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Thread: choosing the right linux dist (linux first time user)

  1. #1
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    choosing the right linux dist (linux first time user)

    Hello everyone!
    I am gonna give you a short resume...
    im a former win/mac os user. i downloaded ubuntu linux, did a hdd install on the whole disk. thus removing my former os - win xp.
    everything worked fine, except that ubuntu didnt support my graphic card..so all the colors were screwed up.
    i read alot at different forums, and it turns out many others have the same problem. and because im new to linux i couldnt find a way around it.
    i decided i should switch to another dist and choosed knoppix. i made a full hdd install, and it actually works out pretty well (even though i read that ppl dont recommend doing so)
    problems with knoppix is that it dont seem to have a swedish keyboard layout, and i would really like that actually..

    well my question too you guys is (sorry cant make a semi-colon sign, keyboard is all out of place)
    should i try and install DEBIAN instead of knoppix, and do you think debian will support my graphic card?
    ive read that knoppix is *based on* debian, so im thinking maybe it could work with my machine. .

    I have a Acer Aspire 5003WLMi
    SiS M760GX integrated graphic card
    AMD Turion 64 processor


    im open to any kind of linux dist which could support this machine!

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: choosing the right linux dist (linux first time user)

    Quote Originally Posted by blokk.m
    well my question too you guys is (sorry cant make a semi-colon sign, keyboard is all out of place)
    should i try and install DEBIAN instead of knoppix, and do you think debian will support my graphic card?
    ive read that knoppix is *based on* debian, so im thinking maybe it could work with my machine.
    Welcome,

    Asking about what distro to use can be like asking what religion to choose, but at least you have given people some good technical considerations to base their suggestions on and hopefully they will tie in any recommendations to your hardware needs.

    Knoppix is based on Debian, but is a mix of different versions and many people including it's creator say that it is not really suitable for hard disk install for the typical user. Ubuntu also has it's roots in Debian.

    I don't know what your video issue is, I would certainly expect the colors to be correct, although any 3D acceleration support would be a lot more dicey. If Knoppix gets your video right then you can be pretty confident that you can configure it correctly with Debian (and even if Knoppix video isn't perfect there is a good chance that Debian will configure correctly.

    I would suggest trying a net install of the "testing" version of Debian. The stable version is too old for many users and I really would only use it for servers or other business applications. In spite of the name "testing" you should find that version of the distro to be more stable than any Microsoft OS release has ever been.
    ---
    Verifying of md5 checksum and burning a CD at slow speed are important.

  3. #3
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    thanks for your quick reply!
    yes, i understand that choosing a good distro is a very personal matter..
    i think that i will give the debian *test* version a go! knoppix did get my video right from start, which ubuntu didnt..
    hopefully debian will also recognize my videocard like knoppix did.. and i also know a bit more than before how to work with terminal etc. so maybe i could get things in order.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    The keyboard issue should not be too difficult to overcome: I'm Norwegian, and typing
    Code:
    keyboard=no
    at boot gives me the right definition. When I save the configuration, such settings will be saved, too.

    I'm running Knoppix 6.0.1 off a hard disk, but without any HD install. You boot from a USB stick, prepare a FAT32 partition somewhere on the drive, create a 4GB Knoppix persistent image on the USB stick, use apt-get or synaptic to install the programs lacking on the CD distro, and copy the whole KNOPPIX directory from the USB stick to the FAT32 partition. Next time you boot from the stick, Knoppix will find the image on the hard disk, and use that to run from. If you do lots of updating to the "install", you may want to copy KNOPPIX from the HD back to the stick now and then, for backup and better usability. (You can run the installed programs on ANY computer booting and running from the stick.)

  5. #5
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    swedish keyboard layout is nonexistent (or atleast not fully functional) in later knoppix releases for some reason, BUT Finland is included (100% same), so use "fi" as country code.

  6. #6
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    Try Ubuntu...

    You should try Ubuntu... if you haven't already.

    Very successfully downloads and installs on your HD - with a great interface for installation of the OS and all apps.

    GF

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    Re: Try Ubuntu...

    Quote Originally Posted by gradofan
    You should try Ubuntu...
    Interesting advice from someone who says they are new to Linux and just days ago was asking what to install. Is there any reason that you would advocate Ubuntu over Debian? I've looked at boot and can't find any reason to use Ubuntu. If there were some strange driver that Ubuntu had that Debian lacked (and, of course, if one needed the driver), that might be a good reason to try it, but otherwise I don't see any reason to prefer Ubuntu over Debian. Have I missed something?
    ---
    Verifying of md5 checksum and burning a CD at slow speed are important.

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    Re: Try Ubuntu...

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Kuhman
    Quote Originally Posted by gradofan
    You should try Ubuntu...
    Interesting advice from someone who says they are new to Linux and just days ago was asking what to install. Is there any reason that you would advocate Ubuntu over Debian? I've looked at boot and can't find any reason to use Ubuntu. If there were some strange driver that Ubuntu had that Debian lacked (and, of course, if one needed the driver), that might be a good reason to try it, but otherwise I don't see any reason to prefer Ubuntu over Debian. Have I missed something?
    I'm not a "techy" and just wanted a fairly simple GUI interface for everything, including the installation of the OS to my HD, and installation of apps - essentially a MAC, or Windows, experience. Ubuntu provides that - Knoppix doesn't.

  9. #9
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    Knoppix isn't suitable for most users to install to hard disk, there are plenty of warnings about that all over this site.

    But the question was "why recommend Ubuntu over Debian", not why recommend it over Knoppix. As far as I concerned Debian is a much better choice for most users. Of course, there are hundreds of different Linux distros and any one user may find reasons to use one over another, I would never suggest that everyone should use the same distro. But I've never seen a good reason to advocate Ubuntu over Debian, except in the rare case where Ubuntu may temporarily have a driver that Debian has not yet released. So my question was why you made a pretty general recommendation for someone else to use Ubuntu, when Debian had already been mentioned in the thread? Do you have some reason to prefer Ubuntu over Debian?
    ---
    Verifying of md5 checksum and burning a CD at slow speed are important.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Kuhman
    Knoppix isn't suitable for most users to install to hard disk, there are plenty of warnings about that all over this site.

    But the question was "why recommend Ubuntu over Debian", not why recommend it over Knoppix. As far as I concerned Debian is a much better choice for most users. Of course, there are hundreds of different Linux distros and any one user may find reasons to use one over another, I would never suggest that everyone should use the same distro. But I've never seen a good reason to advocate Ubuntu over Debian, except in the rare case where Ubuntu may temporarily have a driver that Debian has not yet released. So my question was why you made a pretty general recommendation for someone else to use Ubuntu, when Debian had already been mentioned in the thread? Do you have some reason to prefer Ubuntu over Debian?
    No reason - except I've tried it and I like it. Debian may be good for a "GUIGuy" also - don't know, haven't tried it.

    I just went to one of the web sites that monitor the various Distros, and Ubuntu was at the top of the list, seemed like it did everything I wanted - I tried it and I liked it. Its not a MAC, or Windows, but its good... and... I assume it doesn't suffer from the security issues of Windows. At least that's why I was motivated to try it.

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