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best linux version?

By gsgleason
Sep 5, 2003
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  1. I am looking to install linux onto an old P2 333 machine, just to get familiar with it and whatnot. I am looking at various distributions of linux: Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, and others.

    What would you consider to be the BEST distribution for an intermediate/advanced PC user? I want to use it to program in c++, possibly make a web server and ftp server, and various other tasks. This is moreso to "test drive" linux for the first time. I am vaguely familiar with UNIX.

    Also, are device drivers compatible with any version of linux? I mean, with a driver for a GeForce 4 ti4600 for redhat also work on Mandrake and SuSe?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Fuse

    Fuse TS Rookie

    I would choose the distro that best supports your hardware.
  3. gsgleason

    gsgleason TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    So does that mean that device drivers are NOT cross-distribution compatible?
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Some driver packages made by third parties only work with certain installations, however the kernel source contains the drivers for just about everything you will need unless your machine contains fairly unusual hardware.

    RedHat or Mandrake would be the easiest for a beginner to get into. I have always prefered Red Hat.
  5. gsgleason

    gsgleason TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Thank you for the info, Phantasm. I will try to do more research into hardware compatibility.

    Can you tell me why exactly you like redhat better?
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Just easier to use and setup up, general slicker interface, and pretty much the industry standard.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Such an old machine should be supported by all decent distros. I would be worried about the performance of that machine. New distros are very bulky, you should look at their recommnded specs for X enabled setup.

    I have had very bad luck with the nVidia binary driver packages. Their driver sources will work with any linux distro with semi-decent kernel.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    In my opinion, Mandrake is the easiest Linux distro I've tried.
  9. MattG

    MattG TS Rookie Posts: 147

    I am currently using Slackware...however i used Red Hat back in the day and liked that much better for as much as using it for servers and such.

    I have a friend who uses Gentoo distro, he lives by that one.


    www.gentoo.org

    Take a look everyone..seems decent to me.
  10. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 1,040

    The best linux version is a highly debateable topic. In general, they all do pretty much the same stuff but some have some extra bells and whistles that others dont. Just choose the one that you're more comfortable with or choose one based on your experience level with linux.
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