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Switching Linux Distros


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What's up crowd. When I first wanted to get into the Linux side of the house I decided on Ubuntu and sort have just stuck with it. I have finally gotten fed up with Precise not working with my system since the upgrade (constant GPU hangs being the front runner) and am looking to switch over to a new, clean install. Mint seems to be the top rated out thee at the moment, but since it is based on Precise, I am afraid I will encounter the same graphics issue. Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions/opinions on a smooth reliable distro. I am primarily looking for reliability, but a little sex appeal on the GUI would be nice too. I am not overly fond of Unity/Gnome 3, but I am not a hater either. It works, but I also have no qualms with Gnome 2 on my BT5R2 system. I may even just roll back to a previous version of Ubuntu if nothing else presents itself as a viable option.

Will be running on a Tosh Sattelite with Intel graphics, 8GB RAM.

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This is a pretty good resource for linux distros.

http://distrowatch.com/

If the new Unity/GNOME UI bothers you, give xubuntu a try.

I'll check the link out. I am not bothered by Unity/Gnome, it's just that 12.04 has some (currently) unresolved bugs that cause GPU hangs and rendering issues that always end in a hard reboot.

Edited by skimpniff
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Hello skimpniff... I was also running Ubuntu but i was at 11.10. I kept getting problems with the sidebar not going away and a little bit of lag... I went to distrowatch and learned about linuxmint... It is a great operating system. If you download the MATE version of it you shouldn't have any problems with it using you GPU... On the other hand if you download the cinnamon version you might find a few bugs(Cinnamon requires a higher end graphics card to work properly). But long story short I switched to Mint 2 weeks ago and haven't had any problems what so ever, its a lot easier to customize the appearance then it was on Ubuntu also.

Edited by linkstojustice
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Yeah, I've heard of a few complaints with Ubuntu 12.04, but I haven't had any serious problems. Mint 12 was a total flop, but they seemed to have redeemed themselves with 13. MATE is pretty nice (I loved Gnome 2.x). I hated Unity when Ubuntu first switched to it, but it's grown on me since then.

Feel free to mess around with different desktop environments (DE's) to find one you like. The hate for Unity is what drove Mint to the top of distrowatch.com. They're practically the same thing anyway, just with different DE's.

Graphics drivers have always been a problem with Linux, but that's just the nature of the beast. I would keep trying distros until you find one that runs smoothly on your system. Unity isn't the most stable thing in the world anyway. I've had it crap out on me a few times for no reason.

I currently run Mint 11 on my web server (need to upgrade to 13 before October :rolleyes: ) and Ubuntu 12.04 on my netbook.

Edited by keyboardN1nja
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This is a pretty good resource for linux distros.

http://distrowatch.com/

If the new Unity/GNOME UI bothers you, give xubuntu a try.

Thanks for posting that link.

Right now I've got Ubuntu 11.10 on my Asus eee PC.

Really like Ubuntu.

Problem is the keyboard on my Asus ee PC is dang small! LOL

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if you dont like unity but want ubuntu the Linux mag i get made their own, (i think) or may have just been reporting it. Its basically the new ubuntu without unity, it has gnome instead. try searching Ununtu 11.10 LXF remix, i also like tails. has built in 'anomity' however, we all know no one is anonymous

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Personally, I love using Slackware. I've been running Slackware since version 7.1 (so over a decade). I've tried a lot of other distributions out there, and professionally supported many of them, but for myself I always come back to Slackware. It's the elegant simplicity and rock-solid dependability that I love the most.

Of course, Slackware does have a well-earned reputation for being a little more challenging for desktop users. It doesn't do as much hand-holding as the more popular distributions. But if you really want to learn how Linux systems work (and the first step to hacking them is understanding them) then Slackware could be a very good place to start.

As for GUIs, Linux is Linux is Linux. You can have any GUI you want on any Linux distro you want, it's just a matter of installing packages and configuring the system.

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I got tired of the desktop wars, after unity and then mint trying to fill the void. I've spent a lot of time with both, but decided to go a different direction with archlinux. All you get is a base system. Anything you want, you will have to install and configure it. Yes, it's a lot of work. It took me a whole day to get my system where i wanted it.

The pros: you learn much about the nuts and bolts of linux, Arch's repos are the most complete I've used so far in my years of open source usage, you get a system just the way you want it.

The cons: It is a lot of work, you need to be proficient on the command line, you need some understanding of whats needed to get a desktop computer to your liking.

Don't let the cons stop you though. you can definitely learn as you go. I spent much time with web searches and reading the archlinux wiki while setting up my PC and laptop. I did the laptop first and found that getting the wireless to function the way that i'm familiar with was challenging. The important thing about this very manual setup is to be patient and keep reading. Things won't always go right, so you'll likely be searching for a solution to an error you got during your process.

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Thanks for all of the insight everyone. I ended up going with Mint 13 with Cinamon and I haven't had any problems at all, I really like it. It is amazing how much snappier it is compared to Ubuntu 12.04. Ubuntu really borked this last upgrade IMO, the issues with my GPU hangs were limited to Precise. I have not had the problem repicated in any other distro. I respect the decision to try to make a mobile paltform ready distro, but I think they are missing some fundamental small stuff in the process. I hope the commercial asperations don't take them down the MS path.

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Glad you found something that works for you, skimpniff.

As for the future of Ubuntu...well, it seems they aren't getting anymore popular: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity (yes, I know it's not an accurate count of market share)

Linux has always been about community-driven development, in my opinion. Providing features the users want, and taking away the garbage they don't want. When a "distro maker" (for lack of a better term) builds more for themselves than their users, I can't see them being successful much longer.

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Glad you found something that works for you, skimpniff.

As for the future of Ubuntu...well, it seems they aren't getting anymore popular: http://distrowatch.c...urce=popularity (yes, I know it's not an accurate count of market share)

Linux has always been about community-driven development, in my opinion. Providing features the users want, and taking away the garbage they don't want. When a "distro maker" (for lack of a better term) builds more for themselves than their users, I can't see them being successful much longer.

I concur. Ubuntu was the first Linux distro I used. I wasen't really aware of the different GUIs avalbile for Linux until Gnome radically changed it's interface, and added Unity. I was accusomed to drop down menus and such, and taking that away turned me off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My First Linux OS: Linspire aka LindowsOS (came out in 2007 and was later discontinued)

My Second Linux OS: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (dual booted with Windows XP, wireless didn't work for me much)

My Third Linux OS: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat (completely got rid of Windows and left once Unity came out)

My Current Linux OS: Arch Linux with Gnome (by far the favorite Linux os of all time)

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  • 4 weeks later...

being a long time Linux user, my first was Mandrake ( now Mandirvia-Linux ) wich i quickly switched to Fedora. i ran that and Debian for a long time until Ubuntu became a mainstream in the mid 00's. i have sense stuck with Ubuntu as it has never really done anything i truly hate. im currently running 12.04 (removed unity, installed Cinnamon) and i do not have the GPU issues you speak of. i know unity is not a perfect UI, but it is still young compared to Gnome or KDE. with the update to Gnome(3) i just lost a taste for it (though i recently started expierementing with it, and its growing on me slowly) so i went with the mint flavor without the simplicity. and im very happy with it. the update to Unity coming soon should bring me back to unity for a bit to test it out, and we shall see if i stay.

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My drive on my daily driver linux laptop crapped itself Friday, so I picked up a ssd to replace it. Spent the weekend trying out different distros. The latest Slackware wouldn't even install the boot loader correctly, so that's out. I used to like Slackware, ran it back in the early 2000's. Maybe all the fuss was why I left it... Tried the latest alpha of Ubuntu 12.10, but had major video driver issues, you'd think they'd have that straightened out by now. I guess the newer amd and nvidia cards work better than the older ones. Settled for Lubuntu 12.10. So far that's been working the best, and none of that Unity crap! :D

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