[Techtalk] recommendation

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Thu Jun 2 22:15:39 UTC 2016

Cathy Malmrose writes:
> Can anyone recommend a flavor of Ubuntu for a friend who has an i5, 2.5 ghz
> laptop he uses for presentations only. UbuntuMate, Lubuntu, other?

What's the goal? Is regular Ubuntu too slow on his machine? (I'd be
surprised since those specs are the same as my fastest machine ...
but I've been running the lightweight Openbox window manager for so
long maybe I've lost touch with what regular desktops require these
days.) Is there some other issue, like it's too hard to start
whatever presentation program he uses? There are dozens of good
window managers and desktops, so there really is no one right answer.

The nice thing is that it doesn't matter what variant of Ubuntu he
installs -- he can install any variant, then try several different
desktops and decide which one he likes best.

If his only use is presentations, then the biggest factor might be
how to set the resolution and control how the laptop displays to
its external VGA/HDMI ports. The various desktops all have
different ways of doing that, some easier than others; or you
can skip desktops entirely and just use xrandr (that's what I do).

He may also want to check on how easy it is to turn off desktop
notifications, automatic updates and screensavers -- some desktops
are forever popping up notifications in your face, and you don't
want that happening in front of an audience. I went to a talk last
year where the presenter's Windows computer decided to do an upgrade
-- including a series of reboots -- right in the middle of his
presentation. He eventually gave up on slides and finished his talk
sans computer while we all watched the progress of his upgrade on
the screen behind him. I've never seen anything that bad from a
Linux presentation, but I have seen popups on Linux presenters'
machines about people wanting to chat, software wanting to be
upgraded, and so forth.


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