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Trying out linux distros

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by doc eggfan, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    Looking for something mum can use that isn't too complicated (ie no text prompts) and can run from a flash drive on a little netbook. She's been using W7 and it grinds to a halt and has been very frustrating lately (probably due to poor malware protection and maintanence).

    Not too keen on knoppix, the boot sequence looks ugly and might freak her out, and the anally retententive security is a bit painful.

    Tried vanilla Puppylinux and the interface seems like it would take some getting used to (even I had a bit of confusion doing a simple cut and paste).

    In the process of downloading some of the puplets, particularly Simplicity and Macpup.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. HighFrictionZone

    HighFrictionZone

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    I've got Xubuntu installed on this netbook right here. Everything looks and works about right (as far as I can tell), aside from the fact that the trackpad stopped working after a day or two. But I'm pretty sure that's because I might have knocked the cable for it loose when I was trying to get at the hard drive to replace it. I haven't had time to go in and double check that work. The point is, it did work when I was setting it up so that's cool.

    You could also just try plain Ubuntu. Or Kubuntu. Or, plain old debian, but Ubuntu and it's derivatives make it easier to install drivers and codecs so I'd go with that.
     
  3. flamewing

    flamewing

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    Considering how much the package manager software sucks on many other distributions, I would recommend something based on Debian or Ubuntu too; preferably based on Ubuntu but without Unity. But I hate Unity, so you may want to try it out anyway.
     
  4. Kreigyr

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    If you want a pretty familiar interface, I'd have to suggest Lubuntu.

    It uses KDE LXDE, which is -very- similar to Window's default, unmodified interface. Although the package system is a little... archaic, and takes awhile to get used to, everything else is easy to pick up on, and I've seen it run on everything as low as a 700 MHz Sempron with 256MB of RAM.

    Vector Linux is also insanely lightweight. It uses XFCE, which is a rather strange splicing of some OSX (notably the dock) and Unity elements, but is also easy to work. It has a more robust package system, as well, but it's based off of Slackware, so there'll be less software avaliable.

    EDIT: fml
     
  5. Overlord

    Overlord

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    XFCE is a good GUI to aim for - I'm running an older version of Xubuntu on one box and it's great. For something a bit more modern that still uses it, and iirc is still Debian based, maybe Mint? http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=113
     
  6. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    Yeah, I'm running Mint on my main machine, trying real hard to love it, but it just ocassionally lets me down. I like it better than ubuntu

    I've had ubuntu in the past, not too keen to go back. Might try the lighter xubuntu and/or lubuntu.

    The one I really love is the gentoo-based Sabayon, which I'm running on my spare/experimental machine. I'm loving the weekly updates and the automatic upgrades, it's just ticked over to ver 10/ver X. What I also love is the slick boot sequence, which many distros seem to ignore. Just not sure I could get it to run nicely from flash, and I think the weekly updates would annoy mum.

    The idea to sell it to mum is that I don't want to install it, just run it live from a flash usb. That way she can go back to windows if she hates it. I want something really lightweight and slick.

    All she uses it for is web browsing, watching youtube/streamed videos, and looking at pictures. It doesn't have a dvd drive, so that's all it's really good for.
     
  7. Covarr

    Covarr

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    It uses LXDE.
     
  8. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy

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    I use Xubuntu on all my systems (even the PS3!). It's very nice and easy. XFCE is clearly better than Gnome or KDE these days. Xubuntu installs set to act like OSX, but you can change it to be more like Windows for people who prefer that. It's not tough at all.
     
  9. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    Lubuntu appears to be the answer I'm looking for, with a 3 min boot compared to xubuntu's 5 min boot.

    Macpup is also quite interesting, might play around with it too.
     
  10. null1024

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    I run Ubuntu 12.04, it's pretty easy to get setup with. Installed XFCE immediately after, Unity is terrible as a user interface.
    My dad has Ubuntu on both of his laptops - a new one with 12.04 and and old one running 9.04, he's in his 50s and is too lazy to deal with computer problems nowadays. It's very easy.

    Use an Xubuntu image if you're making a bootable flash drive, XFCE is much nicer than Unity, and IIRC, XFCE is considered to be pretty light.

    I can't recommend Puppy or any of those tiny, stripped down distros, they are noticeably harder to use, because most of the larger components [like package managers with nice easy GUIs, or various configuration programs, etc] get removed. Also, a 16GB flashdrive is pretty cheap nowadays, so not having enough space for files and whatnot isn't terribly much of a problem nowadays, unless RAM is a problem [a netbook with 2GB RAM should be fine though].
     

  11. Cool story bro. There is no such thing as a 700MHz Sempron :P
     
  12. Kreigyr

    Kreigyr

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    Man, I'm getting so many facts backwards... I remember a 7 somewhere, and, yes, the Sempron doesn't come clocked that low. My point was rather that it doesn't take much to drive Lubuntu, although I'm probably not looking too credible with all these hiccups.
     
  13. Nah, it's OK. It probably was a Duron (the budget oriented CPU AMD had before the Sempron) =P
     
  14. SpeedySpikes

    SpeedySpikes

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    I've always used Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my Dell Mini 10v, because it is still supported. It always performed well and easily fit on a flash drive. So yeah, that's my recommendation.
     
  15. donluca

    donluca

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    If you own a legit license of W7, why don't you try an optimized Windows7 "distro"?

    I'm not allowed to post links or stuff, but there are blogs that offer very light version of windows7, you can try looking for Windows 7 eLite (which means Extreme Lite, meaning very light, fast) on lite8's blogspot: he is a dev who made legit versions where you'll have to put your serial number to activate the product (or crack with the appropriate tool if you don't own a license).

    I have these rocking on very old laptops (and virtual machines) and they work great, give 'em a shot. ;)