February 28, 2012

Choosing a Linux Distribution

After much thought and research, I have decided to install Linux on my laptop. I have a Dell Inspiron E1505 (Intel T2300 @ 1.66GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 30 GB Hard Drive, and 500 GB External Hard Drive).

The only thing stopping me at the moment is which distro to choose. I have narrowed it down to three: Ubuntu 11, Linux Mint 12 (as they are both popular and newbie friendly), and Xubuntu 11 (a light-weight alternative for my elderly machine).

I would like to give all three a test-drive before settling on just one and am considering installing all three on my machine in separate partitions on the internal 30GB hard drive. All my media (Photos, Music, Documents, etc) are on my external hard drive, so they won’t be affected by the partitioning.

From the minimum space requirements I’ve found online, Ubuntu needs 15GB, Linux Mint 10GB and Xubuntu 5 GB. They all have a partition sizing program so I should be able to set up the partitions just like that regardless of the order I install them, although I plan on installing them in that order.

After a month or so (or earlier maybe), I’ll decide on which distro I like/works best for me, go back and expand its partition accordingly. I don’t foresee needing two or more distros installed on my machine, but I also don’t want to spend three months installing/uninstalling operating systems.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on my plan? Is there anything I’m overlooking here? Any words or wisdom from more knowledgeable persons than my self are welcome.


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