Which 64-bit Linux distro to use?

Howdy :spin:
Recently got a used machine which came with Win 7 Pro 32-bit installed, but the CPU is 64-bit capable. No install discs, so I can’t ‘up’ Win 7 to 64-bit. Besides, I’ve been wanting to try blender under Linux again for awhile.
SO!! Any recommendations regarding which distro to go with? I’m not so much interested in using KDE or Gnome; I generally just run a window manager, such as IceWM or Black Box, without running a desktop manager such as KDE or Gnome. (Although Enlightenment IS perrty) Makes for a VERY light and snappy system!! This I can do, but I’m pretty sure I would have little success trying to just ‘build my own’ Linux, i.e. - I’d prefer to use all the nifty hardware detection and auto-configure stuff included in distros. I can turn off stuff I don’t want and reconfigure after it’s working. :wink:
Anyhow, system specs I guess. Pretty important.
Pentium D dual 3.4Ghz, 3G DDR2 RAM, ATI x600 (WILL be replaced ASAP with an NVidea card prolly), Phillips DVD burner, primary drive is 80G SATA. That contains Win7 and all it’s stuff. I’ve got an IDE 80G drive I can use for Linux – but I’ll partition it so it only uses what it NEEDS to run Linux plus programs and settings. Data I’ll keep on a win-accessible partition. – I hope Linux can use NTFS partitions these days? :confused:

If you have less than 4GB of RAM, probably better to run 32-bit but less so than in the past as 64-bit installs become more mainstream. Ubuntu if you like Unity, Fedora if you like Gnome 3 and OpenSUSE if you like KDE. If you like Enlightenment, have a look at Bodhi (http://www.bodhilinux.com/). No 64-bit support yet, was under development, I suspect ARM on tablet proved to be more interesting. Add your voice for a 64-bit version on their forum. NTFS - tick.

I would go for xubuntu, small and fast on older systems. I use 64 bit for a long time and never get problems with it.

based on Ubuntu, using Xfce as the graphical desktop, with a focus on integration, usability and performance, with a particular focus on low memory footprint.

Cheers, mib.

Thanks all. I’m gonna try Ubuntu off a USB stick today. I also found a very cool looking distro called Ubuntu Studio, which includes a pretty darn complete set of creativity tools, including Blender of course, as well as numerous audio and video tools. Needs a full install tho. If I end up going Ubuntu, I very well may just go directly with Ubuntu Studio.

EDIT: xubuntu looks tempting as well. i’m ok with xfce. having the whole app set in Ubuntu Studio already installed would be nice tho too.

Well …
I’m currently running 64-bit Ubuntu off a ‘live’ dvd. I tried a USB key but couldn’t get it to boot, tho the BIOS is USB-boot capable. I’m guessing I did something wrong.
So far, I do NOT like the default UI, and can’t find any way to change my desktop/window manager. I’m guessing there’s some config tool I need to run from command line. Hopefully not config file editing, that would suck. I’d really prefer IceWM, xfce, or Enlightenment.
Doing some blender testing. Cycles currently rendering a test scene, which I’ll also render under win7 for comparison. Blender seems a bit quicker in certain tasks, particularly cycles render preview and regular material previews.

Personally, I love Linux Mint. It’s a Debian (Ubuntu) derivative.

Mint looks good, the Debian version. Bohdi might work for me too.
So many choices. What’s the difference between all the distros? If I plan on running Enlightenment anyhow, does it really matter which one I use?

If you want to use Enlightenment, Bodhi is the best choice, as the specialised distro is engineered for E17 specifically, much like Xubuntu for Xfce. I ran Bodhi and Blender on the the original Asus eeePC 2G Surf netbook until the keyboard died last year.

EDIT:: So, which distro has the ‘best’ most hardware-compatible installer?? I think that’s what I’m really looking for, as I intend to customize my install quite a bit. I guess I’d also like a distro with a good package manager for easy app installs too. … seems the answer is Ubuntu or Debian … any input please? … it seems Debian has an actual ‘rolling update’ which would be nice. not sure about Ubuntu …

running Linux Mint KDE right now. I like how KDE looks and it’s features (WAY nicer and more configureable than Gnome/Mutter), but it’s behaving a bit sluggishly. Perhaps that’s because I’m running it off a Live DVD …
I’m starting to think what I really SHOULD do is pick a distro with a GOOD installer that’ll detect all my components properly, do as minimal an install as it’ll let me, then add in my favorite desktop manager/windows manager and the apps I want. What I DON’T want to do is use a distro that will make me edit config files, or doesn’t properly recognize my hardware.

EDIT EDIT: also, anyone got any tips for actually putting an .iso on a USB stick and making it bootable? I’ve tried three times now, but no luck. I don’t wanna keep burning discs to test distros … Yes, my mobo IS USB bootable. It’s right there in the BIOS, and turned on, and the USB is set as boot device #1

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ has worked for me when Ubuntu’s USB Startup Disk Creator failed. Both tools allow for persistence of data between boots.

thanks, I’ll try that. I’ve been using (trying) Universal USB installer. No joy, as I said.
I’d like to try bodhi, but I don’t want to waste an entire dvd just for that. :wink:

Well, I finally figured out the USB boot thing … Only a couple of my USB ports are available for such. heh. lame.anyhow
I’m in Bodhi right now. Not all that thrilled with Enlightenment so far. It’s pretty snappy, and looks … ok … i know i can alter that a LOT
Biggest thing is it’s not recognizing my 2nd monitor. Actually, it IS recognizing my 2nd monitor; it’s not recognizing my FIRST monitor. It’s displaying on both, but cloning the desktop instead of extending it. Also, It doesn’t list my LCD monitor as available. Been trying to troubleshoot that, but it’s a deal-breaker.
more and more i’m thinkin just a base debian install … maybe go with KDE too … now that I know how to boot from USB, i could try an xfce distro as well.

Nope. Not happy with Bodhi. Small, light, snappy … but I found myself fighting with Enlightenment … plus I couldn’t get blender 2.61 to run. Prolly just doing something wrong.
Downloading the iso of Live Debian KDE. I’ll see how KDE is with Debian. Maybe try the xfce live iso. One of those two prolly.

One thing about distros other than Ubuntu and its derivates: is it easy to find and install packages like Blender, Gimp and Inkscape?
I always found Ubuntu PPAs very easy to configure and use, but other package management were not quite there.
For example, were do I find Gimp 2.6.12 for OpenSuse?

Well now.
Here I am in a full, fresh install of Ubuntu Studio. It’s Ubuntu 11.10 with xfce and a TON of 2d/3d graphics apps, video apps, audio apps, synths, MIDI stuff …
Ended up completely wiping my drives and discarding Win 7 … at least for now. I’ve got a set of system image discs for win 7 if I want it back.
Likin my new Linux box :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :cool:

kdenlive should be interesting.

Artao, is Rosegarden running out the box, or still in the PPAs?

No Rosegarden … Ardour, MuseScore, and QTractor … all running out of the box. :smiley:
a BUTT LOAD of synths, ALSA/JACK/PulseAudio, drum machines, samplers, plugins for JACK and DSSI …
Tho Rosegarden DOES look pretty cool. :wink:

also, I don’t know what PPA means?

Personal Package Archive (Ubuntu)

i see. thx.
I spent a LONG LONG time yesterday browsing thru packages in Synaptic … I don’t recall seeing Rosegarden listed.