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Old 2004-03-19, 15:57   Link #1
hhaamu
Don't panic.
 
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Age: 28
Searching for a distro

Ok, so my hdd will be in a rather unformatted state soon, and I'd like your opinions of which distro of linux should I to put there. I'm not exactly a linux n00b, and am used to compiling kernels (actually, I often prefer a kernel compiled by hand than the stock kernel provided by the distro). I'm currently having a small server-ish box running debian, and I've been using gentoo since 1.2 on the main box (1GHz). However, I'm somewhat fed up on a few of gentoo's features (and I don't want to compile kde >_> ), so I'm asking, which distro would you suggest me to install on the main box?

A few questions on debian (thinking of testing/sarge): how long does it take until new software gets packaged? Can I just use something like apt-get.org for getting all those newest packages?

And a few things I want from the distro:
* Something apt-get-ish, that can install all the dependencies when installing a package
* Available as an ftp install (download a small cd-image), preferably with a mirror near Finland
* Easy set up of mplayer, the codecs it needs, libdvdcss and stuff, all for a painless playback
* grub as an option for a bootloader
* easy update to a 2.6 kernel (actually, the only thing that is holding me back is the mga_vid module not compiling against the sources yet)
* something that facilitates getting an up-to-date version of a package is one has not been done yet. With gentoo, I could just bump the package version up if the newest version did not have an ebuild yet.

Uh, and even if I don't use KDE myself, my parents need some sort of a graphical interface.

So, which one should I get? debian? fedora? suse? gentoo (again)? other?
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Old 2004-03-19, 16:37   Link #2
lavalyn
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaamu
Ok, so my hdd will be in a rather unformatted state soon, and I'd like your opinions of which distro of linux should I to put there. I'm not exactly a linux n00b, and am used to compiling kernels (actually, I often prefer a kernel compiled by hand than the stock kernel provided by the distro). I'm currently having a small server-ish box running debian, and I've been using gentoo since 1.2 on the main box (1GHz). However, I'm somewhat fed up on a few of gentoo's features (and I don't want to compile kde >_> ), so I'm asking, which distro would you suggest me to install on the main box?

A few questions on debian (thinking of testing/sarge): how long does it take until new software gets packaged? Can I just use something like apt-get.org for getting all those newest packages?

And a few things I want from the distro:
* Something apt-get-ish, that can install all the dependencies when installing a package
* Available as an ftp install (download a small cd-image), preferably with a mirror near Finland
* Easy set up of mplayer, the codecs it needs, libdvdcss and stuff, all for a painless playback
* grub as an option for a bootloader
* easy update to a 2.6 kernel (actually, the only thing that is holding me back is the mga_vid module not compiling against the sources yet)
* something that facilitates getting an up-to-date version of a package is one has not been done yet. With gentoo, I could just bump the package version up if the newest version did not have an ebuild yet.

Uh, and even if I don't use KDE myself, my parents need some sort of a graphical interface.

So, which one should I get? debian? fedora? suse? gentoo (again)? other?
Having gotten quite used to debian unstable, I would definitely suggest using that over sarge. You don't need to update daily... and the Debian folks update their non-critical packages very quickly - I've seen 0-day, and usually 3 days. (Things like perl, X, python... those take noticeably longer, to make sure not even unstable is broken.)

Debian unstable is also 2.6 ready. Backports should also be available.

And what little else you may need (XF4.3? mplayer?) can be obtained from other repositories... marrillat.free.fr hosts mplayer, libdvdcss, lame, etc packages.

(The worse distro fanbois are the Gentoo and the Debian crowds. A little pain in installation is worth the laziness of maintenance.)
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Old 2004-03-19, 17:14   Link #3
Forse
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaamu
However, I'm somewhat fed up on a few of gentoo's features (and I don't want to compile kde >_> ), so I'm asking, which distro would you suggest me to install on the main box?
First of all I don't think you know and follow gentoo devel so well. You can use binaries for KDE that come with CD. Then you'll just have to recompile some of stuff to get it up to date...it won't take long. Also setting up mplayer on gentoo is easy and u can get control what features mplayer comes with using USA flags. Going 2.6 on gentoo is so easy. I have 2.6 now running on test server...was really easy to go from 2.4 to 2.6

P.S. If you look up google or gentoo forums you'll see that there is already project which wants to provide binaries for gentoo....Also FBSD could do all those
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Old 2004-03-19, 17:52   Link #4
hhaamu
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Join Date: May 2003
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Age: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forse
You can use binaries for KDE that come with CD.
I tried a partial GRP installation (install only kde with GRP packages), but let's say that it wasn't so successful. The binary packages were for version 3.1.3, so I would've had to compile a newer version anyway to be up-to date, AND the portage tree lacked the 3.1.3 ebuilds. Yes, that pretty much foiled my plans for install-qt-and-kde-from-GRP.
Quote:
Also setting up mplayer on gentoo is easy and u can get control what features mplayer comes with using USA flags.
I know. It is easy. That's one of the things I like with gentoo. Setting up mplayer
Quote:
Going 2.6 on gentoo is so easy. I have 2.6 now running on test server...was really easy to go from 2.4 to 2.6
Yes, know that too. I went experimental for a while and installed 2.6.3-mm4 there. But I'm mostly looking for gentoo alternatives (remember, I mentioned being fed up with some of its features in the OP?).
But that leads me to another requirement: easy-to-set-up ALSA. (yes, I know, it can be easily compiled from source and stuff but... via the package management)

Also, I don't mind which packaging the distro uses, be it deb, rpm, tgz or ebuild... as long as it works.

One more preference: It would be nice if the stuff in the distro was compiled against gtk+2 whenever possible, and not gtk+1.
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Old 2004-03-19, 18:59   Link #5
Nevion
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Age: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaamu
But that leads me to another requirement: easy-to-set-up ALSA. (yes, I know, it can be easily compiled from source and stuff but... via the package management)
alsa can't get any easier to setup if it came via package as long as your kernel has alsa drivers(which all decent distros should come with) you just use the alsaconf utility...

anyway, suse is now based on gtk 2.4.2 and uses 2.6 as its stock. Should come with latest kde since its suse, uses grub, and has install via ftp option... if you can call it an option : )

to tell truth though... I think anything fullfills your reqs... leave it to fate and randomely point and click till you end up downloading something that preferably allows an install via ftp option or untill you find the logo that you like the most.
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Old 2004-03-26, 14:07   Link #6
hhaamu
Don't panic.
 
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Age: 28
So I decided to install Arch, thanks to Flonne's recommendation. So far nearly everything has worked well. It's still somewhat immature (and lacking in packages), though

I did have to fight a bit with the mplayer part (-vo xmga, -vc xvid, matroska), but that's about it. I guess this will be the distribution of my choice for now.
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