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A distro odyssey - looking for the best fit, part 1

Jul 28, 2009, 19:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Raugh)

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"To give you context, here's a quick run-down of the key factors:

"* The hardware: A generic desktop, the local store's house brand assembled from off-the-shelf components - Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, 4 GB of RAM, dual 500 GB SATA drives, standard 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, generic sound chip, dual-layer DVD burner, and one of those six-in-one media card readers inserted into a small drive bay. The box had an NVIDIA 7100 graphics chip on board, but I installed the NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT from my old system because I wanted the two digital outputs to drive my pair of 1680x1050 screens.

"* The user: I think of myself as a reasonably experienced Linux user. I've been building, supporting and managing Linux servers for about six years and using it as my primary desktop for five. The command line is my friend and I've worked both the RPM and DEB sides of the package-management divide. I've installed minor apps from source and hunted down obscure packages to meet special needs, but I've never tried to configure X by hand or compile my own kernel. Haven't needed to yet. As a Linux user I don't mind tinkering a little but I prefer to do it on my terms -- that is, I'll happily Google and play to figure out how to do something I want, but I get very annoyed when something breaks and I am forced into tinker mode to fix it. I fully expect to learn a lot from this journey.

"* The applications: Everyone has their set of critical apps -- things that they use every day, that have to work well on a given distro if it's going to be workable for them. For me, that list is fairly short:"

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