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Author Topic: Recommend a Linux distro for home use?  (Read 4591 times)
Mahkul
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January 08, 2011, 01:28:17 PM
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I am going to switch from Windows to Linux on my home PC. At the workplace I administer a server where I put SUSE about 4 years ago and never changed to anything else (apart from upgrading and installing patches of course). Not that I am not happy with SUSE, but can you guys recommend any other distributions that would be ideal for home use (easy installation of audio/video codecs and stuff and of course, easy installation of Bitcoin and GPU miners).

Thanks in advance.

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January 08, 2011, 01:35:33 PM
 #2

The only one I have used is Ubuntu. Its really improved a lot.
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January 08, 2011, 01:40:01 PM
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+1 for Ubuntu.

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January 08, 2011, 03:15:33 PM
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Ubuntu or Kubuntu (try both livecds, see which desktop you prefer and then install from livecd).
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January 08, 2011, 03:19:53 PM
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Thank you guys, I will check them out.

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January 08, 2011, 04:15:36 PM
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Ubuntu or Debian
If your looking for something a bit stronger Slackware

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January 08, 2011, 05:41:10 PM
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Arch Linux Rolling release.

If you had never used any linux distro before go Ubuntu then. Smiley

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January 08, 2011, 05:49:41 PM
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Arch Linux Rolling release.

If you had never used any linux distro before go Ubuntu then. Smiley

I am pretty experienced with "work stuff" like using the console to build/configure/run iptables, samba, apache, nagios and whatever else I need on my servers.

I have never used the GUI though (well, hardly ever), thus what I am looking for is something that would be very suitable for using at home without too much hassle for getting to play movies, music etc. I have downloaded Ubuntu and give it a try shortly.

Thanks again for your feedback.

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January 08, 2011, 06:30:48 PM
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Another vote for Ubuntu here.
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January 08, 2011, 06:33:55 PM
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I've only ever used Ubuntu. Back on Windows because my computer is actually owned by my employer.

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January 08, 2011, 09:29:37 PM
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+1 for Arch Linux. Initial installation and config might be a hassle but after that you'll love it.
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January 08, 2011, 09:47:59 PM
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If you have never used Linux before, and are otherwise used to how MS windoze does things, then Ubuntu is the best choice that I am personally aware of.   I have never tried Arch Linux, but I have tried Red Hat, Gentoo, Peanut, Slackware, Suse, DamnSmall, and a number others that I can't recall at this time.  Ubuntu is, by far, the most like Windoze with the least need for command line administration.  I, however, prefer Gentoo.  Runs like a scolded dog.  I was playing Stargate SG-1 videos on a 486-66 with 64 megs of ram, way back.  Everyone I ever talked to thought it was impossible, till I showed them it could be done on a tweeked Gentoo install with only BlackboxWM running on a video card framebuffer.

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January 08, 2011, 10:05:44 PM
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+1 for Arch Linux. Initial installation and config might be a hassle but after that you'll love it.

OK, I keep hearing about Arch Linux and I'm **this** close to wiping my hard-drive and installing it. The terminal is my mandala, and I'm wabi-sabi with it. BUT (and this may sound churlish) everytime I open the Arch Linux website and see the install page, I'm reminded of my gentoo days. Then I click close after muttering "ugh".

Rolling updates is a big plus. However I want my system to work. Work out the box and stay out of my way. I don't like pissing away my precious days configuring my box and kernel flags (like I did years and years ago)... Honestly: how unstable/non-automated is the system? I don't like spending hours configuring upgrades. I've got my delicate balance of vim/irssi/mutt/bash/desktop/whatever configs that I get thrown off if they need fixing (like Ubuntu when we have major breaking releases rather than small incremental rolling updates Wink ).

Please advise.
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January 08, 2011, 10:27:22 PM
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basically as far as I am aware you don't need to configure it after upgrades. It is as if you were upgrading any other piece of software. Don't you have a 4GB+ USB Memory? Maybe you can give it a try without needing to format your hard drive. xD

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January 08, 2011, 11:05:48 PM
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If you have never used Linux before, and are otherwise used to how MS windoze does things, then Ubuntu is the best choice that I am personally aware of.   I have never tried Arch Linux, but I have tried Red Hat, Gentoo, Peanut, Slackware, Suse, DamnSmall, and a number others that I can't recall at this time.  Ubuntu is, by far, the most like Windoze with the least need for command line administration.  I, however, prefer Gentoo.  Runs like a scolded dog.  I was playing Stargate SG-1 videos on a 486-66 with 64 megs of ram, way back.  Everyone I ever talked to thought it was impossible, till I showed them it could be done on a tweeked Gentoo install with only BlackboxWM running on a video card framebuffer.

+1 on what craighto says about Ubuntu and Gentoo.

So far I've been using and admining Slackware, some local Red Hat flavour, Debian, OpenSuse, Gentoo and Arch Hurd (not Linux) and a few more.

For home use personally I much prefer Gentoo, because it's a rolling release and you can tweak the living crap out of it. Also it's a dream to admin, once you get used to it.

But at the end it boils down to what you want and what you need.

Maybe playing about with a distro chooser could help you decide:
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
http://polishlinux.org/choose/quiz/

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January 08, 2011, 11:17:53 PM
 #16

You can also go to distrowatch.com and get a feel for which are the most popular at any given point in time.  There is a series of links on the right side where you can click on the distro and get a short description of what it is targeted to.  I have tried all of the major distros and BSD as well but keep coming back to OpenSUSE.  I think it is one of the best for a development platform.  Ubuntu is probably the best for a first-time user though.  CentOS is the gold-standard server distro, but Ubuntu Server is looking mighty fine these days too.

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January 09, 2011, 05:37:36 AM
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everytime I open the Arch Linux website and see the install page, I'm reminded of my gentoo days. Then I click close after muttering "ugh".

I stalled for a long while too, then out of nowhere I just manned up and went for it. It took me 2 long days but it was mostly because of my own incompetence. I didn't even know what the hell ext4 was until I was installing and never had manually partitioned my disk. I think if I reinstalled again right now it wouldn't take me more than 3 hours ready with xorg, sudo, audio, codecs, window manager, fonts, etc, and if I reinstalled again right after that maybe it would take me 1.5-2 hours, so it shouldn't take you too long at all if you are already linux savvy.

Honestly: how unstable/non-automated is the system? I don't like spending hours configuring upgrades. I've got my delicate balance of vim/irssi/mutt/bash/desktop/whatever configs that I get thrown off if they need fixing (like Ubuntu when we have major breaking releases rather than small incremental rolling updates Wink ).

Please advise.

Your stability will depend on the programs you install. If you only install from 'core', 'extras' and 'community' repositories then you probably won't have much problems at all, if you install from 'testing' and the AUR then things are more likely to get broken. The only problem I've ever had in ~6 months of use is that my window manager (gotten from AUR) stopped working after I updated some dependency. Fixed it in little time since someone had already asked about it in the forums and it was already resolved. Never had a problem with vim. Can't say about irssi and mutt, never used those.

Just to be safe though, you should only update when you have spare time in case something breaks.
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January 09, 2011, 08:39:15 AM
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ok, that sounds great Grin

How are kernel updates/drivers managed? Are they automatic like on Ubuntu?
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January 09, 2011, 01:10:17 PM
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Yeah they get updated automatically.
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January 11, 2011, 07:48:03 PM
 #20

For non-technical home use, go with Ubuntu. Although, there's no reason you can't get technical with it. It has a nice polish and is just a pleasure to use, more so than Windows and OS X. I've been with Ubuntu on and off since 2004, and constantly for the last year.

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