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Old 02-23-2008, 12:19 AM   #21
Det. Bart Lasiter
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Posts: 7,997
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Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
There are many Linux variants, serving many purposes. All in all, Linux is a wonderful, free alternative to the above 2. Increasingly, Linux distributions are GUI and user friendly, making a windows>Linux transition an easy one. A distro that has been particularly successful at this is the wonderful and sensible Ubuntu :p

Main cons:
*support if you are stuck. Help might be easy to find(google!) but not always easy to follow. A simple conundrum can take days to sort out.If you have one linux only pc and cant get online, googling answers is hard :) (Thus a dual boot is recommended)
*Very limited gaming support
You forgot the pros :O
  • Price. Just about every distro is free, and if it isn't, you're probably paying for tech support. In addition, most software for Linux is also free.
  • Security. Due to its design, the frequency at which its updated, and the relatively small number of people who use Linux outside of the server market, there's virtually a 100% chance you won't be infected with a virus or anything else you'd have to waste system resources protecting a Windows machine from.
  • Ability to customize. Your ability to customize your system is only limited by your skills when using Linux - nearly everything is open source and modifiable.
  • Speed. Because you have the option of compiling everything from source, Linux can have a much lower overhead than Windows, in addition, a bit of fiddling with your iptables configuration should be sufficient security for most users.

Distros (from beginner to not-so beginner)
  • Sabayon. Sabayon is easily the easiest OS to install on any machine I've ever used. It comes with a GUI installer, installs most every driver required by your system automatically, and installs most every application the average user would ever use (including codecs, etc).
  • Ubuntu. Basically Sabayon without the automatic driver installation and such. It's also based on Debian instead of Gentoo (as Sabayon is), which makes application installation slightly easier.
  • Debian. Debian comes with a text-based installer, it's more difficult to install than the last two, but it also allows for the installation of only the stuff you want/need in addition to a base system (note that by "base system" I don't mean desktop environment - I mean you get a console and a list of commands). Essentially, it's Ubuntu plus a lack of extra crap at the expense of user-friendliness.
  • Gentoo. One of the most difficult OSes I've installed. There isn't an installer at all. To install it, you boot into text-only LiveCD environment, partition and format your disks, then download a copy of the base system's source code, which you then compile after configuring make.conf with whatever USE flags and optimizations you want. After that you do all that, you install everything you want, which basically involves compiling it from source. The perks of Gentoo are that it's fast (and I mean really fast) and grants boasting rights :D

"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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