Decision time – which Distro?

Which Distro should I use?

Gnoppix is still downloading, the coffee is getting cold and I am still puzzling over the next steps with Laptop 1.

I like the GNOME Desktop, it seems to be cleaner than the KDE one although I have no doubt that either could be configured to be exactly what I would like to see, so that is one stage further forward. I want something with GNOME.

I also like the Software Update feature and I don’t know how many modern distros include this feature in one form or another. I notice that Ubuntu uses .deb packages and derives from the Debian distro, so maybe I should find out more about Debian.

Another thought. Possibly the best choice would be the most popular Linux distribution because that would have the most choice of applications for it, possibly the best support and be well established and less picky as Ubuntu. So, start surfing and do some market research.

It seems that there is not one single answer to this question. Different sites have different opinions as to the relative market leaders. However, there does seem to be some agreement on the top runners. Ubuntu (d’oh!), Debian, Suse and Red Hat.


A brief look at their website is quite encouraging. Their system is free, unlike SUSE and Red Hat. It also is going to use the .deb installation system that I’ve had a bit of practice with in Ubuntu. Having a look at the download pages, it comes on 21 CDs (yikes!) or 3 DVDs. Time to add downloads to the queue again then – ho-hum.

Red Hat

Red Hat uses the .rpm package manager system and so, I would hope that some sort of automatic install will be available for updates and downloaded packages. You have to buy a subscription in order to download it though. It is hard to figure out without spending some serious time on their site but the price seems to range from between $199 to $2,499! The free version seems to be Fedora – maybe that would be worth a try?

SUSE Linux

Again, it is very hard to find a price for the SUSE system and/or Novell’s services. Some time ago though, I did buy a SUSE Linux box set from a Computer Bookshop so installing that becomes a possibility. The latest version is only 1 DVD to download as well. It looks like it’s only $50 though, so that’s not too bad and it does include Support. Again, SUSE uses the .rpm package manager system. OK, I have just found the 10.2 installation on Amazon for £3.49! As I also have an earlier Suse manual with the version I bought before, that makes Suse the initial choice.

Decision Made

OK, we start with Suse.  Just got to wait for it now…..