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Old 07-11-2005, 08:43 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: England
Distribution: Debian 3.1
Posts: 18

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Which Distro? (Home usage)


I have played around with a few distros, but I am looking for a good one to settle on... I mainly want:

Support for my Printer (Lexmark X1180 or Z600)
Support for my Tablet (Wacom FT-0405-U0B)
Built in Windows Emulation (For all my games)
Support for my Creative Zen MP3 player
AIM Client Pre-Installed
Fairly Newbie Friendly (I don't expect it to be MacOS, but X being set up as standard wouldn't hurt)
Good Documentation

I don't care if it's Linux or BSD, but please help me here...

~ Another Windows Renegade

Last edited by alur3n; 07-11-2005 at 08:47 PM.
Old 07-11-2005, 09:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu with IceWM
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Maybe you want Ubuntu.

It's free, it's upgraded every six months, and its documentation is superb.

Media codecs aren't preloaded, but they're easily added in (see documentation linked to above).
Old 07-11-2005, 10:33 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: SoCal
Distribution: CentOS
Posts: 465

Rep: Reputation: 30
I'm currently running fedora core 3, Ubuntu 5.04, suse pro 9.1, and suse pro 9.3. Here's my thoughts on each:

suse: great for server use. the yast control panel provides a gui interface for just about everything (samba, apache, firewall, ipforwarding, network configuration, users & groups, NFS, you name it, yast has probably got a gui tool for it)
suse also comes with decent media support. however it was a huge pain in the ass trying to get mplayer to work. in case you don't know, mplayer is main media player used to play wmv & wma files on linux.

fedora core 3: limited media support with installation but mplayer installed very easily which means i can play almost any media format. fedora has some nice gui tools for workstation use. it will be easy to configure your network cards and setup samba file sharing.

Ubuntu: I just installed this today and so far I love it. I installed the amd64 version on my laptop and it runs great. All i use my laptop for is internet, email, and php scripting so im really not asking much of the system, but never the less it seems to be working great.

All 3 distros let you update your system painlessly. suse has the yast online updates, fedora has up2date to connect you to the redhat network, and Ubuntu has the synaptic package manager. One thing I noticed was suse downloaded the latest kernel update, but i had to run the installation manually. Fedora downloaded and installed the kernel updated, and all i needed to do was reboot the machine.

Both suse and fedora supported my hp officejet 2175 without any problems, im not going to bother installing it on my laptop.

I havent tried running any games on linux. honestly if youre a serious pc gamer then you may want to consider keeping XP around on a dual boot just to making gaming easier. (or you can just wait for the PS3 and xbox360

That pretty much sums up my experience with these 3 "n00b friendly" distros. basically id pick suse for a server and ubunut and fedora for desktop use. hope this helps.
Old 07-12-2005, 12:23 AM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Linux
Posts: 29

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I haven't read any post in this entire topic, but from the title I have to say that you should go with Gentoo. No matter the situation, Gentoo is the king of Linux.
Old 07-12-2005, 12:26 AM   #5
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Newburgh
Distribution: Gentoo
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I have to agree with my good friend Franklin. Gentoo's the way to go.
Old 07-12-2005, 12:48 AM   #6
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Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
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Gentoo is a really great distribution. I switched to it myself recently, but the only problem is the somewhat difficult installation procedure. It's very well documented, but many new Linux users have been unable to do it. Also, X isn't enabled (or installed, for that matter) out of the box. If you're willing to invest the time in doing it, you'll love it, but not everyone has the time for the distribution. I've heard good things about ubuntu, though, and they'll ship it to you for free (a plus for anyone on dialup--like me).

As for gaming, the programs Wine ( and Cedega ( are used for playing windows games in Linux. Cedega is developed for newer games, but a lot of older games work better in Wine. Not all of your windows games will work in linux, though, as trying to run windows apps on another platform is akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole; the wine and cedega people have made some good efforts to cut into the hole, but not all the pegs will fit.
Old 07-12-2005, 07:03 AM   #7
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: England
Distribution: Debian 3.1
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Thanks for all the help!

I'm not really a serious PC gamer, I play FM2005, EverQuest (not very often any more) and that's about it... as for Gentoo, what would it take to get X set up?

I think I might shoot for Ubuntu for now, and see how that goes!
Old 08-11-2005, 12:19 PM   #8
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Newburgh
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 85

Rep: Reputation: 15
Installing X is as simple as "emerge xorg" however you will have to configure it for it to work properly(although I believe the default configuration works for most users). Gentoo also provides a nice walkthrough for installing and configuring X at . You should look through the documentation section, because it contains a lot of great information.
Old 08-11-2005, 01:01 PM   #9
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.0
Posts: 32

Rep: Reputation: 15
I've been running Linux for about 5 years now, Slackware on my server, and for about 3 months, Gentoo on my desktop. Gentoo is very well documented, and the handbook explains the install process quite well. For a newbie however, it will seem a little overwhelming. This is mainly due to the fact there's no graphical installer (yet). That said, just read and follow along, and you should get up and running. On my Athlon XP 2.17GHz system, it still took the better part of 4 hours to emerge X, Gnome, etc., but it's well worth it. It's such a customizable and smooth running distro, and if you are willing to put in a little time and effort reading, you'll love it.
If you're not willing to play and want something that "Just Works", then like CrazyHoboMan said, Ubuntu is definitely for you. Its hardware detection is second to none, and being a Debian-based distro, you're only an "apt-get install" away from just about every package/app you could want. If nothing else, it has some great bongo drum noises
Old 08-12-2005, 09:25 AM   #10
Registered: May 2004
Location: Canada
Distribution: Kubuntu 6.06
Posts: 73

Rep: Reputation: 15
Which Distro? (Home usage)

Libranet would be another one to consider. The installer is very clean and straight forward, also a debian base.
Well docummented on their website.
Old 08-12-2005, 09:32 AM   #11
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Sydney Aus.
Distribution: Kubuntu
Posts: 36

Rep: Reputation: 15
I would recommend Kubuntu which is Ubuntu with KDE. Coming from Windows you will probably find KDE more familar then Gnome, though both are very easy to use. Hard detection runs like a champ so hopefully all will work for you. If you can't decide check out the livecd to see if everything works and if you like it.

As for builtin windows emulation I don't know of any distro which comes with this stock standard. But since Kubuntu is based on Debian installing wine is realy easy with a couple of clicks in Kynaptic or the command 'apt-get'.

Old 08-12-2005, 09:45 AM   #12
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Norway
Distribution: Slackware 11.0
Posts: 87

Rep: Reputation: 15

I've tried many distros and I would recomend Simply Mepis. It's a refined version of debian, and amoast every thing works perfectly with oul lifting a finger. This Is true for my compaq revo n610c 1400x1050 laptop


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