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What would be a good, small linux distro to use on a netbook while I'm on vacation just to check things like email or maybe watch a youtube video now and then?

I can't imagine having to do anything else. I have steam on my phone so that's covered.

It's got an intel atom so I don't know what that limits me to.

I'd also be running this from a USB flash drive.
 

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You could use anything with a lightweight desktop environment. I think both Mint and openSUSE come with an LXDE iso directly available for download.

I use Sabayon with Fluxbox, which is really lightweight.

LXDE is a little bigger but is a more complete DE. Fluxbox requires more configuration, but is lighter. I would recommend one of the LXDE ones, either one is good.
 

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I would recommend crunchbang xfce, or lmde xfce, although until mint releases the update pack 6 isos you have almost 1GB of updates to go though. both use Debian as a core and will be lighter then most *buntus, plus xfce is a pretty light desktop. if no though, Lubuntu should work fine. I would want to try bodhi first, because it using E17 which can take some getting used to.
 

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Personally I find Arch to be excellent for this sort of thing, because you don't need a bunch of daemons running just to browse and watch YouTube. All you need is the base install -> X install -> add Fluxbox or Openbox then the browser of your choice and media plugins. I've been using this sort of setup for a while and it stretches battery life to the max.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

Personally I find Arch to be excellent for this sort of thing, because you don't need a bunch of daemons running just to browse and watch YouTube. All you need is the base install -> X install -> add Fluxbox or Openbox then the browser of your choice and media plugins. I've been using this sort of setup for a while and it stretches battery life to the max.
but even the install is challenging for new users. If someone were to go that route I would recommend either Ubuntu Server or Debian netinstall.
 

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There's been 7 replies and each of them recommending a different distro. It's no wonder new users find the fragmentation of Linux a nightmare.
laugher.gif
 

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The problem isn't as much Linux fragmentation as that the task of which he wants to accomplish is something almost any Linux distribution does the same as the next. Anything that doesn't come with a full-on bloat DE like KDE4 (KDE4 base install would probably be fine, but with all the bells and whistles it'd probably bog down that netbook bad) Same with Gnome3, and the like. Though, Compiz fusion would probably not perform poorly on the machine, it'd cut battery life a tiny amount. I'd personally go with something with a lightweight tiling window manager, and use multiple workspaces like mad. The limited screen real estate warrants excessive use of workspaces. If I were to pick a pre-rolled distro, I'd go with ArchBang, if I was doing this myself though, I'd start with an Arch base install and build it up how I like it (which I have started writing scripts to do some of the more generic stuff for me...) At any rate, its not really a question with an answer, basically lightweight + personal preference = what you want. And pretty much all distros can be configured to do what you want them to. If you are more accustomed to Windows, and enjoy using a pointer - go with a LXDE based distro, if you are familiar with tiling WMs and like a lot of configurability and keybinds - use a *box or DWM/Awesome/etc... based distro.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

The problem isn't as much Linux fragmentation as that the task of which he wants to accomplish is something almost any Linux distribution does the same as the next.
That was my point. There's so many Linux distros with overlapping features that it's impossible for new users to know which to try first.
 

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Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

That was my point. There's so many Linux distros with overlapping features that it's impossible for new users to know which to try first.
His task is also equally accomplished by a stripped Windows install (starter) and Mac OSX..
 

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FWIW, I had Fedora 17 with KDE4 on a netbook, the whole 'bloated mess', and with compositing disabled it still scored ~6 hours battery life (the battery was a year and half old at the time), no better than XFCE in that regard. I think it might have been on Phoronix that I read that KDE4 actually scored better than XFCE when it came to battery life, though that was a while ago.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

His task is also equally accomplished by a stripped Windows install (starter) and Mac OSX..
Not really. Neither Windows nor OS X would run from a USB flash drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

His task is also equally accomplished by a stripped Windows install (starter) and Mac OSX..
Still 10GB+, hours to load on a USB flash drive. And then in addition to that, since it's windows I'd need an antivirus, flash, java, and a media player, and yes I would use all of those.
 

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I mentioned puppy as its ideal for a usb distro, it boots in seconds and on shutdown the state is saved
it also does networking well, is easy to setup and comes with an optional pre configured firewall which is handy when bouncing around free WiFi
 
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