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Old 12-01-2007, 09:57 AM   #1
LauMars
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best linux distro for my laptop


I'm not a n00b *nix as I've been running Slackware for years on various desktops and FreeBSD* on all my home servers. However I've got a new laptop and want a distro that's as powerful as it is hands-free.

As great as Slackware and FreeBSD is, I don't want to compile every new port on my laptop. I don't want to manually resolve dependencies or jump into the CLI every time a job needs doing 'right'. I want a distro thats as slick as it is flexible.

I've tried OpenSuse 10.2, Ubuntu Studio & Kubuntu and hope to have test driven Fedira and Gentoo by tonight. So far all I've learned is that I /HATE/ Ubuntu (et al) with a passion.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? (KDE support is preferable)
 
Old 12-01-2007, 10:37 AM   #2
phantom_cyph
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Most people hate Ubuntu with a passion because they see it as bloated. The average install (with only Gnome) is 7.45 gigabytes on a hdd. However, I took the mini install, (8 megabytes) and installed only that, no GUI, anything. Takes like, 30 minutes. Then, it drops you in a shell, and just leaves you there. Then, I just installed KDE, and now I have a really fast Ubuntu system that is only 2 gigabytes. If you are interested in this, let me know and I'll give you more details. I'm also hoping to write a kernel for mine to make it go more smoothly.
 
Old 12-01-2007, 10:45 AM   #3
MyHeartPumpsFreon
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I like Phantom's idea. Do the minimal install and go from there, you'll completely avoid anything you don't want on your system. That's one thing I personally never liked about *buntu. It's a great user-friendly distribution, easy to work with, I just don't like all of the extra stuff you get that you have to wait until you install it to get rid of it. This is one of the reasons why I prefer Fedora.

You don't mention what laptop you have, or wireless chipset, but Fedora 8 isn't too Intel friendly right out of the box. There's a little bit of hacking you have to do to get the wireless card working. Mind you, this isn't required in Ubuntu 7.10.

Regards,

Brandon
 
Old 12-01-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
Tinkster
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in <Distributions> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 12-01-2007, 05:57 PM   #5
LauMars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom_cyph View Post
Most people hate Ubuntu with a passion because they see it as bloated. The average install (with only Gnome) is 7.45 gigabytes on a hdd. However, I took the mini install, (8 megabytes) and installed only that, no GUI, anything. Takes like, 30 minutes. Then, it drops you in a shell, and just leaves you there. Then, I just installed KDE, and now I have a really fast Ubuntu system that is only 2 gigabytes. If you are interested in this, let me know and I'll give you more details. I'm also hoping to write a kernel for mine to make it go more smoothly.
It's not the bloat I hate about Ubuntu, it's because it's been dumbed down too much. Being a regular Slack and BSD user, I found Ubuntu lacked a lot of control I was used to.

Basically I'm more after something like Slack but not as hands on (ie with package managers which resolve dependancies, automatic updaters, etc).
 
Old 12-01-2007, 06:02 PM   #6
LauMars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyHeartPumpsFreon View Post
You don't mention what laptop you have, or wireless chipset, but Fedora 8 isn't too Intel friendly right out of the box. There's a little bit of hacking you have to do to get the wireless card working. Mind you, this isn't required in Ubuntu 7.10.
I've got an Asus X51RL series notebook. As Asus have re-signed the ATI graphics chip and (I suspect) the wifi chip as well, standard driver installs wont pick them up correctly so either way I'm forced to do a little hacking

Can't really complain though as the laptop was cheap given it's spec
 
Old 12-03-2007, 04:53 AM   #7
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom_cyph View Post
Most people hate Ubuntu with a passion because they see it as bloated. The average install (with only Gnome) is 7.45 gigabytes on a hdd.
Most people? Speak for yourself.
Where do you get 7.45 GB from? Last time I had it on, default install from CD plus some extras took 4 GB.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 05:28 PM   #8
LauMars
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Agreed. I tried Ubuntu Studio as well as Kubuntu and neither took 7+ GB
 
Old 12-10-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
jacook
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See if your model laptop is listed on either of these 2 sites

http://www.linux-laptop.net/
http://www.tuxmobil.org/

cheers,

Jake
 
Old 12-16-2007, 06:29 PM   #10
LauMars
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Originally Posted by jacook View Post
See if your model laptop is listed on either of these 2 sites

http://www.linux-laptop.net/
http://www.tuxmobil.org/

cheers,

Jake
Cheers mate, it wasn't.

As can't seem to get my wifi card to be picked up in linux i'm going to give DesktopBSD a try to see if that works. Failing that, I may just stick with SuSe 10
 
Old 12-16-2007, 07:42 PM   #11
silencestone
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Maybe you can find some info on your wifi card here: http://linux-wless.passys.nl/

Have you tried these Slack-based Linux distro's that each add GUI tools and/or extra facile features:

VectorLinux
Absolute Linux
Wolvix

Slick, eh? Have you seen Sabayon Linux? http://www.sabayonlinux.org It has an impressive interface. That's all I remember about it, besides it being Gentoo-based.
 
Old 12-19-2007, 11:17 AM   #12
masinick
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Try sidux

LauMars, considering that you are a Slackware and FreeBSD guy, that tells me that you generally like your systems fast and flexible - but you did say you want to do a bit less configuring and more letting the system do the work for you. I'd imagine if you can do this but still have a bit of flexibility, you may like that.

I believe I know of a very good distribution that may meet your needs - it certainly meets mine. It is called sidux, (no capitalization of the name). It is a Debian based system, primarily intended for bleeding edge, yet incredibly useful and surprisingly stable desktop use. The sidux name comes from the fact that this distribution is based on Debian Sid - you may remember Sid as the kid in the Toy Story movie that liked to blow up and dismantle toys.

Well, Debian Sid is cool, but every now and then when they are in the process of migrating a large subsystem things break. The sidux team puts in a lot of work to minimize disruptions at those times, and they have also added several of their own management tools.

I would not consider sidux a beginner's distribution, yet at the same time it is not a daunting distribution. Anyone who can handle Slackware or FreeBSD will probably find sidux even easier to deal with. It has the additional benefit of allowing you to install once, then use it on an ongoing basis with rolling upgrades. This has worked flawlessly for me. I ran Debian Sid on another partition and found a few packages that Debian Sid broke the dependency chain temporarily. On sidux, they got right on it and I did not even notice a problem.

In short, this one is well worth your investigation. Your mileage may vary, but this one has quickly become one of my two favorites. The other favorite of mine is the low maintenance, stable SimplyMEPIS, which serves other needs for me. I use sidux for a lot of my day to day tasks.
 
Old 12-19-2007, 02:21 PM   #13
Cogar
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You might consider Arch. It meets most of your criteria in that it does not require you "to compile every new port on my laptop" or "manually resolve dependencies." The package manager, pacman, is exceptionally good and should easily exceed your needs in those areas. You will probably find yourself at the CLI a fair amount of the time though, since system configuration and updates in Arch are not GUI-oriented (although KDE runs just fine on it).
 
Old 12-30-2007, 06:05 PM   #14
LauMars
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Thanks guys since sidux has had such an enthusiastic write up I'll give that ago first but will bare the others in mind should I become discontent.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 01:19 PM   #15
DarkSol
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I'm running PCLinuxOS 2007, and I must say, it's nice. Quick, responsive, and offers easy to use package intalling. Might wanna look into it, if you want something that "just works."
Also, if you have an atheros wifi card, then it will work immediately, no hacking required

Download links at distrowatch.org

It's number 1!
 
  


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