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Chosing distribution

chosing distributionl distribution debian pclinuxos fuduntu

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#1 jaroli.tamas

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 23:21

Greetings for everyone!

I don't know if I'm writting to the right section, please forgive me if not, but this is the first time I'm creating a topic on this forum!

My question seems simple for the first sight, but it's a little complicated.

Which distribution should I chose?

There are 3 options:
-Debian
-Fuduntu
-PCLinuxOS

Here are my most important point of view:

-full ability to customize the desktop/themes/panels (e.g. fully remove the existing ones)/icons, etc... comfortable usage is very important for me
-good hardware support like networking, and sound
-the ability to install the latest (stable) version of softwares + a wild scale of the avaible programs/packages + easy install of programs
-fast and stable
-good media support (e.g. easy usage of my mp3/avi/etc files, and flash videos)
-mail/messaging and others integration to notification area, and indicators
-good for programming/developing. Generally I develop in C/C++, openGL, Java, Python, Assembly, Flash, Shell script (sometimes Lisp, Pearl, C#), building PHP + MySQL webcontents, etc...
-prefered DMs are Gnome2 and XFCE4
-Working Wine!
-Google Chrome/Chromium :)
-easy backup of the / and save it to /home, + sync, and restore
-Dropbox and Ubuntu one autosync

Here are the optional points:

-nice and helpful community
-updates often
-power saving
-compatible with my Samsung Galaxy Ace android phone and iPod shuffle
-fast boot

Summary: I'm searching for a distro for studying (university), work (programming), casual home usage (movies, music, internet, mail), which is stable, fast and knows the attributions above.

My laptop:

Name/Type:
Packard Bell EasyNote TM85

Specs:
Core i3 CPU
4GB RAM
Radeon HD5470 GPU
320GB HDD

To make the choice more easy for me, my idea is to give marks for each points/each distros on a ten scale.
For example:
Debian:
customizable: 7/10
speed: 8/10
etc
Fuduntu:
packages 6/10
etc..
Like a poll, just separated to a few points.

I'm using Linux Distros since Ubuntu 7.10, and tried out many-many kind of distros, but now these 3 ones left to chose. I hate Ubuntu's new Unity and Gnome Shell, tried Linux Mint, but wasnt "professional enough" for me.Tried openSUSE, but didn't like it. BackTrack5, Fedora (some old version), and so on, but still couldn't find the "Best One" for me.
I would be very happy, if you could help me! And please justificate your answer!
I'm waiting for your answers, and other suggestions are welcomed too, if well explained.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!

Best regards,
Tom.


#2 tim_s

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 23:26

The only way I have found the ideal distro was to try them.

#3 +Karl L.

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 23:49

It sounds like you described Ubuntu as your ideal distro without mentioning Ubuntu by name. Based on your list of criteria, a good option might be to install Ubuntu, install MATE (to get the GNOME 2 experience), then remove Unity.

That said, the answer to your question really depends on how comfortable you are with GNU/Linux (particularly terminal). Like tim_s said, the best way to decide which distro you like best is to try them. Different distros exist because different people have different preferences. There is no silver bullet.

#4 OP jaroli.tamas

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 23:55

Well, first thanks for your answers.
The point is that i'm tired about Ubuntu, and wanna use something other. Btw I already tried MATE, but didnt liked :D
I use terminal very often, nowadays I even launch Web Browser from terminal by typing chromium-browser :D
And I know, the best way is experiencing, but I heard about much distros, and now I'm confused.

And about the appearance: my main intent is to remove the panels, and replace them with AWN docks. So thats what I mentioned as "ability to customize desktop".

EDIT:
You mentioned that I described Ubuntu, but I don't agree with this, and here are my justifications:
- Unity and Gnome Shell don't allow me to remove panels, but they have many options to tweak the desktop
- it isn't fast... it's getting slower and slower version by version...
- Less custiomization options about the notification/indicator area without 3rd party program. Also doesnt wanna integrate my skype properly, even though I already tried many tutorials.
-can use xfce4, but can't use Gnome2
-not really power saving. my laptop's accumulator can work for about 1,5 hours, while it can work for 2,5 hours by using Win 8
-boot is slow as hell. Win 8 boots for me in less than 10 sec, Ubuntu boots for about 30 sec (normal 5400rpm hdd)

+ in my last pharagraph, I said I don't wanna use Ubuntu anymore ^^

#5 +Brando212

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 23:55

the only viable option of the 3 you chose would be Debian, and that really doesn't update very often

though honestly Mint Linux with the Cinnamon desktop fits what you want the most (i know you said you tried mint, but had you tried it since they switched to cinnamon? i didn't used to like mint much either but the distro has really improved itself the past couple versions)

and if all else fails you could always do Arch Linux. that way you'd be able to set it up however you want (it's not as hard to set up as you'd think, the wiki does a great job of walking you through things)

#6 +Brando212

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:00

And about the appearance: my main intent is to remove the panels, and replace them with AWN docks. So thats what I mentioned as "ability to customize desktop".

for customizablitly you'll want to stick with either gnome or xfce. those are the two easiest to customize from my experience

#7 Max Norris

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:02

Personally, the best bet is to fire up a virtual machine and go nuts. Find which distribution base you prefer (Ubuntu/Debian, Fedora, Arch, etc etc) then throw on a bunch of various desktop environments and fiddle with 'em. Doesn't even need to have DE out of the box, a lot of the distros have "core" installation options that drop you at a console after installing so you can install whatever later. Who cares if you installed a metric crapton of libraries (or even break it), it's a VM that's getting erased again anyway. Throw all the DE's at it and see which one suits your needs.. you're the best judge of what works best for you. That said, you mentioned you preferred XFCE, Xubuntu's got a nice out-of-the-box XFCE setup that looks and works nicely. I'm partial to KDE myself just for not holding back on options and such, lately not terribly thrilled where the other DE's have been going.. Gnome 3 and Unity especially have got off the deep end, XFCE just feels a bit stale to me, etc.

#8 OP jaroli.tamas

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:09

the only viable option of the 3 you chose would be Debian, and that really doesn't update very often

though honestly Mint Linux with the Cinnamon desktop fits what you want the most (i know you said you tried mint, but had you tried it since they switched to cinnamon? i didn't used to like mint much either but the distro has really improved itself the past couple versions)

and if all else fails you could always do Arch Linux. that way you'd be able to set it up however you want (it's not as hard to set up as you'd think, the wiki does a great job of walking you through things)


Yes, I tried Linux Mint Cinnamon edition, but to be honest, when I used Linux Mint, I felt myself as a low-end-user :) But I'm a bit scared about using Arch, one I tried it, but then I was a little newbie, so when I had to use only CLI, I gave up fast :)

Personally, the best bet is to fire up a virtual machine and go nuts. Find which distribution base you prefer (Ubuntu/Debian, Fedora, Arch, etc etc) then throw on a bunch of various desktop environments and fiddle with 'em. Doesn't even need to have DE out of the box, a lot of the distros have "core" installation options that drop you at a console after installing so you can install whatever later. Who cares if you installed a metric crapton of libraries (or even break it), it's a VM that's getting erased again anyway. Throw all the DE's at it and see which one suits your needs.. you're the best judge of what works best for you. That said, you mentioned you preferred XFCE, Xubuntu's got a nice out-of-the-box XFCE setup that looks and works nicely.


Yes, I'm doing this, but I'm still confused, and I wanted to ask some experts on this forum :)


#9 Colin McGregor

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:10

I've only ever used Gentoo with Cinnamon since I hate Unity so I say that. Its simple and fully customizable.

#10 OP jaroli.tamas

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:29

As I know, on Gentoo, you can install programs by compiling them from source, which excludes the "easy install of programs" point.
(Sorry for my difficultness, I told it's not that simple like it seems :D )


#11 +Brando212

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:31

I've only ever used Gentoo with Cinnamon since I hate Unity so I say that. Its simple and fully customizable.

yeah no, i consider my self fairly experience with Linux and I have trouble installing Gentoo (in fact i haven't successfully installed it)

@OP give arch a try again, follow the beginners guide on the wiki (only thing i recommend doing differently from it is use a gparted disk to set up the partitions). the wiki will make the install to the point of having a gui a breeze

#12 OP jaroli.tamas

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:38

Hm, maybe there is the time for a 2nd chance for Arch :D
(I wanna edit the topic starter post, but I can't find the Edit button :D just want to add Arch and Xubuntu to the options)
And about the VMs: I tried a few OS on VBox, but they are kindda different from using them natively (for example much less icons on the notification/indicator area, but I know, this is a very low point :D ), thats a thing which makes decision harder :D

#13 Growled

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:38

I would try Fuduntu. I've been meaning to try it myself.

#14 OP jaroli.tamas

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:44

Okay, after reading a lot about them and reading your suggestions, I would like to modify the list to Debian, Arch and Xubuntu.
What kind of DEs does Arch support?

#15 +Brando212

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:59

arch pretty much supports every desktop environment, that's one of the things that's so appealing about the distro