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On 21/09/06, Kwan Lowe <[email protected]> wrote:
Arthur Pemberton wrote:
> I have a computer science class mate who is interested in switching to
> Linux, starting small with installing it and dual booting. He fits the
> type that should be able to switch easiy: non-hardcore gamer, non
> hardcore multimedia.

I'd definitely recommend Fedora Core for computer science students. It has a
boatload of development packages (as do the others, but in FC they are extremely
easy to install). Kdevelop and Eclipse are available, as are all the standard tools.

In addition, if you're in CS then you likely have a raft of mathematics classes to
<snip>

packages are available for Ubuntu, but not in the default Synaptic "Mathematics"
section (as of Ubuntu 6.0.6).

To be clear, I'm impressed by Ubuntu. It's extremely easy to install and use for the
normal stuff (Email, web, multimedia, wireless).  Fedora has a slightly steeper
learning curve, but it pays off when you need to do more elaborate things.  As is
true for any distro, you can make Ubuntu more Fedora-like and vice versa; it's just
a matter of the default installation choices.

My 2p, I'd agree with the above.  Ubunutu's major advantage (at least FC5
vs Dapper, which is maybe a little unfair), is simpler hardware support out
of the box; eg. my dad's rt2500 based wireless card works in Ubuntu,
but the module has to be manually compiled and installed in FC.
Doing stuff which isn't supported is maybe slightly more difficult in Ubuntu
(eg. I can get WPA working for this card in FC, but not in Ubuntu).
It's easier to get Ubuntu working on your machine than FC, it's harder
to mess about with it.  So the answer is obviously it depends what they
want it for.

I've noticed the Gnome based distros are getting more alike.
This isn't always a great thing; eg. the disc manager in Ubuntu
really doesn't want to mount FAT or NTFS as anything other
than root-owned read-only.  A slight problem in a live disc.

Aside; Mandriva.  Last time I met it package managment (setting
up repositories) felt very odd and configuration was mainly done
through GUIs which didn't always make clear why you could or
couldn't do something.

--
imalone


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