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Old 03-05-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
-Fay-
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Suggestions on making Debian 6.0 stupid proof


Hey everyone, i have a friend with a little dell insperon net-book. The little POS just does not have enough power for win7 so he wants Linux on it. He had attempted it himself with Ubuntu and unity, but it really was just too much. Anyway me being the die hard Linux user i am, suggested that he let me setup a functioning lightweight distro on it. i immediately chose Debian.

now here's where im unsure about.....my friend wants to use this thing for chat, Skype, mp3's, and web browsing. he has no prior Linux know-how.

What DM would you recommend that i could configure to be "stupid-proof" to lessen the chance that he could screw something up?
 
Old 03-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
snowday
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Let's start from the beginning... what is the Dell model number and hardware specs?

Most of your questions can be answered by the Debian Wiki:

http://wiki.debian.org/DesktopEnvironment
http://wiki.debian.org/MultimediaCodecs
http://wiki.debian.org/skype
 
Old 03-05-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-mini1018/pd

Please do not misunderstand the post though, my plan is to use debian, gnome2, skype, and google chrome. Im just looking for suggestions on optimization, and ease of use techniques. Thanks for the links.
 
Old 03-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #4
snowday
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The only hardware hiccup I see is:

http://wiki.debian.org/rtl818x

My recommendation for "ease of use techniques" is to bookmark the Debian Wiki and these forums. Debian is very stable and easy to use.

Last edited by snowday; 03-05-2012 at 06:57 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
My recommendation for "ease of use techniques" is to bookmark the Debian Wiki and these forums.
amen to that ^

and thanks for the wireless card link.
 
Old 03-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
widget
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If you are going to be available to maintain the the thing. Don't give the root password to your friend.

Should save some problems.
 
Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #7
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I had considered it, i think what im going to do it give him some SU rights via visudo for certain tasks and others will need the root PW
 
Old 03-05-2012, 09:22 PM   #8
widget
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Good idea. Should be able to get a package if he wants. You do have to hope he doesn't remove the kernel or something though.

6 months he'll be a veteran user and you won't have to worry about it.
 
Old 03-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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I would go with KDE or Xfce rather than Gnome, once Wheezy is released Gnome will move to Gnome3.

What I would do:
Install either KDE or XFCE
wicd rather than network-manager
update-manager so he can keep it updated
Make sure to add the Skype repo so it stays updated
Install VLC,and mplayer plus the necessary depends from debian-multimedia.org for DVD playback
smplayer
clementine and/or amarok
soundkonverter
kid3
k3b
k9copy
gdebi
choqok for Twitter
LibreOffice
setup sudo so he can add/remove/upgrade

Make sure to install Flash, java, gecko-mediaplayer and other browser plugins as needed.

If he uses Google apps like Google Music or Picasa, install Google Music manager and WINE for Picasa 3.
 
Old 03-08-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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KDE4 uses more resources then any other DM, if you read my post i said it needs to be lightweight.

Quote:
Install either KDE or XFCE
wicd rather than network-manager
update-manager so he can keep it updated
Make sure to add the Skype repo so it stays updated
Install VLC,and mplayer plus the necessary depends from debian-multimedia.org for DVD playback
smplayer
clementine and/or amarok
soundkonverter
kid3
k3b
k9copy
gdebi
choqok for Twitter
LibreOffice
setup sudo so he can add/remove/upgrade
clementine, amarok, k3b, and wine are all anti lightweight
and if you read the post its a dell mini-1018, there is no disk drive

Last edited by -Fay-; 03-08-2012 at 09:14 AM.
 
Old 03-12-2012, 04:39 AM   #11
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Fay- View Post
KDE4 uses more resources then any other DM, if you read my post i said it needs to be lightweight.
Have you used a full blown Gnome 3? yes KDE uses more resources but don't think for a minute Gnome 3 is lightweight (even though it can be striped back quite well).
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Fay- View Post
and if you read the post its a dell mini-1018, there is no disk drive
Lighten up a bit, are you going to stop your friend from buying a external dvd drive if he wants one? I'd actually be giving him full admin rights so that when something broke or they got frustrated you didn't do the "if you did as I told you" speech. If it is their machine I'm not sure you have the right to control what happens to it.
 
Old 03-12-2012, 05:12 AM   #12
cascade9
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Use stable, not testing/sid. Its harder to break stable than testing/sid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigevil View Post
I would go with KDE or Xfce rather than Gnome, once Wheezy is released Gnome will move to Gnome3.
I've got to agree, though I probably wont be putting KDE 4.X on a atom netook. Even if it had more RAM and CPU power, the $%&$ intel video adapter will let KDE 4.X down IMO.

Xfce is easy to use, works better than Lxde, and Xfce is more intuitive than the WMs lighter than Lxde. IMO anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Fay- View Post
KDE4 uses more resources then any other DM, if you read my post i said it needs to be lightweight.
Gnome 2.X and gnome 3.X arent exactly lightweight either, and IMO its better to start someobdy off with a DE that isnt living on borrowed time like gnome 2.X.

I wouldnt be using gnome 3.X, even if you like it for your friend, because its only on testing/sid now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Fay- View Post
clementine, amarok, k3b, and wine are all anti lightweight
K3B can run just fine on systems with less power than the Mini 1018.

Clementine/amarok will as well...not that I use them, even on KDE 4.X. Bleugh. I like my media players less busy than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
If you are going to be available to maintain the the thing. Don't give the root password to your friend.
I'd be really quite annoyed if somebody did that to me. Sure, give him/her/it some warning about 'you could break stuff, dont do silly stuff', but dont withhold the root password.
 
Old 03-12-2012, 03:23 PM   #13
widget
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In my own defence, I would like to point out that the idea is to make it "idiot proof".

Personally I would install it and let them take their chances. I only had to reinstall 5 times in the first 7 days of running Linux because it was so fun to have the power over your OS. Too ignorant to repair my "improvements" or improve it in any way but I did enjoy every minute of it and learned a lot in a hurry.

Still have that first install and that 5th reinstall still works.

None the less it was obviously not idiot proof. I certainly proved that.
 
Old 03-12-2012, 10:57 PM   #14
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
In my own defence, I would like to point out that the idea is to make it "idiot proof".
Even if somebody does make something 'idiot proof', someone else will build a better idiot....

Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
Personally I would install it and let them take their chances. I only had to reinstall 5 times in the first 7 days of running Linux because it was so fun to have the power over your OS. Too ignorant to repair my "improvements" or improve it in any way but I did enjoy every minute of it and learned a lot in a hurry.
LOL, yeah, been there, done that. If its something you think of as fun, or even just 'worth it for the leaning curve' its fine.
 
Old 03-12-2012, 11:29 PM   #15
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Even if somebody does make something 'idiot proof', someone else will build a better idiot....
Well said. One should never under-estimate the power of stupidity.

@-Fay-
I would set up the system and give the person the password, but tell him or her it is not a toy.
Only use it if necessary and call me if you need help, but do not call me if you screw around and break the system. You will be on your own.
Hopefully your friend will not be foolish enough to ignore your advice.
But that's me.
 
  


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