Last week I wrote about my decision to attempt to migrate from Windows to a Linux distribution. I asked for advice from folks in the blog post as well as on Twitter and received several days’ worth of awesome advice. Thanks to all who helped me out!
I think I’ve made a determination about which distribution I’m going to stick with: Fedora Linux.
Why the interest in this distro? Why not others like Ubuntu or Mint? Two primary reasons:
First, Fedora is an RPM based distribution from Red Hat that indicates where the stable RHEL may be going. If I learn Fedora, I’ll be familiar with RHEL and be able to use that experience in real life situations. I’ll also be able to garner some certifications to show what I know (important to me since I’m working as a contractor and need to preen myself in front of clients).
Second, Ubuntu, Mint and Pinguy (Why haven’t I heard of Pinguy sooner?!) are all awesome distributions that I’d go with in a heartbeat if I wasn’t an IT pro. In fact, the next person who is a candidate for replacing Windows with a desktop Linux distro will probably get either Mint or Pinguy from me. However, perhaps they’re a bit too safe in my case. I’d like for things to be ever so slightly less ready for mass consumption (Slackware and Gentoo fans, stop laughing). Fedora isn’t quite as polished as some other distros. As it is, I’ve already had some fun with yum and package kit not quite working and learned a lot in the process.
Last Saturday I installed Fedora 14 on my laptop and I’ve been ootching it along day by day since. However, I’m not going to commit to leaving Windows for it until two things happen first:
- Wait for the next kernel update just to make sure my nVidia driver takes the change nicely. It should since I used the akmod version, but… you never know.
- Get a good backup scheme going and perform a full, bare metal restoration of my environment with no lost applications, settings or data. I’d like to be able to perform the backup while the system is running and not resort to image CDs like clonezilla, but I will if that turns out to be the best way. I might make a clonezilla PXE boot server on another PC so I can boot off the network and do it.
Once those two things are completed, especially the backups, I’ll start the complete transition. I think Wine and VirtualBox seamless mode may play large parts in this transition, but I hope to be using as many native Linux apps as possible. I’m just not willing to give up Microsoft Outlook 2010 (it’s also unwise since I support many people who use it). Sorry Mutt fans.
Thanks again to all those who helped me in this choice and gave me awesome advice on how best to learn Linux. Looks like 2011 is shaping up to be a year full of learning. Any last pleas to try a different distro? (Some day I’ll try Gentoo. Promise!)