Changing Linux distro

inot

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Hello everyone!

I am new here and looking for some advice. Been using Mint Mate 18.3 since March 2018. Never had any issues with Mint that I couldn't resolve, but I think it's time for a change and am primarily looking to learn more about the system.

I am looking for some distro for intermediate users, leaning towards Xfce or anything without too much clutter. So far I have been doing some tweaks here and there, tried building from source and feel comfortable with cl. Using my laptop for work (usually not resource-heavy), so it should be somewhat stable, but allow (require) some more tinkering from my side.

I was thinking about giving MX a try, but I am not sure how it differs from Mint? From the descriptions on distrowatch, it seems that it is also aimed at beginners, but does it extend upon that? Also thought of tinkering with Arch or Gentoo through VirtualBox. Any advice on that?

Hardware is in the file.
 

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f33dm3bits

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i7-8550U and 8G memory can easily handle Arch since Arch is considered a lightweight distribution. If you want a graphical installer go for MX Linux, if you want to learn the different parts that are needed during the installation of your system go for Arch. I think going all the way when deciding on a Linux distro is the best way to learn the distro and get acquainted with it, so making it your daily driver. Since then it's your only choice and if something doesn't work you have to figure it out and you learn faster that way. Maybe that's just me, but do what you feel is the right way for you to learn and get acquainted with the distro you are wanting to try out.
 
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KGIII

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Also thought of tinkering with Arch or Gentoo through VirtualBox. Any advice on that?

Give it a shot. I'm a big fan of VMs and tinker with 'em regularly. I use them to learn things, test things, and just to poke around. With just 8 GB of RAM, it's going to not be optimal. You really want more RAM for virtual machines, so you can dedicate it to the guest operating systems. Still, you can get away with it.

As you've only been using Mint, my first suggestion would be learning new package managers. It's one of the largest differences and you've really only been exposed to aptitude. So, if you're going to test other distros, test some that have different package managers.
 

jglen490

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If you want to learn Linux, then any Linux distro will do. If you are looking for a better experience than Mint, you will be hard pressed. The differences among all the suggestions have more to do with presentation, and perhaps upgrades, than anything having to do with how Linux operates.

O.K., I have my own preferences, being a Kubuntu user for 14+/- years, but I'm not a big fan of any of the mentioned distros, and I don't believe a VM is going to give you a true understanding of some other distro. Running a distro in "Live" mode from an installer will do just as well. Even running a distro in a VM will require an install, so you may well just run installs on each distro.

As an extreme, there is always Linux From Scratch (LFS). You will learn a LOT, and have a Linux that's customized for you.
 

f33dm3bits

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and I don't believe a VM is going to give you a true understanding of some other distro. Running a distro in "Live" mode from an installer will do just as well. Even running a distro in a VM will require an install, so you may well just run installs on each distro.
I totally agree with that, nothing beats running a distro on hardware since you then have nothing to fallback on like you do when you are running it in a vm. I have never played around with LFS but it seems it will take a lot of time, if I ever had the time I would probably try Gentoo over LFS. When it comes to all the different Linux distributions it doesn't really matter because you can achieve the same with all of them. Only differences between distros are rolling release vs fixed release, package managers, and software philosophies. Lastly everyone has different tastes and preferences so different people will prefer different distros for different reasons.
 

bob466

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Virtualbox comes in very handy if you're trying different Linux Distros. Only you can decide what Distro is for you, I've done the Distro hopping thing and found Linux Mint and Linux Lite are for me.

Some Distros don't run very well in Virtualbox, so I'll install it on a spare HDD, but that's me.
 

jglen490

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As long as you have a backup of your data, and as long as you have the iso images (preferably already burned to USB drives) for the distros you want to try and THE DISTRO THAT HAVE, you can install any distro and return to your current distro, if needed.

Amazon and Ebay are full of inexpensive USB thumb drives. I have a parts drawer that has a pile of thumb drives, old spinners, and external enclosures that are useful for so many things.
 

TNFrank

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I just moved from Debian to openSUSE. I'm still using the KDE desktop though since it's one that works well for me. Only had one "issue" with the need to install codecs so VLC would work. You might give it a try.
 
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