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Old 12-10-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
x_freeride_x
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Registered: Feb 2005
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Need Guidance Oh Linux Gurus, Questions About Distro Choice and Window Managers, Etc.


Ok, I'm a newb, so sue me. I love linux and I've wanted to get away from an MS OS for a long time, so now I want to make the switch from windows and I'm passionate and excited about the change. Please oh Linux Gurus, guide me, I'm a blank canvas in the progression of Linux one user at a time. I want something that is easily configurable, has a gui based install and has advanced power options for my notebook computer. I also want something that looks or can be easily made to look sleek and powerful like these screenshots:

http://www.elivecd.org/gb/Main/Scree...s/saad-e17.png
http://www.elivecd.org/gb/Main/Scree...creenshot.jpeg
http://www.elivecd.org/gb/Main/Scree...rinceamd-1.jpg

I'm looking at mandriva in combination with enlightment, kubuntu, and possibly pclinuxos or elive. Can someone make clear to me the difference between a window manager and a desktop environment? I'm getting that KDE is both, is enlightenment not both? Can KDE or gnome be made to easily look like those screenshots? Will the theme carry through and integrate smoothly?

I installed Linux-XP inside a vmware console and it works but I dont know if thats the best way to go. I've used slackware before, I have installed it and configured it on a desktop system but I want something that is more straight forward and user friendly that makes partitioning decisions for me and will support wireless i.e. wi-fi, bluetooth etc.

I want something that I can learn and grow with, possibly even supporting touchscreen and tablet pc. I know that you can install icon packs to change appearance and do basically anything with any distro, you can build the os from the ground up with the right knowledge but I'm looking for the easiest possible learning cuve and the quickest possible install.

Lord I know this is a lot of questions. I've had problems with 5-button mouse and sound card support in the past with slackware, I'm looking to avoid these issues. What should I do, where do I go, I just want a stable goodlooking OS that will provide all the software packages I need from advanced photo editing to publishing to office, dvd/cd burning, email, web, etc. etc. I want something that can do it all basically and oh yeah, I want it to be completly free, haha, I know I'm asking a lot but I wanted to get everyones opinion.

Thanks,

Ben

Last edited by x_freeride_x; 12-10-2006 at 04:43 PM.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 01:20 PM   #2
johnson_steve
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Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
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Ok first, a Window manager is needed it arranges all the windows draws the window decorations. without one you couldn't have a very functional desktop. A Desktop Environment is a Window Manager plus a suite of intergraded applications for configuration and basic funtionality. Something like KDE will be a little more user friendly in that you will have gui utilities for things like appearance, network, and hardware; whereas something like e17 or fluxbox will not put as much load on your system because they are 'light' and don't have all those things you usually have to edit a text file somewhere instead.

Second, Distro. While some distros are 'easier' out of the box (like ubuntu, fedora core and mandriva) then others (like slack, gentoo, and LFS) you can recompile your kernel to get all the same hardware supported in any distro you choose. you can also use any WM or DE you like. and if a programm you want doesn't have a package available for your distro you can always compile it yourself. So this is more a matter of personal taste then what is best. I personally had a lot of problems with the rpm package management and gcc compiler on suse but, I find gentoo much easier to work with and customize; sure it took some work to set up but it works just the way I like and if something breaks or I get new hardware I am familiar enough with my system to fix it. If you want something thats all 'point and click' and doesn't require you to know your computer inside and out gentoo is not for you. you might like something else.

For the uses you list I will tell you in my opinion whats the best tool for the job but again you or someone else might like to use something else.

advanced photo editing - Gimp (I think everyone agrees here)
publishing and office - OpenOffice
dvd/cd burning - K3B (I think everyone agrees here. this is the only kde app I run.)
email - thunderbird
web - firefox

Last edited by johnson_steve; 12-11-2006 at 01:39 PM.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 01:47 PM   #3
rickh
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Quote:
...and oh yeah, I want it to be completly free,
That reduces your options considerably. According to the FSF, there are only a few totally free distros:
- gNewSense
- Ututo
- Blag
- Dynebolic
- GNUStep
- Musix

Personally, I think Debian should be included as well, but the FSF doesn't agree, even tho they use Debian on their own servers.

Asking us to recommend a distro for you is stupid. We have no real idea of what your particular needs and preferences are, and any current distribution will fulfill the needs you have outlined. If there was a "best" one, we'd all use it.

The best hope you have here for that is to have lots of people recommend their own particular favorite. Check out DistroWatch for ideas, pick one that sounds reasonable, and try it out.
 
Old 12-11-2006, 02:09 PM   #4
budword
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Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Distribution: Switched to regualr Ubuntu, because I don't like KDE4, at all. Looks like vista on crack.....
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Well....you can have your cake and eat it too... you just have to be willing to bake for a while. My vote would be for Kubuntu, or Ubuntu, next best would be Mandriva or SUSE (Although I don't like Novell since their deal with the devil, I do think they have an excellent distro). As for your eye candy, you are just going to have to follow some exact directions and hope. The good news is that the people who created those desktops probably would be happy to help you re-create them.

Ubuntu for least hassle...best hardware auto configured... then it's time to start baking and asking for recipes.

Just my 2 cents...

Best of luck.....

David
 
  


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