recommend me a distro

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iamclueless
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recommend me a distro

#1 Postby iamclueless » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:03 pm

well i finally have some time to update my netbook

ive been running mepis 8 on my acer aspire one zg5 netbook

specs:
1.5 gb ram
120 gb hd
intel atom n270

it is currently dual booting mepis 8 and windows xp
i was super annoyed that i had to keep booting into th windows partition recently since i was travelling and many wifi networks were simply not agreeing with mepis 8

priorities for me
1)speed - whatever i change to, i do not want a slower system. getting faster would be great
2)must keep the windows xp partition and get along with it - there are some files/programs i have there that i need to keep
3)good wireless - i hate having to boot into windows so i can jump on a hotspot.
4)hibernation/sleep mode works well - the battery on this is pretty weak now, i get 40 mins max
5)a decent photo managment program - ive grown attached to digikam somewhat
6)skype friendly
7) for the most part works out of the box with the hardware

its basically used as a browsing, emailing, chat, travel machine at this point. with the occasional "work"

im considering:
antix because im familiar with older versions of it and liked it then -- and the community is hard to beat
crunchbang - heard lots of good things about it
linux mint - ive had positive experiences in the past, but dont know anything about the new stuff like MATE Cinnamon or whatever
linux mint debian - never used it but the mint tools on top of debian sounds good
zenwalk - ive used it in the past and always thought it was good and just got the job done... and it felt fast

thoughts? thanks

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Re: recommend me a distro

#2 Postby lucky9 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:05 pm

I have no experience with crunchbang but I've read that it's fast. As for the others outside of antiX, they should be similar in speed to Mepis 11.

I use antiX on my Acer One D-250 (2 GB/160 GB) with great effect. I use my NetBook as a portable computer in the fullest sense. At various hotspots from
the Library to McDonalds/Starbucks/Wendy's etc.
I use wicd and ceni (which is in the CR) with great effect for what you describe as your uses. I prefer ceni as it hasn't let me down. Ever. wicd will connect automatically most of the time once set up. ceni is manual only. At most to connect with ceni I may have to re-scan to find a connection.
I love the speed of antiX though Mepis 11 is quite usable on my machine.

The use of separate repositories for the ubuntu derivatives makes me want to try to stay away from them. Certain specialized versions (security, etc.) are pretty useful even so.
I've got an older copy of Mint debian so I won't comment on what's currently offered. But if they're doing as well as I've heard I'd put it in the same class as Mepis as to speed.

It doesn't take much to try antiX 12 and it may be just what you need. Plus it comes with two great forums.
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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JimC
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Re: recommend me a distro

#3 Postby JimC » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:59 pm

Personally, I avoid Linux Mint Debian like the plague.

I've tried it multiple times, and *every* time I installed a newer version and tried to upgrade all of the packages (usually right after I finished installing a new version after it was announced, not later so that it would tend to have more issues), I ended up with a broken system.

So, I skipped the last version of it. IOW, versions prior to that were definitely not ready for "prime time" yet (probably because they didn't have packages that newer apps depended on "pinned" so that updates wouldn't break them). IOW, if you use Synaptic and click on Reload, Mark all Upgrades and click Apply, expect issues.

Perhaps the latest version of LMDE is better. But, I got tired of wasting time downloading and installing LMDE to waste any more time with newest version of it. Perhaps I'll try it again in a few years and see if the problems have been fixed by then.

IOW, with Mint, I'd stick with the versions using an Ubuntu base where they're not mixing as many new and old packages compared to what's available in the current Ubuntu repos, as they just don't seem to have figured out the package management nuances trying to use Debian as a base yet (at least the versions of LMDE I've tried in the past, as they all broke quickly when trying to update packages).

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Re: recommend me a distro

#4 Postby lucky9 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:55 am

Isn't Mint debian based on the equivalent of Testing repositories? If so, that doesn't help either.
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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Re: recommend me a distro

#5 Postby chrispop99 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:06 am

Mint 13 XFCE would seem the closest fit for your needs based on the distros I have tested recently.

Chris
Test machines:
Gigabyte Z77P-D3, Intel i3-3220, GeForce 8400 GS, 4GB PC3-12800.
DELL Latitude D630 laptop, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB PC2-5300.
IBM Thinkpad T41 laptop, 1.6GHz Pentium M (Non-PAE), 1GB RAM, 30GB PATA SSD.

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Re: recommend me a distro

#6 Postby malspa » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:14 am

lucky9 wrote:Isn't Mint debian based on the equivalent of Testing repositories? If so, that doesn't help either.


Yes, it's based on Debian Testing. That's the main reason I never tried it. If it was based on Stable, I might be interested.

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Re: recommend me a distro

#7 Postby iamclueless » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:50 pm

right so LMDE is based on testing but has some items pinned which causes problems down the road... ok ill avoid that

is Mint XFCE supported long term or is it one of those community efforts that is a bit half baked?

just about to install anti x into a USB hd. will have a play then may end up going with antix base and building up from there

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Re: recommend me a distro

#8 Postby chrispop99 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:32 pm

iamclueless wrote:is Mint XFCE supported long term or is it one of those community efforts that is a bit half baked?


It's LTS, supported until April 2017.

It has a strong community, but I wouldn't consider it 'half-baked'.

Chris
Test machines:
Gigabyte Z77P-D3, Intel i3-3220, GeForce 8400 GS, 4GB PC3-12800.
DELL Latitude D630 laptop, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB PC2-5300.
IBM Thinkpad T41 laptop, 1.6GHz Pentium M (Non-PAE), 1GB RAM, 30GB PATA SSD.

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Re: recommend me a distro

#9 Postby julian516 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:31 am

Given your activities a straight-up antiX-12 should row your boat. My experience with it over the last few weeks has been very positive. I get a kick out of building from Core but that's me. No need to do that in your case.

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Re: recommend me a distro

#10 Postby masinick » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:58 am

julian516 wrote:Given your activities a straight-up antiX-12 should row your boat. My experience with it over the last few weeks has been very positive. I get a kick out of building from Core but that's me. No need to do that in your case.


I agree. The recently released antiX 12.0 is excellent in all three forms. Which one makes the most sense for you depends on how much you want to tweak (or very little tweaking). Core requires you to set everything up yourself. For those who like flexibility, it gives you the most flexibility. I set mine up with a Debian Sid archive repository. That would probably be way too volatile for people used to an ultra stable MEPIS system based on Debian Stable, but the good news is that you can set it up with Stable or Testing just as easily as you can Sid. I'd recommend it highly, but only to those who are willing to invest time and manage their own system.

AntiX Base is a bit easier to handle. It doesn't come with a lot of applications; it comes only with a few window managers. If all you do is browse the Web, then this may be the best choice. It's also good for those who want the flexibility and control to manage what software is installed, but it's a little easier than starting with Core, so it is a very good choice, and not as difficult to configure as you may think. There are some really good tools, such as the Meta Package Installer and smxi that make setting up a system to suit your own needs surprisingly doable, but it is not quite a "turn it on and go" type of system. Still, it's an excellent option for those who don't mind configuring some of the system themselves.

AntiX Full is a bit different than MEPIS. It is a complete system, but it offers lighter applications and window managers that may not be familiar to everyone. It also starts with Debian Wheezy and is usually based on Debian Testing rather than Debian Stable, though that is easily changed. The default window managers and desktop applications are light enough that they work well on hardware that is between five and ten years old, but it generally works exceptionally well on newer hardware as well. It's not quite as much of a "drop in" solution as MEPIS is, but it's close, and it runs on old hardware quite readily. Like the other antiX options, it also includes handy tools to install the packages you want and manage them.

I recommend it. MEPIS is more stable, but only slightly more so. You get MOST of the advantages of MEPIS in antiX. The trade-offs are only slight in terms of added speed and flexibility, giving up only a modest amount in simplicity. It's a very good alternative to MEPIS and complements it well for those who have room for both systems.
Brian Masinick
I use both SimplyMEPIS and antiX


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