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Distro Selection

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January 20, 2011 7:14:00 PM

Hey Guys just to familiarize you with my computer,

12gigs of ram ddr3
2tb 7200rpm hdds in raid
gtx 295 nvidia graphics card
asus dx2 audio card
core i7 extreme cpu with stock cooler
1200w power supply
EVGA classified mother board
ASUS bd/dvd combo

My computer crashed running vista 64 ultimate for the 100th time and im finally deviding maybe i should switch to linux, after all i have been building and programing for a good time now.

my only question is, what distro?
ive looked at 11.04 alpha for my laptop (vaio z series)
but i have no clue what would be ideal for my powerful rig
i usually :
play steam games
watch blu ray movies
play lots and lots and lots (about 40k songs) of music (itunes usually)

what should i do ? what distro is best for me ?

More about : distro selection

January 20, 2011 9:31:54 PM

I've found the "Which distribution" question difficult to answer for most people. Its more what your familiar with. If you've used ubuntu and you like it, stick with it. Linux is so flexible that any mainstream distribution will fit your requirements. You may need to do some customization of your kernel and config files, but that is what makes linux so powerful and useful. There is no such thing as ideal.

Itunes might be a problem however. I don't use it and I'm not sure how to get DRM music playable in a linux environment. That'll take research I'm not familiar with.

Personally I use Gentoo as a distribution, but it isn't for the faint of heart, not everything gets setup to 'just work' but thats the appeal for me; I want to make sure things get setup properly, my way. Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian and other 'mainstream' distributions take the 'just has to work for everybody' approach, and it does, but maybe not fully in the way you expected. You'll just need to read up on how to configure each issue you find in a way to get it to do what you expect.

Download some live CD's, and boot 'em. See how each distributions documentation is setup, and be prepared to read and learn how to get the best performance your PC will ever give.
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January 20, 2011 11:19:06 PM

well when it comes to itunes subs i heard that banshee is best. i think im goint to try 11.04 alpha distro of ubuntu. if that doesnt work for me i may try a media focused distro. probably going to integrate wine and some other windows shells in order to run programs like steam. thanks man, one love :]
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January 21, 2011 8:46:19 AM

Another thing you may want to consider is whether you would prefer KDE rather than Gnome...
KDE usually requires a little more config, but it is more customisable, an it has better programs for e.g. music, IMO.
As suggested above, try a few distros on liveCD. Most of them can be booted from a USB stick too, so you don't have to burn 15 CDs :) 
I usually recommend starting with ubuntu/kubuntu, noting down what you don't like or are missing, then switch to the distro that best suits those needs.
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January 21, 2011 11:26:13 AM

I would recommend trying Linux out on a dual boot basis before you commit. I'm not sure it will meet any of your needs. Blu-Ray is troublesome due to DRM. There is no native client for Steam. If your iTunes music collection is not DRM encrusted you will have no difficulty. If it is protected from you by DRM that is probably a sticking point too.

You might be better to figure out why Windows is crashing. That's not normal. If it is a H/W problem, you'll face the same issue with Linux.
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January 21, 2011 11:33:43 AM

dgoldberg said:
well when it comes to itunes subs i heard that banshee is best. i think im goint to try 11.04 alpha distro of ubuntu. if that doesnt work for me i may try a media focused distro. probably going to integrate wine and some other windows shells in order to run programs like steam. thanks man, one love :]


Anything Alpha is unstable and not polished. Go ahead and try it, but before you completly write off Ubuntu you owe it to the developers to try the stable release. That's why its stable. They're releasing alpha's for experienced users who can fix the problems and report back what problems there are and how to fix them to make a stable release happen faster. 10.10 is the latest stable as of now.

+1 for trying KDE vs. Gnome or xfce, twm, or any other number of window managers. Each has its own personality as well. I use KDE, mostly because it can be setup for more of a 'windows' feel. Gnome remninds me more of macos, but all can be configured in many ways as well.

When I'm burning several distros to find what's new and different with new versions I use a CD-RW and just erase and burn a new .iso to it, that way I don't have 20 disks with linux distributions I don't like.
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January 21, 2011 12:40:50 PM

Why use Vista when Windows 7 is so much better?

To this day, I haven't had an issue with W7, and I started with the release candidate.
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