Recommend me a Linux distro

AmberClad

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2005
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I've used Linux before, but not in the past couple of years, and I know there are new distros out there like Ubuntu that I haven't tried yet. The distro I'm most familiar with by far is Slackware. I've also worked a bit with Arch and Gentoo.

Some info:
- I don't need LiveCD
- I prefer quick booting, lean distros
- I prefer KDE to GNOME
- This is going to be on a desktop machine, not a workstation or server

Hopefully, you guys can offer up some recommendations for someone who's been out of the Linux loop for a while. Thanks!
 

travisray2004

Senior member
Jul 6, 2005
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Im a big Fedora FAN. It boots up pretty quickly. It is like CentOS/Redhat. So, if you want to put Redhat support on your resume you can :D.
 

nweaver

Diamond Member
Jan 21, 2001
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Debian is great....Ubuntu is Debian for Dummies for the most part (or Kubuntu if you want KDE)
 

TheVrolok

Lifer
Dec 11, 2000
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Originally posted by: nweaver
Debian is great....Ubuntu is Debian for Dummies for the most part (or Kubuntu if you want KDE)

I think if you want an easy to use KDE based desktop system Kubuntu is the way to go.
 

hasu

Senior member
Apr 5, 2001
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I like LinuxMint which is Ubuntu + GNOME + An elegant Desktop menu structure.
If you are a Windows user then you will be very happy with LinuxMint.

I like LinuxMint, PCLinuxOS and SimpyMEPIS

Edit: Screenshot
 

SSP

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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IMO if you want lean then gentoo is a better option than ubuntu. I tried ubuntu/kubuntu then jumped to gentoo.
 

nweaver

Diamond Member
Jan 21, 2001
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meh...gentoo isn't lean, it's just for tweakers. If you want lean and fast, Debian >>>> gentoo. I was a hard core gentoo guy for quite a while, until I decided I was tired of watching the simplest things compile, and watched someone grab that app in 10 seconds and start working.

edit not to mention updates...holy waste of time Batman. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (or something like that)
 

AtlantaBob

Golden Member
Jun 16, 2004
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I'm very impressed with the latest version of Ubuntu -- actually put in on a laptop and a desktop, and love it. I would hope that Kubuntu is as impressive...
 

TheVrolok

Lifer
Dec 11, 2000
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Originally posted by: AtlantaBob
I'm very impressed with the latest version of Ubuntu -- actually put in on a laptop and a desktop, and love it. I would hope that Kubuntu is as impressive...

Feisty Fawn is sexy. If only I didn't have my gaming habits holding me back! Oh, and my lack of a good linux supported printer .. damn me and buying a freakin' budget Lexmark. I won't make that mistake again.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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Hopefully, you guys can offer up some recommendations for someone who's been out of the Linux loop for a while. Thanks!

Debian or Kubuntu are you best bets IMO. If you go the Debian route I would suggest not doing the full desktop install since it defaults to Gnome, after you do the base install just install the kde meta-package and it should pull in everything you need. And I would also suggest you familiarize yourself with aptitude.

If you want lean try Gentoo and you have already used arch.

Gentoo lean? Have you actually looked at how much space you're wasting needing to have all of the dev tools and packages installed?

edit not to mention updates...holy waste of time Batman. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (or something like that)

dist-upgrade is only recommended when actually upgrading from one distro to another, for regular updates you should just use upgrade or even better just run aptitude.
 

nweaver

Diamond Member
Jan 21, 2001
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Originally posted by: Nothinman
Hopefully, you guys can offer up some recommendations for someone who's been out of the Linux loop for a while. Thanks!

Debian or Kubuntu are you best bets IMO. If you go the Debian route I would suggest not doing the full desktop install since it defaults to Gnome, after you do the base install just install the kde meta-package and it should pull in everything you need. And I would also suggest you familiarize yourself with aptitude.

If you want lean try Gentoo and you have already used arch.

Gentoo lean? Have you actually looked at how much space you're wasting needing to have all of the dev tools and packages installed?

edit not to mention updates...holy waste of time Batman. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (or something like that)

dist-upgrade is only recommended when actually upgrading from one distro to another, for regular updates you should just use upgrade or even better just run aptitude.

I know that is for upgrading from one version to another, which is really easy. Have you ever gone between revs on a gentoo box? it took an older laptop about 6 hours of MY time, and almost 5 days of compiling time.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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I know that is for upgrading from one version to another, which is really easy.

My point was just that you said "not to mention updates...holy waste of time Batman. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (or something like that)" and it's bad to recommend dist-upgrade for installing regular updates.
 

mscdex0

Platinum Member
Apr 10, 2003
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I second the previous suggestions of Ubuntu/Kubuntu, I use Xubuntu myself and can assume (as others have) that the other Ubuntu derivatives are just as impressive.
 

Boztech

Senior member
May 12, 2004
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I would recommend Mepis - http://www.mepis.org

It is based on Kubuntu but includes restricted drivers, plugins, and multimedia codecs - as well a few improved wizards for hardware detection, etc - and Beryl.

PCLinuxOS is another very popular KDE distro, however it is not as mature as Debian-based Kubuntu or Mepis.
 

imported_synchro

Senior member
Nov 17, 2004
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If you want to install a distro and use it immediately - Ubuntu.
If you want to learn something along the way, build a system from source, and customize it from the ground up - Gentoo.
If you want a command line only LAMP server that installs damn fast and works great - Ubuntu Server is slick.

Really, you need to look at why you're wanting a linux PC - to learn, to develop, cost, to avoid WGA issues... ?
Try one or two out - They're free and generally install within a day :)

By the way, if you have a core 2 system, Gentoo isn't that bad. Package management is simple and powerfull and you don't have to update -
If you're stable, just use the PC.
 

aCynic2

Senior member
Apr 28, 2007
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Is there any reason why you don't stick to slack with KDE? I have experience with Slack, RH, SuSE and Debian and Slackware is the most flexible, but requires someone with solid knowledge and it doesn't upgrade to nice, read as, it's package system isn't the best and I always had trouble getting print to work on Slackware.

Otherwise, Debian allows you to install and run KDE no problem. I've always liked Debian's package management system. A couple clicks once a month and your totally upgraded/patched and you can quite easily roll it back. It's sound subsystem is easier to make work and I was always able to print on Debian.

 

AmberClad

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2005
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Originally posted by: aCynic2
Is there any reason why you don't stick to slack with KDE? I have experience with Slack, RH, SuSE and Debian and Slackware is the most flexible, but requires someone with solid knowledge and it doesn't upgrade to nice, read as, it's package system isn't the best and I always had trouble getting print to work on Slackware.

Otherwise, Debian allows you to install and run KDE no problem. I've always liked Debian's package management system. A couple clicks once a month and your totally upgraded/patched and you can quite easily roll it back. It's sound subsystem is easier to make work and I was always able to print on Debian.
I'm certainly not opposed to just sticking with what I'm familiar with and going with Slackware. I guess if I was wondering about the popular newer distros and whether any of them are Slack-like. Slackware seems to have become lower on the popularity rankings on DistroWatch -- I don't know if that's just because there hasn't been a new version recently.

EDIT: Oops, spoke too soon it would seem. Slackware 12.0 was released yesterday. I might just have to take that as a sign ;).
 

stupidkid

Member
Jun 21, 2006
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Originally posted by: Nothinman
Gentoo lean? Have you actually looked at how much space you're wasting needing to have all of the dev tools and packages installed?

You don't really need that many dev tools. Most people using Debian install the build essentials package anyways, which pretty much covers all the devs tools needed for Gentoo. Although I've never used Debian, but I know Ubuntu loads up a crap load of useless modules by default which delays the bootup time (I bet Debian is better though).

Of course, Linux users have always argued over whether Gentoo truly improves speeds, and there has never been a decisive answer.

Originally posted by: nweaver
not to mention updates...holy waste of time Batman. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (or something like that)

What's wrong with emerge --sync && emerge -vuDN world & going to bed? Granted, you don't always update at night but you can always lower the priority of portage and then do something else while it's updating.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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You don't really need that many dev tools. Most people using Debian install the build essentials package anyways, which pretty much covers all the devs tools needed for Gentoo. Although I've never used Debian, but I know Ubuntu loads up a crap load of useless modules by default which delays the bootup time (I bet Debian is better though).

The dev tools don't take up the most space although I'm sure the standard gcc includes are decently large. The real problem is that for every package you also need the equivalent -dev package so you get all of those includes, non-stripped libraries and anything else needed to build a package that uses them. And I'd wager that useless modules, if even any are loaded, account for less than 1s of your bootup time. Go ahead, pick one and run 'time modprobe module' and see just how long it takes.

Of course, Linux users have always argued over whether Gentoo truly improves speeds, and there has never been a decisive answer.

The only people that argue that Gentoo is any faster than other distros are those that don't actually understand the system.

What's wrong with emerge --sync && emerge -vuDN world & going to bed?

The time it takes and the disk and CPU time wasted doing something that can be just as well, and possibly arguably better, on a remote system managed by the distro maintainers?
 

Brazen

Diamond Member
Jul 14, 2000
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Originally posted by: Nothinman
I know that is for upgrading from one version to another, which is really easy.

My point was just that you said "not to mention updates...holy waste of time Batman. sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (or something like that)" and it's bad to recommend dist-upgrade for installing regular updates.

Why not dist-upgrade for regular updates? That is what I've always used and have never had a problem.