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My favorite Linux distro is Android. Wait, does that count?
Seen Maemo in coffee machines
What about modem/routers ?
I won't count it, since Android diverged from conventional Linux on a deep level - incompatible core C library (bionic) and as result incompatible drivers and totally different architecture which doesn't share effort with the rest of the Linux world. I'd consider Android a completely different breed than what you call a Linux distro.
Slackware and Debian.
The best one is the one where you are ready to invest your time learning it. As long as you don't, then there is no best one.
For me, nothing beat Gentoo. As a developer, I love the extra flexibility and how compiling software, something I do all day long, is so part of the core philosophy. I also like Debian a lot.
http://ompldr.org/vZnozNQ Edited 2012-10-22 05:36 UTC
So user-centric distros are irrelevant to you, as a developer? That could explain why the year of Linux desktop was always a year+ away...
RHEL is what I like for business, I recommend it to customers and I work with it every day. I think It's the most business friendly linux out there (and IMHO the only "sane" Linux distro on par with commercial Unix offerings).
For personal use, I prefer FreeBSD or Mac OS X. Linux is a PITA, I only use it when somebody pays me for doing that! xD
Same here. I run all my servers on RHEL or CentOS.
Rock solid, does what it says on the tin.
Eacy to install all sorts of software that my customer us in real life especially IBM WebSphere(MQ, WAS and Message Broker etc)
But anything with a LSB / directory structure will do me fine.
I use Fedora on desktops but Gnome 3 is a total disaster (so far)a nd I consider it to be in the same class as Unity or even Metro as a WFT class of interface. I'm waiting for the next fedora with Gnome 3.5 to see if it is anymore usable.
But with the 10yr life of RHEL/CentOS, it might be a long time before I have to move away from Gnome 2
Nailed it. I think the article should have broken up most popular desktop from most popular server. People do use ubuntu server, but not nearly as much as RHEL/CENTOS/Scientific.
I'm sure this might just start a flame war within a flame war, but RPM is in another class when compared to apt. I'd trust apt for desktops, but not servers.
Not this old chestnut again.
Yes many years ago I like many used to suffer from 'RPM Hell'.
In recent years, I hardly ever use 'rpm' directly. Yum and Packagekit makes 'RPM Hell' a thing of the past IMHO.
Also, many package producers have got their act sorted out so that wierd dependencies are included in the package they are supplying.
Sadly, Oracle RDBMS still needs some wierd rpm's to install correctly but this is down to Oracle being a PITA when it comes to any Linux apart from their own.
Linux is a PITA compared to FreeBSD ? Are you sure about that ?
I have had to maintain both in server environments, I would never use FreeBSD as my desktop OS, FreeBSD without the GNU utilities is just balls, same with Sun Solaris as it goes, nothing beats BASH that is just my personal opinion and imo it is:
My two cents:
(1) openSUSE for ease of installation, use, and KDE integration. The fact that openSUSE slowed releases to every 9 months, but even then won't release a version until it's ready is worth the wait.
(2) Fedora. Always had a soft spot for Fedora because every other version rocks.
(3) ChromeOS. Sure, it's Google, but with a Chromebox/book, it's really an extremely efficient little OS that constantly gets better. Just wish Google would make it easier to install on any other machine.
(4) Android. Closed, but its speed and simplicity are unbeatable.
My favorite is Gentoo, even after all these years.
Sure, compiling stuff, tweaking all the config files, fixing the occasional broken compiles and so on is a major hassle at best and at worst it's enough to cause suicidal tendencies. But still, it's the most flexible distro of all as it can be tailored to almost any need whatsoever; you can harden the whole thing all the way from the bottom if you're paranoid, you can leave out printing, X, and so on if you just need console, you can include everything and the kitchen sink if you feel like it, and so on.
I use Gentoo on my server because I got tired with both Ubuntu and Fedora crapping all over themselves every now and then, and I especially hated how they insisted on replacing the changes I made to various config-files and scripts. Gentoo, on the other hand, doesn't try to override anything I've done and it works wonderfully as a server. On a similar note I've installed Gentoo on my N900 just to make a point to someone: Gentoo was very, very snappy on it and you could run SSH+Transmission (with 2 active torrents)+Web-interface for it+Samba server+Mumble with 4 users all simultaneously on it and you still had 40% CPU left -- quite a good example of how powerful the N900 still can be, and how well Gentoo can be made to fit such devices.
On the desktop I really have no favorite Linux-distro, however, as they all seem to come with all kinds of annoying shortcomings of their own, and then there's the simple fact that not all of my stuff has Linux-support anyways. Mostly I just use Ubuntu in a VM if I need something.
I have managed a farm of ~500 servers running Gentoo and when I first joined the company owning those servers I first thought it would have been a nightmare. Whoever had picked Gentoo had done it for the wrong reasons, packages were all over the place, configuration was scattered, etc... I had used Gentoo previously on a couple of desktops which helped me a lot, but I had never considered running it on servers before.
One year later after much wrangling and fighting we had synched all boxes to the same portage tree and would run updates and configuration changes in lock-step using cfengine, plus custom tuning and tweaking for the boxes that needed special software. Once we reached that point administering Gentoo felt really like a breeze, I was surprised myself of how well it run and how easy it was to manage (and upgrade!).
I don't work there anymore but I'm told by some friends in their IT team that they're going strong and the machines are humming just fine; so long story short, Gentoo is actually quite a good distro for server-side installations but you need some discipline in your IT team to run it properly.
That surprises and impresses me
I used to run Gentoo on various machines at home, and it gave me some pretty big headaches at times. I guess it's all down to a proper maintenance schedule, as I always had my biggest issues after leaving the systems alone for extended periods.
I love Slackware buyt started to think about it another day, why? Well Slack is not the easiest nor most user friendly distro out there but the administration is absolutely hassle free. So if you want to make sure, your system is maintainable and easy to configure then yes Slack is a good option. If you want user friendliness however then there are other options.
At work we have an option to use Ubuntu but I've scared away because there are countless tools for configuration and there are not those familiar config files on well-known places so I really don't feel comfortable using Ubuntu because if I need to tweak it to my taste then I probably spend lots of time and frustration finding the right places.
So it all comes down to fact, what are your expectations and what are you familiar with. I've learned Slackware and I am probably too lazy to learn anything else.
Please don't even go there.
This article is an oversimplification. The categories overlap. Nobody is looking for "the most popular distro" or for "the most user friendly distro" or for the "best live disto". People are looking for a distro that is popular AND user friendly AND live.
6 results of 100% isn't helpful.
Interestingly, I have quite heavily used the 2 distros for which it showed a 90% match.
(Anyone who has read my comments will know that Debian is my choice when it comes to linux so I won't harp on about that.)
The biggest problem I find with choosing a new distro is that every single one of them feels like essentially the same thing. Beyond what gets chosen by default for you can usually end up with the same product/packages/versions you desire in any combination you want.
Most people at least semi knowledgeable with linux know how to get these things and those who don't will settle with what they find comfortable and probably stick with it.
Every time I get bored and look for something else to play with I end up back where I started. I haven't seen enough value in actually changing to something else because I don't see the difference.
Has anyone changed distros to something that wasn't a parent/derivative of your old distro and stuck with it?
wow, almost my same path. I also used gentoo and tried a bunch of less common distros. My last change was migrating from Arch back to Slackware. Arch was going through too many changes and I wanted something stable. Slackware may not be the most popular or easy to use but I don't think any other distro is more stable.
You sound like me. I started out with Red Hat, it came bundled with a book on learning Linux. After a week of frustration I gave up on it and tried Corel, which I paid for after finding out it came with WordPerfect (we were using WordPerfect in college during that time). Corel was great in most areas but wasn't very stable. I found out about Slackware and that was the distro I stayed with until the first Ubuntu release many years later.
Ubuntu really opened my eyes to the world of apt, and I tried out a lot of Debian based distros over the years, but I always ended up back on Slackware. Arch was the first distro to make me truly put Slack aside, but after the recent aggressive changes I felt the need to revert once again to good old stable Slackware.
I'd recommend it. You'll miss pacman, but compiling slackbuilds is very similar to rolling your own packages from the AUR, so it shouldn't be that hard. You'll have to resolve dependencies yourself, but that makes for some recovered sanity in my book.
Enjoy the stability and Zen.
I have been using "sbopkg" http://www.sbopkg.org/ to install slackbuilds from slackbuilds.org. It's a menu driven program similar to pkgtool that lets you search, install, and uninstall easily. Works great
Now that's a long list!
What do you think made you jump? Boredom or just looking for something new?
My friend in college (2000) introduced me to Linux. Windows 98 was having a lot of trouble on my laptop, so, in my days of dialup internet, I drove an hour to a computer store to buy a boxes copy of Mandrake for (I think) $30.
When that laptop died I decided to buy a Fujitsu Lifebook (I cannot tell you how much I loved that laptop). Unfortunately, there was a bug in the Linux kernel at the time which prevented it from booting correctly on a Transmeta Crusoe processor. I found an tutorial describing how to patch and compile my own Linux kernel for the Crusoe using Slackware, and I began using that.
At that point point in time, Slackware had no package manager. Instead, when new software came out (and I love trying new software!) I would download and compile it myself, including all of it's newly required libraries (GTK2, Pango, Atk...). I had heard about the popularity of Debian and gave it a try. The feeling of using a package manager again to automatically install and update everything felt so incredibly wonderful.
I became tired of the cycle of Debian stable being fresh and new and being tired and old, so I tried Ubuntu. I didn't want to like it because it was "too easy", but my gosh, it was just so easy. My favorite version is still 8.04 Hardy Heron, which I still consider the pinnacle of Ubuntu development.
At this point I began to really learn about the Free Software Foundation, and decided that I agree with many of their beliefs. So, I installed a new FSF approved version of Hardy Heron called gNewSense and used only free and open source software on my computer for almost a year. You might be surprised how much Linux software is "open source" but not FSF "free". Anyway, it was a great experience.
gNewSense became old, and I didn't like the direction the distribution was going. I wanted the latest versions of software, but I was tired of always formatting and installing new operating systems. I then discovered Arch Linux and the concept of a rolling release distribution. In addition to that, I was really getting into contributing to the Linux community, and the Arch Linux community provides outstanding outlets for that: a strong forum, a highly regarded wiki, and the AUR (allowing anyone to contribute new software packages to the distribution), all of which can be contributed to almost instantly by anyone.
I'm still using the same 64-bit Arch Linux installation that I did three years ago and am very happy with it. I dual boot the Haiku operating system. And I still consider myself a freetard.
Wow. That was like reading my biography.
Except for gNewSense. I never could bring myself to run it because the name sounds like gNuisance.
I use these 3 distributions:
Linux Mint KDE (desktop)
Bodhi Linux (Older Laptop)
Debian Squeeze (Sun Blade 1500)
Any Debian / Ubuntu derivative that can use apt-get to install packages is great ... I am a big KDE fan and really don't like unity but appreciate what Ubuntu does for software center ...
If you consider all the factors, I think, Debian is the best distro:
 support a lot of processor architectures
 supports all the desktop environments
 supports a lot of packages Edited 2012-10-22 07:19 UTC
Absolutely. Debian "just works" and has a bigger selection of binary packages for non-x86 architectures than any other OS. Whether it's PowerPC, amd64, or ARM, it's the same Debian. That really fulfills the promise of Unixlikes to abstract away the hardware.
Suse is a longtime contributor to kernel, kde, gnome, oo and now lo.
Surely one on the most user on the commercial server side with red hat?
Available on mainframe.
Hp, dell, lenovo, ibm sale machine with suse.
Ms have partnership with suse
It provided suse studio, dell use this tool
Any stats about it?
Suse created open build service and allow to build package for many other distribution and architecture.
SuSE is not really goind strong in America. I worked for various FOSS service shops over the years and all got to the point where they hated them so badly they advertised consumer to switch to RedHat. My first employer managed to be first class partner with Novell, but in the end, it did cost buisness, as it scared more people and bring no contracts in years. I was working in a mostly governemntal city. Most IT jobs were for them. They did have a lot of SUSE because they had a lot of Windows Server and Microsoft representative managed to sell them many SLES boxes, but how it was actually managed elude me to this day. All I saw personally was RHEL, Debian and CentOS. For my current employer, we used to have more SUSE evengelists, but these day, there is only one left, there is 15 peoples supporting RedHat and the other mostly work on embedded systems. So I don't think things go well for SUSE after the storm caused by the decline of Novell. I admire some of their work on OpenSUSE and like the OBS concept, but I don't think it is enough to save them in America. I heard that things are better in Europe, but I don't know for sure. I also strongly disaprove their policy of pushing ABI/API breakage in services packs. This is stupid and should never happen. You don't want to get "unresolved symbols" error after running that monster known as YaSt. Yet, they do this.
Ubuntu was the first distro which I was pretty much satisfied with... At least until 9.04, after which new releases started breaking too much stuff for my taste and they went into that "let's rip-off Mac OS X and remove all customization options" design direction which I don't like.
Nowadays, I'm mostly using Fedora's Xfce spins, which work well enough even if I wouldn't recommend them to novice users since the graphical package management experience is quite unsatisfying. Also, I haven't tried it on other distros, but Fedora's in-place upgrades are a sure recipe to disaster. Always do a fresh install.
If Fedora went crazy too, my backup plan would probably be something stable and with few extra installation steps like OpenSUSE, but reviews of the latest releases have been fairly negative, which makes me hesitate to try it out for now. I could also relucantly get my hands more dirty with Gentoo or Debian, but I feel like I'm too old to spend hours after hours getting my computer to work. There should be enough distros which require few post-installation tweaks nowadays.
I have also tried Arch, but I'm still not ready to forgive that one time where they completely borked the package manager's database on my system with an update. Pardus Linux was excellent, but politics problem within the lab where it was developed have recently brutally killed it. Mint sounds nice in theory, but for some reason never worked really well on my systems. Edited 2012-10-22 07:31 UTC
I'm very partial to CentOS 6 myself because it works in both server and desktop situations due to its 10 years worth of updates and the use of GNOME 2 (and ye olde but easier to admin Sys V init scripts). Hence, it's my primary Linux desktop and it's on most of the Linux servers at work too.
And if it gets a bit too "creaky" after several years of service, they'll always be the option to move to CentOS 7 at some point (though the beauty of CentOS 6 is that you'll get updates even after the releases of CentOS 7, 8 and 9!).
If you're coming from XP and want something that gets updates for ages so you don't have to do any major upgrades, CentOS (or RHEL) is surely the best choice?
RHEL/CentOS Edited 2012-10-22 08:13 UTC
That depends on the task maybe.
And I wonder why the article didn't mention it (only Ubuntu), but Debian is more populair on webservers:
Well, technically RHEL and CentOS are the same so this makes 38.6% for RHEL ;-)
But 21.0% Ubuntu and Debian 31.9% does mean that the Debian based distros at least won ;-)
Not only that but together it's more than 50%.
No, Ubuntu and Debian aren't the _same_ distro.
RHEL and CentOS are indeed the same distro (bug by bug and feature by feature). I'm not talking about derivatives, instead they are exactly the same except that CentOS doesn't have any Red Hat logos.
In short, CentOS is built using the same SRPM packages than RHEL is built. Edited 2012-10-22 21:11 UTC
:-) Edited 2012-10-23 08:00 UTC
LINUX FROM SCRATCH !!! (stupid )
For a stable distro I think Debian stable fits the bill perfectly.
Server - CentOS + EPEL, never needed anything for servers that were not already there. Also, documentation for Red Hat RHEL is by far the best you can find.
For NAS I recommend openmediavault. The community is great and it is debian based so you are not locked on the cold when you need a bit of extras.
Workstation / desktop - Have tried Slackware (many, many years ago), CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint and openSUSE. Settled with openSUSE for many reasons.
First I have to say, and some will throw rocks on me for that, that I like YAST. It is very handy to have a place to configure services, hardware and all on a desktop.
Second, the repositories of openSUSE are awesome, they allow you to try newer versions of some packages without disturbing the whole system, like a new version of KDE or gnome (extreme cases) or firefox and thunderbird (which they keep up-to-date). There are packages and updated packages for almost everything I wanted. I see it as compromise between rolling and version methods most distributions use. Disruption is something hated with passion on business.
Third, I like the new philosophy of "ship it when it is ready (or almost)". I skipped 12.1 and only now I am upgrading mine and client machines.
It is not perfect, of course, but is a very good system.
The only downside is that is way more difficult to convince a client to install linux on the desktop than used to be on XP and vista era. Even with all cost and headache (malware threats) on MS camp (I have to concede, Windows 7 is a very good system), people ask for Windows even when it does not make any sense. Lets hope WIndows 8 will unroll that.
obs.: I now that there is a classic mode for windows 8.
I second that vote for OpenSUSE on workstations. I was using Fedora for years but I got tired of dealing with the aggressive development pace. Now, OpenSUSE does the job for me and does it well (except lack of performance and KDE being a big fat pig).
can you describe you performance problem?
The system is generally slow.
Slow boot, slow application response, slow desktop response, YAST modules are slow (no surprise), and sometimes there is a keyboard delay. The system feels sluggish in just about every way. I could switch to XFCE and that would likely solve several of the speed issues but I want a full featured desktop environment so I deal with KDE sucking.
I prefer Xubuntu, but not everybody likes the same things. For my Xubuntu install I remove the bottom 'dock' and drag the top bar down to the bottom.
I also remove a lot of the plug-ins for the task bar until I'm left with a clock only. Then I add Weather Update, Network Monitor and a Quick Launch.
I remove Pidgin and install Kopete for Webcam support. Put gThumb as the default image viewer and use smplayer instead of parole. Add Audacious for music and k3b for burning, Sylpheed for EMail; gedit and a few minor other things like PCSX, GFCE and ZSNES.
I'm good to go.
Without a doubt, mine is Ubuntu.
It is the only desktop with unity, and unity is what I want.
The author claims repeatedly that unity is awful, with no reason as to why. IMO, it is the best thing out there for those of us who want to use the keyboard more, and the mouse less.
The HUD beats tabbing through a menu, or using the stupid mouse, and the dash allows me to quickly call up files from my highly organised heirachy with less than 6 keytaps.
I never did like using panels, docks or menus, and the konsole also does autocompletion for software names.
This seems to be the logical extension.
I have Ubuntu/Unity installed along with Windows 8 on my laptop and so far I only boot into Windows when I need to develop (ASP.NET). Otherwise, I am surprisingly satisfied with it. They definitely need to keep refining and adding more customization but, especially after what MS did to Windows, it is not so bad. Edited 2012-10-22 11:20 UTC
I also find Unity great. As a matter of fact, I don't think there's an easier DE for newbies. At the same time, it's one of the fastests for powerusers (look ma, no mouse!).
It definitely needs polish, but I'd say it's been getting it at every new release. By the next LTS will probably be a very solid one. I'm only waiting for the end of the (very stupidly justified) forced hidden menu to declare it the best available DE.
I must say I haven't tried Gnome Shell but for a few hours. It looks very elegant (it's visually MUCH better than anything else, IMO), but hide and seek is not my favorite UI paradigm... GS has a SERIOUS problem of discoverability. I know it can be heavily customized with extensions, but the approach isn't solidly backed by Gnome developers (breakage and discoverability of extensions is a weak point). I'm surprised no distro is offering Gnome Shell customized yet (Mint doesn't count; Cinnamon is not just a collection of extensions.)
I expect Unity to allow for a less "colorful" launcher, an option to show menus permanently (it's been coming for two releases already) and much more customizability in general. I understand all of this is planned to happen at some point, so I'm strongly behind Unity.
The fact that a company is behind Ubuntu brings some peace of mind too, since I must install it to customers, not just friends. (The Red Hat desktop is a second class citizen at Red Hat. The company is clearly server oriented. That's why I don't even think about it.)
So Ubuntu is the best distro out there for me.
No other distribution allows me to control my toolchain to such a degree while also automating anything that can be.
This is invaluable for overcoming API/ABI conflicts and working with the software of my collaborators. Edited 2012-10-22 11:19 UTC
I develop HPC (high performance computing) applications (C, C++ and Fortran). To do realistic benchmarks I need total control of what is going on in the system: disk access, network packets, memory allocation, swap usage, core affinity, etc.
I don't need eye candy stuff using CPU time, nor taksbar applets allocating memory, or daemons polling devices or files.
I know what I'm doing and what I'm installing, I don't want sudo or automatic package dependencies. To avoid problems I require vanilla versions of all libraries, many times I will need to compile them by myself, or install several versions at the same time for compatibility.
Also I need a solid and confortable working environment.
In short, I want a distro that doesn't try to think for me.
Slackware is the one.
Ubuntu may be popular, but it's certainly NOT a best one out there in terms of usability, ease of use, available software, openness [in terms of freedom - libre].
Besides - it is based on Debian. I don't see Debian here. Without Debian Ubuntu would probobly exist in different shape and form - maybe with RPM as its underlying package management [and that would be - potentially - tragedy]. Pay some respect to Debian, it really deserves it.
Debian itself is pretty decent OS [at least testing]. It beats Ubuntu on the fields of performance, modularity, customizability. It's also community oriented project, so it DOES RESPECT YOUR FREEDOM [unlike Ubuntu - which only gives you gratis product].
It means you are not forced to use anything you don't like and you always have choice. You are not presented with some crappy UI in the first place. You choose your working environment that suits you best.
Besides - Debian was one of the first distros out there. Don't know about you, but I trust it to be good, stable and fast and it does the job right.
Arch is also cool, but it takes too much attention of the user. It makes you a constant tinkerer, and upgrades are in fact PITA, because it requires you to merge some *.pacnews everytime you got any change. Some things should be done automatically, otherwise you can - as well - use LFS, which probobly does not make any sense for most users.
I don't understand why people praise Puppy Linux so much. It is ugly, it is chaotic, it is clumsy and unintuitive. To me it's a 'punk rocker's distro in a clean IT scene'.
I also don't get it why PIV must be described as an old cpu ... come on. I run it for many years without any problems. I got full-blown XFCE4 desktop with many widgets, apps, and tasks in the backgroud and it works just fine. It's true that I don't consume mass media, videos, etc, but it workds just fine. It certainly doesn't require me to run some specially crafted "linux distro for old/ancient PCs". The only thing it actually lacks is a VT extension, but I got it on my other machines, so I use it if I virtualize server instances, etc.
Grub config is almost always handled automatically in Debian. There's regular grub configuration [which is dynamically generated everytime there's a change in kernel number, etc], and there's /etc/default/grub file which contains custom option that user wants to automatically add to default grub configs everytime they're being generated. That solves the problem. Occasionaly you'll get a merge window [diff], and that's what I call reasonable config file management.
I just think Arch's way of handling config files is kinda ... irritating at least to me. Some things should be automated. There are more important things that needs our attention.
Why is RPM a bad format?
What does "respecting your freedoms" mean exactly? If you don't want to use Unity in Ubuntu you can always use something else.
Debian maintains put in the bug that was spotted for years that broke SSL for thousands of sites.
Pentium 4s are now over ten years old, even the newest are 7 years old ... this is ancient.
RPM's are not bad per say, its just that yum or apt for rpm gives to deadrat sorry I mean redhat the exact same functionality that Debian has had from the start. Red Hat and Debian both need to man up and sit down and form a new package management system which combines both of their systems into 1.
1 Debian maintainer made a mistake for seeding random data, a mistake that had actually been raised to openssl devs who didn't catch the issue and when the bug was found it was rectified pretty quickly. Why do you bring this up ?
Some believe security through obscurity is great, that hiding your security flaws magically makes them disappear, that has never been the case.
It was laziness, by the looks of it.
I don't think obscurity provides better protection. What I do believe is that one person that is extremely proficient is better than 10 who aren't. Edited 2012-10-24 14:16 UTC
Now what means is that popularity is bought and paid for with the marketing and media hype, Canonical is just the "open" version of Apple.
"Canonical is just the "open" version of Apple."
Which is a great thing. The only reason I don't use OS X anymore is because I'm forced into their walled garden approach, which is making heavy inroads from iOS lately. Also because I like to choose the hardware I run my OS on and I find that Apple's hardware is sup-par for the price most of the time (I'll take Lenovo anytime in that price range).
If Ubuntu can become as polished and user oriented as OS X, while still being open, I think we can congratulate ourselves. I'd say it's on its way. Edited 2012-10-23 01:26 UTC
"The Best" is meaningless. Which distro fills the needs of the most users in "X" category would be more accurate.
FreeBSD - OpenBSD - Slackware.
FreeBSD - OpenBSD - Slackware
Fortunately OpenBSD is not Linux
Mine too, hence the "fortunate"
Sorry mate, for some odd reason, your "fortunate" didn't register in my head at the time. My brain must've put and "un" before it by mistake. I blame old age >_<
Marco's definitely polarizing, almost as much as Theo you could say, but he's been nice in the (albeit limited) conversationss I've had with him on IRC. Plus, I'm an avid user of many of his projects; scrot/spectrwm, xombrero, clog and cyphertite being the main ones.
Either way, I'll have OpenBSD to fall back on. Edited 2012-10-23 11:22 UTC
Ubuntu + low jitter kernel : http://paradoxuncreated.com/Blog/wordpress/?p=2268
Ps: lots of improvements coming in next version.
= ultra smooth game.
Peace Be With You.
That looks interesting. I couldn't find any benchmarks at your site, though. Are there any?
If you have eyes, you will notice the difference. Particulary in games like doom 3. Framejitter is unfortunately not benchmarked much on linux. On windows they are related to "microstutter".
Peace Be With You.
One man shows? Knowing that you are "gay" that is probably a remark showing enemity to men?
And lust yes, well in 100% of my discussions with gay, LUST is something they do not refute.
The reality on gay: http://paradoxuncreated.com/Blog/wordpress/?p=38
And ofcourse gay seek out those who don`t like them, like you did now. Very typical. You rarely talk to me otherwise. And your friend, the guy with the bloated cheeks. He criticised me in the past, but now he is licking wounds with you. So all the enemity was about gay wasn`t it. That is also typical of gay. To disagree even with the most brilliant of insights, just because someone has a mind to disagree with their cottaging. Edited 2012-10-24 19:47 UTC
Wow, and I thought you were being serious with your jitter things and all. That's your "peace and whatnot" you freak?
Don't forget your pills in your way back to the asylum...
Or rather women-shows?
And I wonder of linking him to ~religious (from glancing not sure what his specific sect is, or maybe he just makes it up as he goes) rap would put his mind mind in some loop or smth...
Ubuntu, hands down.
Flexibility, speed, geekiness, runs on my phone for the hell of it (N900)
I have had the same install going for a decade, never broken it badly with updating, it's also a binhost server for my other Gentoo stuff using crossdev
Gentoo is the best distro for learning imo, chucks you in at the deep end, but not too deep.. Edited 2012-10-22 13:52 UTC
I use Debian for most of the general sever work and FreeBSD for some high performance server deployments.
On the client side I am in the process of replacing Xubuntu with Mint/XFCE. Of course will replace it with ChromeOS if it can run Android Apps - that would take care of all needs
Red Hat/CentOS are, to me, the most pleasant experience at the moment. But that is about to change when GNOME 3 hits RHEL 7. Everything will fall apart :-)
Debian on the desktop/server, and Xubuntu on laptops.
I'll agree with howard's assessment that gentoo's a good 'learning distro'
..A few years back it had been years since i'd done a (very little) unix and linux work at uni. i'd not done any programming at all in the intervening years, not much outside OS experience outside mac/windows really, I *dabbled* with beos/haiku and m68k netbsd on some old macs, but got a bit frustrated with them.
but i decided to install gentoo on an old g4 powerbook
....and, as stated, had to compile from scratch. was a little tricky, but learnt a bit about all the relevant config files that you *certainly can* avoid much of the time if you go through the gui install route of a lot of other systems. I wouldn't want to have to do it regularly though without good reason -setting compile time options to eek better performance from long in the tooth hardware isn't something i feel the need to do generally. kde compilation was a bit of a pain though, had teething problems.
around the same time, i played with ubuntu for a bit
-found it 'boring' really, and certainly on the machines i tried it on, the gnome interface was horribly laggy, lots of window tearing -i'd like to say it was x windows issues- but some other distros fedora, suse never seemed as bad.
MY VOTES FOR NOWADAYS THOUGH (simply coz i've tried them in the last few weeks and days ) are:
Slacko-puppy -for old machines.
and Linux-mint Debian Edition, XFCE flavour -for newer machines without any high-end graphics.
(beats hell out of Ubuntu IMHO)
And, leaving linux for a minute, I REALLY like the BSD based FreeNAS, once you get used to installing the jail PBI, and jailed plugins, e.g. subsonic.
An ARM version of FreeNAS for a sheevaplug or the like,, I might wet myself a little for. Edited 2012-10-22 15:33 UTC
The title should probably be changed to "Which Linux distros are the best?" because it does not even attempt to identify a single 'best' Linux distro.
Anyway, here is my take. (Disclaimer: I am a Gentoo user, so my view may be biased)
By far the most popular distro is Android. This year, for the first time Android will overtake Windows as the most sold operating system (installed base is projected to pass Windows in 2016).
A distant second is the OpenWrt/DD-WRT family of distros.
Most User Friendly
I'll give that title to ChromeOS. Nothing for the user to care about, even his data will be backed up into the cloud automagically.
Ubuntu gets second place from me, it is not quite as polished, but I think its Unity desktop is now more user friendly than Maté or Cinnamon.
Best Live Distro
That's a tougher one. A live distro to rescue your system? Systemrescuecd. A user friendly live distro to do productive work? Ubuntu.
Best for Linux Connoisseurs
I agree that Arch is a good choice. I'd vote for Gentoo (if you don't mind the compiling) or Aptosid (if you do) though.
Best for Learning Linux In Depth
Gentoo is excellent if you want to learn Linux and then continue to use the system for daily work.
However, LFS should at least be mentioned here. The learning curve is steeper. But it is difficult to keep the system updated and working at the same time.
Best for Older Computers
I'd say Debian. Arch might fit the bill too, but has no support for pre-i686 machines.
Best Office Desktop
All desktop distros come with LibreOffice so there is not much difference there. Maybe if it had said "Best Enterprise Desktop" a winner could be found.
Most Stable Across Releases
Of course enterprise distros offer enterprise-class support. But if you are only looking for end user support, the value/$ quickly deteriorates with Red Hat and Oracle.
Some categories which were not mentioned in the article:
Debian sid is the classic choice. Aptosid makes it a bit more palatable. Arch and Gentoo also do very well here. Fedora will have the kernel and desktop-y parts up to date at least.
Gentoo and LFS.
Best software selection
Before 7 years ago, I'd have said RedHat.
7 - 2 years ago, I'd have said Ubuntu.
Now, I'd say Debian.
Squeeze is a nice, stable system, and with the squeeze-backports you get some up-to-date packages that are really nice to have -- and Wheezy is looking quite nice as it matures into stable. I'm looking forward to it.
RedHat lost me when they forked for Fedora, and Ubuntu 'just worked' so much better on my Dell laptop at the time.
Ubuntu stuck with me until they started throwing away all the productive elements of the GUI in favor of using the masses as guinea pigs. Their sever product is totally fine, but I refuse to dog-food on that desktop environment. So down the stack to Debian I went, and I'm -very- happy here.
Gosh do I wish Haiku were a -tad- further along...
no-win situation. best worst desktop might be kubuntu though
Ubuntu variant - for the general user that just wants things to work
Debian - for the more than a general user, and wants to work on ARMs and stuff
Arch Linux - for those willing to get a little dirty ;-)
Gentoo - for those willing to get even dirtier ;-)
...but for alternatives, please support the Haikus, Inferno, Plan 9, and other operating systems out there in the wild...new developers, publicity, testers, 'documentation engineers' and such will be most welcome to those projects as well. Edited 2012-10-22 18:28 UTC
Depends entirely on the user. Anyone who says otherwise is probably selling something. For what I want on my personal machines, that is near bleeding edge packages, binary format, and things left near their vanilla state until the admin chooses otherwise, Arch has proven to be the best choice. Doesn't hurt that it has some of the best documentation of any distro out there either.
Others may prefer something less administratively intensive, or something more conservative, or maybe something with a wider community... and those are all valid choices too. More power to them. Edited 2012-10-22 19:01 UTC
Fuduntu is the best distro for laptops hands down, but OSnews will probably just keep ignoring all submissions about it as they have for almost 2 years now.
Well personal politics seems to be a big part of what get accepted on OSNEWS.
Some linux distros may be easier out of the box, but Freebsd (despite misgivings here about some of its recent directions) seems to avoid in a known-fix sort of way breakages upon upgrades and compilations, and may be easier once one is practiced at it (I daily browse new threads on an advanced Linux forum also...). If one was to continue using an operating system, for say, five years hence, I see no other alternative unless it a system one wants to remain continually in a steady state (just browsing and email and music, for example.)
 not so trivial, IMHO.
I like FreeBSD too. I just got tired of having to compile stuff since pkgs lagged behind ports, and Flash didn't work without the Linux layer.
I'd definitely pick it as a server, when I can build the correct infrastructure for it. It's nice, clean, and it does exactly what I tell it to do.
For my needs, debian (testing). That being said, the debate over whose linux penis is bigger is just as boring as linux users who say "winblows" and then ramble on, in complete irony, about "bloat" or some other stupid thing.
Btw, this entire thread could be removed and it wouldn't be any loss to OSnews, or any of us who bothered to click the thread.
Just look at ourselves... each to his own favourite distro. Unfortunately distro fragmentation is one of the top problems in Linux. The guy who said Android was winning is probably right. It's the only "distro" that made it. I wouldn't consider Ubuntu since it never left the 1% of market share barrier, let alone now with Unity defecting thousands of users.
Fragmentation leads to choice and that is good, but not so good.
It's only a problem if one particularly cares about market share. A significant portion of us don't. I know I didn't start with slackware all those ages ago because I cared about Linux/FOSS taking over the world. It just happened to be a fun toy that later evolved into a seriously useful set of tools.
I started using Linux in 1999, with Red Hat 5.2. I tried Slackware. At that time, popular systems like Windows 98 were full of constant crashes and instability not to mention the Win32 applications. We were thirsty for the whole idea of Linux and a total free new userspace. Of course there were already GNU tools but just laid anonymous in Unix systems. It was basically Red Hat that made this achievement to push Linux towards enthusiasts.
Microsoft learned how to battle its virtual competitors, and linux desktop developers have learned recently how to shoot in their foot right on time of a major shift. (Hello GNOME 3 and Unity!) Edited 2012-10-22 21:33 UTC
it's a problem all the time. there are uncountable crappy desktop linux distros and hardly 1 good one.
the debate over this question is not because there are too many good linux distros. we are exercising our fingers sifting through turd
If I was Red Hat CEO, I would fire GNOME designers, yesterday.
Pulse latency was better than ALSA dmix last time I looked. And of course it has neat features like per-app volume control.
What are you comparing against? Direct hardware access to a SB Audigy 2? Of course if you have hardware mixing it is faster and you should use it.
I feel your pain, I really do. And you guys may really have something about Android making it. Maybe the Droid is really the real flagship for Linux now? Not Ubuntu, not OpenSUSE, not RHEL,...
I want to spend a little time praising Debian. When it comes to compliance with the FHS / LSB / SELinux I've found debian to be by far the best. Maybe that's changed now but the redhat + arch based distros seem to be patchy at best, and I assume Gentoo would be fairly bad (a lot of tools ignore LSB compliance by default compiling, meaning the package managers have to do the hard yards ensuring compliance. Since Gentoo would likely do default compiles, this would mean Gentoo would violate FHS / LSB standards a lot).
Debian might split packages into teeny tiny chunks which certain groups (Ruby) might not like, but as a user it gives me a lot of flexibility out of the box. Add to the fact that Debian also supports BSD kernels and HURD, Debian is bigger than "Linux" and makes a great distro, especially as a "base" for other distros (which is why a lot of distros fork off it).
The package management is also second to none, even after all these years. Despite under the hood changes, apt-get hasn't changed from a user perspective in around 20 years. All this "app store" stuff that's the fashion today has been available to Debian users for a very long time. While most distros might be close to parity for package management now, apt / dpkg is still forwards looking enough to be able to take more steps towards modernisation.
It's also the best free-as-in-freedom distro out there, despite what the GNU guys say. Using it is like a big rubber stamp saying that there are a bunch of benevolent folk out there looking after you, your data, your privacy, etc.
This is why I always choose Debian.
My first Linux installation was RedHat, back in 2002, because many people and companies used it. So I decided to learn from what was the most popular. Then within a year or so, I switched to Mandrake as I was told that it was more user friendly compared to RedHat. After a few months, I found that Slackware maybe the one I was looking for because I was really sick of the RPM dependencies and I was quite happy with it. Several years later, my colleagues persuaded me that Debian is easier to maintain because of its package management system so I gave it a go. However, I switched back to Slackware a few months later eventually.
People might ask why I dumped a supposedly easier-to-maintain distro in favor of a nearly-plain-vanilla Linux distro. As a developer, I think I have the need to figure out what (libraries / programs) go together and what don't myself. If I "outsourced" the maintenance to a package management system, I may never realize all the gotcha's and hence losing the opportunities to know, which is not good to a professional.
Best Server - For those saying RHEL/CENTOS, have you actually used it for a web server? It's too easy to hit rpm hell trying to get the latest version of some web framework or utility. I used to like FreeBSD for web servers but today you run into the same problem. So I guess I would pick Arch for pacman, bsd style init scripts and the minimalist approach. I honestly don't trust any distro for updates so I prefer the get latest and backup daily strategy.
Best Desktop - Arch inside a VM with Windows as the host.
Best Desktop for Newbs - Android tablet unless you hate people.
Runner Up - Clonezilla
I do run RHEL/CentOS as a webserver.
I think it's useful to distinguish between handheld, desktop/laptop, and server operaging systems.
For handheld, Android. For desktop, many are possible. For server, probably RHEL.
Regarding MeeGo, I once ran it on an HP Mini 1000 netbook and it was flawless. It actually ran better than the "native" Windows XP as well as any other Linux based OS I threw at it.
Just mentioning it in case an HP netbook is easier for you to acquire.
Netbook Meego and the (proprietary) UI of N9 are quite different... it's like trying to experience Windows Phone 8 (built on NT underpinning after all) by running Windows 8 in old desktop mode.
(plus, weren't all those oldish Atom netbooks pretty much the same?)
My vote goes to Debian Stable with backports.
It needs to be pointed out that package management systems like aptitude, and "app stores" are not one in the same. They are not interchangeable. It seems people are constantly confusing two things that share some core functions as being the same thing. Linux users need to stop trying to take credit, directly or indirectly, for successful app stores such as that by Apple. And for that matter, they need to understand that software packaging, package management, and repositories didn't start with linux either.
CentOS is great. Arch is great. But I mainly use Debian. Nothing against CentOS or Arch and they all meet my needs. But I am used to Debian. I started with Debian and I simply have no reason to switch over for good.
after being with Mandrake/Mandriva since about 2005 last year and haven't looked back. The first time that an online upgrade succeeded and the hitches were minor - much to my amazement after failing all the time with Mandriva.
As a main OS, it allows me to do all of my school-related work at home if need be and there are no problems with any of the software. So nice to be able to do everything in English in Korea - something rather difficult with XP, which is both on my laptop and all the machines at work!
for a new user: OpenSuse / Fedora / Ubuntu
power user: Arch or Gentoo or Slackware
servers: debian or FreeBSD or Arch or Gentoo
Gonna rant for a bit on the RedHat / CentOS on servers thing. I can't stand the fact they always say "we backport security patches and keep shit updated, but stable" No, what you're saying is you don't trust the developers who wrote the actual code to fix their shit and you want to charge people for your patches. a) you're introducing new code just by making your changes, so your patches can be just as unstable as any other patch and b) tracking security releases for stuff like Apache from Apache is a lot smarter to me then tracking RedHat Apache patches.
Now, in a perfect world FreeBSD would have better hardware support and a lot more money behind it. It's the best of all worlds. You can do a full binary distro with binary patches or go compile mode and track the ports system for latest releases or write your own ports. It's got a stable core and applications do a rolling release.
Now if only a Linux distro would do that for servers. Arch with a slower moving "server-core" and "server-community" repos would be awesome. A kernel compile for servers and rolling release of applications. Sure, you don't do major version changes without changing actual packages, but tracking apache22 or mysql55 should track the security patches for that major release.
Like someone else in this thread said, an internal package repo (aka: WSUS) and cfengine / Puppet (aka: AD group policy), LDAP (aka: AD), ZFS with NFS and iSCSI (aka: DFS) and some testing infrastructure would let a pretty small team manage a very large Linux farm without much trouble. Edited 2012-10-23 06:51 UTC
The other problem is that the RHEL/CENTOS approach encourages the frozen install problem whereby security patches are trickled in when a major version update would provide the best level of security. It would be like a third party backporting security patches to IE6 to keep the rest of their software from breaking.
Third party applications need to be decoupled from the main system. Everyone should run the latest Apache, the latest PHP, etc.
gentoo for flexibility.
from not source based - possibly opensuse. yast and zypper are two really awesome tools (and kiwi). also, the appeal both to new users and more experienced ones.
Any linux distro with a grsec kernel and xfce desktop.
I believe that the bst distro for Linux connoisseurs is wrong. I believe the ACTUAL best distro there is Gentoo. Archlinux has many problems. Stability, blindly following upstream, lack of leadership, removing the KISS aspect of the distro (what the distro was originally about).
Gentoo solves all these problems and gives you an EXTREMELY reliable, fast platform to do whatever you need. There's a reason Gentoo is used by performance freaks *AND* NASDAQ.
Also, Gentoo is actually open. There are no secret sites, there are no secret mailing lists, users are not restricted from posting on the -dev mailing list, we do not ban users on the forums just because they disagree with our direction of the distro. Sadly, Arch has/does all these things. Edited 2012-10-24 13:18 UTC
Most User Friendly
I happen to like Fedora running KDE.
Gnome is a mess right now, and Xfce is missing some configuration tools. KDE on the other hand has matured nicely.
Red Hat has some good release engineers, and they rarely break stuff.
Ubuntu has release engineering problems, and stuff breaking isn't user friendly. It does have a big presence in the consumer space, so there is that. If we're just ranking them on technical merits, Ubuntu comes in second.
OpenSUSE's Yast is a complex mess, and I'm still not sure I completely understand what's going on there. OpenSuse does have the nicest desktops out of all the distro though, and if they could streamline Yast they could be at the top.
Best Live Distro
I like Trinity Rescue Kit, since most of the time I'm going to be rescuing data or cleaning a virus.
The Fedora Xfce Spin is second. Slax used to be my second, but the project kind of stalled.
Best for Older Computers
I'm still tinkering with this one. I have a two old Pentium M based laptops that I still would like to use, but I haven't found a good one just yet. Debian is okay, but I'm thinking I'll check out something from the Slackware line when I get some time.
Best Office Desktop/Best Support/Most Stable Across Releases
Scientific Linux for a free stable Linux desktop with long term updates, Fedora for free Linux desktop, or Red Hat for a stable Linux desktop with long term support and updates.
I know I sound like fanboi, but Red Hat really does produce nice stuff that works. If they didn't, I would have moved on to something else
As a bonus, third parties support RH distros.
How about Corel Linux?
Ok, it hasn't been made in a long time. It was the first Linux distro that I used though.
I still have my Corel Linux penguin and Corel Linux cube that has the name and product on them.
Both of them have a sticker that says, "This is not a toy". Apparently we aren't supposed to chew on them? lol Edited 2012-10-25 17:29 UTC
slackware and slax.
I like a lot of Linux distros but too often more for their ideas then execution; there are three however that have always stood out for me in terms of form that follows function, design goals and ideas that are fairly matched with results oriented execution: Debian, Slackware, and Gentoo.
But my favorite has to go to a distro scarcely mentioned on OSNews no less in this thread and that's SUSE Studio. Not to be confused with OpenSUSE or SUSE Linux Enterprise, SUSE Studio is it's own animal that's difficult to categorize and builds on both.
SUSE Studio offers the initial impression of being intended for embedded platforms and appliances, but the features, speed, and granularity of the Web based target designer offers an impressive tool for building very clean custom Linux distros quickly for any role or application with impressive results. Edited 2012-10-27 08:14 UTC