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Old 06-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
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Recommend a flavour of linux? Looking for best performance

I've never really used linux much.
However with the advent of graphics cards drivers and hence games being made available on linux I think in the near future I might be switching over.
I am envisioning a totally pared down build of archlinux. Command line interface and nothing else installed except my graphics an audio drivers and my games, ushering in a new age of DOS style gaming with the best performance and stability!

Before this I would like to get a bit more used to linux in general and ease myself into it. I think I'll install it on my laptop (A Toshiba satellite pro p300 19Q) which I use for general purpose stuff like programming, websurfing, film watching, music making, photoshopping, and casual game playing. Its got windows 7 on it atm and I would like to do a dual boot with that.
I'd like a flavour of linux has all the modern drivers and software but has a very basic GUI and has really good performance. Like a perfectly modern OS but looks like windows 95 or something.
Any recommendations?
Old 06-16-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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Same question x 1000: same answer. Burn a few LiveCD's and stick with the one you like.
Old 06-16-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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Linux can be made to look like you want you can run any desktop environment (DE) or window manager (WM) on any distribution. So it comes down to: Choose the distribution you like most and install the DE/WM you like the most.
Of course you have to try them first to be able to choose those you like.
Old 06-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Archlinux -- Give it a shot.

Give Archlinux a try. Gentoo might be a bit too advanced for you. It's a bit too advanced for me. But in your search, keep and open mind.
Old 06-16-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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Since you say you have not used Linux much, start with Xubuntu or Linux Mint XFCE. They are both very easy to install and use and XFCE is reasonably light.

Of course, eventually, you have to decide what you want to use based on what suits you best.
Old 06-16-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
Timothy Miller
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If you run a 64-bit distro, honestly performance is more or less a wash with anything you run. I've done Debian, Mageia, Kubuntu, Arch, Chakra, Slackware, Fedora on the same hardware at different times, and couldn't see a difference. There might be a VERY minor performance advantage for one over another, but it's minor in the extreme.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-17-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Another vote for Xubuntu or Linux Mint XFCE. I don't know that XFCE can be called light but it is quite useful and comfortable. You might also look at Mageia, a community distro, in some ways the community distros are less risk long term.
Old 06-17-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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If ultimate performance is the goal. You may want to work towards gentoo or slack. In the mean time, an OS that not only meets your specified requirements but was literally designed for that purpose is Crunchbang.

It's very stable and works well out of the box. It uses debian's package manager.
It comes with openbox. An incredibly fast and light window manager, which is also pretty easy to use. Trust me, once you get used to it. you will hate every other WM out there.

I have tried many different distro's with the same goal as you. My gentoo system is by far the fastest, but at times it can be a lot of work. I'm convinced that crunchbang is the fastest system that won't having you ripping your hair out.
Old 06-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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You're in a familiar position to most linux users. I've found useful for checking out up-and-coming distributions. Its a good place to gather a general perspective about what's available out there. As everyeone here has said, its really a matter of preference. (And, generally speaking, any distribution can be customized to look like any other, if it matters to you.)

For the best possible performance, you want to compile your own software customized for your specific goals. Most people consider it intimidating but its extremely educational. "Linux-From-Scratch is great or Gentoo is a distribution that gives you option to custom-compile everything on the system. Its involved but, IMO, worth it if performance is your priority.

My advice: start with something that's known for being user-friendly then, once you feel comfortable with what to expect, jump into the deep end. If nothing else, you'll come out of it with a hard-fast education on linux. If its too much, you can fall back on your user-friendly option if you want. Some where in-between, you'll find what you're looking for.

Coming from Windows, you want to start thinking about the OS a little differently. Linux is fundamentally about choices. In Windows, "there is more than one way to skin a cat". In Linux, "There is no cat." Then you will see its not the spoon that bends...
Old 06-17-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
Registered: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by MultiSith View Post
Coming from Windows, you want to start thinking about the OS a little differently. Linux is fundamentally about choices. In Windows, "there is more than one way to skin a cat". In Linux, "There is no cat." Then you will see its not the spoon that bends...

Right but there is probably only 2 maybe 3 ways at most to skin a cat on Windows. On linux... well... like you said.
Old 06-17-2013, 02:33 PM   #11
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Gentoo, Arch or Slackware for performance. Arch is very bleeding-edge, but then, not the most stable. Debian is great, maybe try the Xfce version? But frankly, any of the more popular distros will do.

Question is: which Desktop environment do you like most, and how about software management preferences? My advice, as usual: visit, grab a bunch of live-cds and see what pleases you.
Old 06-17-2013, 04:36 PM   #12
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You've pretty-much seen this advice before
1. Go to
2. Pick one of the popular distros
3. Pick a desktop
4. Download an iso file for a live CD and burn the CD (or install on a USB stick)
5. Check it out.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 until you've found the perfect choice
7. Install to your hard drive
8. Use it
9. If/when dissatisfied, goto step 1
Old 06-18-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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I've played with a lot of distros since abandoning Windoze many years ago and being 64 yrs old like one that works out of the box and just runs, no expert user but know enough to get into trouble. Found a home with OS4 as it has all the apps installed that I use on this AMD 64 machine. Xfce has been my choice for many years and seems very stable (it is based on debian and uses their repositories as well as Ubuntu's). Tried Mint, Zenwalk, Slackware, PClos, Xubuntu, Salix and a few others. For Linux learning "play" time I run Puppy Slacko. Run four machines in the family and all are debian of some flavor. Just my two cents. Regards.
Old 06-19-2013, 01:31 AM   #14
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if you are switching from windows to linux, use ubuntu
Old 06-19-2013, 05:09 AM   #15
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Well I am a CentOS addict & throughout my professional career, I've been working with CentOS Linux distribution so I'd definitely recommend this to use. If you are having a desktop system or want a desktop environment, so most of the guys will recommend you for Ubuntu as its awsome and amazing


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