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Linux And All The Choices


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If you're new to Linux familiarize yourself with all the different versions, aka "Distros", which you can find at Distrowatch


If you consider yourself the average, or below average computer user, looking for the simplest path to Linux, you'll want one of the Top Five Distros on Distrowatch, also listed below.


You can't always get away from learning, even with the simplest of Linux distros there's still a learning curve. You're going to run across problems because software isn't perfect, and you'll need some knowledge.


Also for the best hardware support, and range of software pick one of the top five, because they support the widest range.


Start with #1 and then go from there.


The distros are ranked 1-100 on Distrowatch for ease of use and popularity.


Top Five Distros








If you don't read on, you're going to miss out on some cool stuff to help you make life easier in Linux!


To begin, I'm not here to tell you one is better then the other, because the truth is there are many great distros. Linux is about making choices for yourself, rather than someone else telling you which one is the best.


There are many desktops out there to choose, Gnome and KDE are the two most popular.





Next we have Window Managers. This means something that "Manages Windows". Gnome, KDE, and other desktops have their own, but these can be replaced by other managers to give a new look, feel, and functionality. Many window managers can also be run by themselves as a "Stand Alone" desktop.


What does all this mean regarding desktops, and window managers? It's called productivity, the ways in which you want to handle your tasks. These choices will help you to bring out, find your best efficiency.


Here is some Information on Wikipedia about X Window Managers.


There are several window managers out there. These are only a few of the more popular ones.








Window Maker


Windows management in Linux has never looked better since OpenGL acceleration came along. This provides different ways, and looks in managing these windows with new enhancements, and visual effects. Beryl, Compiz, and XGL provide Linux this new direction in window management. Here you can watch Videos of Beryl, Compiz, & XGL in action.


Xwinman is the most complete list of desktops, and window managers for Linux.


Moving on to packages, distros all incorporate their own ways of managing them. Besides the basic functions of installs, updates, and removal, these programs also handle other tasks dealing with packages. Some of these programs are more varied then others depending on the developers intentions, flexibility, and the ease of use intended. These programs are called "Package Managers".


These are a few of the common types of extensions you'll find with the different versions for package management, along with various spin offs from these.


.rpm (originally Redhat Package Management) .deb (Debian GNU/Linux package manager) .tgz .tar .tar.gz (Tarball Files).


Here are some popular package managers:




Rpmdrake and URPMI

Synaptic Package Manager




Yumex (Yum Extender)


Package management in each distro allows you flexibility to work with the packages to a degree, and some more then others. How flexible you want to be is up to you, the system you choose, and what your needs are. Just because a certain distro comes with it's own default manager doesn't mean you can't install another one to meet your needs better, but this isn't typically done. Some distros actually incorporate a few package managers to work with, or their default manager will run from either a GUI (Graphical User Interface), or a command terminal, where you can type commands, both allowing you different levels of flexibility, by the choices you need.


So what does all of this package management mean, and how is it really going to help? Simply put, it means, "Management", the way in which you'll be able to manage them. What you really have to ask yourself here is, what kind of management would you really like to have?


Here's a look at the common command terminals:



Gnome Terminal



Moving on to another subject, Linux like Windows during the start up, and shutdown goes through what are known as runlevels. Different functions of the startup, or shutdown processes are accessed, known in Windows as, Normal, Safe-mode and Command prompt only, etc. In Linux these are known as the User Modes, different ways in which to access the system. Besides the different modes in Linux, Services, and Daemons also come into play in these runlevels, basically in the same way as Windows does. The advantage Linux runlevels have over Windows

Edited by DasFox

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