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Old 03-02-2006, 03:38 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: College Station, TX
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 38

Rep: Reputation: 15
Quest for responsive and user-friendly package management OS

Well, this seems like a friendly forum so I'll try out this question.

I want to use linux for the following purposes:

-accessing internet (use firefox as browser)
-music (will use xmms)
-video (will use vlc and/or mplayer, gxine)
-programming (python and java)
-online games (java based)
-as a remote desktop (vncserver)
-direct connect (valknut)
-ftp server (...) [[this one is optional]]]
***--to be fast!!

I also want the distro I pick to have a user-friendly package management system such as synaptic; apt-get, etc.
I don't really care about the package format as long as there packages aren't too difficult to find and there's a decent variety.

Here's my basic computer specs:

Athlon (32-bit) ~ 2.0 ghz (a little bit over, don't know exactly)
512 mb ram
decent video card...
on-board NIC, and sound are all good....
**need OS to support nvidia drivers too

Basically, I don't need me OS to do too much. I primarily want to be able to customize my desktop, likely using XFCE or fluxbox or gnome and have a fast running OS-->fast boot, fast shutdown, FAST RESPONSIVENESS!!!

Lastly, I'm open to most any suggestion except for Gentoo.

Thanks and Cheers!!!!
Old 03-02-2006, 04:07 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

Rep: Reputation: 271Reputation: 271Reputation: 271
Interesting that you put this in the ubuntu forum because I would recommend *dun dun dun* -- Ubuntu! Most distro's today should run pretty quickly on your machine. Just disable services you won't be using and only start service when you're ready to use them (i.e. leave x off unless you're running it, don't start vncserver until you're ready to connect, etc).

For additional speed, max out your RAM...

Most of what you want to do is pretty easy to setup in Ubuntu by using Automatix and apt-get...
Old 03-02-2006, 05:00 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 215

Rep: Reputation: 30
Based on your needs, virtually any linux distribution should work for you. Your biggest limitation seems to be with an easy to use package management system. That would limit your choices to any distribution that uses apt-get or yum. I have similar specs to you (1.8GHz Athlon, NVIDA 5700LE, 1Gb Ram) and I run FC4 using gnome with no slowdown at all. You will want to disable services you do not need to speed up your boot up and shut down times. Since I use Fedora with its yum repositories I can tell you that they have RPM packages for everything you are asking for and the Livna repository also has RPM packages for NVIDA cards. I am sure that you can find all of the same stuff on the apt repositories as well.

I am sure that whatever distro you choose will work fine for you.
Old 03-02-2006, 05:20 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: College Station, TX
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 38

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Well, I'm posting this because, right now, I'm using both Debian and Ubuntu both with, as I would say, only decent results. Neither is relatively fast in my opinion and are comparable to running XP. Perhaps I have yet to delve deep enough into Linux, so to speak, in order to bring out more of the OS potential...
Old 03-02-2006, 05:34 PM   #5
LQ Guru
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

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Well, you can try recompiling your kernel. It helped a lot on my old 400MHz system, but I imagine it won't do too much for you.

Mostly you just have to kill all services until nothing is running and then only run those services you need... My old debian box runs pretty fast considering it only has 256MB ram, but I don't use KDE/Gnome and I'm just doing general email/surfing stuff with it.

For everything you're doing, I think in general it's going to seem a bit sluggish. That's the cost of running memory intensive apps like video, music, and online games. RAM is probably the thing that'll help you the most...
Old 03-04-2006, 12:24 PM   #6
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in Linux-Distributions and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 03-04-2006, 02:33 PM   #7
Registered: May 2003
Location: Wageningen, the Netherlands
Distribution: OS X & FreeBSD
Posts: 488

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I have a similar system running Arch Linux, and recently for fun I thought I'd time it. It took about 27 seconds to boot to the KDM login prompt, without tweaking much. Certainly not a record or anything, but it is fast enough for me. You could begin by compiling your own kernel, as suggested by pljvaldez. Then you can use little tricks like backgrounding the startup process of certain daemons, this will also save maybe 2 seconds (I haven't done that on my system). It also helps to use a fast filesystem, like reiserfs. I am using ext3, which I slightly tweaked (see this thread on the gentoo forums for details). When you combine little things like that, it starts to add up. You may also find it useful to browse the reviews section here on LQ.
Hope that helps.

Last edited by JunctaJuvant; 03-04-2006 at 03:56 PM.


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