Workstation for NethServer Management - OS & Softwares

Hi all,

A friend of mine gave me his old HP8560P portable: i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50 Ghz / 8.00 GB Ram / 1 TB Disk.

I would like to use it as a new workstation for NethServer management.


  • What is the best Linux OS to install ?
  • What are the best additionnal softwares to use for managing NethServer ?
  • Other bells and whistle ?

All suggestions appreciated,



ZorinOS, Filezilla and Putty is all what i need to manage my Nethserver.



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Salut Michel-André

I’d try out Debian Mate…

A good Browser (Firefoy-esr), Thunderbird (To test & also to use mail), the usual Linux components (mc, nano, htop, screen).

I’d also add in Disk Tools like testdisk-photorec (Best Partition recoverer there is!), gparted, etc.
These can help eg with a USB SATA Adapter…

RDP (remmina), gKrellm (Gui system load monitor), maybe also Virtualbox or KVM…

Maybe also snmp/snmpd for Zabbix Monitoring of your Notebook!

The Notebook is with an i5 and 8 GB RAM fairly powerful for a Linux Notebook!

My 2 cents

PS: If the HD is easily swapped, add in an SSD, that box will run!

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Hi Andy,

Yes, my eight years old notebook runs like a horse with 4 gb ram and 500 gb ssd.



Some Linux has so much bloat nowadays, but it’s still a tenth of what Win10 brings along… :slight_smile:

And if you are a great fan of win10, you can also use linuxfx as OS for your notebook.

Yes, that’s true

Well, I did suggest Virtualbox or KVM…

To test AD and Windows in any NethServer…

hi @michelandre,

Confession upfront: My daily driver is MS Windows :frowning: but work on a linux-desktop, most virtual machines, at least once per week; this out of the way like to share my experience. :grinning:

I switch distro’s quite regularly where Debian is my goto-falback choice. At the time of writing using CentOS 8 Stream (promised to revisit it)

Because I switch often, always using xfce as desktop because:

  • all generic distro’s have it
  • it is quite light wight: easy to connect to over VNC or RDP and runs on arm.
  • I know it very well
  • have my favorite theme in my ; its to my liking in no-time.

If the install is on real hardware I always prepare for a multi-boot system, do this om my arm systems too. (as said, switch distribution often) This can be a bit cumbersome with the installers, end the end it never failed. This also means to plan partitioning, especially if a GPT participation is not possible and toy are bound to MBR. (Switched a my x86_64 hardware installs to uefi)
This partitioning scheme includes a partition for data, which gets mounted in all installs.

Your intention is for most administrating Nethserver and your question implies you did not work a lot with linux desktops…
If this is the case you maybe best of with a RPM, YUM/DNF based distro like Fedora or Mageia.

grtz, Mark

BTW one of the most loved peaches of software by me:
M$ vscode (cannot work without it :stuck_out_tongue:)

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HowTo install Ubuntu Mate 20.04 …

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Hi all,

Thank you all for your suggestions, I tried all of them.

Currently, I am inclined to choose Debian even though I have never used it before.




Hi Michel-André

Even if you’ve never driven a Mercedes Benz before in your life, only “other” car brands, you’ll find the steering wheel where you expect it, in front of you. There’s no joystick, like in a plane.
The gas pedal? Same as every other car…

Except the fuel efficiency and weight! This one is sleek!

My 2 cents

If a smooth UI is important to you, Linux Mint would also be worth a look.

Windows for me too.
Plus putty, several browsers (Firefox is my daily browser), VMware Player (hack and slash testbench for client and test installations), some time tracking tool, WinSCP, text editor better than Windows’ notepad, way for create howtos, checklists, end users- infocards, setup-walkthrough (screen recording, office automation). A nice backup tool (Veeam for Windows). A cloud storage account (third tier of docs backup). A good antivirus (sometimes is not “that” cheap).
And a quite big NAS (for a single person) for backups and copies. With a lot of users, restrictive ACLs, a paper with all the passwords of the NAS and of keychains.
By the way, time to control if the fattening rebuild of the customer NAS is ended.

Only one good choice : fedora

You can build rpm and have always the last rpm version. It is a 6 months release but you can miss one release because each version is maintained 12 months

For the desktop I would go to gnome, a old habit

Virtualization you have the choice, VirtualBox (easy but with drawbacks) or kvm and virt-manager

If you have some money I would change the spinning disk to a ssd