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Getting a Bit further with linux


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I'm by trade a MS admin but at work i now need to support linux so i'm installing it on my laptop to use it more to get used to it.

I've used debian a bit and use debian on my raspberry PI for SSH (most of my linux use has been for SSH tunnels to get to things behind my firewall and for web traffic tunnels) web proxy servers (squid) and a few other things, and i used to use a little Ubuntu but version 12:10 is something I really cant get along with i have more issues with it on my laptop so i really cant use it for day to day work most of the stuff i've done is very basic command line

what would you linux guru's and ninja's suggest for me to use on my laptop with a GUI for day to day stuff that isnt 12:10?

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I'm relatively new to linux, and brand new to this forum myself. I would recommend you install a virtual machine (like VMware or Virtualbox) on your Windows PC, download and install several distro ISOs, and see what you like best. The benefits to this approach are numerous: time savings, ease, try as many distros as you want, etc.

If you want information on distros to try, check out http://distrowatch.com/ where they track the most popular distros, with extensive information resources available.

For everyday computing, I have come to love linux mint. I find it even easier to use than ubuntu, but very customizable and expandable.

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If you are wanting to learn a lot about how linux systems work I suggest that you install arch linux in a virtual machine. If you are looking for a main disto to run on your laptop I highly recommend Linux Mint. I used to not be a fan of it until Linux Mint 13 but now I absolutely love it and I am actually using it right now. I was an ubuntu fan for 10.04 but once the release of 11.04 came out with unity I have left ubuntu. Also I have been using a lot of open suse. If I was a linux administrator that would be my main distro of choice.

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As you are learning it because you need to administer it at work then I would suggest using the same distro that you are using at work if you can.

If this is RedHat then you can use Fedora or CentOS and avoid having to buy a licence. Fedora would be better for a laptop but CentOS will be a lot closer to the features you will have on RedHat (CentOS is built from RedHats source while Fedora is where RedHat add new features and get them ready for inclusion in their more stable RedHat Enterprise version).

If you are having to administer Ubuntu at work then you could use Linux Mint as suggested or debian. Linux mint is derived from Ubuntu which in turn is derived from Debian.

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all of the systems that I will run as a server will be debian at a command line with no user interface, the servers are always stripped out locked down units that sit in there own area of the network on the only way to them is via a management server that only has SSH installed on it with private keys (just for the linux servers) to get to a private management lan. so i'm not a total novice but i'm by no means good with linux i know enough to support squid and to make good use of SSH. i only typically only have one or two servers... but i will be with work deploying a server farm of linux boxes

its a shame that the debian OS has a naff GUI

I think i will start with linux Mint and see where I go!

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