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Old 07-12-2005, 08:13 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2005
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Question Distro for use by the kids


I'm looking for some advice as to which distro to use on a older IBM Thinkpad 600x (P3 500mhz, 192mb RAM, 12GB HDD)

It's mainly going to be used by kids for web surfing, IM, playing MP3s etc and if possible watching the odd DVD or AVI.

I'm considering either Ubuntu or Mepis but any other suggestions would be appreciated.

The main requirements are:

Easy to install: I want the kids to get an understanding of non-MS OS's and how to install them, so something like Gentoo is just going to bore and/or scare them.

Easy to use: Easy to add shortcuts to the desktop or launcher bar.


Old 07-12-2005, 08:37 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Slackware 11, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
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Ubuntu is a great distro but the installation might be a bit frightening as it's text-based, no fancy GUI like in other distros. You may want to browse through the top distros at Distrowatch, and look at some screenshots. Really, this boils down to personal opinion. SUSE is quite nice, and it's installation is very simple and easy to follow. Fedora has a pretty installation, but I would advise you to avoid the distro like the plague!

I would go for either Ubuntu or Kubuntu. The apt package download system is amazing, and if you don't want to use the command-line, Synaptic is a great front-end for it. They both have great hardware recognition (Ubuntu's is better), but you may find that KDE is slightly more 'kid friendly'. For menu editing, a simple "sudo apt-get install smeg" in the command-line, and then selecting "smeg" in "Applications --> System Tools" is as easy as pie. It's up to you. Some people also like Kanotix, which is also based on Debian. You'll be able to find more info on all of these distros at Distrowatch - best of luck!

Last edited by J_K9; 07-12-2005 at 08:39 AM.
Old 07-12-2005, 08:41 AM   #3
Pete M
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Redhat 9 FC 3 SUSE 9.2 SUSE 9.3 Gentoo 2005.0 Debian Sid
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One word Suse

Not sure how well it will run on your hardware but for ease of installation and use don't think you can beat it

Every time I've installed it on different machines it just works

My distro of choice is currently Gentoo but as you say it's not for the impatient

Old 07-12-2005, 08:54 AM   #4
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Europe.
Distribution: Windows XP, openSuse 10.1
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There are many distributions you can choose from. If you're looking for a nice graphical installer, then I wouldn't advise Ubuntu - Because it isn't graphical; although I don't think you should really take the installer too much into account, since honestly, how often do you install your operating system?

I would recommend any of the following: SuSE, Ubuntu, Fedora Core or Mandriva.

The reason being they are all easy to install, have decent hardware detection, and are easy to just get into without too much hassle. Your kids shouldn't have any problems on any of those.
Old 07-12-2005, 05:44 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
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Debian Jr is designed specifically for kids.


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