The all new Linux Taste Test

Background

At Christmas I installed Ubuntu 6.1 on an old Advent 7002 Laptop that I had lying around the house. My only Linux experience prior to this was on web servers – which are rather business like, and more importantly you just go clicking around to see what happens… anyway I was very pleasantly suprised. The only problem I had was in getting it to recognise my wireless USB thing (edimax), and this is one of the main reasons for the great taste test.

The other reason was that although Ubuntu looked great, the laptop always felt a tad underpowered and anyway my fidling basically buggered it up.

Aims

I want a laptop that can live down the side of the sofa. Its main purpose will be to get on the internet as fast as possible.

The candidates

I did a little bit of research and thought that I’d like to try a really minimal install, but in the end the iso discs I burned were:

Before each install I wiped and re-partitioned the laptop.

Puppy

Puppy LinuxThe install was pretty quick and painless, the desktop looked good and it had all the applications that I wanted.

I got very close, but in the end failed to get my wireless gizmo working, but am not entirely sure why.

Gentoo

Gentoo LinuxI had high hopes for Gentoo, the install seemed to be going well and suddenly I was dumped at a command promt and was expected to type in order to continue.

My other laptop wasn’t handy so I had no way of looking at the install documentation. Anyway the idea of this test is that everything just works.

Null points.

Mandriva

Mandriva LinuxI burned this on a whim as it wasn’t really what I was looking for, but I saw there was a new release and thought what the hell.

The install was relatively fast and straightforward, I plugged in my wireless thingy, dug out my WEP key and I was on the internet. The desktop looks good, menus are fine – everything is where I can find it. From pressing the power key to surfing the web in under 2 minutes isn’t bad.

Conclusions

I much prefer Puppy and Mandriva to Ubuntu – they seem much faster. At the moment I’ll stick with Mandriva, but I’m definately going to give Puppy another go when I get a bit more au fait with the whole Linux thing.

Afterword

The whole exercise is a bit moot at the moment as the keyboard has 3 keys dead. I took it apart but couldn’t fix it. Try typing .org without a g.

Currently seeking a replacement keyboard for an Advent 7002.

One Response to “The all new Linux Taste Test”

  1. Darfuria

    Having seen that video of Ubuntu Beryl vs Vista, I’m really torn about what to do with my operating systems. Windows XP isn’t being produced as of the end of January next year – and I’m not really ready to completely step into the Vista environemtn, because frankly, it’s shit. However, I do need Vista for certain things (the release of DirectX 10, for example).

    I’m seriously contemplating sticking Linux on SOMETHING though, even if it does mean I’m going to end up tri-booting my desktop – because I guess it’s a vital thing to learn how to use for the majority of developers.