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#1 2014-10-06 09:54:09

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Distro suggestion

Hello,

I know it might sound strange to ask for distro suggestions on a forum dedicated to one specific distro, but seeing how nice and knowledgeable the community is here, I thought to give it a try anyway.
On my personal notebook I have #! and have been happily using it for various years (now that I think of it, from the very beginning in 2009), but now I need to set up a pc for my family (and me). I would like to do it the best way possible but I am not a big expert in these things, so I need some help.
For obvious reasons I would like it to be based on Debian and I would go right away for #! if it weren't for 2 main limits (related to my situation):
1. it needs a well integrated web filtering/ usage time limiter system
2. a desktop with icons

I know all things can be done with #! as well the problem is that I am not very knowledgeable and the few times I tried, it has either been very complicated (for me), even when following directions (I usually can manage things with step by step instructions, which of course most of you most of the time kindly provide, but sometimes things don't go as expected), or I just could not manage to make things work and therefore reverted to Windows 7, to avoid protests.

Some other needs are an IME for East Asian languages and a virtual box for Windows 7 (by the way, how can I set it up so that it cannot access internet? ), since my wife needs some programs that don't run well on Wine.

Thank you all in advance for any help and/or suggestion.

Cheers,

Clemens

Last edited by clemens (2014-10-20 23:06:04)


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#2 2014-10-06 10:10:15

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: Distro suggestion

I would recommend XFCE, but I'm not familiar with many XFCE distros based on pure Debian. SolydX would be a fine choice, if you're into testing. Do you have a preference as to Wheezy, Jesse, or Sid?

If you want Sid, I could recommend Siduction XFCE.

Otherwise, I'd just do a Debian netinstall and grab exactly what you feel you have the right to need.

cool


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#3 2014-10-06 11:19:26

hooliganshark
#! Member
Registered: 2014-09-13
Posts: 50

Re: Distro suggestion

I came to #! after using Debian and XFCE for a long time, and as a side issue always watching out for more "straightforward" recommendations for family members. Most recently I had kind of settled on Xubuntu as the distro I would recommend for family as it just works out of the box, looks reasonably familiar to most people, and of course is based on Debian.

Another option I learned about (on here!) in the last few days is LXLE. (Thanks tdlam!) I think this might be even better, but I have only had a short play with it so far, but I would recommend you check that out.

I have no personal experience with web filtering but a quick google suggest the necessary tools are available and well documented in Ubuntu eg

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ParentalControls

Hope this helps and good luck with the search.

Last edited by hooliganshark (2014-10-06 11:24:17)


With thanks to the creators of #!  -  OMV  -  OSMC  -  Debian

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#4 2014-10-06 12:53:38

nore
>2^9
From: Lakeland
Registered: 2009-11-28
Posts: 740

Re: Distro suggestion

Take Xubuntu + timekpr.

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#5 2014-10-06 13:06:22

NewCityVegas
Resident Tech Reporter
From: ANTI-CENSORSHIP
Registered: 2008-12-02
Posts: 628
Website

Re: Distro suggestion

Semplice is based on Debian "sid" and also uses XFCE.  It is included in a new USB Multiboot collection:

http://www.gooplusplus.com/multiboot-2014-kudos-32/ -- http://semplice-linux.org/discover

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3WRcq781ggQ/VBNCoLCfiOI/AAAAAAAACDw/GWsjPbYMA9I/w300-no/z-gooplusplus-multiboot-kudos-32.png

Last edited by NewCityVegas (2014-10-06 13:20:40)


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#6 2014-10-06 15:51:22

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

Re: Distro suggestion

^Semplice uses Openbox, not Xfce.

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#7 2014-10-08 07:16:26

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Distro suggestion

Distro:  I hear good things about ElementaryOS/elementaryOS.  It's based on Ubuntu though and runs a uniquely configured XFCE desktop.

For tips/steps on setting up Windows 7 under VirtualBox under CrunchBang 11, see my how-to.

To disable internet access through Windows 7 under VirtualBox, uncheck the Enable Network Adapter checkbox under Network Settings, accessed via machine Settings.  I think you can password protect changes to a machine under VirtualBox to prevent someone from re-enabling network access.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2014-10-08 07:18:15)


Linux User #586672
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#8 2014-10-08 11:56:38

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: Distro suggestion

Wow,

thank you all for the many nice replies. I will try a bit all of them to see which one fits better my needs.
Have a nice week smile


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#9 2014-10-20 12:24:36

common-sense
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2014-09-08
Posts: 130

Re: Distro suggestion

Why not just use the real thing. Debian with XFCE?

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#10 2014-10-20 12:50:54

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: Distro suggestion

Sorry, but I don't understand exactly what you mean.
What do you mean by the "real thing"? Do you mean #!?
The desktop I am setting up is for my family and they need a desktop environment with icons, therefore debian+xfce.
Actually, if I recall correctly, before Openbox became the uncontested standard, I guess around 2011, also #! had the possibility to have xfce.
Or is it Timekpr you refer to? In that case, that is just a time limiting program I was kindly suggested to use.
What I would like to do is (Debian+Xfce)+Timekeepr+Webfiltering (Dansguardian and Privoxy/Squid etc.), but the Webfiltering part is not working sad

Last edited by clemens (2014-10-20 13:24:00)


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#11 2014-10-20 13:39:35

PackRat
#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,572

Re: Distro suggestion

What do you mean by the "real thing"? Do you mean #!?

The real thing is Debian itself.

You can download Debian with Xfce from the Debian website, or you can go with a Debian-based distro with Xfce as the desktop environment like Xubuntu. The Debian-based distros are more likely to have any drivers you need out of the box.

nore's suggestion of Xubuntu+timekpr will be stable and quick to implement.


"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce tribe

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#12 2014-10-20 14:08:32

ronaldo99
#! Member
From: Rio das Ostras,Brazil
Registered: 2009-09-07
Posts: 60

Re: Distro suggestion

You could also look at Antix MX 14.2- I tried it for a few weeks and found it to be one of the best debian Xfce distros,also very lightweight.

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#13 2014-10-20 15:34:30

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

Re: Distro suggestion

Solydx for debian based if your willing to go Ubuntu based Zorin OS 14.04 LTS for those coming from a windows background or Elementary OS Luna, for beautiful but fast and lightweight and easy to use and those that might be more familiar with Mac OS.

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#14 2014-10-20 17:01:09

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: Distro suggestion

"Finally I installed Deb+Xfce+Timekpr " And then,

"Why not just use the real thing. Debian with XFCE?"

I am confused.


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#15 2014-10-20 18:56:51

common-sense
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2014-09-08
Posts: 130

Re: Distro suggestion

jdonaghy wrote:

"Finally I installed Deb+Xfce+Timekpr " And then,

"Why not just use the real thing. Debian with XFCE?"

I am confused.

Don't be confused. That is the real thing. Good choice smile

I was thinking about all the other suggestions. No need to install a distro when Debian itself in most cases are better. In order to justify a distro, it has to offer something different or be especially suited for some concrete purpose of use.

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#16 2014-10-20 22:59:52

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: Distro suggestion

As mentioned, after trying some distros, at the end I installed debian wheezy pure and simple (no other distros although some were tempting), together with Xfce in order to have a "traditional" desktop with icons for my family. Among the various additional programs, I installed Timekeepr to make sure the computer doesn't get used too much.
I have also been trying to install parental control software but that is creating problems.
Now I do realize that I went "a bit" off topic with my post on Dansguardian not working and will ask to have the thread split into two.
Thank you all for the help and please help me on the parental guidance software installation if you have some time wink


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#17 2014-11-16 14:17:15

JJ Posti
Member
Registered: 2014-08-05
Posts: 10
Website

Re: Distro suggestion

If anybody wants to try out a Debian stable based (32 bit) lightweight distribution coming with Fluxbox and some nice features then one option would be to try Audax.  The distribution's iso is 599 megabytes. The system comes with Alsa, Firefox, Ekiga 4. Volume key/notification support and shortkey support etc. It can be run from a boot media as a live or installed to a harddrive if so desired.

This is a shameless self-promotion since I am the originator of that distribution... but in any case if you would like to test it here is the link to the distribution's main page: http://www.techtimejourney.net/audax-gnulinux-2/

If you do try it out read the release notes and important information before you begin.
----
ADDITIONAL. I just had a complete computer replacement and it revealed that Audax 0.1.2 has some problems with usb3 ports on certain machines (this is due to kernel). Also, it seems that nitrogen fails to set background correctly. Nitrogen issue can be fixed by deleting .config/nitrogen/bg-saved file. All the above issues (and more) will be fixed soon since  the 0.1.3 version is almost ready.

Last edited by JJ Posti (2014-11-17 22:54:39)


Audax Gnu/Linux (32-bit) released: http://www.techtimejourney.net/audax-gnulinux-2/

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#18 2014-11-18 03:17:12

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Distro suggestion

Also, for those who like to roll with the latest shiny stuff and fluxbox, head on over and check out VastOne's VSIDO which is based on Debian Sid/Unstable.


Linux User #586672
Come and Die -- Kyle Idleman

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#19 2014-11-18 08:10:29

AndyinMokum
#! Junkie
From: Amsterdam
Registered: 2013-09-01
Posts: 274

Re: Distro suggestion

Why not give Peppermint Five a whirl.  It is extremely light weight being based on Lubuntu.  The LXDE desktop is highly customized using Xfwm4 as its window manager instead of the traditional OpenBox configuration. This makes Peppermint far less reliant of what the developers at LXDE are doing.  Peppermint Five is refreshingly different from other 'buntu offspring because it is a Cloud orientated hybrid system. This means that Peppermint Five not only functions as an ultra quick desktop computer. It also functions simultaneously as an elegant Cloud OS, similar to a Chromebook. This is thanks to the ridiculously simple to use "Ice" application, This in-house app is able to turn any URL into an SSB, (SiteSpecificBrowser). These are in essence, stand alone apps that you choose where to appear in the menu system. You are able to launch these, "pseudo-apps" like an ordinary package. They just run in The Cloud - very cool indeed. 

Being Cloud orientated, it has a limited amount of pre-installed local packages. If you need specific local packages, they are easily downloadable from the Ubuntu repositories.  There are even meta-packages in the Software Manager to help nOObs get under way. I've been running for about a year, both Peppermint OS Four 32bit, (now obsolete) and the current Peppermint Five 64bit. This is built upon Ubuntu 14.04 LTS giving Peppermint an effective support period to April 2019.  I have found Peppermint to be ultra stable and extremely easy to use; perfect for a family computer.  The community is small, very friendly and active.  It supplies quick and effective solutions in nOObcentric language - always a bonus  big_smile .  As I said, its well worth giving it a whirl smile. Peppermint Five

Last edited by AndyinMokum (2014-11-22 23:12:11)


"If you can't blind 'em with science, baffle 'em with bullshit".

Distros: Crunchbang 11 ""Waldorf" 64bit & Peppermint Five 64bit, Machine: Fujitsu-Siemens AMILO Notebook Li 3710, CPU: 2x Intel Pentium Dual CPU T3400 @ 2.16GHz, RAM: 4GB

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#20 2014-11-18 13:13:00

common-sense
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2014-09-08
Posts: 130

Re: Distro suggestion

You could try WattOS. It used to be based on Ubuntu, but is now based on Debian, and comes in different flavours. Openbox, LXDE and MATE. The last one is probably most user-friendly, and would make the easiest transition for a MS-user.

http://www.planetwatt.com/

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#21 2014-11-19 14:17:47

g33zr
#! Die Hard
From: Never Never Land
Registered: 2013-02-19
Posts: 635

Re: Distro suggestion

SolydXK is Debian based and offers stable and testing versions of Xfce and KDE, but for a first-time Linux user, I usually recommend Mint.


It's never too late to learn something new! wink

OHCG | LXer

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#22 2014-11-19 22:49:28

vrkalak
#! Die Hard
From: Las Vegas > US
Registered: 2009-09-14
Posts: 1,647

Re: Distro suggestion

Handy-Linux  >  http://handylinux.org/documentation-en/ … handylinux

HandyLinux-1.7 > is Debian (stable+backports) with Xfce DE

HandyLinux is accessibility for all and freedom for everyone to evolve on its own. Based on Debian GNU/Linux with XFCE, a fast, light and stable desktop environment, HandyLinux is safe, handy and free.

    Designed to facilitate access to computers those who start, children, seniors and those who are looking for simplicity.


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#23 2014-11-22 15:19:27

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: Distro suggestion

You should use Arch.  ]:D

on topic: maybe this (unfortunately stub) article shows some alternatives: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Parental_Control

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#24 2014-11-22 23:43:58

lcafiero
The #! Guy
From: Felton, California, USA
Registered: 2011-07-21
Posts: 2,225
Website

Re: Distro suggestion

A lot of good suggestions so far. The great thing about Linux and FOSS is that you can choose -- my advice would be to wander over to DistroWatch and download some *.iso files of live distros to test drive.

Asking us what distro is best for you is a lot like asking us what flavor of ice cream you'd like best. You have to determine that for yourself. Obviously the one that suits your needs best is the best distro for you.

Good luck.


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#25 2014-11-22 23:50:23

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: Distro suggestion

^ +1. We probably all started with a bunch of ISOs.

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