News: The Right Linux Distro

The Right Linux Distro

As many of you Null Byters may know, I was planning on writing this article a week or two ago. Better late than never! So, let's get right to it then—choosing the right Linux distro for your needs.

First off, you need a base for your search.

Step 1 Picking a Base

Right now, there are many different bases of Linux distributions ranging in ease of use.

  • Debian Base - Easy, and one of the most used bases in the world.
  • Fedora Base - Great for businesses.
  • Gentoo Base - Requires compiling packages yourself.
  • Arch Base - Hard, but open to customization.
  • Ubuntu Base - Easy; this is based on Debian, but many distros are based of this.
  • Random Base - Miscellaneous.

Picking a GUI

Currently, there are tons of Window Mangers (WM) and Desktop Environments (DE) out there for you to choose from, but most distros only come with one of these installed. Here is a list of DEs and WMs that you can pick. It's a basic, small list, but it will be helpful.

  • Unity Shell - Simple.
  • Gnome 3 Shell - Extendable, but not very customizable.
  • KDE Plasma - Extendable and customizable.
  • XFCE - Customizable and lightweight.
  • LXDE - Customizable and lightweight.
  • Fluxbox / Openbox - Extremely lightweight.
  • Terminal - Command line.

Step 2 Pure OS?

What type of operating system would you want—a pure OS, or Debian or Gentoo? Or would you like one like Linux Mint or Sabayon Linux?

This is clearly up to you, they all have their own pros and cons.

Step 3 Pick Your Distro

Okay, now that you have your distro ideas setup, you can try to Google your ideas or you can go to Distrowatch and use the search function to help guide you in finding the perfect distro for you.

If you think this is too long and hard to do, you can simply use zegenie Studios Linux Distribution Chooser to do most of this for you, granted it is very limited (to just a few distros), but useful.

Image Credit: All the people of the Internet and Linux users.

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What are your views on source based distros like Gentoo and other offshoots of it?
Is there some impressive benefit to everything being "source based"?

I presonally find things like gentoo a little harder for Linux newcommers and I typically didn't like having to compile the source, but it does help because if it is for linux there is typically an open source version of it avalible to download

I meant more… do you know the benefit of having a source based distro? It takes longer, more RAM, and more work on the users part… What do you get for all that?

Usually before you run a make file you run a config script first. This checks your system for certain programs, libs and commands. The benefit of this is when the source is compiled only the parts your system needs are included. This can result is everything you mentioned above. Though on a 15kb program, how much that would matter remains to be seen.

*result can be faster runtime, increased stability and smaller memory footprint

Cool.. So the benefits are dependant on your skill, and lack of skill not only denies you benefits but can actually hinder your performance?

High risk high reward?

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