View Full Version : Other Distros you have installed and the story behind it.

August 24th, 2009, 02:20 AM
Hi haven't been around here lately , started using Arch a few weeks ago. Just did a reinstall to 32bit.

Any interesting stories with other distros?

Arch was a real interesting install as the installer just installs a base system then you have to install everything from Xserver to the window manager. I printed out the newbie quide witch has all the install information and when't from there. The first try was 64bit and had a lot of breakage. Decided on 32bit as I want some music sequencers etc with better 32bit support.

First problem was the network as my router is a bitch even when I had Ubuntu so had to do a manual config, end result is that my connection is more stable and rock solid after spending days playing with it. The base install has netcft but opted for networkmanager and applet demon to manage my network like in Ubuntu and all works ok for the laptop now. Oh ya you have to manually add daemons in rc.conf to load on boot lol , loads of fun , its based on BSD approach and nothing is hidden so tweeking is fairly easy.

I spend three days doing the install and tweeking the config mostly playing with the wireless till I figured out my problem. Anyways I learnt a lot. Ended up with a system set up similar to Ubuntu , and the rolling upgrade system is sweet for my liking instead of a release every 6 months.

I really like the package manager which is the reason I tried it in the first place. It's called pacman and has search etc and shaman as a graphical front end. It has a package builder system to help install and manage tarballs with pacman which is what I wanted.

Anyways spent a lot of time manually tweeking and playing with the computer and learned a lot about linux in general. It was fun and I will probabaly be using Arch for a long time.

Pain factor on the intall and config ,, some experience required lol.

I will still be here on the Community Cafe though lol

Little Bit
August 24th, 2009, 09:58 PM
My first Linux was "Robin's Ubuntu Remix" that we use at the dance studio. It's so pretty and fast and super simple! My mom is using it now and she really likes it. I even wrote an article about simple Linux for non-geeky girls (see my signature)!

I'm playing with "regular" Ubuntu 9.04 now, learning Gnome (but I still like Robin's better so far) and and experimenting here and there when I have time. But with school now on top of everything else I rarely have time to play. But I like what I already have so much I don't see any reason to change it for now.


August 24th, 2009, 10:03 PM
The first time I "tried" to install linux was in 2006 I believe when I built my first computer and didn't want to pay for a version of windows. I ended up not paying for windows and have used that version for everything since. But it was called alinux and I had no clue what I was doing and hence didn't get it installed, thought I did, went through the whole process but nothing.

August 24th, 2009, 10:25 PM
Arch - Only distro on my computer.

Gentoo - In VM.

Slackware - In VM.

August 25th, 2009, 01:00 AM
I've tried most major distros. Don't have any stories to tell except I just like to try them out.

Warren Watts
August 25th, 2009, 04:24 AM
My most interesting distro install is the one I am currently using on a day-today basis. Its a Wolvix 2.0.0 Beta2 LiveCD running on a Athlon XP 2400+ with 512MB of RAM and no HDD.

The computer was given to me by a friend, and initially had XP installed on it. Within a week, the hard drive crashed. I had an old 20GB HDD drive lying around, so I stuck that in it and spent hours installing and updating XP. Two weeks later, THAT HDD died a horrible, loud clicking death.

I barely make enough money at my current job to keep my family fed, and honestly just didn't have the money to replace the hard drive, nor did I want to spend hours installing another OS.

Using Ubuntu as a LiveCD just isn't practical, especially on a machine with only 512MB. DSL and Puppy are way too minimal, and I'm not really fond of the DE's they use. After some research on Distrowatch, I stumbled across Wolvix.

Wolvix is feature rich and boots quickly from a LiveCD. I repartitioned a 1GB USB thumbdrive into a 400MB FAT16 (I needed to keep all the stuff I had stored on the thumbdrive) and a 600MB ext3 partition. I set Wolvix up to store all my persistent changes to the thumbdrive, and now I have a working Linux system with no hard drive!

To store any additional files, I set up a NFS share on my Ubuntu powered server.

August 25th, 2009, 02:38 PM
I had only known WinXP before trying Linux. And I was scared to try it because I had heard that "Linux is way too geeky."

But then XP had become increasingly slow even after updates and scans and registry cleaning and defragging and debugging and delousing and defrocking and decloaking and de-whatever else I could think of. Even re-installing it didn't cure the problem! Finally XP gave up the ghost and I really had no choice but to look elsewhere. I thought of Mac, but thought I should try "something free" first.

I chose Ubuntu because it was the most popular and because after a few weeks of lurking in these forums (using a borrowed computer), Ubuntu looked like the best "first try."

Ubuntu (Intrepid, 8.10) was flawless. Had the wifi up in minutes (thanks to notes I had gathered from these forums). My printer worked better than before, right out of the box. And speed? Hyooooge, mega improvement over XP. Ubuntu rescued my poor old computer from the landfill.

I wondered if there's something even better, because when I bragged to my older brother (who doesn't live with us) about my discovery he quipped, "Oh yeah, I know! I've been using Linux for over a year." And you didn't tell me?? Grrr. Oh well - that's a whole 'nother story... He swore up and down that PCLinuxOS was far superior to Ubuntu (I learned later that he had never even tried any other distro but PCLOS, so how could he know). So I tried it. It's pretty and I liked the KDE interface, but I had all kindsa problems with hardware. Printer, sound, wifi all were a pain, and I never did get them all working. Okay, done. Back to Ubuntu, but this time, I want to try this new Ubuntu-based distro that billed itself as "Ubuntu done right" or "what Ubuntu should have been."

Linux Mint (#7, "Gloria") was gorgeous, easy to use, and simple enough for a simple boy like me to figure out and use. Easier Gnome interface than Ubuntu's. But for some reason it was waaaaay slower than Ubuntu had been, and much more resource-hungry. In their forums they just said the problem was "upstream" (meaning "blame Ubuntu"). Yeah but, Ubuntu was much faster on the same computer! It's gotta be something else. I said so in their forums and got labeled a "troll" for my trouble. Mint is, by their own admission, basically Ubuntu with new skin (except that whatever else they added slows it way down on my machine), and I'm frankly offended that someone could take Canonical's years of hard work on the Number One distro and plagiarize it so blatantly, changing some artwork and adding codecs and a few "tools" and calling it a "distro" instead of an Ubuntu remix (which is much closer to the truth). Sure, it may be strictly legal under the GNU license, but it's damned unethical in my opinion. No more Mint for this boy.

Still in search of an Ubuntu variant that makes Ubuntu simpler and more lightweight, I tried Crunchbang Linux] (http://crunchbanglinux.org) next. It was awesomely fast, everything worked out of the box just like Ubuntu had. It has no desktop environment (only the Openbox window manager), so it's not for use by people who really need "a desktop with something to click on." But its stark, minimal beauty and its versatility and power have made it a favorite. Lightweight, speedy, awesome. Definitely highly recommended for low-resource computers!

But I needed to make this computer available to several people, kids mostly, to use between classes at the studio. It needs to have a "familiar," clickable desktop that anyone can use without thinking about it or needing to be coached. It needed to be effortless for kids who only know Windows or Mac. But it also has to be lightweight on this old computer. So I added the LXDE (http://lxde.org) desktop environment to Crunchbang and thought I had found the perfect solution. It worked for a short while, but Crunchbang and LXDE just didn't play nice with each other (I have no idea why).

Back to Ubuntu again! This time a minimal install with LXDE and selected favorite applications, codecs, CUPS, that kinda stuff. It absolutely flies at near transwarp speed on this old computer, everything "just works," and the interface is so simple (and beautiful since I changed the wallpaper, lol) that all the kids at the studio use it effortlessly and don't even know it's Linux. Unless I tell them, of course... and I really only do that if they ask, or offer compliments on how swift and simple this ancient old dog is.

I suppose that I could label my Ubuntu/LXDE remix a "distro;" call myself a "developer;" and rig Firefox's search engine up as an automated fund raiser for "the project," and use the money to pay for college. But I'm not unethical enough to be that Minty.