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Which distro do you recommend?

by rohan.katipally-208132649 / January 22, 2007 7:34 AM PST

I have a more or less new HP dv9000t laptop with the following specs:
17" screen (1650 x 1050 resolution)
Core 2 Duo T5600 (1.83 ghz)
2 GB RAM at 667 MHz
100 GB hard drive space
Windows Media Center Edition installed at the moment
512 MB Nvidia GeForce go 7600 GPU
Analog TV tuner
intel 3945 a/b/g internal wireless and bluetooth
dvd-rw drive w/ lightscribe

I wanted to see which distro of linux would best support my computer's hardware and specs. I was looking more closely at both Ubuntu and SuSE and if anyone knows the hardware support of either one it would be helpful too. When recommending a certain distribution, please note if any of the above mentioned specs/features of my laptop are not compatible with it. Certain things are less necessary than others, as I need it to recognize my dual core processor and graphics card memory fully as opposed to my bluetooth capabilities..

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Try the LiveCD versions and test.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 22, 2007 7:49 AM PST

I expect PCLinuxOS 0.94 to be out soon so try that LiveCD then.


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I like Xandros Business Edition 4.01
by intrepi / March 17, 2007 4:49 AM PDT

Personally, I like Xandros Business Edition 4.01 and I'd recommend it as I bought a full version and it comes with very flexible licensing terms allowing me to load it onto as many personal computers as I own including 1 business machine. It has a lot of software including it's own updatable Antivirus, Adware and File Protection system. This is not a perfect OS as there are going to be improvements needed for every OS out there including Windows in whatever version. I tried SuSE and it's ok but I just didn't like it enough to go with it. I bought Xandros 3.0 and upgraded to 4.01 as I just like this version of Linux. Ubuntu is one I tried, I liked but it just doesn't have enough in it for me to take it on full time. Linux, like DOS has a learning curve that requires patience, focus and the more you use it, the more you will come to know which version fills your boots.

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Easy Linux OS
by mike_quesnel / January 22, 2007 3:17 PM PST

I recomend Ubuntu. Good with devices and has a great community for it. Try it, thats what Live CDs are for.

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You could Try
by phantazy / January 23, 2007 5:39 PM PST
In reply to: Easy Linux OS

Sabayon comes as a {slow) bootable iso download of about 3.2 Gb from DVD. You can try the full version without installing.

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Live CD
by myNameIsMud / January 28, 2007 1:42 AM PST
In reply to: Easy Linux OS

I would definitely recommend trying a live CD, that way you can easily see for yourself how it works with your hardware. I also would recommend Ubuntu ( I have an older Dell Inspiron 5100 and Ubuntu picked up all my hardware without any extra work on my part. They have a great community to help with problems and answer questions. Here is a starting point to look at hardware support:

One note: there are a couple different choices of what your ubuntu download will look like. The top two are Kubuntu and Ubuntu, the difference being that Kubuntu uses KDE (more of a wizbang pretty desktop), and Ubuntu uses Gnome (which I find is very usable). I have read some reports that their KDE distro is a tad less stable than the Gnome version (I think because they are using the most cutting edge packages), so I would recommend going with Gnome to start. You can always change it later. Another nice thing is that the whole thing fits on a CD, so you don't need a DVD burner.

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Mandriva is a good bet
by jerrymfrost / January 29, 2007 2:56 PM PST
In reply to: Easy Linux OS

It's now a live CD and they support 3D effects directly which can be nice to see while everyone is talking about aeroglass!!

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Mandriva 2007 or Suse10.2
by ahtoi / January 24, 2007 3:23 PM PST

The 64bits version.

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Which Flavor?
by mabradford / February 3, 2007 9:40 AM PST

Well, I run a Acer 5002 much like yours and of about 5 flavors including Ubuntu - I find that the boxed SuSE 10 upto and including 10.2 openSuSE run supurbly with 10.2 doing the best. You have to tweek the wifi because I haven't found any distro that just loaded it and off you go - and make sure you load "all" the laptop criteria of programs and utilities. I load all the stuff, gtk2, qt3, ruby, c compilers and c++ stuff, awk, all the *ash's, don't load Opera it's worthlessly slow and over built, just use Firefox and Mozilla. I unmark Postgre and load MySQL and all the LAMP stuff. The drivers are found automatically and I haven't had any problems with any of them yet. I don't have any idea how to get a 3D Accellerater driver going so you can figure that one out your ownself. I load all of openOffice 2.0.4(whatever) and all of KDE and KOffice for French and English. I still haven't found any programs that you can just click on and get all the programs you need for playing AVI's, Jpegs, Mpegs and other stuff I think have been patented to the hilt so I have to do a manual install of EnjoyMPEG and it's patches...but, it's not worked on anymore so what you get is more updates. I'm not much of movie maker so whatever Linux has for that I don't know how to use so someone else can answer that question. I load all the non-3D games cause the 3D ones won't run hense no 3D drivers. But, all in all - I've been working with SuSE since it's inception when it was first created from Slackware -- and I love them both for different reasons...Slackware challenges me -- whilst openSuSE let's me be a complete Linux Wimp. I program in both of them and do a lot of webstuff and photo alterations with GIMP.
So -- Next to openSuSE 10.2, if I were you -- I would look real hard at Ubuntu 6.1 and after that Mandriva2007 (wonderful flavor). Actually - I like working with Mandriva2007 best because it's simpler for me and more like Windows (whatever) :). These are the only 3 flavors that I feel are respectful of the laptop in ease of loading a dual boot system so I recommend them above all others. Don't use Redhat - I think RedHat (Fedora) sucks. Why -- because I don't like RedHat and never have and never will. Why -- who cares -- they suck. Ah really - that company is just as bad as Microsoft as far as spying on you. That's my opinion anyhow. It's just a matter of time until the Linux FAT systems are sending information secretively back to the manufacturers -- just like Microsoft's FAT file systems do now -- little chunks at a time. Eh - who cares Happy

Smooth sailin

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Does OpenSuse have any live CDs
by rohan.katipally-208132649 / February 4, 2007 2:05 AM PST
In reply to: Which Flavor?

Are there any live cds so I can just make sure my hardware is compatible with opensuse? Also, with linux, do you notice any differences in the quality of printing as opposed to printing with Windows? I have an HP officejet 5510 all in one, so I want to make sure whether or not the print quality diminishes when using various distros of linux, like Ubuntu, Opensuse, or Mandriva.

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by phantazy / February 4, 2007 6:11 AM PST

I use this, and you can download an iso image of it, version 10.2 x86 from You cannot run it like you can sabayon from the iso disk, without installing it, however. It takes 3.1gb. Printing quality is fine from my HP 980c, and all the drivers are available. There is a much greater choice of fonts in Open Office, and the quality is, as far as can be judged, identical.

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by dennisadelman / February 4, 2007 8:23 PM PST

Like others i would have to say Ubuntu and as others have also suggested the best thing you can do is download and burn yourself some live cd`s and give them a try......See what works & See what YOU like:-)

I aint been on the c-net forums with all those "new computer(win)user" issues i started out with last March and half of that is down to Ubuntu and the whole new world it opened up.(plus i know how to "google it" now):-)

It`s not just the OS itself that makes Ubuntu what it is but the Ubuntu community are probably second to none in their friendliness and willingness to help.(second only to c-net of course):-)

I`m actually writing this from a virtual XP on top of Ubuntu Edgy 6.10)compliments of VirtualBox and i can honestly say that our foray into the world of computers(and OS`s of course) has been made soooooo much more enjoyable and much less problematic since getting Ubuntu.

Those first months with those old messed up windows pc`s were fun but i didn`t relish the prospect of paying for those nightmares with a new Vista machine as i first intended on getting about now.

Aero effects......Meet beryl

Of course thats just basic stuff on a basic old pc that i`ve put together from other old pc`s and not some expensive new one that i cant do what i want with when i want how i want.

I do enjoy all the fun & games with Windows and i`m forever helping the friends & family with their XP nightmares now but i prefer the freedom of Ubuntu for myself and i would never go back.

Try it and see why for yourself

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dodgy link
by dennisadelman / February 8, 2007 1:34 AM PST
In reply to: Ubuntu
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by jwcalifo / February 5, 2007 8:06 AM PST

From the responses you've received, I hope you have tried the Ubuntu LiveCD by now, or better yet (in my opinion), Kubuntu. Kubuntu is Ubuntu with the KDE desktop environment, which is, I feel, the best window manager/desktop environment that is out there. Kubuntu worked right out of the box on my Toshiba Satellite notebook. It recognized all my hardware immediately, including my built-in wireless card (HINT: use 'ndiswrapper'). I recommend this one above all others definitely.

Some others that are fun to use are Knoppix, another LiveCD which is also Debian-based like Ubuntu, and Fedora Core which is made by Red Hat. Suse is well put-together but I didn't like it all that much, at least not compared to Kubuntu.

Good luck choosing a distro but most of all, have fun!


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I just tried the damn small linux live cd 3.2;
by ahtoi / February 8, 2007 1:28 PM PST

That is one responsive distro. This thing remind me of BeOS in the old day.

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by drudgetoiler / March 10, 2007 9:56 AM PST

ok i need some input on some of these as i am not familar with any.
I was wondering which is better for games/webhosting/developement.

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by AMDguy / March 21, 2007 8:33 AM PDT
In reply to: choices

use a dual-boot if you want to play games. Linux has some games, but won't play any off-the-shelf games at your local wal-mart. And as far as which distro, I say Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy. Very easy to use, and very graphical. Competes with Mac OS X!

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Linux Mint
by 3rdalbum / March 24, 2007 3:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Dual-boot

I highly recommend Linux Mint.

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