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Linux sprouting mushrooms? DOA due to Windows mimicry ??

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July 1, 2006 3:30:51 AM

(Just for the record, I did read the Guide posted at the top of these forums, which is dated Sep 2003.)

OK, so after years of Windows products, I decided to grab a new machine and have it dual-boot: Vista, and, a linux distro.

I'm new to linux, so I started researching regarding which linux desktop distribution would be right for me. (Of the 350+ unique distributions, overall.)

What I have read has been disappointing. It seems that these desktop distributions are leaning towards bloated, fancy GUIs. (Xgl, Compiz, KDE, etc.)

This I was hoping to mostly avoid. Am I a decade too late?

Is there a desktop distribution for the Advanced Joe who wants to tinker with linux without all the fluff? For absolute Windows conforming, there seems to be Xandros 4.0 Premium, but it operates so closely with NTFS and Windows apps that I would wonder why I would switch from Windows at all.

Thanks in advance.
a b 5 Linux
July 1, 2006 8:24:03 AM

Quote:
(Just for the record, I did read the Guide posted at the top of these forums, which is dated Sep 2003.)

OK, so after years of Windows products, I decided to grab a new machine and have it dual-boot: Vista, and, a linux distro.

I'm new to linux, so I started researching regarding which linux desktop distribution would be right for me. (Of the 350+ unique distributions, overall.)

What I have read has been disappointing. It seems that these desktop distributions are leaning towards bloated, fancy GUIs. (Xgl, Compiz, KDE, etc.)

This I was hoping to mostly avoid. Am I a decade too late?

Is there a desktop distribution for the Advanced Joe who wants to tinker with linux without all the fluff? For absolute Windows conforming, there seems to be Xandros 4.0 Premium, but it operates so closely with NTFS and Windows apps that I would wonder why I would switch from Windows at all.

Thanks in advance.




Most major distros offer XFCE as an option.

FC5 defaults to Gnome but can also use XFCE or KDE.

DSL defaults to a barebones X install but can install on HDD as Debian with any GUI you like.

Knoppix defaults to KDE but can also install as Debian.


http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/damns...

Sure there's bloat but it's nowhere near as bad as windoze.

It is a lot more manageable bloat and you can use whatever you want to use.

:-D
a b 5 Linux
July 1, 2006 12:58:56 PM

Do you consider Windows XP a bloated desktop (not a rhetorical question). If not, Gnome and KDE are no worse as far as resource use goes. XGL, on certain systems (such as one with a supported graphics card) can actually feel much faster due to the fact that all of the compositiion occurs on the graphics card instead of being built in a software framebuffer.

And the great part about Linux is, like linux_0 stated, it can be whatever you want it to be, including the extent of the GUI. Case in point: my desktop uses Gnome (my personal preference), and on it I have VMWare server with a few Unix-like OS's installed. I have Gnome, KDE, XFCE4, Fluxbox, and CDE installed. Each has it's own strengths and weaknesses, but you can choose depending on what's important to you. Choice is the ultimate benefit of Linux and the like. Think KDE/Gnome is too bloaty? Choose something else.
July 2, 2006 5:55:31 AM

Thanks to everyone for their insight. I appreciate especially the comments/experience on configurability through the modular nature of Linux.

I was able tonight to get a dual boot running on my machine for Vista Beta 2 build 5384 and Ubuntu v6.06 ('Dapper Drake') Linux desktop. I'm looking forward to learning and playing!
a b 5 Linux
July 2, 2006 8:16:09 AM

Quote:
Thanks to everyone for their insight. I appreciate especially the comments/experience on configurability through the modular nature of Linux.

I was able tonight to get a dual boot running on my machine for Vista Beta 2 build 5384 and Ubuntu v6.06 ('Dapper Drake') Linux desktop. I'm looking forward to learning and playing!




:-D

Let us know if you have any questions.

Enjoy :-D
a b 5 Linux
July 6, 2006 2:31:38 AM

Well, first of all, with some distributions you can pick the level of "bloat" you want to have installed- for example, you can install only a very minimal KDE on Gentoo- only the window manager and kicker, no control center, no amarok, no Konqueror, no nothing else. The same holds true for XGL and Compiz, only more so as I don't know of any *major* distribution shipping with XGL and Compiz on by default. Anyway, you can always just turn compiz off and swap good old Xorg for XGL if your distro of choice does use XGL/Compiz by default. Or you can use XFCE, IceWM, FVWM, or even TWM as more minimalist desktop environments, with each being more minimal than the last (XFCE is a relatively decently equipped lightweight DE while TWM is little more than a few xterm shells and a clock.)

I personally run Gentoo machines with no XGL or Compiz and most of KDE installed and even my aging 2.2 GHz P4-M laptop runs it very nicely. To tell you the whole truth, the DE has very little to do with the perceived weight of the software on the computer- it is more the weight of the applications than the DE. KDE on that 32-bit laptop consumes about 85 MB RAM at startup and goes from login screen to desktop in about 10 seconds. I also had run XFCE on that machine and it took about 5 seconds to go from login screen to desktop, but the same ~85MB RAM was used at startup and while running the same apps (Firefox, GIMP, OpenOffice) the KDE and XFCE installs acted pretty darned much the same- why wouldn't they? The real differences were between running the native apps to accomplish a function- the xffm or Thunar file manager that's the default in XFCE is a lot simpler and a little faster to load that the Konqueror file manager in KDE. That's the difference between a "lightweight" DE and a a "heavyweight" one.
a b 5 Linux
July 6, 2006 3:41:02 AM

Quote:
Well, first of all, with some distributions you can pick the level of "bloat" you want to have installed- for example, you can install only a very minimal KDE on Gentoo- only the window manager and kicker, no control center, no amarok, no Konqueror, no nothing else. The same holds true for XGL and Compiz, only more so as I don't know of any *major* distribution shipping with XGL and Compiz on by default. Anyway, you can always just turn compiz off and swap good old Xorg for XGL if your distro of choice does use XGL/Compiz by default. Or you can use XFCE, IceWM, FVWM, or even TWM as more minimalist desktop environments, with each being more minimal than the last (XFCE is a relatively decently equipped lightweight DE while TWM is little more than a few xterm shells and a clock.)

I personally run Gentoo machines with no XGL or Compiz and most of KDE installed and even my aging 2.2 GHz P4-M laptop runs it very nicely. To tell you the whole truth, the DE has very little to do with the perceived weight of the software on the computer- it is more the weight of the applications than the DE. KDE on that 32-bit laptop consumes about 85 MB RAM at startup and goes from login screen to desktop in about 10 seconds. I also had run XFCE on that machine and it took about 5 seconds to go from login screen to desktop, but the same ~85MB RAM was used at startup and while running the same apps (Firefox, GIMP, OpenOffice) the KDE and XFCE installs acted pretty darned much the same- why wouldn't they? The real differences were between running the native apps to accomplish a function- the xffm or Thunar file manager that's the default in XFCE is a lot simpler and a little faster to load that the Konqueror file manager in KDE. That's the difference between a "lightweight" DE and a a "heavyweight" one.




Very true :-D
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