[linux-elitists] good Linux distro for a n00b

Peter Whysall peter@whysall.net
Mon Jan 12 02:46:00 PST 2004

on Mon, Jan 12, 2004, Eugen Leitl (eugen@leitl.org) wrote:
> My gf has adopted Linux quite nicely (RH9, now Fedora Core 1).
> I'd like to set her up at home with Linux also. So I'm looking for a linux
> distro which is *very* user-friendly.
> Shall I go with Gnome, or KDE? Is Fedora Core 1 adeqate, or should I try
> Knoppix? Mandrake? Native NTFS support (read, r/w better) would be nice, too.

Based on my own experiences, SuSE 9 would fulfil your requirements. SuSE
has very complete and polished GNOME and KDE environments. Assuming the
presence of a reasonably fast internet connection, you can download a
small (~22MB) ISO that will start a network installation. This took a
couple of hours for me on a 1MB pipe.

[Aside: I have a reasonably posh PC, with a number of reasonably posh
features. I persisted for several months with Debian on this box, but
finally got cross and blitzed it when I spent nearly two days trying to
get my USB key to magically automount. FireWire never Just Worked.

SuSE made everything Just Work, and when I discovered that you can put
apt on it, the deal was closed.

Debian is superl33t for servers, though and won't ever be displaced
from my rag-tag band of odd architectures I've got lying around.]

That said, I recently apt-get dist-upgraded my Fedora Core Test 1 to
FC 1, and I'm reasonably impressed with that. 

Overall, I prefer SuSE's software installation tools (I use apt-get, but
a n00b isn't going to want to play with that) to the rather hit'n'miss
one presented by Red Hat in FC1.

It must be noted, however, that safe NTFS r/w support is very limited;
my understanding is that the new, safe NTFS code can write to NTFS, but
only within existing files. The old code, which can write all over the
place, is highly unsafe and is likely to make your NTFS volume very

SuSE do a "Live-Eval" CD, so you can have a go without committing

Hope this helps.


The IWETHEY project: http://www.iwethey.org
Collaborative Media Foundation: http://collaborativemedia.org
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