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Thread: favourite distros

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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    89

    favourite distros

    Hi Everyone
    I'm a novice, to the linux distro universe. And I know this is a buntu centric forum, but I was wondering, apart from the different buntu distros, which other distros are your favourite and why?

    I know there are as many distros out there, as there are linux users. And each one caters to different needs and I have looked on distro watch. However, I was hoping you guys could give some personal recommendations based on what you like. So that I could narrow down the choices a little

    For myself, I'm a long time mircosoft xp user. And being a new linux user, I am looking for user friendly distros, but want to dive in to the deep end now. So not really bothered if they "look" like microsoft. I'm not, however, ready for the open ocean, so no Arch linux for my just yet, I've tried:
    lubuntu
    xubuntu
    zorin

    I'll be installing ubuntu next. I am also looking at other distros like
    cylon
    manjaro
    mageia
    openSUSE
    elementary os

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions

    Kojak

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    0

    Re: favourite distros

    Mint mate/cinnamon
    Lubuntu
    Tiny core
    Puppy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    7,745

    Re: favourite distros

    My current personal favorite is Mint.

    However, to be honest, I've never tried a Linux distro I've disliked (and I've tried dozens of them). All of the major distros provide the same basic functionality and software applications.

    Therefore I recommend you choose one distro and learn it in depth, rather than bounce around between a lot of different distros. You will learn more the longer you spend with one distro, in my opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    england
    Beans
    243
    Distro
    Kubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: favourite distros

    depends what i'm using them on
    Siemens laptop i5 / 8gb ram / hybrid hdd - Ubuntu 12.04 unity +gnome
    Toshiba netbook mint nadia xfce
    yes i'm a nood



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    239
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: favourite distros

    I like them all! But Snowpine is right: Once installed, they all have pretty much the same functionality. They mostly look the same (except that default themes and wallpapers and such are different) but they don't all act the same. RPM and APT (Red Hat and Debian) are similar but have different ways of managing software installation, upgrades and such. Yet they might be indistinguishable using a GUI. PCLinuxOS (and RPM distro) uses Synaptic Package Manager just like Debian and Ubuntu (APT) do, handling "dependencies" better (in my opinion) than something like Slackware, which has a completely different package management and poor dependency support.

    I've been a contented Xubuntu user for most of my time as a Linux user, but I hung around with a boy that loved to experiment with different distros. I looked over his shoulder and asked questions while he "test-drove" U/X/K/Lubuntu, Mepis, PCLinuxOS, Debian, Fedora, Slax, Crunchbang, Mint, SalixOS, and OpenSUSE. He kept notes on some of them. Some didn't last a whole day on his hard drive before he was wiping them to try the next one, but if he found one he really liked he's stick with it for a month or more, join their forums, and contribute in his own way. I didn't like the fancy KDE ones (SUSE, Mepis, PCLOS) but both of us really liked the ones with the Xfce desktop. Again, once installed, they all "look" pretty much the same and have the same applications. But on both of our computers, it was the Ubuntu-based ones that always instantly detected our hardware and everything usually "just worked."

    I'm not nearly as willing to explore and experiment as he was, so I just stick with Xubuntu and have no complaints at all. It's quick even on modest hardware and it's endlessly configurable (that's Xfce for you!) and easy to use. It's my only OS now, on my PC at home and my lap-top at school. My parents like it too!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    25

    Re: favourite distros

    Mine are as follows:

    Acer Aspire 5535 / Windows Vista Home Basic 32 bit / LM 13 KDE 64 bit dual boot
    HP Pavillion DV5 1111EA / LMDE Cinnamon 64 bit / Ubuntu 12.04.2 32 bit dual boot
    Puppy Linux on a usb stick

    I like 'em all, but I also like Crunch Bang, which is very minimalistic.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    89

    Re: favourite distros

    Thanks everyone, for all your great replies. lot's to take on board there, so I'll be happily googling away for awhile, brushing up on it all. There lots terms and names there I haven't heard of. So plenty to keep me busy.

    I think, for now, I'm going to stick to distros based around buntu, because I like the software center. And it'll help me get used to gnome (I think that's right isn't it?). Having said that, I can't wait to try out the other ones, because as you've said they all look great. Although fedora and alike are beyond my capability for the moment, at least. Nevertheless, if the others are, even, half as userfriendly as the one's I've tried. I can't see microsoft surviving, on my hard drive, much longer

    Just a couple of quick questions
    Gnome, KDE, XFCE, LXDE; are all desktop environments used my different distros, right? Gnome is used by all the buntu distros, as well as others. While KDE is used by Mint, and others. And XFCE by Debian, and others? So what are Unity, MATE, Cinnoman and Enlightenment, are they desktop environments, too?

    I'm I right in thinking XFCE and Gnome are lighter and more userfriendly, while KDE is heavyer and userfriendly?

    Cheers

    Kojak

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    239
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: favourite distros

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojak Peg View Post

    Just a couple of quick questions
    Gnome, KDE, XFCE, LXDE; are all desktop environments used my different distros, right? Gnome is used by all the buntu distros, as well as others. While KDE is used by Mint, and others. And XFCE by Debian, and others? So what are Unity, MATE, Cinnoman and Enlightenment, are they desktop environments, too?
    You're partially right. Gnome, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Mate, etc are all desktop environments used by most distros. Ubuntu uses Unity, a Gnomeish desktop. Kubuntu uses KDE, Xubuntu uses Xfce, Lubuntu uses LXDE. So you can try four different desktop environments all built on the base of the Ubuntu (Debian-Linux derived) operating system. You can also find Mate and Enlightenment in the Ubuntu repositories.

    You can also explore all of them without even trying the different 'buntus separately! If you have room on your hard drive, you can download all the desktop environments to a single installation of any 'buntu! Then at log-in, simply choose which "session" you want to explore. Log into a Xfce session, explore and be delighted! Log into a KDE session and be impressed with all the eye candy and cool widgets. Log off, then log into an LXDE session and see how very fast and responsive it is! Choosing a favorite might take a long time. And may not be permanent, since they're all growing and evolving and changing. My current favorite is Xfce, but the way they're all growing and changing, I could end up favoring a different DE in time. Especially now that I've read about a couple of projects aimed at making a "lightweight KDE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojak Peg View Post
    I'm I right in thinking XFCE and Gnome are lighter and more userfriendly, while KDE is heavier and userfriendly?
    Xfce is definitely "lighter weight" (meaning easier on system resources and therefore better on older, modest hardware) than Gnome and KDE. LXDE is another "light weight" and bare-bones desktop which is well-suited for older computers. In my opinion it has fewer features and is not nearly as configurable as it's older sibling, Xfce, which is near-equally light weight.

    Another aspect of desktop environments is something called integration. The desktop environments have their own applications that are designed for use in that environment (because they share the same libraries and are built on the same foundation, Gtk in the case of Gnome, Xfce, and LXDE; and Qt in the case of KDE). For example, KDE has it's own applications (all starting with K too, how cute!). The Konquer browser (which doubles as a file manager), the Kmail e-mail client, Kwallet, Kthis and Kthat. Xfce uses the Thunar file manager, Midori web browser, Xfburn CD burner, Xthis and Xthat.

    Most of them you can mix and match, using any application in any desktop environment! If you have room on your hard drive for all the extra libraries and stuff that gets "pulled in" along with applications from other desktop environments. I hope this lengthy explanation helps a little bit, I know it's confusing for newcomers to Linux who aren't used to having all these choices to make!

    Many distros have a "default" desktop environment that they tune their mixture for, but you can install any other desktop environment on any Linux distro (well, except for the ones you run only from RAM or from a thumb drive). My friend's favorite distro uses KDE. She loves it! My computer is pretty old and has just 512 of RAM on an old Celeron chip, so I use the lightweight Xfce desktop on mine. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing a D.E. Try them all on for size if your hardware can handle it!

  9. #9
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    Jul 2012
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    89

    Re: favourite distros

    Hi Peripheral visionary
    Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering about the applications and whether each distro had it's own set. So that clears things up a lot. And I had know idea about the different session. So definitely worth giving it a go. And the other beauty of linux is it's so easy and quick to install. I'm a fairly competent windows user and have installed it many time. Even still it's a long daunting and laborious task. Especially these days to get all the drivers working. So now since I'm serious about making the switch to linux I may was well try a few out before I become comfortable with one. Although I do take snowpine's point and would like to be as familiar with a linux distro as I am with xp

    I did dip my toe into linux a while ago. When I installed it on a very old laptop that took so long to load in windows. You were never entirely sure if it had crashed or not. I also suspect it was riddled with undetected viruses, etc. However I went back to what I was comfortable with when I got me present desktop. So now I'm making the switch I do what to try a few out, but as you know there are so many out there. Distrowatch and youtube reviews are all well and good but it's better to be able to talk about it to someone and get some personal recommendation. So this has been really useful for me.

    So thanks for all your help and I'll be googling the different distros and trying them out over the next months

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    0

    Re: favourite distros

    My favs:
    Mint Cinnamon
    Fuduntu
    Last edited by pacpod; April 28th, 2013 at 03:51 AM.

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