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Thread: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    9

    Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    I'm just about to develop the Linux part of the ranking system for my forum but before I do I just want to confirm the Linux (or at least Ubuntu) community agrees with my ranking system. Basically it has 3 levels of "difficulty" starting you in beginner moving to intermediate and finishing in advanced. Within each category are 4 distros which are supposed to become progressively more advanced to run out of the box and use on a daily basis for new users.

    Here's a little preview of what what the ranking system looks like. Please note that there are rank titles stating the various OS version (e.g. Ubuntu 11.04) you are at that appear above these images but you wont see this in the image since the rank name is included separately on the forum. Also Ignore the Window/Mac Expert thing below the Ubuntu rank. It's just showing that you completed previous phases.



    Here's how I have ranked the Distros in difficulty level based on research.

    Beginner:
    - Ubuntu
    - Linux Mint
    - PinguyOS
    - Puppy Linux

    Intermediate:
    - Debian
    - Fedora
    - TinyCore Linux (or should I have CentOS here instead?)
    - Slackware

    Advanced:
    - Arch Linux
    - Kali Linux
    - Gentoo
    - Linux From Scratch

    Do you agree with this? Should I make any adjustments? Could this be improved? Give me your opinions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Metro-ATL; PM free zone.
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Lubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    http://blog.jdpfu.com/2011/11/05/lea...x-easy-to-hard have my order for learning Linux. I've run all of them, BTW.

    TinyCore is the easiest by far. Easier than Puppy for the things that it supports, mainly due to lack of complexity, IMHO.
    Being easy to use with peripherals is a different question than "easy to use" in my mind. Just because plugging in a USB flash drive doesn't automount the storage, that doesn't make the entire OS easy OR hard to use.
    Last edited by TheFu; October 21st, 2013 at 01:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Magic City of the Plains
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    Distro
    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    I would've stuck Slackware under 'Advanced'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    9

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    So would you say this would be a better rank in difficulty:

    Beginner:
    - Ubuntu
    - Linux Mint
    - PinguyOS
    - Puppy Linux

    Intermediate:
    - Debian
    - Fedora
    - TinyCore Linux
    - CentOS

    Advanced:
    - Arch Linux
    - Slackware
    - Gentoo
    - Linux From Scratch

    Do you all believe slackware is a more difficult distro than Arch? Would you change anything else?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
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    35
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    In my opinion there is a difference between installation and use. Yes, Ubuntu is simple to install and yes, once installed it's easy in use, but... If you encounter problems during installation it's not exactly easier to solve them as with say, Fedora. While installing the versions are rather similar, ok, there is a root but is that the reason to call it inermediate? And once installed, Fedora has a rather good community support called fedoraforums... The same goes with Centos, by the way. And I also installed Debian and had to download a network driver om another computer and I put it on a usb stick in order to get the system to work, but afterwards, no real difficulties: it's just as easy to install a program as say in Fedora or Debian or the debian derivate Ubuntu. So in my opinion there are only two categories: the more primitive installers like what you label advanced where a user has to make a choise, or the rest where the biggest challenge is to put a CD / DVD / USB stick in the computer and reboot. By the way, in an Ubuntu installation one also has the choise where to install. Putting a disk in a computer to install a new OS is never exactly a beginner task.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2012
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    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    - TinyCore Linux (or should I have CentOS here instead?)
    It also runs on ubuntu.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    9

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johan De Cauwer View Post
    In my opinion there is a difference between installation and use. Yes, Ubuntu is simple to install and yes, once installed it's easy in use, but... If you encounter problems during installation it's not exactly easier to solve them as with say, Fedora. While installing the versions are rather similar, ok, there is a root but is that the reason to call it inermediate? And once installed, Fedora has a rather good community support called fedoraforums... The same goes with Centos, by the way. And I also installed Debian and had to download a network driver om another computer and I put it on a usb stick in order to get the system to work, but afterwards, no real difficulties: it's just as easy to install a program as say in Fedora or Debian or the debian derivate Ubuntu. So in my opinion there are only two categories: the more primitive installers like what you label advanced where a user has to make a choise, or the rest where the biggest challenge is to put a CD / DVD / USB stick in the computer and reboot. By the way, in an Ubuntu installation one also has the choise where to install. Putting a disk in a computer to install a new OS is never exactly a beginner task.
    I'm classing Ubuntu as something for beginners due to all the hand holding and help it gives you. Think about how you go on youtube and it asks if you want to install the youtube app to your quick launch/dash. What about when you search for something such as an application in dash and it even searches for applications you Don't have installed. What about the Ubuntu software centre? Its fantastic for easily browsing and installing programs. Does fedora have all these noob friendly features? If not that's why I ranked it higher in difficulty than Ubuntu.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    7,554
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    Here's my limited opinion. I've run Puppy, Ubuntu, Arch, Mint, and Debian. Arch by far in away is the most different to install -- I say different because although its technically more difficult, if you follow the beginner's install guide to the letter (and I mean the letter), it usually works out. The problem is not actually the installation with any of these distro's, its if something breaks later -- where do you go for help?? Ubunutu forums is usually full of nice friendly people that usually give good advice -- Mint forums are nice as well, however I find the information posted on these forums isn't as good as on Ubuntu forums. The arch forums have regular users that are very knowledgeable, however if you ask a question in a non-technical way or don't peruse the forums beforehand, they will rip your head off and basically call you a dummy to your face. Usually however the information given in these forums is the most technical and precise. With any distro you can basically configure it to mimic another. The package management system really separates one from another. Some use very stable packages -- ie Debian, others release package versions that are not usually upgraded until you choose to upgrade to a different release -- ie Ubuntu with its 6 month release cycles, and others use a rolling release -- ie Arch that almost essentially release the packages when they are released -- although there is an internal check for compatibility however its usually a very quick review. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. Arch is like a Ferrari that is extremely quick, but due to package upgrades and such, it needs a lot of maintainence when things break when new packages are released. Debian is like an old VW bug that is slow and steady and very reliable.

    I'd put Gentoo and LFS actually in a separate category. These are much more difficult since they require a lot of compiling. Not that compiling packages are hard, its just a lot more time consuming.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ohio
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    99
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    +1 to kevdog.
    however if you ask a question in a non-technical way or don't peruse the forums beforehand, they will rip your head off and basically call you a dummy to your face
    So true. One of the reasons I don't use their forums except to troll em. I hit the wiki for everything, in fact thats the best thing about Arch, the extensive wiki. Well that and the fact that I grew up in the 80's so typing pacman gives me a giggle.

    I would add ZorinOS to the list of beginner Distros. But your rankings are pretty fair, I do agree that Slack goes in the advanced Category. I would remove LinuxFromScratch from Advanced and put in the AstroPhysicist/Rocket Scientist category!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    9

    Re: Do you agree with this distro difficulty ranking?

    Thanks for all your help guys I will probably replace pinguy with ZorinOS since it's definitely a beginner Distro.

    For those wondering this ranking system is for the OSFirstTimer forums. Oh btw next week on the OSFirstTimer YouTube channel expect to see an Ubuntu 13.10 review. I'll make sure I point out the new scopes in dash and also go over the heads up display (I know it's not a new feature but I haven't gone over it before).

    Anyway thanks again Ubuntu community

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