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Old 06-27-2017, 01:18 PM   #1
ScarletIce
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Question Linux newbie here. Looking for input on choosing my distribution


Hi all, I hope this is the correct forum for this. I'll start off with the hardware specs then continue with my question.

HP Laptop
HP Notebook 17-x114dx
Quote:
Microprocessor: Intel® Core™ i5-7200U (2.5 GHz, up to 3.1 GHz, 3 MB cache, 2 cores)
RAM: 6 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (1 x 2 GB, 1 x 4 GB)
Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 620
Hard Drive: 1 TB 5400 rpm SATA
Optical Drive: SuperMulti DVD burner
Display: 17.3" diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1600 x 900)
Keyboard: Full-size island-style keyboard with integrated numeric keypad
Pointing Device: Touchpad with multi-touch gesture support (Though I will also be getting a very basic wired USB infrared mouse)
Wireless connectivity: 802.11b/g/n (1x1)
Network interface: Integrated 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN
Expansion Slots: 1 multi-format SD media card reader
External ports: 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphone combo; 2 USB 2.0; 1 USB 3.1; 1 RJ-45
Power supply type: 45 W AC power adapter
Battery type: 3-cell, 31 Wh Li-ion
Webcam: VGA webcam (front-facing) with integrated digital microphone
Audio features: DTS Studio Sound™; Dual speakers
So, I've been talking to people and doing a bit of research on my own but I just want some extra input before choosing a distribution.

I want to use this laptop primarily for just a few basic things:
  • Simple office tools, e.g. LibreOffice
  • Email and Internet browsing
  • PDF reading, especially graphics intensive PDFs such as D&D rulebooks

These aren't the only things I plan to use it for, but I intend for them to be the main focus of this laptop. I may also want to use this laptop to start teaching myself coding in the future. Another thing that I may want to be able to do is run Rosetta Stone, though if I end up going with a distribution that isn't ideal, or is impossible to get Rosetta Stone working on, it isn't a big deal. Also, I hope that I already made this obvious, but this is NOT a gaming computer. I do not care about how this thing plays video games. I have a Windows PC for that and any other media or entertainment purposes.

I also want to start weening myself off of the GUI and start teaching myself to be familiar and comfortable with primarily using the command line. So while I'm not necessarily ready to go with a distribution with no GUI at all, I would at least like to go with something that isn't designed with a heavy focus on the GUI.

Ok, so with all that said, here are a few distributions that I have been considering or have been recommended to me. Though I am not really attached to anything on this list. These are just what I have come across that look like they might be appropriate.
  • LXLE
  • openSUSE Leap 42
  • ubuntu (I've found that it is pretty much impossible for ubuntu not to come up when asking about Linux distributions)
One last thing I want to mention is I want to prioritize getting the most speed that I can out of this hardware. So by that I mean fast startup and shutdown, quick response from programs, minimal load times, programs opening and closing quickly etc. If there is anything I can do on the software side to make things fast and smooth I want to prioritize that.

And that's pretty much it. I would really appreciate any thoughts, insight or suggestions anyone might have for choosing the right distribution for my purposes. Also, if anyone has suggestions on good programs that fit my criteria, e.g. an anti-virus program, web browser, pdf reader, etc. I would love to hear those as well.

Last edited by ScarletIce; 07-03-2017 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Solved
 
Old 06-28-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
Demosa
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While I typically recommend Fedora, due to the ease of transition between fedora and RHEL (since the majority of enterprise linux is RHEL/CentOS), any modern distro will be fine for your needs.

In your shoes, I would use Ubuntu. Since it's the most popular on this list, it has probably the largest wealth of online support, and would do what you're looking for just fine.
 
Old 06-28-2017, 11:03 AM   #3
DavidMcCann
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With an i-5, you won't have any speed problems: that's a processor suitable for gamers and video editors, and Linux is faster than Windows anyway. For your modest goals, I suggest you get the distro with the user interface which suits your style.

Mint is the most widely recommended for beginners: see the user guide
https://linuxmint.com/documentation/...glish_18.0.pdf
Mint is basically "Ubuntu done properly": over the years, I've seen bugs in Ubuntu that were removed from Mint.

SUSE is a good distro on a modern computer, which uses the KDE desktop: very heavy on eye-candy, but also very configurable. You can see what it's like here
https://www.kde.org/products
If you go for SUSE, you need to get media codecs yourself
http://opensuse-guide.org/codecs.php

LXLE I've never tried, but I can't recommend the LXDE desktop (or LXQT that's replacing it) for beginners. It's intended to be lightweight for use on old computers, which it is, but it can be a nightmare if you need to alter the configuration.

Don't forget that all these distros can be run from the installation medium (a bit slowly, of course) to enable you to try them before installing. I siggest you do that for OpenSUSE and Mint and see which you prefer.
 
Old 06-28-2017, 12:02 PM   #4
BW-userx
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if you know how to follow instructions and don't mind learning go -> Slackware 14.2
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-28-2017, 02:17 PM   #5
Habitual
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http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...bl-oglvk&num=1
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-28-2017, 03:09 PM   #6
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletIce View Post
I also want to start weening myself off of the GUI and start teaching myself to be familiar and comfortable with primarily using the command line. So while I'm not necessarily ready to go with a distribution with no GUI at all, I would at least like to go with something that isn't designed with a heavy focus on the GUI.
GUI versus the command line is not an either/or proposition. Some things are easier to do on the command line and some things are easier to do on a GUI. And depending on what you are doing at the moment you might go either way with the next step.

So I commend your goal of learning to use the command line but you will be complementing the GUI, not replacing it.

------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 06-28-2017, 04:50 PM   #7
ardvark71
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Location: Oregon, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habitual View Post
Hi...

I happened to see a link for another article (in the page linked to above) concerning this issue with Debian, although I don't know if the OP's computer would be affected or if this is limited to just Debian. I saw another thread here on LQ concerning this, too.

EDIT: I just found a (Slackware) thread concerning this here, although I remember another one that was for Debian.

In terms of ease of use (in my opinion,) I would have to cast my vote for Mint or a distribution in the Ubuntu family, as well.

Regards...

Last edited by ardvark71; 06-30-2017 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Added link.
 
Old 06-29-2017, 01:38 AM   #8
Jjanel
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Distribution: any&all, in VBox; Ol'UnixCLI; NO GUI resources
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+1000 #4 LQ uniquely loves those who Slack Learning&'FRIENDSHIP' Utopia

p.s. amazing 'proof': at bottom of Forums are the Currently Active=online Users;
clicking thru the list, almost all! (who list a Distribution) say Slackware! Amazing!

Last edited by Jjanel; 06-29-2017 at 03:35 AM.
 
Old 06-29-2017, 06:38 AM   #9
Mill J
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Mint is probably the best for beginners. You can do just as much on the terminal as any other distro. Once you get some experience with Mint, start exploring REAL distros
 
Old 06-29-2017, 07:20 AM   #10
wpeckham
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I have run Mint and Mint-DE and been happy. IF you go Ubuntu direction, may I suggest Lubuntu instead: all of the Ubuntu advantages and a more stable, faster desktop. I used SPARKY last year and loved it, but you must like Debian to go that direction. I am now using Q4OS and the last two versions have been very good.

With your hardware, it is more a matter of finding one that will not slow you down in that Intel video. But even that is not bottom line. You have a good looking system there, and I doubt if you need to go minimal to get fine performance with ANY Distribution.
 
Old 06-29-2017, 08:27 AM   #11
Habitual
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Graphics on that HP Laptop might be a concern.
 
Old 06-29-2017, 11:00 AM   #12
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habitual View Post
Graphics on that HP Laptop might be a concern.
A check at the Mint forum shows that the latest versions of Mint should work with the Intel 620. If the live disk does give you any warning about hardware graphics acceleration, like "running in software rendering mode", then a distro that will certainly work is PCLinuxOS.
 
Old 07-03-2017, 10:35 PM   #13
ScarletIce
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Original Poster
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Thank you everyone for all the great advice! I just wanted let you guys know that I ended up going with Ubuntu. I decided that since I'm still new to linux going with a heavily supported distribution was probably the best choice.
 
Old 07-03-2017, 11:32 PM   #14
jamison20000e
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Thumbs up

Once you get immersed that's built from: https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/u...y-live-builds/
like oh so many others... also fun to try.

Have a blast!
 
Old 07-09-2017, 08:19 AM   #15
Boobaloo
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I got a LENOVO Y530 from the wife because the screen had gone blank. Bought her a new, more capable laptop and got this one going. I tried to install Windows 10 at least 50 times and always got "We couldn't Install ....", YADDA, YADDA, YADDA. I got really tired of that and decided to go back to LINUX Mint that I had run on a TOSHIBA Laptop a few years ago. LINUX is the best OS all the way around.

Good luck with your new UBUNTU OS.

Last edited by Boobaloo; 07-09-2017 at 02:28 PM.
 
  


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