Adventures in Linux
Jul 20, 2008 at 10:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 51

Jigglybootch

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Yesterday I officially began another foray into Linux. I've used Linux before, but never really stuck with it. But with my choices being Linux and Vista (choices that don't involve purchasing new hardware, i.e. buying a Mac), I opted for Linux. Vista has too much system overhead, and with my computer being a couple of years old (and outfitted with a rather weak video card) I sometimes have issues with Vista (mainly playing HD movies; they stutter and skip). Basically, in order to get Vista to run smoothly, I was going to need to upgrade my computer, which is something I'm purposely trying to avoid (at least until I pay off that Bravia XBR5). So I went back to Linux.

I'm purposely trying to avoid using Ubuntu. Nothing against it really, I just want something else. I started with Fedora. Things seemed to be working OK, but any time I put a CD/DVD into the optical drive (even blank discs) the tray would automatically close after I ejected it, meaning I either had to grab the drive tray and hold it open to remove the CD, or I had to restart the computer and eject the CD before the OS loaded. Not cool. I have no idea what caused this. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy because I was really starting to like Fedora.

I decided to try OpenSUSE next. I'd read good things about it so I figured, "Hey, what the hell." I installed it (with KDE 3.5, as I feel KDE 4 is a bit too green at this point) and fell in love. I generally don't get along with KDE and always find a reason to dump it and go back to GNOME. I also have mixed feelings about companies heavily modifying things and sort of "branding" their distro, but I have to be honest. Novell's additions to the standard KDE desktop fit very well with KDE in general. I can't really describe it, but for the first time I was using a KDE desktop and really enjoying it more than GNOME. That was, of course, until I found my sound card wouldn't work. Everything seemed to indicate that the card was recognized and configured properly, yet it wouldn't work. Naturally, I'm freaking out at this point because I really liked OpenSUSE. At this point, I figured I'd never truly be satisfied with Linux so I bit the bullet and reinstalled Vista.

Vista lasted all of 10 minutes. I decided to give Fedora another chance. I installed it (again) and immediately began testing to see if I could replicate my previous issue. I couldn't. Excitement ensued. I then set about downloading and installing updates. But after about an hour, Fedora was still downloading updates and was nowhere near being finished. It didn't take nearly as long to update the first time around, and I installed more packages that time. At this point, I decided I was going to try OpenSUSE one more time.

So I (again) installed OpenSUSE. I knew exactly what needed to be done. I was going to get sound output come hell or high water. I played around with the mixer settings forever, but to no avail. I was ready to punch something when I remembered some stuff I'd read in regards to this very same issue on the OpenSUSE forums. It seemed that others were having the same issue with OpenSUSE 11 and the Audigy 2 ZS. I thought back to what I read and found settings in the mixer that seemed to correspond to that. One mouse click later, my sound was working. At that point, I decided to just go to bed.

And that brings me to now. I'm still running OpenSUSE, though my friend was quite certain that I'd wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and decide to install Gentoo. I haven't yet gone about installing any codecs or the like to watch any videos. I will eventually, though. But so far, I'm really liking OpenSUSE, and it only took 4 hard drive formats in one day to figure that out.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 1:33 PM Post #2 of 51

tohni

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Ever tried Kubuntu? I really liked it and it outperforms Ubuntu IMO. The hard- and software support is just outstanding for these distros. Something I tried but never got to work on my machine is Mepis - the fan just went crazy -, but from what I have heard it is well supported and worth dipping into. Many people swear by PClinuxOS, but I don't: I didn't like it too much. - Generally, I prefer Debian based distros But if you are not as noobish as me, you probably don't have to stay on or near the well trodden paths.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 1:35 PM Post #3 of 51

Lamora

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You say Vista is too resource heavy and you're using KDE? I like KDE but it's far from being light on resources. Also the chances are good that playing HD movies will be worse on Linux if you are relying on hardware acceleration from your video card.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 1:39 PM Post #4 of 51

FalconP

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I've just switched to OpenSUSE after a two-year affair with Kubuntu; KDE4 under Kubuntu is simply abysmal: major bugs remain even with KDE4.1 release candidate. Yes, OpenSUSE is a lovely distro, aesthetically very polished. GTK+ apps (Firefox, for instance) are an eyesore under Kubuntu, now they're pleasing to the eyes. My only complain so far is that package management in OpenSUSE (through YaST) is not nearly as quick and intuitive as Kubuntu/Debian's Apt.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 1:43 PM Post #5 of 51

FalconP

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamora /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You say Vista is too resource heavy and you're using KDE? I like KDE but it's far from being light on resources.


KDE is definitely lighter on system resources than Vista. KDE4 under OpenSUSE run comfortably in as little as 512 MB RAM. Of course, there are other Desktop Environments for leaner machines.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 1:54 PM Post #6 of 51

KenW

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tohni /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ever tried Kubuntu? I really liked it and it outperforms Ubuntu IMO. The hard- and software support is just outstanding for these distros. Something I tried but never got to work on my machine is Mepis - the fan just went crazy -, but from what I have heard it is well supported and worth dipping into. Many people swear by PClinuxOS, but I don't: I didn't like it too much. - Generally, I prefer Debian based distros But if you are not as noobish as me, you probably don't have to stay on or near the well trodden paths.


Kubuntu is terrific. It replaced XP on my home music server about a year ago. Can't say enough good things about it and haven't looked back. My XP install started giving me fits after a Windows update and my shared volumes disappeared on my Mac as well. Repeated needs to restart and computer lockups led me to finally make the move. Just a rock solid OS. Of course, my personal favorite is the Mac, but until I spring for new Apple hardware, the Kubuntu desktop will serve me well. Everything from sharing desktops to FTP to the Squeezecenter software just works better in Kubuntu than XP. Guess the bottom line is that it doesn't really make much difference which flavor of Linux you choose as all are better than anything Microsoft shoves down our throats.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 4:01 PM Post #7 of 51

tohni

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One think that crossed my mind: if you avoid Vista because of its hardware requirements, I wonder why you chose OpenSUSE, it is probably the most bloatish distro you can find. Still, if that works better for you than Vista, who cares?
Concerning KDE 4, I must say I only used Kubuntu with the older version of KDE; I have now switched back to Windoze as it allows me to control the fans and the core voltage so easily. Also, I can play my games on it.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 4:53 PM Post #9 of 51

Jigglybootch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamora /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You say Vista is too resource heavy and you're using KDE? I like KDE but it's far from being light on resources. Also the chances are good that playing HD movies will be worse on Linux if you are relying on hardware acceleration from your video card.


KDE is nowhere near as resource heavy as Vista. Not even close. HD movie playback has been buttery smooth so far. Of course, the videos are only 720p, so I have no idea how 1080i/p stuff would fare, but then again, my max resolution is 1680x1050 so I'm not really interested in the higher resolution stuff anyway. That's what I bought the Bravia for.
biggrin.gif
But nonetheless, if Vista stutters and skips on 720p stuff, I'd hate to see what it does with 1080 material.

As far as OpenSUSE being bloated, I'm not sure how to respond. To me, it doesn't seem any more or less bloated than any other distro I've tried, but I'm new to OpenSUSE so I'm really not in a position to offer any meaningful feedback on the subject. In any case, though, it runs much smoother than Vista. And I love YaST. It may be a bit slower than Apt but it seems to integrate very well into the system overall, so I'm not complaining.

FalconP, I know exactly what you mean about GTK apps in Kubuntu. That's part of the reason I didn't like Kubuntu (all the other bugs and issues notwithstanding). If only I could get paid to sit around and play with Linux...
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 4:56 PM Post #10 of 51

Jigglybootch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mustang /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would suggest giving Ubuntu a shot.


I've used Ubuntu before. For quite a while, actually. I just got tired of it's ubiquity. Like I said in my OP, I don't really have anything against Ubuntu. I just wanted to try something else.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 5:36 PM Post #11 of 51

fjf

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+2 for trying ubuntu. The last version (8.04.1) with compiz enabled is something to be seen. Of course, being one of the most popular distros, will not make your computer unique, but it may simply work with all your hardware.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 5:57 PM Post #13 of 51

progo

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I don't think many linuxists use linux just to make computer unique -- it's more like to be working hasslessly and copes better without windows. You don't need antivirus or spyware removers nor even firewalls. And the system, including most/every of its 3rd party software is kept updated just with a few keystrokes.

Ahh, it was a very interesting and exciting to move into full-time linux from Windows. I'd say the experience was very much like moving from home the first time. I would had this tiny fear all the time: what if I couldn't fix that little problem or maybe the thing X or Y won't work here, I need to test it! And so on. It took like three months and afterwards I am left with a fixed, well refined system that's so customed to my use I couldn't believe it six months ago. Ahh, I miss the thrill.. that fear. I've tried to reproduce it by testing new desktop environments but in the end I always come back to my ascetic but homey Fluxbox.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OP
my choices being Linux and Vista (choices that don't involve purchasing new hardware


I lol'd, but there's a thought.
 
Jul 20, 2008 at 5:59 PM Post #14 of 51

cerbie

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Try PCLinuxOS...
 

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