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Thinking about changing distros

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No, not gentoo! :P

 

I'm pretty fed up with Mandriva atm. I installed it on my laptop and it was experiencing this problem from the start but now I can't boot into it at all. I get to lilo, select Mandriva, the little loader starts going and then it freezes. The one time I was able to get into it my network connection no longer worked. And on my other box I still haven't been able to get wireless working.

 

I'd put Gentoo on my daughter's box but I don't think she could handle it. But for the lappy there's no way I'd try Gentoo. Too many things to configure that I'm not familiar with since I've never owned a laptop.

 

So my question is what would be a good, easy to install, easy to configure distro for a laptop?

 

One thing I did like about Mandriva is that it configured ndiswrapper for me since my wireless card isn't supported. Anything else out there that's that good or is ndiswrapper not a big deal?

 

Thanks!

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Did you have by any chance a usb mouse connected when you booted up? Unplug it (or any other usb devices) and try again.

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so for me....the wireless lan through ndiswrapper on boot has been problematic if it doesn't easily pull an ip. so typically i disable the network interfaces on the laptop unless i've seen from experience that they run stably.

 

i ran fedora core 4 on a laptop and loved it. i did ndiswrapper and it worked great. plus the power management tools are there and well defined.

 

keep us posted. ubuntu also seemed to work well...i'm just not so comfy with it.

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Fedora and Ubuntu are two of the distros I was thinking about. But I really don't like anaconda in Fedora and I've never tried Ubuntu. Heard both good and bad things about it but I guess it's that way with any distro.

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FC5 requires that you have the ndiswrapper rpm available prior to establishing networking. If your windows partition is ntfs, then you must also have to have it in a non ntfs partition because the release kernel does not have ntfs read ability. This is my complaint about it. I can't install it without prior knowledge and plannning. But, it runs great once installed. I use yum, which is just as nice as urpmi. (Actually, it may be a little better.) Mandriva runs really well on my Acer. But, I did update the kernel immediately and I also installed the mde rpms.

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I've installed Mepis on 3 diffrent machines (Including one laptop), using 3 diffrent wireless cards, on 3 diffrent occasions. Wireless worked at first boot on all 3 systems. Not sure what your opinion of Mepis is, but for wireless connections, it has preformed well for me in the past.

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A good friend of mine that got me into gentoo strongly recommended Ubuntu to me. Where is AI? :P

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Arch.

 

(it's not like i'm biased in any way..... ;) )

 

whatever you have trouble with, you'll find you'll get it working pretty quickly. The arch community is the best I've seen. (*hides*)

Edited by iphitus

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Arch, or Kanotix.

The former because it simply rules, and the latter because everything works right out of the box (despite it being Debian Sid).

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A good friend of mine that got me into gentoo strongly recommended Ubuntu to me. Where is AI? :P

I agree with the Ubuntu suggestion. You could try arch, but if your concerned about configuring this in Gentoo that you aren't familiar with, Arch would be no easier. Ubunutu is a good mid-level distribution, not quite as easy as mandriva but easier than Gentoo. I've never liked Fedora.

 

The problem as your describe it may be an ndiswrapper problem - if you get the loading screen and it starts partway through it's probably locking up when trying to start ndiswrapper. While that's just a guess - if it is the issue, switching distributions may not fix it.

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I'd say kanotix if you just want it to work....

Kano develops all his stuff on laptops with Wifi and if it works on the liveCD it will work once installed and you have a pure testing/unstable install.

In other words you have as much Debian as you want, you can install any debian package later so its pretty much like getting a kick-start where all the basics and quite a bit extra are already working and once you start making it personal with your choice of pakages if it differs from kano's its just a Debian install.

 

There is n't much it doesn't come with to start off but if you want for instance Nvu you can install it via apt ... but basically it already has installed and configured everything the average laptop user is likely to use ...

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I would first try to fix Mandy, before switching. Mandriva IS one of the best solutions for laptops. The other great options are Kanotix, which is always developed on lappies, thus should be painless, as Gowator already pointed out, or Ubuntu, although they seemed to have a suspend problem but I guess the problem got solved by now.

 

Fedora is too heavy for laptops imho.

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