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Old 11-06-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
Manganus
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dist for 64 bit laptop with 8GB / 114 GB SSD


I got a new laptop today.
That's the perfect moment when to start using Linux, now when there is nothing to back up, isn't it? ;-)

The amount of information on the net is huge, however. It's hard for a simple human to know where to start.

I need, quite simply, some inputs from others, in order to move forward in my process of selecting a distribution.

My needs are actually rather modest:
  • I needed a laptop to write on, chiefly. And a chromebook would have been enough, if only I'd been sure about having continuous connection to the net. But I'm not. (SSD was chosen for the sake of weight and heat.)
  • Family members on other continents expect me to skype and facebook with them.
  • And I guess I'll use the processor power to try out some programming tasks with database handling.
  • My music collection is stored on a NAS, and I almost never use the computer as a player. But if and when, I consider using quodlibet, and if that doesn't work out well, then foobar2000 under wine.

My main concern is:
How to avoid unneccessary wear and tear on the SSD?

I guess the power consumption of the LCD display is considerably larger than from RAM and CPU and GPU and so on? Otherwise, that may be a factor to consider.

Processor is Intel P9400.

Input is welcome!

:-)
 
Old 11-06-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
suicidaleggroll
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As for the SSD wearing:

You might consider moving your /tmp onto a tmpfs (ramdisk), along with any other temporary directories that don't need persistence (browser cache, etc). You can also add the noatime mount option to your /etc/fstab so the timestamps of files aren't overwritten every time you access them.

Other than that, there's not much you need to do. The wear limit of SSDs is ridiculously high under normal conditions, it's a complete non-issue except for the most extreme of use cases.
 
Old 11-06-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
Ztcoracat
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Quote:
That's the perfect moment when to start using Linux, now when there is nothing to back up, isn't it? ;-)
You may want to burn the "Recovery Media" onto CD's that is if you want to use the orginal OS that came with your brand new computer.

As far as selecting a distribution that depends on what you need it for.

The easiest way to determine the 'basis' of a distro is the type of package management it uses.

RPM packages characterize Red Hat based systems.
.deb packages (Debian) packages for Debian based systems.

Going with a distro that is still is supported is your best bet.
Slackware (which has it's own tools) Debian and liked I mentioned Red Hat are good examples.
If your new to Linux give Debian a try--
http://www.debian.org/

You can visit here to see all distro's:
http://distrowatch.com/

Good luck to you on what distribution you decide to go with.

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA1...kype-for-linux
https://wiki.debian.org/skype
http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-linux/
 
Old 11-07-2013, 05:25 AM   #4
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
My main concern is:
How to avoid unneccessary wear and tear on the SSD?
I agree with suicidaleggroll, its a non issue in most cases.

That said, if I was using a SSD I'd use kernel 2.6.33 or newer (for full TRIM support).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trim_%28computing%29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
[*]I needed a laptop to write on, chiefly. And a chromebook would have been enough, if only I'd been sure about having continuous connection to the net. But I'm not. (SSD was chosen for the sake of weight and heat.)
If you use a chromebook and gogles tools, google knows and can use in any way they want anything you're written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
[*]Family members on other continents expect me to skype and facebook with them.
Facebook runs just fine with linux in most cases (there could be issues with very old browsers found in some distros). Skype, not really sure, but IIRC it does work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
[*]My music collection is stored on a NAS, and I almost never use the computer as a player. But if and when, I consider using quodlibet, and if that doesn't work out well, then foobar2000 under wine.
Any particular reason for Quod Libet?

There are other linux native media players, its likely you'll find one that runs better on linux than foobar in WINE.

The only 'issue' is that most linux players dont have a big a feature set as foobar..doesnt really matter IMO, since its in some weays better to use a media player for just playing files, and have a tag editor for tagging, and a transcoder for transcoding. Rather than having a 'all singing, all dancing' media player.

BTW, I did use foobar in WINE myself for a while, its not just some 'antifoobar' sentiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
I guess the power consumption of the LCD display is considerably larger than from RAM and CPU and GPU and so on? Otherwise, that may be a factor to consider.

Processor is Intel P9400.
Very unlikely the LCD uses more power than the CPU, GPU (if you've got one) etc.. If you post the laptop model, I might be able to dig out some hard numbers on that.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-07-2013 at 05:26 AM.
 
Old 11-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
Manganus
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Thank you, all of you, for the comments!

A dual boot installation with Win7 (64 bits) and linux is what I think of (at the moment!).

One question to answer is how to organize the partitioning of the SSD. There may, by the way be 128 GB and not 114. I think there is a resque-partition that maybe will disappear - depending on how I install linux and re-install Win7. (There is a DVD to use for re-installation of Win7.)

At this moment I look particularly on Archlinux.
I used Unix quite a lot between 1995 and 1999, but in all honesty, as a user, not as a sysadm. And that's a long time ago. I've forgotten almost everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Very unlikely the LCD uses more power than the CPU, GPU (if you've got one) etc.. If you post the laptop model, I might be able to dig out some hard numbers on that.
No, in this case there is no GPU.
It's a Thinkpad T400s (2815-AD7)


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
If you use a chromebook and gogles tools, google knows and can use in any way they want anything you're written.
Now, I mentioned Cromebook in order to give a picture of my humble needs.

But you are quite right!
That's taken into consideration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Facebook runs just fine with linux in most cases (there could be issues with very old browsers found in some distros). Skype, not really sure, but IIRC it does work.
Well... if Skype doesn't work, it's more of an nuisance for my sister and mother, than for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Any particular reason for Quod Libet?
  • The mp3/flac-library is huge. My experience is that most players scale badly.
  • I use tags, including nonstandard tags and multiple genre tags.

I play music from the NAS directly, mostly using Squeezebox server (or whatever it's called this year! ). The NAS from Qnap uses some kind of primitive Unix, called BusyBox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
The only 'issue' is that most linux players dont have a big a feature set as foobar..doesnt really matter IMO, since its in some weays better to use a media player for just playing files, and have a tag editor for tagging, and a transcoder for transcoding. Rather than having a 'all singing, all dancing' media player.

BTW, I did use foobar in WINE myself for a while, its not just some 'antifoobar' sentiment.
Do you have any particular players in mind?
 
Old 11-07-2013, 06:42 AM   #6
TroN-0074
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Arch will be really challenging.
installing Skype on Slackware, Debian, or Red Had will be challenging too.
I would probably suggest you to go with Linux Mint so all your media files will play out of the box.

Download the one with codecs, KDE version, Cinnamon, or Mate they all are great.
 
Old 11-07-2013, 06:50 AM   #7
Manganus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
Arch will be really challenging.
installing Skype on Slackware, Debian, or Red Had will be challenging too.
I would probably suggest you to go with Linux Mint so all your media files will play out of the box.

Download the one with codecs, KDE version, Cinnamon, or Mate they all are great.


Thanks!

It's really good to read what may, and what may not, work.
(I realize that Arch is a challenge.)

Skype actually says it exists also for linux, and lists the requirements:
  • 1 GHz processor or faster.
  • 256 MB RAM.
  • 100 MB free disk space on your hard drive.
  • Video card driver with Xv support.
  • Either a built-in or external microphone is required for voice calls.
  • An internet connection – broadband is best (GPRS is not supported for voice calls).
  • Qt 4.7
  • D-Bus 1.0.0
  • libasound2 1.0.18
  • PulseAudio 1.0 (optional)
  • BlueZ 4.0.0 (optional)

I'll have to google most of that. :-D
 
Old 11-07-2013, 08:08 AM   #8
TroN-0074
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I suggested Linux Mint because already include all these libraries and perhaps a binary install for Skype that you can just install from their software center (app store) or from your terminal.

Actually Linux Mint might already include everything you will need for everyday computing stuff.
 
Old 11-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
suicidaleggroll
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I run OpenSUSE on a thinkpad T420s myself. Everything worked out of the box for me, including skype.
 
Old 11-07-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
TroN-0074
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I am an OpenSUSE user myself too, and OpenSUSE has been good to me since 11.3. But when I recommed it to people they all end up removing it and installing Ubuntu or Mint for some reason

Who knows.
 
Old 11-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #11
Manganus
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dist for laptop with limited battery capacity

I fear my thoughts on this point were not too clearly expressed.
I'll do a new try:

The Thinkpad T400s is known for having a lightweight battery that doesn't support many hours' of use under Windows-7. That's one of the few serious disadvantages I can see with this model.

And on that point I as a linux newbie ponder, whether some distributions maybe consume the limited power of the battery faster than other distributions?

I must admit that I am only guessing. I don't exactly understand what the "higher demands" on CPU and RAM computes to, in terms of energy consumtion. Nor do I grasp how much of it that the display consumes.

Quote:
My main concern is:
How to avoid unneccessary wear and tear on the SSD? Solved!

I guess the power consumption of the LCD display is considerably larger than from RAM and CPU and GPU and so on? Otherwise, that may be a factor to consider.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Very unlikely the LCD uses more power than the CPU, GPU (if you've got one) etc.. If you post the laptop model, I might be able to dig out some hard numbers on that.
No, in this case there is no GPU.
It's a Thinkpad T400s (2815-AD7)
 
Old 11-08-2013, 06:02 AM   #12
cascade9
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Sorry, havent found much in the way of hard data on the LCD vs rest of the laptop power consumption. Been busy and lazy . From what I did see, it seems to be a LED not LCD, and so I'm more confident that the display will use less power than the rest of the computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
One question to answer is how to organize the partitioning of the SSD. There may, by the way be 128 GB and not 114. I think there is a resque-partition that maybe will disappear - depending on how I install linux and re-install Win7. (There is a DVD to use for re-installation of Win7.)
Its (probably) 128GB...just the old/new GB vs GiB, power of 10 vs power of 2 issue

Technically, according to SI a GB is 1000000000bytes (1000 x1000 x1000, power of 10). But when refering to a GB most people are actualy thinking of what is now called a GiB (Gibibyte), 1073741824 bytes (1024x1024x0124, power of 2).

Partition scheme would depend on if you want to keep windows, how much space you want for windows. Assuming that you want windows and want a decent amount of space for it, probably something like this-

55GB C: windows.
15GB / (root file directory for linux).
45GB /home
2GB swap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
At this moment I look particularly on Archlinux.
I used Unix quite a lot between 1995 and 1999, but in all honesty, as a user, not as a sysadm. And that's a long time ago. I've forgotten almost everything.
Arch is widely respected, but a pain for anyone with quite a bit of linux experience. Its a 'rolling release', which means it gets a huge amount of updates, and updating the system can lead to breakage.

I'd start on something a little easier and less likely to break when updating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
  • The mp3/flac-library is huge. My experience is that most players scale badly.
  • I use tags, including nonstandard tags and multiple genre tags.

I play music from the NAS directly, mostly using Squeezebox server (or whatever it's called this year! ). The NAS from Qnap uses some kind of primitive Unix, called BusyBox.

Do you have any particular players in mind?
Yeah, some players can have issues with large collections.

I havent had that issue myself, but I dont set my collection to be scanned and/or managed by a media player.

Since I dont use a NAS, and dont manage my files with a media player, my expereince might not mean much. But I've got a 10K+ collection of mostly flacs and mp3s, and dont have any issues with the media payers I use with linux.

I mostly use 'deadbeef', and its the player where my usage patterns come closest to the way I used foobar.

I wouldnt start making hard decisions on what media player you want to use. They are almost all free, easy to install, so try a lot of them. Some of them are easy to use, some of them can be hard to setup, like players using MPD (Music Player Daemon ).....which can be a pain to setup for a newbie, but in your case it could well be worth it.

Its a server/client setup with lots of different clients.

http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Music_Player_Daemon_Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_Player_Daemon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
Well... if Skype doesn't work, it's more of an nuisance for my sister and mother, than for me.
Heh, it should work, I just dont knopw because I dont use skype.

You might find this page useful-

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA1...kype-for-linux

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
installing Skype on Slackware, Debian, or Red Had will be challenging too.
You know this from experience, or is it just a guess? Slackware could be tough, debian/centOS/fedora shouldnt be that hard....

BTW, I cant see Manganus using red hat, its a paid for OS. CentOS would make more sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
I would probably suggest you to go with Linux Mint so all your media files will play out of the box.
Umm....even distros that use to have a rep as 'not playing media files out of the box', like debian, often now play MP3s 'out of the box' (debian 7 does). Pretty much every linux disro will play flacs, its GPLed software.

Its not that hard to add codec support to most distros anyway. For some users, its 'too hard', and thats because some users are ^&*%& stupid and/or lazy. Manganus doesnt seem that lazy, or stupid, I'm sure that adding codecs would be doable, and possible a good learning experience as well.
 
Old 11-08-2013, 06:42 AM   #13
Germany_chris
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I'm going to be the dissenter. Windows is big fat and bloated, you do not want the the Linux equivalent of that. Arch is not all that difficult to install no matter what the archers think. Easy to use Linux distros will be fat, Slack is fat evenafter it's trimmed. If you want light and Debian do crunchbang, light Arch and dead simple to install ArchbBang. I personally wouldn't give up pacman for anything If it cannot fit on a CD (looking at you Slack) don't install it.
 
Old 11-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #14
Manganus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
I'm going to be the dissenter. Windows is big fat and bloated, you do not want the the Linux equivalent of that. Arch is not all that difficult to install no matter what the archers think. Easy to use Linux distros will be fat, Slack is fat evenafter it's trimmed. If you want light and Debian do crunchbang, light Arch and dead simple to install ArchbBang. I personally wouldn't give up pacman for anything If it cannot fit on a CD (looking at you Slack) don't install it.
I've lots of sympathy for all this. :-)
And I do still look at Arch while I install the 64 bits Windows-7.

Installing Windows takes its time...
Especially the updates, numbering to 141.
Inbetween, I actually installed linux from a memory stick.

Arch is tempting, but I need kind of guarantees for basic functionality. I can't afford to find myself without a working "typewriter" and internet browser. And I would hate to be stuck with Windows-7 on this mashine, now when I think of W strictly as a back up and safety net, only.

So in the end, it turns out that I'll go with Mint.
And since I was used to Gnome some 15 years ago, I start trying out Cinnamon.
 
Old 11-08-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
Germany_chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manganus View Post
I've lots of sympathy for all this. :-)
And I do still look at Arch while I install the 64 bits Windows-7.

Installing Windows takes its time...
Especially the updates, numbering to 141.
Inbetween, I actually installed linux from a memory stick.

Arch is tempting, but I need kind of guarantees for basic functionality. I can't afford to find myself without a working "typewriter" and internet browser. And I would hate to be stuck with Windows-7 on this mashine, now when I think of W strictly as a back up and safety net, only.

So in the end, it turns out that I'll go with Mint.
And since I was used to Gnome some 15 years ago, I start trying out Cinnamon.
I have Arch and Cinnamon..
 
  


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