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Which distro would you suggest for my first Linux build (HTPC/file server)?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I have never used Linux very much, I've played around with it a couple times but never stuck with it. I am in the process of putting together an HTPC/file server and realized that despite having "New Raid 5 Volume..." as one of the options when you right click on a drive in disk manager Windows 7 apparently doesn't support software raid 5. Hence, I have decided to go with Linux. The parts I am using for the build are in my "HTPC/file server" rig. I will be using the computer for an HTPC as well as a file server. I will be putting the OS on an SSD, I ordered a 30GB from newegg a couple of days ago but it still hasn't authorized and shipped so if you think I should look at a bigger one let me know. I also have 4 1.5TB drives which I want to run in software raid 5 for storing everything. I would like to use a distro that will get me pretty familiar with Linux and will suite my needs. I am sure there are many distros that will fit this description so please let me know what you think would be a good Linux distro to use and why.
post #2 of 12
Well this is just going off of what I've seen, heard, and read on the net but ATI/AMD drivers are probably going to make you go insane. Some people don't have any problems at all with them and others can't make them work to save their lives. As for the distro of choice...if you want to "learn" then you would be best off with Arch, Slackware, or Gentoo. They will definitely enforce the need to "learn" on you. If you want something easy to setup then it's anything from (U/Ku/Xu/Lu)buntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, or openSUSE. Hell, you could grab XBMC orientated spins as well. As for the fileserver things I'm not to sure about what you need there.
     
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post #3 of 12
It is your wish to use your build in the home entertainment arena that makes me say "I will watch this one rather than comment".I have never intended for any of my Linux builds to mainly be used for entertainment purposes, they have always been used for doing actual work.
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I would prefer one where I have to learn a thing or two but is still manageable for a, more or less, first time Linux user. What I want to do with it is not just watch and store my media but act as network storage for other computers on the network including mapping network drives. I want also be able to stream media from it to my other computers and possibly host files so I can access them remotely. As time goes on I am sure that I will find more things that I will want it to do. I looked around a little online and saw that some people did have problems getting AMD APUs working in Linux but it seems like they got them working in the end. I already have everything except for the SSD so I will be using the AMD chip.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaeric19 View Post

I would prefer one where I have to learn a thing or two but is still manageable for a, more or less, first time Linux user. What I want to do with it is not just watch and store my media but act as network storage for other computers on the network including mapping network drives. I want also be able to stream media from it to my other computers and possibly host files so I can access them remotely. As time goes on I am sure that I will find more things that I will want it to do. I looked around a little online and saw that some people did have problems getting AMD APUs working in Linux but it seems like they got them working in the end. I already have everything except for the SSD so I will be using the AMD chip.

Then go Arch, it'll make you learn a bit, but not quite as much as Gentoo or Slack will. As with them you'll have to more or less install everything from source, and resolve your own dependencies.

The Arch wiki is also one of the most informative ones and there's plenty of Arch guides,

Little out dated but still, more or less works (except for the end where you install a DE/WM), as gnome and kde have both changed a bit. Teaches you some stuff but not going really in depth, just enough to get you started.
http://lifehacker.com/5680453/build-a-killer-customized-arch-linux-installation-and-learn-all-about-linux-in-the-process

Then the official Arch Wiki, extremely informative and harder to follow than the above, but it's ALL there.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners%27_Guide
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners%27_Guide/Installation
post #6 of 12
IMO installing arch can be a project of its own, personally i'd just use fedora/centos. Leave arch for another time.
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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10halec View Post

IMO installing arch can be a project of its own, personally i'd just use fedora/centos. Leave arch for another time.

Takes me 10-15 mins to install and have a fully working desktop with Arch thumb.gif

Almost takes longer to install any other distro that's considered to be 'easy' wheee.gif
post #8 of 12
With the ATI drivers it seems to me that the newer the card the less support there is.
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

Takes me 10-15 mins to install and have a fully working desktop with Arch thumb.gif
Almost takes longer to install any other distro that's considered to be 'easy' wheee.gif

But... But...

You're a Linux guru thumb.gif
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

Takes me 10-15 mins to install and have a fully working desktop with Arch thumb.gif
Almost takes longer to install any other distro that's considered to be 'easy' wheee.gif

Well that's entirely based on skill level. Plus, I'm not sure you could do arch without an internet connection. But you could learn some things.
     
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core m3-6Y30 Intel HD515 8GB 1866DDR3L Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2, 256 GB 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Fanless Win10 Home x64 Kubuntu 16.04 (requires Linux kernel 4.5/4.6) 13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, AU Optronics A... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AthlonIIX4 640 3.62GHz (250x14.5) 2.5GHz NB Asus M4A785TD-M EVO MSI GTX275 (Stock 666) 8GBs of GSkill 1600 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4GBs of Adata 1333 Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB WD Caviar Black 500GB Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSOS
LG 8X BDR (WHL08S20) Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Kubuntu x64 Windows 7 x64 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Bodhi Linux x64 Acer G215H (1920x1080) Seasonic 520 HAF912 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
N450 1.8GHz AC and 1.66GHz batt ASUS proprietary for 1001P GMA3150 (can play bluray now!?) 1GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
160GB LGLHDLBDRE32X Bodhi Linux Fedora LXDE 
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Kubuntu SLAX 1280x600 + Dell 15inch Excellent! 
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6 cells=6-12hrs and a charger 1001P MU17 Black 
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core m3-6Y30 Intel HD515 8GB 1866DDR3L Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2, 256 GB 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Fanless Win10 Home x64 Kubuntu 16.04 (requires Linux kernel 4.5/4.6) 13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, AU Optronics A... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AthlonIIX4 640 3.62GHz (250x14.5) 2.5GHz NB Asus M4A785TD-M EVO MSI GTX275 (Stock 666) 8GBs of GSkill 1600 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4GBs of Adata 1333 Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB WD Caviar Black 500GB Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSOS
LG 8X BDR (WHL08S20) Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Kubuntu x64 Windows 7 x64 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Bodhi Linux x64 Acer G215H (1920x1080) Seasonic 520 HAF912 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
N450 1.8GHz AC and 1.66GHz batt ASUS proprietary for 1001P GMA3150 (can play bluray now!?) 1GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
160GB LGLHDLBDRE32X Bodhi Linux Fedora LXDE 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Kubuntu SLAX 1280x600 + Dell 15inch Excellent! 
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6 cells=6-12hrs and a charger 1001P MU17 Black 
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