[ubuntu-uk] Distro hopping / Laptop running hot

Paul Morgan-Roach roachy at roachy.net
Sun Jan 9 13:09:20 UTC 2011

On Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM, Steve Fisher <xirconuk at gmail.com> wrote:

> Mandriva - I am a refugee from Mandriva, looking bad over on the forums,
> hardly any one there!  Worked well, hardware recognised (and I know what I
> am doing!)
> Fedora - didn't like it, could fry an egg on my trackpad!

IMHO Fedora is a great distro, but requires some tweaking to optimise it
well (unloading unneccessary modules and stopping unused services helps).
Also find that because it is so "bleeding edge" caution is required with
updates.....I've had some issues with bugfixes that subsequently expose more
bugs.  It's solid though and a good opportunity to see some new features in
projects :)  The Fedora forum guys are all really helpful as well

> PCLinuxOS - Forum full of rabid fan boys, it didn't work well at all.

Agreed - couldn't stand it last time I used it!

> Linux Mint Debian - very, very impressed!  Probably going to stick with
> this on the laptop.  Rolling distro, attractive and the forums are friendly
> and helpful.  Cpufreq didn't run out of the box and the Debian methods of
> doing things are not as straight forward as Ubuntu, but it just feels right.
>  Still got a huge learning curve, moving from a RPM based distro to a DEB
> based.  But very impressed.

Never really played with Mint - this is interesting feedback - might give it
a go!

So I now have 4 machines on 4 different distros!!
> Have I missed any distro worth investigating?

Depends what you're looking for.  I've spent a lot of time distro hopping
over the years.  The ones that really stand out are Crunchbang - which is
*seriously* light and very usable.  I've got that running blindingly fast on
my wifes EeePC 701.  Openbox requires a little bit of command line work
setting up menus for new apps etc, but it has a nice minimalist feel - and
it's FAST!!  (http://crunchbanglinux.org/) The community in the Crunchbang
camp are really helpful too.

Debian is naturally a great distro to have a go with.  It's about as stable
as anything out there and it's quick.  Again, great community and great
documentation out there.

If you want an "everything but the kitchen sink" distro, have a look at
Sabayon.  It's Gentoo based but has some nice features like using Anaconda
as an installer.  And there are loads of packages available.  The default
install is huge though.  It's well put together and polished and again,
friendly community.  It is a bit heavy though!

If you want to have a look at security tools, you could have a look at
Backtrack -it's a pen-testing distro which is good for learning a little
about some of the security tools out there.  SamuraiWTF is good for testing
web application security.

If you have a little patience, and want to "roll your own" you could also
have a look at Arch Linux.  This is a great distro if you want to build from
the ground up, installing only the stuff you want/need.  You'll probably
need to set aside a weekend to get something usable for day-to-day use, but
it's pretty rewarding :)

Does this help at all?

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