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Old 11-11-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
Cr4wford
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Win98SE + Slackware 9.1
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Choosing A Distribution


Yeah, I know, this has been asked a million times, but I've found the linux community to be rather friendly so hopefully I won't get flamed.

I've been reading up on different distributions for several hours now. In the past, I've tried Redhat 9 (absolutely terrible experience with RPMs), SuSE (Again, RPMs are the devil), and Slackware (which was a nightmare getting certain hardware to work, especially my monitor/video card)

After playing with these distros I found myself booting into Windows more and more and I just stopped using Linux altogether. This was due to the fact that I couldn't get my printer to work in Linux, I couldn't get shared files to work, and I couldn't get my CD burner to work. Plus there's one program in Windows, http://foobar2000.org/ which I absolutely love.

Now my CD burner is burned out, so I'm going to be buying a CD/dvd-rw soon. I'll be sure to buy based on Linux compatibility.

I liked Slackware, except for the hardware issues with my display. The package management system is okay, it's a lot better than RPMs anyways. The main reason I want to try something else is because apt-get is very appealing to me.

I'm looking for a distribution that is:
1. Based on Debian's apt-get
2. Not too hard to install--I don't mind if it's text based or what many people would consider "difficult," just as long as I don't have to go through the nightmare of fixing problems with hardware compatibility.
3. Good hardware compatability-wise. Added again for emphasis.
4. A desktop oriented distribution, as I will be using it for school work, surfing the web, chatting online, and listening to music. I will be dual booting with Windows 2000 and using Windows 2000 for any web design that I need to do.

Reading reviews on lq and distrowatch.com I've looked at Debian Sarge, Mepis, and Gentoo. Gentoo isn't apt-get based, but I read that its package management system is very similar to apt-get except for the fact that it compiles everything, and coming from slackware I won't mind that.

Any opinions or comments? All replies will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by Cr4wford; 11-11-2004 at 04:16 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 05:43 PM   #2
mjrich
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Registered: Dec 2001
Location: New Zealand
Distribution: Debian
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Oh dear, this could easily turn into another distro playfight... but IMHO if you have a decent cable/broadband connection then I'd just use Debian, plain and simple, and track the testing branch.

Install using one of the new netinstall businesscard iso's, choose the default 2.6 kernel to begin with, and then apt-get anything you may need. If you have problems with hardware, boot up Knoppix and see which drivers/configs it uses, and then copy those across to your Debian install.

Cheers,

mj
 
Old 11-11-2004, 06:00 PM   #3
Finlay
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i'd say go back to slackware and tell me what video card you have.

but yes this could turn into a flame war very quickly.


EDIT:
if you want a challenge try gentoo
 
Old 11-11-2004, 09:14 PM   #4
Cr4wford
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Quote:
Originally posted by Finlay
[B]i'd say go back to slackware and tell me what video card you have.
Haha. Well i'm actually in Slackware right now, and everything works fine now. Except for my printer and file sharing (grr).

But I need to repartition my hard drive, I have more music than I thought I would when i originally partitioned and I want all my music on one partition. And I absolutely hate Windows 98SE, so I want to get rid of it.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 09:18 PM   #5
Finlay
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well i can help with samba
post your smb.conf
 
Old 11-11-2004, 09:47 PM   #6
Cr4wford
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hm, well actually i don't think samba is installed right now. because a long long time ago, i tried reinstalling it and things went bad and I was uber frustruated and all sorts of stuff. just bad experiences.

I'm more of the user who wants it to work out fairly easily without problems than the user who wants to customize and configure everything and learn how it all works.

yet i dislike mandrake, redhat, and suse.

I thought of maybe installing Knoppix onto my hard drive and then using apt-get if i need it from there. Would that work out? Or are there any minimalistic debian based distros that would include xwindows, kde, and a few other essentials?
 
Old 11-11-2004, 09:57 PM   #7
Finlay
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well there is slapt-get for slackware.

also the samba package for slackware will only require a few lines of the conf file, or use swat or www.webmin.com as a gui to configure it.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 10:26 PM   #8
Cr4wford
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How about Yoper? It looks like a speed demon based off of Slackware, and uses apt-get.

Are there any distros based off of gentoo that wouldn't be as tough as gentoo? What I'm mainly getting at is the use of Portage. I've read that that's superior even to apt-get.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 10:53 PM   #9
Finlay
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gentoo takes about 6 hours to install, i didn't find it to be difficult just time consuming, their install doc online takes you step by step. once you get it setup i don't think there is a easier disto to keep updated.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 11:09 PM   #10
slackMeUp
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good package manager -
good hardware support with little config work -
good for desktop use -

Sounds like a job for...
for...

...

err.... yah, why not just stick with slack.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 11:55 PM   #11
steve_d555
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Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Debian, Slack 10, Gentoo!
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I'd say go with Gentoo, the install, although it may take hours, is really very simple if you follow the online documentation, and I have actually found Portage better than apt-get having used both in the past.

My 2 cents

--Steve
 
Old 11-12-2004, 02:15 AM   #12
redjokerx
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: San Diego
Distribution: Slackware
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I like slack. I'd go debian if I got quite lazy with installs. portage sounds nice, especialyl if you're the kind who compiles stuff for yourself, but it might get long and annoying to install... then again, youc an go gentoo stage 3 or soemthing and have most of it precompiled....
 
  


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