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Old 11-19-2005, 12:43 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Scituate, MA
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 94

Rep: Reputation: 15
Differences between Mepis and Ubuntu..Xandros

I know this is really general and I wasn't exactly sure where to pose it...

What is the main difference between Mepis, Ubuntu and Xandros? Would a rookie know the difference? I can't decide which one to use and from what I have read, they sound fairly similar in terms of use. I want to use and learn linux but gently.

Old 11-19-2005, 01:27 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: France, Provence
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 848

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Coming from Mandrake, too, I have used Mepis for a short while, found it quite nice-looking
but each time I upgraded packages, it hosed my system. Ubuntu never wanted to finish
installing on any of my 4 computers. Debian did, and after a bit of reading I discovered it
was working perfectly.

the 'debian way' is a bit different because some things are not called the same as in other
distros. there's no control center, but much more info available than for Mandrake.
IMO you can try any of those you suggested, because you'll be able to look at the files
with a simple text editor.

So, learn with a book about linux open next to you. what's good in debian is that there are very
good books about this distro. It's incredible how much one can learn by just reading and getting
the basics straight from the source !


Good books !

Last edited by samael26; 11-19-2005 at 01:30 PM.
Old 11-20-2005, 06:06 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Phoenix, Az.
Distribution: Xubuntu Edgy
Posts: 330

Rep: Reputation: 30
In general, Debian derivitave distros are very simular to each other. Kubuntu and Mepis are very simular. Ubuntu uses Gnome by default, so it will have a different GUI. I've tried four so far- Knoppix, Mepis and (K)Ubuntu. they all seem to do things a little differently, and support different hardware lists. Don't know about Xandros. All are good distros, you just need to find the one that fits you and your machine.
Old 11-20-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Distribution: Ubuntu,Mepis,Madriva
Posts: 14

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I am relatively new to linux also and I tried Ubuntu but I really didn't like Gnome coming from a windows background it seemed very awkward for me. I then tried Knoppix but for some reason it didn't agree with my system and now I am using Mepis and I love it!

It runs VERY fast and is stable on my system.

Old 11-21-2005, 12:15 AM   #5
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Third Stone from the Sun
Distribution: Debian Sid, SourceMage 0.9.5, & To be Continued on a TP
Posts: 800

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One thing about Gnome desktop is, it's suppose to be very different than Windows. I believe it's the better GUI for newbies then KDE because Linux is different then Windows.

And one to learn a new OS would be to use a very different desktop and not one similar to Windows. I'm not saying KDE is very similar to windows either but gnome is completely different.
Old 11-21-2005, 04:36 PM   #6
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Near Lansing, MI , USA
Distribution: Mainly just Mandriva these days.
Posts: 315

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I have tried all of the distros you mentioned and I'm familiar with them in order from most familiar to least familiar: Mepis, Xandros, Ubuntu.

Mepis is very nice and pretty good looking. Out of the three you've mentioned though, it's very likely the ugliest of the bunch. It's also the one that will have the most stuff working for you right out of the box. Adobe Reader, the flash video plugin for internet content, official nvidia drivers, quite a few codecs for multimedia are there, and most of the stuff you're going to need. Both Xandros and Ubuntu are going to be missing a lot of the stuff, and in Linux, sometimes these things can be a bit hard to install. Also, the Synaptics package manager is one of the easiest/best out there, especially for someone who is inexperienced with Linux software. The fact that you're using a "true" debian based distro means that you're going to have access to almost everything that can run in Linux, and it's going to install VERY easily. Also, since the live CD is the same as the install CD, you can boot up with it and play around without hurting your system, and then if you install, you can be about 95% sure that it's going to behave exactly the same. I've also noticed that home networking is VERY easy in Mepis. They guide you through setting up your Workgroup name so you can share files with Windows computers.

Xandros is the prettiest of the bunch. It just looks SO damn good. If you aren't into using your computer for a ton of stuff, Xandros might just have everything you'll need without you having to touch anything. If that's the case, then use it because Xandros is just plain pretty and feels VERY professional. This is about the best "Office Place" operating system out there. You can get a lot of work done on it fast because everything you need for the office is there. It's a bit week on multimedia offerings though. The main weakness though, is that Xandros Networks isn't as nice to install things with as Mepis or Ubuntu's Synaptic package manager. Xandros Networks looks very nice and professional, but it has very few offerings by default. You can fish around in the menus and add more package sources, but this is a bit annoying, and you're still not going to get as many software options as you would with Mepis... you'll have to edit some config files to get that. I remember Xandros as being the easiest to do Windows networking with out of the entire bunch.

Ubuntu uses Synaptic like Mepis, so it's very easy to install stuff. It looks nicer than Mepis IMO, but not as nice as Xandros. Ubuntu doesn't have as much software available to it though since it isn't a "true" debian based distribution. That means it has to use separate package sources, and so sometimes it's a little harder to find packages for obscure software. Ubuntu uses Gnome. The KDE that Mepis and Xandros use is easier and more intuitive to navigate through. The menu is organized much better and it's all in one place. Gnome, however, is a bit faster to navigate through. The menu is split up into different places, which means that some things aren't as "deep" into the menus, so you can get to them much faster. The thing that makes it harder is that you'll have to know which section of the menu to go to and the menu isn't categorized or organized as well as the KDE menu is usually. Last I checked, Ubuntu doesn't come with a firefall front end pre-installed which is almost unheard of in Linux. You'll also run across a lack of a good central control center where you can configure things all in one place (both Mepis and Xandros have one of these, but Ubuntu does not). As a result, most system administration stuff is spread out all over the menu. Ubuntu DOES have a live CD, though it's separate from the install CD. This is better than Xandros for a new user, but not as good as the Mepis option of having it all together. Finally, the Ubuntu community is amazing. It might be the best and most helpful community out there at the moment.
Old 11-21-2005, 07:30 PM   #7
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Scituate, MA
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 94

Original Poster
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Thanks a million. Just what I was looking for.


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