Made a boo-boo, now need a good Linux distro

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Brandonn2010, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    So today I decided to restore my Mom's laptop to factory settings to speed it up again as use by myself testing software, and my brother, made it feel gunked up, even after cleaning with CCleaner and stuff.

    However, something is wrong with the factory restore, and it is caught in some kind of loop, where HP says it is almost done, and just restoring software. However, it automatically restarts the computer, and goes back to it again, for quite a while. At some point it logs in and I can briefly see the desktop, but it immediately shuts down and restarts, then goes back to the loading software thing. I tried restoring it again in case that restore had messed up, but it is doing the same thing!

    So yes, I somewhat wrecked the laptop. Since she hardly uses it, and only uses it for Internet browsing, I figured wiping Windows off and installing Linux is fine, but I need to know what distro would currently be best. I would prefer a user-friendly distro, and one that has a rolling release, so that it will always be up-to-date. I was thinking either Debian or Manjaro. The laptop is not terrible in terms of hardware, but it is a cheap Compaq from 2008.

    And to save face a bit, note that I did backup her photos and documents before first doing the factory reset.
     
  2. Kyle1420

    Kyle1420 Registered Member

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    I put "Elementary" on my girlfriends Netbook, It looks real nice and simple to use. I prefer more options, However this is a great OS for a computer newb. Plus, It looks just as nice as a MAC imo.

    One thing, Replace the web-browser with chromium or your personal choice.. The default did not come with flash(had to mess with command line to get it working) But even then it would randomly crash(girlfriend reported) so I installed chromium onto it and she's very happy with no crashes.
     
  3. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    if you have old hardware or like little light distro try xubuntu linux mint xfce or bodhi you wont be disappointed with them.


    try and see what you like install

    with xubuntu you need some tweaks but worth it if you want original.

    without tweak lazy try bodhi or linux mint xfce

    good thing about linux mint xfce out of box + very close to xp like feeling so feel like home ......

    http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_olivia_xfce_whatsnew.php#xfce
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Crunchbang aka #! :)
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Go to DistroWatch download 3-5 Live CD & try them out.

    Personally I'd try Linux Mint LTS, PCLOS, Fedora, OpenSUSE & Mageia.

    Whatever works best ootb is what I'd use in your situation.
     
  6. Pfipps

    Pfipps Registered Member

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    Is there a restore partition? It's probably the reason why the restore is not working, it may have gotten messed up. Unless you have a way to have a checksum, you can never be sure. DVDs are always a good backup option, however "old" now.

    What version of Windows is on the PC? Another way to restore is to do a plain windows install, to avoid the bloatware. It's becoming harder to find Vista ISOs, but it is still legit, if you have the license key, just be sure to get the official MD5's to make sure you have a real one.
    Once all your stuff is installed, you simply make an image, I like Macrium.

    If you are really set on going with a linux distro, I'd go with Xubuntu.
    However, from my experience, to get close to as tear free (video and windows) as you can get, Cinnamon on Linux mint or Gnome is the best you can do, but it is highly graphics card dependent. Gnome does have extensions to make it usable.
     
  7. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    If you want rolling release then consider Linux Mint Debian Edition. I would not recommend Arch (even in the form of Manjaro) for a person unfamiliar with Linux.
     
  8. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    Oh I forgot about Linux Mint Debian. I've already installed Linux Mint XFCE with 3 partitions: /, User, and Swap. To switch to LMDE, would I just format the / partition and install LMDE their? Would the User partition automatically be incorporated into the new Linux? And is it truly a rolling release? Because their site says semi-rolling, and its description was confusing. Thank you.
     
  9. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    By user do you mean the /home partition? Afaik yes you only need to format the / (root) partition.
    I don't know if theres a better way of describing it than the FAQ:
    Basically rather than follow Debian testing directly, with LMDE you will instead get updates from the Mint repo. Although you won't necessarily have the same packages as Debian testing, its still a rolling release in the sense that you just upgrade to make sure you have the latest version of LMDE. You don't need to reinstall LMDE when new ISOs become available.
     
  10. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    Okay, thank you. Also, I'm trying to install LMDE, but it seems stuck on "Checking file indexes." I Googled that and others booting from a multiboot USB have the same problem. I really don't feel like troubleshooting, so I may stick with Mint XFCE, since updating to a newer version probably wouldn't be to necessary given how often she uses her laptop. However, I also kind of liked Fedora in the past, and thought GNOME 3 was actually kind of cool. Is it switching to a rolling release? I read something about it but can't remember.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  11. UnknownK

    UnknownK Registered Member

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    No, Fedora isn't a rolling release, and I don't foresee this happening. If you want a Gnome 3 Distribution that is rolling forever, you should try Arch/Manjaro/Debian-Testing. Installing Arch is unnecessarily difficult for a newcomer, my opinion. So get a Manjaro Net edition, connect to internet and install gnome 3. Or you can download and install a weekly snapshot of Debian Testing Gnome3. I said all this because I also think gnome3 is actually kind of cool!

    Stay clear of LMDE. LMDE is not being maintained well enough by the mint developers. My prediction is--it is going to die soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  12. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    Still, LMDE is a way better alternative than regular releases since it's based off of Debian and not Ubuntu.

    Fedora isn't a RR distro, but LMDE is IIRC. This means you'll get newer software than regular Mint/Ubuntu and a much stronger and solid base. Also, there's almost no chance of malicious software in LMDE.

    Personally I'd only recommend Arch.
     
  13. taleblou

    taleblou Registered Member

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    My suggestion is linux mint 15. Its sofar the best linux distros I have seen. Very stable and it comes with everything preloaded in the dvd. Search for it and burn the iso and use it and in 10 minutes or so you will be up with everything.
     
  14. UnknownK

    UnknownK Registered Member

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    I've used LMDE quite extensively in the past--got rid of it quite recently; I know quite a bit about it. It's stable in the sense that you'll get no update for a long long time, not even updates for regular firefox release. For example, chances are that you'll be stuck with Firefox 24 even after Firefox 28 is out. Then suddenly, after a very long time, may be 8-10 months, you'll get a huge update. This update wil most probably break things.
     
  15. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    If this is true than I apologize about my misinformation.
    For all I know LMDE is a rolling-release and is *supposed* to have newer software and a lot of updates.

    @OP: I recommend you to try Debian Jessie, the release which Ubuntu LTS is mostly based of. I've used it for a long time (before installing Arch Linux) and it's pretty stable, really rock solid (can't expect less from Debian).
     
  16. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Or you can go with Ubuntu LTS and download new version every 5 yeras. You are less likely to run into problems this way IMO since rolling releases can be buggy and may require your attention to fix problems.
    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is coming in April 2014 and will be supported until 2019. So this is a something to think about.
     
  17. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Awesome that means Mint 14.04 LTS is not far behind. Am I correct?
     
  18. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    I'm my experience I had more bugs in Ubuntu LTS than on Debian Testing. Debian Testing is flawless, it's devs really know what they're doing. Canonical on the other hand... :rolleyes:
     
  19. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I have to agree that Debian is very clean... however, Ubuntu LTS is pretty good too, from my experience. Guess your experience just depends on the hardware you install it on..
     
  20. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I love the HUGE part Debian plays in Linux's ongoing history. Especially Repos.

    But the only OS or DE that I can get to work that is Debian based are GParted Live CDs. Everything else for me has at least 1 crippling flaw.
     
  21. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    ^ What kind of flaw(s)?
     
  22. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Examples I've experienced are nonbooting, no wifi, no sound, keyboard not working, numbers not working, after 1st update system borked etc. etc.
     
  23. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Hardware..... :)
     
  24. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Probably right. But I've tried 8-12 Debian based Distros on 6 or more different hardware configs in the past 12 months.

    But when I load Mint, OpenSUSE or Fedora they usually just work. And I think Mint is stretching the truth on the based on Debian ascertainment.
     
  25. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yeah, Mint works best for me too. Gotta go with what works.. :thumb:
     
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