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Old 07-26-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
fabricio
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Thumbs up Distribution to substitute Windows 98. Any suggestions?


I convinced a friend that have Windows 98 to change the OS to Linux, but she have never used Linux, so I need to find a distribution that could be easily understood by a person that all her life have used Windows. Any suggestions?

The computer of My friend has:

* Pentium III 400
* 256 RAM
* 50 GB Hard Drive


The specific things that I need in the distribution are:

1. The file administrator has to show the Hard drives (So she don't get lost in the mnt directory)
2. Install automatically the pen drives (Wish is the primary reason of why she is leaving W98)
3. The latest version of Open Office (So she can leave MS Office)
4.Has a great look, and run fast in the hardware listed above (IMPORTANT).

Any suggestions??

Greetings from Costa Rica

Fabricio

Last edited by fabricio; 07-27-2006 at 09:32 AM.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
Sören Schneider
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Registered: Apr 2005
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Distribution: SUSE 9.0 Pro, SUSE OSS 10.0, KDE 3.4.2
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Suse OSS 10.0 DVD
Easy to configure!
 
Old 07-26-2006, 12:33 PM   #3
rickh
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Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Why Debian...A Sales Pitch
 
Old 07-26-2006, 12:35 PM   #4
fabricio
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Question

But what about the hardware requirements?
 
Old 07-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #5
Sören Schneider
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You didn't specify them.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 12:54 PM   #6
fabricio
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* Pentium III 400
* 256 RAM
* 40 GB Hard Drive

Would Suse or Debian run fast on such hardware?
 
Old 07-26-2006, 01:12 PM   #7
rickh
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Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Debian would ... That's respectable harware for any distro as long as you run fairly light. I think Gnome would be OK, but if you look at post #32 in the link I provided above, it outlines a really light Debian system.

You obviously can't just install everything on a full distro multi cd set.

Last edited by rickh; 07-26-2006 at 01:14 PM.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 01:25 PM   #8
IsaacKuo
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Distribution: Debian 4.0 Etch
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Note that the current Debian 3.1 does NOT automount USB drives. Use Debian Etch instead. It DOES automount USB drives, and it's one of the big reasons I've switched from Debian 3.1 to Debian Etch.

I use KDE, myself. I find GNOME's Nautilus file manager sluggish compared to KDE's Konqueror. Also, Konqueror has tabs, and once you get used to tabbed file browsing you don't want to go back.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
fabricio
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So, the question now will be: What packages (kde or Gnome or XFCE), would you recommend me to install, so the distro could run fast?

Thanks for the responses

Fabricio
 
Old 07-26-2006, 01:41 PM   #10
rickh
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You're going to have to make some compromise between speed and ease of use for a newbie. On that hardware, I'd recommend Gnome
 
Old 07-26-2006, 01:57 PM   #11
IsaacKuo
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Funny, I'd recommend KDE. The relative zippiness of Konqueror over Nautilus is one big reason. I run KDE quite nicely on a 466mhz Celeron, and have gotten acceptable performance on a 300mhz Pentium 2. The key is RAM--you need at least 128megs of RAM to run KDE with eye candy.

With 256megs of RAM, you've got plenty. You can improve performance by turning off various bits of eye candy, but first see whether it's fast enough by default. The biggest thing you can do to improve perceived performance is to adjust KDE's "performance" settings to pre-load Konqueror (kind of like how Windows pre-loads Windows Explorer so you don't have to wait for it to load just to open up a file window).

Another thing you can do to improve performance is to turn off font anti-aliasing--but I wouldn't do this unless your friend finds the computer sluggish. Anti-aliased fonts are really easy on the eyes!

One thing you'll probably want to do is change the resolution from the default. Depending on the monitor you use during the install, the default resolution might be too small (640x480) or too large (1600x1200). For most people, 1024x768 is a good resolution.

You can customize KDE to have a really slick look and feel. Use its control center to make the panel and menus transparent--very cool looking! You can get some really slick looking icon sets at http://www.kde-look.org/. My favorite icon sets are Umicons and Cezanne. The fonts can be customized to look nice also. Try adjusting all the fonts to be "URW Palladio L". You can change Konqueror's background image; I like the built in "Canvas" background, myself.

Last but not least, you can set KDE's wallpaper background to periodically change to a random image from a particular directory (or set of directories). Pick a bunch of wallpaper backgrounds your friend would like and put them in a directory. Set the wallpaper background to randomly chose from those. Believe it or not, this is one of the things which strikes my Windows using friends as really cool about Linux.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 01:59 PM   #12
fabricio
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Wink

In my computer I always have used KDE, I have tried KateOS III with XFCE, but KateOS has a bad file manager, in the sense that, if I would like to look a file in a fat32 partition I have to go to the mnt directory, and explaining why there is a mnt directory to a person that always have used windows is not a good thing. So what could you tell me about the file manager in Gnome? How does it handle the hard drive partitions?

Thanks

Fabricio

Last edited by fabricio; 07-26-2006 at 02:04 PM.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 02:03 PM   #13
rickh
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You mount the partitions in fstab, then you can see and copy to and from them with the gui. I'm sure KDE does the same thing. I know virtually nothing about KDE, but most of what I've read suggests it's considerably "heavier" than Gnome.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 02:12 PM   #14
IsaacKuo
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In Debian Etch, the default KDE install starts off with a "My Computer" like icon on the desktop. You can click on that and it opens up something like "My Computer" in Windows, with all the drives and stuff. I personally don't like desktop icons so I get rid of them.

What I use is less immediately obvious--Konqueror has a set of neat little tabs on the left edge of the window. One of these is "System" tab, which can be used to access all that stuff.

KDE3.5 does autodetect changes to fstab, which I actually find kind of annoying (but it rarely comes up, of course, and would never come up in your friend's setup unless she felt like learning about editing the fstab).

Is KDE heavier than GNOME? Not as far as I can tell. They're both pretty heavy, but you've got plenty of RAM for either. When it comes to "perceived" heaviness...well, I perceive Konqueror to be zippier than Nautilus. As I understand it, Konqueror used to be a dog slow hog, but that KDE3.4 and 3.5 have done a lot to speed it up.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 02:15 PM   #15
IsaacKuo
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Oh, I guess you might not know this--you can install BOTH GNOME and KDE on the same system, and your friend can easily chose from either at the login menu. That way, she can chose for herself which she prefers.
 
  


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