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ThatPerson 08-29-2011 12:55 PM

Which distro works well with small (9") screen sizes, and on low CPU power.
 
I am hoping to in about a months time (I know, a long way off, but I am trying to organize backups, installation USB sticks, etc, and choose the distro) to buy a Renice 30GB SSD with a SandForce controller for my Asus EEE PC 901, which should allow 15MB/s 4k random read, and 40MB/s 4k random write, meaning hopefully a speedy boot up. Also, for what I have, 30 GB plus the slower 4GB disk is enough space, so no issue.

I also got a 2GB RAM chip, so RAM is not that much of an issue, however the CPU is only a Intel Atom N270 - 1.6GHz Hyperthreading.

Due to replacing the SSD, I also have to replace Ubuntu 10.10 on it, and was thinking that with all of the new distros around, which should I choose?

I narrowed this down to:

Mint 11 (Should be okay, I haven't tested it before but won't the Mint Menu be too large? Can it be resized?)
Ubuntu 10.10 (I have experience with this, nice and fast, but getting old?)
Ubuntu 11.04 (Haven't installed yet due to originally having it on my desktop and bluetooth crashing, wifi taking ages to connect)
Ubuntu 11.10 (Should have some improvements, looks good, but might need to many system resources and slow my snappy new SSD right down?)
Fedora 15 (I have it on my desktop and after a short while got Bluetooth fixed, but I find Update Manager likes crashing as does Add/Remove software)
Fedora 16 (I have heard of this in the pipeline, but never tested it. Has anyone had any experience?

Or, if anyone knows of a better distro which would run well, and satisifies these requirements:

Quite easy to set up, I do know about setting things up, but on a netbook it is always nice to have things easy.
Fast to boot up (10.10 get up in about 40-50 seconds, which should be down to about 30-40 seconds with a new SSD)
Has a nice community (One reason I like Ubuntu was the huge community, but I am willing to leave it)
Easy to install things (I can use apt-get and yum, but I find tools like Ubuntu/Mint software centre and Synaptic to be easier)
Easy to configure hardware (I once tried the Fedora 15 live CD and found that it detected bluetooth, allowed me to turn it on in the menu yet not in the settings, or search for devices. I managed to fix this on my desktop though)
Easy to install (I can live with hard, but easier is well.... easier.)

Thanks, and I know I have opinions about the distros, but please do not start a flame war, I just want people opinions.

Note: The desktop system I tested it on was a HP Compaq dc7700 slimline with these specs:

1.5GB RAM
80GB ssslllooowww hard disk
Dual Core 3.4GHz processor
Belkin USB WiFi adaptor (I can get the full device id if needed, however it is quite hard to get to.)
Belkin USB Bluetooth adaptor (Same as before, a quick search on amazon should find this, it is about half a centimetre from the USB port and has a curved back.)

Thor_2.0 08-29-2011 01:40 PM

Hi,

Dont leave your tribe...you dont need to. Ever considered a lighter Ubuntu? Ever considered Lubuntu?

There is CruchBang, it's Debian based. Or, how about the new Knoppix? Just tried it, looks pretty.

Oh, and by the way, try to avoid the slimlines...they can be nasty...

Luck

Thor

ThatPerson 08-29-2011 02:04 PM

A light distro is not really needed, it runs full on Unity very well, and should be better with a new SSD. I might try Ubuntu 11.10, as 11.04 was still quite buggy for me. I might wait for a few replies and opinions just to see.

TobiSGD 08-29-2011 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatPerson (Post 4456341)
A light distro is not really needed, it runs full on Unity very well, and should be better with a new SSD. I might try Ubuntu 11.10, as 11.04 was still quite buggy for me. I might wait for a few replies and opinions just to see.

Keep in mind the 11.10 is still a beta and therefore will be buggy.

3xp10r3r|X13 08-29-2011 02:10 PM

Hey ThatPerson,
here comes my personal opinion (I will just talk about the distributions, you've narrowed it down to...well I will try) :

Let's start with Ubuntu. In my opinion Ubuntu is a great OS. It comes with Unity, but if you don't like that, you can just switch to whatever desktop environment you prefer. It offers easy handling for linux beginners and doesn't limit the fun for advanced users (although it is sort of marked as a beginners distribution). There is a special netbook version for it as well. Specially the set up is very easy on Ubuntu. It guides you through everything step by step. - I really liked Ubuntu, but the Unity flavour is somehow distracting me.

Ubuntu 10.04 still uses gnome and is long term supportet, which means, that you don't have to worry about Unity and that you've got a long term supported great OS.

Mint: Well...I haven't really tried it out yet. (It uses KDE, which might be a bit too heavy for a netbook)

Fedora: I am currently using it and I think that it is pretty awesome. The gnome 3 design looks nice, you get every peace oft software you need and it doesn't limit you in any way. It is basically Red Hat Enterprise for free. (The red hat enterprise guys are developing it) Fedora is very comunity based. So the developers pay attention to the feedback of the users. As mentioned, I'm using it and I can't understand, why your software tools aren't working. However, it is great for desktop pcs and laptops, but I doubt that it runs that great on a 9" netbook...

Further sugggestions: There is slackware, which eats up next to no resources. I had slight difficulties to handle it, when I was used to Ubuntu. You have to do everything using the terminal. This means, that you are building your own system from the bottom to the top, which has a certain beauty. - difficult to handle, but great

Debian is another suggestion. Ubuntu is based on Debian. So you're getting a great software support. It is...a tank. (very, very stable - so is slackware)

Slackware and Debian are considered to be more difficult distributions (You get used to them pretty quickly though)

Knoppix (already mentioned) is very light, but in my opinion nothing which can somehow entertain you for a while.


The result and my recommendation: Go for Debian or the netbook version of Ubuntu

PS: If I got something wrong, concerning the descriptions of various distributions, plrase feel free to correct me :D

3xp10r3r|X13 08-29-2011 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatPerson (Post 4456341)
A light distro is not really needed, it runs full on Unity very well, and should be better with a new SSD. I might try Ubuntu 11.10, as 11.04 was still quite buggy for me. I might wait for a few replies and opinions just to see.

Right, I missed that quote...

Just go for Fedora 15 or Ubuntu 10.04 :)

ThatPerson 08-30-2011 04:39 AM

From what you have all said, I will probably go with Ubuntu 11.10 when it comes out, as I use my netbook alot and if I were to put Fedora on I would have to get used to it quickly.

3xp10r3r|X13 08-30-2011 09:20 AM

have fun :)

cascade9 08-31-2011 03:18 AM

Part of why ubuntu is slowing down in booting speed is that is keeps getting bigger- more packages, more loading, slower boot.

To get a faster boot, try using a distro (or version) which has lesss stuff installed. Since Gnome 2.X is going away, you might as well change desktop now. I suggest Xfce- its lighter than gnome 2.X, and its easy for someone to move from gnome to xfce and feel at home pretty quickly. You could try Lxde, but IMO its not enough 'lighter' than Xfce to be bothered with.

I'd go for a debian Xfce, or a minimal install of ubuntu + Xfce4 (NOT 'xubuntu-desktop').

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3xp10r3r|X13 (Post 4456349)
Hey ThatPerson,
here comes my personal opinion (I will just talk about the distributions, you've narrowed it down to...well I will try) :

Let's start with Ubuntu. In my opinion Ubuntu is a great OS. It comes with Unity, but if you don't like that, you can just switch to whatever desktop environment you prefer. It offers easy handling for linux beginners and doesn't limit the fun for advanced users (although it is sort of marked as a beginners distribution). There is a special netbook version for it as well. Specially the set up is very easy on Ubuntu. It guides you through everything step by step. - I really liked Ubuntu, but the Unity flavour is somehow distracting me.

Ubuntu 10.04 still uses gnome and is long term supportet, which means, that you don't have to worry about Unity and that you've got a long term supported great OS.

Mint: Well...I haven't really tried it out yet. (It uses KDE, which might be a bit too heavy for a netbook)

Ubuntu 'netbook remix' (UNR, 8.04 up to 9.10) turned into Ubuntu 'netbook edition' (UNE) for 10.04 and 10.10. With unity becoming the defualt desktop for 11.04, the 'netbook' versions were dropped.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Netbook_Edition

Mint is avaible with more than just KDE. Mint has got more confusing with the new 'debian edition' versions, which is based on debian and uses debian repos, not ubuntu.

http://www.linuxmint.com/index.php

As far as the ubuntu based versions go, the newest mint release is 'Linux Mint 11 Katya' and avaible in Gnome 2.X and Lxde versions.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

ThatPerson 08-31-2011 03:40 AM

As I have said before, speed is not a massive issue, but I will probably have something like Ubuntu 11.10/11.04 with Unity, and Xfce installed along the side for when I need more speed.

cascade9 08-31-2011 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatPerson (Post 4457742)
As I have said before, speed is not a massive issue, but I will probably have something like Ubuntu 11.10/11.04 with Unity, and Xfce installed along the side for when I need more speed.

Ummm....its not about 'speed of running' (though gnome 2.X will be slower than Xfce4, and gnom2/unity, gnome 3/unity and gnome 3 would be at least as slow as gnome 2.X). I thought that you were after a fast boot?

ThatPerson 08-31-2011 02:05 PM

It is slightly for boot speed, but the SSD should improve that, I m just looking for an OS which generally performs well, so it will perform better on a faster SSD. Sorry for the confusion.

cascade9 09-01-2011 03:44 AM

You might be suprised at how much better Xfce4 runs compared to unity, and how much better a minimal install runs compared to a full install.

Its not like you have to change distros (though I would, but I'm biased), just get a different *buntu install disc and type a few commands post-install.

ThatPerson 09-01-2011 01:48 PM

I think I will go with either Ubuntu 11.04 or 11.10, my netbook is kind of my main computer and changing to a new OS would create too much hassle.

eveningsky339 09-03-2011 09:42 PM

Do what's easiest and best for you. If you ever do decide to switch distro's, I recommend Debian, PCLinuxOS, or Fedora. :D I am using Fedora + GNOME 3 right now and the interface is good for a netbook. Although I never had a problem with the traditional desktop style either. I may actually try KDE when the next Fedora comes out.


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