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  • What Distro?

    Hi all. As some of you probably know, I have been playing with linux for the past few months trying to get my head around stuff.

    I do like the idea of using linux over windows. But I just can't bring myself to make the switch.

    My main problem with linux is actually linux's strong point. Its flexibility.
    Everything seems to depend on each something else. More often than not you end up with a mess of **** that changed appearance from program to program.

    What I want from linux is a consistent experience across the board.

    I have been using Debian for the last couple of weeks. Initially really liking the Gnome Shell DE. It's simple, clear, very functional, and quite a consistent experience. But then I noticed something very dumb about it. It has no system tray?
    I was using HexChat, as I have used it for a while on both linux and windows. I always had it set to minimise and close to the system tray. But if you have this option active in Gnome, and you minimise it, the only way to get it back is to kill the process and reopen.... seriously.

    So that was out the window. I tried using xfce, KDE, Cinnamon. I tried them all from clean installs (VM). But they all seem to mash Gnome and whatever DE i was using at the time.... So I ended up with one program using a Cinnamon style window, and then gedit, would look like a Gnome program. Like I said, the whole thing just feels really inconsistent. Everything just ends up looking very unfinished, no polish.

    That's not even that important. I could forgive the look of it.

    But what I have found with all distros I've used is that they all seem to come filled to the brim with preinstalled software. This is something that Windows gets heavily criticised for. Just general bloat.
    I appreciate that a lot of people want an OS that they can just install and have every program they could ever need for day to day tasks preinstalled. But I was under the impression that linux was all about choice.
    Then ontop of that, every DE comes with its own set of bundled software. On one VM, i installed Debian, minimal install, with just Cinnamon DE. I ended up with 4 different versions of the Terminal...

    All i want when I install an OS is system utilities, maybe a notepad, and thats it. I want to be able to choose my own browser, media player, office applications, everything. Like in windows...
    I would like to be able to do this. Without going the Arch Linux route of having to literally build linux from ****ing scratch...


    Anyway, I'm ranting. I'm curious to hear what peoples favourite distro and DE combinations are and why.


    I do want to switch to linux, but im finding it hard. Regardless of the technical side of things. That generally isnt a problem.

  • #2
    http://lubuntu.net/

    seems pretty light weight on older hardware and does all most need off the bat in an easy to use way.

    might have a couple of extra terminals mind xD
    "Those able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses."
    Plato

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mordynak View Post
      I tried using xfce, KDE, Cinnamon. I tried them all from clean installs (VM). But they all seem to mash Gnome and whatever DE i was using at the time....
      This might be due to the framework that each program is written for, as a GTK application is going to look for the GTK themes and see whatever GNOME themes are installed. The design philosophy that GNOME recently went with in using 'client-side decorations' (the large, application controlled buttons at the top of the window) definitely clashes with some DEs in giving them two close buttons *facepalm*. The latest KDE release (5.4) is pretty good as long as you stick to Qt based applications, and even the Breeze GTK theme is ok now.

      I'd recommend either using Antergos (Arch based, but very nice graphical installer) or openSUSE (if you want KDE) with a minimal install
      I like haikus
      But sometimes they don't make sense
      Refrigerator

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      • #4
        I would seriously recommend going the Arch Linux route.

        It's nowhere near as hard as people make it out to be and the Arch documentation is second to none.

        https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners%27_guide

        If you want your system to be light weight look at using a Window manager instead of a desktop environment.
        Something like Openbox and maybe pick a dock or something. It won't be polished out of the box.
        If you want everything to look consistent you will have to choose whether you want to use qt4 based applications or GTX based applications unless you want to design your own themes.


        On the other hand, most of the distros that are designed to look polished and tie everything together will come with their own set of applications. See Elementary OS.
        Desktop: Intel i5-4690K | 16GB DDR3 | Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI | EVGA GTX 660 3GB | Windows 10
        Server 0: Gen8 HP Microserver | Proxmox Hypervisor Server 1: Gen8 HP Microserver | FreeNAS

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        • #5
          @ marsey99. Was looking to avoid anything based on ubuntu, based on debian, kinda mess. I've looked at all the variations of Ubuntu and I'm not keen.

          @ Ice Tea. Looks and sounds pretty cool. I will keep an eye on it. Looks like its based on KDE no?

          @ Blue4. I figured that was the case. I initially really liked Gnome, but the more i used it the more I disliked it.
          I'm currently on OpenSUSE KDE. I gotta be honest, I'm not a huge fan of KDE. It seems to try and do wayyy more than it needs too. Gonna stick with it for a while see how I get on. I imagine I can disable a lot of the ****.
          Oddly, it doesnt seem to have picked up drivers for the USB 3.0 on my laptop, but has for the USB 2. Also, it seems to ask for a password to do EVERYTHING! I have to reconnect to the wifi manually every bootup. I think those are just OpenSUSE issues though. Not sure.

          I do like how consistent everything is on OpenSUSE KDE however. And the default programs are all fairly logical. Plus, it comes with Firefox as opposed to god damn IceWeasel...??? wtf is with that? Seriously XD

          @ Lorem-Ipsum. I was recommended Arch a few days a go by a few people on the Linux Freenode IRC. I was interested in the idea of building it from scratch almost. I liked the idea of Arch and I was giving the install a go. But then I asked for help from the Arch IRC channel.... They are.... not too friendly to say the least. I cant remember what exactly the problem I was having was now, but I couldn't find any info on it online.




          Stoopid question. Do distro's like OpenSUSE and arch use apt-get or aptitude like debian? I've only really used Deb based distros so far.

          Cheers guys!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mordynak View Post
            @ Lorem-Ipsum. I was recommended Arch a few days a go by a few people on the Linux Freenode IRC. I was interested in the idea of building it from scratch almost. I liked the idea of Arch and I was giving the install a go. But then I asked for help from the Arch IRC channel.... They are.... not too friendly to say the least. I cant remember what exactly the problem I was having was now, but I couldn't find any info on it online.


            Stoopid question. Do distro's like OpenSUSE and arch use apt-get or aptitude like debian? I've only really used Deb based distros so far.

            Cheers guys!
            Archlinux users pacman, it's own package manager.
            It also has the AUR(Arch Users Repository) for 3rd party packages.

            The Arch IRC channel will not help you unless you can show that you've tried everything else before coming to them. Same with the Arch forum.

            If you remember what problem you were having I'll see if I can help.
            Desktop: Intel i5-4690K | 16GB DDR3 | Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI | EVGA GTX 660 3GB | Windows 10
            Server 0: Gen8 HP Microserver | Proxmox Hypervisor Server 1: Gen8 HP Microserver | FreeNAS

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            • #7
              Currently sat here using Mint 17.2.....I do keep giving linux ago but I find the lack of one click install bit of a pain.....

              So this distro is on an old AMD apu with 8gb of ram and a 120gb ssd and for surfing and foruming ( is that actually a word? ) I think is great...... also VLC was in the repositories so music and video are sorted in the Man Cave
              posted by scrivz69
              I think I may leave this forum, it seems to be full of the village people.​
              i7 3930K @ 4.2| ASUS X79 Sabertooth | 32GB @ 2133 Copperhead |2 x Gigabyte TITAN SLI |ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 | Samsung 850 500GB SSD | 3TB SATA Drive | H100i WC | Corsair RM1000 | HAF X |40 inch Benq 2560x1440 IPS




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              • #8
                Joker youre kidding? Linux Mint is like the easiest thing in the world to install. No more difficult than installing Windows.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lorem-Ipsum View Post
                  Archlinux users pacman, it's own package manager.
                  It also has the AUR(Arch Users Repository) for 3rd party packages.

                  The Arch IRC channel will not help you unless you can show that you've tried everything else before coming to them. Same with the Arch forum.

                  If you remember what problem you were having I'll see if I can help.
                  TBH, everything. Nothing is as the documentation states.

                  The "Beginners Guide" is apparently outdated and useless according to the people on the IRC channel so that's no ****ing help. The Installation guide tells you "You need to do this" But not actually how to do it.

                  So, first things first...
                  https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...ion_in_console

                  So I type "localectl list-keymaps" .... Couldn't find any console keymaps

                  Great start...

                  So then i thought i would try a search with "localectl list-keymaps | grep -i search_term"
                  "|" This key doesn't exist on my laptop...


                  Honestly don't know what the **** im supposed to do. Im sure Arch is great if you can get past the ****ing installation but so far, no success.

                  I tried partitioning... Yeah, great idea that was. I couldn't select the mount point for the drive i wanted to use as root. It allowed me to put a swap and home partition on one drive, but the other drive was having none of it.

                  There must be an easier way... I've tried asking for help, but the nice folks on the IRC channel are the most condescending ***** I have ever dealt with.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mordynak View Post
                    Joker youre kidding? Linux Mint is like the easiest thing in the world to install. No more difficult than installing Windows.
                    Nope.... In windows I find a program I click download it
                    my download folder I double click...it installs

                    Linux first off it asks what type of package do I want...no idea get em both... then what double clicking does nothing...

                    Recent attempt was the latest AMD driver and Usenext reader ... If they are not in the repositories ( which are simple installs ) you have to use the command line

                    So unless I am missing something really simple .. Or being difficult by wanting to use something not in a repository...then NO I'm not kidding.
                    posted by scrivz69
                    I think I may leave this forum, it seems to be full of the village people.​
                    i7 3930K @ 4.2| ASUS X79 Sabertooth | 32GB @ 2133 Copperhead |2 x Gigabyte TITAN SLI |ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 | Samsung 850 500GB SSD | 3TB SATA Drive | H100i WC | Corsair RM1000 | HAF X |40 inch Benq 2560x1440 IPS




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                    • #11
                      What's difficult about "sudo apt-get install..."? Ok you might need to add a new repo for some things, but that's easy enough (and you'll only have to do it once per repo, so not very often).

                      You'll be able to get the name of the repository you need from the website of whatever you want to download...

                      For instance on getdeb.net you'll find a guide like this.

                      Might look a little daunting at first but once you've done it a couple of times you'll be able do most of it from memory. If you're a fast typer you'll eventually find yourself preferring to install things through command line, because it works out faster than using the package manager
                      Last edited by FunkY; 04-10-15, 11:44.
                      Why did the chicken cross the road?
                      To get away from the Canadian poultry farmer with loose trousers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mordynak View Post
                        So, first things first...
                        https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...ion_in_console

                        So I type "localectl list-keymaps" .... Couldn't find any console keymaps
                        Had you generated them to begin with? I don't really see any problem following the beginners guide, although it does leave you hanging with no DE (or X server) and on a root only system. As long as partitioning is done before doing the install everything is pretty straight forward (though YMMV as I've not had to do an install with wireless drivers and my ventures using wpa-supplicant have been rather fruitless). If the install is being too much of an annoyance, try installing with the "Architect Linux" live iso, it does all of the stuff the beginners guide reccommends but behind a slightly more user-friendly ncurses utility. Even then though, I would recommend reading through the guide and the post installation page for reference, if nothing else.
                        I like haikus
                        But sometimes they don't make sense
                        Refrigerator

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                        • #13
                          I like arch, and it is a great way to learn linux. But it is more work to get to grips with than the 'user friendly' alternatives like ubuntu, trying to claim otherwise is a bit bizarre.

                          Personally I just start with base debian nowadays. It has the most maturity and stability. But mostly I use my linux boxes, both at home and at work, via ssh or running in a VM with a minimal gui and a fullscreen terminal window open, so this may not work for you.

                          My personal opinion is that windows 7 is simply a much more polished and convenient desktop environment than any unix DE ever, whereas linux is better at pretty much everything else you could want to do with a computer, so I use both operating systems and leverage the strengths of both where appropriate.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ice Tea

                            Rather than being a debian light weight desktop that is just re-skinned to look like windows they are taking the win XP style from scratch and have plans for single click install files with point and click setup.
                            Linux already supports single click install files (.deb on Debian-based platforms, .rpm on many others, and binary shell scripts (typically .run, but could be any extension) which is supported on all variations of Linux and UNIX). However this is an outdated method of installing - in fact it's just a crap way of installing content. Even Windows is moving away from this methodology. Online repositories are so much easier to work with than having to manually pull dozens of install binaries.

                            I also really resent the idea of making Linux behave like Windows. If people want something that looks and feels like Windows, then they should run Windows. If they don't like Windows then they try something that isn't like Windows (be that OS X, Linux, Haiku, or whatever). Trying to make Linux look and behave like Windows just leaves people with the worst of both worlds and ultimately makes for an all round worse experience.

                            Originally posted by Mordynak View Post
                            @ Lorem-Ipsum. I was recommended Arch a few days a go by a few people on the Linux Freenode IRC. I was interested in the idea of building it from scratch almost. I liked the idea of Arch and I was giving the install a go. But then I asked for help from the Arch IRC channel.... They are.... not too friendly to say the least. I cant remember what exactly the problem I was having was now, but I couldn't find any info on it online.
                            Yeah, a lot of the folks on Arch's IRC channel are ****s, quite frankly. In fact even their messageboard can feel a little hostile at times (though they're more terse than rude on the forum). There's a few general Linux forums where support is a lot friendly though. And a few Arch users on here too (myself included).

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cold fusion View Post
                              I also really resent the idea of making Linux behave like Windows. If people want something that looks and feels like Windows, then they should run Windows.
                              I hear this a lot from "Linux people". Those same people bemoan the amount of people using Linux as a desktop OS and wonder why the inferior Windows has such a superior market share. It takes a special kind of doublethink.

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