[ot] Distros and linux newbies (was: [PD] Red Hat 9 and PD - RH9 is rubbish-7.3 is not)

Matthew Allen matthew at lith.com
Wed Feb 25 20:43:33 CET 2004

	I am not going to turn this into a distro battle, I just want
new users to have as much info as they need. Frank I very much respect
all the stuff you have done (and the help I have personally received
from you), but I worry about your advice for people who may just be
starting out with linux. Everything that follows is OPINION! Its meant
as a point of discussion from someone who is currently going through
some new user linux stuff.

> The problem is: Why install all these things in the first place, if
> you never need it?

	How would a first time linux user know what they need? How was I
supposed to know that I may want Xfs but not Nfs? How do I know what
Cups is? I suppose a new user could start bare bones (which I tried with
debian) and gradually build up what they needed, but for someone coming
mostly from windows (and I'm not an idiot, really I promise, I even set
up a AIX based small local network many many years ago) trying to get
all of the dependencies straight is a nightmare, and that's just for a
base machine, not one tricked out for realtime sound work. 

	I am sure I will read this mail in a year or 2 and laugh at
myself for my naivety, but for now I really STRONGLY encourage
new/casual linux users who want to do more hardcore sound stuff to
explore things like CCRMA
(http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/ ). Fernando has
done an incredible job of making things pretty straightforward for new
users, who have no idea what they are doing, and old users, who just
want to make music and could care less about what init level they are
running at.

	Running CCRMA out of the box certainly doesn't stop you from
tweaking, and making changes. What it does do is give the new user a
safety net. It gives them the ability to explore linux, without having
their machine fall apart around them. For me its been much easier to
strip away the things that I don't need from Fedora Core (gnome, and the
gnome window manager stuff for starts) than it was to build a system up
around a barebones Debian install.


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