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View Full Version : Which Linux distribution to teach?



JohnD
14-08-2004, 07:51 PM
This year I am using Redhat 9 to teach Linux with. In many ways the actual distribution is not too important - but I am wanting ideas\opinions about staying with Redhat (Fedora) for 2005 or using SuSE. We run a Novell Netware 6.5 LAN. Novell say they will continue to support Redhat but will there be better integration with SuSE?

Jen C
14-08-2004, 08:01 PM
Novell and SuSE now go hand in hand and it is "their" Linux OS they are pushing. SuSE is very nice and easy to use and would make a great learning OS. Red Hat 9 is outdated, and there are many more new features in the Fedora Core versions. It is probably better to teach with a more current distro.

You basically want a distro that is easy to operate, maintain and install packages with. I think SuSE is more newbie friendly than Fedora, as Novell is developing this OS as a Windows replacement and therefore it is more keyed towards recent Window users.

Dolby Digital
14-08-2004, 09:05 PM
I would say stick with Red Hat or even Fedora. I trust you will be teaching concepts more than "this is how you do this in this distro". Red Hat probably still has the highest (business) server market penetration than any other distro (well its probably still the most well known). Anyway, you don't want it to be toooo friendly as I presume you want the students to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty.

mikebartnz
14-08-2004, 09:51 PM
If you can get SuSE as a free download I would probably go with that otherwise Ferdora 2.

JohnD
15-08-2004, 05:37 PM
Thanks for your comments - I am still undecided about this. Redhat is probably more of a industry standard in this part of the world but SuSE has a convenient 1 CD personal edition which is great for students to obtain.

Also (see my other post) there seems to be a problem with USB support with either SuSE 9.1 or kernel 2.6

b1naryb0y
15-08-2004, 05:46 PM
The Linux purist in me says teach Slackware.

It is not the easiest Linux to use, but it is the most fundamentally correct distribution around. If you want yourstudents to learn good habits, then teach them Slackware.

Dolby Digital
15-08-2004, 06:47 PM
>> The Linux purist in me says teach Slackware.
I wonder if there is such a thing as a WIndows purist :) Bill Gates maybe.

mark.p
15-08-2004, 07:16 PM
Depends on what you intend to be teaching? Is it systems administration, an example of a "nix workalike OS, just general backgound stuff or what? A Debian live distro may be usefull as well. that way students can have it at home on there PCs.

JohnD
15-08-2004, 10:26 PM
> Depends on what you intend to be teaching?

Mainly command line linux\UNIX stuff from the basic through to setting up servers. But I like to show the GUI tool to do the job when possible.

Chilling_Silence
16-08-2004, 02:44 AM
No point in telling your students "This is how you do it with a GUI in Redhat" then getting them to do a server install which doesnt have a GUI.

I agree with Slackware. It aint hard and it'll teach both you and your students a lot without going over the top :-)

JohnD
16-08-2004, 11:11 PM
> No point in telling your students "This is how you do it with a GUI in Redhat" then getting them to do a server install which doesnt have a GUI.

I agree entirely!! I teach everything from the command prompt. But having said that, people in general today think that the command prompt is old fashioned - so I show things like adding\removing users and software, killing apps, ... from the GUI so they can see it is "up to date"!!