I have a desktop machine which I use purely for Linux, the specifications are Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz, 5GIG Ram, 80Gig Hard Drive, 19″ Widescreen TFT and nVidia 7600GT Graphics card. The on-board network has failed and it has an Intel gigbit server card installed (which Windows 7 will not recognise) and a PCI 54G Wireless Card. I had tested Fedora 13 on VMWare and liked the look of it – I set about wiping the present Ubuntu 10.10 and wanted to use Fedora instead on this machine – this is were it started to go wrong..
Fedora is based from RedHat and much like every distro out there, you can choose the Gnome Look, KDE or various others. Of course one is going to look much like the next if they all run on Gnome for example, what is important here is how easy it is to install software, drivers and generally keep the system running.
I liked the look of the icons so off I went and wiped my current (working) Ubuntu 10.10 install and got this thing running. I do like using Compiz, not so much for the flashy bits but more for the multiple screens, quick switching of applications and finding out what is running at the time. This is were I got stuck to be honest, it told me my current graphics card does not support 3D – Wait, What!!
Using a different Driver
Fedora uses nouveau driver, this is free and not written by nVidia and it looks like it does not think my 7600GT is capable of 3D. After spending time on google, typing many items into Terminal and failing – I start to wonder why I wiped my machine in the first place. I looked around and found that Linux Mint has in fact a new version – currently Version 10 and out in Release Candidate stage.
Linux Mint 10 RC
Not long after Ubuntu finally got to 10.10, Linux Mint which is based off Ubuntu (which itself is based off Debian) gets there new version ready. The best way to describe Mint is you take a mix of Gnome and KDE, add in the various codecs that Ubuntu cannot distribute and you have Mint.
3D Comes as Standard
Once installed, there was an icon informing me there is a driver I can install, supplied by nVidia and once this is selected and installed – we have Compiz in all the glory. What I did like about adding stuff here is you press what looks like the ‘start’ button and type and if it is a package that is not installed, you can do it right there.
Use what works for you
Many people who use Linux say “Ubuntu is bad, use Slackware” or “Fedora is better then Ubuntu” – what I say in fact is your better of using what you know and if your more comfortable type ‘apt-get’ instead of ‘yum’ then go with that. This was the case of Mint vs. Fedora, I coul dhave took the time and got 3D Working in Fedora but I felt it easier and better for me to just install a distro I know how to get working..