PDA

View Full Version : Distro Recommendation !



AnimeOmega
March 13th, 2009, 03:13 AM
I was wondering if you guys could share some insight and a few recommendations.

First of all, should a switch over to Linux? If yes, what distribution/flavor would you recommend? What desktop environment? what window manager? What [random thing, music player, browser, etc.] would you recommend I try/download/read/etc.?

Important:

- Performance, speed, efficiency.

- Minimalistic, simple, elegant. [For example, I love web-2.0 layouts!]

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features.

- Updated, bleeding edge.

Not really 'important' (in other words, don’t base your recommendations on this stuff):

- Looks, effects.

- Free, open source. [I can pay for stuff, I don’t care if the code is closed source]

- Security. [I’m a long time window user, I don’t even remember the last time I got ad/spy/malware or virus/worm/keylogger/etc. It’s quite easy if you stay away from weird .exe files, strange email attachments, p2p (kazaa, limewire, etc).]

- Stability. [I can tolerate a few crashes here and there.]

- “User-friendly”. [Whatever that means… I can read documentation, man pages, ask people. ]

Nice (bonus) stuff:

- Let me chose my software, don’t pre-install non-core-OS-stuff.

- GUIs ! I love synaptic!

Software I use:

Minefield 3.2a1 + adblock + noscript + linkification + firebug
Media Player Classic + codecs
uTorrent
Flashget
7zip
Winamp + lyricsplugin
MSN Messenger / Pidgin
Foxit Reader
Photoshop
MS Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
MS Visual Studio
Notepad++
Eclipse / Netbeans
TI-Connect (it’s for my TI-89 calculator, any linux alternatives?)

Distributions I tried:

- Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu
- Fedora

Both great distros, but don’t seem to be any faster/slower than Windows (IMO!). =/

Last Comments:

- Ermm, I connect to the internet using my data plan and my Motorola Razr v3m as a modem. I never got that to work with Linux… Anyone in a similar situation?

-Thanks a lot for your time! =]

Mehall
March 13th, 2009, 03:20 AM
Honestly?

If you're willing to put a small bit of time in, Arch Linux looks like your best bit, probably with the LXDE environment, or maybe with Openbox.

if you need something a bit simpler to set-up, I'd say Crunchbang, which is based on Ubuntu, but with SPEED

bsharp
March 13th, 2009, 03:29 AM
Honestly?

If you're willing to put a small bit of time in, Arch Linux looks like your best bit, probably with the LXDE environment, or maybe with Openbox.

if you need something a bit simpler to set-up, I'd say Crunchbang, which is based on Ubuntu, but with SPEED

+1

Arch would be perfect for you, but since you're a newcomer to Linux in general, go with Crunchbang.

I haven't used Crunchbang personally, but I've heard good things about it.

Stan_1936
March 13th, 2009, 03:30 AM
....Important:

...
- Updated, bleeding edge.....


...if you need something a bit simpler to set-up, I'd say Crunchbang, which is based on Ubuntu, but with SPEED

Is it bleeding edge?

C!oud
March 13th, 2009, 03:33 AM
distrowatch.com

bsharp
March 13th, 2009, 03:36 AM
If you want bleeding edge go with Arch. If you don't know your way around a terminal you will have quite a headache setting it up, but follow this guide and you'll be ok:

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners_Guide

Also, make sure you READ the guide, don't just copy/paste the commands. It's good to know exactly what you're doing.

I would still recommend Crunchbang if this is your first Linux experience.

Skripka
March 13th, 2009, 03:47 AM
The OP should appreciate that "stability" and "bleeding edge" tend to by on opposite ends of a continuum. You really cannot have both.


Arch I'd recommend, only if you're prepared to learn much more about Linux than Ubuntu would have you. It is quite easy to set up, if you read directions, follow them, and understand what and why you're doing it.

The Arch Wiki is long, but most of it is explanation. I did my first install in a little under 2 hours-excluding package downloading and the like. But then again I was being methodical and careful, and read and reread every section again to make sure I did not miss anything....my second Arch install I did in under 30 minutes (minus package downloading).

Arch is for people who want to know more, and who are prepared to do more work in the maintenance of their system--in the name of performance, simplicity, and "bleeding edge". But be prepared to have to think your way around things when "bleeding edge" bites you in the *&^%.

oldos2er
March 13th, 2009, 03:49 AM
I would've said Arch until I read "GUIs!" Vector Linux, or Sidux.

Mehall
March 13th, 2009, 03:51 AM
@Skrikpa: Agreed.

Crunchbang is as "leading-edge" as Ubuntu 8.10 (there's not even a 9.04 testing yet, but there will be soon enough)

Crunchbang is fast, stable (I've had no issues beyond things that are Ubuntu level, not Crunchbang level) and is as up-to-date as Ubuntu is.

Icehuck
March 13th, 2009, 03:52 AM
Get Arch linux and you will be fine. Installation isn't complicated and they have a step by step guide on how to install it. If you have half a brain and you can read then you can install Arch linux.

Just in case you have no clue about the command line, run this tutorial and you will be able to do the install just fine. It takes 20 minutes to do the whole thing. http://linuxsurvival.com/

Greg
March 13th, 2009, 04:14 AM
Hmmm, I might actually say Debian Lenny.

Lenny is new, so at least for now it has pretty new packages; if you want more bleeding edge you can always dip into unstable or testing... it also has a ton of programs. The install comes in graphical mode or text mode. You select to a degree what components you install. Debian is also very secure.

As others are saying, Arch is a great distro. You learn a lot, and have plenty of customibility. Pacman is an excellent package manager, things like Yaourt, Powerpill, and gtkpacman extend pacman to include more software, speed it up, and give it a front end interface. The install can be a bit challenging, but the documentation is superb and makes it painless.

Slackware is the oldest living linux distro. Like Arch, it's an intermediate level distro. If you get good with Slackware, you get good with Linux. Slackware doesn't automatically resolve dependencies.

Others to look into: Zenwalk, Chakra, whatever looks interesting on DistroWatch

DE's/WM's: XFCE. I happen to think that it's a great full implementation- you get control, it looks good, and you get to use GTK+ themes while remaining lightweight. Use in conjunction with pcmanfm.
e17. I've never particularly liked enlightenment, but many find that it offers a good mix between eye candy and speed.
A tiling window manager... if you're really feeling adventerous.

PDFs: Evince- I find it has some nice features in it (like automatically going to the place you closed it from)

Music/Media: MPlayer/VLC

Office: Full suite would be OOo, AbiWord is a good lighter weight processor

Eclipse should be the same, pidgin is the same. Deluge or kTorrent for torrents. Emacs is a fun text editor for programming in. Firefox is the same, there's no real PS replacement, and for an archiver, one may come with your DE.

chucky chuckaluck
March 13th, 2009, 04:17 AM
+12 for arch. you can put any gui you want on it. you just have to add it, rather than having to get rid of it if you don't want it. arch sounds perfect for you. it's not as hard as it's made out to be and the wiki is no longer than it need be while still being quite clear.

Skripka
March 13th, 2009, 04:22 AM
Others to look into: Zenwalk, Chakra, whatever looks interesting on DistroWatch
.

If the OP wants to try Chakra... I'd STRONGLY encourage, 1st doing an Arch+KDEmod install.

Chakra is a NICE shortcut for the Arch+KDEmod install. Because Chakra IS an Arch install---where afterwards you type:



pacman -S kdemod-complete


BUT, the Arch install is a tutorial into how you set and fix things in Arch, in terms of config files, pacman etc. Skip it, and you are left up a creek without a paddle.

stopie
March 13th, 2009, 04:26 AM
+1 Arch and Crunchbang

Arch: Can literally be everything you want if your willing to go through the set up. I tried and didnt like it, but others above have done it with ease, esepcially with great guides (as mentioned above) available.

Crunchbang: Minimal, speedy, and versatile (just like arch) but install is done with the click of a button. #! is not as bleeding edge as arch, but, as stated above, you dont run the risk (as I have been told the actuality of this situation is little) of having a bleeding edge update messing things up.

Personally: In my complete and personal preference, I prefer #!, as I too am OCD and obsessed with minimal, both in looks and in system resource usage. I think the decision should be based on how much linux expirence you have and how much time your willing to put in. As above, if you have the time and focus to read the guides and learn the background things, then arch is the way to go, even without much linux expirence. If you dont have that much time/willpower and arent too expirenced with linux, then #! would be best. You really cant go wrong with either, though.

JackieChan
March 13th, 2009, 05:19 AM
I think either Arch Linux or Mandriva would be perfect for you. They really have what you're looking for.

doorknob60
March 13th, 2009, 06:12 AM
Your things under "Important" describe Arch pretty well actually. Go for it :)

MikeTheC
March 13th, 2009, 06:12 AM
Meaning no disrespect to the OP, but you honestly came to UbuntuForums to ask what distro we'd recommend?

Um... Call me crazy, but how about Ubuntu?

standingchair
March 14th, 2009, 11:06 PM
I tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Backtrack3 and Sabayon, finally I found Crunchbang. This distro is great, the programs that do come installed are all pretty useful and being based on Ubuntu 8.10 - their is plenty of documentation out there for just about anything you need

#! highly recommended

chris200x9
March 14th, 2009, 11:12 PM
+13 arch, arch is really good and not complicated at all if you can read IMO :)

liamnixon
March 14th, 2009, 11:34 PM
You could always just do a minimal install of Ubuntu if you like apt.

Or if you're feeling adventurous, then I would highly recommend Slackware. It's great if you don't install/uninstall stuff all the time. Just stick VLC on it and it's gravy! :D

Mehall
March 14th, 2009, 11:39 PM
I tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Backtrack3 and Sabayon, finally I found Crunchbang. This distro is great, the programs that do come installed are all pretty useful and being based on Ubuntu 8.10 - their is plenty of documentation out there for just about anything you need

#! highly recommended

Speed, stability, designed to look and feel minimalistic, enough documentation for the backend thanks to being based on Ubuntu, and a bloody great community if I do say so myself (I'm Mehall on there too, in case anyone wonders)

gjoellee
March 14th, 2009, 11:40 PM
It seams you like your are looking for Arch Linux! I use Arch Linux.

Just to show you a difference in boot time on the same computer:
After a clean Ubuntu installation with Ext4: 21,84 sec
After a clean installation of Arch with Ext4: 12.57 sec
After configuring Arch (even connecting to Internet during the boot): 18.12 sec

Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop and drained my RAM for about 500mb all the time...
I use Arch with KDEmod, and I constantly use 320mb RAM

Mehall
March 14th, 2009, 11:42 PM
It seams you like your are looking for Arch Linux! I use Arch Linux.

Just to show you a difference in boot time on the same computer:
After a clean Ubuntu installation with Ext4: 21,84 sec
After a clean installation of Arch with Ext4: 12.57 sec
After configuring Arch (even connecting to Internet during the boot): 18.12 sec

Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop and drained my RAM for about 500mb all the time...
I use Arch with KDEmod, and I constantly use 320mb RAM


Without Firefox open (because including it in RAM stats is unfair, lol) but WITH thunderbird, Liferea, Gwibber, Rhytmbox, wicd, Pidgin and yakuake, under Crunchbang I use about 400mb

It would probably be a damn site less if not for yakuake too!

CJ Master
March 15th, 2009, 12:17 AM
It seams you like your are looking for Arch Linux! I use Arch Linux.

Just to show you a difference in boot time on the same computer:
After a clean Ubuntu installation with Ext4: 21,84 sec
After a clean installation of Arch with Ext4: 12.57 sec
After configuring Arch (even connecting to Internet during the boot): 18.12 sec

Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop and drained my RAM for about 500mb all the time...
I use Arch with KDEmod, and I constantly use 320mb RAM

If we're going with bootup times, then the OP wants moblin2, 5 second bootups.

However, for what OP describes, i'd say Crunchbang.