Hmmm... never used that one before.
dodecahedron wrote:it's going to be Debian - i'm not going to spend time on donwloading lots of more ISOs, i've had it with that.
unless you convince me that i only need to download one or two CD ISOs.
I used Debian for years, the unstable branch, because the stable branch just moved too slow. Debian just released their newest stable branch a couple months ago, the last stable released almost 2 years before that.
I recently switched all my boxes (servers, desktops, laptop) from Debian to Ubuntu. Ubuntu takes a snapshot of the latest Debian unstable branch, and they work on that until it's release ready. They also release every 6 months, so you aren't too far behind on the latest packages. For example, Debian stable has Gnome 2.8, whereas Ubuntu has Gnome 2.10. Although, Debian unstable has Gnome 2.10 as well, but having used Debian unstable for a long time, things break quite often, as it's their testing ground for new development.
Also, similar to the Mozilla foundation, there's an actual company behind Ubuntu, with funding and everything. If you do go w/ Ubuntu, it's only one ISO to download. They can also ship you install CD's (for free!).
All in all, I think Ubuntu is a more polished version of Debian, tailored to the desktop/gui user. When I install Debian, I have to do a little bit of configuring and install a couple extra packages to get a working desktop. With Ubuntu, after the install is done, everything's already configured. They added a lot more front-end apps, so you don't have to configure things from a terminal if you don't want to. You could make Debian feel just like Ubuntu by installing all the right packages and configuring your menus, etc. But that's just more work.
Just my opinion. Used both, love both.
dodecahedron wrote:what i would like to do is in the following order of preference:
1. install Linux on a SATA hard drive connected to the motherboard's on-board SATA-RAID controller, Silicon Image SiI 3112.
2. if that doesn't work, install on a Parallel ATA hard drive connected to the above Siig card.
3. if all else fails, install on the Parallel ATA HD connected to the motherboard's controller.
do you know if the Linux (Debian?) installer recognizes these (motherboard SATA, Siig card ATA) controllers?
Option 1 - definitely possible. Two of my computers have onboard SATA with the SII3112 chip. It uses the 'sata_sil' driver. Ubuntu detected it during the install, and I was able to install straight to the SATA drive. Haven't done a SATA install in Debian, but I've installed to onboard RAID (HPT372) before, and that worked fine in Debian as well.
Option 2 - only way to know for sure is to put it in and try. I'm guessing it will work to some extent.
what i need at the end of the day is:
- a working desktop (what do you recommend? KDE or Gnome?)
- (optional) internet connectivity using my Samsung ADSL modem connected to a NIC card. either the motherboard built-in NICs or a PCI Intel card
I personally use Gnome, although some say it's starting to get bloated. Some people say the same about KDE. It does seem though, that KDE often comes out with newer/cooler features first. I personally don't like the way KDE looks. Ubuntu uses Gnome, but KUbuntu uses KDE.
Internet connectivity shouldn't be a problem in either Debian or Ubuntu. The installers will automatically set up your system to run on DHCP. Ubuntu has a Networking app that lets you further configure your network card if you want (once install is complete). Debian does too (obviously), but you'd need to install it first, I think.
dodecahedron wrote:since this system is also my windows system and i need both, which do you recommend - LILO or Grub ?
I only recently switched to Grub, so I don't really know how to configure it yet. I know it's possible with LILO because I have that exact setup on my laptop and one of my desktops (Linux on one hard drive, Windows on another). Grub is supposed to be really nice, in that if you screw up the configuration, you can reconfigure it right there. With LILO, you configure it, reboot, hope it works. If it doesn't, you'll need to either boot an old configuration (that you left as an option in the config file), or pull out a boot or rescue disk.
I think w/ Debian and definitely Ubuntu, you'll have to use the 'expert' install option to be able to tell it to install LILO and NOT to install Grub.
Hope that helps.