Over the holidays decided to install linux on
512MB Amd Semptron 2400+ with 40 GB hardrive, Nvidia Gforce 4000 MX with 128Mb
Tried the latest 'holiday' releases
(SAM (based of PCLinuxOS - release candiate 1 for 2008 (code name 'claw')
Mandriva - 2008.0 CD (not the pro version)
PuppyLinux 3.0.1 R3
Mepis (Dec 20, 2007 release)
Requirements were simple
a) NVidia compatible drivers
b) Good PDF support throughout (so docs can be created and viewed in PDF easily without trouble)
c) Full support of all the Multimedia (Webbrosing with video files embedded in,
Movies, MP3 files)
d) Ability to use Opera (in addition to firefox) -- and such that all the plugins work for flash/etc
(although this was not 'top' priority' for me)
e) Minimal use of hw resources (KDE is slow)
f) Wine with all the features possible (eventually I want to install a couple of Windows programs including
g) Keyboard should be configurable to switch between English and Russian Phonetic keyboards
SO Vector Liux 5.9 Gold is simply exactly what I wanted (although I have not installed wine yet,
and did not figure out how do g) )
Basically it setup from the beginning exactly how I would want to be setup only better -- even
font sizes on my screen are exactly I would want them.
The choices that the developers appeared to make to are very good through out the system:
When I boot into graphic desktop my memory is at 99MB, when I start Firefox and viewwww.foxnews.com
-- I get 122Mb of memory used -- this is very very reasonable.
Choise of XFCE for window and file manager is also correct -- because it has the best ratio
of speed/light resource utilization / richness of functionality.
All the windows pop up immediately, all the button clicks are responding right a way.
No dragging window refreshes -- or harddrive swappings.
Only slow part is my internet connection (which is expected)
Oh.. I forgot one more thing -- this is the only distro that let me try out XFS (I always wanted to try
out a faster file system (if possible) -- and while did not measure the speed - I am a happy XFS user.
The only other distribution that was close in terms of selecting the right set of applications for the GUI
desktop/webbrowser/PDF support was Puppy Linux -- but I had trouble installing it on a regular HD partition
(it appears to be designed to be installed on flash drives.
SAM Linux (based on PCLinuxOS) -- is notably slower (even though XFCE is used -- I am not sure why -- probably more services are running on the background). But the biggest problem was that they have the New release of Firefox (18.104.22.168) and Flash plugin crashes the browser when viewing movies -- no other choice
for installation was presented (this is was the latest -- Candidate release for 2008 (not final). Also Opera
could not use any of the plugins (like Flash plugin)
Mandriva with KDE was just in general slow.
and MEPIS -- this is probably just my mistake -- but for some reason, after it got installed it did not boot into the desktop, may be my CD was bad and something did not get installed.
But just by accident while clicking on torrent downloands from Linux Distro watch, I almost by accident clicked
also on Vector -- and that's how I got it downloaded (otherwise I have not heard of it before).
Thank you for the great job guys.
P.S. I started using lInux is '94 -- first with Slackware, then Debian up til '98, then from '98 till l 2000
was FreeBSD, and then stopped
now 7 years later I am coming back and finding linux is fast and distros like yours make it user friendly.