newbie...not thrilled with Ubuntu... suggest second distro??
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newbie...not thrilled with Ubuntu... suggest second distro??
So I recently, about 3 months ago have installed Ubuntu parallel to windows ( I have a Dell Insp. 1545 160GB reasonably new, pretty quick). While at first things seemed great, things seem a bit bloated and not as stable as I imagined things would be. Perhaps, being a computer novice this may be my fault but I find that:
Home folder takes a while to load,takes forever for wireless to engage/search networks, some programs freak out occasionally, chrome doesn't do well for Ubuntu, Firefox(3.5.1 (firefox for connonical Ubuntu 1.0) flash seems to only work with certain sites (youtube etc works okay). The update manager seems rather intrusive.
What I would like....a distro that is super stable, doesn't have to be the fastest, but stability, consistency, less intrusive (but easy enough to update when critical), good online support etc. While Slackware seemed to be a good choice, I have been scared off by the "no dependency management" issue....is this a reasonable thing to worry about? Anyway id love some imput. Thanks All!
The no dependency thing isn't as big a deal as it's made out to be most of the time. Not if you follow the the recommendation of a full install anyway. The package management will feel a bit prehistoric coming from synaptic, but once you get the hang of slackbuilds (www.slackbuilds.org, or SBo for short) it's pretty straightforward. I also find it's easier to build from source when that's the better way to go with slack than some other distros I've tried.
I'm a new linux user (6 months now) and I started using Slack about 4 months ago give or take. It took about a month before I was in love with it, but the benefits outweighed the shortcomings enough to keep me going until I found the shortcomings are really non-issues once you get the hang of things.
Just be aware that there is going to be a learning curve while you get everything set up the way you want. There are some really good tutorials and the slack forum here at LQ has some really knowledgeable people, plus some of the developers frequent the forum as well which I think is just awesome!
There are other distros out there that someone else might suggest that are fine as well, but if you are looking at test driving a new distro and aren't afraid to get your hands a little dirty then Slackware is definitely worth trying.
Give Debian a try. Granted, there are some philosophical issues related to renaming Firefox as Iceweasel. But, I just install the latest version of Firefox manually and avoid the issue. If you wanted to, you could do the same from Ubuntu, as well as the latest version of flash.
Welcome to the forums! Your situation is not unusual. Ubuntu is the "gateway drug" that gets a lot of people interested in Linux, then they branch out to other distributions.
Have you tried the LTS (Long Term Support) release of Ubuntu, 8.04 Hardy Heron? It is designed to be more stable than the regular Ubuntu releases.
Debian Stable (or "Lenny") is another distro designed with stability in mind. Ubuntu is derived from Debian, so the learning curve is not that big.
Whichever distro you choose as the "base," you might want to experiment with other Desktop Environments. It may just be that you don't like Gnome (the default desktop environment for Ubuntu) and would enjoy something different (like KDE, Xfce, LXDE, etc). You can use any desktop environment with any distro (mix and match) though some are more "natural" combinations.
Also don't forget that there is more to a Linux distro than the actual operating system you install on your computer. You have to find a good community that will be there for you when you have questions, and it helps to think about your future with the distro: is the project itself stable and active? are bugs fixed quickly? what is the policy for future updates/releases going forward?
Please understand however that "stability" in the Linux world comes at a price: you do not get the latest applications by default. A good example is Red Hat Linux; it's widely used in business situations for its extreme stability, but its applications may appear hopelessly outdated to the average home user. So, you need to find the balance between stability and usability. It might take you a while to find that sweet spot, but it will be worth it. Good luck!
That machine should be more than capable of running any Linux distribution without problems. I don't know but I've heard many talk about problems with laptop wireless cards but you might be able to work that out with some help. If not you can buy fairly cheap a wireless PCMCIA cardbus that's more compatible with Linux OS.
The update feature is a bit intrusive to me, too. I always remove that feature every time I update my system to the latest version of what I use, which is Fedora. Removing that does not affect anything at all and you can do your updates when you feel like it. Be aware Flash can be unstable if you have two versions of it installed.
Fedora uses a package manager called yum that you install programs with, it automatically finds all your dependencies for you. Hope this helps.
Since it seems time to make a partisan suggestion...
There are many distributions of linux that could be installed over the Ubuntu that disappoints you. For a polished distro with a fast boot, easy updating and package management, and a wide user base, try openSUSE 11.2.
Indeed, if you started a BitTorrent download of the installation DVD, you would have it already at hand by the time you had considered many of your other possible choices in linux.
Whatever you do, when you install another linux over Ubuntu, you might be careful and check the partitioning scheme that is proposed for the installation to be sure that it occupies the disk space you want and expect. You can use the Custom or Expert or Create options to your advantage and revise and check anything several times before the installation process finally starts.
People say that the first few months of ANY release.
While I've been using Ubuntu since...Breezy I think, and I almost always updated to the new releases immediately. Karmic gave me some big problems - notably, completely ruining my sound playback quality.
Oh, and for Ubuntu the 'first few months' equals half the time between releases.