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Hi everyone, I'm looking for a lightweight distro, for my 8 year old daughter's netbook. I've been away from Linux for a couple of years, so I need some input ...
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  1. #1
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    Question which Linux for your grandma? or young daughter?


    Hi everyone, I'm looking for a lightweight distro, for my 8 year old daughter's netbook.
    I've been away from Linux for a couple of years, so I need some input here.
    I'm looking for that proverbial "OS you would choose for your grandmother".
    The netbook is an eeePC, single core Atom, I think, running at around 1ghz, has 512MB of RAM, and a 1024x600 / 1024x800 with panning, screen resolution. It has Windoze XP on it now, and has become very very very slow.
    Allow me to add that some of the websites my daughter visits, like uptoten.com and games like rush hour, won't work in some browsers - so a good, complete, secure/reliable browser is a must.

    I've narrowed down my potential choices to a few distros, and was wondering if anyone could please help me narrow it down further.

    Mint 14 with MATE
    - I wasn't going to include Mint on my short list, as I've only used Mint on more powerful computers, but I just read a good article about general hardware and graphics requirements, and decided to throw it in.
    WattOS
    - their website is terrible... just hope it's not indicative of the user experience of their OS.
    Peppermint 4
    - I've used it when it was a streamlined version of Mint in the beginning, but their new cloud-centricity has me worried (mainly because of JoliCloud being slow as molasses in January and because Peppermint 2 (I think it was) wasn't that great)
    EasyPeasy
    - this is the best linux distro for netbooks I've ever tried, but hope to find something just as good but a little lighter and that is still supported and comes with current apps/browser versions (for reason mentioned at beginning)
    LXLE
    - OK, I'll admit I only added it in because I just stumbled upon it. So far I know it's almost twice the download size of WattOS, but that doesn't mean it uses more RAM or CPU time. btw, this is the current download link on sourceforge rather than lxle.net, in case you can't get past the ad in the captcha window.

    Please, I'm not interested in crunchbang, arch, pclinux, puppy, as I've tried them but they won't be on this shortlist.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Mods, please feel free to recategorize this under whatever forum section may be more appropriate for it - I just wasn't sure where to put it.
    Last edited by Timmi; 11-04-2013 at 05:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie slw210's Avatar
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    Might help to know why you eliminated crunchbang, arch, pclinux, puppy.

    You might give Point Linux a look. It runs good on my old laptop.

    I wasn't impressed with Peppermint 4.

    Of those you listed I would pick Mint 14 with Mate.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Distrowatch.com is a good comparison site to check out different linux distros. Mint is #1 in popularity, but there are many good distro's available. Their search function can help you narrow down your list of possibles, but after that it is a matter of trying them to see what meets your needs. Never could get WattOS to run right myself, but your experience may be different. EasyPeasy is a nice, but so are Zorin, Mageia, and ZevinOS.
    Registered Linux user #526930

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    Quote Originally Posted by slw210 View Post
    Might help to know why you eliminated crunchbang, arch, pclinux, puppy.
    The short answer your question, they all paled in comparison with Linux Mint, a few years ago when I tried them. Mint just worked, and set my expectations at a level where I expected it to just work.

    The long answer... Crunchbang was unstable and I didn't have the expertise to fix it, arch was too complicated to get running, pclinux sounded a lot like mint on their website - they even made it sound better - but didn't live up to the promises and one person in particular made the experience in the support forums rather unpleasant. puppy just felt like an old DOS window manager shell (remember DeskView/386?)... all of it with a very rudimentary feel to it. This was all a couple of years ago and things may have changed since then - but I'm not going to try everything over again just to see, considering the hours one has to put in. But they're not the only ones I tried - there was Knoppix, Anti-X, Salix, Fedora, TinyME, Ubuntu, opensuse, ultimate, peppermint, mepis, vector, JoliCloud... some I used more than others (especially since some had unresolved bugs starting with the installer itself).

    Could you tell me why pointlinux? Is it faster than Mint with mate? does it work out of the box, stable, good support, include all mm codecs?
    Last edited by Timmi; 11-06-2013 at 03:42 AM.

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    Thanks, that's where I found all the ones I tried... I'm just out of date with what has gotten better, is fast, reliable, has codecs, just works, doesn't need much memory...

    I thought I had it down to a short list... and wasn't looking to expand on that... but rather to narrow it down... however (and this is your fault) I took another look and saw Linux Lite which sounds pretty good... I'll have to add it to the list.

    Was it long ago that you tried WattOS? Was it on hardware that is hard to make work? (like, requiring obscure video drivers or something)
    Indeed, EasyPeasy is very very nice. It's a bit outdated though. When you start updating software, it starts to pull in things and some dependencies might not be right (like I said, browser must be a current version) - and a new version might be in the works - so it would be sad to spend all that time to install it just to have to start over again.
    Last edited by Timmi; 11-05-2013 at 06:17 AM.

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