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Author Topic: My take on Vector Linux 5.9  (Read 1077 times)
squashpup
Member
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Posts: 7


« on: November 26, 2008, 08:45:24 pm »

I wanted to get a laptop for my mother so she can surf anywhere in the house, but I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg.  Found this nice little NEC Versa SXi on ebay for around $100. 

Specs are low, but I'd intended to run Puppy Linux on it, so I didn't worry.  But, when I got it, Puppy kept giving me a kernel panic.  So, I thought about what else I could run with low resources.

Since I've used Ubuntu for quite a while, I decided to try Xubuntu.  Let me say, horrible.  Sluggish.  And, the install took nearly an hour.  I actually had Xubuntu installed for less time than it took to install it. 

So, I tried Vector 5.9 Gold Xfce or whatever.  That brings me to my first quibble with Vector...too many editions!  I don't know what I have installed.  It has Xfce, and it is fast, that's all I know.  700 Mhz, 128 MB ram, and it actually is very usable. Not just usable, it is pleasant to use!  Seems as snappy and responsive as my DV6911 HP, that has a dual core Turion and 3GB of RAM, running Linux Mint Xfce.  I'm seriously thinking of putting it on that laptop too.  But, the editions are confusing.

Anyway, it looks great, even with the rather spartan Xfce.  It also runs great...like I said, the laptop is a pleasure to use.  It always manages to hook itself right to my wireless without issue.  And, it is easy enough on resources to run a few things at once.  Right now, I'm running Firefox while logged into Gaim and a few other things that I use commonly.

Speaking of other things...that brings me to my second gripe. I wish there were lots more other things to install.  There isn't nearly enough software to keep me happy.  I can supplement with Slackware, but that creates problems in itself. For my mother, who basically does web surfing and email, there's plenty, but I consider myself a power user and there's lots of things I do with a computer that requires stuff I don't see in the repositories. 

That having been said, Vector really shines in this role...taking an old piece of equipment and making it usable, and I thank the creators for making such a fast, easy to use system.
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bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1847


« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 09:33:27 pm »

What is it that you are looking for, give some examples. It maybe that you
may have to add other sources for gslapt. Using Slackware packages are
certainly acceptable to use in Vector. You can also request packages as
well on the forum.

Glad to see you are happy with Vector. Welcome to the forum.

Bigpaws
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 09:44:07 pm »

Thanks for your comments. I'm happy you're finding that VectorLinux provides what you're looking for.

It can be confusing to know which version of Vector to use, but I can't agree that there are too many versions. If you go to vectorlinux.com and click on the link for Products right under the banner, you'll get a page with a short description of each version. There are three versions for three different needs. VectorLinux SOHO is intended for reasonably up-to-date computers and includes the KDE desktop and programs, OpenOffice, and many other applications.

At the other end is VectorLinux Light, which is designed for older computers with limited disk space and RAM. It uses much lighter weight desktops (JWM, Fluxbox, and I think LXDE) and includes smaller, faster applications, such as AbiWord and Gnumeric rather than OpenOffice.

In between these two is VectorLinux Standard, which is very useful for older computers and for even the latest hardware if the user wants to  build a system just like they want. Standard uses XFce as its default desktop. XFce is not as demanding on the system as KDE but is still attractive, easy to use, and full featured. You can add whatever you'd like to Standard.

I hope you can see the reasons for three versions. If someone has a decent computer and likes KDE, SOHO is the way to go. If the computer is old and slow, Light gives a usable system without the need to remove things after the installation is complete. Standard is more feature rich but not as demanding of resources as SOHO. The goal in all of these versions is to provide a completely usable system immediately with applications for the usual things people do with computers, not requiring a lot of fiddling to pare down or build up as long as the appropriate version was installed. All the versions can be customized after installation with applications from the VL repos or other sources for Slackware packages or from distro-agnostic binaries or compiled from source.

I think we'd all like to have more packages in the VL repos, though there are more now than ever before and they are growing nicely. However, packages are made by volunteers with limited time, which prevents having a vast repository such as you get with Ubuntu or Debian. If you enable the testing repository, you'll find many more packages available. However, because they are being tested, they may have some problems that need to be fixed. I've never had bad problems with anything I've installed from testing, though once in a while I encounter a bug. Those are reported on this forum and the package will likely be fixed.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
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