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Old 02-27-2013, 09:21 AM   #1
prushik
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Netbook suitable distro that looks pretty?


Hi
After almost 1 year with me, my girlfriend is finally ready to give Linux a chance. She has an Acer Aspire netbook which is a few years old and runs Windows XP (slowly, although it seems the CPU and memory are never maxed).
I convinced her to give Linux a shot, but I want to give her just the perfect into to Linux, so which distro should I set her up with?
Her complaint with her machine now is speed, so I don't want to put a huge heavyweight distro on it, especially considering it is a netbook.
I love light distros, but she often complains that my machine looks too "ugly", since I optimize for speed and avoid fancy graphics, so I want to give her something that looks nice too.
I haven't used Ubuntu since it switched to Unity because Unity scares me a lot, I never really gave it a chance, but I get the impression that it is incredibly slow. However, the debian package format would be nice for her since I know a lot of her Chinese programs like PPS come as .deb packages.
Also, she is Chinese, so if it's Chinese-friendly that would be a plus. And we live in Korea, so if it's Korean-friendly that is also a plus.

I am thinking maybe something with Gnome 3 or Enlightenment? Any ideas?
 
Old 02-27-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
JWJones
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You might consider Lubuntu or Fuduntu. You could try them from a USB flash drive, and see how they perform, and how she likes them.
 
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
snowpine
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Mint, Xfce or LXDE desktop, would be my recommendation.
Keep in mind that if the computer is slow with windows XP (released 2001) it will also be slow with any 2013 linux release. Those old Atom-based netbooks are just dreadfully slow hardware. You might start saving up to buy her a nicer computer for her birthday or the holidays.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
yjy4321
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I also convinced my wife to install Linux on her laptop. I installed Ubuntu because like you said that you can install many Chinese software. One software she wanted that I could not install was "sogou", but I found an alternative. She was okay with it although "sogou" is the best one out there. Other than her laptop, I also tried to install Ubuntu on my netbooks. They seem to run fine. I did not notice any huge lags. But you can try Lubuntu which is lighter version of Ubuntu.

To me any Linux looks better than Windows as long as you don't open the terminal...
 
Old 02-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
jefro
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You may wish to try Pear Linux. http://pearlinux.fr/


I will say that a pretty distro is useless to me. I'd be more happy with a sound, easy to use distro.

Last edited by jefro; 02-27-2013 at 07:53 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
frankbell
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The other suggestions are excellent. SalixOS and Bodhi are also worth a look.

Bpdhi is particularly easy on the eyes, as Enlightenment is the default desktop.

I have run both of them on my netbook and currently have Mint on it.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yjy4321 View Post
I also convinced my wife to install Linux on her laptop. I installed Ubuntu because like you said that you can install many Chinese software. One software she wanted that I could not install was "sogou", but I found an alternative. She was okay with it although "sogou" is the best one out there. Other than her laptop, I also tried to install Ubuntu on my netbooks. They seem to run fine. I did not notice any huge lags. But you can try Lubuntu which is lighter version of Ubuntu.

To me any Linux looks better than Windows as long as you don't open the terminal...
I don't know about sogou, but I she doesn't use that onw that I know of. I think she is mainly concerned about PPS and QQ, which I know are both available for Linux.
I like lubuntu, but I don't think I can give her that one because I use LXDE on my machine and that is what she called ugly, although what I use looks substancially different from Lubuntu.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 10:26 PM   #8
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Mint, Xfce or LXDE desktop, would be my recommendation.
Keep in mind that if the computer is slow with windows XP (released 2001) it will also be slow with any 2013 linux release. Those old Atom-based netbooks are just dreadfully slow hardware. You might start saving up to buy her a nicer computer for her birthday or the holidays.
Actually, it was a higher-end netbook when she bought it, so it actually has some kind of AMD dual core processor in it, not Atom. Although I loved my atom netbook until my best friend stole it... Anyway, I think her machine is mainly slow because of the absurd amount of Chinese adware that she has on it.
I'm downloading Mint now, but also looking at a few others.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 10:35 PM   #9
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeofliberty View Post
You might consider Lubuntu or Fuduntu. You could try them from a USB flash drive, and see how they perform, and how she likes them.
I looked at Fuduntu, and it looks not bad (too much like OSX for my tastes, but good for her), that is a possibility, but I'm going to look at at least Mint and Bodhi as well.
As I said, I use LXDE and she called my machine ugly, so I don't want to give her Lubuntu.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 10:57 PM   #10
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prushik View Post
I use LXDE and she called my machine ugly
Then avoid XFCE, because LXDE is prettier. If she thinks LXDE is ugly, what does she think is pretty? Probably Windows and KDE, but forget about KDE on a macine that old. It would be as slow as molasses. (Yes. You have quite a problem on your hands.)

If she is really hung up about pretty, give her Hanna Montana Linux.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yjy4321
To me any Linux looks better than Windows as long as you don't open the terminal...
Linux is at its prettiest with an open terminal.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 11:26 PM   #11
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
Then avoid XFCE, because LXDE is prettier. If she thinks LXDE is ugly, what does she think is pretty? Probably Windows and KDE, but forget about KDE on a macine that old. It would be as slow as molasses. (Yes. You have quite a problem on your hands.)
I agree, LXDE is quite pretty, but it is configurable and hence it can be made ugly, which is what I think I did to it. Her analysis of it is not the most helpful. I think she could probably be satisfied with LXDE if it was configured in a way that she likes, but how exactly will she like it? I'm not sure, but something like Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, KDE, or Enlightenment might be safer.
I think what she wants most is windows with rounded corners. She hasn't actually said that, but to me, thats what I perceive as the biggest difference between my machine and hers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
If she is really hung up about pretty, give her Hanna Montana Linux.
Lol, that's real. but it uses KDE.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
Linux is at its prettiest with an open terminal.
I agree.
 
Old 02-27-2013, 11:40 PM   #12
Randicus Draco Albus
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If I remember correctly, LXDE's panel can be put on the bottom of the screen. Do that and use the most Windows-like icons available in lxappearance. Or alternatively, Gion or nuoveXT.2.2. She might find those themes more appealing than Windows. Add a majestic background and she might love it. If it still is not enough, bribe her with a box of chocolates. (Although I am only hypothesising about the bribe. I have amost zero experience with women.)

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 02-27-2013 at 11:41 PM.
 
Old 02-28-2013, 01:52 AM   #13
prushik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
If I remember correctly, LXDE's panel can be put on the bottom of the screen. Do that and use the most Windows-like icons available in lxappearance. Or alternatively, Gion or nuoveXT.2.2. She might find those themes more appealing than Windows. Add a majestic background and she might love it. If it still is not enough, bribe her with a box of chocolates. (Although I am only hypothesising about the bribe. I have amost zero experience with women.)
Yeah, I think Lubuntu puts the menu on the bottom by default. I personally think a top menu looks much nicer, and I don't think she would have an issue with that.
The "majestic" background may also have a lot to do with her oppinion of my machine, so I'll have to choose something nice. I use http://openwalls.com/image?id=8654 for my desktop, which she said was "scary".
I don't think she is too tied to the Windows appearance, so I think she will be alright.
I can tell you though that chocolates aren't going to work, she doesn't like chocolate, so if I'm going to bribe, it needs to be done with squid flavored chips or something like that.


I was worried about using a RPM based distro because of her Chinese software needs, but I tested Fuduntu out (on my pc only so far) and it was very easy to install both PPSstream and QQ (both available as RPMS) and run them on the live USB that I made. So RPM distros seem to be no problem.
I'll test out Fuduntu, Bodhi, and Mint on her computer later today. I should also look at Pear and SalixOS as well. I'll see how they perform on her machine and then ask her what she likes best.
 
Old 02-28-2013, 02:05 AM   #14
Randicus Draco Albus
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That is a scary photograph?! She frightens easily. The avatar I use on the Debian forum would probably give her a heart attack. Warn me if she ends up with Debian, so I can change it and make the forum safe for her.

It should not matter where a distro puts the panel. A right mouse click and the panel can be moved.

I have no idea how easy or difficult it is to install PPSstream and QQ, but most distros have multiple language support these days. So language would not be a problem with other applications or system-wide.
 
Old 02-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #15
DavidMcCann
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Anything can be configured to look like anything. This was my old Fedora desktop: nothing like the default appearance of Gnome 2:
http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/7168/desktopoq.png

If you look at Distrowatch, it tells you about Asian language support. Fuduntu has it and that's reasonably light; also said to be optimised for power-saving on laptops.
 
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