Linux for a new user: what distribution?

Jen has given me her permission to install Linux on her laptop, on the condition that she doesn’t actually has to use it.

Fine by me!

I’m thinking of creating an extra partition on her hard disk for that purpose. 10 GB should be more than enough, and afterwards I can install all the apps she needs and configure things to her liking (even if she doesn’t want to use it 🙂 ).

At first, I meant to install the latest release of PCLinuxOS, but after testing it myself, I changed my mind. I’d like to give her KDE 4.2 (4.2.1 with Qt 4.5, if possible), which limits my options. Ubuntu is out for obvious reasons, and I haven’t used Kubuntu in ages. Same for Mandriva. Besides, those two only offer KDE 4.2.1 and Qt 4.5 in their alpha releases/release candidates, and I’m not installing beta software on somebody else’s computer. Well, not anymore.

So it seems like I need something with a rolling rolease model, which would provide me with the latest software (after a reasonable testing period). That sounds like Arch.

I also want a distribution where it’s easy to compile software, especially since we like to play Warcraft 3, which needs a patched version of wine to be able to host games and connect to the net. That too, sounds like Arch. I had to patch wine myself a week ago, and it was just a case of opening the PKGbuild, add a patch line, and type makepkg.

And I want a distribution I’m familiar with myself. If there are problems popping up, I want them fixed fast and easy.


Arch it is.



6 Responses to Linux for a new user: what distribution?

  1. flammenwurfer says:

    Haha, somehow I knew that Arch would be your choice before I even finished the article. However, it is a very good choice! I’m running Arch with KDE 4.2.1 as well and it’s working very nicely(and looking beautiful).

    Once you get it going you should do an article on some customization or convenient tweaks in KDE 4.2 in Arch. Just a suggestion. Love your blog, keep it up!

  2. celettu says:


    I admit the article is a bit tongue in cheek 😉 Arch is what I’m comfortable with, and once it’s installed and running an average user can’t see the difference between Kubuntu and Arch + KDE anyway 🙂

  3. flammenwurfer says:

    Very true and I totally agree with your choice. I’ve only been using Arch for a couple of months but I already feel just as or more familiar with it than any other distro I’ve used over the years. The way you install and configure Arch just makes you feel comfortable and like you can do anything with it once you’ve got it set up.

    I’m getting ready to make a file/media server out of some spare parts and I plan on giving Arch a go on it. Any words of wisdom?

  4. celettu says:

    Unfortunately not :/ I’m still at the stage where I have a lot more to learn than I already know, and when it comes to servers I draw a blank.

    I have no doubt Arch fits your purpose though 🙂

  5. flammenwurfer says:

    I’m right there with ya. However, I would guess that setting up my desktop with KDE 4.2 and a wireless card was probably more difficult than this server is going to be. I think I’ll be ok.

    I’ll be looking forward to reading more of your blog posts. Cheers!

  6. Marsha says:

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