Been trying out a few distros.

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Been trying out a few distros.

Postby MagnusB on Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:58 am

First let me say, I am pleased with Mint, but I like the freedom of choice and to try out new things once in a while. First one I tried was OpenSuSE 11 Alpha 2. Personally, I think this is going to be pretty mean. They have re designed YaST and the installer, both in look and functionality, configuring OpenSuSE will be easier than ever. For those who do not know what YaST is, it is a configuration tool, very much like the Control Center in Mint, but with more settings available. They have also made some changes with the package manager (Zypper?), but still it is pretty slow, it updates the repositories each time you start it, but it has been noticeable faster when you search for packages, but I still had to manually add some repositories (with YaST) after installation. The only sad thing is that it is dead slow, and have a horrific response time (for me at least), but since it is alpha software I am guessing it will be better when the final release is out. And the GNOME update manager still do not let you see what updates you install, unless you use the terminal to update.
A piece of advice when installing OpenSuSE, use the DVD, which contains both KDE and GNOME (11 will include XFCE as well, if I am not mistaken), and make sure you are connected to the internet, this will make things MUCH easier after installation. And be prepared to do some post installation of codecs and drivers, as OpenSuSE do not include patented/proprietary codecs or drivers on the DVD, but community 1-click-installs make this pretty easy. It also seemed like the support for laptop LCD panels have been improved, I got mine working properly on my HP dv6000 laptop. All in all, I will take a closer look when RC1 is out, or maybe when the final release is out.
Next distro I took a closer look at was Foresight. It is based on rPath linux, but seems more polished and streamlined. What I was most curious on with this was the Conary package management, but sadly I never got so far as to try it. First I downloaded the liveCD, thought I had a broken ISO, but then took a closer look that they use sha1sum instead of MD5. Might be wise, but I had a hard time finding software to calculate sha1sum in Windows, but linux does this natively. But not that it did matter, the CD was not able to configure X correctly, so it did not find a screen, so I was not able to use the CD. Undeterred by this, I decided to do a HDD install, these issues seems to be easier to handle then. First try it did not find my HDD, had to manually select the drivers required. By comparing modules Mint loads by using lshw I found that it did not load the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) driver (I had some issue with this on XP as well, there I ended up slipstreaming an install cd with SP3, AHCI and UAA), finally got that working installs and then reboot only to find that not only can't GRUB boot Mint anymore, but it still did not configure X correctly (and the irony of it is that the installer loaded X fine). So I ended up with a computer with to OS installed, but one unable to boot, the other unable to start correctly. It all ended up with Super GRUB, restore Mint GRUB and next reboot will expand my Mint partition. None of these issues are all that hard to correct, but I was not prepared to use that much time to just get it up and running, I installed it just to try it out. But since rPath latest stable release is 1.0.7 and Foresight is currently on 1.4.2 I give them the benefit of the doubt and might be taking a look again when version 2 or more is out.
Next one I will try out is a Slackware based distro (KDE, sadly), which sounded promising when I looked at it on LWN.net
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby Acid7711 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:07 am

+1 for Slackware....it's what I started with 10 years ago, and still what I like going back to. A blank install + droplinegnome will get you what you're looking for.
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby Fred on Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:15 am

I like KDE and have been told that Sidux is very nice. Been trying to get around to figuring out how to make space for it. :-)

Have either of you guys tried that one and what is your opinion on it?

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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby sundayrefugee on Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:49 am

Fred wrote:I like KDE and have been told that Sidux is very nice. Been trying to get around to figuring out how to make space for it. :-)

Have either of you guys tried that one and what is your opinion on it?

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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby MagnusB on Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:00 pm

Acid7711 wrote:+1 for Slackware....it's what I started with 10 years ago, and still what I like going back to. A blank install + droplinegnome will get you what you're looking for.

I have been thinking about that, but I want to try out before installing. I tried Darkstar linux off the liveCD yesterday, but that was a no go, it reminded me of why I prefer GNOME over KDE. Hopefully KDE4 will make some changes, but I am waiting until stable for that. I find it strange that it is so hard to find a Slackware based GNOME distro, but it could be because of Slackware not officially supporting it..
And Fred, I have heard a bit about sidux, not much though, never tried it. Gotten good reviews though...
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby NoClue! on Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:23 pm

I thought sidux was ok. It's quick but a little too advanced for someone like me, and I just can't seem to warm up to kde.
Take a look at yoper it's kde and silly fast, they run some optimization scripts on install that make your system ridiculously fast.
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby MagnusB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:24 am

I now have Arch installed, with GNOME, surprisingly easy to installed, took a couple of hours to install, but it is lightening fast. Have a few post installation issues to take care of. The bad thing is that ALSA always loads muted, need some modules etc... Could be a bit scary if you don't feel comfortable with a shell, nano/vim and editing configuration files. Still, fun to install, though time demanding and in need of an internet connection..
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby muskratmx on Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:45 am

I like KDE and have been told that Sidux is very nice. Been trying to get around to figuring out how to make space for it. :-)

Have either of you guys tried that one and what is your opinion on it?


I've move over from Lenny to Sidux, I love it because of the smxi script that helps you keep everything up and running. It is Sid with a little polish on it. The bad thing is the Sidux community doesn't support gnome, if you install gnome they say don't ask for any more help over there.

They plan to release a fluxbox sidux.

I believe they don't support gnome for the same reason slackware doesn't, I could be wrong.

You can put gnome on slackware, you just got to use Rockfree Gnome.
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby Fred on Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:01 pm

The fact that it's all KDE is ok with me. I never could really warm up to Gnome. It is ok but I have always preferred KDE for a GUI, over Gnome.

Now some of the Gnome programs I prefer over their KDE counter parts, but that is another story. :-)

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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby gotroot on Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:34 am

I have tried sidux, as a matter of fact I'm using it now
It is the fastest distro I have ever used, that runs kde, yes faster than slackware.
of course if your going to install sidux, read the manual it comes with, they do not do things the ubuntu way. it will save you a lot of problems when updating
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby muskratmx on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:36 pm

I have tried sidux, as a matter of fact I'm using it now
It is the fastest distro I have ever used, that runs kde, yes faster than slackware.
of course if your going to install sidux, read the manual it comes with, they do not do things the ubuntu way. it will save you a lot of problems when updating


Amen Brother!

Have you tried the SMXI script yet? It's assume, It install Vbox with no interaction, install the kernel modules and all. Along with doing you distro upgrades, kernel and all. I've been told you can use the SMXI script on normal debian, but haven't tried it yet.
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby MagnusB on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:14 pm

Now Arch has been replaced with DreamLinux 3.0 RC1, needed a bit of fiddling with nVidia drivers, but got them working OK now, Compiz is a bit slow when it starts an animation, runs fluently after the initial shock. Seems like the dock is made for Compiz running, it behaves completely different when Ccompiz is running. It is a bit slow though, maybe the XFCE edition is faster, but still, it's just RC1. Sadly it still lacks a bit documentation though, but the community seems pretty good, small but growing. But overall I'm impressed, need to keep an eye out for this one, I think it could work it's way up there :) Maybe I'll start a weekly poll with which distro I should test next, seems like I swap once a week :)
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby Guest on Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:44 am

RE: Maybe I'll start a weekly poll with which distro I should test next, seems like I swap once a week.

You should get two 1 terrabyte HDD's and you can try them all at the same time. :!:
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby MagnusB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:17 am

Guest wrote:RE: Maybe I'll start a weekly poll with which distro I should test next, seems like I swap once a week.

You should get two 1 terrabyte HDD's and you can try them all at the same time. :!:

Nah, I like to try them out and use them, so one at a time keeps me occupied...
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby muskratmx on Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:58 pm

I try any distro that tweaks my interest. But most don't even last a week. If they last that long then I give them the real run for the money, and usually run them until another takes their place raking higher in my score.

Linux Mint, replaced DSL, which replaced Vector Linux. But I'm Afraid Sidux has passed them all.

Of course good old standard Debian/Stable is always around as a fall back when these exotic breeds hicup.
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Re: Been trying out a few distros.

Postby MagnusB on Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:31 pm

So I tried out Ulteo, in fact a KDE distro I liked out of the box. But sadly it is beta, and for now does not have a package manager (or sources.list for APT), and it does not come with make or any compilers (I think), so I couldn't get ndiswrapper running (funny thing, ndiswrapper utils and modules comes installed, just not the configuration utility), I could not get the online desktop to run, so I have no idea how that works. Overall, I will keep my eyes at that, I quite liked it (even though it is KDE), can't wait until stable release with repo's is released, so I can do some real testing... Tried PCLOS as well, but blah, back to disliking KDE at once...
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