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Old 06-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #1
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Talking Looking to install Linux on Dell Inspiron 1501, what version should I get? Linux Noob

It has always been a desire of mine to be proficient with using Linux. I have installed and played with various versions in the past, such as Ubuntu, Suse, and Knopix "I think that's what it was called," but was unable to do what I wanted with them. Now, what I would like to do is can Vista on the machine that I am typing on right now to fill out this thread, it runs "decent" most of the time if you turn Aero off, the hardware is as follows.

Dell Inspiron 1501
AMD Turion64 X2 TL56 running at 1800mhz
2gb of DDR 533
Radeon Xpress series, 256mb "supposedly" Shared memory video card

and all the other bits and such that dell throws in their laptops

What would the best version of Linux be to install on this machine, and where would I get it? Vista is pretty and all, but falls down on me more than I'd like it to. "Compatibility issues mostly"
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to getting windows off this thing and trying something new, and FREE.

Thanks, Travis

BTW just signed up!
Old 06-23-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
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I always suggest you try a couple of the live-CDs before installing... Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Fedora, etc. That way, you get a feel for the different distros, and see how well they work on your machine. It will run a little slower because it has to load everything off the CD rather than a hard-drive, but you still get a good look-see. Use a CD-RW, and you can write over it with each new ISO, while keeping your system running with what it already has until you decide which you like.
Old 06-23-2008, 10:25 PM   #3
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I have used Ubuntu, Kubuntu for about fifteen minutes, but never fedora. What might the key differences be between it and the other two?
Old 06-23-2008, 11:46 PM   #4
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Asking which disto is difficult to answer.

My question is what do you want to do? games, office, accounting, or web browsing?
Do you want to take lots of time to learn linux?
Are you patient to try and figure things out if everything does not work?
Do you want to learn command line?

Ubuntu for example is relatively easy to use.
For example, you have apt-get package manager. Like a menu on the wall in Mc Donalds, you can select from some 29000 packages.
Ubuntu is setup so you do not need to use command line much. This is much like using windows vs dos 3.1.

Slackware on the other hand tries to be simple and stable. More use of command line. No installed package manager.

I cannot speak for other distros.

On the other hand, you will need to do some learning no matter what distro you go with. Everything is not as pre-packaged as in windows. Remember most programs and companies are geared towards windows. Everything is not as unified in linux as it is in windows.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-24-2008, 12:26 AM   #5
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Ubuntu is really a good distro as far as desktop applications is concerned.
Ask for a cd from local LUG people or order it online.
There are no different live and install cds. You boot from cd and then install if you like the distro.
And I think you will like it for you have used windows a lot.
You have pretty good configuration and can easily run compiz. I run compiz on 1 gigs of ram and dont feel its too much my system.
Go for it.
Wish you happy linux whatever distro you use.
Old 06-24-2008, 02:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Raccoonman View Post
I have used Ubuntu, Kubuntu for about fifteen minutes, but never fedora. What might the key differences be between it and the other two?
Fedora is said to be "bleeding edge" - ie they use the latest of everything. The downside is that there can be "teething problems" which might be beyond a newbie's capabilities to fix up. If you want to look at Fedora, I suggest that you get Fedora 8 and not the latest Fedora 9.

Ubuntu has gnome desktop, Kubuntu has kde desktop.

I think Mandriva is quite "newbie-friendly" when moving from Windows in the way that it has a setup "control centre". The Mandriva forum is quite accommodating to newbies too (in addition to here, of course).

If you just want something easy to learn and use, then I've found Puppy to be the easiest, but it is different to other linux distros in that it doesn't have runlevels or gnome/kde and the things that you'll need to learn to use the bigger distros.
Old 06-24-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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Could always see what other people have used on that hardware. Check the Linux Laptop resources.
Old 06-24-2008, 11:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I have downloaded and played with the live cds of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Fedora. From what I saw I liked the way Fedora looked when it first fired up, but it had a weird issue shortly after getting it going. "Screen went white on me but the cursor was still floating around" Ubuntu was good and I could live with it, but I like the KDE environment better than the GNOME environment. So I think I'm going to go with Kubuntu! Also to answer one of the questions shot towards me, I would like to learn command line. Seems like a very good thing to know when dealing with Linux. I don't use my laptop very much, so might as well get something out of it by learning something new.
Old 06-25-2008, 12:35 AM   #9
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In that case, get your head around this :


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