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Old 06-05-2011, 09:11 PM   #1
flybynight
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Best Distro For Just Using the Internet


Hi everybody,
My parents have a machine (Intel Celeron 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 250 GB HDD) in their kitchen. It currently runs Windows 2000, but they are looking into Linux. They are looking for something that has a fairly fast boot speed, and something simple to use. All they want to do is use the Internet. I was looking for something like Joli Os, or EasyPeasy, but not as netbook-centric.

Any suggestions?
Peter
 
Old 06-05-2011, 09:15 PM   #2
frankbell
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I'd recommend Mint, primarily because it's going to look more familiar to them out of the box than any other major distro.

You might make some live CDs of likely candidates and let them help make the choice.

If they are involved in the decision-making, they are more likely to stick with it.
 
Old 06-05-2011, 09:16 PM   #3
snowday
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Maybe www.browserlinux.com ?
 
Old 06-05-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
D1ver
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If your able to install and set it up for them maybe something like Debian stable? Just for it's stability and ease of keeping updated. Once you've installed and set up things like flash player, maybe Chromium/Firefox, their email etc. it should be very easy to maintain.
 
Old 06-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
John VV
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I had Arch ( not good for "new to Linux" ) and now SL6(scientific linux) on a machine like that
 
Old 06-05-2011, 11:27 PM   #6
flamelord
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It's not easy to set up, but with Arch you can just install the bare minimum that you need, so you could just install a minimal window manager (such as openbox, fluxbox, etc.) and firefox or chromium, flash, and any necessary codecs, which would make a minimal boot time. But like I said, Arch Linux isn't really for beginners, and takes a lot of command line work to set up.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #7
DavidMcCann
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There are obviously two points here. Firstly, it has to run in 256MB, which rules out Mint. Secondly, it must be stable and easy (you don't want to get continual appeals for help), which rules out Arch.

The ones I'd recommend would be Vector, Salix, and CrunchBang. Get the live CDs and let your parents see what they think of them. The Xfce versions are the best: KDE takes too much memory and LXDE is trickier to configure.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 03:56 PM   #8
jefro
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xpud would run on 256M, dunno how this is different than the OP's original 1G???

Personally, I'd look at slitaz, puppy, maybe vector or some of the minimal ubuntu distro's or built it from scratch.

Last edited by jefro; 06-06-2011 at 03:57 PM.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flybynight View Post
Hi everybody,
My parents have a machine (Intel Celeron 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 250 GB HDD) in their kitchen. It currently runs Windows 2000, but they are looking into Linux. They are looking for something that has a fairly fast boot speed, and something simple to use. All they want to do is use the Internet. I was looking for something like Joli Os, or EasyPeasy, but not as netbook-centric.

Any suggestions?
Peter
The LiveCD List is a Good List to check out. I would try Knoppix, you are more apt to recognize hardware with this LiveCD. You can run Knoppix from RAM;
Quote:
excerpt from http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-info/index-en.html

What is KNOPPIX®?
KNOPPIX is a compilation of GNU/Linux software, run completely from CD, DVD or flash disk. It automatically detects and supports a wide range of graphics adapters, sound cards, USB devices and other peripheral devices. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, for training courses , as rescue system or as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on fixed disk. Because of its transparent decompression, up to 2 gigabyes of executable software can be present on a CD, and up to 10GB on a single-layered DVD.
You can use the Knoppix LiveCD to identify hardware needs for drivers for when you get another Gnu/Linux. Plus you can use Knoppix as diagnostics for recovery, if and when needed.

It would be nice to know your hardware specifics, motherboard, manufacture & System model to help point you in the right direction.

FYI: I suggest that you look at 'How to Ask Questions the Smart Way' so in the future your queries provide information that will aid us in diagnosis of the problem or query.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
zakotsi
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As already mentioned it is a good policy to get your parents involved in the decision making process (with the some live cds) but only after you have checked them out. You need something light and stable.
I use arch and debian:
Arch should be ruled out, although very light and flexible, as it is a rolling release and might break things at some point. Debian might fit the bill as it is stable light (especially older releases) and upgrades are not so often, but you must use a light desktop environment as xfce or lxde. Openbox would also be a very good choice (i use it on an 8 years old machine) but it is far from an MS windows experience.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #11
flybynight
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Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I did not know that they would be using the computer to stream Netflix, which is unfortunately based on the Microsoft Silverlight protocol. So, I have installed Windows XP.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 05:16 PM   #12
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by flybynight View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I did not know that they would be using the computer to stream Netflix, which is unfortunately based on the Microsoft Silverlight protocol. So, I have installed Windows XP.
You could use a VM to host Gnu/Linux. More memory would be nice.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #13
flamelord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybynight View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I did not know that they would be using the computer to stream Netflix, which is unfortunately based on the Microsoft Silverlight protocol. So, I have installed Windows XP.
According to this chrome will soon have a netflix plugin which should allow netflix to work on linux. But that hasn't happened just yet.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #14
jefro
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Could easily set up a usb flash distro if the system can boot to it. If not you can usually use plop.

Then you could just reboot and not worry about borking the MS install.

I am a big fan of VM's too.

Would be nice if Chrome did offer netflix hd. It would fix my atom based tv computer.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 09:48 PM   #15
flybynight
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Well, I set up Windows XP yesterday and they seem happy, so I think I will just leave it alone. True, I could set up a USB drive distro, but I don't think it would get much use; they would just use the XP install anyway.
 
  


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