Sorry, MartinRF, but how old is the Ubuntu distro, and is it a LTS? It's generally not a good idea to run a non-LTS version of Ubuntu after its end of life (which I don't know off the top of my head).
Having said that and at the risk of starting a flame war, it's good that you're avoiding the newer Ubuntu with the Unity desktop like the plague. There are also other issues around Ubuntu that have been pointed out by others around their security, however I've never had a problem with some of other mainstream *buntu variants -- for example, Xubuntu, with the Xfce desktop environment, especially is most friendly to those who are not too computer savvy. Although it's somewhat bloated (right, el_koraco? ), it still works on a lot of older hardware.
But I would be surprised if Linux Mint -- I'd use Linux Mint Debian Edition myself -- didn't work on the sister box, as you say, and I would be hard pressed to think of a "Plan B" distro.
How about Kubuntu, perhaps that's too heavy. Xubuntu is a very good choice too. Or let them try Ubuntu. Seriously Unity is great for the less-tech-savvy. My Grandad has a Laptop that originally come with Windows XP and Ubuntu (12.04) runs painlessly on it. I didn't even need to find any drivers it was plug and play with the LiveUSB then a very easy install. Back to the point, he picked Unity up within a couple hours and he couldn't be happier. The Dash can get a little bit sluggish but that's due to 5 year old hardware but it's nothing to complain about, and he doesn't. Applications load snappy and he finds the Dash pleasing to use, especially if he's trying to find some old family photos. So put that sucker on a live CD or USB and let them have a go. Heck, they may like it.
Unity isn't as bad as people make it out to be I still prefer Openbox and such however if I had to use Unity I would with no complaints.
So noted, pidsley. However, if you're saying that I'm not entitled to make a comment or offer an opinion because I'm a moderator, then I'd have to disagree.
That's a good option, machinebacon. Ken Starks at Reglue puts SolusOS on the machines he refurbishes and gives to underprivileged kids in the Austin, Texas, area. I'm told the kids pick it up pretty quickly, so it shouldn't be a problem for adults.
Great response, mostly... :-)
Yes, the old Ubuntu is way beyond its support life time. No up-dates in maybe two years now.
No, new Ubuntu is probably not a wise fall-back if there are problems with installing since at least some of the reported problems seem to stem from Mint's Ubuntu heritage. I need something unrelated and by the looks of it Solus may be it. I will try it out.
Mint 13 XFCE isn't a bad call. XFCE is lighter on resources than Cinamon (I think) and the Mint team warns that 14 has a PAE kernel and if the CPU does not support PAE they recommend 13. I think Sempron do do PAE but I am not sure. I trust the guys I bought the computer from can tell me -- a proper brick and mortar store with people who actually know about computers including Linux! And within crawling distance from home!
Why don't you add that debian menu updater thing to #!, or put xfce over debian sid or something? VastOne's netinstall how to is great. My girlfriend uses #! Waldorf and is disinterested/unwilling in engaging in code, etc., but loves it. I think it's great for 'normal users' and recommend it for anyone wanting to try gnu/linux. Course, if you go outside of debian then you will also have to learn another language too.
Last edited by dura (2012-12-09 16:44:46)
The question is how much support you want to put in. If you just want to set it and forget it k/x/buntu LTS 12.04 might be worth trying to install. I personally like Lubuntu better as lightweight distro but it dosen't currently have an LTS. If you don't have a problem with the installer you can just set that up and not have to think about it for four and half years, which is probably longer that the remaining lifespan of that hardware.
I also would not put it past Mint to introduce bugs and make weird decisions, which is why I wouldn't be entirely suprised if the installer problem wasn't specifically their doing in this instance.
Also Mint Debian releases massive updates on an unreliable and irregular basis. The last time I tried it out It took me about two hours to download and install the latest update pack because they hadn't bothered to update the .isos and when all was said and done I was greeted with a broken desktop. I'd suggest Mint Debian to pretty much no one.
Last edited by august (2012-12-10 01:05:46)
I can't speak from experience, only on what I've read, but one of the following distros may fit the bill:
Order means nothing. I just listed as they came to mind.
Last edited by KrunchTime (2012-12-10 02:21:19)
Solus OS sounds a good idea.
Mageia as an easy RPM distro if you want a non-Ubuntu/Debian system? Just don't blindly remove those orphaned packages.
XFCE is not a default but it is available in the repos, as are LXDE and Openbox (I think) and some others, if you want something light.
It's not got as many packages as other distros like Debian or Fedora. But it has some nice touches. Who else packages Celtx, for example, or Freetuxtv?
We had some folks having a bad day take your thoughtful thread off a cliff...so, let's get this bad boy back on track where it rightfully belongs
Here's a couple options involving bright developers and active, knowledgable communities...
Debian(Gnome) = SolusOS
Debian(XFCE) = SalineOS (Dev. 2 is already rock solid)
Debian(OB) = #!
A few other Debian/*buntu-based alternatives that "may" be nice options for your specs...
Burn a few and have a good time with it!
Last edited by DapperMe17 (2012-12-11 22:42:41)
Last edited by dura (2012-12-11 22:42:23)