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Old 10-06-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
devinmcelheran
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Interested in changing Distros


So, I want to change distros from Ubuntu, to a more minimalist distro, I want to learn, but not by being left stranded without an idea of what to do. I need something with good wireless support in 64 bit because my 64 bit Jaunty install barely works with my wireless, it only connects sometimes, and for a few seconds and disconnects. I wanted to try Arch, but had the same problem repeatedly, if you want to know what it is, it's one of like five threads in the Arch forum. But I want a distro that's well maintained, good support and doesn't break on upgrade like Sabayon, I don't mean to bash, but every upgrade, Sabayon would break itself, I think it's a Gentoo thing to do. But maybe something like CrunchBang, but better community. Something with a good repo, and capable of installing source from repo while sorting build dependencies like Gentoo does and I could never get apt-build to do. I want something stable but still has the bleeding edge packages. I know this is a very picky discription, but is there any?
 
Old 10-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #2
dxqcanada
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Hmm, I was going to say Gentoo ... but it appears you've already scrapped that.

Ah, what wireless card do you have ?
 
Old 10-06-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
devinmcelheran
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I have an Atheros AR982x. 32 bit Jaunty works nearly as good as the windows driver, but 64 is very unreliable.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 09:57 PM   #4
manwithaplan
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I was going to mention Funtoo ... I think you can get a nice minimal install, and use wicd to manage your wireless. Not to mention as far as driver support, shouldn't that firmware be included in the kernel..? I am very novice with wireless... dont use it.

I can agree with you on Sabayon... Its got all the bells and whistles ... until ... the dreaded upgrade, definite pain.

My suggestions are Funtoo/Gentoo or Slackware w/ a custom kernel.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
devinmcelheran
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Yeah, Gentoo is a bit much for me now, I'm looking for something for both my eeepc and my desktop, which is a quadcore, 8 gb ram, NVIDIA card. So I want something that's good for games, and stable. But I'm going to try firefly, which is an Arch derivitive, it might go a little better than the Arch install did for me.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:24 PM   #6
manwithaplan
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Ya, I've had trouble with my Arch lately (small stuff that can be very annoying) ...

Haven't gave firefly a try yet. Gentoo is not that hard... Especially with the hardware you have... I have Dual Core /w 4 gigs of mem, Nvidia video, and a nicely tuned kernel with Openbox, and tint panel. Very responsive... and quick... I even play True Combat w/ my Nvidia card and have had no issue's. I use keyboard shorcut keys... and when I want an app .. its instantaneous.

I prefer Funtoo, because of baselayout 2.1 & OPenRC and a git based portage among others. Its really not as hard as its portrayed. In fact I have learned more about Linux using the Funtoo distro then any binary based distro... (exception of Arch). It really comes down to, "how much work you want to put into config files and preferences". I prefer to be able to have control over all configs and runlevels. Where as the Canonical based distro's handicap alot of the configs and features through automation tools and scripts.

Conclusion:
Would be to set your preference in how much time you want to spend on getting the right distro installed. Where you will spend a good couple of days getting Funtoo/Gentoo just right. Or, you can go with a binary distro route, and having it up and running within a few hours. Its all about preference and your learning curve.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:44 PM   #7
i92guboj
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If your driver is problematic on x86_64 and there's no alternative driver, I doubt that changing distro is going to help you (in that regard).
 
Old 10-07-2009, 03:35 AM   #8
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There's a new version of Slackware available - it's difficult to get more minimalistic without losing functionality! Runs well on older hardware as well, but should really shine with new hardware.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 07:00 AM   #9
devinmcelheran
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I don't want something too minimal because I'm not the best with CLI. I'm still a novice, a little more on the beginer side though. I know a bit about everything, but not a lot about anything. So I can't manually write config files. That's why I'm looking for a semi minimal distro.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 07:54 AM   #10
aus9
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devinmcelheran

roughly speaking opposite of minimal is bloatware and so from biggest we have

kde then gnome.

There are a heap of windowmanagers you can try.

Do you need to use the mouse or not?

2) Secondly you will find there is alternative software to bloatware.

eg Openoffice is huge...while abiword handles ms word type stuff and
gnumeric for spreadsheet and epdfview for pdfs and pptview for powerpoints

3) You can also decide to not use some software like java.

4) but assuming you are using net I advise you to always use a web browser that frequently updates such as firefox.

5) I suggest you stay with your current distro and install virtualbox or some other virtual machine software....download distros and then see what you like.

slitaz is a bit behind in updates but is a fine minimal distro of about 30 megs.

good luck
 
Old 10-07-2009, 08:38 AM   #11
catkin
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Debian? Can be seen as a more stable, less complex version of ubuntu (or, closer to the truth, ubuntu as a less stable, more complex version of Debian!). Dunno about the 64-bit and wireless support, though. Just suggesting it as something to consider, especially as a lot of what you have learned by using ubuntu will still be relevant.

Yay! to Xfce as an alternative to Gnome, BTW.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
devinmcelheran
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I never really liked anything other than Gnome, even though Xfce looks similar, I just can't get into it. I really like the Gnome interface and stuff. As I said, I'm trying out Firefly, an Arch derivative. But I can't get the installer working, I get some python error all the time. So I looked at the site, and it said "Installer broken" at the bottom. They should really fix that in the iso for download. So I have to have the live usb image on my sd card update/upgrade to make the install, and that's over 500mb to download, and it's going slow. So I'll post when I'm done.

I'm really excited to try it because it's made for netbooks, my wireless and everything works, fairly well anyways. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 09:12 PM   #13
smeezekitty
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google distro chooser
 
Old 10-07-2009, 09:33 PM   #14
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devinmcelheran View Post
I wanted to try Arch, but had the same problem repeatedly, if you want to know what it is, it's one of like five threads in the Arch forum.
I don't get you. What do you mean by this? Was your question not answered in the Arch forum? Arch doesn't provide you with anything and you have to read and learn and then build your system. Arch is like gentoo with binary packages available to install from base up to the entire system. If it didn't work in Arch, it's not gonna work anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post
If your driver is problematic on x86_64 and there's no alternative driver, I doubt that changing distro is going to help you (in that regard).

Last edited by ~sHyLoCk~; 10-07-2009 at 09:36 PM.
 
Old 10-08-2009, 06:57 AM   #15
devinmcelheran
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No, my thread wasn't answered to in the Arch forum (here on LQ), there's only about five or so threads going. My problem was that when I'd go to boot, the boot process would stop, and it wouldn't be able to find the boot media which should be mounted automacially, but it wasn't and I was given a limited CLI to use, and it wasn't enough to find out where/what the bootable device was, sda, sdb so on.
 
  


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