Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Chat about just about anything else

Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Foomandoonian on Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:59 pm

After my recent unwelcome shell experience, I realise that having an alternate OS (in that case, Windows) could be invaluable. What other distros do people recommend?

My previous experience has been with Ubuntu 6.06 (and I have a copy of 7.10 here to try). I'm a noob, so it has to be fairly friendly, and I wouldn't mind trying KDE to see what that's all about. Any others :?:
foomandoonian.net: My tumblelog
'from freedom came elephants'
User avatar
Foomandoonian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Husse on Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:09 pm

This is much a matter of taste.
But there are distros and there are distros
I would not recommend Gentoo as it is to "complicated" and for this not Ubuntu as it is too similar
Perhaps PClinuxOS, it's a good and newbie friendly distro
And that fsck problem - I know what's up but it could be solved in a better way, but one reason for the behavior is that the disk must not be mounted when fsck is run, but at least a descriptive error message...
But at some time Linux was for geeks by geeks :) Not now!
oh so many but - my butt aches :)
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 19703
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Foomandoonian on Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:19 pm

That was quick! Thanks Husse :)

I kinda disregarded PClinux after visiting their website, which looked a bit shoddy and is broken in places. I'm a very visual person (part of the reason I love Mint!). Still, you're not the only one who's said positive things about it, so maybe I will give that a try. Your point is well taken about Ubuntu being too similar. Maybe I'll have a look at Kubuntu too.

As for butt aches - I empathise. I can only speak to my experiences as a non-programming geek. I can only imagine the complexities of writing an operating system!
foomandoonian.net: My tumblelog
'from freedom came elephants'
User avatar
Foomandoonian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Guest on Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:25 pm

Husse wrote:But at some time Linux was for geeks by geeks :) Not now!

But Linux goes too far in his *copy of Windows* with craps like 3D-Desktop, Mono, Plasmoid etc... :x

This is unfortunate. Linux slowly emerged as a *clone of Windows*... :(
Guest
 

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Fred on Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:18 pm

Personal preference... Isn't Linux wonderful! A solution for everybody. :-) (from an ex Gentoo user, back before we even had a stage 1 tarball. We had to make our own.)

Foomandoonian, I'll throw a different twist on the subject. I use a live cd distro called Puppy Linux as a back up. It is a small but full featured distro that can run completely in ram. It is the fastest system with given hardware I have ever seen. It doesn't need a hard drive or even a cd drive after it has booted. Even if my drives are completely trashed I can still use it to get on the net, research, download, and burn iso's etc. It has Gparted and other repair tools in it or available. It is also easily remastered with whatever you wish to include, and burned to a cd or usb stick. You can easily mount any partition or file system, even ntfs, in read/write mode. There is a small utility for that purpose on the desktop. The version I am using now is Puppy shard 3.01. It kind of reminds me of Win98 as far as looks go. You can install it to the hard drive but I wouldn't, as it runs in root. But you really don't need to. I see little advantage in doing so except for a slightly faster boot up.

For what it is worth here is the url for the version I am refering to. It is only about 155 MB.

http://tmxxine.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakk ... xxineShard

Enjoy,

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
User avatar
Fred
Level 10
Level 10
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Foomandoonian on Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:23 pm

Fred, that makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks :D
foomandoonian.net: My tumblelog
'from freedom came elephants'
User avatar
Foomandoonian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Guest on Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:03 pm

Fred wrote:Personal preference... Isn't Linux wonderful! A solution for everybody. :-)

Rather I would say: quality down... linux kernel [2.4 better than 2.6], *bad* GPLv3, stability worse than previously, eye-candy for competing with Vista no matter what bugs are hidden therein etc...
Guest
 

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby muskratmx on Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:30 am

Like fred said don't install puppy to the HD if you have any other os'es because it runs as root. The increased boot time isn't worth the risk of having one of your other HD installations compromised. It's a great Utility Disk, I keep one on had all the time, but I only use it as a tool. Not an OS. It could be a great portable OS, but my personal preference is what ever Live CD I have on hand. It's always changing because I end up giving them away. I really wouldn't want to give everybody a Puppy Disk.

One last quick note about puppy, it's based on slackware. Which has a whole different way of doing things than debian.

I wouldn't mind trying KDE to see what that's all about


You could install KDE desktop into just about any linux distro.

If you want to try different distros, I incourage you to. I personally have three distros on this laptop. MS, Linuxmint (debian base) and Vectorlinux (Slackware base). At home I have two desktops with no less than 6 distros installed at any given time. don't ask my to list them because they are always changing.

One good place to start looking for distros is http://www.distrowatch.com they have a search engine where you can look for just what you want. For example I do a search for "live cd" they have 166 distros, puppy is number 118 alphabetically .

At distro watch you can read up on each one what they are supposed to do, what software they have, such as KDE and so on.

You mentioned in your other post, your just getting used to the command line, and you were dealing with a bug problem.

Taking both those into account, I'd suggest giving debian stable a try. for several reasons. You have some experience in Ubuntu/LinuxMint which is Debian based, except they both use software closer to the bleeding edge. Debian stable is VERY stable. I always have debian stable installed as one of my multi boot OSes, "Just because I can count on it". Another reason debian has a large community in their forums much larger than here or ubuntu, in fact most the people here and at ubuntu often go over there also. But folks who just use debian won't often come over here. And all your knowledge to date will apply to debian. Also what you learn there will apply here, soon you'l be rolling your own mix of the two much like the rest of us.

One last tidbit, in anther thread there was a hint that linuxmint is thinking about a debian based version.
User avatar
muskratmx
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: TX/MX Gulf Coast

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby kanishka on Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:15 am

I found that SimplyMEPIS is a great KDE Debian-based distro, with everything you need. You can compare it to Linux Mint.
BTW, I have Sidux installed on my HD as a second Linux OS, though it's something quite different (but veeery good!).
kanishka
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:59 am

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby NoClue! on Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:31 am

Why don't you install virtual box, then you can sample as many distros as you like right from your mint desktop.

Pclos or mandriva would be good to check out but I think they still use the ANGRY GRUB INSTALLER, could be bad for a newbie.

Mepis is a safe choice as it will recognize your windows and mint install.
User avatar
NoClue!
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:51 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby muskratmx on Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:09 pm

I have Sidux installed on my HD as a second Linux OS, though it's something quite different (but veeery good!).

I also am using Sidux now and it is quite good! Although it is BLEEDING EDGE Debian. Not recommended for newbies, although it's quit nice for novice like myself.

As for "quite different", How so? It's just Debian Sid with some special artwork and scripts, and maybe a few packages, but mostly just a lot of control over Sid, which changes daily, often times breaking your system. The major difference for a user, from Debian to Sidux isn't much. The major difference from LinuxMint to Sidux is you don't use "sudo".
User avatar
muskratmx
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: TX/MX Gulf Coast

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Husse on Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:12 pm

Ah yes grub installer
Lots of distros use an installer that does not make other distros bootable - you have to a bit of tweaking
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 19703
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby yamawho on Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:42 pm

I have been playing with Mandriva 2008 power pack and I chose the gnome install.
I like it and am running it on a system at work.

Mepis is super and I still use it on a system that doesn't run anything else.
Mepis is another that has everything working out of the box like Mint but it's kde.

I have used Puppy I while ago on a duron 900 system. It was good but this distro is very different from the others. Many have stated that what you learn running puppy doesn't apply to running other distros.
You always need to configure your lan and wireless card manually. I was trying this on my EeePc and couldn't get it to work even though I was using the eee version floating around.
ImageImage
User avatar
yamawho
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:53 pm

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby muskratmx on Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:59 pm

Many have stated that what you learn running puppy doesn't apply to running other distros.


There is two reasons for this. One, any live CD uses a loopback file system which is different than a HD install. Another, is puppy is slackware based and slackware is quite different than debian. There is two major ways linux boots. Slackware uses one way, debian uses the other way. Both are correct, but quite different from each other.
User avatar
muskratmx
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:30 pm
Location: TX/MX Gulf Coast

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Foomandoonian on Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:48 pm

Wow, thanks for this great response! :D

I have downloaded Puppy to write to a CD. I'll have a play with that later, and keep it on hand like you suggest. I'm liking the sound of Debian and/or Mepis the most. I'm edging towards Mepis slightly to start with. Thanks for pointing me to Distro Watch. Ubuntu Studio looks right up my particular alleyway. I can see myself using Studio for work stuff and Mint for recreation. Ain't options great!?

Virtualizing interests me, but at the moment the point is to have a redundant OS to hand. If I screw up and Mint goes down again, I need to get to Google somehow for a fix!

Grub is something I could use some help with. My understanding is that each distro may install its own custom grub, like Mint. Both made themselves the default and applied their branding. Is it easy to make my own grub, or determine which I prefer?

And since yamawho mentioned the eee pc... I'm planning to get the 8GB model as soon as it hits over here. Has anyone tried eeexubuntu, or found any other ideal distros for it? I can't wait to get my hands on one! :)

One last question:
muskratmx wrote:One last tidbit, in anther thread there was a hint that linuxmint is thinking about a debian based version.


My understanding was that Mint is an offshoot of Ubuntu, which is itself based on Debian. Doesn't that make Mint Debian based? :?
foomandoonian.net: My tumblelog
'from freedom came elephants'
User avatar
Foomandoonian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby clem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:23 pm

Yes it does. As for the secondary distro try them all and enjoy having so much choice! :) My personal favorites are Slackware (best distro if you want to learn more about Linux), Debian testing (a must-try), Fedora (best "je ne sais quoi" on the market), and PCBSD (very convivial desktop with a bit of BSD exotism). If you're using Mint as your main OS, you may as well opt for a bit of learning curve with the secondary one ;)

Clem.
Image
User avatar
clem
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5553
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:34 am

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Foomandoonian on Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:05 pm

Thanks clem... on many levels. :D
foomandoonian.net: My tumblelog
'from freedom came elephants'
User avatar
Foomandoonian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby NoClue! on Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:14 pm

WOW that was bold. hehehe I think he just wanted to try kde with least amount of grief. If you do try any of those "super geek" distros they will soundly confirm your decision to use linux mint as your main os.
User avatar
NoClue!
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:51 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Foomandoonian on Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:22 pm

NoClue! wrote:WOW that was bold. hehehe I think he just wanted to try kde with least amount of grief. If you do try any of those "super geek" distros they will soundly confirm your decision to use linux mint as your main os.


You're probably right! The OS for me is less important than what I can do with the OS. I could learn to use terminal until I'm a tenth level Jedi, or whatever, but it's still not going to help me make graphics. Mostly, I just want the OS to look pretty and shut the hell up - the latter being a big reason in wanting to leave Windows behind! My energies are better spent learning Gimp and Inkscape...
foomandoonian.net: My tumblelog
'from freedom came elephants'
User avatar
Foomandoonian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: Recommendations for a secondary distro?

Postby Fred on Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:50 pm

Foomandoonian,

Wow! Looks like you got a lot of suggestions and food for thought. :-)

In light of your last post I have one more off the wall idea for you.

I am retired and actually do very little real work on the computer any more. I enjoy playing with and learning about the various Linux distros. If I were in your shoes and needed a solid tool to do a job that put food on the table I would approach the problem a little differently.

If I were you I would pay a local Linux guru to come in and set up a conservative, stable system, not cutting edge, and configure all the programs that you might need for your work. Remove all the stuff that you didn't want or need and set up a good firewall properly for your needs. It really doesn't matter what distro he uses. All the splash screens, backgrounds, desk tops, etc can be customized to your liking. Unless somebody tells you, you won't know whether it is Debian, slackware, Gentoo, or Red hat. It will be solid as a rock. Let him come back every six months and do any necessary, non security updates and re evaluate your needs.

Over a period of 5 years this will be a whole lot cheaper than Microsoft's way and there is the added health benefits. Your blood pressure will be much lower this way. :-)

Enjoy Life,

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
User avatar
Fred
Level 10
Level 10
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
Next

Return to Open chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests