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  1. #1

    Which disto is right for me?

    I have just bought a low end laptop with the following specs:

    AMD Quad Core E2 3800
    1.3 GHz
    RAM 4 GB DDR3
    500 GB Hard Drive

    This is Toshiba Satellite 15.6" laptop.

    I wonder which distro is right for me and for this machine. Is Ubuntu too slow on this machine? Should I go with Debian or some other light-weight OS?

    I have been an Ubuntu user for the past 4 or 5 years. I really like that operating system. But I have had difficulty installing Ubuntu on this computer because of a bug which wipes away Windows and does not allow me to configure a dual-boot set-up.

    So my second question is whether I must configure a dual-boot set-up since I don't use Windows at all. I have a copy of the Windows OS software on a couple of DVDs so I can always install it back on the computer if necessary, but do I need a dual-boot set-up?

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Woodshed, CA
    There is no reason you have to dual boot. I have an old Toshiba and been running Linux only on it for years.
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

  3. #3
    I won't recommend who you should date or marry either with those specs. Most any Distro will run fine. Just stay away from libre kernels and you should be fine.

    Distro Picker | TuxRadar Linux
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    To be honest any distro should run on your hardware, I would be more concerned with UEFI

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MadmanRB View Post
    To be honest any distro should run on your hardware, I would be more concerned with UEFI
    Yup, UEFI & secure boot introduce problems I don'r need. If everything you need is available in Linux, why dual boot at all? Shut off secure boot and UEFI and pick the distro you like...

  7. #6
    Thanks all for your replies. What are UEFI and secure boot?

  8. #7
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Avondale, AZ.
    UEFI and Secure Boot were put into place according to MicroSoft to stop viruses and stuff from messing with your Op System. I personally think the reality of the situation is that MicroSoft didn't want any competition with other Op Systems, i.e. Linux, so they added UEFI and Secure Boot to make it harder to install anything but Windows on a system.
    Not really all that hard to disable Secure Boot in the BIOS and enable Legacy Boot so you can install another Op System in place of Windows, you just need to get into the BIOS and do it.
    As far as which Distro to choose, many of us did the little Distro Hopping deal when we first got into Linux so we could test out what we liked and didn't like about certain Distros.
    I started with Ubuntu 12.04 but soon got really tired of Unity. Moved to Mint 15 MATE which has more of an older GNOME 2 feel to the desktop and really fell in love with drop down menus so I can easily see what's installed without jumpin' though all the hoops that Unity makes you jump though in order to see your apps.
    From Mint I moved to Point Linux 2.3 also with a MATE desktop and then to Kali Linux for a while so I'd have some other software that I couldn't get with my Debian Stable, Point Linux install.
    Now I'm currently running Manjaro Xfce(got it set up to look a lot like MATE did) and Manjaro GNOME 3 and I really love both of them. Manjaro is based on Arch but without all the fuss of doing that God Forsaken Arch Install that makes one pull their hair out. You get all the power of pacman(which I like much better then apt-get from Debian/Ubuntu/Mint) and the Arch User Repository(AUR) which has just about any software package you'd care to run in it.
    Personally, after almost a year and a half I'd say to give Manjaro a try since I think pacman is much easier to use the apt-get and they've just come out with their newer version of 0.8.10. A Manjaro Xfce install doesn't have to look like it is right out of the box, you can move the panel up top if you like and make another panel at the bottom that you can auto hide for your open apps and desktop switcher to live in. That lets you have your menu and all the other neat little widgets in the top panel where they're easy to see and get to.
    Or you could go with a Manjaro GNOME install and add Docky to the desktop and have a dock at the bottom of the desktop that looks for all the world like the one I had in OS-X on my iMac, plus you still have the hidden dock on the left of the screen for apps you might need but not use as much. Also you can set up an Applications drop down in the upper panel to get to apps easily.
    Manjaro Xfce or GNOME would be my picks for you and if you end up not liking it well, you're not out anything except your time for the install. That's the great thing about Linux, it's Free to download and run so you're not going to beat yourself up by wasting money on an Op System that you might not like and there's a ton of Distros to try and play with all for Free.
    No matter where ya' go, there ya' are.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ron177 View Post
    Thanks all for your replies. What are UEFI and secure boot?
    I have a Satellite with very similar specs except mine is an AMD A6 and it was a Win 7 machine so it didn't have UEFI or secure boot. If yours is a Win 7 box, it likely does not include these nasty features. Basically, just about any distro will run fine. I have Lubuntu 14.04 on mine right now but I've had Mint 17, MX-14, and Solydx on it in the past...

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