Which distro

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Which distro

Postby aSystemOverload on Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:56 pm

Hi

I'm asking myself the age old question, which distro. I'm going with Mint, but what variation: LXDE, Standard, XFCE, KDE or Debian???

I want it clean, customisable... That's pretty much it... I want to be able to specify whether I have a top menu (clock, status icons) and the main menu. But want to be able to load/install/use a customisable launcher at the bottom.

I'll figure out the rest afterwards...

Is there any other questions I should be asking to work out which distro to choose?

Thnx
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Re: Which distro

Postby xenopeek on Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:21 pm

Your hardware specifications. KDE and GNOME are more demanding than LXDE and Xfce.

The points you raise can be achieved with any desktop environment.
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Re: Which distro

Postby aSystemOverload on Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:19 pm

Apart from my hardware specs (power), is there a reason why I should choose any of them. If you were a fanatic of either of them, how would you 'sell' them to me?
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Re: Which distro

Postby xenopeek on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:42 am

aSystemOverload wrote:Apart from my hardware specs (power), is there a reason why I should choose any of them. If you were a fanatic of either of them, how would you 'sell' them to me?

Oh boy, bring out the fanboys :D But seriously, you should use the one that "clicks" with you, regardless of the personal preferences of others. Download the ISO images of the alternatives you mention, put them on a rewritable CD/DVD or USB stick, and have a look (you can boot them without changing anything on your computer yet). If downloading is an issue, you can buy CDs online at Linux-Mint @ On-Disk.com and Distro Watch also has an online store for example. You may also have luck if you can get Linux Format or Linux Magazine at your newsstand, as they include a bootable DVD with each issue with various distro's and desktop environments.

I use GNOME and Xfce, and can't stand KDE. However, I know some people on these forums who very much enjoy KDE, so I'm hard pressed to advice you one way or another--other then go try some.

The Linux Mint Debian Edition (on which Xfce and KDE are) is a little bit more rough around the edges than the main Linux Mint (on which GNOME and LXDE are). If you are very new to Linux, you may prefer the main Linux Mint as it is generally considered a little more easier to use.
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Re: Which distro

Postby Pierre on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:58 am

The generic advice in pertaining to "which mint" - is to go with the Main edition, which is Gnome based.

get the cd version, as it's quicker to D/L. - once installed, use the startUP option to Upgrade to the DvD version.

play with that, maybe install Virtual box into it, & then D/L some other versions & install them into VB.
maybe, even install them, for real, into another partition, on the same hdd as the main edition is installed.

then keep going sideways - eventually - you will stabilise on a 'favourite'. :)
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Re: Which distro

Postby Robin on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:08 am

There are whole threads on the different desktops right here on the Mint Forums that kinda sorta offer an overview of each, with pros and cons and all that, but mostly it's just a matter of personal taste! If you're not limited by hardware issues, KDE and Gnome are the richest.
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Re: Which distro

Postby TBABill on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:36 pm

Robin wrote:If you're not limited by hardware issues, KDE and Gnome are the richest.
Very well said Robin!

In my eyes they all get you to the same goal. It's how you get there that becomes preferential and with DE's you have a lot to choose from. They all have their own uniqueness that they bring to the table and somewhere in that uniqueness may be your own requirement. If they will all do the job for you, then perhaps it is just a matter of testing and using the one most suited to your computing style and the one you prefer to look at while using your machine.
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Re: Which distro

Postby acerimusdux on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:10 am

I would say always start with the Main edition, unless you have good reason to prefer something else. Between the 32 and 64 bit versions, the Main edition accounts for about 74% of Mint users; a larger user base just means it's easier to find support and be sure all the bugs are worked out.

Good reasons to try something else would include:

a) A previous attachment to Debian. Debian edition is the largest alternative edition at this point, at about 10% of users, and with the latest release just three weeks ago, it's no longer really that "rough around the edges"; the overall experience is now very close to that of the Main edition, and more user friendly at this point than some of the alternatives.

b) A previous attachment to KDE. KDE is really just as good as Gnome, some will say more features, others more bloat, but really the chief reason Gnome is the default for Mint is likely simply Mint's roots as an Ubuntu and Debian based distribution. But KDE at one time was the default desktop on Red Hat, and remains the default today on many distributions such as Mandriva and Open Suse, and remains a popular choice, worth exploring.

c) Hardware that is more than 5 years old. In truth, the Main edition really isn't at all resource hungry, and if compiz is a bit challenging for your graphics hardware, you can still run gnome fine with "no efffects". And I even like Main edition just fine on my $200 Dell mini 9 netbook from last year. On really old/low end hardware though, if you want a very lightweight snappy desktop, you might look into XFCE, fluxbox, etc. I ran IceWM for years on my 2003 low budget Wal-Mart Christmas special HP Pavillion.
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Re: Which distro

Postby AlbertP on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:35 am

The main edition runs fine on older computers; most computers with 512 MB of RAM can run it fine. LXDE needs only 256 MB RAM and is faster; you can run it on any computer with at least Pentium II or AMD Athlon/Duron.

And about 32- or 64-bit. If your computer has at least 1GB of RAM, I'd use 64-bit. But older computers may not support this edition.
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Re: Which distro

Postby wyrdoak on Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:11 am

If you like a rolling release, I would say LMDE, over all I would say at the point it is now, for me, it's just as stable and sometime more so than the main edition.

I would rather go to the dentist than install an OS on my computer, 6mth release cycles is just too much for me, with LMDE, I can take updates coming in and deal with them as they come.

Now with a computer I'm not using it's a different story I can start an install and let it rip.

WindowS I was having to remaster about every 18mths, I needed the little yellow pills the dentist gives out the last time. :roll:

Gnome just clicked with me were some of the other DEs I have tried just didn't do it for me.

Well anyway, have fun finding you niche.
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Re: Which distro

Postby aSystemOverload on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:33 pm

AlbertP wrote:The main edition runs fine on older computers; most computers with 512 MB of RAM can run it fine. LXDE needs only 256 MB RAM and is faster; you can run it on any computer with at least Pentium II or AMD Athlon/Duron.

And about 32- or 64-bit. If your computer has at least 1GB of RAM, I'd use 64-bit. But older computers may not support this edition.



I thought you needed 64-bit hardware to use 64-bit software, or is that total rubbish??? I've settled for standard Linux Mint. I did think about Debian and Fedora, the more I read about people's experiences the more confused I got, so I thought Linux Mint took my face a year ago (but never installed it, just LiveCD trialed it), so went with Mint.

I've got Ubuntu (with Unity) on another machine thats 3 months old and it's more glitzy and I do like the way it looks, but it just doesn't sit right, not sure why. The only thing I don't like with mint is that you have to download a new cd to install the next version, but maybe I'm making a mountain out a mole hill because I expect to install EVERY update there is.

But back to the 32/64-bit thing, can I install 64-bit on any decent hardware (from last 5 yrs)? Will all the standard linux apps work on a 64-bit mint?
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Re: Which distro

Postby wyrdoak on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:40 pm

run $ lscpu

if you get these: CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit

64bit will run, Only problem you might have running 64bit, something like, printer drivers or light scribe.
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Re: Which distro

Postby xenopeek on Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:11 am

wyrdoak wrote:run $ lscpu

if you get these: CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit

64bit will run, Only problem you might have running 64bit, something like, printer drivers or light scribe.

Dôh :lol: Well, another day, another command learned :wink:
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Re: Which distro

Postby aSystemOverload on Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:16 am

Ahhhh, cool, might give it a miss for now then... I was pointed in the direction of a place to find drivers for my Epson Wireless SX<xxx> all in one. The printer worked 'off the shelf', but the scanner wasn't being recognised.

This was on Ubuntu, so I have to duplicate on Mint I expect, the one thing I found was that the PDFs generated were rather chunky, so will be looking to sort that out at some point..
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Re: Which distro

Postby acerimusdux on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:47 am

aSystemOverload wrote:I thought you needed 64-bit hardware to use 64-bit software, or is that total rubbish???


I believe pretty much anything from AMD in the last 5 years, and at least 75% of CPUs from Intel would be 64-bit capable. Intel is a bit odd, as it's not entirely dependent on the "model", but I believe anything "core", such as core 2, i3, i5, i7 is supported, as are any Pentium "Desktop" or Pentium or Celeron "D". Not supporting 64-bit would be some Atoms (supported by those beginning with N or D; not those beginning with E or Z), some Celerons, and some Pentium 4.
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Re: Which distro

Postby AlbertP on Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:13 am

Pretty much everything produced the last years is 64-bit, though it may not be marketed that way. The Core series is 64-bit from Core 2 on. AMD Athlon & Athlon XP are 32-bit; all newer Athlon flavours like the Athlon 64 and Athlon II are 64-bit. Sempron may be either 32- or 64-bit; socket A or 462 processors are always 32-bit. Duron is 32-bit. Newer processors ending in -on or -om are 64-bit.

Pentium 4, Celeron and Xeon can be either 32- or 64-bit; Pentium M is 32 and Pentium D is 64.
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