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I've had Ubuntu (8.10) on my netbook in the past and I really liked it. I'm currently running Fedora and feeling like I should "change it up" again.

I've played around with Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid a little, and so far I'm very impressed. I've always wanted to try Arch, but I'm worried I won't have the driver support I need for all the non-standard hardware in a netbook.

Does anybody have a suggestion for a new distro to try? I'm preferably looking for something feature-rich over light-weight, and something that I can have up and running with a minimum of configuration (at least partially working). Thanks!

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3 Answers

Arch linux would most certainly be a move up the ladder. But it will require a lot of "looking into it" and doing your homework well, since it will all depend on you. Worth it in the end if you really want to learn more about Linux/your own computer.

Though i can't say Arch is really feature rich. Atleast from basic installation, from there you can make it as feature-rich and eleborate as you like.

They have a wonderfull package management system filled will all modern software and drivers, so i'm happy so say that i'm writing this on a Samsung NC10 netbook running ARCH linux. Drivers are all from repository/default installation. Even dimming the backlight and special keyboard shortcuts work without problems.

Everything you need is described in the Arch Linux Beginners/Installation guide which can be found HERE.

As a second choice i would reccoment going with the new Ubuntu, it is most certainly feature-rich and has allmost no configuration need so you're up and running in no-time !

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+1 for Arch :-) –  Mk12 Jul 5 '10 at 16:26
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I suggest sticking with the Debian-derived distributions; I'm a fan of Ubuntu. You might consider "Mint", which is like Ubuntu with more fun obvious stuff -- playing movies -- built in.

"Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components. "

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

This site has squillions of options.

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I agree with S. Hoekstra. Try Arch out.

Arch is definitely a fun distro if you like to have the option to tweak parts of your system. The wiki, forums, and AUR make it very easy to add your own custom daemons or install non-standard applications. Installing community-supported AUR packages is almost as easy as installing them through the repositories. The Arch community is very helpful and fairly active. When I was playing with different window managers in Ubuntu most of my Google searches landed me on the Arch forums or on detailed tutorials on the Arch wiki.

I've used the wiki for help with converting a non-RAIDed system into a RAIDed system, configuring MPD, configuring SSH, setting up a dropbox daemon, and many other system tweaks for my Arch and my Ubuntu systems.

A word of warning: do not update your system unless you are prepared for the possibility of troubleshooting. Once in a blue moon a system update breaks X or some other package and I have to manually fix it. Fortunately, I have so far always found an explanation of the problem and a solution on the Arch forums right after it happens. That being said, you really shouldn't need to do a full update that often but with Arch's rolling release cycle there is always the possibility to do so.

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