the butter on the muffin wrote:
Hi there, I just purchased a new computer (Athlon 64 3000+, Soltek nForce3 250 based mobo, MSI Radeon 9800 Pro 128) for school, and part of the curriculum deals with Linux and Unix. I have contemplated putting Linux on my machine for a while, but was bewildered by the different options. I have no experience currently with the OS, but I will get more skilled when my programming skills increase, so getting a distribution aimed at total newbies will be too confining after a while.
Which Linux versions would work best with the hardware I have, and also have a gentle learning curve, but not crippled in terms of performance?
Well, depending on your curriculum (I am assuming it is CS), I would choose Slackware as it comes stock with a bunch of development libraries and headers included. Debian MIGHT or might not...
As a personal opinion, learn to use:
before you get spoiled with apt-get or anything like that.
Compiling from the source is always the base line when compared to all these prebuilt package distros.
I've installed both Debian (testing/unstable) as well as slackware (8.x-10.x), I have found slackware to be the easiest to install and use (the isos come with X, xfce,kde,gnome,fluxbox,fvwm,blackbox,and some more i cant think of right now.
At work I've installed debian (various flavors) using net install (tiny base iso). It takes quite a bit more time to install a debian system than a slack system.
I feel slack has an easier learning curve, provides a good baseline to learn Linux overall, and have always been stable for in my experiences.
Once you know what you are doing and have compiled from source enough times to feel comfortable. Then you might want to check out debian.