Which distro for netbook?

Tacet

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I'm going to ask a few noobish questions, please excuse my ignorance!

I have a Benq Joybook Lite U102. 1.6GHz, 1 GB RAM. I use it mainly for MP3 playing, music vids, email, browsing and for powerpoint presentations (connected to a projector). Meaning that I need the VGA port to work.

What Linux distro will work best? Are any distros really better than others in terms of battery optimization? Is there anything funny with regards to netbooks that I need to consider? Or is it simply a case of choosing the distro I like best on my desktop (i.e. totally personal preference)?

My Linux knowledge is good enough to get Gentoo installed and to work on it. I might be ignorant enough to try and re-emerge world to fix a bug, though....
 

koffiejunkie

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Ubuntu is working pretty sweet in mine. Not the Ubuntu netbook edition though, just the regular desktop edition. The netbook edition might be better if you have one of the low resolution models - mine is 1366x768 or something such, so regular Gnome/KDE actually fits on the screen :)
 

Tacet

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^^Thanks!, so except for resolution there's not much to worry about. I was afraid of something funny in the processor architecture that I don't know about that's not supported by standard linux distros.
 

koffiejunkie

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Nope, the processors are fairly standard, just not as fast as regular desktop ones. That said, I'm pleasantly surprised at the kick I'm getting from the Atom 330 (dual core 1.6GHz). Just make sure you give it enough RAM - you don't want to be grinding swap on a low powered machine.
 

Tacet

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Nope, the processors are fairly standard, just not as fast as regular desktop ones. That said, I'm pleasantly surprised at the kick I'm getting from the Atom 330 (dual core 1.6GHz). Just make sure you give it enough RAM - you don't want to be grinding swap on a low powered machine.

I've bought the little BenQ (which was the cheapest netbook I could find at that time) simply as a large music player, email client and occasional web browser. It's a single core 1.6GHz with only 1GB RAM. While I don't really worry about speed on it, I'm also quite happy with it's performance - it is much better than I expected. And the best part is, I can smuggle it past our security without them ever knowing. If I bring my HP laptop to work, I have to sign it in and out every time I pass security.

Give #!Crunchbang a go too, I have it on my N110 and works like a charm!
http://crunchbanglinux.org/

I'll consider it, but I think I'll wait until their Debian based release is stable. But thanks, it looks like a nicely balanced distro.
 

charlfourie

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I'll consider it, but I think I'll wait until their Debian based release is stable. But thanks, it looks like a nicely balanced distro.

I see Squeeze is very close to finish, but from using the unstable versions of Squeeze with #! I haven't had many issues. Most have really been small niggly driver issues with my Samsung. But all of them got resolved with some digging and playing. The #! community is also really helpful and well informed. Corenominal is always on hand for help too.

Also I love the name :)
 

koffiejunkie

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I see Squeeze is very close to finish, but from using the unstable versions of Squeeze with #! I haven't had many issues. Most have really been small niggly driver issues with my Samsung. But all of them got resolved with some digging and playing. The #! community is also really helpful and well informed. Corenominal is always on hand for help too.

I've been running Squeeze since the day it appeared in the repos. So far so good. My only issue was when my work box was replaced with a new one, the network driver wasn't supported out of the box (the fedora boys had the same problem) so I had to download it from intel and install it by hand, but that was trivial. Stable as a rock.

What is #!?
 

charlfourie

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In computing, a shebang (also called a hashbang, hashpling, pound bang, or crunchbang) refers to the characters "#!" when they are the first two characters in an interpreter directive as the first line of a text file. In a Unix-like operating system, the program loader takes the presence of these two characters as an indication that the file is a script, and tries to execute that script using the interpreter specified by the rest of the first line in the file.[1] For instance, shell scripts for the Bourne shell start with the first line:

#!/bin/sh

More precisely, a shebang line consists of a number sign and an exclamation point character ("#!"), then optionally any amount of whitespace, then followed by the (absolute) path to the interpreter program that will provide the interpretation. The shebang is looked for and used when a script is invoked directly (as with a regular executable), and largely to the end of making scripts look and act similarly to regular executables, to the operating system and to the user.

Because the "#" character is often used as the comment marker in scripting languages, the contents of the shebang line will be automatically ignored by the interpreter itself; the shebang line only exists to specify to the operating system the correct interpreter to use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebang_(Unix)
 

koffiejunkie

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I know what a hashbang is. Your statement doesn't make sense with this defenition though:

I see Squeeze is very close to finish, but from using the unstable versions of Squeeze with #! I haven't had many issues. Most have really been small niggly driver issues with my Samsung. But all of them got resolved with some digging and playing. The #! community is also really helpful and well informed.

So what exactly are you referring to?
 

vijaym

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I been using debian and ubuntu on my MSI netbook.
works well - both of them. Also tried the Ubuntu netbook version.

On mine all things work well. BT, camera, wifi etc
 

SabreWolfy

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Which netbooks are available in the country which do not come pre-installed with that Wind*ws OS thing? :)
 

MyWorld

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If you are going with a gnome based distro then you might look into getting as much use of your limited screen resolution as possible by configuring the panels, themes and fonts.

I have:
* Removed the bottom panel and moved the top one down to the bottom (you can auto-hide this as well, I do not like auto-hide, but the option is there)
* Shrunk the panel size and font size to the smallest size allowed (if I'm not mistaken it is either 6 or 6.5 pt for fonts)
* Resized the fonts system wide to smallest available
* Removed default gnome applets on the panel and installed a "one-button-does-all" menu applet
* Removed all unnecessary applets --> https://ubuntugenius.wordpress.com/...from-indicator-applet-in-ubuntus-system-tray/
* Dropped Firefox for Chrome

You can further then look for a theme that suits you, disable or minimize borders on windows, etc. This will give you significantly more workspace than before.
 
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