Originally Posted by adramalech707
If you really want some customized to squeeze every once of power out of your computer I suggest Gentoo (rolling-release source) or Arch (rolling-release binary). I suggest Gentoo because if you do a non-testing rolling release, amd64/x86 instead of the ~amd64/~x86 it is a very stable system and allows for only the stuff you want and need.
However if you don't feel like having to configure everything and want a better alternative to Ubuntu I have tried Linux Mint and find that it is a better user experience. Especially if you want it to work out of the dvd .ISO install it has codecs support galore along with alot of top needed programs off the bat. Also is still Gnome 2.x instead of Gnome 3.x which I cannot stand.
I would say stay away from Fedora and SUSE. I have a NASA competition project and the dev-kit we have to use is based on SUSE and I have found that SUSE is very buggy and not so great design with the KDE GUI they use. I would say stay away from RPM distro's.... I haven't used Fedora since they dropped the core out of the name.
This. It sounds like things are having difficulty being suited to your needs. Arch and Gentoo are highly
configurable, and Arch in particular has a great wiki in my experience using it throughout the past year and a bit. The people on the forums are helpful for both distros so long as you don't ask to be spoonfed and check the wiki, Google, and search the forums for an answer first.
A quick comparison between Arch and Gentoo (note that I don't use Gentoo regularly, so most of this stuff is going off of memory for me for Gentoo stuff. If I screwed a fact up let me know):
Both are rolling release - never have headaches updating every 6 months to the newer, buggier version again!
Both can also run a single command to update all of your packages to the latest version (emerge --sync for Gentoo, pacman -Syu for Arch
Both have a BSD-style config if I remember correctly (Arch for sure with it's rc.conf and system init in particular)
Arch has the AUR (Arch User Repository), I have trouble finding packages NOT in there lol.
Arch - Precompiled packages, Gentoo - packages are all compiled installed from source, optimized for your system. THIS IS THE BIGGEST FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM
Both require some amount of maintenance, and are designed around a user who pays attention to announcements on their site (sometimes they tell you to change a config file manually, or that net-tools is being deprecated and you have to change a couple of configs a little, for example). The package manager doesn't take care of everything, sometimes you have to do things manually.
Both also require a significant amount of time to setup than compared to say, Ubuntu, but you get exactly what you want
out of your system, and you don't have a bunch of crap installed by default, or a configuration choice that you hate.
Feel free to shout us any more questions!
Also, about the multiple monitors, "nvidia-settings" is your friend. Seriously. It takes the pain out of the configuration by generating a 10-monitor.conf for you (not sure what version of X.Org Ubuntu is on now, but if you don't know what 10-monitor.conf is for, on Arch you have the most recent version pretty much, and around 1.8-1.9 or something the configuration changed. It will generate a Xorg.conf otherwise.).Edited by ArchLinuxFTW - 10/31/11 at 10:16pm