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Old 09-22-2007, 05:27 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2006
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Windows user wants more power; What distro?

The reason I'm looking at Linux, is because I'm "tired" of Windows. Windows is great, but I have now become limited to it. It doesn't surprise me anymore. If something doesn't work, it's fixed pretty soon because I understand how Windows works. It's also limitied on how much I can customize my system and how much control I am given.

I've been experimenting with Linux lately, but haven't been able to find a version I quite enjoy. The reason I'm asking now, is because I'm without a hard drive at the moment, and would like to look into it and prepare for when my new hard drive ships.

I have a 2.6 Ghz processor and 512mb of RAM.

I've tried
  • Ubuntu and Xubuntu: Wasn't anything really wrong. Got my hardware all correct. Doesn't have everything I want supplied, which would mean building things myself, although not truly a negative against it. Personally didn't care for it though. Found it ugly, and tried too hard to be friendly. Rather just use another distribution that feels righter.
  • Zenwalk: It was fairly nice. Didn't get my graphics card right, but easily fixed. Internet didn't work right away either, but fixed that easily also. I liked it more than Ubuntu, although still lacking in packaged programs I wanted. Felt righter than Ubuntu, just not as much as much as I'd hope.
  • Arch: I've never been able to install it. I've tried .7 and "Never Panic" and end up messing up my hard drive. Although, "Never Panic" was running fine, got a kernel panic though. There was an "official" fix to it, but I tried a different fix that worked for someone else, IDE Legacy. Unfortunatly I've lost the jumper so I couldn't revive, and so I do not want to try Arch for a long time, probably until I get me a brand new custom computer that's up to date.
  • Debian: Hrm. Seemed alot like Ubuntu, which is to be expected I guess.

Personally, Slackware "feels" righter than Debian so far. I've been thinking of trying out Slackware itself, but was looking at Gentoo also. I'm still pretty much a newb at Linux though. Any other recommendations though would be nice, even Zenwalk, Debian, or Ubuntu with reasons why, such as "x feature is great and will start to show off once you start this."
Old 09-22-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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Give Slackware a try. I was in the same situation as you a few years ago and only Slackware felt right and still does. Not an ideal distro either, but pretty close. However, you need to learn how to build your own packages, which is easy with some help. There's an excellent forum on Slackware here on LQ.

Debian is also good but Slackware is better with respect to more control.

I really cannot recommend anything else.
Old 09-22-2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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Well, isn't Zenwalk just Slackware with a bit of Eyecandy? I was thinking those two distros were related somehow. They are almost completley source based, so you'll be compiling like a maniac to install software. Gentoo is for the true geek in all of us.

I'd stick with Debian/Ubuntu. Yes there's not a lot of packages installed "out of the box", but once you learn to use Synaptic, adding repos and installing software is about as easy as Windows. Most programs will be in Ubuntu repositories, which means you likely will have to do very litte "building"... If you don't like the Gnome/Xfce interface of Ubuntu and Xubuntu, look at Kubuntu, which runs KDE. I personally would prefer a root canal to KDE, but thats just me..


Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 09-22-2007 at 06:35 PM.
Old 09-22-2007, 08:03 PM   #4
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OK I know I sound like a fanboy... but try either openSUSE (the community version of SUSE) or SLED 10 (the Novell-created corporate version). YaST is awesome... it's like having the GUI side of Windows Control Panel in Linux.

That's my input anyway.

Gentoo is very bare-metal... you may learn a lot about Linux by installing it, if you don't throw your hands up and give up before you get it installed.

Last edited by ericgearhart; 09-22-2007 at 08:06 PM. Reason: s/bear/bare/
Old 09-22-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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Why don't you just try slackware and gentoo and see which one you like more
Old 10-04-2007, 01:11 AM   #6
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
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Suse is a nice distro, but its default install can be kind of heavy. Another good option might be Fedora. Its fairly innovative.
Old 10-04-2007, 01:50 AM   #7
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You didn't say criterias, on which you base your opininion about a distro. If you liked ZenWalk, go for Slack. You can get portage system (Gentoo thing) running on Slack too.
Old 10-07-2007, 08:25 PM   #8
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: East coast, USA
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
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Originally Posted by IndyGunFreak View Post
Well, isn't Zenwalk just Slackware with a bit of Eyecandy? I was thinking those two distros were related somehow. They are almost completley source based, so you'll be compiling like a maniac to install software. Gentoo is for the true geek in all of us.
Zenwalk is based on Slackware and used to be called Minislack - so they are related. They're still similar, but Zenwalk is on its own development path. A fork, as it were.
Old 10-07-2007, 09:03 PM   #9
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Why hasn't this joined the megathread? ... Reported.
Old 10-08-2007, 11:15 PM   #10
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Yeah, maybe. They have really formed their question well, laid out what they've tried and where they're headed. We'll let it ride for a few. Thanks for the reports, keep em coming.




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