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In the spirit of the comic posted to TS the other day... - Technical Support Banter [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tier 12 Support

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In the spirit of the comic posted to TS the other day... [Mar. 2nd, 2011|11:37 am]
Tier 12 Support

techsupport_ot

[firon]
In the comments for the update comic that was posted the other day I was reminded that it has been a while since I've tried a Linux distro and I thought maybe it's time to try again. So I was hoping all the avid Linux users here could share their preferred distros.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  1. Ease of use - I've been a Windows/Dos user since the days of BBSing on my 1200baud modem. While I'm happy to learn something new, I really don't want to have to manually hack config files any more than absolutely necessary.
  2. Robust, good looking UI - One of the big advancements in recent years on both Windows and Mac has been in the UI. While it's not really necessary, I have to admit I like a pretty UI with all the nice transparencies etc. I'd like to find a version of Linux that matches or beats this level of polish.
  3. Fast on hardware that isn't bleeding edge - I know this is usually where Linux shines, but still thought it was important to mention.
  4. Good package installer - Another benefit of Linux is all the great free software you can get for it. It's therefore pretty important to be able to install these wonderful gems as painlessly as possible, so I'd like a distro that has good package support.
  5. Everything you'll need, out of the box - While I know a good package installer will ensure you can get what you need easily, what's better is to have the best of the free tools in the original install. Certainly not a deal breaker, but a nice to have.
  6. Integrated WINE and NTFS would be nice - As a Windows user, I'd certainly like to be able to access my current software and data if at all possible.
  7. Good VM support - If I make the switch, I'll be wanting to run VMs from time to time, so it would be good if they can run fast.
All that aside, can anyone tell me (or provide a link to a good article that tells me) the pros and cons of Gnome vs KDE? In my own distro research I've read that KDE is only now reaching the speed that Gnome has had for a while, but based on screenshots the newest KDE looks nicer. Thoughts?

Finally, if you have any suggestions for must have apps for any Linux install, I'd certainly appreciate them.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: superbus
2011-03-02 05:40 pm (UTC)
Really, for all of these things, I have to say Kubuntu is the best overall. It's definitely the most supported (and you can go Ubuntu if you want, though I personally prefer KDE), and has a lot of nice features that have only been seen on the proprietary OSes. I used to be an OpenSuSE guy, but lately, everything they've done to it just makes it a resource whore.
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[User Picture]From: hisamishness
2011-03-02 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm just a Linux dabbler, and so far Ubuntu seems like the most pleasing. I've heard good things about Mint, but have not tried it, or the KDE Kbuntu yet.
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[User Picture]From: madamealexis
2011-03-02 07:28 pm (UTC)
Personally I enjoyed using PCLinuxOS.

http://cristalinux.blogspot.com/2010/04/pclinuxos-2010-review.html

My friend from the local LUG loves Puppy.

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Puppy52

I have not used Mint but hear a lot of good things about it.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

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[User Picture]From: asbrand
2011-03-03 03:09 am (UTC)
Another vote for Ubuntu / Kubuntu.

For all the reasons mentioned.



-Az
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[User Picture]From: trixtah
2011-03-03 09:56 am (UTC)
As above. I prefer this latest version of Ubuntu, because the last KDE is a pile of pants, as far as I'm concerned.

Synaptic package manager rocks.

If you've got a newer graphics card on, say, a laptop, display drivers can be a slight PITA. I recommend installing envy-ng and let it install and configure your display drivers for you.

Otherwise Ubuntu rocks on my XPS laptop, with all the fancy transparency and 3-D effects you could wish for (they had it before the Aero interface).
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