Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Distro Magic

Filed under
Linux 101

I am an IT person who just recently made the "switch" to Linux. I say that with a disclaimer. I run a dual boot to Windows XP for Sims 2, Star Wars: Empire At War, and various tycoons. I am relatively new to Linux. I've played with K/X/Ubuntu, Suse, SimplyMEPIS, Mandriva, Knoppix, PCLinuxOS, Linux XP, Linspire, Gentoo, Arch. Some more than others. I've attached myself to the *buntus and Knoppix and even SimplyMEPIS. I don't want a Windows clone. I don't want it so simple that it's boring, but I want a distro that will recognize my SATA harddrive or at least let me mount it with rw permissions fairly easily. My ultimate goal is to get rid of Windows entirely, but until the previously mentioned games run on it ... I need to run my DVD editing stuff, music stuff, and web design on it as well.

I recognize that every distro has to be tweaked. My question is, which one (perhaps just in your experience) is best for tackling these issues? I lean towards Ubuntu, but there are still some issues there. I love Knoppix, but I want it installed on my harddrive and from what I've read that's not a great option. I like APT. I want to experiment with different programs. I have broadband. I have an AMD athlon XP +2000 (waiting on a motherboard and processor upgrade I just purchased. I think it's an AMD athlon64 +3000),778 RAM (will have 1gig after upgrade), nvidia geforce 5200. Yes, I'd like the 3d acceleration, so I'll install the drivers.

Please, just give me your opinions and why you feel that way. Thanks in advance.

Suse 10.2 - Dreamlinux - LinuxMint

Pretty much I am in the same boat, while not and IT professional per say, since I make my living in Product Development / Engineering. I recently started following linux news sites again after leaving it alone for more than 3 years... With the imminent release of Vista and the increasing annoyance that I feel towards all things MS and Digital Content Control related I started looking for a distribution to eventually replace or live beside Windows XP which I will no doubt keep simply because my wife is used to it.

I have two Desktop PC's that I use at home, one mainly for managing downloads and files etc. and for my father to use occasionally when he needs to, and a second that I use as my main desktop, for Graphic/Web Design, and some hobby related Digital Media Creation (videos, dvd's etc, music all the good stuff)

After trying out the Ubuntu's, Mepis, Mandrake, PC LinuxOS, DSL, Puppy, Xandros, Freespire, and so many others - Found a few which really worked well for me Suse 10.2, Dreamlinux and LinuxMint. Each of them work well for different things and I currently have both LinuxMint and Dreamlinux running on my old P3 450 and Suse on my main desktop(Athlon 64 3800).

I keep Suse on the main desktop because frankly it was the only distro of all the ones I tested that I could easily get my analog TV Tuner card to work with. Besides it did so flawlessly and without any help from me, so who can argue with that. Installing binary drivers, codecs, and additional software were really easy once the system was installed. VMware, and absolute deal breaker for me, installed perfectly and hasn't crashed on me yet. K9copy from the packman repositories works so well I will no longer be backing up or burning anything in Windows ever again. I could go on and on but if you need a solid desktop that will grow with you as you learn I would most likely go with Suse as recommended.

Besides that the new features in 10.2 (kickoff) are worth sticking it to MS just to see

Linux Mint is another distro that is totally slick. Based on Ubuntu the single CD(Live), boots fairly quickly and installs just as easy as Ubuntu. Comes with all the proprietary codec and DVD playback by default(may not be legal) but who really cares I paid for the DVD why can't I watch it.

If you really want to get a different Gui I would give DreamLinux a try.. LiveCD will let you know whether it's going to work and it gives you a really intuitive interface. One of the things i like best is the built in Make your own distro utility MKDistro. Very cool and one of those feature you will only find in the Linux OSS community. who else would encourage you to create something new based on what you really love yourself.

One final note... I totally agree about letting things settle. Find a distro that supports the hardware you have, and learn to make it work the way you want (if it doesn't already).

Once you have one working well download the VMware trial and set that up so you can test to your hearts delight without pooching your system.

I feel that SuSe is your

I feel that SuSe is your best option. One of the best features about suse that makes it an easy linux distro to switch to is YaST. YaST provides you with a centralized control panel so you can configure all the items you mentioned above (excpet the games).

In regards to simple and boring...its linux...i dont know how you got simple and boring. Im not really into the whole GUI thing but i know KDE gives you endless possibilities with how you want it to look...you just have to "tweak" it to your satisfaction. As you know, linux is open source so its only as boring as its user...you can always dig through the code of any linux distro and find more fun for yourself. As far as the 3d acceleration goes...research your video card and make sure it can support it. The Distro wont have much effect on how your graphics perform...its all about drivers.

It does seem like you went through to many distro's in a short period of time. I suggest sitting down with 1 distro and just learning it...if you dont like it in 3 months then switch. Untill you get a good understanding of the whole linux OS (command especialy) it wont matter which distro you run....especialy if you plan to use it at work. I hope this helps you in your path to zen!

-Sean-
http://www.projecttpan.net

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

  • 1B Android phones shipped in 2014, but they don’t all help Google
    When Android first arrived in 2007, it was (and still is) a key part of the OHA, or Open-Handset Alliance. OHA partners — which include Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC, Huawei and ZTE, to name a few — all loosely work together to help improve Android, while competing against one another by using Android on their respective hardware products. Android is the commonality between all of the OHA partners. And then there’s Google.
  • Android beats iOS for app downloads, but revenues are still a different story
    There are plenty of caveats to this line of reasoning, though. First, Google Play is not the only Android app store – Amazon and Samsung run their own stores, while in countries like China there are dozens of stores offering Android apps.
  • HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What U.S. Owners Can Expect
    When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop back in October many smartphone owners like those with the HTC One or HTC One M8 instantly started waiting for details regarding the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. It has arrived for a few devices already, including the HTC One and HTC One M8 Google Play Edition handsets, but below we’ll go over what regular HTC One owners need to know about the Android 5.0 update.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Updated To The Android Lollipop 5.0 OS
    The Android Lollipop 5.0 update is finally available for the Samsung S4. The operating system is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4, Note 3, and Note Edge. Samsung Galaxy and Note users will be happy to hear that the long waited update is coming in the near future. But should Galaxy S4 users take advantage of the Android Lollipop update?
  • Don’t wait for Android 5.0, this app makes your phone look like Lollipop for free
    Android 5.0 Lollipop is a huge upgrade for Google’s mobile operating system. The only problem with it, of course, is that it’s only available for a handful of devices. Most Android smartphone users still have plenty more waiting to do before Lollipop is finally available for their handset, but now there’s a terrific app that will make your older version of Android look just like Lollipop — and it’s free!
  • Is this Apple’s secret weapon that could force Android users to buy an iPhone?
    There are many reasons why Android users switch to iPhone, and vice-versa, but Apple may have a secret (or not-so-secret) weapon that could pressure some Android fans to considering a move to the other side. No, it’s not Apple Pay, an exclusive iPhone 6 feature that’s heavily marketed by various banks in the U.S., further helping Apple market its 2014 iPhones. It’s actually a stock iOS app that has been hiding in plain sight for years.
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Problems Frustrating Nexus Users
    Google rolled out its Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update to fix Nexus Lollipop problems. And while it did fix some of the bigger issues, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems continue to frustrate Nexus users.

Libreboot X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

This is the second Libreboot laptop from Gluglug (a project of Minifree, Ltd.) to achieve RYF certification, the first being the Libreboot X60 in December 2013. The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60, including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. The Libreboot X200 can be purchased from Gluglug at http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/. Read more

Ubuntu 15.04 Now Based on Linux Kernel 3.18.4, Devs Are Tracking the 3.19 Branch

A new Linux kernel has been made available for Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) and the developers are also tracking the current 3.19 branch of the kernel, which will eventually be adopted after it reaches a stable state. Read more

Ubuntu Users See Private, Hybrid Cloud Expansion

Canonical, the company behind the open source cross-platform operating system Ubuntu, released its annual cloud and server survey this week that seeks to cast more light on the makeup of cloud infrastructure, how it is managed, and what is driving cloud adoption. Canonical said it surveyed 3,100 customers, most of whom are Ubuntu server and cloud users, about the makeup of their cloud infrastructure and how it is being used. Read more