Simple Controllable OS needed

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Bowser, Oct 14, 2012.

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  1. Bowser

    Bowser Registered Member

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    My situation is best described as having been perfectly happy with essentially older versions of Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu, etal, but am finding the new distros bloated and/or buggy. As well as lacking control easily affected by a moderately skilled user and non programmer.

    Can anybody recommend an OS based on the following parameters:

    - minimal in scope of default apps
    - browsing, email is all I need (essential for work)

    - powerful in terms of services control and firewall

    - ability to include something like wireshark, useable in a non root environment


    I really like the power of KDE but prefer Gnome (no bouncing balls...) and in the past have managed to combine the two by virtue of installers but, as can be imagined, this can be problematic.

    Nowadays it's all automated and does everything including install the kitchen sink. (Which leaks like a sieve)

    What I'm looking for is the ability to have no non-user-initiated communication.
    I rely on the controls provided by the gui to achieve this.

    Mageia comes very close to what I need but apparently it's pushing updates and software I rely on either can't be installed or is apparently buggy. Otherwise very impressive.

    Hope someone can help before I spend more countless hours fruitlessly disabling everything under the sun I don't need.

    ty
     
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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  3. Bodhi works for this but the interface is kind of exotic, and maybe a bit confusing.

    Also PCLinuxOS KDE MiniMe Edition. But PCLOS likes to overwrite desktop config files when KDE is updated, so it's probably out.

    Fedora, OpenSUSE, Mageia, or anything based on Redhat. Be warned that Fedora is not known for its stability.

    IIRC Wireshark *needs* root, on both Linux and Windows, for some of its functionality. I might be horribly behind the times though, been a while since I used it... Anyway most major distros have a package for it.

    Startup notification and bouncing cursor images can be turned off in the KDE control panel. Granted, it's not always obvious where to look - try searching the control panel for "notification."

    Non-user-initiated communication? AFAIK very few distros send outbound stuff without your say-so (other than DHCP requests and such). I suppose Avahi/Zeroconf stuff counts, but Avahi can easily be disabled, with little impact on functionality.

    Mageia is good for usability, but probably not the best choice for compatibility with third-party software. OpenSUSE and Redhat derivatives (Scientific Linux, CentOS, etc.) are probably the best choices from that standpoint.

    You shouldn't have to disable all that much. Most distros these days don't have many unnecessary services running, and very few have open ports by default.

    If you really need to limited the amount of Stuff installed (as opposed to services running), you might want to look at install DVDs as opposed to live CDs. OpenSUSE, CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Mageia all offer DVDs that let you customize your software selection.
     
  4. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    elementaryos luna is what you want! Simple, elegant and lightweight. You can install exactly what you need. The developers have removed Jupiter from their website to make way for the new beta - which is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Its boots up fast and its responsiveness is excellent even on resource-constrained netbooks. It has a unique desktop environment - Pantheon and its own Gala window manager. Its usability leaves GNOME 3 in the dust.
     
  5. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Puppy and Fuduntu, the later is a well planned half rolling release so its install and forget.
     
  6. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  7. Bowser

    Bowser Registered Member

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    Thanks for the answers, been very busy so apologies for the delay in responding.
    Looks like I've got a few to look at! Perhaps the list could be narrowed some.

    Security is something of a concern for me (particularly with email atm), of those mentioned could any be considered significantly less or more secure than the others?
    Maybe some are using an older kernel which has a flaw that won't be patched?

    Thanks all
     
  8. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    All big vendors like Canonical, Red Hat are very prompt with security updates and put them up the moment they are released so if thats your concern, stick to these two. OTOH, if you use a rolling release like Arch or Gentoo, you get the latest as soon as its released. If you make your own the LFS way, you need to set up cron job to keep it updated.
     
  9. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    CentOS 6.3 "Minimal desktop" (one of the options available when you select your installation packages)
     
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