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Old 02-25-2013, 07:25 AM   #16
bloody
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We're not yet at each other's throats, are we?

Maybe the OP can still extract a bit of info from our posts. At least that's what my hope will do. :P
 
Old 02-25-2013, 07:27 AM   #17
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloody View Post
Unfortunately, "changing the tires" may throw problems later when you do a dist-upgrade on a system which didn't expect to be re-configured massively, e.g., by using something different than the default installation. As you already said, Ubuntu is a prime example for that. Of course there are distros which can handle these things perfectly well.
Sorry, but this is just pure nonsense. Most distributions use either deb, rpm or similar package management tools these days and these can resolve dependencies and upgrade/install/remove regardless of what DE you're using or have used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloody View Post
I'm referring to the work involved in (finding and) uninstalling all packages from the old desktop you eventually decide to get rid of, plus going thru all the folders (especially /var and /home) and all the zillion subdirs there to remove every trace of unnecessary data created by the former desktop which isn't needed anymore. Which is assuming that you know exactly what every single folder/file belongs to (e.g. not a part of xorg or some common subsystem not related to either desktop in particular). Some distros won't even remove residual configs in /etc..
Most, if not all, rpm or deb based distros allow the purging of configs... There are also a multitude of package management tools available for all distros which are designed for the removal of orphaned packages, configuration files and other cruft.

/var is not really an issue... and home is up to the user to clean out. If you have a few kB of dot files for a DE/WM you're not using, either nuke them or don't worry about them - they won't "throw problems".

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloody View Post
The idea to spam my nice & clean system with multiple desktops just to eventually get rid of all but one of them gives me the creeps..
But this is about users who have not yet decided what DE to use... if you're running a minimal system of your chosen distro, then clearly - you know what you want and have removed everything else? For someone new, just nuking everything and reinstalling every time they want to try a new DE or WM is completely absurd.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 05:13 PM   #18
bloody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caravel View Post
Most, if not all, rpm or deb based distros allow the purging of configs... There are also a multitude of package management tools available for all distros which are designed for the removal of orphaned packages, configuration files and other cruft.
Yes, thats why i wrote "some distro's don't". I didn't write "most" or even "all" distros, did i? Debian-based distros have a "--purge" option, yes. But they don't remove everything from /var or /home.

Quote:
/var is not really an issue... and home is up to the user to clean out. If you have a few kB of dot files for a DE/WM you're not using, either nuke them or don't worry about them - they won't "throw problems".
It's not about the few KB, it's about me keeping order on my system, especially my home dir. I don't want a single file or folder in my home dir that doesnt belong there. But that's just me. I'm running a Gentoo system on my 2nd PC since almost a decade without ever re-installing anything, and it's still nice & clean as if i had just installed it from scratch.

And about "throwing problems": i had a customized *buntu installed two times and then a dist-upgrade went completely wrong, leaving me with an unusuable system with a desktop that wouldn't launch anymore. I'm talking about first-hand experience there. Other distros perform better in this regard.

Please, this is just my humble opinion / personal experience, and you're of course welcome to disagree, but please let's stay on course and talk about the original question. My mistake also.

========== Back to topic ==========

Quote:
But this is about users who have not yet decided what DE to use... if you're running a minimal system of your chosen distro, then clearly - you know what you want and have removed everything else? For someone new, just nuking everything and reinstalling every time they want to try a new DE or WM is completely absurd.
Let's see if i can make my original point a bit more clear.

For example: if you like KDE, then Kubuntu or OpenSUSE aren't bad choices because their main focus is clearly a well-polished KDE desktop. They don't just also provide KDE packages somewhere in their repositories, but a major part of their entire work is dedicated to KDE. Now if you instead want to give Cinnamon a try, forget that installation and instead try maybe Linux Mint. If you don't like that and want to know more about E17 (Enlightenment), then why not take one of the best E17 desktops out there and install Bodhi Linux?

Same if you have Ubuntu installed and now want a peek at Openbox or LXDE. Better you choose a distro that is focusing on LXDE and then try that one. It will be simply more polished because it's maintainers as well as most of their users are using it because of LXDE and not any other desktop. Not to mention OpenBox which is basically a pile of bricks to build a house from. Entire Linux distros are only there because they present a certain way to setup & use Openbox. I once tried to play around with Openbox on my box aswell, but after launching it, a black screen, a mouse pointer and a minimalistic context menu on the desktop (the black screen) was all there was. That's where i realized that checking out Openbox would be done best by trying one of the distros which are built around it.

If you're new and just want to try something out, then your fresh installation does not really matter much and can therefor be easily wiped out and replaced with another distro, right?

See, this is why i originally suggested that choosing the desktop first might have advantages; once you know which desktop you want, go to distrowatch.com and learn which distros are specialized on that certain desktop and feature a thorough presentation of how that desktop may look, feel and work if done right. This will save you alot of time you otherwise spend polishing the desktop on your own before you eventually gather a good picture about the desktop and if you like that thing or not.

I fail to label that argument as "completely absurd". But that's just me..

Last edited by bloody; 02-25-2013 at 05:20 PM.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #19
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
See, this is why i originally suggested that choosing the desktop first might have advantages
It is a good idea in theory, but the problem I see with that approach is the potential for a new-comer to confuse the poor performance of an inferior OS with the performance of the GUI. That is why I believe the focus should be on the OS. If the OS is good, but one does not like the GUI, live CDs of other systems can be used to check out other GUIs.

Quote:
I once tried to play around with Openbox on my box aswell, but after launching it, a black screen, a mouse pointer and a minimalistic context menu on the desktop (the black screen) was all there was.
Wonderful, isn't it?
 
Old 02-25-2013, 06:28 PM   #20
bloody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
It is a good idea in theory, but the problem I see with that approach is the potential for a new-comer to confuse the poor performance of an inferior OS with the performance of the GUI. That is why I believe the focus should be on the OS. If the OS is good, but one does not like the GUI, live CDs of other systems can be used to check out other GUIs.
Yes, i agree. For me, the one single-most important thing about a distro is the quality, flexibility & maturity of it's package management system. It's the core, the heart of the distro. Even for a user who is otherwise totally uninterested about this, it's what keeps an installed system smooth & steady over long periods of time.

But once you've tested a few desktops, you'll probably also have picked up a basic idea about a few distros, how they manage software packages, install/uninstall and system upgrades. Once you know what desktop you prefer, you can then go and install the distro which otherwise fits your needs/desires best, and then install and polish the desktop of your choice on that particular distribution. But by then, you'll have settled in, won't change the distro anymore and you'll be able to spend a little bit more time adjusting the maybe-not-yet-so-polished desktop and workflow as you see fit, now as the distro hopping is (hopefully) over, at least for a while.

It's just easier to find out if a desktop is good if you check a few distros which focus on that particular desktop because the overall first impression will often be better than launching an "install kde" on some other distro.

Quote:
Wonderful, isn't it?
Hehe yes, in a certain way it is. Even though i have to admit that i lean more towards the minimalistic/customized approach, building a complete custom desktop from scratch on my workstation is a little bit too much for my taste. I currently have no problem with Xfce, as it's installation size / number of packages is relatively small, but it still sports all the required utils for basic system settings, an excellent panel (one of the most important parts of a desktop for me), boots & runs pretty fast, stays out of my way and does not include software that doesn't belog to the desktop itself, maybe with the exception of thunar. But i can live with that. And it doesn't try to become a cellphone 'desktop' either.

And if there are new "innovations" out there, ala bluetooth or some such, a more complete desktop would usually add an appropriate settings/config util to the bunch so i would at least notice that Earth is still rotating. On an Openbox desktop, i'll have to figure out for myself if there are new innovations which many ppl enjoy from day one while i might not even notice their very existence.. :P
 
Old 02-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #21
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloody View Post
building a complete custom desktop from scratch on my workstation is a little bit too much for my taste
Creating the dream GUI from a WM is very easy. The hard part is learning how to do it. For those of us not proficient with computers, it can be laborious and frustrating. Once it is finally figured out though, it is quick and easy to set up. I can install everything I need and configure Openbox in a few minutes. (That back-up copy of startup.sh is very handy. Copy and paste and Obenbox blossoms in full splendour.)

Quote:
On an Openbox desktop, i'll have to figure out for myself if there are new innovations which many ppl enjoy from day one while i might not even notice their very existence.
Cannot help you there. I consider most "innovations" to be unnecessary bloat, so have no need to keep abreast of developments.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 12:29 AM   #22
antitankknife
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Ok, not sure where to start in here. Having used Linux for 10+ years on and off, KDE always has been and probably always will be my favorite DE. This is for a number of reasons, but I like having a Windows look and feel, with Linux capability and stability. I personally love the "glass" effects. That is one thing MS did right, was make Aero. But enough about that.

I have had some time to play around in PC-BSD, and after coming back to it in several years, it looks and feels like a popular Linux distro now. Hardware support is still a little lacking, but I can tolerate it, since they have been working very hard on it and it sound like 9.2 could be quite a breakthrough if all goes according to plan. For those not aware, they are making a "rolling release" system, which means you can upgrade the OS without having to reinstall like I have had to with other distros. This is kind of a big deal for me since I hate having to reinstall all my software and settings.

I have decided that I will be dual-booting with Windows for the next 6-12 months, mainly as a "transition" period, and also in an attempt to get people to come to Linux/Unix, I can make benchmarks showing the gaming performance delta between the OSes. Preferably sometime in the next several months, I plan on making a new gaming build with an AMD 8-core and a Radeon 7850. I hope 9.2 is out by then because PC-BSD doesn't have 3d support for Radeon and requires the use of sh*tty VESA drivers. This is one time I am lucky to be using Nvidia.

As for arguments about how much or little people like installed, it really doesn't matter to me. I use KDE so I obviously don't mind having extra resources taken. This is personal preference and no need to get butt hurt over. I also loved FreeBSD in terminal mode, because even with no GUI, I had an incredible amount of power under the hood. However, I use a "bloated" DE, since that is what I would rather have. Maybe I have been using Windows too long though, so I might be able to wean myself off of it on the switch to Linux/Unix.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 12:52 AM   #23
bloody
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In case you already know your favorite desktop, the only remaining choice is which distribution it shall be.

Again, *BSD is not Linux. It's BSD. It's just - like Linux - a POSIX compatible operating system, so there are many similarities, but also a few differences. As you were mentioning Steam, Wine, hardcore gaming and stuff like that, i'd just want you to be aware that this stuff is a bit more Linux oriented, or shall we say, Linux might be just a little more suited for this, as - like the FreeBSD manual itself states - FreeBSD is more server-oriented, even though it allows to run any desktop and virtually any software on it. But maybe something on the way to your high-end gaming machine might either not be available or work perfectly well as expected if that something was originally developed on and for Linux systems.

Also, if PC-BSD offers all the packages you want, then that's all fine. For if not, you would have to inject ports from FreeBSD (which PC-BSD is based on), which means you'd need to compile a few softwares here & there.

About KDE: yes, it's a fine desktop with lots of features & comfort. I used it myself for years, and if your machine is recent/decent, it's a good choice and there's nothing wrong about it. For me it was just a personal decision to move away from KDE because it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and it also pre-chews too many applications outside the scope of a desktop; i want a different browser, mailer, video player, messenger etc., so i would deinstall so much that i could eventually just use a different desktop. But again, that's just me.

Our recent "bloat" talk was just us drifting a bit away about details that probably don't really matter to you. Sorry for that. Sometimes we just can't help ourselves. :P
 
Old 02-26-2013, 12:57 AM   #24
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
For those not aware, they are making a "rolling release" system, which means you can upgrade the OS without having to reinstall like I have had to with other distros. This is kind of a big deal for me since I hate having to reinstall all my software and settings.
Re-installing should not be necessary. Upgrading should be a simple, albeit, long procedure. Even Ubuntu, which is infamous for breakage during attempted upgrades, did not give me any problems. Probably because I did not add junk from outside the distro's repository. Upgrade problems are usually the result of either a crappy OS or the user's mismanagement of the system.


Quote:
I have decided that I will be dual-booting with Windows for the next 6-12 months, mainly as a "transition" period, and also in an attempt to get people to come to Linux/Unix, I can make benchmarks showing the gaming performance delta between the OSes.
You would turn more people away than you would attract. Linux cannot compete with Microsoft for games. In large part, Windows is a glorified gaming system more than a computer operating system. People who choose their systems based on how well they are for playing games will choose Windows. It is the best choice. I suggest trying to attract yourself, before trying to attract others.
Quote:
Having used Linux for 10+ years on and off ... I like having a Windows look and feel ...
You have not been able to make the transition in 10+ years. I cannot help get the impression you are waiting for a Linux System that looks and "feels" like Windows. If you truly want to journey to the side of enlightenment, you will need to abandon your attachment to Windows and embrace a different reality. Otherwise, your waiting will never end.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 01:42 AM   #25
bloody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
You would turn more people away than you would attract. Linux cannot compete with Microsoft for games. In large part, Windows is a glorified gaming system more than a computer operating system. People who choose their systems based on how well they are for playing games will choose Windows. It is the best choice. I suggest trying to attract yourself, before trying to attract others.
I beg to differ. Nvidia has recently released a driver for Linux which is about twice as fast as the previous versions, and Valve (who maintain Steam) have repeatedly stated that their games usually run faster on Linux than on Windows (even with the previous driver).

Times change..

Last edited by bloody; 02-26-2013 at 01:48 AM.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 02:27 AM   #26
Randicus Draco Albus
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There is nothing to differ about. The quality of video drivers is irrelevant. Most games are programmed to run on Windows, but not other systems. Playing them on a Linux system requires a work-around, like Wine. Why bother?

Steam? Do not know about it. If it involves using the application to run Windows games, with my limited knowledge of it, I fail to see how it would be much different than Wine. Other than monetary cost. Unless it is an internet gaming site? I do not care enough to do the research.

Bottom line:
Game makers make games for Windows. Until someone starts making Linux or multi-platform games, Windows will be the best choice for games. If games are the primary, or even an important, criterion for choosing a system, the best, and easiest, choice is Windows. No extra applications needed. Insert game and play.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 02:50 AM   #27
bloody
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http://store.steampowered.com/

Tons of titles, top-class 3D games (initially developed on/for Windows) now available on Linux aswell. Huge selection of games, ala Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider V, Doom 3, Serious Sam 3, Call of Duty: Black ops II, Left 4 Dead, Counter Strike, Borderlands 2, Age of Empires online, Lord of the Rings online, Microsoft Flight, F1 2012... just to name a few i rembered, the list is really huge.

Valve are also amongst the recent contributors to the latest Nvidia driver improvements. These guys are initially known for the Half-Life series and made it their mission to bring gaming to Linux..
 
Old 02-26-2013, 02:53 AM   #28
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I don't know if it's a transitional thing or not, but my amd64 version of debian sid requires me to install an i386 version of wine to use wine. The amd64 version of wine just gives you a prompt telling you how to do that.

I've never been a fan of KDE, as I don't like waiting five seconds for an app I clicked to launch. Or for it to stop running after I close it. But I've never had the hardware that KDE plays well with, or have even tried to use it in the past couple of years. IceWM has been my wm of choice when it's an option. Simple, light, network and cpu meters in the task bar, plus a readable clock. And almost every pixel on the wm screen can be customized.

As far as bloat, it's kind of hard to avoid these days. But large capacity drives are cheap and semi-fast. You can still delete almost everything in /usr/share/doc/ and other G's of more space in a crunch efforts. I rarely boot windows anymore, and mostly to use a printer or something with windows only drivers. But I don't do much in the realm of desktop publishing so that's a very rare occassion.

Otherwise I do most everything else that everyone else does these days. Except PC gaming. At least not anything game wise that isn't run via java in a web browser. But I've never had a high end gaming box either.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 03:21 AM   #29
bloody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
I don't know if it's a transitional thing or not, but my amd64 version of debian sid requires me to install an i386 version of wine to use wine. The amd64 version of wine just gives you a prompt telling you how to do that.
Don't know much about that, as i compile Wine on a Gentoo-64 box. Never saw such a notice that there have to be 32-bit compatibility libs or some such, but not unlikely either. Not that it matters much to me because the thing just works...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
I've never been a fan of KDE, as I don't like waiting five seconds for an app I clicked to launch.
Even though the KDE devs have recently optimized KDE4 quite a bit, it really requires a decent machine to be fun. 1 GHz won't rock the house with KDE, that much i know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
As far as bloat, it's kind of hard to avoid these days.
Thats one of the things i love about Gentoo - there is no bloat. E.g., "USE=nodoc noinfo noman" would get rid of stuff like that, and so on. Not a single package installed which is not a hard dependency of either something i explicitly installed or one of the 42 packages that currently belong to the base system set. Although i made it a habit to keep all package installation files in case of re-installs, that adds about 2 GB tarballs to my desktop system. But as you say, harddisk space comes cheap these days.

Of course i won't recommend Gentoo to anyone as it requires at least a little bit enthusiasm for learning how to make use of all these portage features. Not everyones cup of tea..
 
Old 02-26-2013, 09:46 AM   #30
antitankknife
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@Bloody

I am a bit more preferential to BSD for a few reasons, which I won't go into here. I have had enough uses of it that I would rather use it than anything else. The bloat is a pain in the ass though. I may have a 1TB HDD but I still don't like having a bunch of unnecessary crap.

@Randicus

Upgrading should be simple but in the past I didn't find it that way for some distros. As far as the gaming side goes, I seriously doubt it would turn people away. A lot of people including myself are curious as to how most modern game run in Linux vs Windows. With Steam on Linux, and its 6+ million daily average users, it could mean big numbers of people changing to Linux/Unix, especially with Windows Blue on the way, which will be a bigger turd than Win 8. ArmA 3 and all Total War games since Empire are Steam exclusive. These are big game titles and they would be foolish not to natively add Linux support, which means other game makers will follow. As for video drivers, it is a huge difference in performance. Maybe it has been too long since you used Windows, but driver releases can significantly boost gaming performance.

As for transition, driver and hardware support was the biggest reason I have not made a complete switch to Linux. I can't help but feel you are starting to troll now from how you're posts are worded. If you don't know what Steam or something else is, then at least look it up before you open your mouth. I do a lot more productivity uses than gaming these days, which is why I want to switch. KDE pretty much has the nice graphical effects that I like, so that is not a concern. In the future, if you can't post something constructive in this thread, then don't post it.
 
  


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