Bill Jonas on Sat, 21 Apr 2001 22:40:11 -0400

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[PLUG] Yet Another Distribution Question

My wife wants to learn how to get around in Unix, since it's used
extensively in the science and research communities.  I'm wondering if I
should set her up with one of those do-everything GUI-fied distributions
(like Mandrake or Progeny), or if I should go for something more
old-school (like Slackware), or if I should go for something more
middle-of-the-road (like Debian).  The way I see it, something like
Slackware would be nice because of the lack of a packaging system more
advanced than tarballs with install scripts and the lack of a GUI
config tool, thus requiring the learning of the command-line Way of Doing
It.  OTOH, she said she wants to "learn Unix", not "Unix System
Administration", and I'm concerned that Slackware might scare her off.
Debian, with it's large collection of pre-packaged software and ease of
installing new software, combined with its command-line oriented nature,
would be more in keeping with the Slackware way of doing things, but
without the initial hassle of compiling things.  Mandrake or Progeny would
be nice because it would allow her Linux installation to look pretty more
quickly.  (I hope that none of this paragraph is taken as flamebait; I use
Debian and Slackware myself, and Mandrake looks interesting (I've tried
Mandrake but not Progeny).)

Thoughts?  Keep in mind she'll have live-in, 24-hour spousal tech support.

Bill Jonas    *    *
"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others,  we should
be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and
this we should do freely and generously."          -- Benjamin Franklin

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