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Old 07-26-2007, 05:25 AM   #1
farkus888
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Registered: Oct 2006
Distribution: usually use arch
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looking for low maintenance distro recommendations.


I am considering switching my parents secondary computer to linux. its a wee bit on the old side [duron 750 384 MB of ram]. the idea is that they should be able to just use it with 0 maintenance once I drop it off for them. all they need are open office, firefox, samba for access to a share from their windows machine, java for runescape, and the ability to print to their network color laser printer [a HP]. I want a major emphasis on stability and have no need for beryl or anything of the sort; actually planning to run xfce to cut down on resource usage for speed reasons. what distro is currently recommended for such a set up?
 
Old 07-26-2007, 05:49 AM   #2
Flailing_Novice
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Distribution: Debian Etch AMD64
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My guess would be Ubuntu. However, is it really fair on the likes of your parents (and mine ) to say Ubuntu has reached the 0 maintainence mark? I know people who claim it has and my friends dad is now on Ubuntu. But does any OS really ever reach a point of "0 maintainance"? there are always updates coming along. But for technophobes familiar with windows Ubuntu does seem relatively familiar and friendly. Perhaps you should also set up ssh so you can bail them out from a distance if all goes pear-shaped Whether or not your Ubuntu exerience goes smoothly will probably depend upon the compatibility of you hardware setup, but that could be said for any distro.

good luck
FN
 
Old 07-26-2007, 05:59 AM   #3
farkus888
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its very very generic hardware and all of it is old so compatibility should not be a big issue. its even wired ethernet so no wireless issues to worry about at all. I know updates are a concern but this computer does nothing that requires any real security so I can handle the updates every couple of months or so. to be more specific I want something that will not require reboots or any finaggling to keep running once it is set up correctly. it can't suffer memory leaks or other bugs that make it behave unexpectedly.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 06:53 AM   #4
redgoblin
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Going by what you're saying, I would be inclined to suggest Debian Stable. It's exactly that; stable.

Through each versions life cycle you'll only get upgrades available that address security issues and the package manager is designed to not over write the local configuration. You'll be fine ssh-ing in every few weeks and running apt-get update/upgrade. Additionally, all administrative tasks and applications work over the command line.

All the applications that youíve mentioned are in the package repository. Some of the versions may be slightly older than in other distributions, but the principle if that they donít make it into stable release unless they _are_ stable and free of release critical bugs.

Major version changes are generally expected at about 18 months to two years. So that will greatly reduce the frequency at which you need come round and dedicate half a day to a distribution upgrade.

Of course one of the questions you need to ask yourself is what distributions are you used to? It might be easier to maintain Slackware if that's the one you use all the time. The time and effort dedicated to the initial install is directly related to the number of calls for help youíll get!

For youíre consideration;

The install guide
http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl.../index.html.en

Some pros (and cons) for Debian
http://www.debian.org/intro/why_debian

Hope that helps. But if you have any further questions feel free to ask.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 10:28 AM   #5
Flailing_Novice
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I haven't used Debian stable, but I do use etch every day. I also have Ubuntu. I find Ubuntu more adapted to the plug-and-play expectations which windows has us accustomed too. Take digital cameras for example, in my experience Ubuntu will guide the user through the download for most major brands in a very idiot proof manor. I'm not sure that such spoon feeding was ever part of the Debian philosophy, in my experience Debian usually needs some configuration at somepoint (perhaps the draw back of AMD64 more than Debian, I cannot say). But I would question if Debian was really a wise recommendation for technophobes? Ubuntu after-all is ment to be a user friendly Debian.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 11:14 AM   #6
Hern_28
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Registered: Mar 2007
Location: North Carolina
Distribution: Slackware 12.0, Gentoo, LFS, Debian, Kubuntu.
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True.

Debian does require a more on setup than ubuntu. I run slackware, but once its setup and configured properly is usually stable for months or years even and I hear its the same for debian stable. From what I have read, you might have fewer problems in the long run with debian stable with better tested stable updates although I haven't personally ran and compared debian and ubuntu.

Edit: Personally would recommend whatever you are the most familiar with. Will make it easier to troubleshoot over the phone if it ever becomes necessary.

Last edited by Hern_28; 07-26-2007 at 11:16 AM.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 02:35 PM   #7
AceofSpades19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flailing_Novice
I haven't used Debian stable, but I do use etch every day. I also have Ubuntu. I find Ubuntu more adapted to the plug-and-play expectations which windows has us accustomed too. Take digital cameras for example, in my experience Ubuntu will guide the user through the download for most major brands in a very idiot proof manor. I'm not sure that such spoon feeding was ever part of the Debian philosophy, in my experience Debian usually needs some configuration at somepoint (perhaps the draw back of AMD64 more than Debian, I cannot say). But I would question if Debian was really a wise recommendation for technophobes? Ubuntu after-all is ment to be a user friendly Debian.
debian stable is etch as of april 2007
 
Old 07-26-2007, 04:33 PM   #8
farkus888
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I switched to arch when fedora 7 came out and was unstable as hell on my machine. before that I used fedora 6 since about a week after it was released. can't remember what I used before that but I know I haven't used mandrake since before the name change. I really like arch for my use but I seem to have memory leak issues with firefox that are much worse than other distros or even windows. managing that is something that is beyond my parents. I am leaning towards xubuntu even though I have never used a debian based distro before, especially if it is based on the -stable release. even if I get stuck for phone support they are only 20 minutes away, I'm sure my mother would like me to visit more often anyhow.
 
Old 07-26-2007, 11:51 PM   #9
AceofSpades19
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xubuntu is unstable as hell on my machine
 
  


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