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Re: Fedora vs. Ubuntu

On Wednesday September 20 2006 8:25 pm, Peter Roopnarine wrote:
> On Wednesday 20 September 2006 17:18, Peter Roopnarine wrote:
> > but there's no reason to give other distros. such as Fedora,
> > OpenSuse or even Debian a shot.
> Oops. Meant to say, no reason _not_ to give them a shot :-)

I'm currently running Fedora Core 5, Centos, MEPIS, FreeSpire, PCLinuxOS, and 
dyne:bolic; I've also run SUSE, Ubuntu/Kubuntu, SmartCom, Blag, Vector, Elive 
and 64 Studio at various points. 

My take on this based on all this experimentation is the following suggestions 
for your friend to consider: 

Does he just want a replacement OS that will be relatively painless to 
install, easy to pick up and just use, and capable of the common things a 
desktop in the home should do? 

Is he a tinkerer that likes to learn how things work?

Is he a cutting edge sort of guy that likes to fine tune his system, and learn 
lots of new software?

Does he want to use software that is on the cutting edge and under rapid 
development, for example in the world of video editing?

Based on his answers, I might advise the following: If you lean towards the 
first part of my list, try PCLinuxOS (a Mandrake derived Distro with a LiveCD 
that comes 'just working' right out of the install, including things like 
Windows Media playing) - it has all the the things you'd expect in a desktop, 
and a terrific computer management console for installing/configuring new 
services as you grow into it, a terrific package management system, and a 
pretty large repository with easy procedures that are usually responded to 
quickly, for adding/requesting new packages; the other two distros in this 
category are MEPIS, which is now based on Ubuntu, but in my view, is better 
because it does away with the disabled root user/sudo way of doing things, 
and comes configured with more things 'that just work'; and, FreeSpire, a 
pretty slick, previously commercial, distro that has a huge repository of 
easily downloaded/installation made easy, software - it's downside is that it 
takes a bit more knowledge to get the 'free' side of things going (you have 
to install Synaptic package manager which then allows you complete access to 
their repos, but there's a not so clearly indicated path to doing that), and 
FreeSpire tends to be about 6-12 months behind the cutting edge - it's 
stable, and comes with easy access and installation procedures for both free 
and proprietary software, so it's not for Linux OSS  purists.

If he leans towards the latter part of my list I'd definitely go with Fedora. 
Fedora gives you more frreedom of action than any other Distro I've tried. It 
takes a bit more work, but, if you're willing to learn, there's more 
available in terms of repositories, packages, support (such as this stellar 
list! - and I wouldn't play this aspect down - it's one of the most important 
criteria along with package availability there is), and amazing freedom of 
choice; SUSE is in the same league, but less in all respects. 

And to those who denigrate such questions on the list, I say you're just plain 
wrong. Studious comparisons of distros can only help make Fedora better...

There's much more that could be said, but as others have mentioned, tell him 
to pick a few LiveCD's and experiment first - then, he can decide which one 
to install based on some first hand knowledge... 

And as postscript, my brief suggestions are by no means intended to denigrate 
the hard efforts of so many others out there, who've put together terrific 
distros - tell your friend that's one of the real upsides of Linux - the 
freedom of choice. No matter what subset of features he's interested in, 
there's a distribution out there that will come close to his predilections...

Claude Jones
Brunswick, MD, USA

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