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  1. #1

    Best Linux Desktop OS?

    What is the best linux desktop os?

    I can only remember these off the top of my head

    opensuse
    kde
    gnome

    Anything else?

  2. #2
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    KDE and GNOME aren't operating systems. They're just GUI's. There really is no best, however Ubuntu is fantastic. It's good for newbies and experienced people alike.

  3. #3
    Sorry, let's try this again

    Best linux desktop OS
    Best linux desktop GUI

    There we go

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stStrike
    KDE and GNOME aren't operating systems. They're just GUI's. There really is no best, however Ubuntu is fantastic. It's good for newbies and experienced people alike.
    Agreed. GNOME & KDE are only desktop GUI's. I use Ubuntu on my laptop, and use Debian at University. Since Ubuntu is based on Debian, it's a great plus as transisting between different systems is straight forward..

    You can have KDE & GNOME both installed at the same time and choose before logon, which GUI to use for the session..

    If you decide to go with Ubuntu, then it has the GNOME desktop by default. You can also install KDE seperately as well...

    If you want KDE by default, then choose Kubuntu. You can install GNOME seperately too..

    Both are the same, just different desktop's...

    You can obtain free installation cd's of Ubuntu/Kubuntu from their website..
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  5. #5
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    Best linux distro can be dependent on your hardware. What one person gushes about may be unable to run sound, 3D graphics, work with the modem, or format a floppy in another computer.

  6. #6
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    I've played with quite a few, and it really depends on What you want to do with it. Exactly what are you trying to get out of each OS and GUI?

    We can help narrow it down that way
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  7. #7
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    If you plan to run this for daily use on a modern (recent) machine, then any of the main distributions will be fine. I would recommend ubuntu because its seems to be the most user friendly and easiest to get started with. I run it on my laptop, and almost everything worked "out of the box".

    KDE and GNOME are desktops, and there are others too; just that those two are the most popular. KDE looks a lot like Windows; gnome has its own look and feel. Others include fluxbox and xfce for machines that are low on ram or don't have modern graphics cards.
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  8. #8
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    I use UBUNTU, and I like it because it comes with everything built in. Firefox, many good paint programs, Torrent downloader, etc. The only thing I'm still trying to figure out is how to bypass the root (I dont want to use the console X_X).
    Rene K.

  9. #9
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    I used to like SUSE Linux as a desktop OS, but haven't tried it since Novell bought them. I prefer KDE to Gnome; it just seems more polished to me. Both are good though.

  10. #10
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    Personally, being a so-called nut by even fellow *nix users, I run gentoo from home and for a GUI I usually utilize (X11 and) Enlightenment (get-e.org) v0.17.

    If you are just starting out, (K)Ubuntu or Debian would probably be the best. Debian also makes for a pretty good server operating system so if you choose, you can setup apache, php, whatnot on your desktop machine and use it to test before applying changes to your production-environment server, if you have/get one.

  11. #11
    Ubuntu is epically good.

    I'm a personal fan of CentOS for desktop and server use. May be a strange choice as a desktop as it's developed primarily as a server OS, however it suits my needs well.

  12. #12
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    Ubuntu or kubuntu would be my recommendation to someone new to linux. As others said only difference between them is default windows manager (KDE / Gnome) and default set of installed applications (mail clients / browser / office apps etc.. ).

    If you ever feel like you want to get more out of your hardware and you have time and wish to learn more about linux desktop then Gentoo would be good way to go. If Gentoo is not enough you could try SourceMage GNU linux (that is what I run on my desktops since start of 2002 when it was called just Sorcerer)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasha
    Ubuntu or kubuntu would be my recommendation to someone new to linux. As others said only difference between them is default windows manager (KDE / Gnome) and default set of installed applications (mail clients / browser / office apps etc.. ).

    If you ever feel like you want to get more out of your hardware and you have time and wish to learn more about linux desktop then Gentoo would be good way to go. If Gentoo is not enough you could try SourceMage GNU linux (that is what I run on my desktops since start of 2002 when it was called just Sorcerer)
    Ah yes... good 'ol SourceMage, I've been meaning to try that out as well.

  14. #14
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    Ubuntu is nice because it has everything installed out of the box and seems to be the best choice for new users. I on the other hand like the challenge a bit and use Gentoo. As for the windows manager I use Gnome(Just because it has everything), but when I remote into my machine via VNC I have the session start with Fluxbox just to save some bandwidth.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff - Exceed
    Ubuntu is epically good.

    I'm a personal fan of CentOS for desktop and server use. May be a strange choice as a desktop as it's developed primarily as a server OS, however it suits my needs well.
    I too like to use CentOS for the desktop.

  16. #16
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    http://www.arklinux.org/ looks nice. Not sure if it's good though.

  17. #17
    Definately Ubuntu, espicially with their new release (Dapper 6.06).
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  18. #18
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    I use Fedora Core5 with XFCE. Brilliance!
    hi there!

  19. #19
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    XFCE is pretty cool; works great on gentoo and is nice and lightweight.

  20. #20
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    I personally use Ubuntu for my desktop & laptop. Ubuntu has a big community and you can find solutions for everything. If you want to do things easily then ubuntu is a good distro. If you want to learn more things (using console mostly) then Slackware.

  21. #21
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    With my laptop computer I use MEPIS. I recently upgraded to MEPIS 6 Beta 3. MEPIS has had good drivers for the Radeon graphics card, providing 3D support, as demonstrated by Tuxracer (now called Planet Penguin Racer). Previous versions did not support the built-in Winmodem. I have been using a PCMCIA hardware controller modem. Version 6 does work with either modem. Previous versions have automatically created desktop icons to all my partitions. In version 6 I had to create them manually. Like previous versions, I could read my USB floppy, but there were problems writing to it. Installing fdutils from Synaptic Package Manager enables me to write to floppy, but Kfloppy remains dysfunctional in this computer. (Windows has no problem with the floppy drive.)
    To share a computer with Windows, it's a good idea to repartition your computer. Create a partition in Ext2 or Ext3, and linux should favor writing itself to that. I have also created a small FAT32 partition. Linux can read NTFS, but it usually can't write to it. Having a FAT32 partition in Windows, linux can write files to it. This can probably be done using QTParted from a linux live CD, although I decided to play it safe and use Partition Magic.
    If you plan to install several distros, you should create separate partitions for each. You will also need to install GRUB to the root partition to each. With one distro, GRUB can be in the MBR and serve as boot manager and linux boot loader. With more than one linux distro, each needs its own boot loader. If a boot manager selects a partition for which no boot loader is found in the MBR or the root partition, it won't load. If this happens you can usually use your distro's CD to get it loaded and install GRUB into the root partition.
    SuSE (which I have in my old desktop computer) has a big selection of programs in the CD's or DVD's that can be installed from YAST. However, adding things that aren't included can be harder. Debian distros (like MEPIS and Ubuntu) can use apt-get from command line, or the GUI version (Kpackage or Synaptic Package manager) to add available applications from debian.org. It's a good idea to go into the terminal program, log-in as root, and run "apt-get update". That will update the list of programs seen in Kpackage or Synaptic.

    MEPIS won't play MIDI files unless you apt-get Timidity and Freepats. The version it installs will fail to play notes for which it lacks an instrument sound. In some other distros (e.g. SuSE) Timidity seems to deal with this by substituting another instrument (e.g. piano) to play all the notes.

  22. #22
    I installed Kubuntu (Ubuntu / KDE gui)

    Its pretty nice but a big change from the usual XP.

    Any suggestions on below would be great (all open source, no commercial)

    - Photoshop like software
    - Roboform like software
    - Best games to get? High end, no little puzzles

    I installed Firefox 1.5.0.4 as well, why are the fonts are tiny and not smooth (font size is already set to 'normal')

  23. #23
    - GIMP or Krita should be OK.
    - Dunno, never used Roboform
    - All ID games are available for Linux, Introversion's Darwinia is good, if you want Windows games try WINE or Cedega

    From a Debian/Etch user
    As for the fonts, I dunno. My fonts are correctly sized and nicely anti aliased.

  24. #24
    What is ID? I installed wine already but haven't tried it yet

    I will try GIMP and Krita thanks

  25. #25
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    Well I have used a lot of the ones mentioned in this thread, but have settled on slackware for my desktop. I think I prefer it over the others because it is mostly a source based OS not really any included package manager. For updates I use slackpkg that checks the mirrors for updates.

    I also prefer KDE, and looking forward to the next incarnation of KDE when released.
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  26. #26
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    Get cedega if you want to do gaming on linux. It supports a lot of windows games much better than wine. I played through Doom 3 and HL2 on ubuntu using it.

    Unreal Tournament 2004 runs on Linux..that's a great game if you're an FPS lover. You can run steam through cedega so you can play pretty much any steam game on it as well. Check out: http://www.transgaming.com

    While it's not perfect it's still pretty good.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by UnrealSilence
    What is ID? I installed wine already but haven't tried it yet

    I will try GIMP and Krita thanks

    ID Software. The company which makes Doom and Quake...

  28. #28
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    wm: fluxbox or xfce
    distribution: if you can't handle freebsd, go with ubuntu or debian.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseymour
    Well I have used a lot of the ones mentioned in this thread, but have settled on slackware for my desktop. I think I prefer it over the others because it is mostly a source based OS not really any included package manager. For updates I use slackpkg that checks the mirrors for updates.
    Heh, maybe you have some "slackware" I never heard about Slack is not source based. "Source based" refers to disto that is based on compiling/optimizing software for your system. SMGL and Gentoo fit in there as installing app means that you download / configure / compile source and build the app for your specific system. Sure they use package manager to do so, but app is still being compiled. That way compiled app will use your hardware to its full potential.

    Personally I like slack, small and simple - it is just great for firewall / router setups, but I would never use it for my desktop. I want for my desktop something that is updated all the time (I do not want to wait weeks for KDE packages for my system to come out) and something that is optimized for my P4 and slack is neither.

  30. #30
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    It's nice to see that other people use slackware too :-)

  31. #31
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    Why do you guys run Linux as a desktop operating system?

    I tried Linux again recently for the third or fourth time (I give it many chances and will continue to do so as years go by), it's not as complicated as before, but it is still not as user-friendly as Windows and Mac OS X, and it is incredibly slow. You try to run an application it takes forever to load.

    Linux is great for servers, but as a desktop it's still not up to par with Windows and Mac OS X.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by web2k6
    Why do you guys run Linux as a desktop operating system?

    I tried Linux again recently for the third or fourth time (I give it many chances and will continue to do so as years go by), it's not as complicated as before, but it is still not as user-friendly as Windows and Mac OS X, and it is incredibly slow. You try to run an application it takes forever to load.

    Linux is great for servers, but as a desktop it's still not up to par with Windows and Mac OS X.
    heck, trying to find out what version to download is a pain in the anus.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by web2k6
    but it is still not as user-friendly as Windows and Mac OS X, and it is incredibly slow. You try to run an application it takes forever to load.

    Linux is great for servers, but as a desktop it's still not up to par with Windows and Mac OS X.
    I have no problem whizzing through a shell to accomplish all my tasks. I run Ubuntu and it doesn't take forever to load an application. It runs much zippier than my installation of XP. Ubuntu is very user friendly but like anything else you have to take the time to learn it. I'm sure the first time you used Windows you weren't suddenly a pro.

  34. #34
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    I absolutly love FreeBSD. Its straight forward, simple, secure, and extremly customizable. Not to mention extremly fast. The only drawback is that some applications do not work on it because it is a Unix based system.

    My favorite GUI would have to be WindowMaker as well. I like it because for the same reasons above, its clean, efficient, fast, and customizable. And it is NEVER cluttered unless you want it that way.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by web2k6
    Why do you guys run Linux as a desktop operating system?

    I tried Linux again recently for the third or fourth time (I give it many chances and will continue to do so as years go by), it's not as complicated as before, but it is still not as user-friendly as Windows and Mac OS X, and it is incredibly slow. You try to run an application it takes forever to load.

    Linux is great for servers, but as a desktop it's still not up to par with Windows and Mac OS X.
    Some people cannot drive standard and some people cannot stand automatic. It is personal thing.

    Some reasons I chose linux:

    1. Linux is more stable
    My biggest issue on my linux desktop at this moment is that I cannot have the skype call the phone number that I highlighted with my mouse in any application (I kinda can but it keeps opening new instance of skype for every call and that is not what I want to do). I know what the problem is but not sure about the best way to make it work, yet.

    My wife runs windows and her biggest problem is that she cannot keep all the apps she is using open at all times but she needs to close them as her computer simply slows down for no obvious reason and nothing but restart can fix it. Her desktop's hardware is better them my desktop but I can still have ie5, ie5.5 and ie6 opened continuously for weeks at time and she cannot. During those weeks I use loads of other programs, play little bit morrowind, work and all that stuff.

    So she is having issues with some stuff you should not need to ever think about while I can play with making my desktop do some cool stuff for me.

    2. Linux is more customizable and easier of use
    I am never totally happy with my workspace. I always keep looking for the ways to make things easier and smoother. There is nothing wrong with having a button that will when clicked start "wizard" and after couple inputs copy bunch of files from one server to another server and to my workspace, create user accounts on two remote servers, create database, open database in the app I use for that stuff (knoda), open this newly created project in web-development app (quanta) and say "All done Sasha, get to work now!". With linux desktop this is something I can do and I would not be able to do the same in windows environment.

    3. Linux has better support
    My favorite PHP editor has couple dialogs and buttons that are direct result of my requests for those features on mailing list. On some occasions I was able to see and use those features few minutes I suggested them.

    4. Linux is in my price range
    total cost of my desktop software setup is about $49 and that was spent on ebay for windows app running here (macromedia fireworks).

    5. Linux keeps me learning and increases value of my work
    I work with linux and running it as a desktop helps me learn even more about it which in turn increases my hourly wage

    6. Linux is sexy
    With linux I can rather easy make my own theme or you can download them and change them to the point where they hardly have any resemblance to the original so I can achieve unique desktop look perfect for me.

    Those are just some examples that popped to my mind. Originally this was to be one sentence post but then I just kept going. I have no doubt that someone can say all those good things about windows too. Linux is great for ME but I understand that for someone else it could be worthless pain-in-the-*** OS.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by web2k6
    Why do you guys run Linux as a desktop operating system?

    I tried Linux again recently for the third or fourth time (I give it many chances and will continue to do so as years go by), it's not as complicated as before, but it is still not as user-friendly as Windows and Mac OS X, and it is incredibly slow. You try to run an application it takes forever to load.

    Linux is great for servers, but as a desktop it's still not up to par with Windows and Mac OS X.
    First of all, because my brother the linux nut gushes about how great it is, so I figured I should at least try it.
    I mostly use linux for surfing the web, since it is supposed to be safer.
    If Windows gets hopelessly destroyed, and I'm behind in backing up my files, I could maybe salvage them from linux, since linux can see into Windows and copy files.
    Another useful program is K3b, the CD burner program. If I want to make backup CD's these days many CD's have programs to destroy CD copier programs. Linux ignores them.
    For me linux is a supplement to Windows, not a substitute.

  37. #37
    I think it should be Ubuntu
    It's easy to use &powerful &free!

  38. #38
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    For anyone migrating from windows we found aLinux the other day, looks almost identical, haven't downloaded or tested it though.
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  39. #39
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    MEPIS seems to be doing some cooperation with Ubuntu. MEPIS 6 now seems to have some Winmodem support that was missing in previous versions. Like previous versions, I find that Kfloppy still fails to work with my external floppy. I had to add fdutils to get MEPIS 6 to write to the floppy.

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