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Old 02-25-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
Arglacius
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Smile Finding a balanced distro?


Hello everybody!

My Laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1300 with a 1.7 Ghz Celeron M(Single Core) 2GB of RAM and 128 mb of Intel 915 graphics.

I have been using linux for about two years now but I still consider myself a new user. Through my travels fiddling with different isos, I couldn't ever seem to settle on one perfect distro to suit my needs. I am stuck between two points which seem to be on opposite extremes.

Performance

vs.

Out-of-the-box functionality.


For example, I used Lubuntu for some time but I don't like how there were little programs and features to work with. It does perform very well on my system though.


There was a time I was hooked on bodhi for its ability to deliver eye candy while still delivering good responsiveness on an old laptop. Out of the box though, I was annoyed about how I must build my program selection one by one or wait for a very large program pack from their website. Puppy linux provides the best performance but unfortunately its package manager is a little bit hard to work with for me.

On the flipside, I have tried 4GB distros such as Zorin OS, PCLinuxOS Full Monty, Pinguy OS and Ultimate Edition 3.4. I like these distros because they have an amazing plugin, media, and program selection all ready to go. Their user interfaces are wonderful. In particular I like how they have wine and xbmc pre-installed.


Unfortunately Ultimate edition and Zorin OS Ultimate are resource hogging and the latter kept crashing to a black screen after I installed my wifi drivers. Pinguy OS is a little bit cluttered with the pre-configured docks and the conky.


Does there exist a distro that combines these two out of the box? Or do I need to manually install a window manager of my choice after installing Ultimate Edition?

Thank you.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
suicidaleggroll
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If you've found a DE that you like, why not install it onto a distro that you like? There's no reason you have to use the default DE for any given distro, and conversely there's no reason you have to abandon a distro you like because the default DE isn't to your satisfaction.

Personally, I use XFCE. I doesn't matter what distro I'm using or whether I'm on an Intel Atom N270 1GHz proc with 2GB of RAM, an Intel Core-i5 2.5GHz CPU with 8GB of RAM, or an Intel X5690 hexcore CPU at 3.5 GHz with 72 GB of RAM, XFCE is what I like. It's lightweight, it's easy to use, and it's fast. Some people like more flashy DEs, but I don't.

As for distros, I like OpenSUSE. The hardware support is great out of the box, the bug fix updates are up-to-date (my main complaint with slow-release distros like CentOS or Debian) but not so up-to-date that new bugs are introduced in each update (my main complaint with Ubuntu, Fedora, etc), and its own setup scripts and programs tend to work well.

Is OpenSUSE the best? No, because the "best" distro depends on each individual users' uses. I do believe it's the best for me, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best for you. That's the beauty of Linux, pick what you like and stick with it.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 02-25-2013 at 10:39 PM.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 02:27 AM   #3
Ztcoracat
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Hi:

Since you only have '2GB of RAM' I suggest giving Puppy Linux a go-

http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%...%20Started.htm
http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%...%20Release.htm

You could even purchase more RAM if you wanted to for your Dell (Or) buy a flash drive and put Linux on that.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Computer...d=abcat0504010

Otherwise it might be hard to put a distro of a larger size on your Dell.

For example I have a 500 GB Hard Drive and my Linux Distro; Debian takes up 20 GB just for the distro and I needed 1 GB for the swap partition.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
EDDY1
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Quote:
My Laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1300 with a 1.7 Ghz Celeron M(Single Core) 2GB of RAM and 128 mb of Intel 915 graphics.
I have an Acer Aspire 3620 with the same specs as your Dell that runs Debian wheezy with gnome3 quite well, it's no speed boat but I haven't had any problems other than the 1's I caused.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 03:09 AM   #5
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ztcoracat View Post
Since you only have '2GB of RAM' I suggest giving Puppy Linux a go-
Only 2GB? That is huge. My 512MB will run anything well, except KDE and Ubuntu. With 2GB of RAM, the world is one's oyster.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 06:39 AM   #6
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ztcoracat View Post
Hi:

Since you only have '2GB of RAM' I suggest giving Puppy Linux a go-

http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%...%20Started.htm
http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%...%20Release.htm

You could even purchase more RAM if you wanted to for your Dell (Or) buy a flash drive and put Linux on that.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Computer...d=abcat0504010

Otherwise it might be hard to put a distro of a larger size on your Dell.

For example I have a 500 GB Hard Drive and my Linux Distro; Debian takes up 20 GB just for the distro and I needed 1 GB for the swap partition.
I assume that you mix up RAM and harddisk space. With 2GB of RAM you can run any distro you want.
 
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:55 AM   #7
273
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I'm another XFCE user -- I find it a little more configurable than LXDE and it even has it's own compositing but is still less resource hungry than Gnome and KDE.
As suicidaleggroll does I use it on every distro I use. I've even installed it on Ubuntu, as opposed to Xubuntu which comes with it, on my netbook for reasons which escape me now but it was still the same experience and I even used the same /home directory though that doesn't always work across different versions of XFCE.
Anyway, the point being I agree with suicidaleggroll that you should find a distro that you like then find the DE you like rather than just using the default. Installing a new DE usually only costs you some hard drive space (occasionally services are added, but not that ought to cause you and slowness) so install as many as you like and play.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 07:37 AM   #8
TroN-0074
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I enjoy OpenSuse 12.2 LXDE in a Thinkpad T42 with 1GB of RAM and an ATI video card, my root partition is formatted in Btrfs. No games though but still good to plug it on my TV to watch movies and play mp3s when connected to my stereo.
YasT in OpenSuse will give you the opportunity to install any software you need for your everyday computer needs I use VLC for movies and Banshee for music in that computer.

Good luck to you.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
JWJones
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Fuduntu offers a nice mix of speed and out-of-the-box usability, using Gnome 2 as DE. It's nicely optimized for laptops. On the desktop, I build what I need from Debian and Slackware.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
DavidMcCann
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The Pinguy problem is easy to deal with! Just go to the menu, control centre, or whatever, and find the tool to configure startup applications. Delete comky and the dock and that's it.

What was wrong with PCLinuxOS? — you said you liked it.

Basically there are two types of user (those who think there are two types of user and those who don't …) Some people will get used to anything you put in front of them. Others, like you (and me) want everything to be just so. What are the odds of a group of developers having identical tastes to you? Find something that comes near and then customise it, as I suggested with Pinguy.
 
Old 02-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #11
Ztcoracat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
I assume that you mix up RAM and harddisk space. With 2GB of RAM you can run any distro you want.
Yes; mixed up the HDD space with the RAM- sorry
 
Old 02-26-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
joe_2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
If you've found a DE that you like, why not install it onto a distro that you like? There's no reason you have to use the default DE for any given distro, and conversely there's no reason you have to abandon a distro you like because the default DE isn't to your satisfaction.
Couldn't agree more! However, if you are looking for a distro where you don't have to "rip out the carpet" right after install I can recommend crunchbang. It comes with openbox, which is very lightweight and customizable. I used it on my DELL Inspiron 6400 and the out of the box experience was quite ok. The package choice is very sane, and it also has a very nice post-install script that lets you customize what gets installed, and since it's Debian based you get the debian package management, which is easy to use.
The only reason why I left this distro is that my new laptop needs a very recent kernel to get everything to work, but I would assume that won't be an issue for you Arglacius.
 
  


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