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Linux Distributions - Where to get them 
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Mainstream Distro's

Ubuntu Desktop, Server, Netbook Remix
List of official mirrors (inc ISP ones) Clicky

Very easy to use, aimed at beginners but with plenty of room for growth. Has a rigid 6 monthly release cycle - April and October every year. A fork of Debian that uses the APT package manager. A touch of megalomania has started to set in lately. Negative in the freedom dimension, as Richard Stallman would say.

Debian here
Like an uncut version of Ubuntu, this is what Ubuntu is based on. Uses unaltered versions of Gnome and has many of the familar applications under a different name - firefox is called Iceweasel, for instance. For more advanced users.

Suse here

For more experienced users, uses the YAST package manager. Backed by Novell.

Fedora here

A testing ground for the paid version of Red Hat and a die-hard open source distribution. It's commitment to open source means that media files probably won't work out of the box, but compatibility can be added later. Another for more experienced users. Uses the Redhat Package Manager (RPM)

Gentoo here
Most definitely a hardcore linux distro for people who speak in machine code and know how to "bash" their way out of a sticky situation. The upside of all this is the performance. Gentoo uses the "Portage" package manager which compiles each application for the user's machine. This means it could take hours to install a program from the repository, but at least all the scrolling text will look cool to onlookers! It also means that the program will work great (in theory). Gentoo also gives the option of using the linux kernel or a FreeBSD one.

Arch here
Another seat-of-the-pants distro for people who like to live on the bleeding edge. Unless you really know what you are doing, you might want to try Manjaro.


Forks and variants...

Manjaro here
Built on the Arch repositories, but with much of the scary stuff taken care of. Bleeding-edge packages in a user friendly way. Also a rolling release, so no periodic upgrades or reinstalls.

Ubuntu Studio here
A media-focussed version of Ubuntu, but unlike normal ubuntu, Studio features a "realtime kernel" which lends itself to audio and video recording but not necessarily normal desktop uses, so only for the die-hard audio & video production types! It comes with it's own fancy themes and wallpapers, which can be obtained from within a normal ubuntu installation by typing
Quote:
sudo apt-get install ubuntustudio-look


Linux Mint Clicky
Another Ubuntu/Debian fork, priding itself on its user-friendliness and the presence of all of the media codecs you need out of the box. Definitely worth a look if you are just getting started, but be warned that there's no upgrade process. You'll have to reinstall every 6 months unless you go for a LTS release.

Kubuntu here
This is just Ubuntu but using KDE. Resource usage is higher and it tends to be a bit buggier than Ubuntu, but it is certainly pretty. For Ubuntu users, you can have the best of both worlds by typing
Quote:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
from within the Ubuntu command line. You can choose between them at the login prompt.

Xubuntu here
Like Kubuntu, this is just Ubuntu but using the XFCE desktop. It is ideal for those with older machines thanks to the modest system requirements.

Sabayon here
User friendly Gentoo based desktop distro. Always cutting edge - sometimes too much so.

PC Linux OS here
Mandriva based destop distribution - user friendly, very stable, adaptable, easy to keep up to date via rolling updates (good for those who don't like the 6 monthly release cycle of most popular distros).

CentOS here
Legendary server distro, recently dragged into the Redhat fold. The CentOS project takes the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code and packages it up for people to use. It's essentially RHEL without the support.

Free Unix distributions
These are in many ways similar to the conventional linux distributions, but with a different underlying core.

PC-BSD here
With FreeBSD underneath and KDE4.2 at the surface, this is an attractive and easy to use distribution that regrettably has no Nvidia (or ATI as far as I know) GPU driver support for the x64 version.

OpenSolaris Clicky
From Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), Opensolaris is the beneficiary of the work done on the commercial Solaris platform. Using the ZFS file system and the Gnome desktop, this is probably the one to go for if you want a Unix distro for free.

Debian BSD here
Debian userland on top, FreeBSD underneath.

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Last edited by gavomatic57 on Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:18 pm, edited 9 times in total.



Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:19 pm
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Superb effort, Gav. Can other people add some?

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:33 pm
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Go for it, I'll add them to the main one then.

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:47 pm
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Erm, has the original post been deleted?

I asked Blue to sticky it...But not the OP seems to have gone...

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:06 pm
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forquare1 wrote:
Erm, has the original post been deleted?

I asked Blue to sticky it...But not the OP seems to have gone...


I can still see the OP, anyone else having issues?

Appears to be a browser issue - no need to reply below about this - Blue

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
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Mandriva is the best one.

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Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:25 pm
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Sabayon
http://www.sabayonlinux.org/mirrors
User friendly Gentoo based desktop distro. Always cutting edge - sometimes too much so.

PC Linux OS
http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=28
Mandriva based destop distribution - user friendly, very stable, adaptable, easy to keep up to date via rolling updates (good for those who don't like the 6 monthly release cycle of most popular distros).


Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:26 pm
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Redhat, Centos?

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Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:30 pm
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Sat May 09, 2009 11:03 am
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OpenSolaris 2009.06 has been released! :D

Head over to opensolaris.org to download the new iso, or run `pfexec pkg image-update` (no quotes) as the user you created when you installed your machine to upgrade your current installation.

Exciting new features include:

* Project Crossbow - Virtualise your network
* Firefox 3.1 (Beta 3)
* Elisa - Free media center
* Plus better hardware support and more!

If you are using the development repositories, start reaping the benefits of 2010.02 in the next few weeks!

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Last edited by forquare1 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:06 pm
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forquare1 wrote:
OpenSolaris 2009.06 has been released! :D

Head over to opensolaris.org to download the new iso, or run `pfexec pkg image-update` (no quotes) as the user you created when you installed your machine to upgrade your current installation.

Exciting new features include:

* Project Crossbow - Virtualise your network
* Firefox 3.1 (Beta 3)
* Elisa - Free media center
* Plus better hardware support and more!

If you are using the development repositories, start reaping the benefits of 2009.10 in the next few weeks!


What's the support for opensolaris like, and is there much of a community? What's the range of software like etc, am I limited to Gnome apps.?

KRKux wrote:
Mandriva is the best one.


Hm, nice as it is if you want "noob friendly" I'd say go Mint, if you want good hardware support I'd say go Ubuntu and if you want a nice implementation of KDE 4.1 I'd say go openSUSE.

Mandriva is nice, but not exactly stellar.

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Last edited by Linux_User on Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:14 pm
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Please! "it's" means "it is", so (for instance):

Linux Mint Clicky
Another Ubuntu/Debian fork, priding itself on it's user-friendliness and the presence of all of the media codecs you need out of the box. Definitely worth a look if you are just getting started.

should be

Linux Mint Clicky
Another Ubuntu/Debian fork, priding itself on its user-friendliness and the presence of all of the media codecs you need out of the box. Definitely worth a look if you are just getting started.

It's important to spell a word correctly to avoid its meaning becoming lost. ;)


Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:39 pm
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Linux_User wrote:
What's the support for opensolaris like, and is there much of a community? What's the range of software like etc, am I limited to Gnome apps.?


There is professional support aimed at data centers etc.
The community is huge over on opensolaris.org, however they tend to be engineers who know far too much. A friendlier community resides at opensolaris.com, though I would say there is less knowledge there. However, the nice thing is that a lot of the stuff (certainly that I want to do) is similar to Solaris, to which there are tonnes of help documents/sites and posts on various forums, etc.

As to the software, I'm not sure...What were you after?
One of the main 'problems' with OpenSolaris is that it doesn't contain some Linux libraries (I forget what they are called) so it can be hard to compile some things which were written for Linux. The repo contains most of the stuff I've needed (OpenOffice, Firefox, Songbird, Thunderbird, Evolution, GIMP, Flash, etc)
The repo is best way to go through, otherwise I've found it can be a headache to satisfy dependancies, especially with apps that want to use that Linux library.

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It might be worth mentioning somewhere in the OP that larger ISPs often provide the more popular distros from their own servers.

I'm with Virgin, and they do it. When I was downloading from the Canonical website it was going at about 80kbps. Now from ubuntu.virginmedia.com it's hitting 1.07mbps. 8-)

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