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Hey guys, after taking a few steps in LinuxMint13 xfce, I want to switch into something more... complex. I think I've finally found a distro for me which is Debian. ...
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  1. #1
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    Have I found my distro??


    Hey guys,

    after taking a few steps in LinuxMint13 xfce, I want to switch into something more... complex. I think I've finally found a distro for me which is Debian.
    So, here's my questions:

    1- because I like my system to go without freezing, what would be better, xfce (or any lightweight dm) or I will be okay with gnome,kde (amd64 x2 5k+, 2gb ram, nvidia gf gts 450)?
    2- should i run amd64 or i386 arch? are there any real benefits of one over another?
    3- debian version: i'm not taking stable into account, cause i don't like its lack of new debs, so i'm down to sid vs testing. can you tell me pros and cons of both (already googled around, still haven't decided).
    4- i ran into thing - aptosid - which is unstable distribution with installer and other kernel (i think), is debian any better? or different?
    5- i think it connects with 4 - but i wanna learn a bit about linux, so i'm going to go with the netinst and then go with the packages manually, drivers and so on - i only install basic system, right? aptosid installs all of it, right?
    6- will i get a decent speed boost over linux mint?

    thanks in advance for you all for your answers,
    ziolkowskim

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll take each of your points one-by-one...

    1. You can install them side by side and pick the one you want to use from the log-in screen. The bigger de's will be slower, but you get eye candy in return. I can't see an AMD 64 with your video card struggling with any of it tbh.
    2. Unless you have a good reason, choose the 64 bit one every time. There's hardly any noticeable difference, but if you ever increase your system memory you'll be able to use more and use it better. Also 64 bit can run 32-bit programs, not the other way round. And it's a pain in the backside to upgrade from 32 to 64 bit (normally you're better off just re-installling).
    3. I don't run Debian myself, so I'm not really qualified to comment.
    4. Debian is well known for it's stability. Compared to an unstable distribution it should look much better.
    5. You can install as much of the system as you want. If you put too much on, you can remove it afterwards - the .deb package management system is pretty powerful.
    6. You probably won't notice much speed difference at all. They're both from the same stable, and your perception of speed may be influenced by speed of screen updates and responsiveness of the X session rather than the speed with which the system can process data.
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    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    I would certainly recommend you to try Debian. It's perhaps the most mainstream of all Linux distributions, aimed neither at novices nor at experts. And it doesn't spoil you with a lot of graphical configuration tools either. I think it's as close to being "just Linux" as you can get.

    As between Testing and Unstable, Testing has fewer bugs but any that do slip through tend to hang about for longer because only security holes are corrected in Testing; everything else, they correct in Unstable and then copy over. I've never used Unstable but I have used Testing and found it pretty stable and reliable.
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    Linux Newbie Syndacate's Avatar
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    6. I would be forced to call BS on any 'speed improvements' that you find in using Debian and chalk them up to using a slightly differently setup DE, etc. The speed differences won't be noticeable.
    3. Sid is 'unstable' - it's "more" cutting edge than 'testing'. Though from what I understand, breakages in the core packages, even when using sid, are few and far between. Mint uses Ubuntu repos, Ubuntu uses Sid repos, IIRC. So you're technically using them now, I believe. I would use Sid if I was installing Debian for my own personal use.
    2. As for x64. The benefits will come if you add more memory, but also, your processor can take advantage of its full 64 bit bus width. Also, when you have like 3.XGB of memory (+ video memory) then the amount of addressable memory you have will stop increasing and additional memory will be worthless. As you have a small amount of memory now, it's not the biggest of deals, but 64 bit OS arch will allow you to run 64 bit programs (and 32). I'd say it probably makes no difference as long as you'll notice if you don't upgrade the memory. If you do, then install the 64 bit version.
    1. You have pretty low specs, but thankfully, as this is the world of Linux, you can run most desktop environments without much fuss. XFCE will work fine, KDE will work okay, maybe a little more fussy, same goes for Gnome 3. I mean desktop environments is a big area of preference so the only thing I can do is list the order in which I'd suggest using those desktop environments given those specs, as there's no solid answer for that..
    1. LXDE
    2. XFCE
    3. GTK 2.X (check out Mate)
    4. KDE 4.X
    5. GTK 3.X


    6. Just to re-visit the whole reason you may be doing this....No.

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    Maybe I should try gentoo?
    For quickest and most responsive system?
    do i compile everything or just emerge?

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    Linux Newbie Syndacate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziolkowskim View Post
    Maybe I should try gentoo?
    For quickest and most responsive system?
    do i compile everything or just emerge?
    Both, the "emerge" command is an interface for portage, portage will find what source packages are required, download them, compile them, then compile the main target using the results of the dependencies.

    Gentoo works fine, but I've found Gentoo to be more of a pain in the ass on a daily system than most other distros. There's many packages that don't come preinstalled that you'll have to setup which typically come pre-setup on most other distros. Same goes for the kernel, you'll find yourself adding lots of modules that just come standard in most other distros. In theory do you have a more responsive system? Yeah, in theory, but it's definitely something that you have to wonder whether it's worth it or not...I say it's not. It's quite tiring after the first day, there's no point re-inventing the wheel each time.

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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziolkowskim View Post
    Maybe I should try gentoo?
    For quickest and most responsive system?
    do i compile everything or just emerge?
    I've not used Gentoo, but I have used CRUX. Which works on generally the same method.
    It is a bit time consuming to get your system setup proper. But once you have it up and running, it'll run like a bat outta Hell.
    I found it to be a worthwhile experience all day long. But I do like to tinker and fudge about in my systems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Syndacate View Post
    ...there's no point re-inventing the wheel each time.
    I wasn't looking at a re-invention of the wheel. Just another method of giving it a good smooth polish.
    Jay

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayd512 View Post
    I've not used Gentoo, but I have used CRUX. Which works on generally the same method.
    It is a bit time consuming to get your system setup proper. But once you have it up and running, it'll run like a bat outta Hell.
    I found it to be a worthwhile experience all day long. But I do like to tinker and fudge about in my systems.

    I wasn't looking at a re-invention of the wheel. Just another method of giving it a good smooth polish.
    Yeah, I've used Gentoo for the same. As a daily OS, though, you get tired of tinkering with things quickly.

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    Ok, I have installed debian on my desktop, changed the repos to sid, managed to get my nvidia gts 450 to work with proprietary drivers, installed xfce desktop, but i think it's kinda sluggish... i don't know, when working on windows even when i open the window and it's lagging, it's not as laggy as on debian. Also the net browser has problems with some sites, although speedtest shows 95mb/s download.
    Maybe I should look more into this problem, but I think, that debian based distros are not for me... tried ubuntu, mint and debian.
    Now Im thinking on rolling Gentoo or maybe ArchLinux.
    Maybe Arch will be good and help me with the feeling of system slugginess?

    ps. should i use ext3 or ext4?
    Last edited by ziolkowskim; 01-10-2013 at 08:45 AM.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziolkowskim View Post
    Ok, I have installed debian on my desktop, changed the repos to sid, managed to get my nvidia gts 450 to work with proprietary drivers, installed xfce desktop, but i think it's kinda sluggish... i don't know, when working on windows even when i open the window and it's lagging, it's not as laggy as on debian. Also the net browser has problems with some sites, although speedtest shows 95mb/s download.
    Maybe I should look more into this problem, but I think, that debian based distros are not for me... tried ubuntu, mint and debian.
    Now Im thinking on rolling Gentoo or maybe ArchLinux.
    Maybe Arch will be good and help me with the feeling of system slugginess?

    ps. should i use ext3 or ext4?
    Arch or Gentoo may make that go away...but you really shouldn't have problems like that with your specs.

    I ran Ubuntu daily on a 3.0Ghz P4 (single core, hyper threaded) with 1GB DDR1 memory and 2GB of SWAP without problems. The only thing I can really say it sounds like you should be missing is swap space, might want to allocate like 2GB for SWAP upon installation/partitioning. You shouldn't be lagging with a stock build on that setup, though...it's not the best, but it's not terrible, either.

    First thing I would do is try XFCE with 2GB of SWAP space. Also, next time you boot into Windoze, download a disk check utility for your HDD and run it. There's no guarantee that if something is wrong it'll find it, but it's worth a shot because it sounds like there's another problem somewhere else.

    If using it with some SWAP doesn't work, then I'd say look at Arch Linux. Compiling packages yourself with Gentoo really won't help you a ton, the images will in all likelihood be identical anyway. Though with Arch you can choose what's running so that may be of some benefit to you - the kernel typically runs a lot leaner than on Debian or Ubuntu.

    Let us know what happens.

    As for ext3 vs ext4, ext4 is supposed to be the latest and greatest, obviously, but I feel the performance of ext3 is better. I feel like it's not constantly writing to the disk like I feel ext4 does.

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