View Full Version : [ubuntu] advice picking environment (or maybe distro)

October 18th, 2009, 09:05 AM
I've been using linux for roughly a year now, and pretty much exclusively for about 8 months (Win XP only to play video to a TV that doesn't play nice with my ATI cards). I used Intrepid for most of the time, but when I finally got around to installing Jaunty, I created a couple of extra partitions and have been experimenting with other distros (kubuntu, xubuntu, ubuntu ultimate, and ubuntu mint, and openSuse)

The experimenting has been great. I've learned lots about linux, and also learned that I'm not completely happy with the stock Ubuntu. I'm going to list the features I liked, and didn't like, while experimenting, and I'm asking if anyone has advice - I'm getting a bit sick of all the playing around and so once 9.10 is out I want to pick one, get it exactly how I want it, then not have to think about it for a while.

While it was nice having EVERYTHING already installed, in Ubuntu UE, it seems bloated. It's a nice distro to play around with and sample software, but not one I want to use as my main.
The installer in Mint, 'mint tools', is great. I thought Synaptic was great, but mint tools spoiled me. I was reading about karmic though, and it mentioned redoing the way software is managed, so maybe with the arrival of karmic, mint will lose that pro.
I like the menu system in Mint. Its not so much that there is only a single menu bar (I know that Gnome can be configured to have just one bar and even one button), but the menu system is more intuitive, and there are 4 workspaces, rather than just 2, which I really want.
Linux Mint crashed on me. Froze up on a relatively new install, all up to date, with only firefox running - (with noscript as an addon, too). I really, really want stability. Stability is about half of the reason I switched from windows in the first place.
KDE confuses me. (So does Vista/Win 7, but in all three cases, it is probably just that I need to spend more time getting used to it). That said, I like having more workspaces and I like being able to customise each to look/behave in individual ways.
I can't do too much with compiz, because this is a mobility radeon video card, which means that even for the ati linux driver, I'm dependent on %^$#ing Acer. On the other hand, I do like playing around with eye candy, and little widgety thingies are within my laptop's power, and that may be a + for kde?
In a few months time, I will be buying a linux-friendly laptop.

I just want some advice on which desktop environment/distro combination might work best for me.

Edit: Oops. Meant to post to General.

October 18th, 2009, 09:55 AM
If you like Gnome, just stick with the standard Ubuntu.

It takes 5 seconds to give yourself 4 (or as many as you like) desktops.

You can also install the Mint menu on Ubuntu if you want to (google it for a source).

I haven't used the new Software Centre in Karmic, but it is worth trying.

I personally use XFCE because:
1. It feels faster.
2. Thunar is an awesome file manager.

It also defaults with a single menu (akin to start button, but with a mouse icon), although editing the menu is a current downfall.

October 18th, 2009, 10:20 AM
Maybe want to try something completeely different? http://crunchbanglinux.org/

October 18th, 2009, 10:22 AM
sooo you want ubuntu, but with the mintMenu and something similar to mintInstall?

- Ubuntu 9.10's new package manager may make you happy.
- http://sites.google.com/site/wintergreenproject/wintergreen-packages ---- as a project, i ceased that for now due to reasons explained at the website.... but the .deb is still there if you want to play with it.

October 18th, 2009, 10:26 AM
Maybe want to try something completeely different? http://crunchbanglinux.org/

+1, good call.

so far, you have tried slightly different implementations of very much the same thing. all GNOME... and since the graphical interface seems to be what is most important to you, perhaps you should vary your search a bit more? GNOME will always be GNOME, even if it's green or blue or has this package manager (.deb) or that package manager (.rpm).

pick a "base" distribution, such as "Ubuntu" or "Red Hat" or "Puppy".

try the various different remixes of said base distro.

you may be surprised by just how diverse Ubuntu can look and feel while still being Ubuntu.

and, of course, nothing is stopping you from making your own perfect version of Ubuntu for you and releasing it to the public.

October 18th, 2009, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the suggestions - they're kind of exactly the replies I was hoping for.