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Linux, need advice
#1
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For a college assignment I have to choose one of these, install it into a new HDD partition of my PC, and then later make a presentation about it. Choosing a lower ranked one will yield higher score.

So, could anybody who knows a thing or two about Linux give me advice and recommendation on which one to choose? Thanks.


EDIT: It turned out I had to report my choice today to the lecturer, and after a quick googling of randomly picked names I decided to pick Bodhi Linux.
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If someone here can provide advice regarding my choice, it will be greatly appreciated. Of course I will work on it myself as well.
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#2
Hmmm, well, actually, depending on how much you want to go into Linux, I would've recommended Ubuntu- it's straightforward and one of the easiest distributions to install, and support the widest range of paid and free software (including Valve's Steam). Of course, that's just me. I personally have one Ubuntu machine and one SuSE machine for doing own research in my free time.

But since you've already made you choice...

But Bodhi is based on Ubuntu apparently, so installing should be straightforward.

Quick question tho: Do you really need to use a different partition? I'd personally suggest making a Virtual PC using VirtualBox instead, since it's safer that you can't accidentally erase your real hard disk if you make a mistake.
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#3
I'd be comfortable with an alternative distro as long as it's based on Debian like Ubuntu, but anything else may do like when I tried out Damn Small Linux at one time.

DSL's a 'swell distro, as the developers managed to squeeze in a lot of stuff in just 50MB of space, yet the only beef with it is that it's a little intimidating to use compared to the more mainstream distributions.
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#4
Ubuntu and any other Debian based ones are prohibited. If Bodhi turns out to be prohibited for this reason, the lecturer will soon tell me to change into something else.

Unfortunately, VirtualPC/VirtualBox is prohibited. Therefore I'll have to embrace the risk, which is why I look for advice.
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#5
Blackberry Bun Wrote:Ubuntu and any other Debian based ones are prohibited. If Bodhi turns out to be prohibited for this reason, the lecturer will soon tell me to change into something else.

Unfortunately, VirtualPC/VirtualBox is prohibited. Therefore I'll have to embrace the risk, which is why I look for advice.

Woah, that's a strict guideline. You could try getting a used hard drive so that you don't need to mess things up on your primary HDD, too.
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#6
huckleberrypie Wrote:
Blackberry Bun Wrote:Ubuntu and any other Debian based ones are prohibited. If Bodhi turns out to be prohibited for this reason, the lecturer will soon tell me to change into something else.

Unfortunately, VirtualPC/VirtualBox is prohibited. Therefore I'll have to embrace the risk, which is why I look for advice.

Woah, that's a strict guideline. You could try getting a used hard drive so that you don't need to mess things up on your primary HDD, too.
Blake's right. This is pretty darn strict and risky, one wrong move and your Windows desktop will be blown sky-high.

So here are my tips for now:
1. Back up your important stuff. Get a USB hard drive, and make a copy of your installers, your photos, music, videos, fanfics, etc. Everything you cherish. That way, if you mess up, nothing is lost.
2. Clarify with your lecturer what kinds of distro are allowed. Confirm if he allows RPM based systems like Fedora, Scientific Linux, CentOS or OpenSuSE. Because if you can't use Debian-based systems, those are the second best choice. Failing that, the final acceptable option would be Arch Linux. Although Arch is nowhere near as easy as Ubuntu or OpenSUSE, it's one of the easier "independent" distro out there.
3. I strongly suggest using either the XFCE or LXDE desktop. They're lightweight and familiar. However this is all down to taste and you can install Enlightenmnet or KDE or even GNOME if you like.
4. For printers, you may need to install HPIJS/HPCUPS+HPLIP+SANE if you have a HP printer, or for Oki and Minolta printers you may need Foo2Zjs. Most Canon and Epson printers should work without additional components, or require a download from their website.

That should be enough to get you off on your feet. For graphics editing, I suggest using GIMP, and for Office Suite I suggest LibreOffice. Everything else like Firefox, Chrome and VLC should function just like the Windows version.
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#7
I see. Well, do you think it will be safer for me if instead of making new partition on my PC's hard drive, I get an empty external HD and install there? Is it possible to do to begin with?
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#8
Blackberry Bun Wrote:I see. Well, do you think it will be safer for me if instead of making new partition on my PC's hard drive, I get an empty external HD and install there? Is it possible to do to begin with?

It is possible. Then the disk can even be used to boot other computers- I've personally did it myself with a USB stick (it's part of my emergency toolkit). The tricky part is finding the option to tell the installer to install Grub into the external hard disk instead of overwriting the Windows boot manager on the internal hard disk, and remembering to press F12 to get the boot menu and then selecting to boot from the USB hard disk every time you want to use it. The rest of the installation steps should be straightforward since the USB hard disk will just show up in the installer as a new hard disk as well.

But yes, it's a nice little party trick and can be done as long as the laptop can boot from USB. Does your lecturer allow it tho?
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#9
As for a particular choice of Linux that is not Ubuntu or Debian based... PCLinuxOS may be one good option.

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PCLinuxOS is based on the formerly free Mandriva Linux, and shares some ideas from Mandriva. It comes in several varieties, the main distribution being shipped with the KDE 4 desktop. There are also other PCLinuxOS distributions that use alternative desktops like LXDE, which is meant for systems that cannot run KDE4 well enough. I have used this before, and if you want a user-friendly Linux focus, this is the distribution to try out since it's made mostly by a small team of community members and not sponsored by any large corporate organization.

Another distro you may consider is Arch Linux. I have never used it, so I don't have any personal experience with it.

One possible choice if you really want to learn Linux via trial and error is Slackware. This distribution is a very advanced system, relying heavily on command lines and compiling packages straight from the source code. Thus, it can be very intimidating to get running if you don't know a lot about advanced Linux commands or compiling source code. Some hardware configuration must be done manually as well.
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#10
Bodhi not allowed, external HD not allowed.

Changed to Sabayon, and going to install it this Friday with guidance from an acquaintance.

EDIT:
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I have no idea which file(s) I should download. All of them?
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