Debian-based distro adventures

Since my previous post, I’ve used:

I’ve compared MEPIS 8 and Ubuntu 9.04, in what was called an unfair comparison by some. I think some of the commenters even indicated that Ubuntu 9.04 would’ve come up tops, but I begged (and still do) to differ.

Since then, I’ve used Mint 7 and Kubuntu 8.04, which one may realize are using GNOME 2 and KDE 3 as well. So I guess a more appropriate comparison would’ve been:

  • MEPIS 8 versus Kubuntu 8.04;
  • Ubuntu 9.04 versus Linux Mint 7.

All of packages I use (e.g. php-pear, imagemagick, mysql-server) have the same names across the four distributions (but that’s probably due to Debian).

All four distributions work fine w/ Oracle Express Edition, which is a great way to try out Oracle database if you don’t happen to work for a large corporation that uses its (probably too-)expensive licenses.

I must say that it wasn’t so much the particular distribution, source distribution or version number that affected the speed of the interface, but rather, the window manager.

GNOME 2 just seems… slow. KDE 3 is well… snappy.

To me, there is no discernable difference between MEPIS and Kubuntu — both use KDE 3, except perhaps Kubuntu uses Adept whilst MEPIS sticks to good old Synaptic. Both are great applications nonetheless.

I’ll gripe about the loss of Dropbox, which is available both Ubuntu and Mint due to GNOME. Apparently there is command-line instructions available. But I digress.

On the upside, I can’t seem to (easily) setup a network printer in either MEPIS or Kubuntu. I followed the instructions on the Ubuntu website, and voila, I could print. Likewise for Mint, which is basically Ubuntu nicely themed. Or maybe I’m just scratching the surface.

Kdesvn and Meld are almost interchangeable, unless you want to view svn logs of course (use the former).

So there you have it. If you’ve got a high-performance, dual- (or quad-) core laptop, Ubuntu or Mint will do fine. But if you’ve got a 2- to 3- year old laptop, consider Kubuntu 8.04 or MEPIS 8. Unfortunately, I can’t access mepis.org anymore — the site is down, why? — and Canonical maintains fast servers, so I’ll be using Kubuntu for the forseeable future.

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6 thoughts on “Debian-based distro adventures

  1. Hi there, I own an S7110 too. I currently run Debian (lenny) on it. I was wondering if you’ve ever gotten suspend and hibernate to work on this laptop. If so which distro?

    1. I’ve used suspend/hibernate successfully on MEPIS 6.5, MEPIS 8, Ubuntu 9.04 and Linux Mint 7. That’s Etch/Lenny thrown into the mix, so I guess maybe it is a config issue? Cheers.

  2. Thanks for the input.

    Did some tinkering yesterday. Got hibernate to work without problems on Lenny (32 bit) simply by executing the following as root:

    1. echo shutdown > /sys/power/disk
    2. echo disk > /sys/power/state

    For whatever reason, using the default (platform) setting in /sys/power/disk creates problems when hibernating. Also s2disk hangs always no matter what settings I use.

    Suspend works simply by doing a sudo s2ram -f

    Also as a bonus I was able to get my Nokia 6110i to be recognized by Lenny using IrDA. Both xgnokii and wammu are able to interface with my phone without any problems.

    The only things that I haven’t gotten around to testing are the ieee 1394 interface and the (win?)modem, which I think uses the slmodem driver.

    Overall I’d say that the S7110 is indeed a very GNU/Linux compatible laptop :)

    1. Wow. That is quite hardcore stuff man! Congratulations! :)

      I don’t have any 1394 devices, and I don’t even have a phone line at home, so testing those out will rather tough! :p

      I’m quite a fan of Fujitsu laptops generally, so yes, I must agree!

  3. U are KDE guy. I try SymplyMepis but no idea how to use KDE (classic menu). I use Parsix. Debian testing Gnome from Parsi. Small memory usage than Super OS 9.10

    1. Actually, I’m using GNOME currently as there’s no (proper) KDE client for Dropbox. Plus there are viable alternatives to most of the tools I use(d) in KDE; e.g. replacing Katapult with Do. I’ve never heard of Parsix until you mentioned, but using Debian as the basis is always a good start.

      I’m lucky that my supervisor helped push for quadrupling (512MB to 2GB) our development machines, so memory isn’t so much of a concern. System Monitor reports that memory usage of 360MB as I write this comment, so I figure that’s way above Parsix’s requirements! :)

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