[sclug] Desktop distro recommendations

Simon Huggins huggie at earth.li
Mon Apr 5 13:09:54 UTC 2004

Hi Sclug,

On Mon, Apr 05, 2004 at 12:29:31AM +0100, Patrick Kirk wrote:
> Just installed Linux on my desktop for the first time in years.  Its
> Debian Sarge and X didn't start.  No sound or USB mouse either. Now I
> know I could start wading through logs looking for clues but this is
> 2004, I did 2/3 of that in the 90s and hated doing it then and I'm too
> old to go through all that again.

Ah, a distro troll on a Monday afternoon.  Hoorah!

> Can anyone recommend a desktop distro that meets the following criteria:

> 1. Recognises a Nvidia card and is capable of getting at least 1024x768 
> without me spending hours on Google.  Even Windows 95 could get its gui 
> started so I really do not want to muck around with X servers that don't 
> start without manual intervention.

> 2. Recognises a SIS 730 motherboard that Win 2k recognised in 1999 and 
> just loads its sound system without asking me any questions.  I hate the 
> whole idea of understanding how sound works.  It should just work.

> 3. Sees a USB mouse during installation and installs it without asking 
> me endless "Is your mouse on /dev/ps/aux or /dev/pt/mouse or 
> /dev/ttySn?" questions.

Windows 2k?  You seem so enamoured with it :)

But seriously, Debian.

> I know I could get Debian working if I worked for a few days at it.
> But the very idea of configuring X brings back painful memories of
> Linux in the 90s and I'm sure things have moved on!

apt-get install hotplug discover mdetect read-edid

mdetect autodetects your mouse, hotplug in spite of its name, will also
install all the modules you need for all of your hardware if they are
available on reboot, discover does general hardware discovery and
read-edid does Monitor VESA probing.

Then I'd do:
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 and bob's your uncle.

Rebooting should get hotplug to load your sound driver.  You may see an
error about not having the module available though in which case try a
different kernel.

If so try: apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.25-1-686

As long as you've not mucked up your lilo/grub config it'll just work.

Debian is by far the best distribution, on the desktop or otherwise. ;)


        Black Cat Networks        -( "I'm Beverly...", "I'm Geordi...",  )-
UK domain, email and web hosting  -(          "We are Hugh..."           )-
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