Linux Reviews for Newbs by a newb

Posted: April 26, 2008 in OS Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yet another part to the ongoing saga of finding that perfect Linux distro for newbs guide lol..Just when I am starting to think it might never end (and really, it might not; I have issues with never being satisfied lol)
So on to business..
I have a couple of reviews to do this time..just a couple though because I have had other things going on…
First of all, I recently bought more memory so now I am the proud owner of 768 MB RAM now (wooo! lol) Okay not the “latest and greatest” but for a Dimension Desktop 1100, not bad at all..So, once I got the new memory stick installed (that was its own little adventure for someone who never did that before either!) and I decided to go after a couple of the “big dawgs” in Linux Distros..
I started with Ubuntu, the brand new Hardy Heron 8.04..I took forever and downloaded and made a Live CD, on which I tried out the distro..The LiveCD was easy to use (as was Ubuntu) and there were little warnings and popups for things that I was not supposed to mess with until I am not such a newb lol..(This would probably just aggravate a more experienced Linuxer) I liked the look of it (yes, some people hate the brown but I have no problem with the color of caramel and chocolate and besides, even if you don’t like it you will know immediately who Ubuntu is at a glance lol) so at any rate, I liked the way it looked just because it was different. The fact that it comes with Gnome I liked also..sorry KDE’ers but I just like Gnome better. Then I go to install it to hard drive like I do with any other distro I like and that is where I decided I was not having such a good time of it…The install took just this side of forever (like Debian, its ancestor) but not just that..Once I finally remembered, oh yeah, Debian took forever too..then I sat back and relaxed..the install process is nearly identical to Debian so if you have tried Debian you will be in familiar territory…
Once the install was complete..imagine my surprise and dismay when the updater pops up and says I need 479 updates!! I almost had an embolism on the spot…So I say, okay, go for it..well two hours later it was done updating..yipee..So all in all, it took nearly 4 hours to install Ubuntu just to have it suck up all my resources..
Yes, I am irritated with Ubuntu but in all and complete fairness, this distro is probably the most newbie friendly distro I have tried, including PCLinuxOS, who I am quite fond of and am eagerly awaiting the 2008 version. If you have a couple gigs of memory to play with and hate Windows, ran away from Windows or are not technically inclined I absolutely recommend Ubuntu…wholeheartedly..However, if you are a Linux guru, you will probably hate the restrictiveness and the warnings and such which would just be unnecessary for you.
So, then I tried Xubuntu (for those of us with the limited resources..)and I ran the Live CD with no problem at all and Xfce seemed like a slimmer version of Gnome which was both a plus and a minus for me (I like eyecandy and saving resources..yeah yeah I know)
So here I thought Xubuntu would be perfect and so it was..until I tried to install it to hard drive..the install went okay but then I had to go through the same hoop jumping on the updates, just to end up with pretty much the same resource hogging I had before, only not as nice to look at lol..I would still recommend it wholeheartedly, again mostly just to newbs, Linux newbs or those with a lot of resources…
Finally, I tried Linux Mint..it is an offshoot of Ubuntu, based on Ubuntu but yet totally different at the same time..The MintInstaller is very useful, especially to a command-line idiot like myself..and fun to use at that..just type in the name of the application you want, and away you go!
I also like the menu (Mint Menu) which is set up differently than any other distro I have used yet but still (in my opinion) easier to use (some don’t like it but I do) Additionally, the MintUpdater keeps one informed of all critical, important and optional updates by level (1 being utmost and 3 being optional) so I tend to just check it once a week, update the “ones” and that is it…
The install was easy and I have not had any major problems with this distro so far..having said that, I personally picked Linux Mint and will continue to run it, at least until PCLOS releases their newest version……………………..

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