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Because I can, I installed Ubuntu on my Chromebook using crouton. The desktop is xfce, which isn't my favourite, but it's really fast and takes me back to the days of old when I ran Linux full-time on an ancient PC.

This has reawakened my curiosity for different distros, so I've been running Debian in VirtualBox on my iMac, and playing around with live images of Fedora and Ubuntu (I'm not crazy about Ubuntu; I feel like the entire project has gone in a direction that isn't for me).

A lot of people have suggested that I try Mint, so I grabbed the iso for Mint 16, but I can not get it to run in a VirtualBox at all. (Well, that's not entirely accurate: once or twice I got it to load the desktop, but when I tried to install it nothing happened.) I looked online for tutorials on getting Mint to work with VirtualBox, but nothing solved my particular issue. Does anyone here have experience getting Mint 16 to work in the latest version of VirtualBox? I'm using the defaults with the Ubuntu64 settings.

I love just about everything about my Macbook Pro and my iMac, so I don't see myself going Linux full time again, but I really do love being able to explore tons of open source packages, and play with different kernel options, desktops, and all those things that I don't need to do, but still have fun doing, anyway.
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as soon as Steam ports my favorite game to Linux we are wiping windows from my pc! I all ready have Mint on my pc with windows. 
Sounds like a problem with 3D acceleration from VirtualBox. Do you have it enabled in Display? 
FWIW, I've been a Fedora-hater for years, but as of Fedora 19 and 20 I'm using it full time and loving it. A learning curve on the RPM/YUM family of programs vs dpkg/apt.
They don't look like they're updating as much as they used to, but has a load of pre-build linux Virtual Box images, including several Mint installs. Makes trying out some distros in a VB laughably easy. 
I've been  playing around with PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu in VirtualBox too. I had never considered Linux to be anything but an enthusiast thing, but I dig it. I'll always keep a PC running Windows for gaming, but I think I'll roll with ChromeOS or Ubuntu for my day-to-day internetting.
Try a different flavour of Ubuntu. I HATE where Ubuntu has gone, in terms of, well, everything. But Xubuntu, Kubuntu (my fav of the 'buntus), as well as the whole Linux Mint suite, you have a lot of options. Im running Arch on all of my systems now. My workstation, Raspberry Pi, and laptop, and I couldnt be happier. 
Crouton is great, it's also easy to try different desktops.
OSX is an expensive, wannabe Linux distro. You just havent tried the right Linux distro. 
Try +Arch Linux! It takes some work, but I can't think of a better way to learn Linux! 
I'm running Linux Mint with Mate as my base OS. I've used Ubuntu when it first came out but when it switched to touchscreen, I switched to Mint. :)
Mike E
Running Linux on Mac....brilliant.  Mint is OK, but I will always be a Ubuntu guy.  Running 12.04 on a laptop almost 10 years old.  Works better than my winblows xp pc
If you like messing with stuff like that, you should try arch Linux, nothing is installed but the Linux essentials and some Ethernet drivers, you setup the rest. Tons of work, but lots of fun. 
Brad D
I ran Mepis Linux on my laptop for several years, until Starcraft 2 came out and forced me into Win7. I might move back to it as a dual boot once I get my gaming rig (would have to keep windows in some form for work). 
+Brad D if you do, grab another hard drive and install it in that, it's a huge pain to keep both OS's happy with each other. 
My work laptop is a Macbook Pro and I have Linux Mint 16 running in Virtual Box. I had problems at first, but I realized that I was trying to use wrong settings with each other. IIRC, I downloaded the 64 bit .iso and tried installing it with 32 bit settings, lol. Fail. I don't recall anything out of the ordinary when I finally got it working. I think I just tried installing it with the right settings and it worked. I'll take a look when I get home and see if I can do it all again, while taking note of what I did, and I'll get back to you, if you don't figure it out before then.

I think it's awesome that you're trying out these different versions of Linux. I'm doing that, too, so it's neat to see what you think of the different distros.
I run Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 because I am sick and tired of f***ing with all that s**t.  I just want something that works and won't break. :)
+Scott Ashley I recently installed Arch on an old netbook of mine.  Had a lot of fun and learned a lot just by installing it.  Now I'm just trying to get I3 window manager configured the way i want it.
I've been working on mine for some time.  There's always some problem or another.  For instance, in the end all I get is  a terminal login prompt instead of a GUI.

Also, the way you activate it is a bit alarming for those who are not initiated, such as a grand mother wanting to play java games from pogo.  You have to do things like Ctrl+L or ctrl+d.  Frankly, when you do this install it should take you directly into Linux and not wait in chrome for you to hit some hot keys.
Fedora and KDE is my 'wife approved choice'. Community sympathy was a major part of that decision. How things change once you know the people behind it.

Speaking of which, for xfce on Fedora, bugs go to +Christoph Wickert in case you run into issues. ;-) 
The only problem I had with Mint running on my PC's virutalbox was needing to enable 3D acceleration.  Installation and booting was fine, but software rendering makes it uselessly slow when acceleration is turned off.  (Using cinnamon, btw.)
+Wil Wheaton  try the free trial of VMWare Fusion 6 for using virtual machines on a Mac. It really makes it a lot smoother to use. I have Mint16, Fedora20, Win7 and Win8 machines all running no problem with usb passthrough and hell even Wireshark works over a bridged network connection.
I love Crouton. It's great for when I need to program in compiled languages.

I've never used Mint, but if you're interested in a light weight distro, check out CrunchBang. It uses the Openbox window manager. It helped my old boxes stay relevant to my needs until I replaced them with my Chromebook.
Tried Linux loads of times, I think I'm too thick for it.
Uli S
Heh, next thing you're installing FreeBSD on that Chromebook
Curious +Wil Wheaton : which Chromebook are you using? I'm a Pixel guy myself, but I've used them all for work purposes.
now as soon as Linux is wide-spread supported by game developers and has an appropriate answer to Office (sorry Open and Libre are just too ... not for me) I can finally fully switch.
Will, if you want to go 'harcore', skip slackware, arch and gentoo and go check out the Linux from Scratch project.  Compile all the thing from source!
Throwing in another vote for Arch Linux.  It will not be as boilerplate as Ubuntu, by any means, but it gives you a ton of control right up front.  I followed this tutorial on how to get it running quickly/easily:

Also, gaming on Linux is getting better and better mainly due to Steam.  Portal 2 works pretty flawlessly on my Ubuntu 14.04 gaming rig (with an NVIDIA GTX 780).  Hopefully some day Blizzard will take an interest in supporting Linux for gaming and then millions of people would have Linux as an option (without having to try running on WINE).
GNOME 3 (aka gnome-shell) is my DE of choice. Ubuntu + gnome-shell + is the way I roll.
For a more pure GNOME3 experience try the Ubuntu GNOME distro.
+Wil Wheaton although partial to Mint (used for nearly 6 years) I don't have a mint/virtualbox answer for you. However, give Manjaro, ementaryOS or bodhi a spin. They are all three fun and light...
Throwing in a vote for Arch.  Takes a bit of setup but the end result is about as good as it gets because it's all stuff you want.
Wil I've stepped away from Ubuntu myself. Going with Debian itself, its more of a normal Linux experience you'd expect. The whole ubiquity desktop is a joke.
I'm all for checking out different distros, but for simplicity, I prefer Mint over Ubuntu, especially the cinnamon interface.
I did the same on my CR-48 with Ubuntu. Brought it back to life.
If you're looking to dig deep and play with stuff like kernel options, Gentoo might be fun for you to play with.
What about the "direction" did you not like of Ubuntu? Considering Apple is the farthest thing removed from OpenSource there is.
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!
i always seem to fall back to fedora.  my new favorite, though, is #!(crunchbang).  excellent, lightweight distribution based on debian.  not for the uninitiated, I admit.
+Wil Wheaton  You once gave me some advice on switching from a Windows-based web host to a Linux-based one.  It was about .htaccess.

Anyway, I highly recommend using some distro that's forked from Ubuntu but uses a different interface. Ubuntu is stable, solid, and works with just about everything.  I'm using Xubuntu, which is working on an ancient laptop and a netbook.
I hope that with the coming of Ubuntu Touch enabled phones and the release of the latest LTS of Ubuntu this coming April you might feel a bit more positive about it again :)
I've been running suse on a 64bit PC for awhile now. I remember the 30 floppy disk install of Linux back in the 90's.
I use Mageia everyday on my macbook pro, using refit as a bootloader. Works nicely. Have a try.
After watching a Linux install dump twice and then a windows install being put back on the PC no issues a decade and a half ago... I stick to windows :-)  I have messed around with Ubuntu booting from a CD though and it's pretty neat.  I remember harassing one of my student workers about his MacBook... I didn't realize his was crashing on him all the time LoL.  My celeron based on windows XP with barely enough memory... chugged along w/o a hitch doing the same tasks :-)  Not until 2000'ish were you permitted to use anything but apple products with apple!  But for some reason MS got labeled as the stiff?

I'm not a huge fan of the company Apple in general.  I realize they led the charge with fully assembled products in China.  Their insane profit margins stemming from ultra cheap labor.  Very uncool and I'd rather toy with a good book then anything labeled "Apple".  I assemble my own PCs.  Apple is a huge swear word in my house :-)

Linux is fun to toy with but outside of having a real business reason to use older software why bother :-)  Linux and Apple are late to get current software.
The biggest difficulty I encountered running various flavors of Linux on laptops is getting good battery life. It can be done but seem to have to make so many hardware specific tweaks. Not that that is Linux's fault though (ahem, Mr. Gates).
+Wil Wheaton As others have mentioned, try Elementary OS. If you're a Mac guy, you'll like it. 
I did the same thing with one of the original CR-48 Chromebooks and never looked back (Ubuntu) - you can do so much more with limited hardware and Linux. And, you're right: it's fun!

Running Debian on a Raspberry Pi is also pretty darn cool!
If you Google "crouton chromebook" this post is the #2 result
Shouldn't be a surprise that G+ threads show up rather quickly in Google search results :-)
I spent a month on Ubuntu and never did get used to the GUI; I figured a month was a long enough trial.  

I switched to Lubuntu, a lightweight variant without all the new-fangled GUI crap I didn't like.  I understood Lubuntu within 30 seconds of the install.  Been running it about 6 months and it just works with very few annoyances.
+Wil Wheaton While I haven't tried Mint 16, the first thing I'd want to know is if you're trying to run/install the Cinnamon edition, or the MATE edition.

Cinnamon is a 3D Accelerated desktop, forked from Gnome 3, so I'd make sure that 3D Acceleration is enabled in the VM options.

MATE is forked from Gnome 2, and doesn't.

Knowing which you're trying to use, and if the other works, might help narrow down the source of the problem.
Where is my fork organizer?
+Wil Wheaton , I'd have to agree with +Jason Berry , and perhaps take a ride down the GNOME 3 path on Ubuntu.  I'm running Fedora 20 for work, and various Ubuntu flavours on my desktops at home.  Gnome 3 with extensions, does make ubuntu less jarring than Unity -- although I have gotten used to Unity as well.  (EDIT:  I have tried Mint as well... I just keep running into other little issues with Mint)
I much approve of xfce in that it keeps it simple, and makes it really easy to attatch scripts to everything. It is a big leap in interface difference from Mac, but once you make it yours, it's hard to go back. :)
I'm running mint with cinnamon. Ran on my 10year desktop like butter.
Currently running Mint on an old Macbook. If you have the time and want to learn a lot about linux, do Arch. Unfortunatly, I don't have the time, so I run Mint :)
+Chris Fisher should have you on the Linux Action Show to discuss, the internet would explode.
If you want something like Ubuntu but a little bit less "heavy" and without most of Unity, then Lubuntu is probably worth looking at (LDXE based). I switched after Ubuntu also started going in the wrong direction for me. If it keeps going the wrong way, I may go back to Debian, though I'm going to wait till the whole systemd change over has gotten to somewhere stable before I go back to Debian (been a Deb user for many many years).
Wil, the only distro for you is Red Shirt Enterprise Linux. :)
I think you would quite enjoy elementary OS. 
I have not run Mint in virtual box so I do not have much to say about it (worked fine in VMware and KVM).  I do not care for the standard Ubuntu flavor but I have been enamored of Kubuntu.  I run it on most of my PC's other then a few lower powered laptops that I run gentoo based Calculate on.  I know kubuntu runs well in VMware and KVM and I have no experience with virtual box to give you any real info on it there.  
+Wil Wheaton for virtual boxes you should consider Tiny Core Linux, it starts really small but pretty much everything is an optional module (which are just well organized tarballs).
Strike the proprietary Operating Systems down with all of your hatred, and your journey to the geek side will be complete. 
James E
If I ever got a Chromebook the first thing I'd do is install linux. I can't see the point in having a machine that's nothing more than a browser. The phone I had 5 years ago had more functionality than that.
Have been using Ubuntu for nearly 10 years without looking back. Ubuntu works better than any other distro I've used.
+Paul Jacobs Future? Come on. AOL and Compuserve had the same look and feel as Win8 and Metro way back in the early 90's (and in ANSI text ffs). Plus, Win8/8.1 are so inconsistent in how you do things you simply cannot be productive. I actually like Win7 (best MS product, ever, by far) but the whole Win8+ thing is a big step backwards, and a real mistake by MS IMO.

Unfortunately, the big companies don't care about building something stable, useful or productive to use (this includes Apple, Ubuntu and a number of other commercial Linux distributors). They only care about "new features" to suck in the reviewers and pundits.

I prefer something I can actually use, as compared to something that looks pretty yet is quite useless. 
+Stuart Young I agree 100%. Thankfully, I'm happy with Fedora 20 + XFCE. Gnome 3 is just stupid in workflow layouts etc.

XFCE is the closest thing to Gnome 2 in workflow - which is great.
Arch is my distro of choice, but I don't think I can recommend it. I figure people have to find their way home to Arch. 
+Wil Wheaton  you should check out Manjaro Linux.  Its based on Arch and everything works out of the box. Robust, stable, and leading edge. 
I do the same thing. I'll always get nostalgic running fvwm2 on Debian.

I was just searching today for the status of installing Debian on either a Chromebook or a Windows 8 tablet (like the Lenovo Miix).

And I'm definitely not liking Ubuntu that much these days either (I just played with 13.10 this week).

Either way though, fun stuff!
I know how you feel about Ubuntu, after 10.04 it kind of took a dump as far as I was concerned. I do enjoy Kubuntu, which I am using right now but my personal favorite linux is Manjaro. If you every get a chance, take a look at Spatry's Cup of Linux on Youtube. He does a great job of reviewing linux operating systems and he even does some tutorials.
I've not had problems running Mint in Vbox, but it's been a while since I've tried it in Vbox. On my work computer, I have Bodhi in Vbox as something different to fool around with in my free time. I dual boot Mint and Win7 on this computer. What sort of problems were you having with it?
I installed both Ubuntu and Bodhi on an Acer c720. It worked wonderfully. But I do have a Pixel and no laptop can compare to that piece of hardware. If you get the chance, try one'll NEVER go back. ;-)
Ubuntu helped me un-brick a laptop running the evil Windows 8 that bricked after an update. BIOS was trashed. Learned to love Ubuntu.
Linux mint is definitely the best. I use it on 4 of my 6 home pcs. 
What's great is that your Chromebook already runs Linux :)

For your VirtualBox installations, why use a GUI at all? I have been a strong proponent of desktop Linux for about 15 years, but if you are happy with the Mac desktop, why replace it? The command line offers all of the tools the point-and-click have, just with a keyboard interface.

The command line installations offer a great deal of opportunity to expand your *Nix experience. Several people in this comment thread have offered quite a few very good selections, but all of that is immaterial. Everyone saying which distro is better is a lot like saying white toast is superior to rye.

I have used quite a few distributions, and I don't have any problems finding the good and the bad in each. For starting, you have two roads to pick: one that handles a lot and leaves only high-level details and one that leaves you with a flint and steel in the raining woods. Both build character. Choose your adventure wisely.

For the "easy" way, Ubuntu LTS offers a lot of packages, a great community of supporters, and a wealth of documentation. On the other side there is Gentoo Linux. Gentoo makes you more or less compile your operating system from source. They too have an awesome forum community and a lot of resources, but there is a lot less hand-holding when it comes to configuring applications. Read about both and see what you like. I discourage the path of BSD for command-line-only usage. If you don't know why you need BSD, then that's why you don't use it. BSD is good at a lot of things. Just not user friendliness.

If you choose to go the pure-CLI direction, your VirtualBox woes will be simplified. Dramatically. On your Mac, you may also get better mileage by using VMWare Player (which is free, just find an existing image) or Parallels Desktop.

Besides, once you can write simple scripts in Bash with Curl to interact with your favorite websites, all of your friends will be jealous of your "skillz".
Right now I've got a Dell Mini10 whose main function is gathering  dust.  After trying Joli on a Virtual Box, my next step is to see what it can do for this slow puppy.
I'm running Ubuntu 13.10 on the home-built computer, OpenMediaVault on the NAS/server and different Linux-based OS'es on the other devices (phone, t.v., media player). I'm sorry. What's that? Did you say Apple? Micro-what now?
For a real learning experience, try Linux from scratch. It's enlightening :)

That said, I have to defend Ubuntu. I use it, don't love it as much as I want to love a Linux distro, but still have to say it's the only distro I would put in front of my parents, the sales guy at work, etc.

Ignoring all the specific differences, IMHO that demands some respect. Linux geeks have been claiming for almost as long as I've been using it (mid to late 90s) that Linux is ready for the consumer desktop, and frankly it's not much closer than it was then - except for Ubuntu, ChromeOS and Android, basically.

That's not to say Ubuntu is great... If I get started, I can rant for ages about how it sucks. But it's still the least painful experience from where I am sitting. 
I use Ubuntu for my work desktop and have for years, but when they covered it in touchcreenisms it required some tweaking to make it sane again.  I keep meaning to reinstall with Mint or something.
My 5 year old laptop now has a buntu on it, but I picked the wrong distro and the poor thing is having trouble, so I'll be killin that for mint or something soon.
What I'm most familiar with is RedHat type stuff, so I should be using Fedora, but I've found that it's been just too unstable with it's rapid adoption of new stuff.  And buntu tends to have slightly better inbuilt driver support.
I think what I'm trying to say is distro choice isn't an easy thing, and the choice varies depending on what you're going to be doing.
This post has blown into full size nerdarama... So... I run Mint and OSX in dual boot without any issues on my MBP. Personal preference I guess. Never been comfortable with the whole yum experience, feel like apt is more comfortable as a daily driver. 
Another vote for Arch.  A lot of work setting it up but you learn a whole heap in the process.  The system has your own touch on it and the packages are generally relatively unchanged from their upstream sources.  The AUR fills in any blanks missing from the official repos nicely.  Also, everything is at the latest version on a rolling release!
+Johua De Santo if you don't like libreoffice, try Kingsoft Office for Linux. It's not as polished as Ms Office but it is free.
Will...or is it Mr. Wheaton? I didn't understand one word of that, but your still awesome!
+Wil Wheaton any time any linux distro goes to Virtualbox, I find I need the 32 bit version.  Sure, you're losing a bit of processor power this way, but Vbox seems to work much easier.
+Greg Mentzell has it right. Anytime I'm running an OS in a VM, 32bit is the way to go. You do get bottle-necked a little bit, but if you are installing it just to play around and get a feel for how the desktop works and some of the features and what-have-you, it won't make any difference other that it will be more stable and responsive. (All my own personal exp.) 
Strange, used mint for many years now and never had a problem (especially with virtual box). I did have a problem with uefi on my laptop when I installed but I managed to fix it.  All else fails try the lts release that tends to be the most reliable :-) 
el dedo
+Rōnin Dusette I ran Linux for ages,  then discovered I could have Mac and Linux both, so the best of both worlds... 
Linux is great for preventing viruses or ever having women over.
I've had the exact same issues with Mint in VirtualBox. I actually just installed it on an old computer instead. I prefer it over vanilla Ubuntu for sure. 
Why did an American type "favourite" in the title post instead of "favorite?"

Big up for using the correct, British, spelling though as we did create the language (along with the Germans and Greeks, but like in The Big Bang Theory, you are confused and irrelevant.  Now kindly fuck off back to the Next Generation where you will be unilaterally mocked.
I just created am ESXI host Machine and fun 3-4 VM's from VCenter. There I can build different flavors of Linux as I wish and don't impact my "production" laptops or desktops.
Tried VMware player instead of virtualbox?
Nick MG
Manjaro is based on Arch, simple enough to install, running XFCE right now as a full time OS.
I too am an apple sellout.  I run vmware products and find the apple desktop nice buuuut... i can say that I know more about linux than apple.  It's difficult to use a sleek device like a retina laptop and not use apple exclusively.  I may grow a pair and just run debian in a few months.
Steam has a lot to answer for - my husband dragged out his old linux box yesterday for the first time in years too! ;-) 
Skimming some of these comments, I haven't seen a suggestion for openSUSE, so here it is. I've been using it for a few years now, but still love it despite a few minor things.
I think SUSE was the distro I had once upon a time with a tetris game for while you were waiting for the install.  Fecking awesome and bl00dy good thinking.
FDO is still trying to find it's place. I mean Ubuntu is great, but they've torn so far away from user demand that their method is obviously not the right one. We'll keep trying though. Good luck +Wil Wheaton 
+Wil Wheaton Love and respect your geek :-) (This version of older "Gordy" is a lot cooler than the movie LOL)
+Wil Wheaton, as +Justin Calhoun mentioned, it may have something to do with the version of Mint you're trying to install. I downloaded the KDE version to try, and I'm having issues with getting it installed. The issue I'm having is that I can't seem to get the mouse to work. Weird.

I have Cinnamon installed in my other VM, which is the one that I installed at work. I downloaded the .iso again and installed it just fine.

Which version are you trying, Wil? I downloaded MATE as well, and I'll give that a shot next. I'll see what I can find out. I'm not an expert; I'm actually a beginner. I'd love to help you figure this out, though, if I can spare the time to investigate.
+Wil Wheaton Those of use who use lots of different applications (we have lots of tricks up our sleeve) are probably not too happy about Unity. For those folks who never run more than 6 applications (and 6 will be pushing it) Unity is perfect.
I wish I could have seen a more complete opinion on +GNOME coming from somebody who has always used Mac. After all I still believe GNOME is the only Desktop project that has really gained traction and a relevant UI direction. Which means basically that is feels really great to use and it helps you make the most of your computer.
I'm running LinuxMint 16 in VirtualBox on my Mac.  Make sure you up the vdi disk image to 16gb and I bump the ram up to 2gb.  Then select settings for the soon to be installed LinuxMint and select storage and assign the iso to the controller ide.  I love Ubuntu but it has gotten bloated so now I'm torn between LinuxMint 16 (Cinnamon) and Lubuntu.
Wil, I highly recommend you try elementaryOS.  It's a derivative of Ubuntu.  I personally prefer it to Mint.  Ubuntu uses Unity, Mint uses Cinnamon, whereas eOS uses Pantheon.

One of the guys behind eOS, Dan Rabbit, is massively influence by Apple and their designs.  The whole OS feels very polished and stable (even though it has a beta label still).

Give it a go, you won't regret it! ;)
I know you've received a lot of distro recommendations, so, FWIW, I'll toss my own out there. I'd recommend Korora Linux. Its based on Fedora 20. It is to Fedora what Ubuntu/Mint is to Debian.  I opted for the Gnome 3.10 version. I was never really fond of RPM based distros since I ran into RPM Hell back when I ran RedHat 5 on my old DEC Alpha box. But I will admit, that a tweaked Gnome 3.10 w/extensions and Yum extender has changed my mind. I've been running it for about a month and a half now and have converted all of my Linux boxes over to Korora.
+John Brosan
Korora 20 is pretty good. I have issues with K19 though, didn't finish the install on an HP laptop with an AMD. Ever. works fine on an i-7, and on vmware and on vbox - on the intel i-7
Sounds awesome!! I wanna try downloading that. Thank you for the recommendation
+Daniel Sprouse e I had some issues with K19, but it was an issue with one of the repos. I never ran it on an AMD lappy, but it ran great on my old AMD 1090T tower.
Last time I checked, 99% of open source was written on Mac. As Linux (Ubuntu, mint etc) is a version of iOS without the rainbow logo. Ps 16 should run on anything. Give it it's own disc space. Don't io box it. Give it 10gig hard drive space. If in doubt ask again and I'll check it out for you. 
Pretty sure half the comments on Google+ are devoted to this single post.
I would recommend that you try ElementaryOS +Wil Wheaton ( Luna is the latest release, it's still alpha but I have had only minimal problems running it on a late 2008 MacBook Unibody. I did have to install a lib to get the brightness working, and if I let it suspend then I sometimes get weird graphic artefacts when I wake it u, but I suspect both are to do with my specific hardware, later hardware should be fine (based on other posts that I've read). I've also run ElementaryOS as a VM on Virtual Box (from within Ubuntu) using the default settings for Ubuntu 64, works quite well (only prob is when I install and use chrome, when using auto search the screen goes white).
'on ya mate. IMHO it makes little difference which distro you use. Ubuntu has the packages and support to make your experience smoother. Swap in/out the components you want. I got into Linux years ago building a Linux file/media server and Linux frontends around the house. Very satisfying stuff! 
Recently tried emmabuntus 2 on a old HP laptop I had second thoughts of recycling recently. For the sake of it a core2duo 7100 with 2gb. Runs like a champ. Breathed new life into this old laptop like Rudy Wells to Steve Austin. Highly Recommended !!
Tim JP
Arch Linux is the best Linux. Definately worth the learning curve if you are ok with a distro that is user centric instead of user friendly. It empoweres you to do all kind of greats stuff. It also has the best package manager and biggest community repo in the world. 
Another vote for crunchbang, it screams on my thinkpad 
Hey +Wil Wheaton, I work for Canonical on the Community team. I'd love to hear what parts of Ubuntu's direction you didn't like and what we can do about it.
Being an Ubuntu user myself, I don't particularly care for the new GUI, I like the idea of a universal interface and see the hardware of the future using such an interface on everything, but I think the hardware isn't fully there yet.  I myself like the Enlightenment interface as it is quick, and works on 90% of my older hardware as well as my new hardware.  Just my $0.02
Maybe try something lxde based if you want to. I like both lxle and lubuntu.
+Jonathan Alexander not really a pain. Depends on the boot loader you pick. Grub is very sufficient for what a dual boot Windows and Linux setup needs to be .
+Johua De Santo you don't need OpenOffice for your presentations and documents. Try out Google Docs. Spreadsheets and presentations are way better and lighter than what proprietary bloat such as Microsoft Office suites will offer. Secondly, Google Docs supports Microsoft Office standards just fine. Butter smooth by now. 
+Justin Nichols I second that. Arch is awesome. And gaming on Arch is pretty awesome since its very lightweight. No bloat. Plus, if you have an NVIDIA GPU, you're good to go . AMD GPUs and APUs , not so much. Catalyst is kinda flaky on Linux at the moment.
+Edward Huyer indeed. There's no harm in tuning every compiled bit of software with --mtune=native.
I think you have all missed the point here.  He didnt ask for your favorite distributions, nor did he ask which ones worked the best as a desktop OS.  He said he didnt like the direction that Ubuntu is taking, I brought up Black Lab Linux because even tho we are Ubuntu based we take a different path where we follow the lead of the mainstream community vs the Ubuntu route.  But nonetheless, the Linux desktop now is just as usable and just as good as Windows, and the Mac.  But the direction that Ubuntu is taking is what is in question here.  Not which distro is the best.  And I think its pretty funny that the users have been complaining about the route Ubuntu is taking and the Ubuntu team didnt care, yet when they get a celebrity who starts questioning that same route, immediately we have a Canonical guy who wants to know whats wrong with the direction.  If nothing else that comes of this I thank Wil for bringing it up because who knows, it may get them to rethink certain strategies.  But, Im glad to see other distros get mentioned because its a testemant to the hard work we as distributors do to bring you our ideas and ideals.   Thats what Linux is all about, not which one is the best.  There is no best.  I can find 10 people that love Linux Mint and I can find you 10 people that hate Linux Mint.  Its the same with all the others.
I'm so happy to see a celebrity promoting Linux other than Linus Torvalds LOL
i usually play around with 3D/2D acceleration when i have ISO issues. also try enabling/disable PAE/NX kernal support. 
I've read a lot of good talk about putting Ubuntu on Chromebooks, and since I got mine people have been recommending it to me.
will Weaton send To Travis Mcgwatters 
Emaildreses June 30th. hes going to be 29
youngman  likes you untrograph 
From you 
Wil, have you tried Kubuntu 13.10? I wasn't so happy with the stock Gnome interface with Ubuntu proper but I love the interface in Kubuntu. Lots of stuff customize and it is stable and fast on my older I3 Intel processor. Good luck and I love your parts on The Big Bang Theory!
+Randy Fadler I love most Ubuntu branches, I even liked Unity before they started to tread on us.  But one thing I noticed, and maybe it is something Im doing, on one of my test machines I have no accelerated graphics on it, so the driver is a stock kernel driver.  Now on Kubuntu, if I do security updates something always breaks the xserver to where it will not start and it only happens under Kubuntu.  Ever heard of anything like that?
I would recommend Mr. Weaton STRONGLY look at the latest
release of LinuxMint, 17.1....I have some of the same concerns
about Ubuntu. LinuxMint lets you have Ubuntu without the
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