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Old 02-28-2007, 06:14 PM   #1
yamawho
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Which linux distro ?

I had ventured into SuSe 8.2 pro a few years ago and after giving 9.0 a go, I lost everything in a crash. I went back to XP but still use Knoppix now and then.

I tried Knoppix 5.11 last night and thought it might be a good time to try setting up a work system again. Uses ... email, web site maintenance and browsing.

Which is the distro that will setup with the least headaches ?

No one ever talks about knoppix around here ... it there a reason ?

Would run on this system ...
http://www.abxzone.com/forums/cases-...t-yamawho.html
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:30 PM   #2
k0NG0
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I installed openSUSE 10.2 a couple days ago and it's very smooth. UI-wise, I liked Ubuntu better, though (openSUSE has this XP-like menu and stuff that I don't really like, possibly one can tweak that, I haven't checked).

I hosed my Ubuntu 6.10 install and was all miffed over S/PDIF audio problems with my TBSC so I switched to openSUSE for that reason. Otherwise I liked Ubuntu quite a bit.

So I'd say openSUSE 10.2 is a really slick install, easy to manage, very polished. Ubuntu 6.10 is slightly less shiny, but also gave me the feeling of control more than openSUSE does now after a only week+ of usage (I used Ubuntu on and off for 6 mo. so factor that into the equation).

Either way, you can't go wrong with either of those two, if you ask me. Try Ubuntu first, if it feels too much like driving a stick shift, then install something like openSUSE for a more automatic type driving experience.
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:14 AM   #3
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If you want to use Java then stay away from Debian based distros. There is just way too much voodoo required to get anything Java on the development side to work easily. And even if you get the voodoo process to work there is no guarantee that the application will work fully the next time.

As of late I find Fedora Core 6 to work quite nicely with 99.9% of the software I have thrown at it. Can't give it 100% due to one old program segfaulting on me.

Knoppix is a good distro. The one that gets a lot of kudos is SimplyMepis. However, it is also Debian based. I love Debian based distros but good grief Java installations are a huge pain to deal with. I especially love that these Debian based distros (like Ubuntu 6.10) will install Eclipse but the IDE will not work due to Java.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:57 AM   #4
yamawho
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SimplyMepis 6.5 looks interesting ...

From memory the lifecycle of past distros was about 6 months.

Can SimplyMepis or others been updated when newer versions are released ?
Can data be left on the hdd during updates or is it like a fresh install ?
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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I tried SimplyMepis a few years ago before moving to Suse. It was very easy. So easy there wasn't enough challenge for me. Updating for me so far has been pretty easy with no loss of data.
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
yamawho
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SimplyMepis 6.5 install with sceenshots here ...

KnoLinux
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:41 PM   #7
yamawho
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I very long and detailed video of installing and using Mepis here ...

An Introduction to Linux
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactuar View Post
Quote:
it is a perverted Linux distribution made to be as insecure as possible.
Damn Vulnerable Linux - The most vulnerable and exploitable operating system ever - What is Damn Vulnerable Linux?

That is one distro that will never see me install.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:23 PM   #9
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I have to say that after a week more with openSUSE, I really like it. I've only booted windows a couple times to use BSPlayer (since I couldn't figure out how to make VLC shut the computer off after playing through the playlist*). Fonts look AWESOME compared to XP, in which I tried to use ClearType but that only made things suck on my CRT. Fonts are anti-aliased at all sizes in SUSE and it really kicks ***.

There are some kinks with not being able to run Firefox 2 and Minefield (the Firefox 3 alpha) in parallel, as there is some funny business with environment variable poisoning that happens. A PITA for sure, but I just run Minefield all the time instead, it's much nicer than Fx2 anyway (although possibly not for the faint of heart). Some other wackiness as well, but mostly due to me not knowing which knobs to fiddle with and where to find the knobs in the first place.

Banshee is a great music player, albeit quite different from Winamp (and the bundled Helix-Banshee sucked the donkey's, and switching to upstream version required a Fluendo codec that in turn required adding a Packman repository [after screwing around with Fluendo's non-working no-cost web store checkout] but that's easy enough). Which means I've had to switch away from a usage pattern that's been going on for 5+ years now. It takes some getting used to. Video was a bit of a PITA as well, for Windows Media. Installed mplayer, as VLC wasn't too hot. There is a gmplayer, but the UI makes me want to stab myself, so I use the command line version. Not ideal, but better than VLC anyway (which has a sucky GUI too).

Then there are the usual issues with mouse buttons not working as sweetly as with Logitech's per-application driver in Windows, but I'm looking into writing something that will do the same, as I haven't found a tool that does such sweet things.

For reasons unknown to me, up- and downloads through Firefox are exponentially faster. In XP they topped out at 45-50kB/s (I'm on a 100Mbps line ferchrissakes), but here I do get the 1-2+ MB/s speeds. Possibly my 4 year old XP install is FUBAR, but torrents ran in the megabytes both up and down, so it's weird. The GTK-based torrent program Deluge is really nice, almost as nice as µTorrent, only it doesn't have per-file priorities in multi-file torrents, which I used to make sure episodes downloaded in order. It's only 0.5beta yet, so hopefully it'll improve. It's already nice and fast, which is cool beans.

Anyway, a couple thoughts and incidents I've had with openSUSE 10.2. Maybe it'll be of interest.

*Turns out that functionality isn't in VLC. Or mplayer, from what I've found. I've had to resort to writing a small batch script that launches mplayer with the video files I wish to view and then have the bash script use wait to wait for mplayer to finish, and then issue shutdown -h now. All as root, btw. A bit jury-rigged, but what the hell, no need to reboot into Windows, at least.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:21 AM   #10
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I have been focusing on SUSE (now openSUSE) as well. It tends to be more "plug and play" than other Linux distributions--and I have tried more than a dozen of them. Of course, most of the top Linux distributions have decent hardware detection, but it seems that more stuff works with SUSE than the others. For example, connecting to a wireless network using WPA encryption is a stumbling block for most of them and with openSUSE it is relatively easy to set up without resorting to the command line. (It used to be virtually automatic, and then Novell got on the "open source only" bandwagon and you have to install madwifi drivers from a separate repository.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kONGO View Post
Then there are the usual issues with mouse buttons not working as sweetly as with Logitech's per-application driver in Windows, but I'm looking into writing something that will do the same, as I haven't found a tool that does such sweet things.
What's the issue, some buttons not working? If so, one or two minor changes to the xorg.conf file should fix things.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:38 AM   #11
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Yeah, I have an MX1000 and all of the buttons don't work. I know how to fix that (I did so in Ubuntu, even posted a thread here about it) using evdev and then xbindkeys to get things like forward/back in Firefox and whatnot.

Xbindkeys doesn't understand per-application settings, though, as Logitech's drivers (or the über-hacked ones at least) do in Windows. I've looked into if it's possible to get at what application is running as the focused window in Linux, and it is if the window manager implements a certain extension (most do). So it's possible to do what xbindkeys does, but per-application. So one button maps to Alt-Left in Firefox and Ctrl-Up in something else. I have an idea on how to make the thing mouse-agnostic as well, meaning it could potentially do that for any mouse you throw at it, provided you have some amount of information on your mouse.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:16 AM   #12
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I really like Fedora Core 6, but Ubuntu is easier to use if you are looking for a basic home productivity OS.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kONGO View Post
Yeah, I have an MX1000 and all of the buttons don't work. I know how to fix that (I did so in Ubuntu, even posted a thread here about it) using evdev and then xbindkeys to get things like forward/back in Firefox and whatnot.

Xbindkeys doesn't understand per-application settings, though, as Logitech's drivers (or the über-hacked ones at least) do in Windows. I've looked into if it's possible to get at what application is running as the focused window in Linux, and it is if the window manager implements a certain extension (most do). So it's possible to do what xbindkeys does, but per-application. So one button maps to Alt-Left in Firefox and Ctrl-Up in something else. I have an idea on how to make the thing mouse-agnostic as well, meaning it could potentially do that for any mouse you throw at it, provided you have some amount of information on your mouse.
OK. Getting application specific responses is something I never investigated (or even imagined). If the standard feature set that works in Windows with each button or the scroll wheel without special drivers also works the same in Linux, I am satisfied. It appears that I am not a "high tech" mouse user.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:10 PM   #14
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I tried getting evdev working, but X just barfed on it no matter what I did so cut to two hours later and I just installed xbindkeys and mapped forward/back buttons for Firefox with the old settings, cursing like a sailor.

Application specific mouse button mappings is nice. I used my wireless mouse as a remote by mapping BSPlayer key strokes to buttons on it in Windows (using the "über" hack, as Logitech's drivers don't enable per-application settings for certain mice, MX1000 being one of them).

Generally, I just want a better mouse settings application for Linux. Preferably distro-agnostic, which will be harder since they all looove putting things in various places and generally making things a PITA (there's the whole Gnome vs KDE vs whatever thing, but still). A bit like SetPoint, with an image of the mouse and visual feedback for clicks, integrated xbindkeys support and possibly even macro recording and all that on a per-application basis. Automatic detection of mouse model, of course.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:11 PM   #15
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Kongo, a have the same MX1000 mouse but it's sitting in the box. The mouse pointer keeps flashing in XP with whatever drivers I use. I find it hard to select items ... I keep missing them. I tried a new one a few months ago and same thing.

Ref: Mepis 6.5 beta 7

I have done all the tweaking using GUI.
It includes an app to setup your HP printer ... worked great for me.
I did a network app update afew days ago and lost my connection to the internet and the network. I was able to tweak it easily.
I haven't used the command line yet.

I don't have the time to try 15 distros but I was wondering, are most this easy to setup and install ?

I think uncle Bill will have a run for his money in afew years ...
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