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A Linux Distro for me?

Link to this post 19 Oct 09

Hello, I would really appreciate it if someone could suggest a Linux Distro for me based on these criteria. I have tried many different version of Linux and have yet to find one that suits my needs. I hope that some people on here who have far more experience than me can recommend something that would be good for me.

1) CD not DVD version. I would prefer it if the Distro was only available as a CD so that I know I'm not getting a stripped down version of the Distro, but it has to be a CD either way because I only have a CD burner.
2) Free. I don't want to pay for my Distro and again this is just a preference, but I would hope that the Distro would be totally free rather than offer a stripped down free version.
3) Light. I have an Acer Aspire 3620 laptop, 512MB RAM, 40GB HD, 1.6GHz Celeron M with only integrated graphics so I would like something that didn't take 10 minutes to load the OS and 5 minutes to load Firefox.
4) Noob friendly. I am not very comfortable with command line installations or command line in general. I would like it to be easy to install, easy to use etc.
5) Update friendly. I know that some small Distro's like PUD or Puppy could probably satisfy my other criteria but they don't offer an update application (for example, like the one included in Ubuntu, I'm not looking for something Ubuntu based so that it can have that updater, but just something that can easily be updated).
6) Student friendly. I need more than just a Notepad replacement (the Micro$oft Notepad I mean), so either it should come with AbiWord or OpenOffice or something like that or make it very easy to install something like that.

I'm not picky about whether or not it contains things like codecs (all my music is in OGG anyway and I don't need to watch DVD's on my laptop and I wouldn't really miss it if it didn't come with Flash or anything). I have tried the following Distro's and included are my reasons for leaving them behind, but of course, I am open to being convinced that I should give them another shot.

1) Austrumi - I checked it out but it includes Enlightenment so I didn't bother trying it because I am under the impression that Enlightenment is designed to "look good" and that doesn't seem to fit with a light Distro like I am looking for.
2) WattOS - It appears to be in heavy development and I want something stable so I didn't bother trying it but it looks like something to keep in mind for the future.
3) SliTaz - It didn't seem very noob friendly to me, it seemed to make things needlessly difficult to use.
4) Wolvix - Installer was far too difficult for me to figure out.
5) Slax - Hard drive install was too difficult.
6) Sidux - Has DVD version so I can't help but feel that I would be running a stripped down (crippled) version.
7) Xubuntu - Buggy.
8) CrunchBang - Too difficult to install new software.
9) DSL - Appears to have far too many hardware compatibility issues to be worth trying.
10) Zenwalk - Updater appears to not update everything, software yes but the system like Linux Kernel or something appears to not be included in updates.
11) Mepis - Primarily a commercial Distro so I can't help but feel that I am getting a crippled free version.
12) PCLinuxOS - Based on Mandriva which I have heard a lot of negative stuff about in terms of the company and their policies (a lot of anger was directed their way in the last year or so after they fired a well loved employee and it seems they have some questionable leadership for the company), as well as the fact that they are primarily a commercial Distro.

I hope I am not coming across as too picky here, again let me say that the 12 Distro's I've listed, yes I've either tried them or at least investigated them, but I am open to having my mind changed on them, and my criteria for choosing a Distro is flexible in the sense that a lot of the things I wrote up there I prefaced by saying prefer rather than require.

Thanks for any help anyone can give me!

Matt

Link to this post 19 Oct 09

Mint may do the job for you, just change the window manager from gnome to a more lightweight one.

http://www.linuxmint.com/about.php
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

I am installing it now on my system to give it a try also.

Link to this post 19 Oct 09

Additionally you can always opt to use the usb installer a distro and install the packages from the web so you still get a full featured desktop but without the need to use a DVD.

Link to this post 19 Oct 09

Mint is installed on my system, it appears to have the functionality and repos of ubuntu but a smaller footprint. I decided to install lxde in light of the fact that ubuntu is teaming up with the lxde team for a new derivative called lubuntu. Mint running lxde is nice and fast, and very easy to use.

I can't wait for lubuntu to be released because it so far appears like it will be a good lightweight alternative to ubuntu.

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