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Old 10-26-2008, 08:59 AM   #1
mark165
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Choosing a new distro questions


Currently i have got Ubuntu 8.04, and i've had it installed for a few weeks now, i still havn't got it running the way i want it.

I had to install the Ubuntu 8.10 kernel over the 8.04 one to be able to compile source to use my Line 6 Guitarport. This worked, and my guitarport produces perfect sound. The only thing is, the display drivers broke because of the kernel upgrade, and i have trouble installing from the nVidia site.

Anyways, i'd like to try something new, abit more open, i don't know if its just the feel of Ubuntu, i feel somewhat restrained, maybe thats becasue i havn't got it running how i want it yet, or it is actually a system that is restraint, i'm not sure.

I did a few test things about distro's; Fedora and openSUSE seem to be the highest rating, where as it was Ubuntu before i knew anything about linux!

Which of the two, Fedoro or openSUSE would fit my taste:

I want it to be stable (anything more stable than Windows XP is fine!)

Something secure, though i am behind a router.

Little configuration, especially wi-fi, Ubuntu connected straight to my WEP enabled wireless conection without anything to be installed, which i really liked. I don't mind trying to install things via command line however, its rewarding when i get things to work by using the command line!

I prefer Gnome at the moment, i dislike KDE 4 from what i've tried, but i've got along with KDE 3 before. I would if possible like the option to run the KDE desktop from time to time.

Any other distro suggstions that would fit my taste are welcome

I've read Debian is good also, as i've used Ubuntu, i've read i'd be familiar with Debian as Ubuntu us based off it.

Also, looking at the openSUSE website, can you install from the liveCD? If so, whats the differences between the liveCD and the DVD install? My internet connection isn't that fast, 4.3GB would take a while! Is this the same with Fedora?
 
Old 10-26-2008, 09:21 AM   #2
pixellany
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I would suggest simply trying several. Almost all distros now come in a "live CD" version. (Yes, you can install from live CD.)

I do not recommend installing from DVD---I think it is always better to install a minimum system and then add things as you need them.

The best distro (for you) may simply be the last one you try.
 
Old 10-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
reddazz
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The live discs of openSUSE only include a subset of packages available in the openSUSE distro as whole (due to the limited disk space on a cd). They come in two versions i.e. KDE4 and GNOME. The DVD has most of the packages that are part of the openSUSE distro (GNOME, KDE4, KDE3, etc). The live discs are good for testing the distros without installing and the dvd is good if you have a slow net connection, intend to install on multiple machines or want to install all available desktops.

If the kernel for Ubuntu 8.10 worked for you, you could just upgrade (or do a clean install) the whole system to Ubuntu 8.10. Its officially released in a few days time and from the tests I have done on the RC, its a very good distro, but still does not have good wireless support out of the box when compared to openSUSE or Mandriva.

Last edited by reddazz; 10-26-2008 at 05:00 PM. Reason: fix typos
 
Old 10-26-2008, 09:52 AM   #4
mark165
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I'm currently downloading Ubuntu 8.10 beta, its downloading really slow, only at 20Kb/s! I'm tempted to cancell, and try another distro, then download 8.10 when its a final release, infact i will.

You say openSUSE has good wireless support compared to Ubuntu, as Ubuntu detected my wireless perfectly fine, openSUSE sounds like a good idea to try next.

I'm guessing all the packages on the DVD that are not included on the Live CD, from whatever distro are all avaible to downlad seperatly ater, if desired?

I'm now downloading openSUSE 11.0 instead of Ubuntu 8.10 beta!

As i have Ubuntu installed, can the openSUSE live cd (and also Fedora, i'll just go ahead and download that too after) format the whole of the linux partiton already created via Ubuntu, then install, and not have any side effects with the dual boot side of things? I don't see why not, but i thought i'd ask to make sure.
 
Old 10-26-2008, 10:26 AM   #5
amani
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You can try bittorrent (linuxtracker.org).

I believe you have a big hard disk.
Make many partitions and install many distros
 
Old 10-26-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
unihiekka
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Quote:
I would if possible like the option to run the KDE desktop from time to time.
In ubuntu you can install the KDE base system, so that you can switch to KDE at login without losing Gnome. Just run:

Code:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
in the terminal and answer the questions according to your preferences. If you don't want the whole of KDE, then try

Code:
sudo apt-get install kde-core
instead. And if you don't like it at all:

Code:
sudo apt-get remove kubuntu-desktop
 
Old 10-26-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
mark165
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Thank you for that I did install KDE in Ubuntu, via the package manager thingy, but i do mainly use gnome. I wish i knew about the kde-core command, rather than installing the whole KDE bits, but at least i know how to remove it now!

openSUSE is taking ages to download. My speeds are below 20Kb/s, it should be going 200Kb/s plus, as i'm on a 2MB line! At this rate, i don't think i'm going to be trying out openSUSE today! Not even half way, and it's been downloading for over 3 hours!
 
Old 10-26-2008, 01:15 PM   #8
unihiekka
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Just download the live cd, not the whole dvd. The live works perfectly and lots of it is already on it. Like my previous posters said: you can always add them with YaST if needed, but there is already lots on the cd!
 
Old 10-26-2008, 01:19 PM   #9
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark165 View Post
Currently i have got Ubuntu 8.04, and i've had it installed for a few weeks now, i still havn't got it running the way i want it.

I had to install the Ubuntu 8.10 kernel over the 8.04 one to be able to compile source to use my Line 6 Guitarport. This worked, and my guitarport produces perfect sound. The only thing is, the display drivers broke because of the kernel upgrade, and i have trouble installing from the nVidia site.
Try describing that problem, maybe someone here can help you. By the way, congratulations for the Line 6, it's definitely a good "toy" to have in your arsenal


Quote:
Anyways, i'd like to try something new, abit more open, i don't know if its just the feel of Ubuntu, i feel somewhat restrained, maybe thats becasue i havn't got it running how i want it yet, or it is actually a system that is restraint, i'm not sure.

I did a few test things about distro's; Fedora and openSUSE seem to be the highest rating, where as it was Ubuntu before i knew anything about linux!

Which of the two, Fedoro or openSUSE would fit my taste:
I don't think that either fedora nor suse are going to give you a much bigger degree of configurability (well, a bit more yes, but not *much* more).

If you want to have the control, use Gentoo. If you don't have the will to learn to work on a source based metadistro, then use Arch, that, while being a binary based distro, can deal very well with source packages like the nvidia drivers. It's got a thing called ABS that can deal with that.

You will have to forget shinny crystalline interfaces and get your hands dirty, though.

Quote:
I want it to be stable (anything more stable than Windows XP is fine!)
It's hard to get any worse than that. However, distros that install lots of unnecessary things tend to be more instable than distros that give you the power to strip down your system. It's simple maths: less software, less bugs.

But at the end, it all depends on the concrete software that you use.

Quote:
Something secure, though i am behind a router.
Design an iptables script or use a premade one. Once you have your script, you can use it on any distro without problems, as long as the necessary modules are available or compiled into the kernel itself.

I know nothing about wireless, though it's improving, I guess it all depends on the concrete hardware that you use.

Quote:
I prefer Gnome at the moment, i dislike KDE 4 from what i've tried, but i've got along with KDE 3 before. I would if possible like the option to run the KDE desktop from time to time.
Not a problem. All the distros can use all the desktops, just install as many of them as you want.

Quote:
I've read Debian is good also, as i've used Ubuntu, i've read i'd be familiar with Debian as Ubuntu us based off it.
It could be a good starting point if what you are after is an improved ubuntu that's more configurable and adaptable.

Last edited by i92guboj; 10-26-2008 at 01:22 PM.
 
Old 10-26-2008, 06:19 PM   #10
mark165
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Thats a really good post i92guboj! Yes, the line6 Guitarport is a brilliant toy! Especially when it's working in Linux! Shame Line6 don't do it officially!

I'm not too sure what you mean by a binary based distro? Is that different to the likes of Ubuntu?

I'm still downloading openSUSE. 8 hours and 17 mins it's been downloading, on 91%, downloading under 20kb/s, sometimes way below 10kb/s! Somethings definately wrong with my internet connection, AOL to be the blame for that! Hopefully it will have been worth the wait!

I've heard Slackware gives you alot of controll too, but not as hard to get going as Gentoo? I've also heard Slackware isn't for newbies either, but they both might be worth a download and getting familiar with linux.

I think i'll be going down the route of trying out a few distros as someone said in this topic, before finally settling on one. Hopefully i'll get my connection sorted so i can download them in less time.
 
Old 10-26-2008, 06:55 PM   #11
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark165 View Post
I'm not too sure what you mean by a binary based distro? Is that different to the likes of Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is a binary distro. A binary distro, as opposed to a source distro, is a distro which comes precompiled. 99.99% of the distros out there are binary distros.

A source distro, on the contrary, has to be compiled before it can be used, to produce the final programs that you can use. A source distro is not a distro, but more like a set of tools and documents that easy the process of compiling your own system, suited to your hardware and your needs.

The more correct term for a source "distro" would be "meta-distro". Examples of source based metadistros are Gentoo, Sorcerer, Lunar or Linux From Scratch.

Quote:
I've heard Slackware gives you alot of controll too, but not as hard to get going as Gentoo? I've also heard Slackware isn't for newbies either, but they both might be worth a download and getting familiar with linux.
They both are excellent. However, once you taste Gentoo there's no going back (that is, if you manage to install it and survive a few months). Gentoo make customization very easy. But you need to be prepared to read a lot, and do manual work. No fancy assistants, no fancy installer, and lots of docs. Very good documentation by the way, and superb forums.

Quote:
I think i'll be going down the route of trying out a few distros as someone said in this topic, before finally settling on one. Hopefully i'll get my connection sorted so i can download them in less time.
That would be the best way
 
Old 10-27-2008, 04:36 AM   #12
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
I do not recommend installing from DVD---I think it is always better to install a minimum system and then add things as you need them.
In this respect, one advantage of SuSE over a number of other distros, is that it gives you relatively fine granularity in what you can select to install (i.e., you can choose or not choose to install package-by-package, if that's what you want to do; this does take time though and just saying 'give me all the productivity packages but none of the networking ones' is faster).

Quote:
I did a few test things about distro's; Fedora and openSUSE seem to be the highest rating, where as it was Ubuntu before i knew anything about linux!
Its always difficult to say what will be to someone else's taste, particularly when you don't know anything about their taste. I've used SuSE as my main distro (succeding what was then RedHat, fedora as is now) for a number of years and largely been happy with it, but
  • Yast, SuSE's config tool is a big, do everything, GUI tool (command line version available) and is a little bit clunky in some respects. If you can get used to that, you'll probably be happy with SuSE, if not, you probably won't
  • SuSE has gone with providing a KDE 4 as one of their alternative default desktops. For me, its not ready yet (but I haven't tried installing it and applying updates to see where that gets me). The KDE guys say that the 4 series is improving rapidly and that the latest and greatest may even be stable enough now. I'll believe it when I see it, but, then, 3.x still does it for me.
  • I'd say whatever you do, don't get too distracted by the way it looks 'out of the box'. For me, the 'default friendly brown' of the *buntus is a bit irritating, but its not really a factor because its a work of minutes to get something else (which I still want to fiddle with...)

Quote:
The more correct term for a source "distro" would be "meta-distro".
I think that the reason that the terminology is not widely used in that way is because for a number of years some people have refered to, e.g., Debian as a meta distro - meaning 'a distro off which others are based' rather than 'a distro that you (primarily) compile from source'.
 
Old 10-27-2008, 07:36 AM   #13
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark165 View Post
I've also heard Slackware isn't for newbies
Don't believe everything you hear. Slackware just takes a little more thinking and reading than some distros. There's plenty of help available on this page:

http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...21.27.27.27.22

And the Slackware forum here, of course.
 
Old 10-27-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
mark165
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Thanks for the helpfull posts guys

I've finally got openSUSE onto a CD, and i'lm going to test out the liveCD very shortly. I'll start downloading another distro later too, widen the choices alittle bit!

As for now, i92guboj, from what you said, i think i'll stick with binary distro's, as thats where i feel comfortable with right now. Untill i get a distro running exactly how i want it too, thats when i'll think about trying to compile things from source
 
Old 10-28-2008, 04:19 PM   #15
mark165
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Well, openSUSE doesn't seem to have any automatic detection of my wireless card (netgear wg311v2) yet i've read that YAST should detect it. I'm not familiar with YAST however, but i can't seem to get it working. Commands like iwconfig were unrecognised too. Whether thats a command for all distro's, i'm not sure. Also i'm not sure if root is needed for those commands, they wern't in Ubuntu as far as i can remember, i could be mistaken.

The overall appearance was, i'd say a little nicer than Ubuntu, and it seemed like i could change my monitor settings so it would use 1280 x 1024. Once that was applied though, it said it needed to restart the graphics engine (or something along those lines). In Ubuntu, i'm known that to be CTRL+ALT+Backspace, pressing that combination in live openSUSE, i get a beep from my computer and nothing else happens, so i can't see if that works.

Also a little annoyance, i can't seem to mount my harddrives. I have two, one as a backup, and one with the Windows and Linux partitions on. Ubunto had both of these to click on in the Places menu of Gnome.

I'm attempting to download Fedora 9 now also
 
  


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