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In the perfect world, I'd be able to install one distro right over the next, keeping all of my files and possibly programs, a la Windows 98 to XP, for ...
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  1. #1
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    How hard is it to change linux distros?


    In the perfect world, I'd be able to install one distro right over the next, keeping all of my files and possibly programs, a la Windows 98 to XP, for instance. But I feel like that is incredibly unlikely. What is the process of changing Linux distros? Say, for instance, I wanted to go from Kubuntu to Suse. That's purely an example. Alternatively, could I make this weird dual-boot setup such that I could boot into both but they share the same file system, for the most part (I don't have a lot of free space). I'm curious as to what my options are for trying other systems (I don't really want to virtualize them, I want a complete picture, and same goes for live CDs).
    Thanks!

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Well, you pretty much eliminated my first suggestion: LiveCDs. Why don't you want to use those? Keeping your user settings and data (such as documents and application preferences) isn't necessarily as easy as plopping a new kernel on top of the same file system. You could in theory archive up your /home/ directory each time and then extract it into your new system each time you installed a new distro. However, if you're just going to be trying out one distro after another that's a lot of work. Trust me, I've tried a lot myself.

    The easiest and least destructive way to try various distros is to use their LiveCD.
    Registered Linux user #270181
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    Oh no - I don't plan on going crazy and testing every distro I can find. I was thinking about maybe testing two or three, at most. OpenSUSE is looking very appealing, and Sabayon has been recommended to me. I guess the problem I have with LiveCDs is that I can't get a sense of speed or complex hardware configuration, which is the area I'm most concerned with.
    Thanks for the input.

    OH MAN I was just sold: "I don't know what Suse did, but KDE is times faster on OpenSuse than it is on Kubuntu with the OSS driver for the radeon chip. " Sounds great!

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    Well, I tried a ton of distros:
    Mandriva
    Sabayon
    ArkLinux
    PC-BSD (true, not Linux)
    Fedora
    OpenSUSE
    but none of them fit the bill. Most had problems with my network card, in that there was no native support, and ndiswrapper wasn't included and needed to be downloaded in order to be able to download. Any distro with logic as flawed as that deserves no place on my computer.
    So I'm back in Kubuntu 6.10, freshly installed. Hopefully things will go well this time.

  6. #5
    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    Most had problems with my network card, in that there was no native support, and ndiswrapper wasn't included and needed to be downloaded in order to be able to download.
    I don't think you are completely right on this one. I have used Mandriva and openSUSE and the last time I checked ndiswrapper was part of the distro and you didn't need to download it from elsewhere.

    As for wireless cards, I recommend you get one that has native Linux support e.g. those that are based on the ralink rtX chipsets. My card is based on the rt2500 chipset and it works out of the box with many Linux distros and the drivers are readily available from serialmonkey.com.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kombucha
    Well, I tried a ton of distros:
    Mandriva
    Sabayon
    ArkLinux
    PC-BSD (true, not Linux)
    Fedora
    OpenSUSE
    but none of them fit the bill. Most had problems with my network card, in that there was no native support, and ndiswrapper wasn't included and needed to be downloaded in order to be able to download. Any distro with logic as flawed as that deserves no place on my computer.
    So I'm back in Kubuntu 6.10, freshly installed. Hopefully things will go well this time.
    I had issues with my network card installing Kubuntu 6.10. In fact, I went out and bought a cheap $8 network card just so I could install Kubuntu and Opensuse and I'm reasonably sure I'll be able to install Sabayon with it. (I found someone else at the Sabayon forum who has a similar set-up.) In short, I don't think you should judge a distro by network cards. I'm trying to see what distribution do as much for me as possible, but if I want to do something myself--like compile somthing-- will let me do it. Also, I didn't like agreeing to the license agreement with openSuse and so it's out.

    Anyway, eventually the software will be up to our network card's hardware and I will donate my cheap network cards to the Goodwill, which builds cheap computers for people.

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    I don't specifically remember which needed ndiswrapper, but while installing PCLinuxOS today, on a whim, I did a little research and learned that the reason ndiswrapper hadn't been working is because there were "acx" (or something similar) drivers included that conflicted with it and needed to be deleted. Ah, well, I'm not willing to go redownload and install them all again, perhaps they should have made this more clear.

    And the ZyXEL G-302 has Tux right on the box

    I'm sure if I wasn't trying so many at once I'd be willing to give more time to setting up my wifi card, but the fact of the matter is I don't have an available wired connection, and so naturally wifi needs to be set up before I can test anything else, like Wacom drivers or ATI support. The motivation's gone after so many failures - but at least I'll know for next time.

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