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Old 02-19-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
Chaoticthery
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Talking Old Crappy Computer

Hey, I have an old crappy computer that i would like to install linux on and learn more about it. I have played around with Ubuntu, Fedora, and Open Suse, but all of them seemed to "windows like". I was just wondering what you guys/gals suggest for some distros.

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:43 AM   #2
ythe1300
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Have you tried puppy yet? That's pretty un-windows like.

Also you may like LinuxMint or Bodhilinux.

If you really want to learn more about Linux itself you can with Gentoo..... It will take about a month to install properly though, so keep that in mind.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:59 AM   #3
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What do you mean with too windows-like?
Ubuntu with Unity is not very windows-like, have you tried it with unity or gnome? Because gnome is much more like windows.

Oh and if GUI is too much for you, just stick with the terminal: Ctrl-Alt-F1 at logon
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:21 AM   #4
penguine
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I never liked the unity dessktop for ubuntu. Kde is more for me. Unity always seemed to bog my system down even with 3 gigs ddr400.

You want non-windows like?? Crunchbang(#!) is really good. It runs the Openbox desktop and has a tiny footprint. Like..50 megs ram used. Dos everything a general user like me or you would need plus more.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
Chaoticthery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ythe1300 View Post
Have you tried puppy yet? That's pretty un-windows like.

Also you may like LinuxMint or Bodhilinux.

If you really want to learn more about Linux itself you can with Gentoo..... It will take about a month to install properly though, so keep that in mind.
I actually installed puppy on a flash drive a few days ago. lol

Quote:
What do you mean with too windows-like?
Ubuntu with Unity is not very windows-like, have you tried it with unity or gnome? Because gnome is much more like windows.
I have not tried Ubuntu with Unity yet. When i tried it in used both gnome, and KDE.

Quote:
You want non-windows like?? Crunchbang(#!) is really good. It runs the Openbox desktop and has a tiny footprint. Like..50 megs ram used. Dos everything a general user like me or you would need plus more.
I will have to try that.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Puppies not bad, ill be honest, but its kinda cumbersome and took me forever to get it to save right.

I run #! if i have to save space.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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FreeBSD

Install any wm you want that fits your style.

More info desktop wm here:
http://xwinman.org/
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNIXgod View Post
FreeBSD

Install any wm you want that fits your style.

More info desktop wm here:
http://xwinman.org/
i always wanted to try freebsd. I tried to install pcbsd but couldn't get it to boot..lol
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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I might have to try FreeBsd. It seems like it would suit me much better. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguine View Post
i always wanted to try freebsd. I tried to install pcbsd but couldn't get it to boot..lol
PC-BSD is mainly a non technical desktop OS installer much like what ubuntu is to debian. I would be more than happy to help you install FreeBSD and x-windows. Feel free to start a thread or PM me if you plan to give it another go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaoticthery View Post
I might have to try FreeBsd. It seems like it would suit me much better. Thank you for the advice.
FreeBSD is a server OS which you just so happen to be able to be able to run desktop software on. It does require a learning curve which will enable you to better understand UNIX commands.

The nice thing about it is that you start with a pretty vanilla OS and build the system the way that you want. This customization endows you with more freedom to work the way you want.

As you have already seen GNOME or KDE desktops and realized that they may feel more like windows or osx than you wish I have some recommendations of other window managers or desktop software that have a different feel.

fluxbox:
based on blackbox which is a very nice light weight wm.

enlightenment:
e16 is older and very light weight and much like fluxbox with some effects
e17 is more desktop like and has more eye candy

dwm:
keyboard based tile managed wm

awesomewm:
Another tile based wm

ratpoison:
no mouse in this one at all. control like gnu/screen.

windowmaker:
NeXTSTEP clone. OSX and iOS are based on this one. The first web browser was implemented on a NeXT box.
afterstep:
another NeXTSTEP clone.

Of course you may consider what you like. From a simple utilities or ones that are generally tied to the larger desktops. There is nothing stopping you from say using fluxbox with dolphin( kde file viewer) or eterm or rxvt-unicode with windowmaker or okular( kde pdf viewer) with ratpoison.

My last recommendation is to check out zsh which is killer interactive power users shell. FreeBSD comes with csh and sh( ash not bash) in base. Most linux distros come with bash by default. There is nothing wrong with installing bash on BSD but it is worth checking out zsh if you haven't.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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I'm gonna put a file server/nas together soon and want to run it headless so I might give it a try again.

What's a good server os. I want to store files that anyone on my network and use or edit, be able to stream to other computers and I want to be able to download/stream to android phones. Would also like to use it as a seedbox as well so I can get all my torrents and downloads off my main rig.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguine View Post
I'm gonna put a file server/nas together soon and want to run it headless so I might give it a try again.

What's a good server os. I want to store files that anyone on my network and use or edit, be able to stream to other computers and I want to be able to download/stream to android phones. Would also like to use it as a seedbox as well so I can get all my torrents and downloads off my main rig.
If your going to run FreeBSD for file serving look into using ZFS which can deal with filesystem level backup/raid/deduplication. For accessing from a client box running windows or OSX look into samba. scp/ssh should be fine for simple scripting on your client linux or bsd boxes. Not sure about android. Is there an app for that? =)

FreeBSD also has jails for virtual sandboxing. Combined with ZFS; jails work well for security and separation( i.e. torrents). rtorrent is a nice command line client.

Other unix like OSes which would work well for headless servers off the top of my head would be arch linux and gentoo( or funtoo) linux.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:03 PM   #13
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I learned on Slackware. It's the oldest Linux distro still maintained.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
penguine
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I'm looking for an os where I can set it up to do what I need and just leave it alone.

Id need samba for windows shares, ssh/ftp(or something) to pull files off and add new files/torrents. I don't do backups, so I don't think ill need that.

No command line stuff. Hate the terminal..lol
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguine View Post
No command line stuff. Hate the terminal..lol
You'll hate the aforementioned list then. All FreeBSD Slackware Gentoo and Arch are command driven OSes which give you the ability to custom build your server with and without software that you may or may not need.

You can look into FreeNAS or equivalent utility (ubuntu server?) for setting up an appliance. I haven't used either so I can't tell you if one is better than the other.

I should point out that if you have no interest in the terminal or command line it will lead you only to agonizing pain deep in the depths of hell as you may find that the gui's which are associated with nth distros may be in fact very windows like.

Just kidding I'm sure there is an applience distro which is mature enough to set up a NAS without issue or command line usage. It just might be a bit generic. lol.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #16
penguine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNIXgod View Post
You'll hate the aforementioned list then. All FreeBSD Slackware Gentoo and Arch are command driven OSes which give you the ability to custom build your server with and without software that you may or may not need.

You can look into FreeNAS or equivalent utility (ubuntu server?) for setting up an appliance. I haven't used either so I can't tell you if one is better than the other.

I should point out that if you have no interest in the terminal or command line it will lead you only to agonizing pain deep in the depths of hell as you may find that the gui's which are associated with nth distros may be in fact very windows like.

Just kidding I'm sure there is an applience distro which is mature enough to set up a NAS without issue or command line usage. It just might be a bit generic. lol.
Ill probably put server 2003 on it and call it a day..lol

I've never had good luck with networking between *nix and windows..I can see and use windows files in *nix, but not vica versa. I've used terminal, but if its not laid out completley, its hard for me to get thru..lol..I can even install a linux program from tar.gz..lol
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguine View Post
lol..I can even install a linux program from tar.gz..lol
Code:
tar -xzvf archive.tar.gz
cd ./archive
./configure --maybeSomeSwitch=1 --orPathToInstall=/path/to/bin/dir
make
make install
It's not that hard. Using something simple like installing vim in a user directory this way may be good practice. Using the port management systems provided by the distros is better for automation and administration of the above task as bigger programs begin to depend on other programs to function.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #18
penguine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNIXgod View Post
Code:
tar -xzvf archive.tar.gz
cd ./archive
./configure --maybeSomeSwitch=1 --orPathToInstall=/path/to/bin/dir
make
make install
It's not that hard. Using something simple like installing vim in a user directory this way may be good practice. Using the port management systems provided by the distros is better for automation and administration of the above task as bigger programs begin to depend on other programs to function.
I'm gonna make a thread looking for guidance. Now I gotta pick a section..lol
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:28 PM   #19
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I've got FreeNAS in a VM and justed pulled it up to check. Once installed, you can administrate it via a GUI web interface. Has what you need, Windows share, FTP, SSH, etc.

Also, you can install Ubuntu server and then with a simple command install the GUI (google something like, ubuntu server desktop install).
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:19 AM   #20
Chaoticthery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNIXgod View Post
PC-BSD is mainly a non technical desktop OS installer much like what ubuntu is to debian. I would be more than happy to help you install FreeBSD and x-windows. Feel free to start a thread or PM me if you plan to give it another go.



FreeBSD is a server OS which you just so happen to be able to be able to run desktop software on. It does require a learning curve which will enable you to better understand UNIX commands.

The nice thing about it is that you start with a pretty vanilla OS and build the system the way that you want. This customization endows you with more freedom to work the way you want.

As you have already seen GNOME or KDE desktops and realized that they may feel more like windows or osx than you wish I have some recommendations of other window managers or desktop software that have a different feel.

fluxbox:
based on blackbox which is a very nice light weight wm.

enlightenment:
e16 is older and very light weight and much like fluxbox with some effects
e17 is more desktop like and has more eye candy

dwm:
keyboard based tile managed wm

awesomewm:
Another tile based wm

ratpoison:
no mouse in this one at all. control like gnu/screen.

windowmaker:
NeXTSTEP clone. OSX and iOS are based on this one. The first web browser was implemented on a NeXT box.
afterstep:
another NeXTSTEP clone.

Of course you may consider what you like. From a simple utilities or ones that are generally tied to the larger desktops. There is nothing stopping you from say using fluxbox with dolphin( kde file viewer) or eterm or rxvt-unicode with windowmaker or okular( kde pdf viewer) with ratpoison.

My last recommendation is to check out zsh which is killer interactive power users shell. FreeBSD comes with csh and sh( ash not bash) in base. Most linux distros come with bash by default. There is nothing wrong with installing bash on BSD but it is worth checking out zsh if you haven't.
You sir deserve a medal. Thank you for the post.
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