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Last post Author Topic: which Linux version for my laptop  (Read 15148 times)

Davidtheo

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which Linux version for my laptop
« on: October 22, 2008, 02:31:17 AM »
Hi

I am thinking about installing Linux on my laptop can anyone give me any ideas of which one I should instill. I have heard Ubuntu is good.  :D

Is there a version of MSN that will run on Linux or will I need to change my Messenger program too. (Hoping I do not but knowing I may have too)  :(


housetier

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 03:57:50 AM »
From personal experience I can recommend the new ubuntu version 8.10 (codename intrepid ibex). It works very well on my new thinkpad. But first ask your friends who use linux which distribution they use and choose the same. They will be the ones helping you, and it is easier to help on familiar ground.

As for instant messaging with MSN, there is a multiprotocol (multiplatform too!) instant messaging client "pidgin". It lets me chat with my one friend in Thailand that is still using MSN. However, I doubt things like videochat will work.

mitzevo

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 04:02:09 AM »
Ubuntu.. all linux newbies should start with Ubuntu.. no matter if it's for your pc, laptop, phone, etc.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

jgpaiva

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 04:46:01 AM »
housetier: by definition of beta and newbie, I wouldn't say it's a good idea to recommend a beta version to a newbie :)
Still, I also recommend ubuntu, but 8.04 instead :)

[edit] ok, 8.10 comes out of beta in 8 days. I guess that's not too bad, then. [/edit]

Darwin

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 08:33:02 AM »
David - what are the specs on your notebook? I am running Ubuntu Hardy Heron (a.k.a. 8.04) on a PIII 600 notebook with 192MB RAM. It runs, albeit slowly. Not to go into long-winded details, but I had MEANT to install Xubuntu which is for lower spec, older machines. However, I had major problems with a dead stick of RAM that I initially thought were due to either a dead dvd-ROM drive or a bad burn of Xubuntu and thus kept trying different combos. When I finally got the RAM fixed, Ubuntu happened to be in the drive! If your machine is new-ish, this won't be an issue, but I thought I'd ask...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Davidtheo

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 09:37:12 AM »
what are the specs on your notebook?

Darwin the laptop is about 2 years old.
Toshiba 1.73 GHz with 1 GIG ram and DVD drive

Currently running XP with SP3 but it is getting very slow and I what a change. I was using Fedora at Uni for three years. Some student tried to install Fedora on their laptops, but had all kinds of trouble so I thought I'll ask which is better before I tried, besides I can't use the versions my friends are using here because they use the Chinese version and I need the English version as I can't read Chinese yet. :D

Davidtheo

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 09:44:52 AM »
From personal experience I can recommend the new ubuntu version 8.10 (codename intrepid ibex). It works very well on my new thinkpad. But first ask your friends who use linux which distribution they use and choose the same. They will be the ones helping you, and it is easier to help on familiar ground.

As for instant messaging with MSN, there is a multiprotocol (multiplatform too!) instant messaging client "pidgin". It lets me chat with my one friend in Thailand that is still using MSN. However, I doubt things like videochat will work.

Thanks I'll try "pidgin", Any idea of the best place to download it from and another linux programs?  I will be needing a MP3 too :D



housetier

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 10:05:17 AM »
Always go with the package manager of your distribution!

In case of ubuntu there is one mighty package manager named "apt" which has several frontends. Personally, I prefer "aptitude"; "synaptic" is quite sophisticated (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager), simpler is Applications > Add/Remove

Debian has the same tools. Fedora has "yum", Suse Yast and Yast2 as frontends for their package manager rpm.

All these frontends let you search and install programs and anything those program need (they call it dependencies).


Now, Linux and multimedia sometimes work flawlessly and sometimes just barely. I can't decide between amarok, mpd, or rhythmbox for my MP3 playing. On the other hand, I decided on mplayer for watching any kind of multimedia file because it is the best.

Edvard

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 11:08:06 AM »
Darwin - I have had problems from the get-go with Xubuntu 8.04 running sluggishly...

I popped in the latest 8.10 beta and it seems to be a little snappier.
Quote from: jgpaiva
housetier: by definition of beta and newbie, I wouldn't say it's a good idea to recommend a beta version to a newbie :)
Still, I also recommend ubuntu, but 8.04 instead :)

[edit] ok, 8.10 comes out of beta in 8 days. I guess that's not too bad, then. [/edit]

Yes, I've been tracking the daily builds off and on and I can tell you the beta is pretty solid. Just keep regular updates and you'll be fine.

Quote from: Davidtheo
Thanks I'll try "pidgin", Any idea of the best place to download it from and another linux programs?  I will be needing a MP3 too  :D

David, everything you need to begin with you will be able to install with the Synaptic package manager, as housetier mentioned.
See here for a good overview on what Synaptic can do for you: https://help.ubuntu....munity/SynapticHowto

With Ubuntu, most software is available from a central repository that is accessed by Synaptic, no searching around for software and associated libraries. It only gets difficult when you attempt to install software from off-repository sources or do installs from source code.

Pidgin should be installed by default, and to get mp3's working just install the package called "Ubuntu-restricted-extras"

Reply back here if you have any further questions, we have quite a few Linux zealots fanboys um... enthusiasts who will be able to help you get started.
Also get acquainted with the Ubuntu Forums: http://ubuntuforums.org/
Any question you may have will probably have already been answered there, more than once. It's a big place.

Good luck and Godspeed...

Darwin

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 12:01:19 PM »
@Houstier - Hmmm... I've yet to actuatlly *try* Xubuntu (because of the aforementioned hiccough during installation  :o) Is Xubuntu 8.10 running more snappily or is it the regular Ubuntu version?

@David - your machine should be fine with a regular Linux distro...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

40hz

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 02:26:53 PM »
You could also try MEPHIS ( http://www.mepis.org ). It's a very user friendly distro with plenty of power. and some of the best hardware detection routines out there. I've had this distro work flawlessly on laptops that Ubuntu had troubles dealing with.

Whatever you do, try a "Live-CD" of the distro you're interested in before you do an actual installation to your hard drive to see how well it handles your hardware. Also take a look at the features and pay particular attention to the the preferred desktop manager (KDE, Gnome, etc.) to see if it works for you.

Also check out: http://www.desktoplinux.com  Lots of good info can be found there.

Welcome to Linux! :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 02:28:33 PM by 40hz »

housetier

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 05:51:07 PM »
Darwin - I also have yet to try xubuntu and I don't really see myself going for it. I do not have the need. People say it is snappier than the gnome desktop from ubuntu. However, I think my ultra customized rox-desktop is still superfast and functional...

If you want to try for yourself: "xubuntu-desktop" installs everything for the xubuntu version, "ubuntu-desktop" and "kubuntu-desktop" do the same for ubuntu and kubuntu resp. You can choose your desktop during logging in under "Session".



Davidtheo - I agree with Edvard: ubuntuforums is a very good place to start searching. It might be a little overwhelming at first, so just take your time :-)

zridling

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 06:28:50 PM »
Great tips. I'd say download several distros in the form of LiveCDs from DistroWatch and spend an hour or two walking through their menus, making sure all your hardware works. MEPIS is a good starter distro and quite attractive, too. Hard to go wrong with Ubuntu, and with 8.10, the hardware support for laptops only gets better (Oct. 30th, but you can burn a LiveCD of the latest beta, whose features are frozen).

Once you get the hang of one distro, you'll be well on your way to knowing 90% of the rest, as they share so much in common. Their differences are often overemphasized.

Dirhael

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 07:17:42 PM »
Darwin - I also have yet to try xubuntu and I don't really see myself going for it. I do not have the need. People say it is snappier than the gnome desktop from ubuntu. However, I think my ultra customized rox-desktop is still superfast and functional...

If you want to try for yourself: "xubuntu-desktop" installs everything for the xubuntu version, "ubuntu-desktop" and "kubuntu-desktop" do the same for ubuntu and kubuntu resp. You can choose your desktop during logging in under "Session".



Davidtheo - I agree with Edvard: ubuntuforums is a very good place to start searching. It might be a little overwhelming at first, so just take your time :-)

If you ever choose to do that, make sure you're using aptitude instead of apt-get. If you don't, chances are *very* high that you won't be able to completely remove the full set of packages by just removing the *ubuntu-desktop one.
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.

Davidtheo

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 07:45:24 PM »
Thanks

It looks like my two best options are ubuntu and MEPHIS. I will download the live CDs and have a look this weekend.


Lutz_

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2008, 07:54:04 PM »
Mandriva Linux One 2008/1 gave me the least hassles and troubles on my Dell Inspiron notebook that I am running as dual-boot with win XP ( I did also try Mint, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Mepis, Suse, PC Linux OS).   Apparently Mandriva 2009 was just released - I have not tired the newest version yet.

http://www.mandriva....t/mandriva-linux-one
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 08:27:14 PM by Lutz_ »

thorazine74

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2008, 05:43:17 PM »
I would also recommend Mandriva over Ubuntu but any of them would be ok.
Whatever you choose I would advise to research if your network connection hardware is well supported under the distribution you will install. So even if you have troubles with other hardware you can be sure that you have connectivity to download drivers, package updates or just simply ask for help on the net.

Darwin

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2008, 09:18:43 PM »
I ran Mandriva about three years ago and really liked it as well...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2008, 11:17:36 PM »
Like what zridling said : a few live cds should be downloaded and tried. Sometimes though, you can get hardware  that doesn't work with the live CD to work after installation...

Ubuntu, Linux Mint, PC Linux OS (and the gnome version), Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mepis, mandriva.

Not one distribution will work flawlessly on all hardware, that's why it's good to try different ones and stick with the one you prefer. Of course, I think you'll get better support overall if you go with one of the Ubuntu flavours (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint) , or Suse... but many swear by PCLinuxOS (and its different flavors), and others love Mandriva (beware though : might cost you more in the long run!), etc. Personally, I had less problems with (in order) : Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva, PCLinux OS (Mepis might work for some, but I've had problems in the past... And I like to have an easy choice between KDE and Gnome, etc.)_.

So...  :)

BTW : Ubuntu's release candidate went public Friday ( or was it thursday...??)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 11:20:02 PM by Armando »

Lutz_

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2008, 11:28:15 PM »
Quote
.... and others love Mandriva (beware though : might cost you more in the long run!)
Why would that be?

Armando

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2008, 11:45:22 PM »
sorry : poor wording on my part -- also it's probably less true today (than 3-4 years ago). What I wanted to convey (maybe wrongly) is that free support for Mandriva free/one is (IMO) not as good as the support for Ubuntu and that one might have to pay for the special packs for extra support and software. But what's your opinion on the matter ?

Nod5

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2008, 05:05:51 AM »
davidtheo: I agree with most of the others: go with Ubuntu.

An alternative to burning and running liveCDs is to do some virtual installs using virtualbox ( http://www.virtualbox.org/ ) or some similar tool.

Also, if you already have XP/Vista on your laptop then consider doing a dual boot installation. (You can test that in virtualbox too.)

Darwin

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2008, 10:17:29 AM »
You could also use something like Wubi or MobaLiveCD. The first will allow you to install and dual boot Ubuntu without having to re-partition and format your harddrive and the second will allow you to run a LiveLinux distro in an emulation window without having to leave windows and boot from a CD...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Davidtheo

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2008, 10:41:02 PM »
Thanks Darwin I'll try this.

I have had to put of the install of two weeks, I an thinking of doing a dual boot, but first I need a new and bigger hard disk, I think 80 GIG is going to be to small for XP and Linux. looks like it is between Ubuntu and Mandriva now, I have downloaded both.

I need a MP3 editing program for Linux does anyone know of a good one?



Lutz_

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Re: which Linux version for my laptop
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2008, 11:31:20 PM »
Well, I do not expect too much support for a free product.  ;)
Mandriva has great forums (certainly other distros too). The positive aspects from my Mandriva experiences were:
- everything just worked with my two-year old inspiron notebook (no drivers to search); there were even NO niggles like unability to to turn the sound up louder or the need to adjust the screen brightness at every startup (which I experienced with the other distros on my hardware).
- the guys on the Mandriva forums are capable and willing to communicate in a not-so-geeky way.
Obviously I am not a power user;so I do not know what I could be missing.

sorry : poor wording on my part -- also it's probably less true today (than 3-4 years ago). What I wanted to convey (maybe wrongly) is that free support for Mandriva free/one is (IMO) not as good as the support for Ubuntu and that one might have to pay for the special packs for extra support and software. But what's your opinion on the matter ?