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#1 2013-09-27 17:36:43

saneks
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-10-01
Posts: 1,020

[solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

it happened! my no-techie girlfriend wants me to install linux on her 6 year old laptop because her windows vista install is hanging frequently and not doing the job anymore.. so we enter an all new level in our relationship.

since she does not want to get accustomed to a new system every 6 months or so, I have to wisely decide and balance out what to put on her computer. because that is what she will be using till the machine falls apart and I will have to maintain it.

her laptop is not the newest one, so I want a system on the lighter side. given its age, the machine probably has 2 gigs of ram.

my candidates..

obviously, Crunchbang. / but she wants desktop icons.. no problem there. I"ll do anything for her. even adding icons and the debian menu to crunchbang.
Linux Mint Debian / works, supported, easy.. still thinking about if choosing xfce or mate for nicer looks. probably the least work for me.
elementary OS / beautiful, easy and fast. actually my favourite because of the nice styling and intuitiveness. but I am not sure how long they will develop it. so changing another distro sometime later might cause me some trouble.
Lubuntu / just in the list because mint has no lxde version anymore

more suggestions for pretty and userfriendly systems? - I am open for everything except vanilla ubuntu.

Last edited by saneks (2013-09-29 18:20:16)


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#2 2013-09-27 17:42:21

Unia
#! Octo-portal-pussy
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2010-07-17
Posts: 4,634
Website

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

I'm just going to throw it out here: Arch.

Yes, I'm serious. I've been running it on my old laptop for over two years and now for a week on the new one, and never had any big crash that wasn't a result of one of my attempts of trying something new. If you install only what is needed, stick to the normal (stable) repositories and don't do anything fancy, it's rock solid and not as maintenance-hungry as you think it is.


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#3 2013-09-27 17:49:44

tamikan
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-09-20
Posts: 777

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

If you want to install something until her laptop falls apart then rolling-release is the way to go unless you don't mind doing fresh installs of non-rolling-release distros and have her personal data on a separate partition.
My suggestions would be:
-If you're the one maintaining the system: Manjaro
-If you want to let her mess with the system: PCLinuxOS (grab the LXDE edition) even distrowatch admitted in their review that this distro has the best control centre: link

Jesse Smith wrote:

The Control Centre used by PCLinuxOS is probably the nicest I've used and I appreciate its balance with regards to capability and ease of use.

Last edited by tamikan (2013-09-27 17:58:55)


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#4 2013-09-27 17:55:47

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

6 years old?

Debian Wheezy Xfce (if you set it up nice and purdy). Lubuntu is the best choice but it doesn't do LTS.

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#5 2013-09-27 17:58:19

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

I had the same situation with my old mother - 7 yr old lappy, and Vista. She got used to Ubuntu pretty quickly, but then the bloat got to the machine and I got fed up of maintaining it. Next up was Mint which I set up to look and behave exactly as she was used to, but the problems were similar

I took the plunge last week and installed Waldorf with xfce, set up the desktop and menus etc so as far as she is concerned everything is as it was before, but now her IT support staff is MUCH happier, especially without the grotesque gnome themes wink

The biggest issue is MTP support for her Samsung Galaxy, which isn't happening, and getting around that will take a lot of coaching (she's 81 but quite adventurous!). Airdroid avoids that issue though

Last edited by damo (2013-09-27 17:59:19)


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#6 2013-09-27 18:03:40

tamikan
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-09-20
Posts: 777

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

damo wrote:

The biggest issue is MTP support for her Samsung Galaxy, which isn't happening, and getting around that will take a lot of coaching (she's 81 but quite adventurous!). Airdroid avoids that issue though

What if her computer is connected to your home network but there's no internet coming in (which is rare but not impossible). Since I have an android device as well my suggestion would be to install 7zipper from the android market and enable http server it's awesome big_smile


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#7 2013-09-27 18:09:29

canpolat
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2012-09-25
Posts: 113

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

Linux Mint provides a nice conventional desktop and a consistent graphical design. Although I don't use it myself, Linux Mint Debian would also be my suggestion for someone without prior GNU/Linux experience. If you will end up maintaining it, I would also suggest to pick a distro which has the same base (Debian, Arch, etc.) as the one you're using.


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#8 2013-09-27 18:16:42

porkpiehat
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-10-02
Posts: 1,007

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

1. Install LXDE on #! or
2. Install Debian Wheezy LXDE edition

Don't bother adding desktop icons and the Debian menu to plain Openbox #!, just install LXDE.

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#9 2013-09-27 18:18:22

GekkoP
#! Junkie
From: Vicenza (Italy)
Registered: 2013-06-17
Posts: 297
Website

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

LinuxBBQ Coal?
It has LXDE on it, light and plenty of room to make whatever you want with it.

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#10 2013-09-27 18:22:02

jmad2011
#! Junkie
From: newton falls ohio
Registered: 2011-12-25
Posts: 344

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

i use crunchbang lxde it runs awesome


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#11 2013-09-27 18:40:22

Inodoro Pereyra
#! Die Hard
From: Back in Buenos Aires
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 844

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

Ok, let's hope nobody bites my head off, but I'm gonna suggest....Ubuntu.

Specifically, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. You can install it without Unity, it's rock solid, fast (for Ubuntu), very easy to use, old computer friendly (I used it on an Acer Aspire 5000, with 1GB of RAM, and loved it), and it's supported until 2015, which gives you 1 1/2 worry free year. And, if after that time she hasn't switched to #!, you'll know there's something seriously wrong with her... ]:D

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#12 2013-09-27 18:44:10

joek
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-09-06
Posts: 497

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

I agree with everyone else; LXDE is the desktop environment that you want, here. I know Debian better than anything else, so I'd be sticking with pure Debian/#! with LXDE, but if you're confident with it, I think an Arch base would be equally doable...

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#13 2013-09-27 18:51:58

tamikan
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-09-20
Posts: 777

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

Inodoro Pereyra wrote:

it's supported until 2015, which gives you 1 1/2 worry free year. And, if after that time she hasn't switched to #!, you'll know there's something seriously wrong with her... ]:D

LMFAO  8o


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#14 2013-09-27 19:10:39

fatmac
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-11-14
Posts: 1,948

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

The closest to a Windows desktop is going to be AntiX (full), same kind of menu structure & looks a bit like Windows, as it uses IceWM, which is very lightweight.

It is Debian based, so easy to maintain, & the system runs on around about 100mb of ram.

(AntiX is made/built to run on older machines.)

........& I recommend it!  big_smile

Last edited by fatmac (2013-09-27 19:12:15)


Linux since 1999
Currently:  AntiX, & Crunchbang.
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A good Debian read :- http://debian-handbook.info/get/now/

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#15 2013-09-27 19:36:49

NewCityVegas
Resident Tech Reporter
From: ANTI-CENSORSHIP
Registered: 2008-12-02
Posts: 628
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Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

To make transition from the Windows world easy and still get a snappy OS:

Zorin OS Lite

http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com/2013 … l-and.html


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#16 2013-09-27 19:38:25

zubcho81
#! CrunchBanger
From: Sofia, Bulgaria
Registered: 2012-08-12
Posts: 209

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

crunchbang + XFCE4 + lightDM for login. This will be the perfect combo.


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I use them daily! tongue

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#17 2013-09-27 19:41:07

tamikan
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-09-20
Posts: 777

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

And if you're hesitating between more than one, install the ones you have in mind on virtual machines and make her try them. Ladies like to have choice


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#18 2013-09-27 19:46:34

drlove601
#! Member
From: United States
Registered: 2011-12-01
Posts: 56

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

For the desktop environment, I would say LXDE, Xfce or Mate is the way to go.  If LXDE is your choice and you want long term support, then LXLE would be a good fit.  If not lts, then Lubuntu is great.  Manjaro may be a good choice for Xfce and it's rolling.  Linux Mint has Mate covered for you, but if you want a Debian Stable base then have a look at Point Linux.

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#19 2013-09-27 19:52:13

brontosaurusrex
#! Red Menace
Registered: 2012-06-15
Posts: 1,643

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

#!, and you don't need desktop icons love, only uncool people have those and i'd hate to think about you that way.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2013-09-27 19:52:55)

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#20 2013-09-27 19:57:24

spiritchaser
#! CrunchBanger
From: Temple Suspended in Void
Registered: 2013-05-14
Posts: 101

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

i would go with !#
Mint - i ran it for about a year and it was quite good, although crunch is more responsive
Elementary - tried it, nice, polished but not rock solid, sometimes it froze on me

the biggest issue i see is - 6 years old laptop - that screams for crunch, light and responsive smile

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#21 2013-09-27 20:09:12

tamikan
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-09-20
Posts: 777

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

saneks wrote:

obviously, Crunchbang. / but she wants desktop icons.. no problem there. I"ll do anything for her. even adding icons and the debian menu to crunchbang.

They often say the first choice is the right one tongue


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#22 2013-09-27 20:54:53

rebornmechanics
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2012-11-05
Posts: 176

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

If she really wants desktop icons, go with #! and pcmanfm --desktop.
However, I'll have you consider the following: People don't want desktop icons, because they need them. They want desktop icons, because they're used to clunky start menus.
Navigating through the standard Windows start menu left many users with the feeling that having to minimize *everything* to launch applications from the desktop is the more viable option. With #! (or any distro that chooses not to obscure its config) you're free to create menus and keybinds for whatever you wish to do with zero navigation time.

On a related note: I'm a little weirded out by people suggesting #! with another DE on top of it. Not that there's anything wrong with it. It's just that most of the #! customizations are meant for openbox specifically so that installing XFCE, for instance, sort of defeats the purpose. The outcome would be almost identical to vanilla Debian with XFCE, right?

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#23 2013-09-27 21:21:22

Linuxephus™
Banned
From: Reality Check 101.
Registered: 2013-09-11
Posts: 158

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

I would definitely choose Crunchbang as well.
You're already familiar with it.
Thus, adding some desktop icons and other "bling" to "pimp it out" so to speak shouldn't be much problem at all.


-Evolution Is Merely God's Way Of Performing An Upgrade.-
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#24 2013-09-29 18:19:39

saneks
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-10-01
Posts: 1,020

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

thanks everybody for your kind suggestions. I never saw a thread fill up so fast like that one.

I had a look at everything I did not know, like Point Linux or pclinuxOs. had a good laugh about ubuntu 10.04 at first but was surprised it still is supported. thanks for that one. I never got too warm with AntiX.. also, her computer is not that old. I am sure it can handle xfce or openbox and will still fly.

I narrowed the choices down to mint debian, but it is too boring for me, haha. then crunchbang plus lxde and then someone suggested Manjaro for a rolling release - first I was sceptical but I thought it would be the coolest thing ever if someone asked her what she uses and she replies: "Arch Linux"

so I went to check it out and downloaded both openbox and xfce. and.. wow. 

openbox comes in cd size, but can't reach the uber-goodness of crunchbang. Manjaro XFCE is 1.1 gig but comes with loads of useful programs like libre office and cups, non-free drivers, full media support, xnoise as a nice music player (haven't seen it before) and even has steam preinstalled. first time I see that on a linux distro.

I think the xfce version is absolutely fantastic. fast as hell, feels about as fast on USB live now as crunchbang on my machine. very good looking, the menu they use is much better than the normal xfce menu, nice and easy for ex-windows-users. very sexy and polished distro. she has her desktop icons, and everything I need is in the iso. it is no less than fantastic.

thanks for pointing me to that!  I never tried it before, and if I cant break it within a week, I will install Manjaro on her machine. I will go ahead with crunchbang of course.

thanks everybody!

Last edited by saneks (2013-09-29 18:43:21)


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#25 2013-09-29 19:28:59

th3pun15h3r
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 571

Re: [solved] things are getting serious.. which distro for my girlfriend

I was going to suggest Zorin OS 6, its a distro that considers its self as a gateway to linux and has the look changer to make it look and act like other OS's like Windows 7 and Mac.  Its built on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS so support till 2017.  It runs fairly snappy even on pentium D's with 2 gb of ram.  I installed it on my dad's system when his windows xp was BSODing.  I also installed it on a toshiba tecra a11 laptop and my wife was able to use it with no fuss or asking me how to.

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