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Old 03-14-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
mewolf
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New laptop...stuck in Vista He**...need help deciding which Distro to try out


Howdy all,
I recently purchased a HP Laptop with a Centrino Duo processor...and unfortunately it has Vista installed. I have been experiencing loads of problems so I would like...no make that NEED to switch to Linux. I would like to run a try out distro w/out losing the Vista to start out with. I mostly use my 'puter for the web, web page designing, some DTP stuff, and digital photography/editing/publishing. My question is this...would Xandros be the best distro to try for what I need to do?
My specs are:
Intel R Core 2 Duo 1.60 GHz and 1.60 Ghz
1014 MB Ram
32 bit operating system

Also, I currently have OpenOffice and Firefox installed...I need to have access to these and Scribus, Inkscape, and some type of photo editor. Would I be able to install all of these with Xandros, or does it come with these programs?

Thanks!
MEWolf
 
Old 03-14-2007, 11:20 PM   #2
{BBI}Nexus{BBI}
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Ubuntu, Kubuntu & Knoppix seem to be the most popular 'Live' distro's out there. You can boot them up from the cd or dvd and try them out without putting your vista install at risk. Should you find you like them they come with the option to install to your hard drive. Knoppix comes with a lot of software already there to use, but any of flavour of Linux can be set up to not only fetch but to install the software of your choice. I hope this helps.
 
Old 03-14-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
AceofSpades19
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I found that SLAX is a real good live cd and you can add on to it by getting "mods" of the SLAX website that you insert into the live filesystem and also there is the MySLAX creator which you can choose what packages you want
 
Old 03-15-2007, 04:04 AM   #4
PatrickMay16
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I would suggest that you try out Ubuntu.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 04:31 AM   #5
Sepero
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I don't understand why everyone feels that they must suggest a different distro than the one you've already selected (beware of fanboys). {BBI}Nexus{BBI} suggested many that can try without installing at all, which is good, but it really isn't the same as really running it on your system. You can try out Xandros without erasing Vista.

"I mostly use my 'puter for the web, web page designing, some DTP stuff, and digital photography/editing/publishing."
Any Linux distro can do these things.

As for the specific programs:
OpenOffice yes
Firefox yes
Scribus yes
Inkscape yes
photo editor yes (many)
 
Old 03-15-2007, 08:41 AM   #6
mewolf
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Thanks for all the suggestions. And since I am a N00B, a couple more ?? please. I have read instructions on what to do before I "try" a distro. I just want to make sure I understand the steps:
1. Backup my data
2. Defrag my hard drive
3. make a liveCD of the Distro and run it off the CD to see if I like it.

Also, I am guessing I will need to turn off my 'puter, load the distro CD, then turn my 'puter back on to run from the CD, correct?

I don't wanna be a pain while I am trying to understand so if there are any more in depth instructions/documentation around on the web for me to follow...please point me there!

MEWolf
 
Old 03-15-2007, 08:49 AM   #7
hacker supreme
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correct, mewolf. You do have to put the CD in and restart.
Although I'm not sure defragging the hard drive is going to do anything.
I never bothered.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 09:47 AM   #8
mewolf
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After reading a BUNCH of user reviews...I think I am going to try Ubuntu. However, Kubuntu sounds good too...is Kubuntu a user interface of Ubuntu, or is it a separate Distro? Also, on the download pages for the Distros there are several mirrors to select from...I am assuming I need to select the "Desktop" mirror...

Thanks again for all the help!
MEWolf
 
Old 03-15-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
Inchcape
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Ubuntu is a distribution using the Gnome desktop.

Kubuntu is the same, but with the KDE desktop.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #10
tredegar
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mewolf,
Once you have kubuntu, you can also download & install gnome to try that desktop ( = "ubuntu", & vice versa). You can choose which desktop you want to run when you login to (k)ubuntu.

If you are going down the (k)ubuntu path, may I recommend you start with the Dapper 6.06.1 distro (not quite as bleeding-edge as the later versions, but more stable for a newbie)?

Yes, you need "desktop" for Intel (X86). It'll download as an .iso file, and needs to be burnt to CD as an iso image. If, once you have burned it (at no more than 4 x speed, please), and you look at the disk, there should be a lot of files on it. If you see only one file called something.iso then you burned it wrong, and it will not boot.... try again.

Set your BIOS to boot from the CD as first option, and your HDD as second option.
Reboot your computer (with the CD in the drive).
Off you go, have fun!
 
Old 03-15-2007, 02:54 PM   #11
Jorophose
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If you can wait, and don't have any way to burn the CDs yourself, you can order free CDs from Canonical.

If you like the "windows look", KDE does that by default, but GNOME can be changed to look like it. GNOME wouldn't feel too familiar if you've spent your whole life with Windows, but it is simpler.

I like Debian-based distros more than Slackware or Gentoo or RPM based ones. I love APT. But that's just me.

Good LiveCDs:
- Knoppix
- PCLinuxOS
- Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu
- Slax

Good desktop-oriented distros:
- PCLinuxOS
- Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu
- Zenwalk (Comes with XFCE by default, you can install KDE or GNOME later)
- Xandros or Linspire (I'm not really a fan, though)

Xandros and Linspire, I'm a bit iffy on. I don't like that they include proprietary components, though CNR is the easiest way to install software EVER, and Xandros is a local company. I wouldn't go for them, unless you've got your heart set on them.

For Ubuntu, you want Desktop, and x86 (Intel). Desktop means you get the LiveCD experience, so it doesn't touch Windows, x86 is 32-bit AMD or Intel (or VIA too I think) and it's like the generic archetecture these days. PPC is for older Macs. (G3, G4, G5)

Make sure that you have the Vista installation discs, incase something goes wrong.

GIMP is a good image editor, ala photoshop.

Oh, and finnally, never allow someone else to make the final verdict on what distro to use. And never get discouraged, because there's a distro out there waiting for you.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 03:16 PM   #12
{BBI}Nexus{BBI}
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepero
I don't understand why everyone feels that they must suggest a different distro than the one you've already selected (beware of fanboys).
It was obvious from the users post that he/she is a relative novice when it comes to Linux, as far as I am aware Xandros is not a 'Live' distro.

Encouraging a novice to setup a dual boot system is not very good advice when all they wish to do is to try out a different op/sys.

Fanboys has nothing to do with my suggestions I don't even use those distro's myself, but I have encouraged novices that I know of to use Ubuntu & Kubuntu, and they found them easy to use, easy to understand and easy to install.

Simple solutions to a simple problem is all that was required here.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 03:21 PM   #13
masonm
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In all honesty I recommend that you check out several different distros to see if there is one that "feels" right for you. User reviews are an ok guide, but they're just opinions.

Pretty much every distro out there has some good points and bad points. None are perfect. I always come back to using Slackware because it is the best distro for me. Debian and it's derivatives are the best distros for other people. Some swear by Suse and wouldn't use anything else.

Different strokes for different folks. Try out as many as you can and see what works best for you personally.

You can set up a dual boot where you have your Vista partition and Linux partiton(s) with any distro. If you have the drive space you can have as many different distros as you like but most people tend to have one main distro and a spare partition for playing around with other ones. I've been known to do that myself.

Check out some different ones. some LiveCDs as well as installations, have fun, play around with them, and odds are one of them will click for you as THE distro for you. That's how I am with Slack.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 08:14 PM   #14
mewolf
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Hey you all are wonderful! Thanks so much for all the help and suggestions! I have gone to Kubuntu Site, followed the instructions on the page...

Ubuntu is distributed over the Internet as CD image files, called ISOs. To install Ubuntu, you first need to burn its ISO file onto a CD. You need a working CD/DVD burner and an 80 minute (700 Mb) CD for this. This page explains how you can do it using Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Kubuntu. If the CD writing fails, try writing at a slower burn speed. The CDIntegrityCheck page describes how to verify the integrity of the finished disk. If your finished disk fails to boot when you restart your computer, please refer to the BootFromCD page.

The GettingUbuntu page has links to the ISO image files, as well as other methods of GettingUbuntu.
MD5 Sums

Before burning a CD, it is highly recommended that you verify the md5 sum (hash) of the .iso file. For instructions, please see HowToMD5SUM. This ensures that the downloaded file is intact and prevents you from creating a bad burn.
In Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / XP / Server 2003 / Vista

1. Download and install [WWW] Infra Recorder, a free and open source image burning program.
2. Insert a blank CD in the drive and select Do nothing or Cancel if an autorun dialog pops up.
3. Open Infra Recorder, and select the 'Actions' menu, then 'Burn image'.
4. Select the image file, then click 'Open'.
5. In the dialog, click 'OK'.

However...when I try to select "Actions" then "Burn Image" I cannot get any file to come up. I used TUGzip to unpack the file (mebbe THAT was my mistake???) Is the file I am trying to copy the actual "isolinux" file?

Sorry to be a pain...but I am stumped.

Thanks again!
MEWolf
 
Old 03-15-2007, 08:55 PM   #15
Jorophose
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The .iso file is what you want to burn. If you've now got a bunch of directories/folders and files, I suggest trying to re-ISO them (I have no idea how to do that, though, maybe use 7-zip?) and then burn the iso file. After you burn it, you should see a bunch of files and directories in D:\, and not just the .iso file. If you see "filenamehere.iso" when looking at the CD, you've messed it up.
 
  


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