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Help Choosing Right Distro

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I've played with Linux (fedora, Ubuntu) a little in the past but haven't used it as main OS, this time I want to completely move away from windows and some advise from experienced Linux users would be appreciated.

The system will be used for work, heavy browsing, office apps, video/audio playback, media storage and maybe light gaming.
Here's the list of main requirements:

1.Stable for 24/7 use, stays stable for a long time considering updates and stuff
2.Fairly large community
3.I'm not a big gamer but i want steam just in case
4.Should be able to run 3x1080p monitors and I'll be probably getting 4K later.
5.Good multimedia support
6.FlexRaid or SnapRaid + some drive pooling
7.This is not very important but I'd prefer distro without Unity

Thanks!
post #2 of 11
Ubuntu or Mint.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodoma View Post

Hello,

I've played with Linux (fedora, Ubuntu) a little in the past but haven't used it as main OS, this time I want to completely move away from windows and some advise from experienced Linux users would be appreciated.

The system will be used for work, heavy browsing, office apps, video/audio playback, media storage and maybe light gaming.
Here's the list of main requirements:

1.Stable for 24/7 use, stays stable for a long time considering updates and stuff
2.Fairly large community
3.I'm not a big gamer but i want steam just in case
4.Should be able to run 3x1080p monitors and I'll be probably getting 4K later.
5.Good multimedia support
6.FlexRaid or SnapRaid + some drive pooling
7.This is not very important but I'd prefer distro without Unity

Thanks!

Make sure you get an LTS release of Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu or Mint if you do go that route. 14.04 will be out in April though (I don't know when Mint's LTS releases are) and I'd recommend waiting for that as 12.04 really wasn't that great. This is mainly a Kubuntu thing as it wasn't until 13.10 when we got KDE4.13 IIRC which really made KDE very responsive and fast. To me it almost became as fast as LXDE and E17.

As for #4 that will depend on your GPU and probably how much work you want to do(if your GPU/drivers don't work out for it you might have to mess with your xorg config). I don't think the Nvidia drivers recent feature cut will affect 3 monitor usage but I think 4K will be a problem for a while. Hell fonts are annoyingly small to me at 1080p.
     
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! 
PowerCase
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! 
PowerCase
6 cells=6-12hrs and a charger 1001P MU17 Black 
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Hell fonts are annoyingly small to me at 1080p.

Change it then. You can set the DPI and scaling quite easily.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

Change it then. You can set the DPI and scaling quite easily.

They end up causing issues with programs and webpages are the most aggregious offenders often ignoring font settings or creating misaligned text that covers buttons and so on. Unless you know another way. I'll admit scaling fonts has been a confusing thing for me. IIRC, setting 96dpi in KDE leads to jagged and unable to AA fonts of large size while higher dpi leads to tiny fonts (it might be inverse). I avoid using dpi and just set through KDE a default font size but that's usually ignored in programs like Steam and webbrowsers. I often have to resort to zooms with webbrowsers which exacerbates font overlaying parts of the page it shouldn't. I get the same problem in Windows.

Sorry for the OT.
     
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! 
PowerCase
6 cells=6-12hrs and a charger 1001P MU17 Black 
  hide details  
Reply
     
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! 
PowerCase
6 cells=6-12hrs and a charger 1001P MU17 Black 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

They end up causing issues with programs and webpages are the most aggregious offenders often ignoring font settings or creating misaligned text that covers buttons and so on. Unless you know another way. I'll admit scaling fonts has been a confusing thing for me. IIRC, setting 96dpi in KDE leads to jagged and unable to AA fonts of large size while higher dpi leads to tiny fonts (it might be inverse). I avoid using dpi and just set through KDE a default font size but that's usually ignored in programs like Steam and webbrowsers. I often have to resort to zooms with webbrowsers which exacerbates font overlaying parts of the page it shouldn't. I get the same problem in Windows.

Sorry for the OT.

I've always set mine through my .Xresources ( .Xdefaults prior ) and never had an issue. This being with a 1600p monitor though, but still easily done and usually works uniformly.

Web pages are tricky, as most web pages are made with a specific font size in mind ( eg: in px, not in em or rem, which scale with screen size ). You're likely going to get distortion in web pages at least to some degree when it comes to scaling, but I find if you really need web pages larger, then simply use firefox or chromes built in zoom feature ( for example my htpc browsers are set to 110%, just to nudge it a little bit ).
post #7 of 11
Just download a bunch of different distros and try them out. If we give you a suggestion, chances are that you would have found another that you like better.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input.

I'm trying out some distros on Virtualbox and what I've noticed is that Debian and CentOS are much smoother and faster than Ubuntu, Mint, SUSE.
Is this mainly because of graphical interface or because first two have less features out of the box?
post #9 of 11
Debian and CentOS are geared toward server/workstation/enterprise use. They use old kernels and old packages that have been tested by time to be stable. They also don't have a lot of overhead because they don't have heavy-duty DEs and stuff like that. I think these two are great, but you're always going to be using older stuff unless you use the unstable/testing/whatever they call them repos.

I've used Fedora 20 a little bit here and there, and it seems to be pretty good. OpenSuse 13.1 seems to work ok on my VM, but for whatever reason, it won't work right on my stupid shuttle system. Not sure what the issue is.

Arch is quite a bit more hands-on, but I still think it's pretty easy because the documentation on their wiki is very good. I also like that it's a rolling-release, meaning that there are no "upgrades." You don't have to upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0 in 6 months; you just update your packages like a normal application update, and then your system is totally up-to-date. Fedora, on the other hand, releases distro upgrades every 6 months or so, and they always completely break my system. If you have a good understanding of how disk partitions work and aren't afraid to learn how to configure networking and window managers, then you might like to give Arch a try.
post #10 of 11
I started with Ubuntu, which I felt held my hand as I learned more and more about Linux in general. I didn't love Unity either, but it was mainly because I couldn't move the Minimize, Maximize and close buttons to the right side of the screen. I've since moved onto Arch, which has been a lot of fun, but if you want stability I would go with Debain or one of the non Unity Ubuntus.
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