Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

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writebunny
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Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#1 Postby writebunny » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:04 am

Hi all,
I've read about how easy it is to install and use Mepis from the perspective of a Linux beginner. That sounds great to me.

I can't quite find any info about whether Antix is also considered to be ideal for a beginner - as in having a graphical installer and that it might make installing software easy. Is it beginner suitable?

I'm not new to computers - but just new Linux. I was an apple user for a decade and a half. That sort of spoiled me by making installations really simple.

I know Antix runs well on older systems, but I'm getting sort of interested in the idea of running Mepis and KDE with all the eye candy. Then again, I like the look of Xfce, but I don't know if I'd be knowledgeable enough to install that separately - and maybe I'd miss all those nifty things in KDE?

I'm trying to buy an old Thinkpad with a Pentium M - and either a 1.5 or 2 ghz processor, and 1 - 2 GB of Ram. I've read the requirements for running Mepis and it sounds like it should run on a laptop as I've described. But, then I read a few messages on the forum that those with older computers are finding Mepis is running slow. :-(

Main objectives with laptop: Mostly writing. Not necessarily in a full fledged office system, but just a simplified word processor. (I'm hoping FocusWriter is in the repository?) I end up doing a lot of research online, so that's also important to me. That covers 95% of my use of the laptop / linux. I'll be doing very minor personal work on my own web sites, editing photos now and then, possibly a little page layout or vector art design work. (Not professionally, just for my own use.) Fun uses: watching DVDs and youtube videos.

Can you help me with some perspective please?

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Malanrich
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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#2 Postby Malanrich » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:51 am

I've been a Mepis user since *way* back, but for the last couple of years have used antiX exclusively on both older desktops and laptops, now on a very current Dell laptop. At first, antiX took the place of MepisLite (a slimmer version of Mepis) for older computers. Now, antiX appeals to those same users with older systems, but it also appeals to those wanting to start with a more basic system that they can then build up according to their liking (addings apps as well as entire environments like KDE).

In my case, my use is similar to yours (mostly writing, online research, occasional multi-media). For that reason I don't have to keep my antiX installs up to date with the latest apps or version updates. So I rarely post here because *nothing* ever goes wrong with any of my installs on any of my boxes. My answer to your question: if you stick with the kind of uses you've mentioned in your post, antiX would be an excellent system for a beginner to Linux (or to computers in general). And if you're even slightly worried about not having the power to run a full-on Mepis version, the regular version of antiX has plenty of applications for what you want (as well as a simple means of installing more with the Synaptic package manager). It would hum nicely with the specs you've provided.

Where antiX becomes less beginner-friendly is the point that you decide to become more ambitious to craft your own unique set of applications, or want to move frequently toward the latest versions of what comes with the standard installation. If you get to that point, the antiX forum is amazingly helpful in coaching you through it. But if you don't care to move in that direction anytime soon, installing the latest version of antiX can keep you happy for quite a while.

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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#3 Postby writebunny » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:55 am

I'm so glad you did take the time to help me out on this. Your perspective is very good to have.

Such good news about Antix.. It might suit me just fine. I was afraid it might be harder to install - being so much lighter. This is great. :)

Thank you.

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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#4 Postby Malanrich » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:33 am

If you're familiar with the installer for Mepis, you'll have no trouble at all with antiX (they are virtually the same--though it's been awhile since I've installed Mepis, so more current users might want to chime in here). Just start with booting the live CD of the latest antiX to make sure your hardware is compatible.

For fun I checked out FocusWriter. Looks like a good minimalist writing app (the kind I like to stay abreast of). It's not in the repository at the moment, but it does come in a Debian version. It's quite a small download. The only difficulty is that other libraries have to be installed from the Debian site in order for the Debian version to run. You can get help on this at the antiX forum, or occasionally a Mepis developer will put together a package if you request it in this forum. I'd vote for it, since low-resource word processors are always greatly needed.

Meanwhile, antiX 11.0 comes with Abiword, Ted (a *super* minimalist word processor but full-featured), and WordGrinder (minimalist creative-writing tool). I installed Open Office Writer from the repository just to use some of its document converters. Abiword is adequate for whatever else I need. I hear that the next version of antiX (11.5?) will come with LibreOffice pre-installed. I don't think you'll need to mess with KDE to get what you want...

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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#5 Postby chrispop99 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:08 am

I've run Mepis 11 on similar hardware to your specification, and it performs well. If you are able to find a laptop in good condition, but with only 1GB RAM, adding memory shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Depending on what graphics the laptop has, you may be unable to use the desktop effects; it's probably best to turn them off on a lower powered machine anyway.

Just my personal opinion, but from using both Mepis and antix extensively I feel Mepis would be slightly easier for a newcomer to Linux to get used to. Installation of either is easy, especially ifyou take the time to read through the documentation.

In either case, community support is just about the best available!

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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#6 Postby lucky9 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:03 am

FocusWriter is available in our Community Repositories I believe.

For a newcomer I'd recommend Mepis. At least until you're more familiar with Linux. The learning curve is steeper for antiX.
Once booted you can look over the User Manual (icon on the Desktop) for some information on our CR and a lot of other stuff.
Memory, you need a GB for acceptable performance. More is better. But it runs fine with one GB. I've never used more than about half that unless I'm running a virtual machine.
INTEL graphics will run quite a bit of the eye candy. Not sure about all of it, but I haven't read of too many problems with Mepis 11.
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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#7 Postby DBeckett » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:05 am

.
I run Mepis 11 on my ThinkPad (see my sig) and it works really well, better in fact than on my PC.
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3, AMD FX-6100 hex-core, 3.3GHz, 8G, Radeon HD6570

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uncle mark
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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#8 Postby uncle mark » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:06 am

writebunny wrote:Can you help me with some perspective please?


Install MEPIS. Play with it. Ask questions here.

Rinse & repeat.
Desktop: Custom build Asus/AMD/nVidia -- MX-15 KDE, MEPIS 11
Laptop: Acer Aspire 5250 -- MX-15

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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#9 Postby richb » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:14 am

Mepis 11 will run fine on a Pentium M. I would suggest 2 MB for better performance. The M11 installer is straightforward and easy to use. The only more difficult part is partitioning for new users. I would suggest partitioning before installing. The M11 manual is an excellent resource for installation, as well as operation. Sections 3 and 4 describe installation.

http://www.mepiscommunity.org/user_manu ... 01_welcome

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Re: Mepis and Antix - are they both suited to beginners?

#10 Postby peregrine » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:01 am

If you plan to dual boot, you might want to check out this page http://www.mepiscommunity.org/video-tutorials
There is a video tutorial on dual booting and a pdf with information on preparing windows to do a dual boot.
On this page there are slides of each step in the install. http://www.mepiscommunity.org/install-mepis11
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