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Linux Live CD suggestions for tablet?





Ghengis
My wife's tablet PC (I've written about it here previously) is performing really poorly, given its specs. I asked about putting Windows 7 on it instead of the crapware-infested Vista that it shipped with. But another idea I had was showing her how it would run under a Linux flavor (TBD), maybe off a live CD. I know of a few distros, but I'm not familiar enough with them to decide on one to show her. It should probably be pretty good looking, simple-ish (but not "kiddie"), and hopefully easy to switch to from Windows. She already uses mostly open-source, cross-platform software on her PC (Firefox, Gimp, Inkscape, etc) so that's not a big concern. This would be a simple question except for the fact that she also needs pretty good tablet/pen input support. Any suggestions would be welcome!
Fire Boar
Well, I'd recommend one of the Main Desktop Four: Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse or Mandriva. All four offer live CD options, so there's no problem there. For simple-ish, you would be looking at a Gnome desktop - KDE is more aimed at the power user (me, for example). Firefox is included as the default browser in most distros that use Gnome. I'm not sure about applications, but if an application that your wife is used to is not included, it would be a good opportunity to show off the package management feature from the live CD, to install the program into the live environment.

Which to go for? Ubuntu is fantastic for the beginner, it has a wealth of documentation and is very much community-oriented, which means it's easy to get free help very quickly. However, its distribution upgrade feature is shockingly bad (as in, don't use it, it'll probably fail), and it does have some proprietary (free as in beer) software included. This might be good (driver support) or not, depending on your point of view. Fedora is a great Linux all round, being innovative with its packages, having great security features and supporting a wide variety of packages. It does however seem more aimed at a corporate environment than the average desktop user (this does nothing to detract from its usability though). OpenSuse is a very polished distribution, which mixes and matches quite well and sports a very intuitive configuration interface. It does have a fairly bloated desktop though, which might feel a bit slow. Finally, Mandriva has great out-of-the-box support for hardware, and it's the distribution that's most likely to work with everything you've got. It's also very newbie friendly, and has excellent 64-bit support. It is however probably one of the most odd distributions around, with about five different websites, and there is very little documentation.

You could always go with something else, maybe based off the above. I hear good things about Linux Mint, for instance. These minor distributions might not get the same level of support though.
Ghengis
Sounds like I'd lean towards Ubuntu or maybe Fedora, given what you wrote. Thanks for the tips!
ProfessorY91
I'm also leaning towards Ubuntu, its very user friendly.

If you experience speed related issues on the tablet, Puppy Linux runs entirely off of RAM, is extremely fast, and very reliable.

Y.
Fire Boar
ProfessorY91 wrote:
I'm also leaning towards Ubuntu, its very user friendly.

If you experience speed related issues on the tablet, Puppy Linux runs entirely off of RAM, is extremely fast, and very reliable.

Y.


Puppy is a great distro, I've got it installed on my 256 MB USB stick as a matter of fact - it's taking up just 90MB. Pretty darn fast. Not sure what desktop environment it uses though... it's rather unusual. For the first time user I'd definitely suggest going with a Gnome or KDE desktop, each of which are very configurable and have a modern feel (Modern that is, not super-shine. If you want super-shine, KDE 4.2 is the way to go, otherwise Gnome or KDE 3.5).
Diablosblizz
Fire Boar wrote:
Not sure what desktop environment it uses though... it's rather unusual.


According to Wikipedia is used JWM (Joe's Window Manager). It's apparently a lightweight user interface, JWM.
Ghengis
Brilliant! I should have thought of that -- maybe I can pick up one of those impulse-buy-priced memory sticks and use that instead.

(We just moved, so I haven't unpacked any of my writeable media or memory card readers yet...)
Fire Boar
Ghengis wrote:
Brilliant! I should have thought of that -- maybe I can pick up one of those impulse-buy-priced memory sticks and use that instead.

(We just moved, so I haven't unpacked any of my writeable media or memory card readers yet...)


Eh, took me a little while to get it up mind you. It comes as a burnable ISO, but I used a virtual machine in VMWare to boot the Puppy ISO, then mounted my USB stick and installed onto that from within the VM. I could have always just burnt a disk, but I'm the economical sort. Smile
Ghengis
I figured it out -- I'm going to make a separate post about it.
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