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Which Distribution For Me

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#1 +bman

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 21:26

Hey guys,

So since the first time I have ever used Linux I have pretty much stayed with Ubuntu. I remember the first time I ever tried Linux I think I ran Red Hat, and over the years I have played with a few of them, such as Mint, but pretty much used Ubuntu.

I only recently moved to Ubuntu permanently, at least that is my goal. I am a long time Windows user starting from 95 up to trying out Windows 8. I am also a big digital/minimal/simplistic type of person. Anything extra or not needed bothers me, and everything has to be simplified (not in a can't figure something out way, as in a clean way). Part of this whole minimal/simple/digital way of life is my transition into legal content.

When I started off using computers, pretty much everything was pirated or hacked. My music, my games, my office suite, my OS and so forth. Over the past 2 years I have started to change that. All my games are now legal and purchased and stored with Steam. All my music is legal and through services like Rdio. My office suite and other software like that are now free to use through Google Docs. Pictures and all my non video media are stored legally in the cloud. The only thing that was really left over was Windows. Up until Windows 7 I pirated it. Windows 7 I actually had some TechNet keys that are technically legal, but the account it came from is closed, so your not really suppose to keep using it. I have also always had some hatred over Microsoft and Windows (not getting into that in this Convo), so put it all together and you get someone really wanting to use Linux.

There are 2 other reasons I enjoy Linux as well, which are the effects that are available (Compiz Fusion) as well as how the OS looks, the fonts and all that. Much nicer then Windows, at least to me. Of course, the ability to change pretty much anything you want is quite nice too.

Anyways, I am getting better at using Linux, with commands and the right way to do things, but it's still early.

The reason I am telling you all of this is that it might help answer my question. My question is since I am about to re-install Ubuntu 12.04 again, I thought I would ask what you guys think of recent versions of Ubuntu as well as if you think that is the right OS for me, the right Distribution for me? Are there more minimal Distros out there? When I install Ubuntu, after the initial updates I tend to remove most of the software that is on it. As well as quite a few customizations. I have heard some people say recently that Ubuntu has become fat with crap, true?

I Dunno, this might be a pointless conversation because everyone is different. My worry is if I go to another Distro such as Arch, or Debian or Mint that I might have issues getting around and getting things completed. I am basically used to Ubuntu now and it is the one that is most supported by companies.

Ideas/Suggestions/Thoughts.....


#2 Nothing Here

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 21:33

Well, Mint is the easiest to use. If you go to Mint, get the Cinnamon edition. Every thing is right there in your face and you shouldn't have any issues navigating it. Only thing I don't really like is the browser addon Mint search. So I always disable it when I do run Mint.

#3 OP +bman

bman

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 21:46

Well as I said, it doesn't need to be too easy, if I wanted that I'd go to Apple for that lol

When I say Simple, it's about cleanness, organization. Not sure if that makes sense to anymore.

#4 Fish

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 22:01

It's been a while for me, but it used to be that if you want "more" from Linux, then Arch was a good choice. I certainly learned loads more about Linux and the way things work by installing Arch. I imagine this still stands true.

However, if you like the convenience of Ubuntu, there are different spin-offs you could try. Mint, Lubuntu and Crunchbang all had a try-out on my machine and I found them all to be good.

#5 spikey_richie

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 22:19

I'm a fan of Ubuntu, primarily as I like being able to install it using Wubi with little or no effort. I like the interface of Ubuntu/Kbuntu, and has the right amount of apps out-the-box.

#6 medhunter

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 23:47

Lubuntu is pretty minimalistic and clean.You may install LXDE, or XFC DE on Plain Ubuntu and never lose anything.
2nd: Mint Cinnamon is clean and looks familiar

#7 +Karl L.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:23

If you want something that is fairly easy to use, there really is nothing that comes close to Ubuntu.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and is also fairly easy to use, but it has even more applications installed by default than Ubuntu does. That said, they give you a choice of several other desktop environments and have some nice things (such as codecs) installed by default that Ubuntu does not. The way they setup their system is not kosher, which is why neither Ubuntu nor Debian are configured similarly, but new or less-technical users generally don't care. Since it is directly based on Ubuntu, all software that runs on Ubuntu (such as Steam) will run on Linux Mint without issues.

Arch is a really great distro if you're a power user, masochist, or simply enjoy learning how the system works. Arch users generally learn very quickly how and why the system is setup, and they gain a solid technical understanding of the operating system they run. The package manager does almost nothing automatically and only the minimal number of system management utilities are provided by the project. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a beginner because of the steep learning curve and expected entry level of expertise.

Fedora is also fairly easy to use, like Ubuntu, but it has just as many applications installed by default, a smaller set of software in their repository, and generally more "rough edges". I would only recommend Fedora if you were a system administrator who regularly deals with Red Hat systems.

openSUSE is still struggling to find their target audience. I only mention it because I think it is still considered a major distribution. It has a very nice KDE desktop that generally looks very polished. Beyond that, they don't have too many strong points. I wouldn't recommend this distribution to anyone.

Therefore, the easiest thing to do is probably install Ubuntu and simply remove the applications you don't want, just like you have been doing. Once you are more comfortable with how the operating system works you could consider moving to Arch, Debian, Gentoo, or some other distribution by judging their technical merits for yourself.

#8 Max Norris

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:39

Therefore, the easiest thing to do is probably install Ubuntu and simply remove the applications you don't want, just like you have been doing. Once you are more comfortable with how the operating system works you could consider moving to Arch, Debian, Gentoo, or some other distribution by judging their technical merits for yourself.

Agreed.. one of the 'Buntus or Mint would probably be the best option if you want it to work with minimal fuss, and there's an awful lot of documentation/support for when it throws a curveball at you. Which flavor you go depends on your DE of choice personally. I like KDE myself (for me the most complete desktop with the least "WTF were they smoking" bundled with it), Mate or Cinnamon are nice options too. XFCE's a good pick if you want something a bit lightweight, for me a bit lacking on features, but depends on your needs. Unity and Gnome 3.. well, when it comes to those two I'll probably get a warning for expressing my opinion on those.

I personally like Arch myself as it's built from the ground up versus the "everything and three forks of the kitchen sink" approach most distros take. As xorangekiller mentioned though, not for somebody who's wanting the "click click done" install, complete opposite end of the difficulty spectrum. Definitely want to try it in a VM before you do it for real, make sure you want to commit to that much hands-on work, have the wiki open on another display.. it's going to be your best friend for a while.

Beyond that, they don't have too many strong points. I wouldn't recommend this distribution to anyone.

YaST. If you're into headaches I can definitely recommend it. Otherwise, I'd move along. (Maybe I'm being harsh, haven't tried it in a year or so.)

#9 +Karl L.

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 00:51

Even though I primarily use Debian (and generally don't like the way an Arch system runs), I have to agree with Max Norris that Arch has an AMAZING wiki. When it comes to in-depth, practical, technical information on how to configure some piece of software in Linux, the Arch wiki is the best resource ever. I look things up in the Debian wiki when I need to know something Debian-specific, and I look things up in the Arch wiki when I need to know exactly how it works!

#10 OP +bman

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:02

Awesome stuff guys.

Looks like I have been doing the way I should be doing it, using Ubuntu and just removing software etc...

I definitely not new to Linux, but nowhere near the level I would need for Arch.

#11 tim_s

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 23:09

They are all free - ubuntu + mint is a good place to start and once you get the basics, so many distros to choose from with their own ideals.

Enjoy.

#12 Growled

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:51

You can't beat Mint. It's Ubuntu done right.