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Old 01-16-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
evtooms
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Registered: Jul 2011
Distribution: Debian
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Question Need help choosing a distribution


Hi everyone!

I have just received an "old" laptop (bleeding edge from my point of view, is a few years old, heavy and with a lousy battery but has a Core i7 CPU and all) and I would like to ask your advice to choose a proper distribution.

I am a newbie I have already had a few months of experience with Linux on my old laptop. It runs Debian stable (Squeeze 6.0.6) and xfce 4.6 and I am really happy with it. So happy that I threw away the dual-boot and totally removed the WinXP partition to make room for /home

So Debian Wheezy would have been perfect, but the fact that it doesn't support xfce 4.10 (which is now stable) really bugs me. And I fear not to be experienced enough to build it from scratch and especially to deal with dependencies and stuff...

I would like to try a distribution that:

- is pretty stable (something like Debian testing is ok);
- ideally works with apt and deb packages (not rpm-based nor something like Slackware... too long to explain why);
- supports xfce 4.10 (I am not experimented enough to build it from scratch);
- is not *ubuntu, not even xubuntu (again, no offense).

I checked Distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/search.php?pk...10.0#pkgsearch) but found either rpm-based, *ubuntu or obscure distributions I had never heard of.

So what do you think?

Could you suggest me a distribution or do you think I should just scale down my expectations, or try to install xfce 4.10 on Debian Wheezy by myself?

Thanks in advance!
Eugene
 
Old 01-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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just install 4.10 yourself. If that's the only reason to not stick with Debian, it's not a very good one. Staying in apt / deb land, any popular variant like mint goes via Ubuntu so I presume they're out too. Maybe you might want to explain why you don't want Ubuntu. Maybe Mint IS a valid suggestion after all?
 
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
evtooms
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Registered: Jul 2011
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 14

Original Poster
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Thumbs up

About Ubuntu, maybe I am a bit prejudiced, but I think it is not the right distribution for me. I have heard it is rather heavy, more focused on a gnome integration, with memory-consuming widgets, etc. I didn't say it first place because I didn't want to troll and start a sort of flamewar. Certainly it is simplistic (and not very fair) explanation, and some Ubuntu die-hard could prove me wrong. But then there is xubuntu and I could definitely try it.

Thanks for suggesting me Linux Mint. I hadn't thought about it. I will check it out.

But more importantly, you told me that if xfce what the only reason not to stick to Debian, it was a bad one. So maybe I should just roll up my sleeves and try to make it work.
 
Old 01-16-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
cynwulf
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With regard to Debian, Xfce 4.10 is in the experimental repo, but is not up to date (probably due to the freeze). Once Wheezy has been released you should start to see new Xfce packages coming into unstable and testing. If you are willing to settle for Xfce 4.8 until the freeze ends - you will eventually get 4.10 from the repos and avoid building it yourself.
 
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
evtooms
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Registered: Jul 2011
Distribution: Debian
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Very well. I knew that Wheezy was frozen but I didn't know that there were sometimes major version updates after the release.
So I will install Wheezy and try to figure out building 4.10, and if it doesn't work I will wait for the release (update or wheezy-backport).
Thanks acid_kewpie and caravel!
 
Old 01-16-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
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SalineOS is Debian-based and uses Xfce by default. It's also good quality:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7

If you're prepared to consider something different, there's Salix. That's Slackware-based, so very stable, and it only differs from its parent in having lots more software and slapt-get (just like apt-get):
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7
 
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:40 AM   #7
evtooms
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Registered: Jul 2011
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 14

Original Poster
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OK, thanks, I will check them, and also slapt-get! (I've never heard of it!)
 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #8
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evtooms View Post
Very well. I knew that Wheezy was frozen but I didn't know that there were sometimes major version updates after the release.
I believe you misunderstand. There are no major version updates to the stable release. If you install wheezy and change your sources to testing, you will track wheezy until it goes stable, then you'll be tracking testing - the next stable release of Debian. testing gets new versions via unstable.
 
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:23 AM   #9
evtooms
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Registered: Jul 2011
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 14

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Allright, so if I understand well now:

When Wheezy will be released, testing users will have to choose, say between two options:
- they can switch to the stable sources, and so they stay in Wheezy, but it is still sort of frozen, because there won't be any major updates (except for backports) ;
- they can stay in testing, which will become Jessie, and major updates will come progressively from sid, but it will be less stable than it was between the freeze and the release.
 
Old 01-19-2013, 03:29 AM   #10
trevoratxtal
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Try this

PcLinuxOs
http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=10
fits
- is pretty stable (something like Debian testing is ok);
- ideally works with apt and deb packages (not rpm-based nor something like Slackware... too long to explain why);
- supports xfce 4.10 (I am not experimented enough to build it from scratch);
Try a live distro, if it fits install it.
Trev
 
Old 01-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #11
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evtooms View Post
Allright, so if I understand well now:

When Wheezy will be released, testing users will have to choose, say between two options:
- they can switch to the stable sources, and so they stay in Wheezy, but it is still sort of frozen, because there won't be any major updates (except for backports) ;
- they can stay in testing, which will become Jessie, and major updates will come progressively from sid, but it will be less stable than it was between the freeze and the release.
Yes, if you track "wheezy" in your sources, when wheezy goes stable you will be tracking the new stable. If you track "testing" you'll be tracking wheezy, but when wheezy goes stable, you will be tracking "jessie". Tracking "testing" simply stays with whatever is the current testing branch.

It depends on how you define "less stable". In terms of Debian releases, "stable" means, "does not get new versions" and "unstable" means "does get new versions". It has nothing to do with the reliability of the software in question. stable is a solid and reliable system for mission critical boxes, i.e. servers, etc.

testing is suitable for most desktops and users who are willing to learn to maintain their own system and take the rough with the smooth (no different to running something like fedora or 'buntu). unstable is more suited to those who have a more thorough grasp of package management and are not averse to using the terminal. I say this because though many will have you believe that unstable is trouble free, you do have to be more hands in blocking the installation of buggy package versions and occasionally downgrading to packages in testing.
 
  


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