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Help Me [Linux]!

ChanusChanus Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I have Dell Dimension 2400 from about five or six years ago that I want to use to try and jerk around with Linux.

Specs (I think, pulled from the Web):

So... what do I do?

The ultimate goal is just to get it running with Linux and use it as a ThinClient at work... and then repeat with like six or eight other identical computers.

1) Because I wanna
2) If it works, it'll be cheaper than buying ThinClients

Help me, nerds and nerdettes!

Chanus on


  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'll add that failure is totally an option and has no consequences... so no worries that I have no idea what I'm doing.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Download Ubuntu or something, stick it on a USB drive or a CD, and install it.

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I would grab Ubuntu, Debian, or CentOS to install.

    Ubuntu is the most aimed at being user friendly. I hate the dash shell, though, because it does not behave properly and has caused me hours of frustration troubleshooting system() calls in Perl scripts that were not behaving properly. That sort of thing will probably never affect you, but still, it's stupid.

    Debian is what Ubuntu is based on. It does not use the stupid dash shell. Apt is a great package management system. It is my favorite Linux distro currently.

    CentOS is basically Red Hat. Red Hat is what you'll find most often in professional environments and so could be the most beneficial for you to learn your way around, get comfortable with its package management, etc. if this is the sort of thing you want to pursue in the future.

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    That's all there is to it, huh? Cool beans.

    Is there any benefit to using CentOS/Red Hat in a "business environment" if the OS is there just to have the computer up and running and able to be used as a Thin Client? Like, better security or anything like that?

    That's pretty much all I'll be doing in this instance, but if I wanted to tinker around on another machine, would something like Ubuntu/Debian be better for learning and generally dinking around with?

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Red Hat is more corporate oriented. Has expensive support licensing, some hardware vendors require you to run RH (or other approved OS which none of the completely free Linux distros are approved) for their hardware support licensing, etc.

    For what you're trying to do, true RH is not the way to go. CentOS will work fine and lets you get used to yum, where RH puts config files, how it does things by default, etc. which can be good if you want to move further into the corporate Linux world. If you understand Linux and what you are doing, it's pretty easy to switch between distros anyway, but having that specific experience can be helpful. Not all businesses use RH, either. We are in the process of moving from RH to Debian because RH is too expensive and what we get for the extra expense isn't worth it.

    My experience is that Debian and Ubuntu are also a little more friendly in regards to you screwing around, installing your own software, messing with configurations, etc. without packages from their repository getting confused. They are also much better to deal with in terms of upgrading. Red Hat and its variants cannot be upgraded between major versions without doing a fresh install (or at least that's what their own docs recommended doing last I looked. If an RH/CentOS expert is in the house and knows otherwise, please speak up) whereas Debian and Ubuntu upgrade very easily to new major versions.

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ah, okay, coolies.

    Thanks for the help!

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