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Hey everyone, I'm new around here. I am going to be getting a new hard drive soon and I'm going to be putting linux on it. I have been using ...
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  1. #1
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    Need new linux distro...


    Hey everyone,

    I'm new around here. I am going to be getting a new hard drive soon and I'm going to be putting linux on it. I have been using linux for about 3 and a half years now and I've tried a lot of distros. I've tried mandrake, red hat, fedora core 2, vidalinux, slackware, arch linux, suse and mepis just to name a few. My favourite distro right now has to be ubuntu because i tends to just work.

    I'm not entirely happy with ubuntu right now and i usually have to do a lot of configuration/customization out of the box to make it useable for me. I am willing to compromise, but hopefully I won't have to do a lot of that.
    My search criterea are these:

    - KDE-based (or easily installable)
    - Simple package management (with dependancy support)
    - Not bloated*
    - support for rt2500 wireless chipset out of the box or included on install cd

    *What i mean by that is only having one of each type of app (one IM app, one web browser, one office suite etc.). I know that KDE isn't that lightweight but I have yet to find a lightweight alternative that I like.

    I am a musician so I'd like to be able to easily install multimedia apps (playback and recording/music creation) similar to the prepackaged sound apps for fedora.

    I am not afraid of manual configuration and compiling, but not to the extent of gentoo. If there is a distro that requires a lot of configuration, it has to be well documented.

    The last thing I want is a half decent looking distro out of the box. Have gtk already configure to look like KDE/QT. A new, fresh theme other than the default plastik/crystal SVG would be nice.

    I know I have a lot of wants and I realise I won't be able to fill all of my criterea (that is, unless I go with a LSF rig, but I don't have a spare machine to tinker around with that), so please don't point out the fact that I'm asking for too much.

    Thanks for the help in advance, and thanks for your time as well.

  2. #2
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    oh yeah one more thing. Dependancy fetching for compiled apps would be nice too (the only distro I know of that has this is gentoo, which i could never get to work)

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast aysiu's Avatar
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    What about PCLinuxOS?
    Or have you tried MepisLITE? It's supposed to be Mepis but less bloated.

  4. #4
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    You've tried Mepis, and you've tried Ubuntu. I think it's time you tried out true blue Debian. It doesn't fit your criteria, but it may be closer than anything else out there.

    I would have recommended Mepis, except Mepis is bloated.

    Debian is pretty svelt with a typical desktop installation--IMHO too spartan for a newbie. You're not a newbie, though, so you'll already have some idea of missing applications which you'd like to install (like k3b, or smb4k).

    Support for your wireless card may be more difficult. I have no idea how well Debian will do out-of-box. Assuming it does NOT figure it out out-of-box, then maybe you'll have to take notes on how Ubuntu or Mepis configure it.

    Your dependency fetching comments are a bit strange. Mepis and Ubuntu both use Debian style package management, which is second to none in automagically handling dependencies. (Ubuntu doesn't use the standard Debian repositories, though.)

    For the "fresh new themes", your best bet is to not decide on your distribution based on it but to rather customize using stuff from http://www.kde-look.org/. My favorite icon sets are Umicons (artistic/cartoony) and Cezanne (stylish/modern). My favorite window decoration is CrystalGL (cool 3d accelerated translucency/shading/lens effect).

    There are a number of interesting themes on kde-look, but I usually use the built-in Keramic theme, with color scheme of Keramic white. I started off with that theme and coloring with Knoppix, and I keep coming back to it.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

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    thank you IsaacKuo, your post was very helpful. I have been considering a move to plain jane debian for a while but i was never quite frustrated enough/in the mood to switch from ubuntu.

    I know that support for my wireless card is a longshot as it cost me someting like $20CDN, but it was easy to get it to work with ubuntu i just needed the kernel-headers package. this also means that i'd need the url where you can download the deb packages without synaptic/apt-get.

    On a similar note, i noticed that debian has something like 6 or 7 cds. I know i could get around this with a net install but debian doesn't support my wireless card. do I really need all these cds? or can i download a few of them to get me a workable system (preferably with KDE running, but i'm plenty comfortable with the CLI).

  6. #6
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinisterguy
    I have been considering a move to plain jane debian for a while but i was never quite frustrated enough/in the mood to switch from ubuntu.
    I like vanilla debian far better than any of the debian-forks, but that's just me.

    Hey, good luck with your installation...

  7. #7
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    I'd start off with the very small Debian net-installer CD, since it's such a small investment in time to just try out. If you're fortunate, the wireless networking will indeed work. If not...

    ...honestly, I like Debian so much that I'd figure out a way to get it to work (i.e. copying stuff from Ubuntu's working setup), or I'd even get a different networking card just to get it to work.

    But I'm not you. I'm not sure, but I think you can get a fully working default desktop install with just the first two CDs. Maybe you should download the first three CDs just to be sure.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

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    oh yeah one more thing. Dependancy fetching for compiled apps would be nice too (the only distro I know of that has this is gentoo, which i could never get to work)
    i was wondering if they had something like this for debian. something that reads the configure script in the source directory and then fetches the debs from the repositories.

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    There is a distro that fits all your needs, Zenwalk (previously Minislack). Except for the dependencies proble, It's got everything. It's not bloated (only 400MB), looks cool (It's got XFCE, which takes time getting used to. But it looks pretty good). You can alway install KDE using the netpkg tool which is similar to apt in Debian.

    But yes, Zenwalk is based on Slackware. So you'll still have to do with configuring some things by hand. It worked out-of-the-box for me.

    EDIT : Fixed a nasty typo!
    Registered Linux User #394578

  10. #10
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by {MaX}
    But yes, Zenwalk is based on Debian.
    Hmm... I thought they called it minislack because it was based on Slackware. If it's based on Debian, I wonder why didn't they call it minidebian?

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