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The Best Linux!

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What Makes The Best Linux Distribution?

Features, Simplicity, and SPEED!

If you have been looking for answers to this question, you have come to the right place. Modern computing has always been about speed! Your operating system should be about speed too. Our list is about the best Linux for desktop computers and notebooks.
A problem with popular mega Linux distributions with the KDE or Gnome desktops is that they are sluggish. They are taking advantage of modern computers with tons of memory and fast video cards. KDE and Gnome offers the features and eye candy to compete with Vista and Windows-7 head on. However on older computers, Gnome and KDE are very slow.

Linux should be about speed and power, not eye candy!

This is what the best Linux distribution should be: Linux should work on modern computers, plus be fast on systems made 13 years ago. The best Linux should be able to work good on a 500mhz Celeron CPU computer with 256mb of ram, and lightning fast on a 933mhz Pentium III with 512mb of memory. Linux should be compatible with newer hardware. Linux should have an easy to use package manager so the user can install software to make Linux what he wants it to be. Needed codecs, fonts, and firmware drivers should be available in the package manager software repositories so they are easy to install. The best Linux should have a control center or launchers to tools for system configuration.
The best Linux distros should use the lighter and faster... XFCE, LXDE, IceWM, Enlightenment E17, JWM, or OpenBox desktop environments. XFCE is easy to configure and can do about anything KDE or Gnome can do. LXDE is almost as easy to configure as XFCE, but faster. IceWM is a little difficult to configure, but it is blazing fast. Enlightenment E17 will give you more eye-candy than KDE or Vista, but uses little resources like LXDE.

Aprox. Run Weight: KDE=360, Gnome=190, XFCE=140, LXDE=85,
IceWM=80, Enlightenment E17=70, OpenBox=60. JWM=59

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LXDE Xfce IceWM

Lightweight applications that work independent from Gnome or KDE should be considered too.

"The Linux operating system is amazing. You can buy an used Pentium 4 computer on eBay for $60 or less, install one of the below free Linux distributions on it, then it will be just like having a brand new computer!"

Below are our choices for the BEST Linux distributions. We are really splitting hairs here. You can shuffle the best 10 list and still have good results. The best Linux is normally the one that works the best for you. The below list is from the HomeDistro Site.

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Best Linux Distros For Home PCs

Linux Browsers
The Mozilla Firefox 3.5 (Iceweasel) browser is king. It is the fullest featured of them all. All these extras also give us the slowest browser of them all. In fact, on older computers, it is turtle slow! Please give me back the Firefox 1.5 browser from 2003, as it worked just fine on older computers. I wish Firefox 1.5 was still listed in software repositories.
If the Linux distribution you just installed on your computer has Firefox, change it right away! Here is why: The Opera browser is twice as fast. With broadband, Firefox 3.5 opens a link to Yahoo from the XR77 Web Portal in 5 seconds, while Opera takes 2.5 seconds. You want even faster than Opera? Use the Epiphany or Midori WebKit based browsers. Midori may still have a few bugs, even though PcLinuxOS got it to work right. The Epiphany web browser is stone axe reliable. Even though Epiphany is a Gnome browser, it does not need the Gnome desktop to run. Another Webkit powered browser I really like is Arora. Arora is fast and very stable. The fastest useable browser of them all is a Webkit based browser named Cream. Sony Ericsson SmartPhones Unlocked
How about the old reliable Mozilla-Netscape browser? This browser is available in the Seamonkey (Iceape) internet suite. It must be fast because this is the browser of choice for Puppy Linux. It feels just a hair slower than Opera, as it takes 3.5 seconds to open a Yahoo link on the XR77 Web Portal. All browser testing was done with DreamLinux on an Athlon 1000mhz CPU desktop with 512mb of ram, a TNT2 32mb video card, and RoadRunner broadband.

Office Suite
Who needs a full office suite? Not me. Just give me what I need to read and write Microsoft Word and Excel documents. OpenOffice is king, but is is so bulky and slower than a John Deere tractor. The newest OpenOffice suite is quite an improvement in speed, but the bulk is still there.
All I need is AbiWord and Gnumeric. Both AbiWord and Gnumeric will handle any job I need to do. In fact with AbiWord I can make PDF documents from text or HTML!
AbiWord is very fast. It fact it opens about as fast as most simple text writers. The learning curve for AbiWord and Gnumeric is short as it is so much like OpenOffice or Microsoft Office.

Siag Office is even more lightweight than AbiWord with Gnumeric. Siag Office Pathetic Writer and Spreadsheet reads and writes MS documents too!

Problems with Flash video?
If your Flash video looks a little choppy on Youtube and other sites, the problem is your video card! Many of the popular computer desktops from years ago have the video card built into the motherboard. If you are lucky, you can access the BIOS setup program and allocate more of your system memory to video memory. Check for a BIOS update for your system if setup will not let you allocate more memory to video.
I have an old Dell 100d SmartStep that will not allow me to allocate more system memory to video. So my fix was to buy an GeForce 128mb PCI video card from Newegg for $25. Make sure the video card you buy is for PCI and not PCIe (PCI Express), as PCIe is a longer slot and the card won't fit. Now my 10 year old Dell with Mepis Antix Linux and 512mb of ram runs just as fast as a new DualCore computer with Windows-7 on it! No kidding!
Another workaround is downgrading to Flash version 7 or Gnash. Gnash may be the better choice as it will it will play all flash 7 and support some for 8 & 9. Flash 7 will play 85% of all flash videos on the web. All those headheld mobile devices use a version called "Flash Lite", that is pretty much the same as Flash 7. On an older computer, I would go with Gnash so I could play YouTube videos. Install GStreamer first, then Gnash.

How About Netbooks?
You don't need a specialty linux distribution for netbooks. The distros listed in the top 12 list will work just fine for your netbook. The power of a netbook can be compared to a strong pentium III computer. All you need to do is set the screen resolution for 800x600 or 640x480 and all will be just fine. Most of you with a netbook will have an external optical drive or DVD burner that you use for putting movies and music on disk. You can also boot up linux using this external drive. Of course another option is to burn the Linux ISO on a USB memory storage drive, and boot up via USB. The Windows operating system is really too heavy for netbooks and you will see a huge performance increase with a light weight Linux distro. Linux on the netbook rocks!


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