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Hello everyone, I have a dell 10v that will be coming to my house soon (160 on ebay!), and I will most likely be putting Linux Mint on it, or ...
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  1. #1
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    A few basic questions for a noob.


    Hello everyone, I have a dell 10v that will be coming to my house soon (160 on ebay!), and I will most likely be putting Linux Mint on it, or possibly Ubuntu or Xubuntu. I'm playing around with Mint in parallels on my MBP right now to make sure everything I want to do works right. So, here's what I want to know:

    -I put software center on it, but I tried a few things and they didn't install. Is there any point in having this?
    -Is there any point in having Linux Mint period? It's pretty close to Ubuntu right now... Xfce, SC, and Ubuntu Studio is installing right now (not sure if it will work yet), so at this point Linux Mint isn't that different from Ubuntu.
    -What benefits does Ubuntu have over it?
    -I'm not sure how big to make the root partition, because it seems like all applications install to it. I want to make a home partition just in case I screw it up, but is it worth the trouble if I plan on using clonezilla to back up?
    -Is there a faster distro I'm better off with?

    These questions are specifically for my netbook; it has a 1.66 intel atom, 1gb of ram (soon to be 2gb), and a 160GB HD.

    One more thing... I tried macpup and puppy linux, but they seem to be missing too much as far as apps go... no app-get, not many options in the package manager etc... is there a way to change this?

    Anyway, sorry for so many questions... I'm sure most of them have been answered but I'm looking for the best options for my specific situation. If this has been covered, some links will suffice. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiethemorris View Post
    -I put software center on it, but I tried a few things and they didn't install. Is there any point in having this?
    Mint has it's own software centre which works fine so I'm unsure what you installed here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiethemorris View Post
    -Is there any point in having Linux Mint period? It's pretty close to Ubuntu right now... Xfce, SC, and Ubuntu Studio is installing right now (not sure if it will work yet), so at this point Linux Mint isn't that different from Ubuntu.
    It's based on Ubuntu for sure but doesn't have Unity. Instead it has Gnome 3 with the MSGE. It also has rational pre-installed software. So it is very different in that respect. As a point of interest, I'm currently running Xubuntu 11.10 and it's fine, if a little heavy on resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiethemorris View Post
    -What benefits does Ubuntu have over it?
    None. Mark Shuttleworth may argue that Unity is an advantage over everything. Until it works, he'd be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiethemorris View Post
    -I'm not sure how big to make the root partition, because it seems like all applications install to it. I want to make a home partition just in case I screw it up, but is it worth the trouble if I plan on using clonezilla to back up?
    I usually go for about 20GB with a further 10GB for /var/log and then I use logrotate so that I can manage the size of my logs effectively. It is always worth having a separate home partition as reinstalling - or trying a different distro is easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiethemorris View Post
    -Is there a faster distro I'm better off with?
    Depends what you are after. I realise that's not much help but you have basically just asked "how long is a piece of string". You could have a look at distro's running openbox or lxde as their environments as these are lighter.
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


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    Thanks for the reply. Excuse my ignorance, but what is /var/log and logrotate?

    I didn't care for openbox too much, but lxde is very nice looking.

    also, how do i choose which environment is the default?

    I think I'm going to go for mint, by the way, and perhaps just try a few different environments; I just can't stand the unity interface. I have Xubuntu in parallels as well though, which is almost as good. I really wanted ubuntu mainly for the software center but it seems unnecessary as linux mint has just as many options. Otherwise I guess apt-get will get the job done.

  4. #4
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    /var/log is a directory. Linux stores it's log files there. logrotate is a command that allows you to manage your logs so they don't get too big. I probably shouldn't have clouded the issue by mentioning it.

    When you choose a session at log in, you will usually be asked if you want to make it the default.
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


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    I have a similar Dell netbook, which came with a really bad OEM version of Ubuntu - "Moblin Remix". I ended up repartitioning the drive (retaining diagnostic partitions - partially Windows-based) and adding a partition. The result looks like

    # fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x2e3e8e76

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 3 24066 6 FAT16
    /dev/sda2 * 4 1924 15430432+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sda3 1925 2168 1959930 1c Hidden W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sda4 2169 19457 138873892+ 83 Linux

    $ df -H
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda2 16G 9.3G 5.6G 63% /
    none 1.1G 689k 1.1G 1% /dev
    none 1.1G 578k 1.1G 1% /dev/shm
    none 1.1G 381k 1.1G 1% /var/run
    none 1.1G 0 1.1G 0% /var/lock
    /dev/sda4 142G 20G 115G 15% /home

    I used Gparted , running from a live CD, to do the partitioning, including resizing and moving existing partitions. I had to add a 4th partition so I would have separate "/" and "/home" partitions, which I usually do so I can install a completely different Linux while retaining my "/home" files, every now and then.

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    The one thing I pass along is if you have a Nvidea card you may be frustrated beyond belief. I've been using Linux since '95 and love it. Currently I have Ubuntu on one desktop and Mint 12 on a laptop. I enjoyed Mint 12 on my laptop so much that I thought I'd take Ubuntu off a second, and main, desktop to install Mint 12. Try as I might I could not get MGSE or Cinnamon to work and would fall back to the Gnome fallback or Ubuntu or Ubuntu 2. Since it worked so great on the laptop I kept pushing it for days.

    Finally, I gave up and installed the Radeon graphics card out of the other desktop and reinstalled Mint 12. Works like a champ for both MGSE and Cinnamon. So, for what it is worth if you have a Nvidea graphics card and are having problems you may need to use Ubuntu or some other solution.

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    Velikij, i like that idea with the home partitions, i may need to try that. And thanks wycowboy, ill find out which card it has. One more thing, does it matter which os is on the first partition? Id like to do linux first and osx second. Iirc this was an issue on my old macbook.

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    If Ubuntu/Mint too heavy, I would try Peppermint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiethemorris View Post
    Hello everyone, I have a dell 10v that will be coming to my house soon (160 on ebay!), and I will most likely be putting Linux Mint on it, or possibly Ubuntu or Xubuntu. I'm playing around with Mint in parallels on my MBP right now to make sure everything I want to do works right. So, here's what I want to know:


    -Is there a faster distro I'm better off with?
    I have a tiny laptop from that series. After a ridiculously difficult series of attempts to get Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Meego, or pretty much any non-windows OS to install, (I think that the BIOS was faulty in my machine.) I got Peppermint to work.

    I found that Peppermint is a great choice for this series of laptops, because it comes with a really light window manager and has access to Ubuntu's repositories by default. (I usually just apt-get install aptitude from command line, and then use aptitude to command-line install mostly everything I need- it's pretty easy.) From the Peppermint menu, if you don't want to touch the command line, it comes with a GUI software install program.

    The interesting and convenient part of peppermint, was that it was easy to get the wireless card set up. I forget which exactly was the case, but either it was recognized right off, or the driver was in the repositories and could just be installed easily.

    Peppermint also recognized the built-in webcam with no issues. You also don't need to install flash or video codecs- Peppermint is not as religiously open-source as some other distros, it seems, and came with them.

    The only potential downside you might find, is I don't know how well that software center works, because I never used it. (I like the power trip using the command line gives me.)

    But peppermint is so light, that I could run the latest supertux on that tiny laptop, which is more than I need for mobile computing, myself. I can get a lot of tabs open in Firefox and have OpenOffice open and be writing something, and then have a command line window open managing software updates, and that's about the most multitasking I ever do on the little thing.

    Here is the link to their site, so you can see if you like it: Peppermint OS

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    That's great! i tried Peppermint from a live USB stick, and I think it's very good. I still have Ubuntu Natty 11.04 on this system, as I'm used to Gnome 2, but as time goes on that will have to change!

    My Dell netbook came with a customized Ubuntu on it that I didn't like. I ended up using GParted to resize the existing partitions and then add a separate partition for /home, when I first installed a standard release of Ubuntu. That means I can keep my /home directories when I install new versions. So changing to Mint or Peppermint should be really easy.

  10. #10
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    here's an update for you guys:

    It was a pain in the ass, but this thing runs great.
    -I'm currently running osx 10.6.7 snow leopard on it with 100gb dedicated, and I'm surprised by it's performance. Hyperthreading works. It runs ableton and logic no problem, except for some of my plugins I can't see the whole thing lol. It appears NI Massive is too massive for my screen. Photoshop Cs5 works decently too.
    -On the second partition (60 gb dedicated), I'm running Xubuntu 11.10. I tried Linux Mint 12, LMDE, Ubuntu 11.10, Peppermint OS, and Ubuntu Studio (which by the way, will not install on any mac or pc I've ever tried, for whatever reason). Xubuntu worked the best for my needs. The other distros had certain problems, such as wine not working, my favorite apps not installing, etc... Xubuntu just works. Believe it or not, Compiz works flawlessly with all the effects enabled.

    I started out with the stock hard drive, and I used Clonezilla to clone it over to a 160gb 7200 rpm HD. it also has 2gb of RAM. Wireless works wonderfully on both OS's, and I even got multi-touch to work on the trackpad.

    Thanks for your help everyone, this is an awesome little toy, and it's great for school so I don't have to bring my precious warranty-void MBP.

    The next project: quad core i7 hackintosh desktop, 4tb raid array with OSX, Linux, and Windows. Wish me luck.

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