Previous Page | Next Page

  1. Linux Manual
  2. Installation & Internet
  3. About the Author
  4. Content
  5. Installation
  6. Choosing a Linux Distribution
  7. Partition types
  8. Fdisk
  9. Understanding Mount Point /mnt
  10. Linux File Structure
  11. Creating a boot disk
  12. Welcome to Linux Installation
  13. Installation mode
  14. Partitioning
  15. Creating partitions with Druid
  16. Creating partitions manually
  17. Formatting Partitions
  18. Individual packages selection
  19. The root account
  20. Network configuration
  21. The time zone
  22. Configuring Services
  23. Configuring X
  24. Installing Mandrake 9.1 & 9.2
  25. Installation Class
  26. The Drake X Partitioning
  27. Package Selection
  28. Configuring X
  29. The Internet
  30. Creating a new user
  31. Getting online
  32. Configuring the connection (Dial UP)
  33. High Speed Internet
  34. DSL Modems and Cable modems
  35. Connecting DSL as DHCP
  36. Setting up a Plain Cable Modem (DOCSIS)
  37. Connecting an ISDN
  38. Using Routers
  39. Login Protocols
  40. PPPoE
  41. WAN IP Address
  42. Commercial Configuration
  43. Troubleshooting

Choosing a Linux Distribution

Once you have your hardware, you need a Linux distribution. This is another hard decision for new users because there are a lot of distributions and flavors. After you learn one, you will not be satisfied until you check them all.

I checked out two distributions, which were more geared towards beginners, Mandrake and Red Hat. Mandrake had better utilities and was much easier to use. It supports FAT, FAT32 and NTFS. Version 9.1 comes with the ability to resize your partition. Mandrake also has a very nice control panel for system administration. The good news is that it is based on Red Hat but modified for ease of use.

Red Hat supports FAT, but does not support NTFS, and if you need to dual boot, you need Fat partitions.

However both have very nice GUI's (graphical User Interface). If you are an experienced user, there are other flavors such as Suse, Debian, Slackware, and other distributions. If you learn one distribution the rest will be just as easy. The configuration files are basically the same. The difference is in the location of these configuration files.

The desktop may look different but all of them either run KDE or Gnome as its default graphical interface and all depend on the X-server. No matter which distribution you use, you will need exactly the same thing. Most of the new distributions now come with automatic hardware detection. If for some reason your hardware is not detected you can still configure it manually.