I am a newcomer to Linux, coming from Windows, desktop PC user. I already have a few months' experience with Ubuntu and Mint. I can handle some basic terminal commands, but I prefer the GUI whenever possible.
I'm not an IT specialist, far from it. Just a normal average computer user who can read a few things if they are understandable enough, and wants a decent operating system. So please speak to me in simple human terms, I can handle high tech jargon only so much.
I have 2 main questions:
1. I've encountered problems when booting from LiveCD (written to USB) with both Mint and Lubuntu. The boot menu appeared but when I pressed any of the “try live” or “install” options, the screen froze with garbled checkerd pixels. Web searching for solutions, I found the thing with accessing special boot options and adding kernel parameters like 'nomodeset' and 'noaccel' and doing that I could proceed with installation. Then, after installing proprietary drivers, everything was fine.
This is not the first time this happened. As far as I understand this is related to the nouveau driver.
Does this happen only with some distros, like, for example, Ubuntu and its derivatives, or is it a larger problem from the main Linux kernel? From what I've read on some forums, such problems happened with other graphic cards as well, and it seems to be an old problem as old as 2011 if not older.
Why nothing could have been done to fix these issues so far? Couldn't all distros use some option from boot menu to either go with simple safe vesa graphics mode or a text based helpful install that might guide the user afterwards in downloading the proprietary drivers if s/he desires?...
And what is the main cause of the problem? Nvidia not doing FOSS drivers? Nouveau not being flexible enough? Linux kernel not keeping up? Particular distros that don't care about adding an extra boot option? A combination of all these? What is to be done? Would switching to other distro help in this regard? how would I know which distros use nouveau and which don't?
2. I'd like to look into other distros as well. What I need is stability, meaning as bug free as possible, as few apps hanging or crashing as possible, while still being user friendly. But no rolling realeases, please. I want to update the system without fear that I won't boot into desktop – again!
I need distros that come with multimedia codecs, Flash and stuff out of the box and also an easy option to install the proprietary video card graphics driver. I am all for FOSS, but for now I'm also being realistic, and unfortunately have to go with proprietary drivers.
What recommendations do you have?