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+ - Ask Slashdot: new to Linux, which build?-> 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a very new user to Linux looking for a distro that allows me to control and customize, but I'm not sure where to start. I had a friend install Ubuntu 12.04 on my computer, with the E17 window manager and somehow I managed to crash it during the copying of some non-important files and now my computer won't boot (the hardware's fine though). I've found descriptions of Arch Linux to be spot on to what I'm looking for and want ( /. user serviscope_minor mentioned Arch a couple weeks ago and it caught my attention), but my experience in the terminal is literally about an hour.
That said, I really want to learn more, don't mind hard work, enjoy challenges, and am perfectly willing to spend hours and hours for months on end to learn command line.
I grew up in Windows, and these days use a notebook running an old version of Ubuntu with GNOME exclusively--I'm comfortable in the GUI of Linux systems, but that doesn't translate into any kind of behind-the-scenes ability...
Any suggestions, projects to start with, books to read, or tutorials to do to try would be appreciated."

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Ask Slashdot: new to Linux, which build?

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  • If you crashed it (any distro... actually a fresh install of any OS) copying some files around and now it won't boot, either they were not non-important files or your hardware is not OK.

    Ubuntu or mint is probably good for a beginner; Debian, SUSE, Redhat, etc are good for companies that have corporate systems with IT depts; Arch and Gentoo are good for hobyists or experimenters who want ultimate flexibility.

    • If you crashed it (any distro... actually a fresh install of any OS) copying some files around and now it won't boot, either they were not non-important files or your hardware is not OK.

      One hopes the anonymous submitter will read and heed your message. No OS will die from moving unimportant files around...
      To distinguish between the two cases, was the user moving files while logged on with root privilege or using a privilege escalation (such as sudo)? If so, the files were definitely not unimportant. If logged on as a normal user without root privileges, then hardware failure is the primary suspicion, which could be intermittent hardware failure.

  • go with testing repos

    can't go wrong

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