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Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Cochese, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox
    *Blatant GNG cross post. (forgot about this forum)*

    Thinking of switching to linux,

    Windows is just getting on my last nerve lately, and I'm contemplating switching over to some easy n00b version of Linux.

    What I'd like to know: is which version, where to download for free (heard linux was free), and what to expect (driver wise) as far as compatability issues with my machine.

    I have a Dell Latitude CPxJ 650GT with a PentiumIII 650mhz SpeedStep, 512mb RAM, a 20GB HD, standard OE ATi VideoCard and Sound integrated in the OE MB. There is also a OE CDRW/DVD drive and an Orinoco Gold PCMCIA WiFi card.

    Can anyone help me out? I am fairly computer literate. My current build of XP Pro SP2 actually works fine. I'm just ready for a change.

    Step by step instructions would be nice, but I am realistic. Is there a version of Linux which will have all of the drivers I need? Is there a way to preserve any of the MP3 or picture files currently on my computer? I was thinking of backing up the whole thing anyway but am trying to figure out the best way to do THAT first :)

    Help ;)

  2. biblefreak


    Mar 4, 2003
    West Texas
    I am typing this from FireFox running on a Mepis box. I can not say enough good things about Mepis. It is Debian based there-for able to utilize apt-get, a beautiful way of keeping software up to date without getting stuck on dependencies, is compatible with lots of hardware, has alot of the features already set up that I had to install with other distros etc... The list goes on.

    Go to and download the iso. Burn it using Nero or some other such burning utility, and put it in the cd drive. Make sure your boot order is CDROM first, reboot, then you can play with Mepis as it will boot off the CD and WILL NOT be installed on your hard drive. If you like, follow the instructions in the manual also found at to permenatly install Mepis.

    Good Luck!


  3. PanamaDave2

    PanamaDave2 Dealer

    Sep 25, 2004
  4. Here are some of the best



    Kanotix has a "Lite" version which doesn't have the huge office suit if you don't need it.It's a big program.Makes downloading the CD faster.


    All of these try to maintain up to date notebook and WiFi support.PCLinuxOS might be the easiest to use.Kanotix may be the most funtional.Mepis maintains the most compatibilty with Debian Linux,a huge Linux with lots or resources.
  5. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

    Feb 15, 2002
    Hey Washington, how do these compare with the Litrix version you were recommending a month or two ago?

    I haven't gotten around to installing it yet (couldn't detect HD for some reason so I decided to wait).
  6. Litrix is a bit more complete and faster.I'm not sure how Litrix is for notebooks.Also fo beinnners at Linux the Litrix is firly easy but the installer is in Portuguese.If you are familar with installing Linux it's really not a problem but a new OS and a new language is a but much.THe latest Litrix has an all english installer but doesn't work as well as the previous version.Litrix 2.1 EX is still the absolute fastest most complete Linux I've tried.Litrix 3.01 has had a few install difficulties but once installed runs great.2.1 is based on Slackware and is modular and 3.01 is based on Gentoo and extra packages are installed from soutce compiled on your PC,taking a very long time but easier to manage using Gentoo package manager.Litrix 2.1 EX is still my choice of Linux.Litrix 3.01 is not as complete and still doesn't run quite as fast alough faster than most.3.01 takes up a lot of disk space nd has fewer packages.I'm still figuring out that one.If you can download Litrix 2.1 EX you can't beat it.It's not listed on their website anymore but it's still available for download from their server.
  7. I find PCLinuxOS the slowest but on a fast PC it's okay.Kanotix is likely my second favorite after Litrix.It's an inproved version of Knoppix optimized for hard disk installation.Mepis can be a bit tricky but has a easy installer.It's can tricky in that it's very touchy about certain hardware.It's not super fast but is the most compatible with Debian.These work better than most on notebooks too.Litrix doesn't have much if any English support.Litrix 2.1 EX is based on Slackware 10.1 and Litrix 3.01 is based on Gentoo and support for these should work.
  8. Another good one that doesn't have a bunch of packages but works really nice is Minislack.The CD is small and a fast download.
  9. Glock Bob

    Glock Bob Snack Attack!!!

    Aug 5, 2004
    There are lots of distros available at I've used Knoppix many times, and have installed it several times, as well. It's great to play with on CD since you don't have to install it at all if you don't want to.
  10. hasn't been updated in a while. is more up to date right now.

    Litrix and Kanotix have been the best live CD's I've tried.Kmoppix always misses my sound card.Not a huge problem as I don't use sound often,but it is annoying.
  11. I just install Litrix 2.1 EX on another PC.Even with the installer in Portuguese,it's so easy!

    I tried Litrix 3.01 and it works well.It has both Portuguese and English on the same CD.The 2.1 EX is just English except for the installer.
    It helps a lot to partition the hard drive before running the Litrix CD.At least make a swap partiton for the lice cd to share.

    Run the CD.Click the installer.Choose a partiton to install Litrix.I made a Linux partiton and a swap partition before I ran the Litrix CD.

    Then choose a file system.I chose Reisers.It runs the fastest and is very stable.

    Litrix 2.1 EX is extremely fast and based on Slackware 10.1.

    It's very complete with the desktop software.

    Litrix 3.01 is also fast compared to others but lacks some of the larger packages.It's based on Gentoo 2005.

    The Gentoo package manager is very easy to use but the opackages are downloaded as source and are compiled on your PC.This takes a long time to add packages.

    I just installed Litrix 2.1 EX on a 466Mhz Celeron with 128mb of RAM.

    I had Litrix 3.01 on it but I was worried adding the large packages would slow the system down.It worked really well.
    I'm using 512mb of swap on that PC.Litrix 2.1 EX is running great.

    Minislack is interesting and stable but not everything is compatible with Slackware and it has it's own package base.It's small and a quick CD to download.It hasmost of the need stuff.It's not a live CD just an install CD.
  12. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

    Feb 15, 2002

    I'll try that next time then. I just stuck it in and assumed I can do the partition stuff later.
  13. being a live CD it uses whatever Linux swap partition it can find on the hard drives if there is any.The install is completely automatic compared to some.You tell it what file system format you want and which partition in which to install it.Then you can walk away and it does everything else.No other questions to answer during the hard drive install.
  14. I just tried the latest version of Berry Linux.It's from Japan.It has English.It's based on Fedora, with which I've had a few problems with earlier versions.The latest version of Berry Linux is based on Fedora Core 4.It has some of the latest packages.It doesn't come with any of the useful plug-ins but being able to use Fedora packages it should be fairly easy to add these.Stripped down it runs fairly fast.I still prefer Litrix but some people might find Berry easier to use.The CD iso is not a full CD so it doesn't take too long to download.You can download it here
  15. Egyas

    Egyas Troll Hater

    MAn, I feel like an old man here, since I'm still running Gentoo.
  16. kilroy2721


    Feb 14, 2002
    This last weekend I just got through putting a dual boot Win XPpro and Suse 9.1 on my Dell Latitude and while I am still tweaking it so far it seems pretty good. I am letting Grub handle the choice of OS on bootup. I am also getting tired of Windows problems and I am a desktop support tech so I see this all day long but am so dependant upon windows that I fear giving it up will leave me stranded when I need it most.
  17. Egyas

    Egyas Troll Hater

    I feel your pain brother. I switched from Micr0$oft to Linux about a year back, and it really didn't hurt me that much. I installed and ran WinXP in VMWare for about 4 months as a "safety blanket", but finally went cold turkey. Ran 8 months using Linux (Fedora Core 3 for 2-3 months, then Gentoo for the rest) alone, and it was awesome. The only thing I couldn't do was run Active Directory. The few Windows apps that I could not get a linux port for (Remedy, Access Paging, etc) I ran through CrossOver Office with no (well, Remedy was a LITTLE glitchy) issues. I even had to install IE6 through CrossOver Office for one of the websites my company uses that requires the use of an ActiveX control. I made extensive use of RDesktop protocol and the Terminal Server app to connect to workstations and servers (WinNT workstation through Win2003 Advanced server) with no issue. When I had to run AD, I would TermServe or VNC a support station here (one of our helpdesk machines) and just take it from 'em. lol Not to mention that BOTH Thunderbird and Evolution are better mail apps, IMO, than Outlook.

    The fun was great, until the corporate Gestapo cracked down on "non-standard" PCs. My poor Dell Latitude D600 now wins WinXP, and full Micr0$oft crap-loaded Orifice, err sorry, Office, etc. My machine is SO slow and undependable now because of the corporate overhead (CCS, Marimba, EPO, Hercules, etc). It was stable as a rock, and ran so well.

    I miss those days. ;g ;1
  18. I hear Crossover Office is fairly easy to use.I haven't tried it but there is a trial version incluced in Bufalo Linux.I have gotten Internet Explorer 6 and Windows Media Player 9 to work in Linux with Wine.I listen to international internet radio broadcasts and many require IE and WMP.Open Office and Abiword are fairly Microsoft Office and Word compatible these days.