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carolinabranden
March 24th, 2011, 08:46 AM
I'm switching to another distro here soon. I was considering Arch Linux until I saw their download/update community can be unpredictable at times. Haven't decided which shell to use either. Windows has given me enough nonstop maintenance hardaches. After I've configured my environment everything should automatically update and external devices should be recognized plus connected. I like how simplified and user-friendly Mac OS is; however, I don't want a cosmetic look-a-like in Linux. lol

Linux Mint
Arch Linux
XFCE / LXDE

...are my choices thus far. "What tasks are you planning to do?" If I'm gaming, I prefer to use Windows 7 on my desktop (which has Linux too). The Lenovo X120e will be used for watching movies down to academic use. Which distro and shell do you think meets what I am looking for?

Artificial Intelligence
March 24th, 2011, 05:39 PM
Moved to the Community Cafe, as it's not a support question(s).

Johnsie
March 24th, 2011, 06:03 PM
I've heard good things about Fedora lately. There's also a website that allows you to easily create your own custom distro:

http://susestudio.com

For shell I love gnome. Lucikly there are plenty of other distros that have Gnome by default.

TBABill
March 24th, 2011, 06:11 PM
What about Debian? Fast, efficient, doesn't break much (not at all for me on the stable Squeeze) and you can have your choice of distros....stable, testing and sid (and experimental if you are just so adventurous you actually want your machine to break frequently). And you can get whatever flavor you want...KDE, Gnome, Xfce, LXDE, etc. PLUS, fonts in Debian are now fixed and look great!

cariboo
March 24th, 2011, 06:27 PM
Which distribution you use is a matter of personal choice, I'd suggest you try the disto's you are interested in, in vbox before making a decision.

3Miro
March 24th, 2011, 06:33 PM
My personal choice:

1. Gentoo + XFCE
2. Arch + XFCE
3. Fedora + XFCE is also nice.

If not XFCE I would use Gnome (if I use Gnome it would be with Ubuntu before Fedora). I have used LXDE, but I find it a bit lacking and not stable enough yet.

I have no impression of Mint, however, Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is very Gnome-centric. This non Gnome DE sometimes have trouble.

snowpine
March 24th, 2011, 06:33 PM
You can read a great description of the top 10 distros at:

http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

Personally I think it is hard to go wrong with any of these; it is purely a matter of personal taste and what tasks you need it for. Probably any distro is suitable for watching movies and academic use, however if you are nervous/inexperienced about installing multimedia codecs on your own, you might consider a distro like Mint that includes the codecs pre-bundled. Also if you are in school studying computers, you might consider an .rpm based distro like Fedora, CentOS, Red Hat, etc. as these distros are popular in the workplace.

NightwishFan
March 24th, 2011, 06:36 PM
Can not go wrong with most of the major distros. As was said try a few out in vbox.

Shining Arcanine
March 24th, 2011, 06:58 PM
I'm switching to another distro here soon. I was considering Arch Linux until I saw their download/update community can be unpredictable at times. Haven't decided which shell to use either. Windows has given me enough nonstop maintenance hardaches. After I've configured my environment everything should automatically update and external devices should be recognized plus connected. I like how simplified and user-friendly Mac OS is; however, I don't want a cosmetic look-a-like in Linux. lol

Linux Mint
Arch Linux
XFCE / LXDE

...are my choices thus far. "What tasks are you planning to do?" If I'm gaming, I prefer to use Windows 7 on my desktop (which has Linux too). The Lenovo X120e will be used for watching movies down to academic use. Which distro and shell do you think meets what I am looking for?

My personal choice is Gentoo Linux with the Bash Shell. I have tried the Z Shell in the past, but I felt it was too complicated for my purposes and that it was too easy to write scripts for it that were not portable.

3Miro
March 24th, 2011, 07:02 PM
Can not go wrong with most of the major distros. As was said try a few out in vbox.

Keep in mind that due to limitations of Vbox you may not be able to get accurate impression of the distribution. For example, in my experience, Vbox and KDE don't like each other, so any KDE distro would suffer. Once you install KDE on your machine, you get a very different impression.

XFCE and LXDE should be fine though.

MasterNetra
March 24th, 2011, 08:24 PM
I intend to stick with Ubuntu Personally. If I don't like Unity their is good old faithful Gnome 2.x known in 11.04 as Classic. So no biggy.

clanky
March 24th, 2011, 09:19 PM
It all comes down to personal choice, to be honest I would advise deciding on a DE / WM first, especially if you are particularly concerned with aesthetics and then see which distros have a good implementation of that DE / WM.

My personal favourite is Fedora / KDE.

carolinabranden
March 25th, 2011, 12:08 AM
I intend to stick with Ubuntu Personally. If I don't like Unity their is good old faithful Gnome 2.x known in 11.04 as Classic. So no biggy.

Linux Mint is based off of Ubuntu. In my opinion it is superior to regular Ubuntu. It is very feature rich and offers a lot. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet.






.

Timmer1240
March 25th, 2011, 02:41 AM
Linux Mint Debian gnome desktop its been great the last few months based on testing so maybe a little risky but having a blast with it so far!

beew
March 25th, 2011, 02:45 AM
Linux Mint is based off of Ubuntu. In my opinion it is superior to regular Ubuntu. It is very feature rich and offers a lot. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet.

.

Basically Mint is just Ubuntu with some codecs installed and slap on a Windows 9X look( IMO ugly, but this is personal taste). I am not a big fan of Mint.

beew
March 25th, 2011, 02:49 AM
Linux Mint Debian gnome desktop its been great the last few months based on testing so maybe a little risky but having a blast with it so far!

Actually "testing" is older than "unstable", on which Ubuntu is based. They can be on 'testing' for a long time so there is really no risk, accept something may get too old to work with newer hardware (like kernel)

NightwishFan
March 25th, 2011, 05:40 AM
Basically Mint is just Ubuntu with some codecs installed and slap on a Windows 9X look( IMO ugly, but this is personal taste). I am not a big fan of Mint.

I also see absolutely no advantage in using Mint. Nothing wrong with doing so though, so I will not argue against it.

Roasted
March 25th, 2011, 06:57 AM
My personal choice:

1. Gentoo + XFCE
2. Arch + XFCE
3. Fedora + XFCE is also nice.

If not XFCE I would use Gnome (if I use Gnome it would be with Ubuntu before Fedora). I have used LXDE, but I find it a bit lacking and not stable enough yet.

I have no impression of Mint, however, Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is very Gnome-centric. This non Gnome DE sometimes have trouble.

Mint does have some differences which make it a little different while still having Ubuntu-ish roots.

Mint also has a Debian based release out too. I played with it for a matter of minutes, but in the short time I used it, I liked it. Not enough to switch, though. :D

handy
March 25th, 2011, 07:06 AM
I'm switching to another distro here soon. I was considering Arch Linux until I saw their download/update community can be unpredictable at times.

What have you heard?

I've been using Arch for 3 years & don't know what you are talking about?

Metallion
March 25th, 2011, 07:20 AM
I'll say about Arch that I tried it once just to see if I would be able to set it all up by myself and it just simply stayed. Haven't felt the need to use any other distro since.

The big question here is: how willing you are to manage your own system down to the smallest details. There's triple A quality documentation up on the Arch wiki but their forum isn't as noob friendly as this one.

I'd also recommend Linux Mint Debian Edition. I'm a big fan of the rolling release that both Mint DE and Arch have. You just install your system once and it's done. Every time you run apt-get upgrade/pacman -Syu, your system is fully updated.

Ubuntu chooses their 6 month schedule in the name of stability but I personally prefer small frequent updates for that too. When something breaks (which rarely happens), it's much easier to locate and fix/roll back.

Hope this helps.

handy
March 25th, 2011, 07:36 AM
I'll say about Arch that I tried it once just to see if I would be able to set it all up by myself and it just simply stayed. Haven't felt the need to use any other distro since.

The big question here is: how willing you are to manage your own system down to the smallest details. There's triple A quality documentation up on the Arch wiki but their forum isn't as noob friendly as this one.

You are expected to have searched & read any relevant info' on the wiki, & to have searched for any of the same on their forum.

If you have done those things you usually get excellent help, even directly from members of the Arch dev' team.

They don't spoon feed you as though you don't know how to do any research as is so common on this forum.



I'd also recommend Linux Mint Debian Edition. I'm a big fan of the rolling release that both Mint DE and Arch have. You just install your system once and it's done. Every time you run apt-get upgrade/pacman -Syu, your system is fully updated.

Yes, me too, I love it, as I'm such a lazy user these days. :)



Ubuntu chooses their 6 month schedule in the name of stability but I personally prefer small frequent updates for that too. When something breaks (which rarely happens), it's much easier to locate and fix/roll back.

Hope this helps.

There has been talk of Ubuntu moving to a rolling release system in the future. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen.

NightwishFan
March 25th, 2011, 07:40 AM
There has been talk of Ubuntu moving to a rolling release system in the future. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen.

Perhaps some aspects however I really do not think (and hope not) that this is planned.

I tried Arch once in vbox, it did not really seem very difficult to set up for me. It gave me a bit too much control than I really wanted though.

handy
March 25th, 2011, 07:55 AM
Perhaps some aspects however I really do not think (and hope not) that this is planned.

I tried Arch once in vbox, it did not really seem very difficult to set up for me. It gave me a bit too much control than I really wanted though.

What I like about the control provided by the Arch system is that it holds to the fundamental philosophy of Arch which is the KISS principle, so once you learn how Arch works (which the installation certainly is a great introduction to) it is usually so simple to fix or modify your setup, as there are so few config files to know about. When in doubt you read the wiki.

Most everything happens in just the one /etc/rc.conf with /etc/pacman.conf rarely needing to be touched once you system is setup.

Courses for horses though. I'm sure that there are a huge number of people that would really NOT like how Arch works.

One of the things I love about Linux, is that there are so many flavours, so it just takes a little taste testing to find the one that suits your palate best of all. :)

Zero2Nine
March 25th, 2011, 01:50 PM
Why are you switching if I may ask? Knowing that would help a lot in picking an alternative distro I guess.

RiceMonster
March 25th, 2011, 01:55 PM
Fedora is my choice for a desktop distro (I like CentOS/RHEL on the server). It's given me the least frustrations out of any distro. No silly customizations that make little sense to me, and nothing feels taped together like some parts of other distros do.

wizard10000
March 25th, 2011, 02:52 PM
Although I did a lot of it when I was new to Linux I guess these days I don't understand distro-hopping.

Of course there are exceptions (gentoo, slack, Puppy and so on) but for most of the mainstream distributions the only real difference is package management. Most all of them use either rpm, apt or YaST and just about all packages are available in all distributions.

Although I cut my teeth on rpm I prefer apt as a package manager but if I wanted a Fedora box to look just like a *buntu box or an SuSE machine and have all the same software and settings it'd be fairly easy to do.

I prefer *buntu's security model to Debian's, which is why I keep coming back to *buntu.

For me the great thing about Linux is it's all about choices. If I want to compile everything from source I don't have to install gentoo, I can do it with *buntu. If I want to be lazy and run everything from a GUI I can do that too. Except for Mint's rolling release there's no difference between Mint and *buntu except that with Mint the multimedia stuff's installed and with *buntu you have to go get it.

I really think people should find a distribution they like and stick with it long enough to learn whether it *is* the right distribution for them - I believe they're doing themselves a disservice by distro-hopping, when the main reason they're switching from one distro to another is they like the way the other one looks. Heck, make the one you *have* look like the one you want :D

Okay, rant over.

[/rant]

;)

murderslastcrow
March 25th, 2011, 05:41 PM
After spending about an hour getting Arch installed with your chosen environment and programs, you're pretty much set for life. I've had nothing but pleasant updates, and I don't pay any attention at all to when software is released- I just update once every couple days. Of course, it would be best to be somewhat cogniscent of how to fix any problems and where to look for help should such an issues arise, but the Arch community is always on its feet, and has AMAZING documentation.

The Arch documentation is, for instance, updated far more often than Ubuntu's, and covers a great deal more subjects in depth. It'll give you everything you need to know to have complete control with the greatest amount of ease.

So, basically, after the first day getting familiar with Arch, you learn a lot of good things about Linux at a small cost, and you can forget everything the next day and use your system just as you did before, with greater speed, newer software, and more confidence in how it runs.

If you don't want that, go for Linux Mint. No matter how much you like a distro outside of Arch/Ubuntu, the biggest headache tends to be package availability. The only reason Arch is so nice is because it has some of the best package management and availability. For distros like openSUSE, Fedora, and Ubuntu that depend on having binary packages like .debs and .RPMs for certain versions, Debian/Ubuntu derived distros have the best chances for having a package ready to download.

And really, aside from installation procedure, default software, and documentation, package management and availability is the only real difference between distributions. So, among those four things, according to your priorities you should be able to decide what's right for you.