best linux

i want to try linux preferably a live cd until i get used to it
what is the best one?
i know nothiong about it

There’s no single “Best Linux Distro” out there. It all comes down to your own needs. I can recommend a few Linux distro’s for someone who’s not really acquainted with Linux, but it comes down to you to decide which you think is better.

Here’s my list of LiveCD’s you can try:

Damn Small Linux
Ubuntu Linux

Try at least one or two and see what you think.

Let the flames begin!

BTW, I really like Debian. Probably because its the only one I havent had much trouble with…

I don’t think that anyone could debate that Knoppix is the most full-featured live cd. It comes with TONS of software, and the DVD version has even more. Also it has excellent hardware detection, and is based on Debian, which is a good distro to learn because its architecture is at the base of many, many distros.

Puppy Linux is also a cool Live CD because it loads itself into RAM, meaning you can remove the CD and use the drive for other things once it’s booted. Useful if you have only one drive.

I’ve worked with Knoppix a lot, although I recently broke down and finally installed Ubuntu on my laptop. My only regret is not doing it sooner! Ubuntu rocks. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gentoo, but I haven’t tried it.
Speaking as someone who’s used SuSE, I can’t say I recommend it. I found it to be buggy, confusing, and the abilities of YaST are greatly overrated. Go with one of the free ones, they’re a lot cheaper. :wink: I recommend Ubuntu.

I found SuSe to be relaible and stable. But it was really annoying trying to get libraries not on the dvd. (dependecy hell.)

Ubuntu is excellent and so is Kubuntu depending on what interface you like.

If you want transportable Linux with your usb stick try out, Damn Small Linux. Which is damn small. :slight_smile:

A livecd that I found good was PCLinuxOS. It used to have an nvidia and ati version. I don’t know what its status is now. It looks like it has gone all comercial style so it might not be very good anymore. Its based on Mandrake which uses rpm which is used by many popular distros (Fedora, RH, Suse). Knoppix might be okay. I never found it very appealing because it had tons and tons of software and felt cluttered and slow. Here is a large list of livecds. It looks like Slax is pretty popular. Personally, I think the really small live-cds like damn small and puppy aren’t good for starting on because they are heavily size optimized and are missing a lot of common linuxy things.

As far as distros: if you just want to start out and not worry about learning much about linux, Ubuntu and Fedora are good. Suse is very Windows-like in how you configure and do everything in it. You will also start to run into the Gnome vs KDE war if you ask about that. You just need to try both and decide for yourself what is best. You can read comparisons all over the place.

If you really want to learn about linux and have a bit of time, you can try Gentoo. If you have less time, but still want to get into actually learning about linux, Arch is really good. I use arch because I like the text method of configuring everything and the more vanilla architecture and packages, but I don’t like spending tons of time having to compile every program or update.

Anyway, get your feet wet and try different things. If one seems to work… well, enjoy. Don’t let distro and desktop environment wars affect you. Just choose for yourself. Also, you can go to Distrowatch to get information about many many distros.

Have fun.

Beware of Gentoo. Its not like other distros. You dont just stick in a cd and go through the install.

You basicly compile your own linux distro.

Not if you go for a stage 3 install, or a LiveCD… and it now has a GUI install even from, I believe, stage 1.

However I wouldn’t recommend it if you are learning

Alex (Gentoo from stage 1)

My problem with liveCDs is that they don’t work… I’ve tried 3 different ones in the last couple of weeks, and they all hang (I think they have problems loading CD-Rom drivers…)
My best solution is to use the DamnSmallLinux LiveCD on my notebook to set up a bootable Distro on a usb drive.

If you want to build you own distro from the ground up (ie you know how to edit config files and know nitty gritty of OS) . . . try Arch Linux. I’m using it right now and I love it. . .it is the linux power user’s distro for people who really want to learn linux (ie doesn’t hold you hand through configuration steps)

i forgot about this thread…
i think i’m going to try ubuntu first.
thanks for the replies.

Here’s what I’d do …

Buy a separate disk-drive and install it in your computer. “That’s your Linux drive.” Windows will remain exactly as it is, where it is. Linux will live only on partitions in the new drive.

Any BIOS will allow you to select any disk-drive to be the boot-device, so you can select the new drive for booting. (If necessary, or if you’re worried about it, you can even very-gently unplug the power-connector from the “other” drive… with the machine turned off, of course.)

Now you can play with Linux absolutely to your heart’s content, blow it up if you like, and keep your Windows installation exactly unchanged.

Really feeling flush? Buy two drives.

yeah but for that i need ca$h which i dont.
otherwise i would.

thanks for the comment though.

Well, Mandrake seems to be the most easy to install and setup compare to all the free ones out there, I chose Mandrake cause all the free ones seems to make it hard to get softmodems to work. Mandrake has a downloadable version. I suggest you try that first. It may be bloated however.

There are alot of linux distros that are out there that run on a live CD. Although knoppix is great (used it alot) if i was going to give another live CD a try i would go with SUSE live CD to test it out.

However, you need to realize you’ll get frustrated with live-CDs pretty quickly. The reason why is that you need to save you configururation every time you exit the live-CD which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, and every once in a while you forget to save your configuration.

You’ll eventually want to dual-boot your system to get a stable place you can read/write files to. My suggestion on how to do this:

  1. Get your hands on a copy of partition magic and use it to resize your ntfs windows xp partition. You’ll need to create a parttion on your drive (10gig min is my suggestion) and make it a ext3 or something partition.

  2. install linux onto the new partition and setup GRUB (which is the best partition manager for you). When you turn on your computer grub will give you 10seconds (settable) to select which OS you want to boot else it boots a default OS (settable).

You want to go with a pretty stable, big-name version of linux unless you feel like fudgeing around with rebuilding the kernel to include the drivers for your sound card :stuck_out_tongue: This is even more true for newer computers. Although I love the debian aptget feature, debian is awful to install. Play with something big-name like SUSE etc. and you’ll end up saving yourself some headaches after you’ve installed the OS and cant figure out why your wireless network card won’t work :()