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Old 11-22-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
woms14
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What distro should I choose for a minimal, then building up experience?


So I'm not a newbie, but I figured this would be the best place for this thread. I've tested many different distros, and my main concerns are speed. I enjoyed the experience I had with arch linux a lot as I was able to start with just the kernel and drivers, and then build myself up just installing what i need. I see that debian has a similar experience, as well as slackware (what about fedora?). I tried gentoo but I didn't have the patience for emerge. I am interested in possibly trying freeBSD as well. Does anyone have any recommendations?
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:58 PM   #2
onebuck
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Hi,

I would suggest that you look at Slackware again.

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
j.todd
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Arch, Debian, Gentoo, LFS, Slackware, et cetera.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:04 PM   #4
cmnorton
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I have had plenty of challenges building Ubuntu/Kubuntu client/desktop systems that also have to perform server duties. In other words, you can take the benefits of Ubuntu's packaging and ease of use and still find many challenges to overcome depending on your use of the system. My biggest task was getting our in-house tax collection system, written with subtle rpm-based environment dependencies, to run on Ubuntu.

While Ubuntu would not be considered a technically-intensive or for-developers-only distro, the support is good, and you can either upgrade every six months or go with LTS releases that don't require you to upgrade so often.

CentOS would be another good choice.

Fedora is a good distro, but unless you want to rebuild a lot of systems, I'd stick with something else.

I have found over the past year and a half, the Ubuntu is pushing the hardware resource limit with each new release. The KDE or Gnome window managers are excellent, but if you're going to do intensive graphics, run compiz or something like that, you are better off buying a full-blown workstation with tons of memory and dual-core.
 
Old 11-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #5
salter
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Most major distributions have an option during installation to reduce the system to a minimal system having no X-windows, no Gnome, KDE, etc, and in the end fitting in ca. 500 MB. Deselecting services like SQL, HTTP, etc you can even more reduce the system. A pure commandline system will run fine on older hardware.

I would suggest Fedora, because it is quite good supported with repositories for packages, so it's easy to extend to system in a painless way. Probably the same is true for Debian, Ubuntu and few more distros.

Not knowing in what direction you want to build up experience, it is difficult to give any reasonable hints.

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 06:09 PM.
 
Old 11-24-2008, 02:55 PM   #6
lumak
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I personally use slackware and found eveything about the set up, configuration, customization more logical than other distros. While all the slackware binaries are compiled for i486 processors they are additionally compiled with the '-mtune=i686' option. It is arguable whether it is actually slower or not that binaries for i686 processors. But then... the best way to get some power out of your binaries are to include the per processor optimizations. You also don't get an official 64bit with slackware.

I started with Fedora 4 and had issues installing 5. The only reason I liked fedora was gnome which isn't in slackware. 11.0+
I really didn't like fedora at all. Everything about it seemed backwards to me (but then I was coming from windows only experience). Additionally, most distros don't include all the header files for you to compile your own programs. You have to install '-devel' packages. Slackware includes all the headers in the main packages. (because honestly, how much space do you really save by not including TEXT files?! not to mention storage space is cheap)

Is there a down side to slackware?
depends on how you look at it... I did a comparison once for my self and everything I looked at was a downside for somebody else but a positive for me.

Do expected almost nothing to work out of the box with slackware. It may be as simple as alsamixer being defaulted to 0 volume and x server using framebuffer drivers to as complicated as installing lame and libdvdcss to getting mp3's and encrypted dvds working. KDE is fine for most but if you want gnome, you have to go with third party packages (gware, dropline, etc.). I use blackbox(switching to openbox).

slackware is good if you have the time and want to learn a lot. Not always easy though.
 
Old 11-24-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woms14 View Post
So I'm not a newbie, but I figured this would be the best place for this thread. I've tested many different distros, and my main concerns are speed. I enjoyed the experience I had with arch linux a lot as I was able to start with just the kernel and drivers, and then build myself up just installing what i need. I see that debian has a similar experience, as well as slackware (what about fedora?). I tried gentoo but I didn't have the patience for emerge. I am interested in possibly trying freeBSD as well. Does anyone have any recommendations?
I have been down this path for a long time---which explains the distro noted in my profile.....

Personal comments only:

Slackware: I understand the philosophy, but it makes the management of dependencies harder than it needs to be. Also, they encourage a full install, followed by "downsizing". This seems backwards.
All my Slackware attempts have given me a system that is slower than most other choices.

Gentoo: Draconian in its purism. I have trouble getting a big enough block of time to work thru it. Will probably still try, but on a dedicated machine.

Arch: I always come back to this---it is easy to install and configure, it is fast, etc. The only issue is that the mirrors are flaky. MANY times, the package manager has failed to find a file---problem is always fixed by switching mirrors.
 
  


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