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Old 12-18-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
trafikpolisen
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Help me choose a Debian-based distro


I'm in the preparations of reinstalling my computer. I'm currently running Ubuntu 10.04 (lucid) LTS, but i'm now abandoning Ubuntu because of Unity, among other things. I like stability and don't want to upgrade to a new release every six months. So something with long term support or long between releases. I'm also a bit conservative, so no Gnome 3. I want a system that is as fast as possible without sacrificing features i'm used to. I'm currently looking at the following distros:

Linux Mint 13 with MATE
+
Familiar UI
Really nice looking theme
Feels more complete OOTB
The Mint menu (Usually i don't like fancy and bloated menus, but this one i do like)
-
Use of a desktop environment that is not as well established and widespread as others.

Linux Mint 13 with Xfce
+
Feels more complete OOTB
Really nice looking theme
Less resource-hungry
-
Xfce may lack some features i'm used to in Gnome
Alt-F2 is no longer a simple and easy-to-use "Run Program"-dialog but instead launches "Application Finder". (This one's a make or break if it can't be fixed)

Xubuntu 12.04
+
Less resource-hungry
Alt-F2 gives me a simple "Run Program"-dialog, though not as good as the one in Gnome2/MATE
-
Shorter LTS
Xfce may lack some features i'm used to in Gnome

Debian
+
A "cleaner" system
Stability
Reportedly faster
-
Takes more work and customization to get it the way i want it with multimedia-support and so on

Thoughts, comments and other suggestions are welcome.
 
Old 12-18-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
snowpine
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Debian is the finest Debian-based distro, in my opinion. I am currently running Wheezy/Testing with Gnome 3 desktop and love it (but all of the other major desktops are supported too). It's not quite 100% stable, but it is very, very close.

Last edited by snowpine; 12-19-2012 at 11:23 AM.
 
Old 12-18-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
k3lt01
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I am currently using a Debian based distro of my own, see my signature, ad would highly recommend Debian to you. If you don't want Gnome 3 the you have a few other choices. My main DE is MATE although I do use the others occassionally. MATE has the advantage of being a near drop in replacement for Gnome 2.32 and it is much lighter. If you want to try out MATE and want some help just ask.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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Don't worry that Mate is not well supported. An increasing number of distros have in it their repositories and now the decision has been taken to put it on the Fedora DVD; that makes me wonder whether Red Hat have decided that their clients might not be to keen on the change from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3. If you visit the Mate forum and bug-tracking site, you'll see how professional it now is.
 
Old 12-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
jv2112
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Why get a Debian based distro when you can get the original Debian ? -- Get Debian & build from there
 
Old 12-19-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
m.a.l.'s pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
Debian
+
A "cleaner" system
Stability
Reportedly faster
-
Takes more work and customization to get it the way i want it with multimedia-support and so on
Takes a little more work, but then you're pretty much set for a few years. Worth the extra time, in my opinion.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
trafikpolisen
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First of all, thanks for the feedback!
I now have the four above mentioned distros running in VMWare for testing. On one hand i'm tempted to go for Debian, but i have to say i'm leaning towards Mint with MATE right now, because most things i need are in place from the beginning.
One question comes to mind; is there an easy way to install MATE instead of Gnome 3 during the Debian installation process?
 
Old 12-20-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
snowpine
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Debian Stable uses Gnome 2, not Gnome 3.
 
Old 12-20-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trafikpolisen View Post
One question comes to mind; is there an easy way to install MATE instead of Gnome 3 during the Debian installation process?
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Debian Stable uses Gnome 2, not Gnome 3.
Yes there is but the fact you have to ask tells me you may have difficulty anyway. If I were you I would install Debian 7 Beta and once you have done that add the MATE repository to your sources.list and then install MATE. After you have installed MATE you can remove the Gnome equivalents, I have made a list in a post on the Debian section of the MATE forum of what packages are duplicates.

Last edited by k3lt01; 12-20-2012 at 07:55 PM.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 04:21 AM   #10
error_401
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Thumbs up

I'm running Debian 6 Squeeze on several desktop and laptop computers.

All are old hardware and compared to the originally installed Windows XP it runs at least at the same speed or with some applications a lot better. Not so much on HDD or processor intensive tasks such as photo editing with filters. Definitively runs a lot faster on office applications.

I like that since 2 1/2 years I'm running the same version and still no need to upgrade. So I can have all the same versions with the same software on all my computers.

It is very well documented and maintained. Because it is quite popular you can get help on various forums and sites.

I'd give it a try.
 
Old 12-21-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
nobuntu
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As a former user of Gnome 2, I was horrified when it was 'deprecated' to make way for Gnome 3. After some distro-hopping, I tried Xubuntu and was very pleasantly surprised. I did not see any reason to look back to the days of Gnome 2 - Xfce is quite similar and a lot less resource-hungry.

What I might do in your shoes would be to install either Debian Testing/Wheezy or CrunchBang Testing/Waldorf with Xfce and run that as your primary system for a while to see what it's like in a non-VM context. I think you'll like what you see!

Good luck
 
Old 12-22-2012, 02:03 PM   #12
trafikpolisen
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I actually installed Debian Testing with Xfce as a VM. Kind of like it. I have a slight issue though. Fonts doesn't render very nice compared to Gnome. I have matched font settings under "Appearance" with the ones in my host Gnome system, the settings are also exactly the same as the default in Xubuntu. Fonts now look much better in the system, but in Web browsers for example, it's not great. In Mint MATE, Mint Xfce and Xubuntu, it's all fine, it's just with Debian Xfce i have the problem. I'll see if i can get some screenshots up for comparison. Since it's ok in Xubuntu with the same Xfce version as in Debian, it can't be that hard to fix.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 02:21 PM   #13
k3lt01
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Xubuntu will be using Ubuntu fonts, Debian wont be.
 
Old 12-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #14
trafikpolisen
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So even if the font name is the same, it is still dependant on the system?
Screenshots: http://acrophobic.jalbum.net/blandat/Screenshots/
 
Old 12-22-2012, 03:49 PM   #15
k3lt01
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Ubuntu has it's own font that is installed by default on Ubuntu systems. You will have to get the package for that font to install it on a Debian system. Most Mint systems are Ubuntu based so do not have the issue you refer to.
 
  


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