Sunday, December 24, 2006

Which Distro?

The first question every linux user asks is "Which distro do I use?". This topic usually generates much debate with everyone recommending their favorite distro.
I normally try to be distro agnostic when discussing Linux, so how do I handle this question? Well, I would first ask them "What's the Linux box gonna do for ya?"

Here are my recommendations (In order of personal preference):
Desktop - Mandriva / Ubuntu / OpenSUSE / PCLinuxOS
Server - Fedora Core / OpenSUSE
Old PC (PII, 128MB) - Zenwalk / Vectorlinux / Slackware
Very Old PC (486, 32MB) - DSL(Damn Small Linux) / DELi / Puppy

To set it straight, I have a soft spot for Mandriva (Formally known as Mandrake). For no particular reason other than I'm comfortable & very familiar with it, I've been running it since 1998 & it makes a damn good desktop in my opinion.
I've also tried out Slackware, Fedora Core, Debian, Gentoo & many derivatives like Ubuntu, SimplyMepis, Zenwalk & PCLinuxOS.
After evaluating all the choices I settled myself on Mandriva & Ubuntu for modern desktops, while Zenwalk & Vectorlinux helps me breath life into my aging PCs.

Of course everything above is my own personal opinion. If you won't take my word for it, here's a website where you can answer some questions & it will recommend the most suitable distro for you.
Linux Distribution Chooser

Essential Linux News

These are some essential Linux news sites.

Why would Linux want you?

Here's a great article explaining why Linux is NOT Windows.
While this one explains What's really wrong with Microsoft.
The article on Linux may be very enlightening for many of you that may have tried linux but gave it up.
WARNING! If you consider yourself a knowledgable Windows users, you probably won't wanna read the 2nd article.

The state of FLOSS in Malaysia

If you're Malaysian you already know what I mean. In case your not, let me give you a little background. Malaysia is nice peaceful multicultural developing country situated below Thailand & above Singapore. As with many countries in South Asia, the growth of computing in this country is largely fueled by software piracy. Malaysian youths are able to get their hands on any piece of software for as little as RM5 (roughly USD1.30) nicely printed & packaged in CDs or DVDs. OSs, software, games, Audio CDs, Movie DVDs & anything else you can imagine.
As you can imagine, promoting FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) in this kind of environment is not only challenging, but damn near impossible. Outside of academic circles, Linux never really took off. Recent market surveys show 5% adoption in the enterprise markets. While virtually non-existent in the desktop market. This is really sad since in the past 10 years I've seen Desktop Linux grow from strength to strength matching & exceeding the capabilities of all other platforms.