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Old 06-03-2009, 07:13 PM   #16
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Hello, many years ago I tried a few Linux OS-forget it, although I have been staying informed or what has been occurring in the Linux community so, I started several months ago downloaded oh 22 Linux iso's, originally wanted to just run one of my old AMD 550 cpu, so I tried as I went along with the different OS's, mainly found what a lot of WEB sites state, Linux problems are in Video/CPU/Sound/the hardware stuff due to programmers cant write code for everything that a PC machine has or what a User has installed. So I found that ""Ubuntu"" Worked without a hitch!!! Excellent OS!!! now there spin-offs into the other OS formats, well they will fix the problems? I like it so I wanted to place it upon my AMD 2400 that I use for video/pictures/sound making-worked realll wellll!!!! But as I was reviewing a lot of others that stated they were LiveCD or LiveDVD & as they was being booted up that one thing or another different work in my computers, a few did-"PCLinux" is nice, but it has that WinXP register regedit Menu-I bypassed that. Found ""DreamLinux"" that trys to be a Mac/Apple ( also I have a Power Mac computer) and so I installed it in my computer that was a birthday present (BTY-it came with "Freespire"-don't go that way is my opion) but ""Dreamlinux"" has problems with staying Updated with the Debian code-at least thats what I am encountering. Really liked ""Knoppix"", so I installed it on one of my Raid drives on the newest computer-I really like it, But I do Agree Now That its a LiveDVD or LiveCD now, there's problems upgrading, I think due to its format of using "reiserfs"-So stick to the ones that use ext3 as its format! my newest machine has a 500GB Raid HD Sempron 3200+, so I partitioned it into 4 extensions, so let's see, 1 is WinXp, 2 is Ubuntu, 3 is Knoppix, 4 is Dreamlinux, Oh I know what I am forgetting-""ArtistX""-download it and try it!!!!!!!!!! It is spin off of Ubuntu thats loaded with MultiMedia applications, its installed on my AMD 2400 machine, get the 0.70 version-you do not what to use sudo dpkg dist-upgrade on this, maybe Ubuntu?? not sure haven't tried nor will I, it doesn't upgraded to all the newest stuFF. If you want a list of what I iso.'s that I made into CD/DVD, just ask I will inform. BTY, Ubuntu is (to me) the finest!! It provided updates, the forum well is okay, it to needs several helpers, do purchase the Ubuntu book and the ToolKit book if you decide on Ubuntu. There are many many other things to take into account on a OS-to me being retire-its more than a hobby now, Take Care
Old 06-03-2009, 07:42 PM   #17
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Everybody always forgets Mandriva in these discussions.

That is what I started with. I think it is very easy for a windows user or someone without a lot of pc knowledge. I used kubuntu for a little while in there but I wound up back with Mandriva. It is worth a look.
Old 06-04-2009, 01:40 AM   #18
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If you want easiness by sacrificing performance, you could just go to ubuntu.

But if you want to focus on performance and customization, I always like debian. For me installing debian, is like installing Windows. Install the OS and Install the software. So I can choose what kind of software I want to install. I can't find this feature in ubuntu (CMIIW).

I believe, debian call it netinst (about 150 Mb). It also support installing from iso, you don't even need to burn the cd at all to install debian.

If you mess your system, and need to reinstall the system, you don't need to re-download all of the repository again. Just copy the repository (/var/cache/apt/archives) to another location, and when you finished resintalling, copy it back. I believe this feature also shared by ubuntu.
Old 06-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #19
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Sorry, I have been away from the computer for a few days so have not been able to reply.
Fantastic helpful advice from everyone!
Cannot thank you all enough. I am in the process of trying the different elements as advised in all the replies and will spend some time playing with them all.
I have acquired a second box and so will run Linux on a seperate system until I have more idea!!
My son, a serious Linux fan, normally sorts me out but is in the British Army serving out in Florida for the next few months so is not available.
Many thanks again...I will work through the replies and try to understand them!!!!
Old 06-06-2009, 11:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by daermo View Post
I am desperate to get rid of Microsoft and use Linux but am having problems finding the best distro.
I think Mepis is best. But obviously you can see lots of other opinions earlier in this thread.

I need to run 3 or 4 screens
I don't know what you mean by "screens" and I don't see anything in this thread indicating anyone else was really sure about what you meant. I think any Linux distribution will make it easy to run multiple virtual screens (with some easy mouse click or hot key to switch between them). Is that what you meant.

I use Windows with four physical monitors. Maybe that is what you meant. That was very hard to set up. There was a lot of blind experimentation. In Windows, that sort of thing mostly works "out of the box" with no special effort. But often the last little bit of customization to get it really right is a nightmare. There are no general rules, no documentation explaining anything, no systematic way to test, no way to get meaningful feedback on why things aren't working. Just lots of random trying things and hoping.
In Linux, that sort of things tends to not work "out of the box". Until you start manually editing your xorg.conf file, you are unlikely to get a multiple monitor setup anywhere close to working right. But xorg.conf is fairly well documented. The information you need is available. There is good run time feedback in the log file. It is easy to be systematic about trying things and quickly converging on a display behavior you like. I don't know if any Linux distribution really makes that easier. Mepis (X Windows assistant) does make it easier to get xorg.conf right (or very close) automatically for one monitor and you can do that again for each other monitor. When you start manually editing xorg.conf those automatic versions are valuable examples.

access some sights which seem to be written for MS.
The two issues I see a lot are:
1) Sites written for IE, that work badly or not at all in FireFox. Using Linux tends to imply you are using FireFox or other open source browser rather than IE. But it isn't necessarily tied that way.
2) Sites that depends on details of fonts or display metrics such that they will display correctly in Firefox on Windows but not in Firefox on Linux.

I don't have great solutions for either of the above problems. Firefox has a lot of poorly documented settings that can improve a lot of those situations. Experiment and good luck.

I am learning and will continue until I "get there" but in the meantime need to find a distro that does most of what I need.
Some of the important beginner choices cross either multiple distributions or all distributions.

1) Package management (like Windows "add/remove software"). The GUI program synaptic is a very friendly front end for package management in all Debian based distributions (Debian itself obviously, Ubuntu, Mepis, and others). I think it is much more beginner usable that anything in the Red Hat family of distributions or any of the other ways of using package management in Debian. (I tried the GUI front end for package management in Centos and even though I always prefer GUI, it was so lame I gave up and only use the command line program yum).

2) Desktop: The KDE desktop is more full featured and slightly more Windows-like than other Linux desktops. If your computer is desperately short of ram, KDE might be too large to use well. But for most modern computers the performance differences between desktops will be invisible. You should choose the one (probably KDE) that is easiest to use.
KDE is the default in Mepis and available in other distributions.
KDE also includes Konqueror, which is a combined file browser, web browser and help browser. I generally don't like multi-way combined browsers and I prefer Firefox as a web browser. But Konqueror seems to be the best Linux file browser (coming from Windows you will expect a powerful GUI file browser) and Konqueror seems to be the best Linux help browser (something beginners tend to need) and it is pretty easy to stop it from taking over as web browser when you don't want it to. (I am constantly frustrated trying to get Windows Explorer to function as a file browser on a LAN without auto transitioning to web browser whenever it guesses that I should have wanted a web browser instead of a file browser. That is independent of the old problem that I don't see much anymore of IE messing with the registry to sabotage and/or replace Mozilla).
Old 06-07-2009, 08:12 AM   #21
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Hi johnsfine,
You have it!
I currently run four seperate physical 22" monitors and the problem you mention in the setting up is exactly why I originally stopped using Linux.
I think that Ubuntu may allow numerous monitors but only with Nvidia cards. It certainly doesn't work with ATI cards.
I am experimenting as advised by the other contributers.
Thanks for the info re Firefox as that was the other problem.
I intend to try KDE, having tried Ubuntu with Gnome and am having a play this weekend.
I am generally sick of Windows refusing to download, open attachments, issuing warnings etc. For what I want I find Windows is simply too bloated with stuff I don't need.
I also like the sound of Debian as mentioned by "Wasis am"(thanks!!) as I like to keep mt OS as lean as possible. Because of that I have had many problems with Windows packing up when I have switched off too many elements!! Obviously caused by lack of knowledge and skill on my part. I re-install, swear that I will stop fiddling and then do it again!!
I am sure Linux will suit me once I get it sorted.
Thanks for the advice and again thanks to everyone who has tried to help....
Old 06-08-2009, 04:11 AM   #22
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alright guys maybe you can help me out... I'm currently using opensuse 11 and I want to try something new..but I'm too hooked on yast it's just set up so damn well I also tried ubuntu but as I don't like the gnome desktop I also tried kubuntu but I thought neither were set up very well (unless there's a yast like repo to download for it) so what would you suggest?
and there's people out there that still use ie?

Last edited by threatingbehaviour; 06-08-2009 at 04:15 AM.
Old 06-08-2009, 05:19 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by threatingbehaviour View Post
I also tried kubuntu but I thought neither were set up very well (unless there's a yast like repo to download for it)
Why exactly do you want to try something new? If you're looking for a distro to help you learn more about Linux, Gentoo or Slackware would be excellent choices. If you want something easier, then Kubuntu.

And yes, they have repos. They're not Yast, but they are there and they're easy to use. Just gotta learn the new commands/GUI/whatever.


Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 06-08-2009 at 05:21 AM.
Old 06-08-2009, 08:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by daermo View Post
I think that Ubuntu may allow numerous monitors but only with Nvidia cards. It certainly doesn't work with ATI cards.
I don't think this issue has much in it that is specific to distribution. The non open source nVidia drivers have better features and better documentation than other Linux display drivers. So nVidia may be easier for multiple monitors. But Ubuntu certainly "allows" multiple monitors with other display cards.

Almost every time (actually I can't recall any exceptions at the moment) that I've used multiple display interfaces in one computer, one was nVidia and the other ATI. I think it is simpler if both are the same brand, but that is never the hardware I have handy when I want to set one up.

I am experimenting as advised by the other contributers.
I find it very helpful to get each monitor working alone and save the /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /var/log/Xorg.0.log files. Then those serve as a guide as you try to get all monitors working together.
Old 06-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #25
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What about debian squeeze .
Old 06-09-2009, 08:22 AM   #26
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Thanks johnsfine,

I tried to set Ubuntu with seperate monitors on 2 ATI cards and couldn't get it to work but it automatically installed 2 monitors on an Nvidia card. I did read somewhere on the net that Ubuntu only worked with Nvidia but as you say you have succeeded I will again "sack" MS and give it a serious go.Many thanks.........
Old 06-09-2009, 08:42 AM   #27
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I say try multidistro and burn up your PC!
Load everything onto usb and plow thru the distro's till you dig one.
Just hit that link below and burn down the freebies.


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