What linux distro should I use ? (Read the thread)

Kanakops

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Hi, I will probably fix my old laptop

here's the specs :
4gb ram (ddr2)
intel centrino 2 inside
300gb hdd

I didn't have problem on windows 7 in the time so I'm looking for something modern but easy on the ram. My main computer is on windows 10 so I don't care about the games, I will probably just play pokemmo, some emulators, terraria and quaver (all compatible with linux I guess)

So what do you think I should use ? What desktop environement should I pick ? Xfce, kde plasma, gnome ? Does it really matter ?
 

Zyvyn

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I personally suggest Manjaro. It's an Arch based distribution that's just as simple to install as any Debian based distro. I suggest this because you get access to the AUR (Arch User Repository) and won't have to worry about adding custom sources to your package manager like on Ubuntu based distros. For desktop I personally suggest either some Window Manager such as i3 or a desktop like XFCE or KDE. If you have any quests feel free to ask.
 

Tom Bombadildo

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TBH pretty much any Linux distro will run well enough on those specs really, so Debian or Arch based it's basically up to your personally preference.

Something like Lubuntu or Xubuntu are usually considered decent lightweight distros for PCs around your hardware on the Debian end. I personally prefer XFCE for DE over something like LXDE/LXQT, I think XFCE looks a bit more modern and less "basic" and I think is worth the little bit of extra resources, but it's really just a preference thing.

On the Arch end, +1 for Manjaro, it's pretty decent and generally about as easy to use for new users as most Ubuntu-based distros as mentioned above.


If I were you, I'd simply run some live USBs testing the few different distros and pick one that suits you the most.
 

Kanakops

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I will wait a couple of more answers but I think I will just go on manjaro since I already used it in the past if it will run correctly on my laptop. I can't test anything right now since the motherboard is burned (or only in a vm).

I really like the look of kde plasma, it is possible to tweak xfce to make it look more like kde plasma ? My main concern is the task bar/icons I find too small and just "heh".


I have tested puppy tho but didn't really liked it, I prefer something more modern and I think my laptop is able to run something more recent since it was on win7 without problem.
 

Zyvyn

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I will wait a couple of more answers but I think I will just go on manjaro since I already used it in the past if it will run correctly on my laptop. I can't test anything right now since the motherboard is burned (or only in a vm).

I really like the look of kde plasma, it is possible to tweak xfce to make it look more like kde plasma ? My main concern is the task bar/icons I find too small and just "heh".


I have tested puppy tho but didn't really liked it, I prefer something more modern and I think my laptop is able to run something more recent since it was on win7 without problem.
KDE Plasma has become just as lightweight as xfce and other DE in recent builds, and the icon size is customizable.
 
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Kanakops

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KDE Plasma has become just as lightweight as KDE Plasma in recent builds, and the icon size is customizable.


I didn't get it, you mean kde plasma has become just as lightweight as an other environnement or you really mean kde plasma is just as lightweight as kde plasma ?
 
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matpower

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Debian: Lightweight, lot of software available, low maintenance. It is my go-to with old hardware where I want no hassles. Pack it with XFCE and it just works.

Don't forget you can install themes and tweak sizes to make it look modern, so don't get scared if it looks old/ugly.

If you don't want to deal with that, install Xubuntu LTS Minimal and it just works while being lightweight.
 

Kanakops

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Debian: Lightweight, lot of software available, low maintenance. It is my go-to with old hardware where I want no hassles. Pack it with XFCE and it just works.

Don't forget you can install themes and tweak sizes to make it look modern, so don't get scared if it looks old/ugly.

If you don't want to deal with that, install Xubuntu LTS Minimal and it just works while being lightweight.

I will try debian xfce then, i'm more familiar with debian based distro. How do you install theme ? I tried to install some in manjaro xfce and didn't know how.
 
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matpower

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I will try debian xfce then, i'm more familiar with debian based distro. How do you install theme ? I tried to install some in manjaro xfce and didn't know how.
You can either get them through Debian repos, by using 'sudo apt search gtk-theme' for GNOME/XFCE/MATE themes and 'sudo apt search icon-theme' for icon themes.
You can also get them by searching for GTK themes in places like GNOME Look or GitHub and putting them in ~/.themes, where '~' means your home directory (AKA your user's folder).
On Plasma you can just use the built-in theme utilities in system settings, it'll automatically download them for you, and the repo by using for 'sudo apt search kde-theme' or something like that.

If you want to make Debian XFCE look good, I recommend:
  • Removing the second panel (the one that is like a dock).
  • Changing the "Applications Menu" for "Whisker Menu" in the first panel.
  • Changing the GTK theme to Greybird or Materia.
  • Changing the icon theme to Papirus.
That should make it look as good as Manjaro or Xubuntu.
 

Bl4aze

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Pretty much its up to what you like best.

if you want a windows like expirence use mint

if you dont have a mac but you want a mac use ubuntu

if you want a older windows type expirence use manjaro

if you want something simple use puppy linux.

personally ive only extensively used mint and ubuntu but look up some videos and look at which one you like best.
 
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The Catboy

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I would also suggest trying out Manjaro on that laptop. If you want some other suggestions, I would also suggest trying Linux Lite, Linux Mint (Cinnamon might be fine, but MATE and XFCE would be better,) MX Linux, or you could check out distrowatch and try something you think might be interesting. Being that damn near all Linux distros are free, the most you are going to waste is your time.
 

Joom

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I'm partial to Pop_OS. I've been running it on my mid-2015 MBP for a few months now and I love it. It's just Ubuntu with GNOME and some tweaks and custom tools from System76, but if you have an Intel and/or AMD based machine, I highly recommend it. I also recommend the Xanmod kernel regardless of the distro you go with as it has FSYNC and Intel pstates baked in. These things will help you squeeze some extra juice out of your hardware, especially when doing anything that requires accelerated graphics.
 
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Kanakops

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hey hi guys, sorry I didn't reply this week, my old laptop is dead and we can't repair it (I mean yes but at that point I will pick an other laptop since it's not even a good one)

I will have a I5-4th gen + 256 ssd + 8gb of ram.. So a more modern one.

I'm really hesitating between debian, manjaro and arch. Some of my friends told me arch is easy. I know manjaro is more than easy and I like debian too.. heh I don't know. I have saw this video

it's look like arch is a beast but I also heard it's not stable ?
I obviously only want the best, I think it's in the human nature but I just don't know.

The installation of arch also look scary. I think I will try manjaro on a vm even if I already used it.
 
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