The [Main] What Distro should YOU use?


View Poll Results: Best Distro for Low resource PC?

Voters
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  • Dam Small Linux

    20 11.83%
  • Debian

    42 24.85%
  • Feather Linux

    3 1.78%
  • Gentoo

    13 7.69%
  • Puppy Linux

    9 5.33%
  • Slackware

    38 22.49%
  • SuSE

    9 5.33%
  • Vector

    10 5.92%
  • Yoper

    0 0%
  • Other

    25 14.79%
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Thread: The [Main] What Distro should YOU use?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Burlington, ON (near Toronto)
    Posts
    630

    The [Main] What Distro should YOU use?

    This is the ONLY 'What distro is best for you?' thread on the board now. Well if you're not sure tell us what you do and a little about your computer and we'll help you figure out which is best for you and why.

    Some things to think about when posting:
    • What apps do you use most?
      Do you have a broadband connection?
      How familiar are you with computers?
      How familiar are you with Linux?
      How much time are you willing to invest into learning Linux?
      How powerful is your computer?


    This is a popular topic and in the interest of providing info as clearly as possible on the topic we think one cetral thread is a good idea. So, all new threads that should have been posted in this thread will be locked from now on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Binghamton NY
    Posts
    2,435
    Don't decide on a distro until you've tried Debian Sarge, especially if you have broadband and can use the Debian installer for a relatively easy online install. Apt-get, and a huge repository of free software packages, makes Sarge easy to maintain and customize, and the network install means the repositories are automatically set up for easy download. Plus (on my hardware) it just runs easier and with less hassles than anything else.
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 04-08-2005 at 12:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Gatineau Quebec
    Posts
    823
    Hey, great thread topic ions. Well, here goes....

    2.00 GHz P4 Willamette CPU
    512 MGb RAM
    2 WD ide drives, 60GB + 80GB
    Sound blaster audigy 24 bit, with MIDI and 5.1 AltecLansing
    BFG tech Geforce fx5500 OC 128 MB DDR AGP x8
    Aopen 16x DVD/RW
    19" flat CRT Samsung SyncMaster 955df

    So school's out in 4 weeks, and I'll have a bit more spare time than I've been used to lately.
    Right now I have 3 OS's; WinXP on hda1, Minislack .4 on hda5 and Simply Mepis 3.3 on hda6. (finally got official NVIDIA driver working right on both)
    Mepis works super well for me, and would like to try out something new on hda6 for a change. I was thinking maybe Hoary Hedgehog? I'm sure it smokes! I'd also like to try Sarge again, but want to know if you can install Xorg with it, since I really like the debian way for installing stuff.
    Minislack is a lot of fun; definitely a bit more of a challenge. I've rather surprised myself using it; tho there's still a couple of wierd things(XMMS shutting down when I hit the stop button?). Otherwise I really like its performance.
    I use BOTH lilo(on a floppy) and grub(at MBR) to boot these.
    Right now I'm finding I'm learing a lot while using Mini, and I think I probably have enough room on there for (perhaps?) a third linux distro. I'm definitely wiping out XP in 4 weeks , LOTS of room! Anyway, how hard is gentoo to install really? Maybe I'll try having one Debian, one Slackware and one Gentoo based distro to paly with, curious to see which one I end getting to work best.
    Oh, yeah, I almost forgot! I may soon "inherit" an older 233 MGHz P2 (I think 32 MG RAM, not sure) Dell, you know, from when they still made decent desktops. I think I'll try to set up a little server of some kind, since my girlfriend is really getting into making websites and marketing. I'll probably try Sarge or MiniSlack on it first, but we'll see!
    Suggestions, as always, are much appreciated!
    Linux user #367409

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Baghdad, right now (I'm a US Army soldier)
    Posts
    8

    Which one for me?

    I was finally able to download a Debian Sarge .iso and burn it on CD, and I have Ubuntu on the way on CD (they have it for free right now!). But I'm not specificaly set on one of these.

    I'm in Iraq right now, and I want a distro that I can use to introduce myself to Linux. So I'm more prepared to use it for real when I get home. I'm a very experianced computer (Windows ). But I'm clueless about Linux. I've taken an into to C++ in the past, and I'm in the middle of an XHTML/Java course. So I'm aquainted (read...not proficiant) with programming.

    Here, I'm using a Thinkpad R40 (2GHz Celeron, 640MB RAM, 60GB HD, CD-ROM), back home I have an XP1600+ with 512MB RAM, and 40GB HD.
    If it ain't broke, fix it till it is!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1

    Looking for a Linux Distro- Have some specific needs and a lot of questions

    Hello!

    I'm new to Linux and am looking for a newb- friendly distro.

    Here are my system specs:
    Pentium 4 HT 3 ghz
    ATI Radeon x300SE
    512 MB Dual Channel DDR2 RAM
    48x CD-RW
    16x DVD-ROM
    Soundmax integrated audio
    Logitech MX510 optical mouse

    I've tried Fedora Core 3 but think it's probably a step too far for a newbie. I also tried Mandrake but it doesn't work on my computer (probably because of my video card.) I tried the hoary hedgehog release of Ubuntu and didn't like the desktop interface. So I might try Kubuntu. I'm also looking at SUSE. Can you download the CD version of SUSE, not the DVD verson?

    Also, I'm assuming I have a i586 computer because my processor is 32-bit. Am i right?

    My main goal is ease of use and how big the hill I have to go over is. My other main goal is to get my Linksys WUSB54 wireless-g network adapter to work in my Windows network so I can get on the Internet. Will I need Samba to so this or will using ndiswrapper to load the drivers be enough?

    I also want something that comes with lots of software- preferably the latest version of ndiswapper to save me the pain of learning how to unzip a tar.gz and install it.

    Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    320
    Sleepy_Sentry:

    Why don't you try Mepis? Because you said you didn't care for Ubuntu and were going to try kubuntu, I'm assuming you prefer KDE over Gnome. I'm in the same boat. I believe kubuntu is still kind of beta. I would still try it, but give Mepis a try too. I think it would be a great newbie distro, but also a good distro for people like me. I can compile/install my apps/kernels but I choose not to because I don't have the time and there's easier ways to do it--apt-get.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fredonia, NY
    Posts
    73
    hey! i'm new to linux. it'll be running on my gateway solo 5300 with Pentium 3 750 Mhz, 256 MB of Ram, 20 gig HD and DVD-Rom. im going to college for computer science and i think it's very necessary to know how to use linux, so i really would like to learn. right now, i have mandrake 10.1 running on it because it was suggested from an advisor at my college. any other suggestions? i'd probably be using it for programming, general internet usage. stuff like that. since im new, im not sure how to get my wireless card drivers to work or anything like that. i tried downloading a linux driver, but can't find one from the TI chipset. any cards that are suggest that i can buy that i can easily find a linux driver for? thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    12
    I really use a few different distros for a few reasons.

    Any server setup, with the exception of my NFS/Game server, I use FreeBSD 4.10. Fast, stable, secure, kind of a "set it and forget it" type of distro. Yes, I know it's Unix, not Linux, but it's a rock-solid distro.

    My laptop, I use Slackware 10.0. My laptop is old and outdated (IBM 365XD 75mhz Pentium w/ 40MB RAM) and slackware still makes it function fast enough to be considered a working computer. My NFS/Gaming server that's here at home, I use slackware 10.1. As much as I love FreeBSD, it's linux support isn't quite good enough to run a server for Battlefield 1942/Desert Combat when I get some spare time.

    My Production Box, I use SuSE Pro 9.2. Sometimes it's fun to play with your distro and figure out which library is missing, or which dependency failed for an hour or so, but if you need something done and something done quickly, usually a couple of clicks in Yast2 can install/uninstall/reinstall/update anything you need without any hassles.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    2,171
    All newbies start off with MEPIS live-cd. Enough Said.

    Then debian SID
    cos MEPIS is debian-based. you will be familiar with debian by the time you move away from MEPIS

    Then Gentoo.
    cos gentoo will force you to go under the hood. nuff said.

    For servers, not in order,
    debian STABLE, gentoo, SuSE (for support from oracle...)
    Come under the reign of the Idiot King...
    Come to me ... I love linux!

    Registered Linux user: Idiot King #350544

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    19

    Which is right for me?

    Here's my response...any suggestions will be much appreciated. Keep in mind, I really wanna stop the dual booting completly, and just use linux exclusively, but I doubt it's possible (ITunes).

    What apps do you use most?
    All kinds....GIMP when I cant use Photoshop (cause WINE wont work right for some reason) Open Office, K Office, Adobe Acrobat, Firefox, Thunderbird, Amarok, Itunes (kinda need windows for that), Mplayer, K3b, Konsole, vim (cause I havent found a decent C++ IDE I liked).

    Do you have a broadband connection?
    Yes- Cable Modem

    How familiar are you with computers?
    Very. 2 years comp sci experience, been around computers since I was 7. Familiar enough to know that Windows sucks, and how to get it to do what I want it to.

    How familiar are you with Linux?
    Not as much. Only experience I had was with Red Hat, and Mandrake in college, and even then all I could do was install it. When it came time to update packages, upgrade apps, kernels, etc, I was lost. Still am a little.

    How much time are you willing to invest into learning Linux?
    As much as it takes, since I want to make this my primary OS

    How powerful is your computer?
    Decent.
    1 GB RAM
    Athlon XP 2700 CPU
    Asus A7N8X-E Motherboard
    ~100 GB HD Space
    64 MB GeForce4 TI 4800
    CD/CDR Drives
    Philipps Seismic Edge PCI Card (32 MB)
    About 6 USB ports and 3-4 Firewire ones (2 dont work cause Antec screwed up the wiring)
    Antec Sonata Case.

    Now Im on MDK 10.1 Download now and it's running fine. There are some annoyances that I dont like, upgrading some apps are a pain depeding on whether I have to build from source or not, but most of my issues are with the window managers- not the OS itsself. I'm a believer that anyone can use rpm to install packages, and URPMI is great in mandrake, but not everything has rpms released, but I also believe that anyone should be able to build/configure/install any program from source. Mandrake has only got easier to install and detect my hardware. My biggest issue is just upgrading packages. Should I only be using RPMS because I'm running mandrake, or should I switch to an OS where I can use both?

    Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,181
    Originally posted by infiniphunk
    Anyway, how hard is gentoo to install really?
    Gentoo is easy to install, it has very comprehensive instructions to guide you through it. It is overrated as being an advanced distro and as a distro for learning, there isn't a lot you have to do with it after the initial setup and you are guided through that with the Gentoo installation guide. A major plus point for Gentoo is portage, which is a great package manager, because it makes it very easy to build packages exactly as you want them and you can cut down on dependancies by using the USE flags to select only the features you actually want. I would suggest installing Gentoo from a chrooted enviroment, so you have a working distro to play in while you go through the Gentoo install and set it up, as it can take a long time depending on which stage you use.

    I would also suggest that you might want to try out Arch Linux, it has the simplicity of Slackware with a decent package manager and i686 optimised packages (for whatever benefit that provides). Arch is my current favourite, I prefer it over Gentoo as it leaves things setup the way I want them (unlike Gentoo which always seems to have loads of configuration changes it wants to make and you then have to accept/reject/merge) and it also has a much simpler init script system (much like what Slackware has).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,181

    Re: Which is right for me?

    Originally posted by J-Val
    Should I only be using RPMS because I'm running mandrake, or should I switch to an OS where I can use both?
    I think Mandrake will probably be fine for you. You can mix installing from source and installing rpms as long as don't try to install a package from source that you already have installed by rpm or vice-versa. You may want to look into using checkinstall to build rpms for you, so you can have the packages you built yourself installed by rpm.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Salem, OR
    Posts
    368
    What apps do you use most?
    Vim, Firefox, XMMS/Rhythmbox, Blender, GIMP, Inkscape, gaim, xchat, Abiword and Gnumeric, aterm/gnome-terminal, gcc, nautlus/Xfe, Audacity, MPlayer/Xine, Limewire, Ethereal, gFTP, ssh/sftp....

    Do you have a broadband connection?
    yes
    How familiar are you with computers?
    very

    How familiar are you with Linux?
    more than a year and a half, I am actually setting up a Linux/Windows/Mac OS X network at the school.

    How much time are you willing to invest into learning Linux?
    too late, I already did that

    How powerful is your computer?
    Athlon XP 1.2ghz......not magnificent, but it works nicely
    Registered Linux User #365191

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Binghamton NY
    Posts
    2,435
    What I did was I kept trying distros, tried something like a dozen, I kept compulsively installing unistalling and reinstalling, Everytime I hear of another distro, I still want to try it... but, after several months of this, I started coming back to one distro-- Debian Sarge-- as the one that gave me the most opportunities and least problems. That's what worst best with my hardware, and with my particular idiosyncracies.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    48

    Best distro for low end laptop?

    I have an old PII 266Mhz laptop with 128MB RAM and a 4GB hard drive.

    What would you recommend I run on it for the best effeciency? I would prefer a Debian or Red Hat offspring but all suggestions are welcome.

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