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I've used Ubuntu for about five months now, it being my first shot at Linux. However I have tried out other distros (Open Suse, Debian, Linux Mint, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, PCLinuxOS) but most of them I could not get installed or properly configured on my machine-and the ones I did manage to install and get working (really only Mint, Kubuntu and Xubuntu) had bad problems or were just unsatisfactory.
The thing is, even Ubuntu was working far from seamlessly for me though it was ok for day to day use so I stuck with it. Now though, after being tremendously disappointed by the latest Ubuntu release I want to try something else. I could go back to using the previous release, however I'd rather try to find something better.
I'm just an average user, no, make that sub average as I've only really used a computer for a couple of years though I'm not completely dumbfounded by it.
Any suggestions on a good distro that is fairly easy to install and use, and which will work on an older computer with 512 MB RAM?
Try out different distributions that have a Live CD, that way you get a more clearer picture about the differences. Most distributions mainly differ by the packages they install and their own set of configuration tools - other than that below the surface they are very much alike.
To find the proper distro you should find out what you need it for. Knowing that, you can decide/test which distro supports your concept the most.
Without a specific task or purpose (like running a web server, learning some programming language, etc) it all boils down to playing around with a computer and entertaining yourself: for that you probably need a more recent and stronger hardware and some other system like a Mac or Windows with better support for new games and eye-candy. This is not meant to be offending, but I witness it a lot that some people tell they just want some plain old and cheap hardware for gaming only - new games need the most resources.
If you want to learn UNIX in general, then almost any old PC will do.
My problem is, to be more exact, in Ubuntu Hardy Heron the shell isn't recognizing some commands, it wont find my directories via the terminal,and I'm unable to delete files. My problems with Gutsy Gibbon are minor, some screen resolution issues and hit and miss with the sound working (I know the sound thing is not a hardware issue because it works fine in Hardy), just little things.
Really, I just want to try a different distribution other than the ones I listed in my first post. I'm not a gamer, mainly I just use my computer for rather mundane stuff; email, browsing, bit torrent, basic photo editing, music, videos. Perhaps some day I'll be compiling source code and whatnot on it but for now I just use it for basic tasks.
Sorry if I've committed a faux pas by posting this thread, as it wasn't exactly stated in a "this is my problem" way.
Last edited by fullmetalgerbil; 04-27-2008 at 06:35 PM.
If you want to try something different, try PC-BSD. It's not Linux, it's BSD. I've tried it a little bit and it's...well, I had weird graphical glitches, but the system was certainly still usable. I'll experiment with it more in the future.
With 512megs of RAM, you've got plenty of RAM to run any linux distribution. It doesn't really say anything about how "old" your computer is, though. You can buy brand new computers with 512megs of RAM; you can also have a last millenium 300mhz system with 512megs of RAM (probably upgraded).
I certainly wouldn't let any difficulties with Hardy Heron put me off of Ubuntu. Are you actually shocked that the new Ubuntu release has glitches? That's only happened with EVERY Ubuntu release. Just stick with Gusty until they work out the kinks with Hardy.
I might try PC-BSD one of these days, I've actually considered it before.
And yeah, I got Gutsy a couple of months after it was released, so a lot of the problems were already addressed with updates. I never had an Ubuntu release as fresh as Hardy, and I guess I just didn't expect such glaring problems. Also, it seems nobody really knows how to address them as I haven't had much luck at the Ubuntu forums.
I was going to try Vector Linux, however the free standard version (I'm poor) came with an Xfce desktop, and I really dont care for Xfce.
I think I'm going to take Isaac's advice and just stick with Gutsy until the bugs get worked out with Hardy while still trying out other distributions here and there.
again, just try a bunch of live CDs and install the one that doesn't suffer the problems you mention. Consider SimplyMepis also (debian-based, great hardware recognition, stupid-simple installation to hard drive, configuration control center).
You could give Ark a try. It has a Live CD that can run completely in RAM without touching the hard disk (yes, it will run in 512MB RAM, that's how much I've got on my own laptop). It works out-of-box for nearly everybody, so there's a good chance it will work for you. What drivers aren't installed by default come in our repositories. Also, it is geared to newbies while still having the power needed for power users and long time pros.