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Old 03-05-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
jim_d
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Most simple+stable distro for desktop?


I'm a low-demand home desktop user concerned mainly with OS stability and simplicity. Current setup is dual-boot PC with Ubuntu10.04+Mint9. I use my PC mainly to write, using Word on Wine. Even more boring: I connect to net via external dialup modem.

Both Ubuntu10.04+Mint9 seem excellent but have tons of features I don't need.

Is there a distro that will trade off advanced features in exchange for stability and reliability? I've read that Mepis is among the most rock-stable distros, with no attempts to be cutting-edge. Is this the case? Is there another distro emphasizing stability and simplicity? Must be a simple install, like Ubuntu+Mint. Must work well with Wine and dialup.

Thanks for suggestions!
 
Old 03-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
tronayne
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Slackware may be a good candidate for you -- rock solid, stable, un-fooled-around-with. Although Slackware is not a hold-your-hand type of distribution as many are (as in, you haven't got a clue about what's going on behind the scenes and can't find out), and if you are interested in learning about Linux it may be a good choice.

Now, that's the upside.

The "downside" is that you will be in control; i.e., you will need to partition your disk drive (not rocket science to do), set up your network connection (with a dial-up, it's loopback), fiddle with KDE until you get it the way you like it (it's not bad default, but, if you want to, you can). Stuff like that.

You would do a standard full installation (which pretty much puts all the software you could ever want to use on for you). You may want to add OpenOffice.org, Wine, maybe a couple of other things -- possibly VirtualBox (install XP in that and no more need to dual-boot).

Is Slackware hard? Nope. Is it complicated? Nope. Do you need to read a couple of things first? Well, yup, good idea (and then, when you're finished, you've got a rock solid system).

Hope this helps some.

Last edited by tronayne; 03-05-2011 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Cripes! Can't seem to spell or type anymore.
 
Old 03-05-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
rizzy
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for stability - go back to the source of ubuntu and mint, and get yourself www.debian.org All the knowlage about linux that you've already gained will be easily transferred to debian without the 6 month release/reinstall cycle of ubuntu. Initially debian takes a little more time to set up but after set up it's a very low maintenance OS.
 
Old 03-05-2011, 05:13 PM   #4
cascade9
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Slackware or debian are the obvious choices IMO. They might take a little more reading and thinking to get going, depending on your skill/knowledge level, but its well worth it.

Mepis might be more stable than ubuntu from my limited use of mepis and ubuntu, but I'm not really that up on mepis, and I try to avoid ubuntu if I can.
 
Old 03-05-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
eveningsky339
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Debian stable or testing.

MEPIS is also a good choice.
 
Old 03-05-2011, 10:24 PM   #6
frankbell
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I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters. If you want stable, Debian or Slackware is the way to go. Both of them are rock-solid stable. They are also my two favorite distros.

As tronayne says, Slackware does not hold your hand. But it doesn't break.

Also, any distro (except Arch or Gentoo and they are not for persons who want usability out of the box--they are learn-by-building-it-yourself) is likely to have features or programs you don't want. My response is usually just not to use them.

Slackware is notable in that it does almost no "branding." For example, the KDE you get is KDE as designed by the KDE folks, not KDE tailored to have some slack in the appearance.
 
Old 03-06-2011, 06:25 AM   #7
fogpipe
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I was looking for pretty much the same thing and tried linux mint, fedora and mandriva, before i finally ended up with Vector Linux.
VL is the only distro i could actually get to run reliably with my hardware,the dreaded intel i915 and even it took some tweaking.
I was really dissapointed in fedora and mandriva especially, complicated, bloated, almost impossible to customize given the levels of useless complication that have been added.
VL is a slackware derived distro, and is easy to set up and install,tho you do need to set up partitions with cfdisk and the install interface is ncurses terminal based and not a gui. If that doesnt scare you off, check it out. I have the VL light and im not looking back
btw it fits on one cd and there is a nice gui package management tool if you need to download more apps.
 
Old 03-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
zWaR
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As many above suggested: Slackware is the choice. Reliable, stable, fast, gives you opportunity to control your sistem and learn Linux. Things on Slackware just work! Who needs yum or apt-get if building from source works perfectly...? Easy to change X if you want to try others as well, like Gnome or Fluxbox etc. Great choice to compile your own kernel if you want to play around on that area. Ideal choice for developing. Actually I can't think of an area on which Slackware wouldn't be a king )))
 
Old 03-06-2011, 06:27 PM   #9
Robert.Thompson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_d View Post
I'm a low-demand home desktop user concerned mainly with OS stability and simplicity. Current setup is dual-boot PC with Ubuntu10.04+Mint9. I use my PC mainly to write, using Word on Wine. Even more boring: I connect to net via external dialup modem.

Both Ubuntu10.04+Mint9 seem excellent but have tons of features I don't need.

Is there a distro that will trade off advanced features in exchange for stability and reliability? I've read that Mepis is among the most rock-stable distros, with no attempts to be cutting-edge. Is this the case? Is there another distro emphasizing stability and simplicity? Must be a simple install, like Ubuntu+Mint. Must work well with Wine and dialup.

Thanks for suggestions!
Do you really find Ubuntu10.04 & Mint9 unstable and/or unreliable?

If not, don't switch to anything like Slackware or Debian because they will fail your 'simple' requirement for sure.

If you don't like all the 'extra stuff', simply remove them from your menus.

You could try Slax - you can pick & choose your software (Build Slax) before downloading it - may be other distro's offer the same oppertunity but I don't know.
 
Old 03-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
jim_d
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Good info above, thanks. Much to think about.

"Do you really find Ubuntu10.04 & Mint9 unstable and/or unreliable?"

No, didn't mean to imply that--it's just that I'm setting up a new system, and having already seen Ubuntu+Mint, want to try a different distro whose developers emphasize reliability/stability instead of being "cutting-edge." This is what lead me to consider MEPIS. Not suggesting Ubuntu/Mint9 are unstable. I appreciate their developers' work and the helpful community of users, and have suggested both distros to family and friends.

Though I enjoy learning and discussing Linux, I'm a generic home end-user, not a hobbyist, so I'm not able to spend much time in more advanced tasks.

fogpipe, I'm not familiar with the i915 but see it's an older chip. Would antiX be appropriate for your hw?
 
Old 03-07-2011, 12:29 PM   #11
DavidMcCann
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For stability, I'd agree that Debian and Slackware are the best.

Slackware is probably too fiddly to install and configure, but you can get Salix instead. That's simply Slackware with extra tools to make it easier to use, and with more programs available. I've been testing it for several weeks and I'm about to install it on my laptop. Go for the Xfce desktop version. I can't comment on dial-up, but wine is fine. The user forum is very helpful, with the developers themselves participating.

The Debian installer is a bit unfriendly, but you can read up on it before starting. I found the package management irritating (two tools that work differently) compared with other distros, and the user forum was a bit condescending to beginners.
 
Old 03-07-2011, 02:09 PM   #12
rizzy
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A lot of slackers around, will have to big up Debian here
i've used ubuntu and mint a lot in my time and, to be honest, less time is required for setting up and configuring Debian than fixing, tweaking, uninstalling bloat on Ubuntu. At least with debian i know where i stand - clean minimal install that hasn't got many bugs - any mess will be down to me. It's a lot easier to fix that than fixing someone else's mess
I wouldn't call Debian installer unfriendly - most of it are just mouse clicks, maybe a bit more thought needed for partitions set up, but that applies to any OS. After that, pull whatever you might need with apt. Debian forums can seem unfriendly to newbies but that's only because of expectation that poster did the home work, which, to some extent, is not unlike LQ's.
 
  


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