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I am putting together a box built off an AMD E-350 for a low-power file-share server. Which linux distro is the best?

(This board

2 Macs and 1 windows 7 box will be connecting.

Also, I am probably between a beginner/novice with linux (i've played around with a few distro's I can usually figure out whatever I need to in terminal...but by no means a pro) so decent UI would be nice :)

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migrated from Jun 10 '11 at 3:55

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this is off topic for stackoverflow. perhaps or – jcomeau_ictx Jun 10 '11 at 3:48
If you're going to go Linux anyways, then go ARM. You'll get much better power savings that way. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 10 '11 at 4:06

First things first: you ought to be able to configure any distribution to get low power use. The similarities far outweigh the differences. (And every distro team is working on improved power consumption, so it's not even a matter of motivation.)

First, don't run services you don't care about.

Second, use on your system to find applications that don't care about your power bill. (Last I heard, Gnome Terminal busywaited to find out when it should blink the cursor. I hope that's gone by now...)

Third, if you compile your own kernel, consider e.g. CONFIG_NO_HZ. It ought to allow the CPU to sleep for longer periods between interrupts.

Fourth, look into the kernel-provided Documentation/laptops/laptop-mode.txt file. It's a bit dated, but still provides good documentation on how to get good power savings.

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