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Old 08-12-2007, 11:03 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2007
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Choosing a Distribution of a Laptop

I am getting a new PC and I want to install linux on my old laptop. I have never used linux before, and I am having trouble deciding which distribution to use. I was thinking of using Debian, but I have heard some good things about Ubantu from first-time users of linux.

The information on Debian's website tells me that I would need to write the ISOs to 23 different CDs. I really don't want to do that, and I don't have a DVD burner. The Ubuntu website allows me to write to just one CD. I don't quite understand this.

Anyway, is there anything different about installing linux to a laptop rather than a desktop. I have found some tutorials in regards to installing linux on a laptop, but they are all out of date. The laptop is an ECS Green 732 (circa 2003) with the following specs:

P4 2.4 GHZ
1 Gig Ram DDR333
ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 64MB
Hitachi Travelstar 7200 RPM (60 GB)

What do you suggest? Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 08-12-2007, 03:56 PM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: France
Distribution: approximately NixOS (
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Two years ago I acted as if there were no difference and succeeded.
About Ubuntu: its primary goal is to be easy-to-use for a new user. Not very stable, not very fast, not very small, not very secure, but very easy. I do not want to say that they ignore security flaws or something like that. Maybe it's a good idea to start with Ubuntu or SimplyMEPIS and have it configure your laptop, so you can use it from the beginning and slowly (or not) learn what is going on.

About Debian: what internet access do you have? Is downloading a few CD's worth during installation and in a week after it any problem for you? If it is no problem, you can just go with netinstall. You do not have to download all Debian CD's unless you want to mirror Debian. You can install from only the first CD - you will be more limited in software available from CD, but that's all. Debian repositories are open for everybody.

Really, it is not so hard to configure any GNU/Linux distribution to run on any laptop similar to yours to the point when you can plug Ethernet cable and browse (if you have problems - you'll be welcome with concrete questions). Problems can come from sound, or video acceleration, or wireless card. I think most modern distributions will recognize your video card and enable 3D acceleration.
Old 08-12-2007, 10:38 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Townsville, Australia
Distribution: PCLinuxOS .93 Junior
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