What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

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Re: What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

Postby exploder on Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:03 am

Ubuntu, Novell, Mandriva, Debian and Redhat are considered the major distributions and the majority of what is out there is probably going to be based on one of these. The major distributions usually have some certification programs associated with them. Ubuntu is really pushing to get into the enterprise and it is the most popular distribution, however Redhat currently is the leader in the enterprise market. Novell is trying hard to unseat Redhat and Mandriva is extremely popular in Europe, it is a very competitive market right now. :) I almost forgot to mention that Debian is very highly acclaimed for it's stability and is considered one of the best operating systems for servers today.

Something you will discover is that no matter who the distributor is, Linux is Linux. There are different methods of package management, tools and configurations but all in all anything that can be done on any distribution can be done on another. In my opinion Ubuntu and Mint would be good choices for you since you are just starting out. Both Ubuntu and Mint are Debian based and Debian package management is very easy to live with. I mention Mint not just because I am a team member but because you are wanting to try Linux as your primary operating system and you would probably be a lot more comfortable with it. Mint does have it's own custom tools but the underlying system is still basically the same as Debian and Ubuntu. You will not have to "force yourself to learn" with LinuxMint, we get a lot of people that are new to Linux and the majority have a very good experience and enjoy it.

You are wise in adding some Linux certifications to your resume. It has been predicted that by 2012 Linux will have a high market share and with the current economy combined with the advances Linux is making, I believe that this prediction could come true. I am testing the next long term support release and it is in my opinion the release that will push Linux into the mainstream market. Whatever you choose, I wish you luck and hope you enjoy Linux as much as I do. :D
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Re: What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

Postby dlkreations on Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:27 pm

That was a very thorough post there Exploder and I don't think anything else really needs to be said concerning sarienbarry's question.

I would like to add though sarienbarry, you posted your question here, so you have made a step in the right direction. :)
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Re: What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

Postby MALsPa on Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:50 pm

If you can swing it, purchasing a computer with Linux preinstalled is a good way to go. A good thing about going that route is that you can avoid a lot of issues with hardware, etc. You can just kick back and use the system and become familiar with Linux. Also, if you decide to install some other distro besides the one you started out with, the machine will probably work well with any distro you throw at it -- at least that's how things have worked out here.
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Re: What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

Postby nukm on Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:10 pm

The commercial distros are RedHat and Novell SLE. Canonical (Ubuntu) may be selling servers and service, I don't know.

Enhancing your resume would be done by familiarity with RedHat, and less, Novell. You can install centOS which is a clone of RHEL5 and practice for free. They are the 2 commercial Linux corps, although Oracle is going to stir up the pot soon. Canonical is yet a wannabe.

RedHat offers cert courses (pricey) and certification. That covers a resume for RHCE or IT manager.

If you want to learn Linux, install Slackware on a spare box and play away. It is still Linux/Unix and not a Windows crossover mess, Default boot is init3 and you can learn to use the CLI.

Buy a good book - the latest dealing with RedHat. The O'Reilly Linux books are very good, especially the ones dealing with CLI. You need to read, not simply try to pick it up by osmosis.

If you just want to play, use anything. Linux Administration revolves around 2 distros - RedHat and Novell.

Learn Gujarati or Mandarin and you'll be good to go.

Buying a box with preinstalled Linux is not "learning". Take an old box and stuff Linux in - and learn something.

You did say "force". If you want certification, learn RedHat.

And, no - it isn't "all Linux". They all use the kernel but Linux is not simply the kernel.

Commercial Linux is NOT the desktop. It is the server and admin.
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Re: What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

Postby MALsPa on Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:41 pm

nukm wrote:Buying a box with preinstalled Linux is not "learning". Take an old box and stuff Linux in - and learn something.



I'd have to disagree, because it worked out well here. But to each his own. Got me going, and I ended up installing and using lots of distros on that and other boxes. If you get Linux preinstalled, I guess it depends on what you do after that. I used it to teach myself a lot of things, so I'd call that "learning."

Of course, I didn't learn how to use Windows by first installing it from scratch, either... but I still ended up learning a great deal about Windows. I think I know more about Linux now than I ever did about Windows, though! 8)

Anyway, the OP might want to try Debian, as has been mentioned here along with some of the other main ones. Gives you a good feel for what Linux is all about, that's for sure. I don't know if this is true but it seems like the majority of distros out there are Debian-based so if you know how to use Debian you're going to understand how to use most distros.
Last edited by MALsPa on Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many

Postby nukm on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:48 am

Debian is good to learn on. HP uses that for their Learning Center Linux courses, whereas they used to use Fedora. The OP mentioned "resume" enhancement and "force" to learn. So, I recommended the two commercial distros. Canonical is technically commercial but private and secretive about their operation. Of course, RedHat and Debian are different. If he is interested in fleshing out an Admin resume, the shorter course would be with RedHat (CentOS - the clone). On the Desktop, it makes little difference. Slackware is good as a distro that remains close to Unix/BSD and won't intall or run unless the OP learns something immediately. ARCH would be also good in a "force" to learn way.

If it weren't for that, I would have agreed that getting a box with Linux already installed would be an excellent way to take someone over the first hurdle with Linux. I have given old boxes with Linux installed to children and they learn intuitively to use the programs. They do not understand the programs, but their little minds aren't cluttered up with such nonsense - they just use the programs.

So, your recommend is excellent for most situations, particularly those who want a PC GUI Linux.
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