Help me choose a Distro! Dell E1505


Limp Gawd
Nov 12, 2006
So I have my MCP exam tomorrow and want to go back to Linux on my laptop. I have included the necessary information as to what I am looking for:

Specs of my laptop:

nVidia 7300
C2D 1.6G
1.5GB DDR2
Intel 54Mbps wireless card
SD card slot (gets used for pictures)

What I am looking for:

I am looking for something that will provide the opportunity to learn. I don't mind compiling, as long as I have the information to do so. I will store pictures on the computer as well as use it for my degree in Network & Computer Security. I will need to use wireless with no headaches. Like I said, if I need to compile the driver, that's ok, but once I compile it I want it to work.

I have used Ubuntu in the past, but it was a bit too easy.

I want to be able to get everything installed and running within a day.

Would Gentoo or Slackware be ideal?

What are your suggestions and why?


Ninja Editor SuperMod
Dec 15, 2005
From what I can remember from my last foray with Gentoo many moons ago, it's gonna take a lot longer than a day to get everything installed and running.

Anyway, most Linux distros are becoming easier and easier to install and get up and running within a matter of hours with. In fact many linux distros today require little to no compiling . However, just because Ubuntu is easy to use doesn't mean you can't compile programs on it. There are still some apps out there that still need to be compiled for use with Ubuntu.

With that said, check out Slackware. I think there's a bit of learning curve there if my memory serves me right. It's been about year since I've last used any Linux distro other than Sabayon Linux and Ubuntu (What can I say? I'm lazy)


[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2008
Aug 14, 2006
I will second Slackware... your going to have a hell of a time getting Gentoo installed in a day (from what I understand.. haven't tried it, I'm lazy as well;) )

And you can learn plenty using Ubuntu.. I know it's easy and all, but there is still a lot to learn with it.
Jun 24, 2001
I suggest debian. If you do a basic install, you will boot for the first time with no garbage installed and you can get going easily. I have the e1405 and I had wireless and widescreen res. working within an hour or two.

I am also partial to apt and debian packages. I just can't deal with resolving dependencies for packages on my own. It's more a waste of time than a learning experience to me.