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Old 09-01-2011, 06:08 PM   #1
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What distro is recommended for an HP 3658 laptop.

Last summer I bought an HP Pavilion laptop intending to use it for storing image files while on the road and keeping up with email. The thing came with Windows 7, which I will not say anything about as bad words are frowned upon in most forums.

My question is, what distribution would be the best to replace the windows and HP garbage software on it now.

I would like to retain the DVD burner, USB 2, Fire wire and such. I have all the specs for the machine from Piriform's Speccy program.

It is using using an Intel i3 330 m processor. Has 4 gig of DDR3 ram running at 532 MHz.

Has a Hitachi 500gig 7200 rpm hard drive.

The video card is an Intel with 1723 MB of ram.

So what should I get.. AND why

Thank you Quien
Old 09-01-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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Any modern distro should run just fine on it. I personally like Debian, it's what I use and what I install on all the computers I work on for people who don't want to pay for a copy of Windows. Here's some links to some free Linux distros.

Debian -
Ubuntu -
Slackware -
Mandriva -
openSUSE -
Fedora -

openSUSE is based on the corporate product SUSE Linux by Novell, who last I heard is partnered with Microsoft, so there may be a few goodies in there for you, or you may be more limited by somebody that close to our major competition. Fedora is the free version of Redhat Enterprise Linux. It comes without support, but is based on Redhat and runs much of the same software out of the box. Fedora releases a new version every 6 months. Mandriva is another company that sells enterprise versions of its OS, but also releases free versions with or without paid support. Mandriva is also based on Redhat, and was originally called Mandrake Linux, but the name got changed when they merged with Connectiva back in the day. Ubuntu is the major "user friendly" distro that a lot of people use. It's based on Debian, is aimed at general non-techy users, and operates on a 6 month release cycle (Upgrades can be done in place without having to wipe your hard drive and reinstall). The latest version for me was very slow in general and introduced a whole new desktop experience called "Unity", that personally I hated. Debian and Slackware are both very old Linux distros, two of what you might call the "originals". Debian is easier to use than Slackware in my opinion because it has a package management system that allows you to download software in the form of a .deb archive, making software installation much easier than compiling from source code.

Experiment with several, find out which one you like and go with that one. All of these systems are equally powerful, all you're really getting is the people supporting you and the default user experience. All of these can be customized to be just as easy to use and powerful as the next guy, so play around with them and see which one you like, and welcome to Linux!

Last edited by dudeman41465; 09-01-2011 at 06:26 PM.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-02-2011, 10:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info dudeman. Apparently the hardware on the machine is supported then. I went to AT&T's Unix school in Chicago long long ago. While I have written some pretty good stuff in C, that was twenty five years ago and I have no desire to do any of it now. I'm looking basically for an out of the box solution that gives me the few things I would use a laptop for. A hook to Microsoft which up to XP was a pretty good system is not to bad, and maybe an advantage in some respects. I would like to be able to run some windows software but it is not mandatory. Again thanks for you good suggestions.
Old 09-02-2011, 01:02 PM   #4
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I'd try some live disks to see which user interface you like. Getting the wrong one for you can be off-putting, like dudeman's Unity experience. The most reliable distros in my experience are:
KDE desktop: Debian, Mepis, Salix, Vector SOHO
Xfce desktop: Debian, Salix, Vector Standard, ZevenOS

I'd steer clear of the Gnome desktop at the moment. It's just gone through a major change between version 2 and version 3. That leaves you with a choice between Fedora with version 3 and a load of bugs, or something else with version 2 and the prospect of getting used to a major change a year after you've got used to it.


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