've toyed with the Knoppix live version on my main PC and would like to have machine to play around with linux on. I'm loathed to try and make it a dual boot (last attempt with Suse ended in failure and a complete inability to book back into XP Sad ) - consequently, She Who Must Be Obeyed won't let linux near it again!
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

This (my reply) is a bit off the point but... I'm using BootMagic 8.0 from PowerQuest to boot XP Pro (default), 98se or SUSE Linux quite happily.

Tim
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Thanks to all for the suggestions. I've finally plumped to have a try with Slax because I like the idea of booting from CD.

I finally got round to burning the ISO tonight and before I try it in the 'scrap' PC I thought I'd have a look on my desktop.

Put the CD in and it just worked. My wireless keyboard and mouse, router, graphics card first time. I put the CD in and 2 minutes later I'm logged in here.

It can't contine to be as easy as this surely :lol:
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Welcome to Linux Cool

Good to hear things when well, the great thing about slax-live, is that you can drop it in to any machine and run linux. And if you [Censored] just reboot.

Linux does handle most video, sound and network cards.
Digital cameras, scanners and modems can be a challenge.

Chilly
(OK so this message was typed on a WinXp machine :roll: )
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Oops it choked on the SCSI CD drive part way into loading. So I think that it'll be a case of a 'proper' installation. Still love the idea of stuffing a machine with some extra memory and just using it for surfing - all that nasty stuff in volatile memory :lol:
mineview
Dabbler
Posts: 18
Registered: 31-07-2007

Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/
Having tried SuSE, Fedora and Mandrake, I would say Mandrake was the most trouble free to install. Cool Very important for the novice :lol: [/img]
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Which Linux distribution for a complete novice?

Hi,

Id recommend fedora or mandrake for a novice linux user, these can be downloaded in ISO format from http://www.linuxiso.org.