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Old 12-02-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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What is the best distro for x86-64 system?

I have just purchased a new 64 bit Compaq and want to install Linus in a separate partition. I have tried debian and don't like it (look and feel). Is there another distro that is optimized for 64 bit systems?
Old 12-02-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
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Naturally, I'm going to recommend Slackware64, and everybody else will tell you the 64 bit version of their favourite distro is best. Try a few, it's all a matter of personal taste.
Old 12-02-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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I'm in agreement with Brian... Slackware 64

But, if you don't like Debian, you may try Fedora. If you haven't looked at Ubuntu, you might give it a try. It's based off of Debian, but is very very user friendly. Not sure about your skill level with linux. But as Brian said, try several out, pick the one you like and run with it. Most bigger distros have a 64 bit version of their OS. You may look at openSuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu to start.
Old 12-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by uncleden View Post
I have tried debian and don't like it (look and feel). Is there another distro that is optimized for 64 bit systems?
Most of look and feel in Linux is the desktop program, not the distribution.

I'm not sure what desktop you had with Debian, but my best guess is it was gnome.

I like KDE much better than gnome (I think the several other available desktops are worse than gnome).

I like the Mepis distribution best. In small part because it has KDE as its initial default desktop (though you could also easily change to KDE in some other distribution). Mepis is slightly more beginner friendly than other Linux distributions in a few other ways as well.

Mepis is available in 32 bit or 64 bit liveCD (same .iso image is both liveCD and installer, which is another convenience common to many, but not all, distributions).

I don't think any distribution is particularly "optimized" for 64 bit. Many distributions (such as Mepis) are available compiled for x86_64 architecture. Obviously if it isn't available as 64 bit, it isn't "optimized" for 64 bit. But among those that are available in 64 bit, none are significantly more optimized for 64 bit than others.

Mepis is a free download and access to its repositories are free as well. The web site encourages buying it instead and makes it a bit less obvious than typical free distributions that buying it is optional. I don't mean to discourage anyone from buying Mepis. But if you aren't willing to purchase Linux, I don't think that should stop you from selecting Mepis.

Last edited by johnsfine; 12-02-2009 at 07:44 PM.
Old 12-02-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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Distro's like Gentoo or LFS can be optimized for 64bit ... but there are many that cannot be bothered to build from source.
Old 12-02-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Naturally, I'm going to recommend Slackware64, and everybody else will tell you the 64 bit version of their favourite distro is best. Try a few, it's all a matter of personal taste.
Agreed. Or you can try openSUSE. They have pre-multilib enabled. So if you need to install a 32bit app [like wine] it will do that automatically for you.
Old 12-03-2009, 02:38 PM   #7
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I have an HP dv2500 series laptop. I've upgraded to Slackware64 recently. KDE desktop is really nice especially on this version. I just came from SlamD64 which was an unofficial port of Slackware 12.2. It was really nice where the multilib for 32 bit applications are concerned. The multilib capability can be added to Slackware64 but you have to be in charge of doing it. It doesn't come automatically installed. I found installing multilib more than a little cumbersome for Slack64 but again, I'm far from a Linux hack.


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