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52

If you want to know what's different so you can use the system more efficiently, here is a commonly referenced introduction to BSD to people coming from a Linux background. If you want more of the historical context for this decision, I'll just take a guess as to why they chose FreeBSD. Around the time of the first dot-com bubble, FreeBSD 4 was extremely ...


33

In practice the distros all use much the same development tool chain, so they don't really differ significantly as a platform for general development work. Some do, however, have specific advantages that may be relevant to certain types of development work: The commercial distros (RHEL, SLES) have the best support from third-party closed source vendors. ...


31

I don't think I will provide you and everyone with the perfect answer, however, using a BSD system everyday for work, I am sure I can give you a useful insight in the BSD world. I didn't ever use NetBSD, I won't talk a lot about it. Do they use the same kernel? No, although there are similarities due to the historic forks. Each project evolved ...


26

I start by looking at what I want to use the machine for: Primary machine — distro I know well and I'm comfortable with Spare machine — distro I don't know, and I want to learn it Special cases: HTPC, MAME box, proxy — distro catered to these needs The great thing about the *nixes is that you can configure any one of them for any specific need you want. ...


22

Debian has some features that you could consider "advantages" depending on your needs and use cases. Stability. The Debian Stable branch has been tested extensively, generally for at least a year, as the Testing branch. The only updates Stable get are mission critical bug fixes and security fixes. This makes it an extremely stable platform (i.e., ...


19

I started to make this as a joking comment, but I'm actually going to go ahead and make it a serious suggestion. Check out Linux From Scratch, which isn't a distro per se, but rather a book and toolkit for building your own running Linux system from source, without a distro. If you were new to computers in general, this clearly would be jumping right off ...


18

FreeBSD has a reputation for a more robust network stack. From professional experience at a previous company, we had a proxy server that was falling over from the load. When we threw FreeBSD on it, the server handled the load with ease for well over a year (I moved on - could still be working). NetBSD has a reputation for running on a ton of different ...


17

If you know polish there is wonderful quiz and 1 vs. 1 comparation. Unfortunatly I don't think it was translated (maybe Google Translator would work?) - there are however other quizes Generally it depends how much: You know about systems You want to have it automated — do you want to fine-tune system or have it 'just working' What is the purpose ...


16

If you mean learn Linux as in getting to know the source code, you may want to try Linux from scratch


15

For a computer with those specs you really don't need to worry about size. You can run Linux on far smaller machines just fine. A simple option would be Ubuntu - it does most things right out of the box, so while not quite as lean as some other Linuxes, it is an easy one to try out if you have never used one before. If you want, you can even run it off a CD ...


14

Highly recommend ubuntu server. The server mode will not put much that you don't really need, if anything. I run ubuntu on several servers and have always been happy with it. You'll also find tons of online support that is relevant to your distro. Linux advice generally translates from one distro to the next, but directory paths are often different. ...


14

Ubuntu is a standard suggestion for beginners in Linux. As far as memory is concerned, go with a lighter version of Ubuntu.


14

In Larry Wall's original Perl v1.0 posting to the comp.sources.misc newsgroup on December 18, 1987, he said: If you have a problem that would ordinarily use sed or awk or sh, but it exceeds their capabilities or must run a little faster, and you don't want to write the silly thing in C, then perl may be for you. In a much later ...


13

One distro I can think of that was made to be a teaching system is Linux From Scratch. Its aim though is to show you how to build (from source code) the entire GNU/Linux system from scratch, rather than just to teach you how it works. By the time you've finished, your understanding and appreciation of building an OS will be higher than at the moment. You ...


13

There are several small distributions of linux, like Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux. But with those machine specs, you don't need such a light-weight distribution. You can install any, like Debian or Ubuntu... you can check many of them to see which one fits better in the idea you have for that machine at Distrowatch. Update: Just discovered Tiny Core ...


13

Oh you will notice the differences... a git pull is way faster than the rsync one :) the automated kernel build is a real nice feature, you will see ebuilds that are maintained by CoreTeam have a cleaner structure, not so much usage of external modules but inline the ebuild so a build gets clean... GPT/GUID support is also very nice, cleaner structure of ...


13

The answer is/isn't sexy, depending on your point of view. Perl is very useful. Lots of the system utilities are written in or depend on perl. Most systems won't operate properly if Perl is uninstalled. A few years ago FreeBSD went through a lot of effort to remove Perl as a dependency for the base system. It wasn't an easy task.


12

You should definitely give a second try to Archlinux... It's slogan is: "A simple, lightweight distribution". You may object but in my opinion the installation of Arch is very simple and basic (just don't forget about the great and rich documentation available on wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/). I can install the whole system in less then half an hour ...


12

Debian still officially supports running on a 486 (but not a 386). Everything else about which desktop environments and window managers to use on an older system has almost nothing to do with the distro choice.


12

(I can't give a complete answer, but I also can't turn away from this question, so...I'll just address some points...FreeBSD was the most used BSD (in 2005), so I try to offer some clues regarding "the others".) First of all, you're right to dismiss the one-line explanations, OpenBSD's motto is "free, functional and secure" and the NetBSD developers also ...


11

You'd have to further distinguish between Debian stable and testing/unstable, and between following all Ubuntu releases or only LTS releases. Debian stable and Ubuntu LTS release only every couple of years. Pro: you're not upgrading all the time. Con: the software and especially the drivers may get updated. Ubuntu has a few more things that work out of the ...


11

Puppy Linux: Wary is great for older hardware.


11

I don't think you'd find a general standard answer to this question. The truth is only you know the answer to it. Some random points to take into consideration: Avoid exotic distributions There are solid distros around (debian, centos, opensuse, ubuntu, fedora, ...) to chose from. No need to consider getting your own LFS or something like Gobolinux. Not ...


10

I prefer the license philosophy of BSD license vs GPL license. To me, free means do pretty much whatever you want with the code. It's so free you can make it not free like apple did. Practically it probably has no impact on me, but I prefer it on principle and was one of the reasons I chose to use FreeBSD over Linux. Another reason is I wanted to tinker, ...


10

Many distributions have some facility for a minimal install; essentially where you manually select only those packages that you explicitly wish to install. Debian has this ability and would be a better choice, in your situation, than the other obvious minimal contender, Arch Linux. Arch's rolling release status may provide a level of ongoing complexity ...


10

Well, here you find some information, I don't know if accurate or not, I suspect not too much. Anyway, each major Linux distribution has almost everything one can ever need. What is missing are essentially niche applications, or applications that in some way cannot be packaged.


10

You can afford to run a GUI without problems, but I would advise against the more recent "desktop environments". For a 133Mhz machine, I also advise against a standard installation of any recent "consumer friendly" distribution, as they tend to have a lot of background services running. Installing Debian, ArchLinux, Gentoo, BSD should be no problem. Get a ...


9

I think the various major distros have few if any large differences in technical merit between them, and such differences tend to be greatly exaggerated by the partisans. In light of this, my theory is that the more users and developers are on a distro, the faster things will improve, the more hardware combinations will be well-tested, and the more software ...



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