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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 3:44 am 
Klamath
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serving files


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 1:08 pm 
Java Junkie
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I'd go with Gentoo .. it is an easy way to build a stripped and efficient system.


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 2:44 pm 
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I would also recomend gentoo but just about any linux os will work just fine. You will want to install and use Samba to manage the shares that you want to access with windows or a xbox.

Check out:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Setup_Samba


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 Post subject: Which linux distro is right for me???
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:10 pm 
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I have worked on Mac OSX before and love that system. I am looking for something with an awesome GUI and Great memory management. I would like it to resemble the mac GUI more than windows. i learn software pretty quickly. I think the beryl is the coolest i have seen so far, but i am not sure how it handles memory. any suggestions??


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:51 pm 
Java Junkie
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DigitalGirl: Welcome to the forums and to linux. :)

GNU/Linux offers far more variety than any other OS. Absolutely every part of the OS is configurable and just about every distro can be made to appear identical. So Beryl and an OSX GUI are available on pretty much any distro. No worries there.

Distros differ in terms of their ease of use which is generally directly proportional to flexibility and performance. In other words, some distros are very easy to install and use, while others offer better performance and customisability if you're willing to put some work into it.

For a beginner using a laptop, I recommend Ubuntu. Go to their download page (click here) to get their latest release, burn it to disc, and boot your laptop from it. You can run from the CD or install to disc .. the first option is slow, but it doesn't change anything on your laptop. Eventually, you'll want to install, but in the meantime, you can see if running linux actually solves your problems.

Firefox has a linux version available. You can run Office through wine rather than VM .. much easier on your system resources. Post questions in the folder if you have 'em. Good luck


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 Post subject: Connection sharing
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:47 am 
8086
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I'm looking to set up a computer to handle internet connection sharing. Currently I'm using an old box with windows 98 or ME installed on it(can't really remember and I'm not at the box). The LAN has a network printer hooked up and all the computers acquire there IP automatically, no static addresses.

I'm really looking for something that's going to be pretty easy. If I'm not around after the power goes out I want anyone to be able to turn it on and have it start again.

I'd also like to be able to set up firewall rules with ease. I've heard good things about Firestarter for linux but was wondering if anyone had other suggestions of a better set up.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm 
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FreeBSD and OpenBSD are my top picks.

For desktop use, try PC-BSD!


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 Post subject: Why not Linux Mint?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:33 pm 
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I believe that Linux Mint is the best for beginners because all the required proprietary software (flash, ect.) that you need is preloaded. It is an Ubuntu derivative, so it will use its repositories. I really enjoy using Linux Mint. It is currently "Gloria" which is equivalent to Ubuntu release 9.04.


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 Post subject: Re: Why not Linux Mint?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:23 pm 
TravBv2.0
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wfbonner wrote:
I believe that Linux Mint is the best for beginners because all the required proprietary software (flash, ect.) that you need is preloaded. It is an Ubuntu derivative, so it will use its repositories. I really enjoy using Linux Mint. It is currently "Gloria" which is equivalent to Ubuntu release 9.04.


Have you tried the latest version of Ubuntu? I haven't had trouble installing Flash, Java, or any codecs since manually installing JRE back in 7.10. Even then, it really wasn't hard. mkdir /usr/java, cd /usr/java, ./java-version, and that's the jist of it. To each their own.

malithus wrote:
I'm looking to set up a computer to handle internet connection sharing. Currently I'm using an old box with windows 98 or ME installed on it(can't really remember and I'm not at the box). The LAN has a network printer hooked up and all the computers acquire there IP automatically, no static addresses.

I'm really looking for something that's going to be pretty easy. If I'm not around after the power goes out I want anyone to be able to turn it on and have it start again.

I'd also like to be able to set up firewall rules with ease. I've heard good things about Firestarter for linux but was wondering if anyone had other suggestions of a better set up.


I use a base install of Debian for similar purposes. My routers handle firewall duties (DD-WRT makes this much better than standard Linksys or D-link options), but my home server handles DHCP (dhcp3-server), caching and authoritative DNS (BIND9), and I'm currently working on integrating LDAP and email services into the mix.

A base install of any Linux distro will allow you to really see more of what's going on behind the scenes. Where the configuration and log files are for your services, plus you can get a lot more done with less time via command line once you know what you're doing. If you're looking more for ease of setup, you can do all of this via the GUI too, though you'll want a full-install of any distro of your choice.

You mentioned wanting the computer to come on automatically after a power-outage, right? That's a BIOS option, so make sure the system you're using supports such features.

I've used Firestarter in the past and it's really easy, but most similar apps are almost always just a GUI front-end for iptables, the Linux kernel's built-in firewall. If you don't want to learn how to write your own iptables rules, Firestarter and Shorewall are good places to start.


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 Post subject: Which *nix depends on what you do
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Which system you choose to use and which one best suits your needs greatly depends on your experience, your specific needs, the kind of usage, whether it will be a desktop system, a server system, a laptop system, a general purpose system, a system for specific needs, and so on.

To pick even one system, therefore, requires consideration of all of these factors in order to choose the best system suited to your particular needs.

The good news is that there are a great number of systems that could serve both your specific and your general needs, even if that system is not the optimal system for every possible use case. In fact, the majority of major Linux distributions, especially the general purpose ones, will work well for nearly all uses, though certain distributions definitely excel in certain ways and are challenging in other ways.

The BSD alternatives, which descend in history directly from the BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution), but are complete rewrites from scratch, are also extremely flexible and a strong case could be made that they possess many of the same fine attributes. The biggest differences are that the BSD alternatives are generally built as complete systems, not a collection of applications, tools, and system components. Advocates argue this is a key advantage. Opposers argue that BSD based alternatives are more difficult to set up, offer inferior device support, and are therefore inferior alternatives. The truth lies somewhere in between these extremes.

Given that introduction, what might work best? Well, there have been a number of very good suggestions, and quite frankly, if you like the description of any of them, why not pursue them and find out if any of them work out well for you?

Personally, I test out a great number of systems, and I also have a long background in both UNIX and Linux systems, so my preferences and interests do not always match those of other people. I do try to keep that in mind when I write about distributions, so let me offer my insights from a number of perspectives and allow each person to decide what makes the most sense for their own particular needs.

First, I have established what I personally feel are three of the easiest distributions to install and maintain, based on the simplicity of installation, the quality and stability of the software, the inclusion of the software most likely to be needed, the helpfulness of online resources, and the amount of ongoing effort to keep the system safe and reasonably secure.

Taking all of these factors into account, there are three Linux distributions that I believe are easier than any others in meeting all of the objectives outlined above. Here they are and why I like them:

1. SimplyMEPIS: This system can be loaded directly from CD and run from CD to see if it will work with your hardware. The software is so well designed that even when test releases are made available, most of the software works. Stability and quality are why I place this one in the top slot. Simplicity is the other reason why this one is good for someone starting out. A top notch MEPIS Lovers Forum, where people take the extra effort to help you out, arguments are rare, and helping people is given top priority keeps MEPIS at the top of my list.

2. Linux Mint: This is another very fine distribution, and it comes with more software than SimplyMEPIS. If you cannot find what you want in SimplyMEPIS or for some reason SimplyMEPIS does not work for you, then this may be the best option for you. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, but it is released after Ubuntu, and quality control is applied to ensure that software works. I do not feel quite as strongly about the forums here as I do with MEPIS Lovers, but it is generally a very good and helpful community.

3. PCLinuxOS: This distribution is a lot like SimplyMEPIS in feel and attitude; it is intended to be very simple to install. There is a good community of users and from that community, alternatives and variations have arisen. For the most part, that has been positive, but there has been occasional friction in that community and the software is less up to date than Mint in particular, but is generally of high quality.

What about Ubuntu? A lot of people like it. Some are critical of it. IF you are already thinking of trying Ubuntu, by all means, do so. The only reason I don't put it with the other three is that it tends to be a bit more cutting edge, unless you stick only with the Long Term Support (LTS) releases, in which case, the three above are at least as current and certainly as stable. If you want something simple, recognize that it is likely to change, and don't mind updating and upgrading more often, then DO go with Ubuntu. I just knock it slightly off that beginner list because: 1) That cutting edge nature may result in some things not working for the newcomer; that can be frustrating and a deal breaker and 2) Upgrading and changing often may not be something that the newcomer wants to deal with right away.

Other distributions missing my cut but worthy of mention for beginners:

Mandriva: In 1998, under the name Mandrake, this distribution really forged the way toward ease of use. In eleven years, we have come a long way and Mandriva has done a credible job, still a relatively easy to use system. I find it slightly less stable than the others I've mentioned, and that tips it just below my cutoff list, but it is still a great distribution. Hobbyists who are more apt to play really ought to take a look at the Mandriva Cooker to get cutting edge software! Beginners ought to shy away from the Cooker - stuff is apt to break, but if you want to learn by trial and error, in that case, GO FOR IT!

openSUSE: Similar to Mandriva in some respects, I just feel that there are too many moving parts, frequent changes, and things subject to breakage that I cannot recommend this as a top choice for beginners. It is, nevertheless, a very complete system, and some may feel that the trade-offs are worth it.

Fedora: This is a cutting edge system that paves the way for subsequent releases from its commercial counterpart, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Again, I do not recommend Fedora for beginners because too many things are prone to break or need attention. It is, however, an outstanding test distribution, a great platform, especially for security enhancements and virtualization technology, so if those things interest you, don't rule it out.

Slackware: This is one great way to learn about Linux software. Slackware releases are always stable, and even though the installation program has not changed a great deal since the early nineties when it was first released, there have been improvements in the flow and configuration of the installation so that less post installation configuration is required than in the early days. I had to configure my own X server in 1995 when I first tried out Slackware; the latest version took care of that for me. The graphical environment (GUII) DOES NOT start up by default in Slackware; that is a deal breaker for some, but it is well documented how to cause the GUI to start by default. Great learning environment.

The lack of a default X server and the stability also makes Slackware one of the better choices for a server.

Debian based distributions are my personal favorites. Not surprisingly then, the Debian distributions themselves are among those worthy of consideration. Debian Lenny, the current stable release, is excellent for a server environment or even a conservative stable desktop environment. Debian Testing, especially with backport repositories added, makes an excellent choice for a desktop environment. Debian Sid makes an excellent experimental system, and if harnessed, it can even be used as a desktop system. I do not rank any plain Debian systems in the beginner category, but SimplyMEPIS, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu are ALL Debian based systems, and they inherit much of their goodness from the Debian attention to detail.

Personally I am not a fan of source based distributions; they consume a lot of time. There is nothing wrong with them whatsoever, and I would not want to discourage anyone else from using them. It is just that for me, whatever I can gain in added flexibility does not justify the considerable time needed to invest in them to tailor them to my personal needs, and since there are so many options that are very close to what I need, source based distributions do not make sense for me. They may be perfect for you, though, so don't count them out. Others have discussed why they work well for them.

I've talked about which distributions work well for beginners, provided a quick outline of a few of the major distributions, now I'd like to at least mention my favorites and why they are my favorites.

1. sidux: I am using sidux right now. It is an extremely fast binary distribution based on Debian Sid technology. I use some non-standard, non-sidux supported tools, especially smxi, which is frowned upon by sidux development, but for me, it provides me with a fast way to keep my system very current without having to constantly research what is working and what is broken. The base sidux system incredibly installs within a couple of minutes! A fully customized version that meets my needs still takes between 30-45 minutes to get just right, but the good news there is that this is a ROLLING RELEASE, which means you install it once and simply upgrade periodically. All that I can ask for.

2. antiX: This is a smaller release, out of the MEPIS family, that replaces the desktop environment used in SimplyMEPIS with smaller, lighter alternatives: two small window managers, Fluxbox and IceWM, and lighter applications and utilities. It comes in two forms: FULL, which includes both window managers and a basic, but complete assortment of applications and utilities and BASE, which includes the base system and a very light assortment of tools, from which you can build your own customized system.

antiX is based on Debian Testing repositories and SimplyMEPIS installation tools, but it includes the framework from which you can easily change it to a Debian {Stable,Testing,Sid} environment, and it includes the smxi tool that sidux developers have shunned. In some ways, antiX is one of the most flexible systems you can get. It gives you everything you need to turn it into whatever you want it to become, depending on which version you choose to install and what you want to accomplish, so it is a great starting point, and it has the same high quality found in SimplyMEPIS.

3. Being an experimenter, I always like to keep a simple, stable system, or several of them, available in case I create a blazing fire somewhere and destroy everything in sight! That rarely happens, but it is always wise to have a backup strategy. I use one of the top, easy to use distributions for my stable backup, and when I am busy and do not have time to maintain systems, sometimes I will leave it running as my every day desktop system, and that is SimplyMEPIS. It always works, it always installs, rarely presents me with problems, and I have a good rapport with the people in the MEPIS Lovers Forums.

I should mention that I actively participate in the testing stages of the SimplyMEPIS and antiX distributions, I actively promote both of them, and the descriptions I have given here explain my enthusiasm for each of those projects.

I was an equally enthusiastic supporter of sidux; I stopped that. Their interests and mine no longer coincide, but I still use their software because it works for me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:30 pm 
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pcfxer wrote:
FreeBSD and OpenBSD are my top picks.

For desktop use, try PC-BSD!


I would agree that if you are a BSD enthusiast, PC-BSD is a great and easy way to quickly get a desktop system up and running that exhibits the attributes of a solid FreeBSD system.

I just wrote a long post discussing what I feel are good starting points for beginners, and I also wrote descriptions of some of the major Linux distributions that are worth looking at and why, plus, as an experienced user, I wrote about my favorites and why I choose them.

I like BSD software, too, but with limited time, limited hardware, and frequent conflicts between BSD and Linux systems, I stick mostly with Linux systems.

I'd love to see you or one of the other BSD advocates write a nice piece explaining what interests you in the solid BSD systems. I could do so too, but I think your current expertise with them may be a bit more enlightening, plus I'd love to read your opinions!

Will you write about the BSDs please - here or elsewhere? :-)


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 Post subject: Re: "Which *nix Should I Use?" - Check here first!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:42 pm 
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for beginners, i recommend linux mint. its what i started on and i still use on a dual boot with debian. its easy, rarely requires command line if you wish to avoid it and it makes the switch from big brother very easy. alternate-ubuntu

for intermediate users, i recommend fedora. its thiner can teach you more about linux and is still very easy to use alternate- lmde

for advanced users, debians my pick. it it is thin, fast, easy when you want it to be but as advanced as arch or gentoo if you really want to dig into it- alternate-arch

for people who want to do nothing but frig around and have a lot of hardaches but also alot of fun, give arch a try. alternate-gentoo


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 Post subject: Re: "Which *nix Should I Use?" - Check here first!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:32 pm 
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jrl1357 wrote:
for beginners, i recommend linux mint. its what i started on and i still use on a dual boot with debian. its easy, rarely requires command line if you wish to avoid it and it makes the switch from big brother very easy. alternate-ubuntu

for intermediate users, i recommend fedora. its thiner can teach you more about linux and is still very easy to use alternate- lmde

for advanced users, debians my pick. it it is thin, fast, easy when you want it to be but as advanced as arch or gentoo if you really want to dig into it- alternate-arch

for people who want to do nothing but frig around and have a lot of headaches but also a lot of fun, give arch a try. alternate-gentoo


I like your suggestions. Just to offer a few more, let me suggest this:

As an alternative to Linux Mint for beginners who want a really stable distribution, but can't handle the difficulties of Debian, may I suggest SimplyMEPIS? Linux Mint is great too, but I think SimplyMEPIS is even more stable (just install it and use it for a couple of years). Security defects can be installed, but even they are fairly rare.

Intermediate users, Fedora is easy to install, but if you have needs for multi-media stuff, you're gonna hafta learn those intermediate skills and pull in those extra packages from added software repositories, because the stock Fedora software tries very hard to include ONLY free software (that comes with source code). That may stop some intermediate users, so for them, bump this to "high intermediate". I love antiX as an intermediate system. It's as easy as Fedora to install, doesn't come with that rich security stack that Fedora comes with, but it comes with great tools that make it easy to customize, and stock, it's light and fast, yet you can easily make it big and full, since you have those "intermediate" skills.

Debian can be handled by intermediate users, but it's probably best for the advanced user, and it is, without question, my favorite distribution style. Alternates right now for me include Sabayon, which offers binary packages from Gentoo PLUS the source code from Gentoo, so you can do it the easy way OR the hard way; you have a choice with Sabayon. For me, I consider it one of the most improved distros out there.

Mandriva used to be one of my easy favorites; no more. 1. I've had far too many problems with it in recent years. I can handle it, but a beginner could get lost with the many defects frequently found in it. 2. I've gotten sick and tired of the management flops in Mandrake, (firing its founder, Gael Duval, then becoming Mandriva), then Mandriva firing most of its developers and getting reorganized. I've gone to Mageia, but it's not yet stable enough to consistently trust either. Same with ROSA.


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