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dojohn 05-04-2017 11:59 AM

Which easy uncluttered linux?
Hello linuxquestions!

Im looking for an easy as in beginner, <lightweight> linux distro, as in a distro where the installer installs
- everything necessary to support all the hardware of my machine
- allows me to select the apps, so does not install any apps by itself
- does not install internet security threats like java or flash.

Which linux should I try? I got a newly bought basic celeron laptop that came with windows 10 home.

I had a look at Bodhi standard but that does not seem to support the keyboard keys to reduce the backlight or reduce the sound. It crashed twice on me.
I had a look at manjaro, debian, ubuntu, mint but they come with so much software i dont need, some even install flash/java.
I coulnt even get cd keys of linux lite and porteus to boot.

Keruskerfuerst 05-04-2017 01:08 PM

You can try LXLE.

273 05-04-2017 01:11 PM

Unfortunately your goals are likely at odds with each other. I would suggest something like the above-recomended distribution then learning how to tailor it to your needs.
Every Linux distribtuion comes with some applications installed (apart from the likes of LFS).

notKlaatu 05-04-2017 01:19 PM

As 273 says, the idea of a "beginner" distribution that also installs only exactly what is necessary for your computer is somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, such a distribution would be easy to set up, but on the other hand it would require the user to understand exactly what drivers are needed for a specific model of computer. I don't really see this would work.

When an OS comes preinstalled on a computer from the store, the manufacturer didn't just throw in the install disc and do a blind install. They select drivers, sometimes they even write drivers, and they make sure everything works. If you want a distribution specific to your computer, down to the backlight of your keyboard, you'll have to spend time assembling these bits and pieces yourself.

Either that, or install a catch-all distribution like and then go through and remove what you don't want.

Turbocapitalist 05-04-2017 01:26 PM

Nothing is really lightweight any more these days. Once you start adding all the standard programs and utilities, it gets rather heavy. Usually the biggest difference is the desktop environment or even just a plain window manager instead.

(Ubuntu and Linux Mint are IMHO the easiest for beginners. So I'll mention Ubuntu, but you should be able to do similar with Linux Mint.)

So, with that in mind, you might look at Lubuntu. It uses lighter weight defaults and you can add in the programs you want on top of the defaults if they are not already there.

None of the Ubuntu variants I've looked at acknowledge 'expert mode' any more. It used to be available by pressing F6 at the startup menu. If you really want minimal, you might look at Ubuntu's server image and switch modes (F4) to install a 'minimal system'. From there you can install the window manager (or full desktop environment) that you want and go full a la carte with all the other programs.

wpeckham 05-04-2017 02:21 PM

I second the advice to check lubuntu. It will run in half the memory of many of the other *untu and clones and has less "cruft" by default. I also agree with the earlier advice: beginner/simple/easy distributions come with a selection of software included to let you do most common things from day one. More advanced distributions allowing (forcing) you to install ONLY what you like are not as simple or easy: they assume that you KNOW what you want.

I would not agonize over the options for long. Pick one and start, or you will have missed out on hours (weeks) when you might have been enjoying Linux. Install (and perhaps break) one or two and you will come away knowing more and having more fun.

mrmazda 05-04-2017 11:41 PM

openSUSE has an extremely flexible installer. Select "Minimal X Window" on the desktop selection screen (where you first see Gnome and KDE), then "Details" on the next screen. You'll get rather little software installed that isn't necessary unless you specifically select it, especially if you work through the package summary screen and deselect anything you know you want not.

ondoho 05-05-2017 12:29 AM


Originally Posted by dojohn (Post 5706225)
I got a newly bought basic celeron laptop that came with windows 10 home.

you also need to look at the hardware.
linux support for brand new hardware can be flaky.

but in any case, start creating these live usbs, boot into them, and post us some output:

lspci -k

hazel 05-05-2017 02:32 AM

For uncluttered, I'd recommend Crux. It's not really "easy" in the sense of being novice-friendly. You have to build your own kernel for a start. But it does install a bare minimum of software: basic command line plus X if you want it. Everything else is optional.

None of the big desktop environments are included in the official Crux repos, only a couple of standalone window managers, but there are private repos for all of them.

Jjanel 05-05-2017 04:07 AM

Hi & WELCOME dojohn. Those 3 points are exactly what a "minimal user" wants (IMHO)

But, -I think- you mean javaSCRIPT! (research security threads; debate_troll: cause of "most" internet insecurity for basic web users? But it's an 'integral' part of the browser!)

I believe the 'device' issues are 'kernel driver' ... (so look for recent 4.9/10/11+ kernels)

@hazel: why not NuTyX? It does take a couple steps to add GUI. Limited pkgs?
Slackware is LQ's #1, totally custom!, BUT not 'one click' simple to install. frugalware?

What exact model laptop? ram? VirtualBox is a GREAT way to try withOUT disturbing M$Win!

Best wishes; looking forward to hearing what works out best for you!

hazel 05-05-2017 05:48 AM

I forgot NuTyX. I only have it on my laptop and I installed it mainly as a challenge: you can install from a script, without even needing an install image. I seldom actually use it. Yes, it's nice and small. One thing I find annoying about it is that it divides up packages even more finely than Debian does. So you install something and then find that you don't have important files or utilities that you would expect to have, because they've been assigned to the development package rather than the main one.

tnut 05-05-2017 06:18 AM

Difference between CRUX and NuTyX:

It's a sources ONLY distribution. Means to install something you HAVE to compile means you HAVE to have ALL devel packages glibc, gcc, etc. Some of those devel packages can be quite big (specially gcc and glibc).
It's stuck to English users only (all the locales all the docs are remove)

It's up to you to go for a sources or for a Binaries distribution. Binaries give you the opportunity to build what you need in a chroot without polluting your main install. You can reuse already compiled binaries which saved you a lot of time.

This youtube video will show you how nice this is:

Even it is for advanced users, it can give some ideas what's the concept behind.

DavidMcCann 05-05-2017 11:21 AM

Linux is not Windows! The more programs you have installed in Windows, the more risk the registry will slow the computer or even get itself into a tangle. This does not happen in Linux. All that the unwanted software does is just sit on the drive, with no effect on performance or reliability. And as you can see, the Linux operating system and software take up far less space on the drive than their MS equivalents.

Most browsers can be configured. I'm running this with javascript on (needed for this site to work properly) but media plug-ins (including flash) off. When I read the newspapers, I'll switch off javascript to speed them up and loose the advertisements.

A laptop that runs Windows 10 can run any version of Linux. You do not need a lightweight distro like Lubuntu. Your processor is about five times faster than mine (I've seen the benchmarks for the current Celerons), and I'm running CentOS, a professional-quality distro which runs about half the world's web-servers.

So my advice is to install a simple, reliable distro that has the support for your hardware, learn how to tame your browser, and stop worrying about the programs you don't use. Install Mint, find out how to control the back-light and sound, and stop worrying!

snowday 05-05-2017 02:25 PM

Mint is a great choice, highly recommended!

Who cares if it comes with a few applications you'll never use? For example, even though I can see just fine, my computer has accessibility features for the visually impaired. Doesn't bother me at all; I just don't use them (and if I ever need these features someday, I'll be good to go). All that software fits on just one DVD!

hydrurga 05-05-2017 02:57 PM


Originally Posted by snowpine (Post 5706715)
Mint is a great choice, highly recommended!

Who cares if it comes with a few applications you'll never use? For example, even though I can see just fine, my computer has accessibility features for the visually impaired. Doesn't bother me at all; I just don't use them (and if I ever need these features someday, I'll be good to go). All that software fits on just one DVD!

Indeed. In addition, like some other applications, the Orca Screen Reader can be disabled as a startup application, meaning it uses no runtime resources if you so desire.

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