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Dumbest Linux question ever?


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
I've tried a flavors. A few versions of Red Hat several years ago. A horribly done Slackware install, some ones that I can't recall a name to, and most recently Debian. Now I keep reading about Ubuntu this and Ubuntu that and I'm curious but one thing keeps bothering me .... Isn't it all the same?

Seriously? If all versions of Linux run the same kernel and have KDE or Gnome or something installed. Isn't it essentially the same OS with a different boot screen? Some one clarify this for me. I'd love to give something a serious try this time but if its all the same than I can't say that I really care which one I try.
It's largely down to politics between the different groups :) If everyone had the same philosopy and the same outlook, everyone would be using windows :)
The kernels are the same but the users do not work with the kernel they work with the GUI (graphical user Interface) aka the Wrapper (it's the code wrapped aroud the kernel to allow functional illiterates to use computers).

The three things to look for are:
1) Is the user interface intuitive for you?
2) Are all the hardware drivers you need supported?
3) How easy is the install and management?

How these questions are answered determines how well the distro is thought of by it's users.

The fourth question is for corporate users and the "tech know nothings".
4) How good is the support system?
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The kernel is linux. Each distro will slap on the fairly standard GNU userland and some other tools to make an OS. So they vary quite a bit. So much so that in some situations a piece of software written for "linux" will only work on some of the distros.


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
At this point it is pretty much about package management. Every distro has their own quirks, but it really about how you install and upgrade your software. I prefer Gentoo because I don't mind compiling and there are very few dependency issues that way. I also use Slackware on my older systems that I do not want to compile software on. It is just preference. I don't like Ubuntu because of the way it handles your configuration files. I don't like Debian because of its Nazi-esque ideology. Can't use Suse because they make deals with the devil. But again these are my preferences/opions, but they are right.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Okay cool.

Judging by what the various responses ... I can go with anything; I need a GUI since I'm functionally illiterate. I don't have much crazy hardware so I don't foresee a problem with finding drivers and installations haven't been much of an issue. This system is going to be for my own personal messing around so I don't need to worry about support. I don't have strong feelings about how any of the distros do business so I'm good there. I think I'll waste some work bandwidth downloading Ubuntu.

Thanks again all!


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Don't think you'll be disappointed - you probably know this, but with Ubuntu you will be stuck with sudo for root access by default - I think you can override this, but it takes a little tinkering to work around to default root privileges....


Are we there yet?
I was in the same boat. I tired several different kinds of Linux to find the one I liked best. The one I settled on was Ubuntu. Ubuntu is based on Debian so many of the commands are the same between the two distos. One of the best things about Ubuntu is the use of apt-get function (or Synaptic if you are a GUI person) to install additional programs.

If you are new to Ubuntu, a must have bookmark is www.ubuntuguide.org

The sudo command can be a pain but the work around is pretty easy. Look at this part of the Ubuntu Guide to see how to do it.


Glaanies script monkey
Political User
The problem with Suse is that they are owned by Novell, who is now in cahoots with Microsoft. Must stay far away from Novell.
LOL at all responses. They are all correct in their own right. I see this is an old thread and I dont pop my head in much anymore, but thought I would throw my 2 cents worth.

Nowadays it seems with the different distros it is all about how much can they do for you... I personally got tired of dealing with it all, and went for the easy route; PCLinuxOS. It configures all of the codecs, flash, and javascript for you automagically. It doesnt have perfect, but pretty good hardware support. Can make your own liveCD disk set up the way you want or own distro for that matter. Everything just works immediately after install with a fully loaded compliment of software and will only take about 10 mins to install (pc speed pending). Their are some Ubuntu knock-offs that are now doing the same thing.... IE MintLinux "Bea".

If you really want a challenge and learn the god ole' fashion way "trial and error", you might want BSD or slackware.

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