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First off. Hello my names Greg and I'm new to these particular Linux Forums. Now that that's out of the way: I've tried quite a few different Linux's and found ...
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  1. #1
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    Help choosing a Linux (specific)


    First off. Hello my names Greg and I'm new to these particular Linux Forums. Now that that's out of the way:

    I've tried quite a few different Linux's and found that I like Debian branches the most (hence the reason I'm posting in the Debian thread). I use a Dual Boot machine currently with Win7 and Ubuntu 9.10 though I've not really used that Ubuntu but rather have been using a VirtualBox version. Before I getting any flames I'll state flat out that I am a 'Windows Slave' because only Windows can guarantee compatibility with not only the software I need/want to use but also the guarantee that while dealing with things like NTFS drives I won't run across a catastrophic failure (Linux's NTFS driver last I checked doesn't properly supports Compression or Encryption).

    So, since I have a virtual Ubuntu doing most everything I want from within Windows I plan on removing my hard copy (I also plan on reformatting my computer soon so I can do both in one fell swoop). However since a virtual copy can't work outside of Windows nor go anywhere easily (yeah I could move it to another drive and create new VM but, that's to much trouble) I'd like to get a USB Linux. I've experimented with Puppy for a little while and I like it but, Puppy is too limited. I want to have the full power of a Debian Desktop (The ability to run just about anything found in an Ubuntu repository and compile just about anything there is for Linux). I also want the flash saving ability to load data into RAM like Puppy does. Also, I like the gnome desktop the best. So, a summery of what I'm hoping to find:

    Debian Style Linux

    Runs on USB

    Runs in RAM (I don't plan on running it on a system with less that 3 Gigs of RAM and will usually run it on a system with 4)

    Uses gnome as it's default desktop environment

    Doesn't force Grub (If possible, I figure if I want to run this Linux I'll plug my drive in before booting my computer).

    If possible runs on Fat32 (at least as much as Puppy does, I like the idea of backing up my Windows with Linux and backing up my Linux with Windows)

    Programs I plan on using:
    aircrack-ng (can't really get a good driver for my AR5007EG for Windows that will do the trick.)

    Some sort of backup tool (I'm still in the deciding part of this, probably something along the lines of rsync)

    Some Antivirus and repair tools like those found in Ubuntu Rescue Remix and a few others (I can't find the link right now but, I know I had another repository in mind).


    Other things:
    For those who like Red Hat, good for you. I've tried a few Red Hat releases and found they were a major pain. (I'll just leave it at that).

  2. #2
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    Hey

    You seem to be afraid of moving to linux from windows, so I will say this.

    Linux mint seems to be a good move for you, Do you use NTFS encryption or compression, most people don't. If you don't then you don't need the NTFS extra features as the filesystems on linux are far superior to NTFS. Most of your hardware will work out of the box, at least it always works for me. If it doesn't work, the linux community will be more than happy to help you with the issues. Linux Mint Debian Edition might be the best way to go. It comes with all of the features you want. The easiest Backup tool I know of is Deja Dup, You set it up once and then press Backup to backup and restore to restore. If you want to back up a full system, try Clonezilla which back up bit for bit.

    If you need to run windows programs you have two options, WINE which allows you to run Windows programs natively on Linux, or you can load it into a Virtual Box using Either VMWare or VirtualBox.

    You can run Mint from the DVD to see if it works with your system. Give it a try.

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie reginaldperrin's Avatar
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    Help choosing a Linux

    Running any OS from USB will be significantly slower than from a regular SATA drive. The bus speed is ~400Mbps max compared to ~1500Mbps max for SATA1.
    If you want to use FAT32, this very outdated file system cannot store/pass on any of the meta-data associated with any files from NTFS or Ext4 (Ext4 is the default Ubuntu file system). So be prepared to lose stuff. Also, FAT32 cannot deal with files larger than 4GB...
    BackInTime and ClamAV are good utilities for what it seems you want.

    If you are going to move to one OS, consider a full install of Ubuntu, and run Sun's free Virtual Box vm running Windows. This way, you can have both running at the same time and simply switch between OSs at will. This solution would be the opposite of what you have apparently got now.

    There is a good Linux OS called BackTrack (backtrack-linux.org). Can be run from disc, like most Linux systems. It also has excellent traffic analysis programs, including aircrack-ng.

  4. #4
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    I don't know your exact needs, but I will posit this solution for you:

    First, Ubuntu or Peppermint will indeed provide you with all of the features you were asking for above.

    Now, USB Boot is quite slow, and if you want Linux to be really useful to you, you really should just make a separate disk partition to keep your data, then suck it up and do a dual boot unless Windows is really making it impossible for you to do that.

    Finally, try to forget about NTFS. If you must, mount your NTFS system in Linux as read-only, then copy all critical data from it to a ZFS partition. ZFS does support live compression and encryption, whole-system snapshots, as well as mirroring, striping, and cloning data. The problem is, I don't think Windows has any means of reading ZFS filesystems at all. My theory is that anything that makes computers useful, handy, and helpful is banned by Microsoft.

    Linux requires you to boot the kernel off of EXT filesystem, it does not allow a ZFS partition for booting (not yet at least, though this may be possible in the near future), but it is common practice to keep the boot filesystem separate from the root filesystem.

    ZFS is easily installed on Ubuntu or Debian with the "apt-get zfs-fuse" command.

    So partition your filesystem like this:
    1. ext3 for the Linux boot + grub (100MB will do)
    2. NTFS for windows
    3. A small (2 to 8 GB) VFAT partition for sharing files between Windows and Linux between boots might be a good idea, not necessary though.
    4. (extended partition table)
    5. linux swap (make it twice the size of physical RAM)
    6. ZFS root filesystem for installing Linux software.
    7. ... other ZFS partitions for transitioning your NTFS files over?

    The trick is to learn the ZFS admin commands that do it for you. I don't know of any cute GUI's for managing ZFS, and that seems to be a problem for most Windows users, but if you have no fear of the command line...

    The snapshot feature of ZFS is excellent. You can literally save the state of the filesystem at a given time. Then you can make changes to any files you want. You can erase and re-write everything if you'd like. Then, if you think it was a mistake to erase all your files, use the roll-back feature to revert the state of the disk to the last snapshot and all of your files are restored just like that. All data is "copy-on-write" so snapshots are created almost instantly. Roll-back takes time depending on how many changed you made between now and the last snapshot. Snapshots can also be cloned onto to other disks, so right there is your backup solution.

    ZFS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  5. #5
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    I have no problem with the command line though GUI's are nice. The reason I won't get rid of Windows is because even with WINE there's still a lot of my programs that won't work. Also, Virtual Box is fine for Emulating Ubuntu in Windows but, vice versa is quite slow.

  6. #6
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Wont run in ram. Will run of flash with persistence. Debian Testing Based. Gnome lite can be installed with meta package installer.
    Usb will be formatted during install as Ext2 or Ext3 ,your choice. Not Fat32.
    My old tutorials. Download the full iso for Meta Package installer options.
    Yet Another Technology Site: AntiX 8.5 Persistent Flash Drive.
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  7. #7
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    How about this: pendrivelinux[dot]com (sorry I can't post URLs yet.

    It's supposed to make a live CD that uses Persistence. What I don't know is how efficient it is nor how I might make it run in RAM. I know I have enough RAM to run Ubuntu and a few programs (I'm not looking to use a lot of programs, I can use my VM for that, I just need to use a few programs that MUST be run outside of Windows). I do like Ubuntu but, by default Ubuntu includes a lot of stuff I don't want (things that really would push it over my 4GB limit). I believe there's a base version of Ubuntu but, I was wondering if there was any OS that would provide the base functionality of Ubuntu as well as GDE. I'll check into some of the ones mentioned already as soon as I get the chance.

  8. #8
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    I've looked into Mint and it looks cool but, doesn't have GDE. I'm also looking into BackTrack which also lacks GDE but, looks pretty cool and might just be what I need (I'll just have to adopt to a different Desktop Environment). The reason I've been so hard set on GDE is because it's shown me that although it's a lot bigger than the others it's also a lot more responsive and stable. I kind of like KDE and that's what I use in my VM install of Ubuntu (because it works better with seemless integration) but, it seems slow and sluggish in comparison (I've tried both on a VM). XFCE and other similar mini desktop environments have some pretty cool stuff but, I've noticed a lot of limitations as well (for instance the default system on Puppy needs additional programs to change the clock to a 24-hour format).

    As I've mentioned before I've tried switching to using Ubuntu as my main and having Windows in a VM but, it's just to slow. Also, as much as it hurts me to say this there are times when Windows is more reliable than Linux. Although Windows will sometimes get an update and go AWOL it will also get a fix pretty quick and remains fairly stable. With Linux sometimes things go wrong because an update breaks compatibility with an old program that needs to be there (MadWifi was removed from Ubuntu and the replacement drivers weren't included thus a new install of Ubuntu won't work on my Computer without careful preparations. Windows is the opposite, if you need to add some extra driver it's either because your hardware doesn't follow some guideline or because the standard your using is newer than the OS (WinXP for example lacks SATA support because SATA wasn't really a standard when XP came out).

    Finally: Since I'm thinking not everyone reading this is familiar with how I've installed puppy. Puppy has a file that contains it's ext FS while most of the data including said file are on a FAT32 FS. Because of this setup I can simply copy all data from my flash drive within Windows (won't work right from within the Linux OS) to my external for safe keeping. Thus, if Linux gets screwed up I can simply over right the damaged OS. If Windows get's screwed up I figure out what file is damaged and copy the backup file to the right location by using the Linux OS.

  9. #9
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    mint uses gnome

  10. #10
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    I would suggest Lucid Puppy, since it's based on Ubuntu and will run in ram.
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