[TAG] which distribution?
rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Mar 10 04:23:44 MSK 2004
Hi there, Dean!
Quoting Dean A. Gransar (Gransar at ucla.edu):
> I am greatly interested in installing Linux. I have set a aside a
> partition for months but it wasn't until I attended a workshop that I
> realized it is much easier to use Linux (with the graphic interface)
> than I had thought.
Depending on what you'd like to try, and whether you have some time and
energy to spare, this can be a lot of fun. (Remember what one of the
Unix community's most prized cynics, Jamie Zawinski, said: "Linux is
free if your time has no value. ;-> )
If possible, find a Linux-using acquintance who can kibbitz with you. I
imagine you're in the Los Angeles area (going by your e-mail address),
and there are quite a number of active and friendly Linux user groups in
the LA area. Please see: http://www.lalugs.org/ One of them might be
very glad to have someone look over your shoulder.
> So I did a research and found two softwares that have great support,
> services, and information online: Red Hat and Debian. Yet I could not
> make up my mind which one to choose. I am a philosophy major and
> computer writing is not my strenghth so I didn't know which one to
Come not to the Linux users for advice, for they will say "Debian" and
"Knoppix" and "Fedora" and "SUSE" and "Xandros" and "Libranet" and
"Linux-Mandrake" and "Lycoris Desktop/LX" and "Lindows OS" and
"Slackware" and "Vectorlinux" and "Spinix" and "uOS" and "Peanut Linux"
and "MEPIS" and "elxLinux" and....
It's what we like to call a "religious question". ;->
> I want the distribution to have a lot of packages (debian seems to
> have the most)
Probably. But all the major distributions have just about every
application you could wish for, really.
> I want the distribuiton to have to most support (red hat has the most
> support online)
Honestly, "support" is a slippery concept. What do you really mean by
that? It's very difficult know in advance which sorts of assistance are
likely to be available, affordable, and useful. Fortunately, with
Linux, you can get your feet wet by just picking a distribution and
trying one. If it's frustrating you, or you just want to move on and
try a different one, you can wipe the first one out and load a second
one. With a small number of exceptions, all you lose is your time.
> I want the program to access the part of my computer that is
> monopolized by Wind*ws (FAT32 capabilities; Wind*ws have XP) because
> there are files in that territory that i could use.
As others have probably mentioned, any Linux distribution will come
already equipped to read and write to FAT32 partitions, and most will
have read-only access to NTFS. (It's possible to enable write-mode
access with some versions of the Linux NTFS driver, but not yet very
safe for your data files' integrity. There's also a relatively new
trick for piggybacking XP's own NTFS driver for safe read/write access.)
> I want the program to give the most freedom (it seems Red Hat does
> a lot of control and takes the absolute freedom) and at the end be a
> good operating system for a graphic designer.
The notion of Red Hat, Inc. and "control" is pretty much an illusion:
You'll seldom find a more benign company -- and it's hard to name any
that's done more for Linux, been more of a consistent leader, and more
consistently released its work to the community under open-source
One of the company's major initiatives for the last few releases has
been to make the "desktop" configuration behave in a consistent manner
and have a consistent style. If you prefer creative anarchy over a
somewhat corporate-leaning uniformity, then Red Hat's "Blue Curve"
desktop setup might seem a little stifling. It's not for everyone, but
many like it a great deal.
The company offers several Red Hat bundles with differing degrees of
paid handholding support, or you can choose the completely a la carte
and open source "Fedora" variant.
Anyhow, you also mention the need for the Linux distribution to support
your work as a graphic designer. Please be cautioned that, although
there is a great deal of good graphics-manipulation and rendering
software for Linux, there are some categories that are a bit rough, and
there are some holes in your toolkit. (For example on the latter,
colour-matching and prepress colour-separation algorithms _could_ be
added to programs like The GIMP, but EFI's patents would make that
unlawful. See: http://www.levien.com/gimp/gcmm.html )
One good place to learn about graphics tools for Linux is at the
"Graphics Muse" site run by former Linux Gazette columnist Michael J.
Hammel. Please see: http://www.graphics-muse.com/
> I know because of lack of my computer knowledge it seems that I'm
> asking for something impossible. However I hope you'd kindly respond
> to it.
I hope you have fun with Linux, encountering varied delights and
surprises, and not wasting too much time. ;->
Cheers, "You have acquired a scroll entitled 'irk gleknow mizk'(n).--More--
Rick Moen This is an IBM Manual scroll.--More__
rick at linuxmafia.com You are permanently confused." -- ADOM (a roguelike game)
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