LHS Episode #203: Choosing Your Linux Distribution

In Episode #203 of Linux in the Ham Shack, your hosts take a deep dive into the factors you should consider when choosing a Linux distribution that suits you. These are tips you can use when your computer will be used for personal use, ham shack use, office use or any other type of computing. Thank you for listening!

73 de The LHS Crew


Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “LHS Episode #203: Choosing Your Linux Distribution”

  • Moe K2JDM:

    I have several “low power” computers that I use. I found a small distro called antix 13 which would help older AMD Anthom/Intel P3 256Mb memory 30GB hard drives set ups. And it worked better than Puppy Linux. It was and is totally configurable by the user without the overhead of most others. Sure, more memory is helpful, but these older machines need help at times. Based On Debian stable (Wheeze, Jessie, and Stretch), all the security updates at imported on updates, and because of a worldwide usage it is kept updated, stable, and safe.

    Another distro I use is MX-17 (which I have worked with since MX-14). MX Linux is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS communities, using the best tools and talents from each distro. It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint. This distro uses at least an Intel i486 or AMD processor with 512 Mb of RAM memory, 5 GB of hard drive available (more is better for storage),dvd player or usb to install to your hard drive, and a sound card or onboard (AC97 or HDA-compatible) sound card.

    Both distros work great on older machines, fly on more modern machines, and scream on the hottest newest machines. Here are a couple of videos explaining them. MX-17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgb890kxsqs&t=126s AND antix 17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpdl1ES1zOg&t=1143s

    Unlike Ubuntu (and its derivatives), you do need to learn to compile drivers from source code if you have an uncommon peripheral) or ask someone to help compile it (we have many experts that do this on our forums). The vast majority of drivers for peripherals that are commonly available are included from the start. And both use less memory than Ubuntu. Try this: Reboot your computer and go right to a terminal window as root user. Type in ” ps_mem.py” ( provided you do have Python installed) and see what your memory use is. Several of our machines are in the 60 to 100 Mib memory use. Compare that to Ubuntu (which I have seen on my own computer hit 1100 Mib use).

  • Edward Williams- WB4GDH:

    keep up the Good work!

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