thinking of moving to linux


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Lechio
what do you mean by 'live install'? i loaded the iso and selected 'install'.

The Ubuntu CD is in fact a Live CD. You can run it without installing it.

For what you are wanting to do, if you want my opinion, Ubuntu doesn't look to be the best solution for you.

Tryout OpenSUSE or Fedora, it has an installer where you can select each individual package that you wish to install from a graphical user-friendly installer.

Or "better" yet, go Debian. Download the 2 floppy images (or minimal CD image) with the installer and start from there. It's an "advanced" text-mode install this one, but hardly complicated.

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atlef
With the Ubuntu Live install no, but you can remove what you wish later. Or you can choose a distro like Fedora, openSUSE, (...) that allows to choose what you wish to install.

Yes you can, if you do a mini install using the mini.iso

atlef.

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Lechio
Yes you can, if you do a mini install using the mini.iso

atlef.

But that is not the normal "Live CD" from Ubuntu. :)

openSUSE and Fedora are way more user-friendly when it comes to the installer, providing a nice GUI based installer, with advanced options.

Then again, why not go Debian if doing this type of install? The process is exactly the same.

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DavidM

As stated both openSuSE and Fedora give you more control over what you install if you grab the DVD version. Both offer LiveCDs, with either gnome or kde, the Fedora DVD does offer the option to install XFCE right away, but you have to select their repositories and basically do a net install. openSUSE will check dependencies for you and let you know what is needed during the install, Fedora does it but doesn't really tell you what they are adding.

Some distros do offer netinstall cds, so you can install only what you need or want. Debian being one of them, Debian is what the *buntus and Mint are built on.

There are also stripped down distros offered as well, Damn Small Linux and Puppy but I have no experience with either one, so I just posted the links and you can check them out for yourself.

Slackware is fast and stable, and the DVD comes with Fluxbox, BlackBox, KDE 3.5 and several other window managers, it does NOT come with a graphical installer and it's best to partition the drive before installing it, but it seemed faster on my machine than any other version I played with.

Distrowatch has reviews and links to a ton of different Linux sites.

Good Luck.

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cork1958

Zenwalk, http://zenwalk.org/, or Blag, http://www.blagblagblag.org/, are both simple, light, fast and best of all EVERYTHING works out of the box, meaning mp3's, flash, zip, EVERYTHING!

Zenwalk has a brand new version coming out very soon too.

Being a total beginner though, I'd definitely recommend using a Live version first, for a while though. You WILL give up on it the first time or two anyway, guaranteed!

Good luck :D

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Jarik

I'd recommend simply diving into ArchLinux, you seem like you are up for a challenge.

Or better, try out Neowins own Linux distro, Shift, now based on ArchLinux.

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markjensen
...

Or better, try out Neowins own Linux distro, Shift, now based on ArchLinux.

Not quite installable yet. It is something I will personally be trying when it gets to the point where I can use it as my main OS to replace Xubuntu.

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dreamz

ok, i didn't realize there was a difference between the live version and the dvd version. the live version for many of these distros is around 500-600mb, and the dvd version is several gb in size. and it seems that in many of these packages, a lot is installed by default. even the stripped down packages like puppy linux and damn small linux come with additional programs.

my issue is this. i nlited my xp installation iso down to 150mb. that's a complete system (i.e., there is no dvd version that is 3gb). also, this represents a barebones system. it contains the operating system, networking, etc., but no office suite, no games, etc. i install the programs that i want after installation.

is there a barebones linux distribution that doesn't come with extra software? and why are linux images so large? ideally, i'd like it to be leaner than my xp setup.

i'm currently looking into the debian netinstall.

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Barney T.
ok, i didn't realize there was a difference between the live version and the dvd version. the live version for many of these distros is around 500-600mb, and the dvd version is several gb in size. and it seems that in many of these packages, a lot is installed by default. even the stripped down packages like puppy linux and damn small linux come with additional programs.

i'm currently looking into the debian netinstall.

Again, as I posted earlier, I would run the Live CD of your favorite distro and see if it is what you need, as well as if it plays well with your hardware.

I installed Debian Lenny x64 by netinstall and it was flawless. No issues at all. Debian is light on resources, but uses Gnome as it's window manager. You can always download XFCE or one of the *box window managers if you need more resources dedicated to your computer and less resources / space to the apps.

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dreamz
Again, as I posted earlier, I would run the Live CD of your favorite distro and see if it is what you need, as well as if it plays well with your hardware.

i guess i'll try out a live cd once i've played with several different distros in my vm. so far, i have some vague sense of what i like and don't like. fedora seemed really slow in my vm. xubuntu was really polished and was one of the few that worked really well inside the vm. puppy and dsl were fine, but they didn't feel as nice as xubuntu (though i'm assuming i can tweak them).

i'm downloading linux mint with fluxbox and the debian netinstall, so i'll try those and see.

but let's say i do find a distro i like. can i then work on removing the components i don't need, basically nlite it?

I installed Debian Lenny x64 by netinstall and it was flawless. No issues at all. Debian is light on resources, but uses Gnome as it's window manager. You can always download XFCE or one of the *box window managers if you need more resources dedicated to your computer and less resources / space to the apps.

i really love bblean, so it'd be nice to be able to use one of the *box window managers. but it doesn't look like the mainstream distros come packaged with one of those. do i have to remove gnome or kde first and then install one of *box window managers?

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Barney T.
i guess i'll try out a live cd once i've played with several different distros in my vm. so far, i have some vague sense of what i like and don't like. fedora seemed really slow in my vm. xubuntu was really polished and was one of the few that worked really well inside the vm. puppy and dsl were fine, but they didn't feel as nice as xubuntu (though i'm assuming i can tweak them).

i'm downloading linux mint with fluxbox and the debian netinstall, so i'll try those and see.

but let's say i do find a distro i like. can i then work on removing the components i don't need, basically nlite it?

i really love bblean, so it'd be nice to be able to use one of the *box window managers. but it doesn't look like the mainstream distros come packaged with one of those. do i have to remove gnome or kde first and then install one of *box window managers?

With most distros (Fedora is an exception), a base system with WM is installed, then you can add or remove packages. Fedora gives you the option to select what packages you want to download from the server prior to installation.

With Debian (and most others who are Debian clones) you'll get Gnome to start with, then you can add the XFCE or *box packages from Synaptic (or APT if you want to use the terminal). When you re-boot, you can choose which WM you want to load from the log-on screen.

Remember that VM may be slower than when the distro you choose actually gets installed. Your OS performance will most likely be snappier once it is on your hard drive. And also remember, as clearly evident from the posts here, that everyone's experiences are going to be different. Different distros, hardware configurations, and user knowledge are all a factor here! :yes:

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Lechio

A custom netinstall of Debian can give you just the basics, installing GNOME with it is optional and not needed if you aren't going to use it. You can have a Debian install in <50MB of space, with just the basics. From there you can install the Xserver, a Login manager, a WM... And end up getting a fully functional system taking well under 100MB of disk space.

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dreamz
With most distros (Fedora is an exception), a base system with WM is installed, then you can add or remove packages. Fedora gives you the option to select what packages you want to download from the server prior to installation.

you're talking about the netinstall, right? i'm downloading that right now. it might be what i'm looking for.

Remember that VM may be slower than when the distro you choose actually gets installed. Your OS performance will most likely be snappier once it is on your hard drive. And also remember, as clearly evident from the posts here, that everyone's experiences are going to be different. Different distros, hardware configurations, and user knowledge are all a factor here! :yes:

i know that a vm will be slower, but i just wanted to get a sense of the system before actually trying the live cd.

i'm currently testing linux mint with fluxbox, and i really do like this window manager more than kde or gnome.

A custom netinstall of Debian can give you just the basics, installing GNOME with it is optional and not needed if you aren't going to use it. You can have a Debian install in <50MB of space, with just the basics. From there you can install the Xserver, a Login manager, a WM... And end up getting a fully functional system taking well under 100MB of disk space.

that sounds like what i want. i tried the netinstall, but i ended up having some trouble during the installation process with the grub boot loader. i'm going to try again later after i finish testing linux mint and the fedora netinstall.

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markjensen
...

i'm currently testing linux mint with fluxbox, and i really do like this window manager more than kde or gnome.

...

I am a fluxbox user here, and can vouch for its simple elegance. :wub:

As for your question asking if you can "nlite" Linux. :laugh: Sure. sudo apt-get remove yucky_appname and you have removed what you wanted. A lot easier to customize your package setup in Linux than Windows.

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Dom
I am a fluxbox user here, and can vouch for its simple elegance. :wub:

As for your question asking if you can "nlite" Linux. :laugh: Sure. sudo apt-get remove yucky_appname and you have removed what you wanted. A lot easier to customize your package setup in Linux than Windows.

Thats what i've been trying to tell him!, just go with a Main Stream distro, and start there, start removing things, familiarize with the commands, see what you can do and what you cant do, but try!

You'll really like Linux when you start playing with it, but for that, you gotta start somewhere, dont worry about starting right or wrong, most of it its the "same", and the more you play around, the more you'll learn and the easier it will be to achieve the Goal ;D.

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Calum

Please don't bash me for saying this, anybody, as I am only making a suggestion and Windows XP clearly doesn't suit your needs. From your post, you haven't mentioned anything about trying Windows Vista or the Windows 7 beta?

I was just wondering have you tried any of those? Windows Vista is a fantastic operating system; much better than Windows XP in functionality and user interface. It has even been faster for me than Windows XP ever was.

I have had no problems, whatsoever, with Windows Vista (I am only using a 2GB RAM notebook with a 2GHz Intel Core Duo processor) and whilst I wouldn't recommend using a beta as your main operating system, Windows 7 is apparently much faster and snappier than Windows Vista is (DWM is cut by 50%).

So, what I'm basically saying is that Windows has become so much better since Windows XP ;) and Windows 7 will even be 10 times better than Windows Vista (mainly because of the speed and the new taskbar and window management features :p).

Another thing you may miss, on Linux, is important programs such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail, iTunes and Visual Studio. I couldn't live without these programs, myself, and the 'Linux versions' of these really don't always provide half as many features or nice user interface elements. That is something to think about :)

However, if you have considered these factors and decided Windows is definitely not for you, for whatever reason you may have, then a Linux distro may well be your saviour (things like CompizFusion are very nice).

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zachstruck

Another vote for Arch Linux. It is whatever you want it to be.

If you want to be very minimal, download Arch Linux and read The Beginner's Guide. You'll only have to install the absolute essentials (the kernel and few other things) and start with a basic terminal. From there you can add whatever you like, such as sound (alsa), gui (using X.org), desktop manager (e.g., Gnome, Fluxbox, etc.), various services, and anything else you like. It's simple to set up and you'll have a lot of control over what your system is doing and how it's configured. Of course, you'll actually have to learn a little bit of Linux to actually install and use it.

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Dom

XP doesnt suit his needs, not for the lack of some feature, Dreamz is pursuing another "dream", he won't bother with Vista Bloatiness (hell, my XP is bloated according to him! go figure!), let alone Windows 7, it doesnt matter how formidable they're, they're do not fill Dreamz need for minimalism..., its not because of the lack of features, but for the lack of minimalism and reducing options.

WLM? he clearly states he uses Miranda, and said that TBird was useless to him, he mentioned Foobar too and yadah yadah... :p, he can clearly survive in a Linux enviroment more than happy..., i on the other side, cant :D!

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Elv13

I did not read the complete topic, but you seem to be looking for a basic WM, may I suggest AwesomeWM

(from me)

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/998/snapshot25lp9.png

It is really fast, fully customisable (google it for more screenshot) and manager your screen space for you using rules based virtual desktop and display layout.

And here is my older desktop with fluxbox (just to see how far (too far in my case) you can customise it)

http://ossdb.quebecgeeks.net/snapshot14.png

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Lechio
I did not read the complete topic, but you seem to be looking for a basic WM, may I suggest AwesomeWM

(from me)

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/998/snapshot25lp9.png

It is really fast, fully customisable (google it for more screenshot) and manager your screen space for you using rules based virtual desktop and display layout.

And here is my older desktop with fluxbox (just to see how far (too far in my case) you can customise it)

http://ossdb.quebecgeeks.net/snapshot14.png

Eh, there's nothing more simplistic and minimalist than text mode applications.

That's really awesome there. ;)

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dreamz
As for your question asking if you can "nlite" Linux. :laugh: Sure. sudo apt-get remove yucky_appname and you have removed what you wanted. A lot easier to customize your package setup in Linux than Windows.

i'm assuming that once i familiarize myself with the system, i'll be able to set it up so that, whenever i reformat, my customizations will be applied automatically (i.e., so that i won't have to remove everything again).

XP doesnt suit his needs, not for the lack of some feature, Dreamz is pursuing another "dream", he won't bother with Vista Bloatiness (hell, my XP is bloated according to him! go figure!), let alone Windows 7, it doesnt matter how formidable they're, they're do not fill Dreamz need for minimalism..., its not because of the lack of features, but for the lack of minimalism and reducing options.

WLM? he clearly states he uses Miranda, and said that TBird was useless to him, he mentioned Foobar too and yadah yadah... :p, he can clearly survive in a Linux enviroment more than happy..., i on the other side, cant :D!

dom is exactly right! (he knows me so well. :p)

i'd rather not simply upgrade windows. first of all, it costs money. why should i spend money when (i) xp works just fine (i mean, i don't need anything in vista or 7), and (ii) linux is available?

also, i'm looking to slim down my system, and i think it'd be a lot harder to do that with windows than with linux.

Another vote for Arch Linux. It is whatever you want it to be.

If you want to be very minimal, download Arch Linux and read The Beginner's Guide. You'll only have to install the absolute essentials (the kernel and few other things) and start with a basic terminal. From there you can add whatever you like, such as sound (alsa), gui (using X.org), desktop manager (e.g., Gnome, Fluxbox, etc.), various services, and anything else you like. It's simple to set up and you'll have a lot of control over what your system is doing and how it's configured. Of course, you'll actually have to learn a little bit of Linux to actually install and use it.

well, i tried arch linux last night, and i was able to follow the instructions just fine, but i'll need to go into it more deeply. for instance, i didn't know what all the packages were.

i think for my foray into linux, i want to stick with something mainstream, learn as i go, and then go from there. and i've decided to start with linux mint. i'm burning it right now. i'm going to try out the live cd, then dual boot, and then play around with it.

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brentaal

Here's what you need to do, in case you go for a Ubuntu command line installation (Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and if you like that one but want a lighter system, you might wanna try this).

sudo apt-get install xorg xserver-xorg-core gdm lxde

That would basically install the xserver, login manager, and the lightweight desktop environment LXDE (includes only the text editor, taskbar, file manager, theme manager, bare essentials).

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dreamz

i successfully set up a dual boot system and am posting this message from my newly installed linux mint system. :D

it's a really nice os, very polished and easy to use.

brentaal, i'll check those out, although i think i'm going to get fluxbox instead.

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Iian K
IMHO, I have to disagree with most of this. Any application that you need has some form in OSS. For the average user, Linux is no more complicated than Windows. Ubuntu is as easy as point and click.

In Ubuntu, to add MP3 or other support, it is as easy as clicking a box in Synaptic. No adding special lines to the repository list. If you have programming skills, that is fine, but only if you are into Linux apps development, or writing scripts and things.

The downside.... wireless is hit-or-miss. Also, if you are a gamer, Linux is probably not the OS for you.

I use Debian and it is as enjoyable, if not more so, than any other OS I have ever tried (and I have tried most). All newly tried operating systems have a learning curve, but today's Linux is not the same as years gone by.

I suggest that you try one of the many Live CDs. Ubuntu is easy to use. So is Mandriva and SuSE as well as a whole host of others. Just pop in the CD and boot it up. The CD writes to memory. You can test the distro, then reboot with the CD out. No harm to the hard drive at all. Easy as pie!

http://www.livecdlist.com/

I use Fedora :)

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atlef
i'm assuming that once i familiarize myself with the system, i'll be able to set it up so that, whenever i reformat, my customizations will be applied automatically (i.e., so that i won't have to remove everything again).

If you have /home on a separate partition or disk, then yes, your settings will be safe. And if you did not do this, then follow this guide to get it done.

atlef.

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