[UFO Chicago] Re: Brian's Conversion from FreeBSD to Debian andQuestions on X

Christopher D. Heer cheer at dls.net
Wed May 10 06:13:20 PDT 2006

From: Larry Garfield

> I'm also rather late to this thread, so I'll address a couple of things at
> once.

I just wanted to thank the various contributions to this conversation.

I am a long-time user of MS operating systems (out of necessity) but have
dabbled in the past with SunOS, BSD, Linux (including my Tivos!), etc.
However, continued frustration with Windows is pushing me towards Linux or
something similar, especially as a server OS.

So I'm looking to migrate my in-home server to Linux as a way to (A) get
more out of the box and (B) get experience before I try it out on
desktops/laptops/work machines.  I'm not a total noob, but I'm not all that
far from it either.  However, I don't want something that will completely
shield me from the guts, as it were; I want to learn the underlying stuff so
I know what's really going on.

So I have what are some rather fundamental questions about selecting the
distro I ultimately use:

1) From a purely "what-will-it-run" standpoint, does it matter much which
distro I choose?  Putting aside package management for the moment (I've been
reading those comments here with great interest)...choosing a specific
distro shouldn't limit me in terms of application/util/tool selection,
should it?

2) Does it matter what window manager I run?  The two I see mentioned most
often are gnome and KDE, but I can't figure out what the real advantages and
disadvantages of either is, or whether it's just a matter of taste.

3) Are there any good resources for learning general *nix file system
structures?  The last time I played with a Linux distro (Red Hat IIRC) one
of the things that made me crazy was having no idea where anything was.  I
googled around for Linux noob resources but most that I found were too

Not looking for handholding -- if I don't learn it myself I'll never
understand it -- just some pointers or tips to get me aimed in the right
direction.  And I understand that everyone has a different take, but given
that most or nearly all of you have more experience with this stuff than
I... :)

Thanks in advance.


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