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Old 08-05-2008, 03:30 AM   #1
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Help me pick a linux distro

Sorry I'm making a new thread about this, the ones the search came up with were quite out dated.

First, system specs:

Intel E4500 OC'd to 3.5GHz (not a 64bit processor)
MSI 9600GT 512mb
MSI P7N Platinum Motherboard
Auzentech X-Fi Prelude
2GB Mushkin DDR2 800 OC'd to DDR2 1066
Corsair 620HX 620watt psu

I use the integrated NIC, no wireless card garbage anymore.

I currently use windows vista, which I've tweaked endlessly to a point which I like it a lot. but there's so much buzz around Linux, plus my brother just tried Linux on an Eee PC and said it's pretty cool, so I think I finally should try it out. I won't be partitioning a hard drive or anything for the Linux install, I have a brand new 80gb I'd just stick it on to test.

I just want a distribution that's pretty simple, which I can browse the web on, play some music + watch some videos, check email through Thunderbird or something, use FTP servers, torrent, and word process (whole office suite really). something like photoshop would be sweet too but I doubt you can use that in Linux. I want to emphasize that the distribution look good graphically, I don't want a dated mac osx type look, I want something which is really flashy like fedora + beryl which I read about. I'm perfectly fine with having to tweak the OS to my liking, I don't need something which is preconfigured. I'm comfortable going to whatever means to get it the way I like it.

That's about it, if you need more info drop a reply.

Thanks in advance!
Old 08-05-2008, 03:45 AM   #2
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Since you like the look of Fedora and beryl (now compiz-fusion), use that. At least, you can start with that. If you don't like it (and try it for a week or so before completely giving in), go to, have a poke around, and then pick one of the distros from the top 10 there, then try each one in succession until you find one you like.

No one can tell you which one to use, well, they can tell you, but they're quite likely to be wrong.

I started out with Fedora, and used it for 6 months or so, but then wanted something a bit more challenging, so went over to Slackware. Since then, I've dabbled in Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Gentoo, CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and countless liveCDs.

The beauty is the choice.
Old 08-05-2008, 03:54 AM   #3
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As said, no one can tell you which distro is best. This is personal preference. But can recommend something that can help you get to the one you need.
I personally use Ubuntu+compiz. It looks good but still being not too heavy on my work desktop.
If you need great looks and eye candies, compiz is the way to go. You can install compiz on any distro you choose, but anyone here will recommend you to have latest version.
Though you have a spare hard drive to install linux, experimenting with Live cd is good way to go. You will understand the way linux behaves and if your hardware is fully supported on linux.
Just for looks and closeness to windows Ubuntu could be a good choice though it will depend on how much you want to tweak with you os.
Old 08-05-2008, 04:05 AM   #4
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yeah it depends on what type of person you are I think.

Im a control freak. I really cant do with any 'eye candy' sort of stuff.

I like a minimal approach of style and functionality, so I use Slackware which stays out of my way, and fluxbox. both of these choices do require extra work though, although in the end you will actually save effort through efficiency, because you can tailor a system to suit your needs.

but this is what can be achieved with Slackware and fluxbox, I think its quite nice

Last edited by bashyow; 08-05-2008 at 04:06 AM.
Old 08-05-2008, 05:54 AM   #5
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If you want to learn how Linux works then I would recommend Gentoo via a minimal-install CD. It is hard work getting it up to a "flashy" front end. However, the hard work is just that - not irritating glitches because the Gentoo community is very strong and the install guides are very clear.

I run Adobe Photoshop 6.0 using Wine on my Gentoo box. It seems fine - a tribute to Wine but also to Adobe for building Photoshop so cleanly.

Old 08-05-2008, 10:15 AM   #6
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As others have said, any distribution is gonna do what you said. If you follow the course of most linux users, you're going to install or use 10 different live CDs, before deciding on what you want.

Fedora is a solid choice, but I personally prefer Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS for a new user. Both are live CDs, so download them, burn them and run them from the CD and see what you think. If you don't like it, reboot, remove the CD, and you're back to Windows w/o any changes. I'm not sure if Fedora has a live CD or not, but it might. has a lot of analysis on different distros, etc.. I wouldn't pay much attention to the ranking, as it doesn't really count the OS's that are in use, just how often their site is hit. However, it does give you a brief summary on a lot of distros.


Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 08-05-2008 at 10:17 AM.
Old 08-05-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by remedy1419 View Post
Sorry I'm making a new thread about this, the ones the search came up with were quite out dated.

First, system specs:

Intel E4500 OC'd to 3.5GHz (not a 64bit processor)
This is what Intel say about this processor:

Intel® Core™2 Duo Desktop Processor E4500

Supported Features:
Dual Core
Enhanced Intel Speedstep® Technology
Intel® EM64T 1
Enhanced Halt State (C1E)
Execute Disable Bit 2
Intel® Thermal Monitor 2
Notes: These parts have PROCHOT enabled.
These parts have THERMTRIP enabled.
These parts have Extended HALT (C1E) power of 8W.
These parts have PECI enabled.
These parts have Tdiode enabled.
These parts have Extended Stop Grant State (C2E) enabled

Legal Disclaimers: 1 Intel® EM64T requires a computer system with a processor, chipset, BIOS, operating system, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel EM64T...

So, that seems to make it a 64 bit processor, even if you chose to operate it in 32 bit mode.

I just want a distribution that's pretty simple
I'm not sure that you mean that; it sounds as if you might mean that you want a GUI that's pretty simple; as the GUI and the distro are only slightly dependant on one another, this would be a rather different thing.

something like photoshop would be sweet too but I doubt you can use that in Linux.
The gimp is something like photoshop which works on Linux. Of course its like but not exactly the same. If you find you would rather have the photoshop style interface, gimpshop is closer. Krits also has some advantages, but it isn't yet as complete as the Gimp.

I agree with the idea of going with something - almost anything - for say six months and then thinking about it. Fedora hasn't been my personal favourite, but if you like what you've seen and heard of it, give it a go.
Old 08-05-2008, 01:26 PM   #8
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I concur with most people's comments concerning how difficult it is to find a distro -- it's based on taste.

That said, I would recommend Fedora or OpenSuSe for those newbies for the simple fact it works and is quite intuitive.

For torrent check out a program called 'deluge', it's pretty sweet, and although it's in the early days of development, it's quite functional and nice.

I know a lot of people will say Ubuntu, but I find its 32-bit support to suck atm and Hardy has introduced a lot of features (Pulseaudio) that are not fully realized yet.

If you're into tweaking, boy does Linux have options for you.

Old 08-05-2008, 03:07 PM   #9
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I think I'll start off with openSUSE + Compiz then. We'll see where that takes me. I didn't like what everyone said about Fedora, after further researching.


Last edited by remedy1419; 08-05-2008 at 03:11 PM.
Old 08-05-2008, 11:41 PM   #10
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you have good setup (maybe even too good, linux suffers from discovering newest hardware i heard), so nothing limits you to choose any distro.
Old 08-06-2008, 01:33 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

My personal preference is linuxmint, it has a very beautiful gui and some nice apps as well.
Old 08-06-2008, 02:33 AM   #12
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Checkout Ubuntu/Kubuntu..

In brief..
The installation is simple.. you get to see the interface before installing it and you get a GUI interface to install.
Contains most of the applications and you can add more application by connecting to its repositories on the Internet.

Old 08-06-2008, 03:29 AM   #13
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use dynebolic, i *personally* use it's theme which looks almost excactly like a mac because i think it's amazing, but you dont have to it has GIMP (photoshopp-ish), abiword (NOT openoffice, although you can add it if you install it to hd i think), it's really good. however k3B and some audio progs DONT work, so know that.


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