Linux advise, please?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by emmpe, Oct 31, 2008.

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  1. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    I sure could use some advise on Linux. The situation is that on and off in the past I've tried to install some varieties on an unused computer, just to see what it's like. None of them has ever worked (Red Hat, Debian, Open Suse and Damn Small L, I think it was) and the comp is long gone. But dammit! I'll try again. So what flavour and version would be appropriate for a VirtualBox on a Windows host? It should be both small, say 400 MB, and suitable for as wide selection of software as possible. Maybe this isn't the right forum, but I've seen a few ardent advocates of Linux around here, and I would truly appreciate their words of wisdom.
     
  2. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    when you say none of the distros ever worked how do you mean?
    did the installer not work?
    did you download install version or live cd's?
    did some stuff not work when fully installed?
     
  3. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    That's a little contradictory.... small and lots of software are at two extremes. There are light distros and heavy distros.

    When you say 400mb, do you mean size on the CD, or size installed (not many are that small), also it would help if you were more specific about your hardware and also about what it is you want and/or are looking for.

    But in general, there certainly is no shortage of distros to try out. Start looking here, it covers just about all of the most common and even uncommon ones:

    http://distrowatch.com/
     
  5. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    You could check out Vector Linux http://vectorlinux.com/ its a small fast distro but maybe not the easiest to use.
     
  6. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Is size something you can compromise on a little. If so try Xubuntu. It is around 600 megs in terms of download size. Will expand to over 3 gigs once installed however.
     
  7. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    Hello all, thanks for your quick response and suggestions (that's why I always turn to Wilder's first).

    Right now I'm running a virtual Windows XP stripped down to about 500 MB on disk; it works with most apps, absence of virtual hardware being the main obstacle in a few cases. My hardware is a HP 2core Athlon with Windows XP and my aim is to find out, the virtual way, what Linux is like and whether it might be an acceptable alternative to Windows. I'm under the impression that Linux software is always adapted to just a few distros - correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, running it on VB from an already crowded disk means it has to be reasonably small - I'll go as far as 1 GB.

    (Dam! Can't find a multiquote function! Oh, well.)

    @huangker: Too big, just like Windows, which is rapidly becoming a monster. To think of all the things you could do with a floppydisk-sized OS on the kids' Amiga once upon a time!

    @rdsu & farmerlee: I'll have a look. Windows isn't always easy to use either.

    @lodore: They just wouldn't run. Correction: RedHat booted, but wouldn't let me do anything. Never bothered to find out why, though. Linux used to have a reputation of being hard to install, but that shouldn't be valid any more, should it?
     
  8. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    if you using virtualbox firstly update to 2.0.4 link
    well acually what version are you using atm?

    in virtualbox using a windows host i have successfully installed the following:
    Ubuntu 8.10(needs 2.0.4 virtualbox),mandriva 2009,mandriva 2008 before 2009 was out.fedora 9,opensuse. someothers also worked but i cant remember at this time. the easiest to install linux distros IMO are ubuntu and opensuse. fedora isnt very hard eiether.
     
  9. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    There are definitely a few alternatives that can install in under 1 GB.

    Damn Small Linux
    DeLi Linux
    xPUD

    Be warned however these wont be as well polished as the major distros and you generally won't find as active as a community for support.

    Alternatively, you are prepared for a steeper learning curve, you could the following distros that start you off with only a commandline interface and you can install a gui on top. Not as hard as it sounds because

    Arch Linux has an awesome package manager called pacman and
    Ubuntu JeOS has APT. Both are designed with online repos in mind so if you can get your VB networking up (usually just automatically configured) then you can get a GUI environment with out too much trouble.

    Hmm I just LOVE carrying around 20 floppies :p. More seriously though, disk space has gotten so much bigger that to most developers, 1 gig here or there doesn't matter much. Consider the size of your mp3 and movies collection. In terms of how fast it runs, Xubuntu is quite snappy even in a VM.
     
  10. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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  11. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    All right, all you good people, thanks a lot. I'm downloading everything you suggest. I reckon I'll have to try them one by one. It seems like every Linux user has his own favourite. For the sake of bandwidth load I'd like to re-formulate my question: is there any Linux variety that should be shunned like the plague?

    @lodore: I do use VB 204, and it works fine so far (all VM:s seem to trash my system sooner or later, but that's life). I've tried Slax on it but I can't stand this Vistafication of everything, making UI:s look like candystores. My earlier non-experiences with Linux were on a physical Pentium II machine.

    Well, Amiga OS in itself wasn't bigger than a couple of floppies, as I recall. On the other hand I can still find forgotten application floppies in dark corners of the house though it'll soon be a decade since the kids moved out. That huge 40 MB hard disk was a bit too expensive, unfortunately. :)
     
  12. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    I think most distros are quite light even with KDE. I do remember Foresight being very sluggish however.

    Well I'm glad we are off them. Even if it was a couple of them, I'd lose 1 or 2 and there goes the OS.
     
  13. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Check sidux and you will see what is light and fast...
     
  14. Arup

    Arup Guest


    I agree on that along with OzOs.
     
  15. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yep, I'll 3rd that, OzOS and Sidux are the lightest and quickest by far..... :)
     
  16. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Compared to what ?
     
  17. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Compared to:

    SUSE 11.x
    Fedora 9.x
    Ubuntu 8.x
    Kubuntu 8.x
    Xubuntu 8.x
    Mandriva
    PCLinuxOS
    Debian
    Sabayon
    Linux Mint
    PC-BSD
    DreamLinux
    MEPIS
    gOS
    Zenwalk

    Those a a few I have used and can compare to. OzOS is extremely fast and light, in fact, it is the fastest distro I have seen and used. Hands down. And probably the nicest looking too... It is my choice, Sidux is very quick also.
     
  18. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Echo:
    Tiny Me (PCLOS extra lite) for a trial
    MiniME ( PCLOS lite)
    ( extra advantage is Synaptic)
    PuppyLinux 4.1.1 is now a very very polished distro
    AntiX ( stripped down version of the great MEPIS is very nice.)
    :shifty: Wolvix is Slack based GUI centric user friendly fast and light.
    ( personal fave )

    All small, and i can vouch that all install into VMWare

    @emmpe: could try WUBI if you dont want virtual installation but dont want dual boot.

    THE GREATEST LINUX RESOURCE PAGE IN THE WORLD:
    http://www.dedoimedo.com/
    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computer_software.html#linux
    :D
     
  19. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    I guess " I have seen and used" are key words......

    Arch
    Slackware (and Slackware based distro's)
    Gentoo
    DSL
    Puppy
    TinyMe

    Thats fast and light.

    DSL, Puppy, TinyMe have options to load entirely into ram, there's no possible way OzOS can be as fast as these.

    OzOS wins in the looks department ;)

    Sidex o_O :doubt:
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  20. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yep, OzOS is a looker for sure.... the others you mentioned are light, but probably don't have a full complement of software either. Oz does. Somehow when they used Enlightment for the desktop, it really gave the entire distro a boost speedwise. Or more likely that's just how fast Linux is without the load of KDE or Gnome. But you are probably right, the smaller ones are fast also, maybe faster.... Try Oz sometime for fun and you'll see... :)
     
  21. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Sidux eh: fast and light ?? hhmmm...
    OK; the .iso is sitting staring at me: I'll do it...;)
    Sounds like OzOs ( another distro with strong Aussie input) needs a trial too.

    OT: Got some debian iso's here too: is it a strain ??

    :eek:
    lol, go the K: settled yet ??
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  22. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Try Puppy Linux.
    Mrk
     
  23. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Haha... Yes, after all that, I did settle on OzOS, and Ubuntu 2nd.... :)
     
  24. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    This thread sure has provided good reading. I've learned of quite a few new distros and I get the feeling there's no end to them. Can't say I've found a favourite yet, though anything running from a CD seems to be a good idea. Not all of them work with VBox, of course. It's a shame, though, that Linux has such a slow, linear evolution. It'll probably never become a real alternative to Windows - sad to say. As for security: why this obsession with passwords in Linux, usually even mandatory already at setup? I want to take care of security things myself and on my own initiative.
     
  25. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Unless you can expand on this point, you will probably get flamed for this one. Linux is actually a great alternative to windows. The only problem most people have with switching is that they have windows specific software.

    How is this a bad thing?
     
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