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First off, I'm not a complete newbie, but I figured that I qualified enough to put myself in here. I've been using Ubuntu off and on since around 2006(?) and ...
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  1. #1
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    Picking a Linux Distro


    First off, I'm not a complete newbie, but I figured that I qualified enough to put myself in here. I've been using Ubuntu off and on since around 2006(?) and while I'm not an experienced user by any means, I've at least done some things with it.

    I'm currently running Ubuntu on my ASUS EEE netbook, which I'm pretty happy with (other than no Netflix support and the fact that the wireless randomly stopped working entirely... looks like it deleted itself. Not sure what's going on there... still trying to figure out how to fix it). However, I'm at a crossroads, I feel, in that I'm looking at choosing a distro for my desktop.

    I'm particularly looking for certain things, of course, and they are as follows:

    1) I would like to be a part of the actual open source programming community. I've had some programming experience in the past (even did it professionally for a year) and I want to be able to get to the point where I'm doing stuff and submitting stuff to the actual open source community to use. I would like to finally start giving back to the community which has given so much to over the years.

    2) While I like easy-to-use, I'm also looking for powerful and easily customized. I can't stand OS'es that decide for you what is the 'best' way to do things and won't let you change anything.

    Anyway... I'm certainly open to suggestions. I've been using mainly Debian based OS'es, but I'm really up for anything at this point. I'm just looking forward to getting into something as a main desktop OS that I can start working with.

    Thanks for any input that you guys have!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I run AntiX on my 900 and 701SD eeepcs. As far as Netflix in Linux goes. Edit , I forgot I can't curse on these forums.

    I use Hulu Desktop and Miro instead of Netflicks on my eeepcs. Anything else. Tor covers me for watching recent flicks streaming online.

    I am migrating also to 64bit AntiX also on my Desktop Pcs (slowly but surely). We are a small community based distro. But we have some smart cookies running AntiX.

    Here is my 64bit testing screenshot. http://ompldr.org/vZnd6ZA/dirty.jpg

    OOops. Forgot my manners. Howdy and Welcome to the forums.
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  3. #3
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by TypeAskee View Post
    I've been using mainly Debian based OS'es, but I'm really up for anything at this point. I'm just looking forward to getting into something as a main desktop OS that I can start working with.

    Thanks for any input that you guys have!
    Hello and welcome!

    It sounds like your needs are not too critical, so if you like Debian-based distros, you can use the search feature at DistroWatch.com to find some options for trying out:

    DistroWatch.com: Search Distributions

    Of course, non-Debian based distros can be searched out there, too. I've been running Arch for about the last 8 or 9 years and it works well for me, but it may or may not be what you are looking for.

    Good luck with your searching efforts and any experimentation with different distros...
    oz

  4. #4
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    Like Roky, I am an avid supporter of the antiX distribution. Like most of the level-headed minds in these forums, though, I wouldn't want to force my own thoughts and preferences upon anyone else; free software, after all, is all about choices and alternatives. I am even a believer in also allowing freedom between completely free, completely proprietary, or a blend between the two; that puts me at odds with the brilliant, but strongly opinionated Richard Stallman, who values free software so much that he wants to INSIST that software source code is provided - and REQUIRED, with all software. Having source code available is a positive thing, but I do not go so far that I insist upon it; I prefer to have choices there as well.

    So for those who want to build it all, the Linux from Scratch and Gentoo approaches are the ones on that end of the spectrum. For me, that's a bit too far over; that takes too much of a time commitment from my perspective, and probably for most people. Therefore, something in between, for a larger number, makes sense, leaving the more extreme systems for the truly full time dedicated people, who certainly are important. Things on the Ubuntu end of the scale are appealing for those who simply want a free system that is in some ways similar to the proprietary systems, without as much expense or lock in.

    I trust you are looking for something somewhere in the middle. The antiX approach is one good approach. OpenSUSE and Fedora each have projects that cater to modifying the common, mainstream distributions they are known to produce, so they have space and room as well. Ubuntu actually has some communities and studio-like approaches too that are more flexible than the base Ubuntu systems that you are already familiar with, so don't completely rule them out either. But if you are like Roky and me, you'll really enjoy the antiX community; hope to see you there!
    Brian Masinick
    masinick AT yahoo DOT com

  5. #5
    Linux User zenwalker's Avatar
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    All good suggestions, here. Also look into siduction, a Debian sid-based distro I find attractive. Salix OS has made big strides as a Slackware-based distro, too.
    I'll give antiX another whirl when the 64-bit version has bugs worked out (thanks, rokytnji, for the heads-up). BTW, Open Mamba is an independent that is intriguing.
    "What you think about me is none of my business"
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  6. #6
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Zenwalker has a good suggestion with Siduction. I recently tried it out and was very impressed with it, and may switch next time I have to do an install on a new computer.
    Registered Linux user #526930

  7. #7
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    Linux Mint has a good Debian-based version using Xfce that I had been using for over a year, but my Distro of Choice is Crunchbang.
    Everything can be changed via menus written in XML in the Openbox interface, and it's very reasonable on system resources.
    It seems half the people in their forums are using netbooks (mine is an Acer D250).

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