LinuxQuestions.org
Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 07-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #1
furian
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2012
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
The age old question of which Linux Distro is best for me....


Ok, I am an IT professional, mainly dealing with Citrix products. Over the years, I have installed Linux (mostly Gentoo) but seem to always go back to Win7x64 after a short time. I'd like to list the reasons why, then see if I can get a good suggestion on what to try next. My main reason for wanting to give Linux another shot is not because I hate Windows, or Microsoft, or anything like that. It is mainly because I am BORED with it. So, ok, here it goes:

1. Crispy Screens - whenever I install Linux, I immediately start missing that crispy like screen that comes with Windows 7. I believe that most of this is due to the poor fonts that are default in most windows managers. I have dual 24 inch LCDs and I like stuff sexy!

2. Playing movies... I watch a crap load of movies and I have 100s in all different types of formats. This seems to be a major pain in the rear with Linux. Often, when I do get one format working, its very choppy and unwatchable.

3. My games... I play various games, such as BF3, and numerous mmorpgs that change with my mood. I just didn't get the same "performance" feeling with trying these under Wine, or transgaming (think i tried them), or cedega.

4. Difficult setup of xorg... At first this was easy, as long as I had nVidia. However, lately, it seems this has got harder to configure. The auto-configure never seems to work. I'm not looking for a resolution to this item, as I know you all would need more info to help... I'm just stating it as one of the reasons that keep me justifying Windows.

I'm sure there are various other little items, but these are the main reasons that I sometimes "fear" trying Linux again.

Now, with that said, I still enjoy hammering out the issues, and doing all the techie stuff. However, based on what I said above, what is the communities best suggestion as far as which distro I should choose next? If I install it, what packages would help ease my pains some, especially with #1?

Thanks!

Last edited by furian; 07-30-2012 at 03:32 PM.
 
Old 07-30-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,133
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836Reputation: 4836
To answer your points first:

1. I dual-boot Vista and Slackware on my main machine (all other machines are pure Slackware), I can't see a difference in "crispiness" between them on my 27" monitor.

2. I use VLC and MPlayer and never stumbled about a video I couldn't watch.

3. This is the reason why I dual-boot. I do my games on Vista, for everything else I use Slackware.

4. Just use the programs that came with the drivers (nvidia-settings or amdcccle).

I can't recommend a distro for you, since the points you mention don't exist for me. Maybe Linux Mint is worth a try for you, it comes with most multimedia stuff pre-installed and it is easy to install graphics-drivers and stuff.
But I would rather recommend to try out some distros and see what you like best, I wouldn't choose my distro depending on the points you mentioned.
If you have a specific problem wit a specific distro that you can't solve yourself just post here and we will help you to get a solution.
 
Old 07-30-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
John VV
LQ Muse
 
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: A2 area Mi.
Posts: 17,090

Rep: Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474Reputation: 2474
as to
1)
"Crispy Screens " ??
that is a font and LCD issue
one that I think every major Linux distro HAS addressed and has tools built in for that
2)
movies
some distros come PRE installed with NON FREE proprietary software
most do NOT
example fedora WILL NEVER ship with proprietary software for things like
music - mp3
video - basically EVERY type except ogg

BUT
mplayer and VLC are easily installed
( i like the QT front end to Mplayer " SMPlayer ")

3)
Games
dual boot Win7
or
wait a bit for win8 to KILL Microsoft based games
and then play them on Linux


4)
Difficult setup of xorg...
non starter
this dose not even come into the equation
the xorg.conf file is not even used any more
this is all auto set , with the option to override the settings


As to a distro ???????
try the top 5 for about 6 Months each
then pick one YOU LIKE
 
Old 07-31-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 4,440

Rep: Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382Reputation: 1382
There does seem to be a variation in video-playing, with different combinations of different versions of players and plug-ins. When reviewing distros, I always test with my "mp4 from hell": a badly done conversion of a recorded TV program with errors in the header. If something plays that at all, it's good. If it plays it smoothly, it will play anything. The successes so far have been Parsix, Pinguy, Salix, Solus, ZevenOS, and ZorinOS.

As for screen display, I think this is subjective: I've often disagreed with some-one over whether a display is good or bad. I suspect you like what you're used to.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
273
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
Posts: 6,613

Rep: Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884
Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
4)
Difficult setup of xorg...
non starter
this dose not even come into the equation
the xorg.conf file is not even used any more
this is all auto set , with the option to override the settings
This is not always the case. When using two monitors with nVIDIA drivers, for example, X won't start until you run nvidia-xconfig and won't use both monitors until you run the proprietary nvidia-settings as root and save the new xorg.conf. I'd be surprised if there aren't other combinations which require similar changes.

As to games on Linux -- keep a dual boot for that as mainstream games haven't yet made it to Linux. That said the older ones which run under Wine really ought to "just work" and look as good as Windows so perhaps there are tweaks out there.
Out of interest, which video card do you have furian?
 
Old 08-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #6
furian
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2012
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks for the helpful replies! I am running an GeForce GTX 550 Ti
 
Old 08-11-2012, 02:27 AM   #7
ghoultek
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: New York City
Distribution: Testing Ubuntu/XUbuntu/KUbuntu 12.04, Mint 13 (all flavors)
Posts: 56

Rep: Reputation: 2
Same boat guy

Hi Furian,

As a newbie returning to Linux... again and again... and wait I'm back
I'm in the same/similar boat as you. I come from a Win XP/Win 7 background, and I'm a Windows PC gamer as well. I reluctantly upgraded to Win 7 from Win XP 32bit because 32bit XP would not recognize the full 8GB RAM in my PC, and I wanted a 64bit OS to go with my 64bit CPU. I don't have Windows 8, but that thing infuriates me so much that I would rather watch reality TV shows than turn on a PC that has it. Keep in mind I loath all reality TV shows. I'll probably dual boot Win 7 for games until I get a very good understanding of WINE.

Like you, I got real bored/annoyed with Win7 (windows in general) and wanted to replace Win 7 with Linux. I distro. hopped a bit and I'm back to surveying the Linux landscape (aka distro. hopping). I have a fairly customized Win XP / Win 7 environments and want to re-create my comfortable environments in Linux.

[Slackware]
I tried Slackware (v13.37) but felt that it forced me to jump through way too many hoops that I wasn't ready for; especially in the updating, configuring, and customizing departments. Slack is not the most new user/newbie friendly distro. However, if one has the time/patience to learn slack then I imagine almost any Linux distro. will fit your needs.

[Gentoo]
This distro is even less newbie friendly than slackware. The install is much more involved. My experience with Gentoo was like using a Baking Soda/Peroxide/Whitening toothpaste on extremely sensitive gums/teeth. In short, painful! However, this distro pissed me off so much that I want to come back to this later on and master this distro. This is going to be my tech. challenge. I last touched upon this disto. in the latter part of 2011.

[Ubuntu]
This was much easier to get started with, much easier to install/configure/customize. While they have some very good ideas/philosophies with this distro. I loath Unity as much as I loath Win 8. Who ever came up with Unity is over due for some cruel and twisted punishment/torture. The last version of Ubuntu I used was 11.04, which included an older Gnome 2.x desktop alternative to the Unity desktop. I believe in the current v12.04 that the older Gnome environment has been completely removed. I'll be finding out soon enough. I started enjoying Ubuntu a lot as soon as I learned how to get Unity out of the way.

[Linux Mint]
I tried several different version of the Mint 11.04 distro. (LXDE, XFCE, Gnome 2.x, KDE). Mint is a built from Ubuntu but has some additional polish as a product. This was a bit easier than regular Ubuntu 11.04 to work with. I used KDE in the distant past with a different distro. but I didn't like the plasma experience very much. I also used Gnome 1.x and 2.x and Gnome 2.x I'm most comfortable with. Even though Mint has a lot of customization and polish on top of regular Ubuntu I have a suspicion that the customization/polish will somehow get in the way at some point.

[Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Lubuntu]
I tried these. They were all pretty good. However, Kubuntu spurred my dislike of KDE even further. I don't remember exactly why, but I remember exploring Kubuntu for about a 1-2 days and being rather excited about wiping that from my PC. Linux Mint seemed to be better than these.

[Arch Linux / Arch Bang Linux]
These are tinkerer's distros. much like Gentoo. However, the learning curve on these guys is much lower than Gentoo. These aren't what I was looking as a replacement to Win 7 and my cozy customized setup. I might use one of these as intermediate step toward conquering Gentoo.

[Salix / other Slackware based distros]
I tried Salix. and another Slackware based distro., which I can't remember the name at the moment, and both were easier to work with than the raw Slackware distro. However, they were still below the quality, polish, and ease of use of the Buntu distros.

What really held my interest and faith in Linux is what I encountered on a site called Linux Screen Shots. The site is dead as far as I know (this isn't the site --> http://www.linuxscreenshots.com/). The site showed some rather extensive customization and theming of almost every active distro. in late 2010/early 2011. I believe I spent a good 7-9 hours one Saturday just looking at the eye-candy and becoming very much sold on Linux. I was motivated enough to re-install KDE based distros. just to re-evaluate them as I was left with a sense of not doing enough research.

So when I posed the question of which distro. to use, Snowpine, another LQ user, suggested that I take a look at the following --> http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

My suggestion is try them out, come back to the forum and post your findings.
 
Old 08-11-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
273
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
Posts: 6,613

Rep: Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884
I think ghoultek makes a pretty good, albeit subjective, summary. Have to say though that in the time I used Mint with XFCE as a main distro on my netbook I didn't have any issues with it at all -- I only moved to Debian to use the "purer" distro but I may still move back.
 
Old 08-11-2012, 10:23 AM   #9
ghoultek
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: New York City
Distribution: Testing Ubuntu/XUbuntu/KUbuntu 12.04, Mint 13 (all flavors)
Posts: 56

Rep: Reputation: 2
@273:
You are correct in that my summary is very subjective. Picking a distro. for anything other than business reasons is going to be a subjective process where opinion and personal tastes are going to run the show. My last trip through distro. hopping land was like buying an expensive pair of shoes. You know you are going to spend a lot so you may as well try on several different pairs and get what fells the best, looks the best, and what you are most happy with. No need to settle... that is the beauty of Linux.

I didn't fully understand the breath of variety and diversity in Linux distros. until I started sampling and giving them a run through. Even though I found many things I did and didn't like it was a great experience. I hope my subjective summary motivates the OP to do the same as I did and not just settle for the first distro. he/she encounters. Distro. hopping (sampling) is worth the time to experience.

Edit: On a side note the site that is now defunct was at this address --> http://www.linuxscreenshotsforum.com
I believe it was run by Marc Santos. I found some now dead links in the browser cache on my Ubuntu 11.04 install. Here is a link to his gallery at deviant art: http://mmesantos1.deviantart.com/gallery/
He has some nice screens of the desktop customizations he has done with various Linux distros.

Last edited by ghoultek; 08-11-2012 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 08-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
273
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
Posts: 6,613

Rep: Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884Reputation: 1884
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoultek View Post
@273:
You are correct in that my summary is very subjective. Picking a distro. for anything other than business reasons is going to be a subjective process where opinion and personal tastes are going to run the show.
I agree completely, I meant no offence by the remark.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoultek View Post
I hope my subjective summary motivates the OP to do the same as I did and not just settle for the first distro. he/she encounters. Distro. hopping (sampling) is worth the time to experience.
I hope so too. I tried a few distros before settling on Debian and I still spend a lot of time installing others in VMs and dual booting. Slackware is on my radar at the moment because of its "purity" but a few little niggles are preventing me using it full time.
It is great having so much choice.
 
Old 08-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
ghoultek
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: New York City
Distribution: Testing Ubuntu/XUbuntu/KUbuntu 12.04, Mint 13 (all flavors)
Posts: 56

Rep: Reputation: 2
No offense taken. You were spot on.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ye Age Old Question nankura Linux - Newbie 4 09-12-2011 07:47 PM
LXer: Linux answers the age-old question, "Why is my network slow?" LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 07-25-2008 06:12 AM
Can't get Age of Empires II: Age of Kings started (I've could it before !!!) vegetassj2 Linux - Games 44 08-28-2005 04:59 PM
What's your age and favorite distro? Mojojo Linux - General 1 07-02-2003 03:51 PM
The age old question of partitioning... nvn Slackware 5 05-06-2003 10:59 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:23 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration