Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 05-24-2007, 01:57 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
I want a distro that allows ntfs and starts with the basics...

I have tried mepis and ubuntu and such and its all too bulky for me. Is there a distro out there that lets you start from scratch? I want to use fluxbox/blackbox, open office, and Firefox and thats about it. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time....

Old 05-24-2007, 02:36 AM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 130Reputation: 130
I would think that all distros can be turned into the sort of thing that you have in mind, you just need to remove any components you don't like (gnome and KDE). However, there are a few distros out there that will allow you to build your system pretty much from scratch.
The first that comes to mind is Gentoo but that is fairly advanced material (although I think you could get pretty far if you use their latest liveCD and stick carefully to their excellent handbook). Also you'll need some patience because Gentoo builds everything from source. I recently set up Gentoo with X and a bare Gnome and it took 7 hours on a Core2Duo with 2GB PC6400 RAM (by comparison, I spent well over a week compiling it with a rather bloated Gnome and KDE on an AMD3800 with 1 GB of DDR2 RAM). I imagine that building just X and flux won't take much longer than five or six hours on the average computer. Openoffice can be installed as a binary package instead of building it from source (possibly firefox as well), which could save you a few extra hours of compiling. btw, if you do choose Gentoo (remember I said it can be pretty tough at times), do not install the packages from the LiveCD, it has a bug which gets in the way of doing that - choose the net install, which will fetch all your packages from the internet.
I think Slackware could be worth looking into as well but I'm afraid I have never used it so I can't really say much on that topic. It is extremely flexible as well - but as so often more flexibility also means more complexity.
Or if you just like a slender distro that is all ready to go, you could try puppy, zenwalk, etc (visit for more information)

Last edited by jay73; 05-24-2007 at 02:40 AM.
Old 05-24-2007, 02:45 AM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

Rep: Reputation: 677Reputation: 677Reputation: 677Reputation: 677Reputation: 677Reputation: 677
Most distro's allow you to install a lightweight desktop environment instead of KDE or GNOME. You may need to choose manual selection of packages. There are also some lightweight distro's like puppy linux that use a lighter weight desktop by default.
Old 05-24-2007, 04:21 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04 X86_64
Posts: 960

Rep: Reputation: 35
slackware gives you the options for a very lightweight dstro
though you may need get a new kernel after you finish to take advantage of thinsg like dual core,

note, if you use sata drives then you need the sata.i kernel form the install cd to recognise them!
Old 05-25-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I have just installed slackware but i picked the full install. That im sure was a mistake, but i did not know which things i needed and which things i did not. Also i have a broadcom 4306 for wireless and a realteck for lan. It took me a good twenty minutes to get my lan working and i still cant get ndiswrapper to install. lilo also wrote over grub corrupting it so i had to reinstall grub over lilo to make linux bootable.

I like how mepis auto configured my wireless card and lan card but dont like how i have to switch the use/dont use windows driver option and reboot each time i switch from lan to wireless. As far as a front end. I like fluxbox and blackbox and would really like to try enlightenment.

Does anyone have any links to guides/tutorials on how to strip down a distro to bones or how/what to install from slackware to be bare bones?

Also with each different distro there seems to be a different way to get and search for packages aptitude search, apt-cache, apt-get, etc. Why is this and can you mix and match from distros?
Old 05-25-2007, 01:16 PM   #6
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
Posts: 12,612

Rep: Reputation: 68
LFS That will walk you through setting up a distro from "scratch" and you can also see what tools are the basics, and go with a barebones/minimalistic approach.

Old 05-25-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
Posts: 12,612

Rep: Reputation: 68
Originally Posted by sly0ne
Also with each different distro there seems to be a different way to get and search for packages aptitude search, apt-cache, apt-get, etc. Why is this and can you mix and match from distros?
The two biggest "differences" between distros is the kernel and the package manager. A package manager is designed to help you install and resolve dependancies of packages that you want. Some distros are based on larger, more mature ones (such as Debian) which allows that distro to use some already available repositories (places where packages are kept for easy retrieval). It is best not to mix the repositories unless there is good documentation that suggests it is ok. As for the graphical and command line tools, you often can interchange the tools, depending on which distro you are using.

Obviously most distros will be able to use the source code if you want to compile your programs, but it becomes increasingly difficult to use both source code and package managers to maintain a good and stable system.

Old 05-25-2007, 01:30 PM   #8
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Slackware && freeBSD
Posts: 676

Rep: Reputation: 30
[edit] removed, sorry [/edit]

Last edited by lord-fu; 05-25-2007 at 01:31 PM.
Old 05-25-2007, 02:35 PM   #9
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: University of Maryland
Distribution: FreeBSD
Posts: 268

Rep: Reputation: 30
besides gentoo you might want to look at arch linux. its starts you off with a very basic install and then you can install packages much like gentoo, but they are binary, so you dont have to wait for them to compile.

You also might want to take a look at FreeBSD


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LiveCD Distro with ntfs-3g/ntfsmount? Noido Linux - General 1 09-10-2006 08:47 PM
Running VMWare tools automatically while Linux (Any Distro) starts or boots? mavinashbabu Linux - Newbie 2 09-10-2006 03:57 PM
Two Fluxbox Versions - Root starts newest,User starts oldest fortezza Linux - Software 1 05-21-2006 02:17 AM
Do distro specific applications take the learning away from the basics of Linux? hunterhunter Linux - Newbie 6 04-06-2006 09:53 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:09 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration