Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 04:51 UTC
Linux Here's a topic guaranteed to start controversy. Which Linux distribution is best? It all depends on your criteria for judging. Even then the topic is highly subjective. Here are a few nominees for "best distro" in specific categories.
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Best Linux distro
by WorknMan on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 04:58 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

My favorite Linux distro is Android. Wait, does that count? ;)

Reply Score: 8

RE: Best Linux distro
by darknexus on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 05:15 UTC in reply to "Best Linux distro"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

My favorite Linux distro is Android. Wait, does that count? ;)

I'll second that. It's the only one that has actually gotten anywhere with the non-techies.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Best Linux distro
by przemo_li on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Best Linux distro"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Seen Maemo in coffee machines ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Best Linux distro
by Laurence on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Best Linux distro"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


I'll second that. It's the only one that has actually gotten anywhere with the non-techies.

I'm not really sure where you want to draw the line when discussing "Linux distros", but if we're including non-GNU OSs like Android then surely we have to include all embedded Linux OSs too. Thus I'd argue that TomTom was the first Linux distro to be adopted by non-techies. :p

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Best Linux distro
by lord_rob on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Best Linux distro"
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

What about modem/routers ?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Best Linux distro
by Laurence on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Best Linux distro"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

What about modem/routers ?

I did actually include them in my 1st draft, but then took it out as general users tend not to play around with router software (and those that do, would only interact with a web interface anyway; which is little better than calling someone a Linux user because they use social networks which are Linux powered).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Best Linux distro
by chithanh on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Best Linux distro"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

general users tend not to play around with router software

General users tend not to run Linux.

(and those that do, would only interact with a web interface anyway; which is little better than calling someone a Linux user because they use social networks which are Linux powered).

I disagree, though only through anecdotal evidence. Many people I know who would never remotely consider installing Linux on their desktop computers have replaced the crappy default firmware on their routers. They learned that DD-WRT/OpenWrt will not crash at the sight of bittorrent traffic or from giving it an odd look. Or spoiling their Skype conversations and online games through sudden latency increase or Wifi connection loss.

The web interface argument is as valid as discounting users who only use the GUI of their desktop distro. If DD-WRT or Tomato allow to install and configure everything through the web interface, many people have no reason to open a shell on their routers.

If I extrapolate from this, it makes me wonder whether the *wrt could be the single most underappreciated distro family in handing control over hardware back to the users and freeing them of the whim of the manufacturers to provide updates.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Best Linux distro
by Laurence on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Best Linux distro"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


General users tend not to run Linux.

General users do run TomTom and Android, which is what I was specifically talking about.


I disagree, though only through anecdotal evidence. Many people I know who would never remotely consider installing Linux on their desktop computers have replaced the crappy default firmware on their routers. They learned that DD-WRT/OpenWrt will not crash at the sight of bittorrent traffic or from giving it an odd look. Or spoiling their Skype conversations and online games through sudden latency increase or Wifi connection loss.

The web interface argument is as valid as discounting users who only use the GUI of their desktop distro. If DD-WRT or Tomato allow to install and configure everything through the web interface, many people have no reason to open a shell on their routers.

If I extrapolate from this, it makes me wonder whether the *wrt could be the single most underappreciated distro family in handing control over hardware back to the users and freeing them of the whim of the manufacturers to provide updates.


Your anecdotal evidence is skewed as it defies all logic. You cannot be a "general user" who cannot even manage Ubuntu yet still skilled enough to hack a router to install customised *nix firmware. There's a huge mismatch of skill levels being discussed there so I can only conclude that you and your mates are in the minority.

Furthermore, the reason I excluded users that just interact with a web interface is because (and I repeat) it's literally no different to logging onto Facebook; which also runs on Linux servers. So if using a web server was as equal to running Linux as literally having Slackware installed on your laptop, then that would make every single internet connected individual a Linux user. Clearly that's just absurd, thus the logical reasoning is that web users are discounted from discussion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Best Linux distro
by chithanh on Wed 24th Oct 2012 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Best Linux distro"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

General users do run TomTom and Android, which is what I was specifically talking about.

And I was talking about users who run their own Linux on their routers.

Your anecdotal evidence is skewed as it defies all logic. You cannot be a "general user" who cannot even manage Ubuntu yet still skilled enough to hack a router to install customised *nix firmware.

Calling it "hack" is a misrepresentation. In fact, the install process typically goes like this:

1. Download precompiled firmware image,
2. Open your router's web interface, navigate to firmware update and select the downloaded image.

That's it! You now have a router that is every single bit as functional and comfortable to use as before. Just more stable and with some extra functions.

There's a huge mismatch of skill levels being discussed there so I can only conclude that you and your mates are in the minority.

I think you are wrong assuming that the reason why they won't install Linux on their desktops is lack of skill. Sufficiently user-friendly distros and installers now exist. It is just that on the desktop, Linux does not fit their use case: Poor hardware support and lack of MS Office are most often cited.

Furthermore, the reason I excluded users that just interact with a web interface is because (and I repeat) it's literally no different to logging onto Facebook; which also runs on Linux servers. So if using a web server was as equal to running Linux as literally having Slackware installed on your laptop, then that would make every single internet connected individual a Linux user. Clearly that's just absurd, thus the logical reasoning is that web users are discounted from discussion.

The difference being that they own the computer and the router. And they don't own Facebook's servers, much less installing their own Linux on them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Best Linux distro
by shmerl on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 16:50 UTC in reply to "Best Linux distro"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Best Linux distro
by chithanh on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Best Linux distro"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

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.

Well Android is not GNU/Linux for sure. But it is as much Linux as most distros. Don't forget that there are uclibc based distros out there and these are generally considered Linux too. The whole embedded Linux world probably dwarfs the desktop installs in numbers.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 05:07 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Slackware and Debian.

Reply Score: 12

Best
by Elv13 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 05:26 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

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

Reply Score: 6

RE: Best
by zima on Sat 27th Oct 2012 19:35 UTC in reply to "Best"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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...

Reply Score: 2

Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
by sergio on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 05:42 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

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

Reply Score: 7

RE: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
by shotsman on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 11:19 UTC in reply to "Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

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

Reply Score: 1

RE: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 13:26 UTC in reply to "Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

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.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
by ze_jerkface on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 16:05 UTC in reply to "Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

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).


I won't call it sane until they get rid of RPMs. RHEL seems sane until you end up chasing dependencies through RPM hell over some minor package that all the other distros support.

Red Hat support costs are also high when compared to Windows Server or Oracle.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
by shotsman on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 05:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

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.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
by delta0.delta0 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 07:02 UTC in reply to "Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

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:

"One Shell to rule them all. One Shell to find them. One Shell to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them."


Sun Solaris (I refuse to call it oracle) is in a funny position I am seeing a slight resurgence mainly I think due to ZFS, but for the most part it has or is being replaced wholesale for Linux primarily RHEL. Most jobs seem to require a solid understanding of Solaris as they are migrating from it to RHEL or one of the clones.

I am Unix / Linux Engineer by trade, one of the main reasons I just find windows such a total PITA. You couldn't pay me to use windows, it doesn't have bash therefore it sucks imho, I just cant do any real work with it, to me opening office to get "real" work done is such a joke, give me vim please k thanks.

Mac OSX is a difficult one, I have a MacBook Pro and I have mountain Lion on it and it runs like butter, ive never had performance related issues its fairly new to be fair, but I actually run Kubuntu on it full time.

OSX is ok, I have nothing against it I am just far more productive in Linux. I love Konsole for example, I love the file system control I have in Linux, I cant live without LVM and NFS the way I do my partitioning is pretty non standard I've got it tweaked for SSD's and it runs brilliantly.

Also the fact that I have virtualisation tech built right into the kernel (I mainly use Xen on servers, but run KVM locally) is just another blessing and again I rely on LVM as I prefer raw disk access over file based drives.

This sort of stuff windows is only now catching up with the horror that is windows 8, ugh that ui is retarded.

As for the Whole RHEL vs the rest, both have advantages / disadvantages

Debian handles Apache configuration better the way it splits the sites into sites_enabled is just logical, the way they handle configurations across multiple files is saner, the way it handles network interfaces imho is more logical.

RHEL built in kick start is brilliant, on Debian you have FAI which does the job just as well. Redhat has many built in scripted tools to make maintenance / management easier also it has a lot of tools to make management of stuff like clustering easier.

To be honest, the differences are negligible both of them have been rock solid never had any issues with managing either and for that matter same with Sun Solaris and FreeBSD they are also Rock solid platforms as well. Unix / Linux environments are just awesome, I love working in them.

Reply Score: 2

In this order
by zaine_ridling on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 05:43 UTC
zaine_ridling
Member since:
2007-05-13

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE: In this order
by fithisux on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 20:51 UTC in reply to "In this order"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

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.


12.2 is full of bugs (like the gdm one). I still use it since I am used to it the last 4 years. Fedora has rough edges but generally ok.

Reply Score: 2

Gentoo
by WereCatf on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 05:55 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

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.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Gentoo
by crystall on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:51 UTC in reply to "Gentoo"
crystall Member since:
2007-02-06

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.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Gentoo
by Lion on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 09:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Gentoo"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Gentoo
by crystall on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Gentoo"
crystall Member since:
2007-02-06

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.


Yes, a proper maintenance schedule is paramount, the biggest problem we had for example was bringing up-to-date boxes that hadn't be touched for 2-3 years. It was possible but quite tricky.

However I'd like to add that Gentoo on servers is far easier to manage and configure than on a desktop, the reason is that you don't have a graphical desktop there and that removes a lot of headaches, driver issues, etc...

Reply Score: 1

Comment by wigry
by wigry on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 06:06 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

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.

Reply Score: 3

Oh God
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 06:41 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Please don't even go there.

Reply Score: 7

Oversimplification.
by spiderman on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 06:53 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

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.

Reply Score: 5

Distro chooser
by zegenie on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 07:00 UTC
zegenie
Member since:
2005-12-31
RE: Distro chooser
by Laurence on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:59 UTC in reply to "Distro chooser"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


I tried that and 3 of the 5 recommendations are distros I'd already discounted during the questioning. 2 of the 4 follow ups I hate and it completely failed to list any of the distros I do run (of which there are a few).

I guess that sort of site might be good if you're a complete n00b but for anyone who's used Linux more than a year, it's completely worthless.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Distro chooser
by Lion on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 09:16 UTC in reply to "Distro chooser"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

6 results of 100% isn't helpful.
Interestingly, I have quite heavily used the 2 distros for which it showed a 90% match.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Distro chooser
by Laurence on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 10:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Distro chooser"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

6 results of 100% isn't helpful.


It's worse than that, 3 the 5 100% matches I had, I'd already discounted during the questioning phase.

Reply Score: 2

hard to decide
by stabbyjones on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 07:06 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

(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?

Reply Score: 4

RE: hard to decide
by drcouzelis on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 11:53 UTC in reply to "hard to decide"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Has anyone changed distros to something that wasn't a parent/derivative of your old distro and stuck with it?

Since you asked, I would love to tell you about my Linux history! (doesn't every Linux nerd?) ;)

I was introduced to Linux using Mandrake.

I learned Linux using Slackware.

I discovered package management using Debian.

I took a break and used the user friendly Ubuntu.

I became passionate about software freedom using gNewSense.

I keep current and in control using Arch Linux.

I used each of those distributions for at least about a year. I've been using the same installation of Arch Linux for three years now.

More information: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/User:drcouzelis

Edited 2012-10-22 11:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: hard to decide
by Netfun81 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: hard to decide"
Netfun81 Member since:
2008-03-25

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hard to decide
by Sabon on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE: hard to decide"
Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

"Has anyone changed distros to something that wasn't a parent/derivative of your old distro and stuck with it?

Since you asked, I would love to tell you about my Linux history! (doesn't every Linux nerd?) ;)
I was introduced to Linux using Mandrake.
I learned Linux using Slackware.
I discovered package management using Debian.
I took a break and used the user friendly Ubuntu.
I became passionate about software freedom using gNewSense.
I keep current and in control using Arch Linux.
I used each of those distributions for at least about a year. I've been using the same installation of Arch Linux for three years now.
"

I remember Mandrake. I think it was the third or fourth that I used. I started out with Corel Linux though. And they had (and I still have the CDs for both) Word Perfect for Linux. I really liked Word Perfect (still like it more than Word) and used it work DOS and UNIX and thought it was really cool there was a version for Linux. It didn't last long though.

Most of the versions for Linux I used aren't listed here and don't exist anymore. Then I dropped out of Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: hard to decide
by Morgan on Wed 24th Oct 2012 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hard to decide"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: hard to decide
by yfph on Wed 24th Oct 2012 04:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hard to decide"
yfph Member since:
2009-09-03

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.
Sounds familiar. I was on Arch for the past few years and suffered niggling breakages now and then. Still, those were fixable and were no sweat off my back using the commandline. However, the aforementioned changes this summer completely broke my three-year Arch install and I'm now looking for a new home. I may look into Slackware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: hard to decide
by Morgan on Wed 24th Oct 2012 10:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: hard to decide"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

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. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: hard to decide
by Netfun81 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: hard to decide"
Netfun81 Member since:
2008-03-25

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

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: hard to decide
by stabbyjones on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE: hard to decide"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

Now that's a long list!

What do you think made you jump? Boredom or just looking for something new?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: hard to decide
by drcouzelis on Wed 24th Oct 2012 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hard to decide"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Sure. ;)

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. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hard to decide
by perspichaos on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE: hard to decide"
perspichaos Member since:
2012-10-25

Wow. That was like reading my biography.

Except for gNewSense. I never could bring myself to run it because the name sounds like gNuisance.

Reply Score: 1

RE: hard to decide
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 24th Oct 2012 18:55 UTC in reply to "hard to decide"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Has anyone changed distros to something that wasn't a parent/derivative of your old distro and stuck with it?


Yes. FreeBSD --> Ubuntu --> Fedora

I still try other distros out, and I try them out to see how different lineages do things. A Slackware lineage is different then a Red Hat lineage which is different then Debian, Gentoo, Arch etc.

For me, the sense of newness come from the friction of them not being all the same. I'm well versed in Red Hat derived distros, so running Debian feels like I'm using my left hand instead of the right.

Of course, GUIs do a pretty good job of smoothing out the differences, so it's much easier to feel the differences on the command line.

Edited 2012-10-24 18:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: hard to decide
by zima on Sat 27th Oct 2012 19:39 UTC in reply to "hard to decide"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

(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.)

Actually... this might come as a shock, but you probably aren't that important to most people ;P (I'm fairly certain I read your comments in the past, I recognise your avatar - but I wouldn't know it's Debian)

Reply Score: 2

depends on the individual
by osrocks123 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 07:07 UTC
osrocks123
Member since:
2010-05-09

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:
[1] support a lot of processor architectures
[2] supports all the desktop environments
[3] supports a lot of packages

Edited 2012-10-22 07:19 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: depends on the individual
by tidux on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:29 UTC in reply to "depends on the individual"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

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.

Reply Score: 6

Any stat about suse?
by marc.collin on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 07:17 UTC
marc.collin
Member since:
2012-08-03

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.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Any stat about suse?
by Elv13 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 02:47 UTC in reply to "Any stat about suse?"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

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.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

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

Reply Score: 1

CentOS for me
by rklrkl on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:03 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

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?

Reply Score: 2

Best for Linux servers?
by Mikaku on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:13 UTC
Mikaku
Member since:
2007-05-03

RHEL/CentOS

Edited 2012-10-22 08:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Best for Linux servers?
by Lennie on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 16:34 UTC in reply to "Best for Linux servers?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

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:

http://w3techs.com/technologies/details/os-linux/all/all

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Best for Linux servers?
by Mikaku on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Best for Linux servers?"
Mikaku Member since:
2007-05-03

Well, technically RHEL and CentOS are the same so this makes 38.6% for RHEL ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Best for Linux servers?
by Lennie on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Best for Linux servers?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

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%.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Best for Linux servers?
by Mikaku on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Best for Linux servers?"
Mikaku Member since:
2007-05-03

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

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Best for Linux servers?
by Lennie on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Best for Linux servers?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

No, Ubuntu and Debian aren't the _same_ distro.


I didn't mention that either :-)

But I understand your point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Best for Linux servers?
by Mikaku on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 08:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Best for Linux servers?"
Mikaku Member since:
2007-05-03

Cheers!
:-)

Edited 2012-10-23 08:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Best for Learning Linux In Depth
by przemo_li on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:30 UTC
przemo_li
Member since:
2010-06-01

LINUX FROM SCRATCH !!! (stupid ;) )

Reply Score: 5

Debian
by cheemosabe on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:37 UTC
cheemosabe
Member since:
2009-11-29

For a stable distro I think Debian stable fits the bill perfectly.

Reply Score: 4

Server and Workstation
by acobar on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 08:44 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

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.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Server and Workstation
by kenji on Wed 24th Oct 2012 17:52 UTC in reply to "Server and Workstation"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

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).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Server and Workstation
by marc.collin on Thu 25th Oct 2012 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Server and Workstation"
marc.collin Member since:
2012-08-03

can you describe you performance problem?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Server and Workstation
by kenji on Thu 25th Oct 2012 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Server and Workstation"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Server and Workstation
by zima on Sat 27th Oct 2012 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Server and Workstation"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Now, OpenSUSE does the job for me and does it well (except lack of performance and KDE being a big fat pig).

I suppose you can always choose LXDE as the default desktop during installation, it seems officially supported...
(but sort of the main reason for my reply: you avatar really should be animated :> )

Reply Score: 2

I prefer
by Sodapop on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 10:01 UTC
Sodapop
Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

Reply Score: 2

Ubunti
by woegjiub on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 10:49 UTC
woegjiub
Member since:
2008-11-25

Without a doubt, mine is Ubuntu.
Why? Unity.
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.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Ubunti
by adinas on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 11:19 UTC in reply to "Ubunti"
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

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

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ubunti
by drcouzelis on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 11:47 UTC in reply to "Ubunti"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

The author claims repeatedly that unity is awful, with no reason as to why.

I was thinking the same thing. The article states:

While Canonical veers off on their Unity tangent -- telling the user community what they should want -- Mint quietly satisfies them by continuing with desktop-friendly UI's.

I don't use Unity, but in my opinion it is very much a desktop friendly user interface. It certainly wasn't designed for tablets, phones, or servers...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ubunti
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 12:04 UTC in reply to "Ubunti"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The author claims repeatedly that unity is awful, with no reason as to why.


It just means he doesn't like it and the way it has changed Ubuntu.
I think it's awesome and I say that as someone who's been using Linux (and BSD) since 1996.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ubunti
by sicofante on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 01:03 UTC in reply to "Ubunti"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

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.

Reply Score: 2

Gentoo, FTW
by Hypnos on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 11:14 UTC
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

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

Reply Score: 3

wainamoinen
Member since:
2007-06-30

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.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 11:57 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marcp
by drcouzelis on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 12:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

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

The Arch Linux package manager only generates ".pacnew" files when the user has changed a system configuration file. I merge ".pacnew" files every one to three months. It takes less than five minutes to do.

What's the alternative? Should it be done automatically?

For example, if I edit my GRUB config (/etc/default/grub) and then the package manager updates GRUB, what should it do with the config file? Should it keep my changes (which might not work with the new version)? Should it use the new version (and destroy my changes)? Should it merge them and possibly have both problems? What does Debian do?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

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.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by chithanh on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

The Arch Linux package manager only generates ".pacnew" files when the user has changed a system configuration file. I merge ".pacnew" files every one to three months. It takes less than five minutes to do.

What's the alternative? Should it be done automatically?

AUR now has packaged Gentoo's "etc-update" script which makes merging of configuration files semi-automatic.

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=56190

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcp
by sicofante on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 01:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

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].


I can't think of an easier to use DE than Unity out there. From a kid to an old person, from a newbie to a pro, it couldn't be more obvious. Usability and ease of use are the two most prominent qualities of Ubuntu according to any review out there.

Software availability is second to none. Almost every app that exists for Linux will be released for Ubuntu (due, precisely, to its popularity), be it open or closed.

It's as open as you want it to be. If you are one of those who gets urticaria when exposed to closed source software, you can use Trisquel, which is the libre-only version of Ubuntu (and was created at my home town's University of Vigo, Spain, by the way). I happily use closed source software, but you can't say there's not an option.

You don't have to like Ubuntu, but these points of yours are rather weak.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcp
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 02:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but it's certainly NOT a best one out there in terms of...

...openness [in terms of freedom - libre].


How so?

it's also community oriented project, so it DOES RESPECT YOUR FREEDOM [unlike Ubuntu - which only gives you gratis product].


Exactly how does Ubuntu not respect my freedoms?

It means you are not forced to use anything you don't like and you always have choice.


I'm not forced to use anything I don't like when I use Ubuntu.

You are not presented with some crappy UI in the first place. You choose your working environment that suits you best.


Just because you like the default in Debian doesn't mean it's better (or worse) then the Ubuntu defaults.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marcp
by ze_jerkface on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 03:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

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.


By Freedom do you mean FSF newspeak?

But yes you always have choice as long as it doesn't conflict with their highly ideological view of software. See: Icecat

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


Did you try using it as a desktop? That was probably your mistake.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcp
by lucas_maximus on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 09:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by delta0.delta0 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 06:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

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.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by marcp
by Soulbender on Wed 24th Oct 2012 07:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by marcp"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

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


So...what? That has nothing to do with the RPM format itself.
Also, Debian didn't have APT from the start. First APT release was in 1998.

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.


Why? Both deb and rpm gets the job done pretty much equally well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by marcp
by delta0.delta0 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by marcp"
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Also, Debian didn't have APT from the start. First APT release was in 1998.


Sorry you are right, I knew that already but what I meant to say is that Debian had it from the start from before YDL developed Yum or redhat even standardised on the yum method not as in the very start of the Debian Linux Release.

Why? Both deb and rpm gets the job done pretty much equally well


Absolutely they do, I completely agree but its such a waste of time having to package the same program in 2 different formats to satisfy what is essentially 1 operating system. I have always wished for this, it just makes sense to unify the formats rather than continue supporting two different formats, even if its something like the Free Desktop manifesto where standards are drawn up, so duplication of effort and work is removed / drastically reduced I think we the users / maintainers / developers would all benefit from a unified / standard package management system. Not that all management systems should be removed diversity is a good thing but if there is a set standard then while there can be diversity all systems can understand packages built to this set specification, if that makes sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by marcp
by zlynx on Thu 25th Oct 2012 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by marcp"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Absolutely they do, I completely agree but its such a waste of time having to package the same program in 2 different formats to satisfy what is essentially 1 operating system.


Even if every Linux system used the same package format it would not solve the problem.

For example, Ubuntu 12 has moved to using an entirely new directory for .so libraries. How would you build a package that could install on Ubuntu 12 and on Debian and on Fedora, when all of them have slightly different file locations? And you cannot just define a %lib% macro because some programs need hard-coded file paths built into the binary.

Also, programs need to be built against different library versions. Some distros may be using libcurl.so.4 while others use libcurl.so.3. Or openssl vs gnutls.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by marcp
by lucas_maximus on Wed 24th Oct 2012 07:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by marcp"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Some believe security through obscurity is great, that hiding your security flaws magically makes them disappear, that has never been the case.


It was there for over 2 years and was due to developer laziness.

It pretty much puts the "many eyes" into the category of "Myth".

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by marcp
by delta0.delta0 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by marcp"
delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01


It was there for over 2 years and was due to developer laziness.


It was a misunderstanding, an error, do you know the exact circumstances around the issue to know for a fact that it was down to laziness ? From everything I have read about the incident it seems to be a misunderstanding rather than just laziness, shit happens and it happens in both closed and open platforms, that's reality, no such thing as perfect code, because humans are not perfect.

At least on open platforms if you stumble on shit you can clean it up, in the closed world if you stumble on shit, you have to wear it until the manufacturer cleans it up, that's the difference.



It pretty much puts the "many eyes" into the category of "Myth".


Bullshit !

How many cracks or system compromises were attributed to this ? afaik 0, none.

Sure after this had been revealed there was a lot of upgrading / key regenerations, but before it was known it looks like no one had stumbled across it, so in reality it neither proves or disproves either theory, but I love the fact that you think obscurity provides you better protection. Especially considering Windows your beloved platform of choice has been the most compromised platform on this planet and it is one of the most closed platforms.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Comment by marcp
by lucas_maximus on Wed 24th Oct 2012 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by marcp"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It was laziness, by the looks of it.

http://digitaloffense.net/tools/debian-openssl/

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

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by zima on Sat 27th Oct 2012 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Pentium 4s are now over ten years old, even the newest are 7 years old ... this is ancient.

But it is true that most P4 machines (say, certainly anything-Northwood & up) don't really require any special distro - if only they have comfortable amounts of RAM.

Even if a bit low on RAM - say, with quite typical then 256-512 MiB - Lubuntu should be fine, no need for something like Puppy.

Reply Score: 2

Popularity Has a Price
by Lorin on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 12:20 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

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.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Popularity Has a Price
by sicofante on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 01:11 UTC in reply to "Popularity Has a Price"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

"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

Reply Score: 2

RE: Popularity Has a Price
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 02:08 UTC in reply to "Popularity Has a Price"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Now what means is that popularity is bought and paid for with the marketing and media hype


Wow.....really? Please tell me more, Cap'n Obvious.
If you expect the best product to stand on it's own and get popular without marketing you're going to have a bad time.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 12:23 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

"The Best" is meaningless. Which distro fills the needs of the most users in "X" category would be more accurate.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 12:40 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

OpenBSD. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by gan17
by fithisux on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 20:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

OpenBSD. ;)


Windows 7 with msys and cygwin

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by gan17
by bradley on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 01:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by gan17"
bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

FreeBSD - OpenBSD - Slackware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by gan17
by bradley on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 00:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
bradley Member since:
2007-03-02

FreeBSD - OpenBSD - Slackware

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by gan17
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 02:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Fortunately OpenBSD is not Linux ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 07:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by gan17"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Fortunately OpenBSD is not Linux ;)

Hence the tongue-in-cheek smiley. Still, it's my preferred OS (at least until Bitrig comes good) even if it's not the most performance-oriented.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by gan17
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by gan17"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Mine too, hence the "fortunate" ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by gan17
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by gan17"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

(at least until Bitrig comes good)


Dunno about that one though. Marco always come across as an asshole on the lists and this takes that to a new level.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by gan17"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

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

Reply Score: 2

Most fun distro.
by ParadoxUncreated on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 12:49 UTC
ParadoxUncreated
Member since:
2009-12-05

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.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Most fun distro.
by sicofante on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 01:48 UTC in reply to "Most fun distro."
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

That looks interesting. I couldn't find any benchmarks at your site, though. Are there any?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Most fun distro.
by ParadoxUncreated on Wed 24th Oct 2012 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Most fun distro."
ParadoxUncreated Member since:
2009-12-05

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.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Most fun distro.
by WereCatf on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 03:01 UTC in reply to "Most fun distro."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

From http://paradoxuncreated.com/Blog/wordpress/?p=2268

There are linux-distributions with naked women, and constant rap-radio built in


There are? Are they some sort of one-man shows?

Even if Ubuntu is more professional, Mark Shuttleworth still talks about “lust” on his blog, and one gets the impression that some of the userinterface is influenced by that.

Ofcourse if I should critique Ubuntu, it would be to get the lust out


Eh?

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Most fun distro.
by ParadoxUncreated on Wed 24th Oct 2012 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Most fun distro."
RE[3]: Most fun distro.
by sicofante on Fri 26th Oct 2012 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Most fun distro."
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

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...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Most fun distro.
by zima on Sat 27th Oct 2012 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Most fun distro."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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...

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 13:30 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Ubuntu, hands down.

Reply Score: 2

My Fav is:
by XenonXZ on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 13:51 UTC
XenonXZ
Member since:
2011-05-25

Gentoo

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

Reply Score: 1

dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

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 ;)

Reply Score: 2

CentOS
by Jason Bourne on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 14:05 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

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 :-)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by BluenoseJake
by BluenoseJake on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 15:11 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

Debian on the desktop/server, and Xubuntu on laptops.

Reply Score: 2

mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

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

Reply Score: 1

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 16:47 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Debian.

Reply Score: 4

Best Linux distributions
by chithanh on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 16:49 UTC
chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

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)

Most Popular
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
Debian.

Best Support
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:
Most up-to-date
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.
Most secure
Gentoo Hardened[1,2]
Most flexible
Gentoo and LFS.
Best software selection
Debian.
Highest performance
Gentoo[3].

[1] http://labs.mwrinfosecurity.com/blog/2010/06/29/assessing-the-tux-s...
[2] http://labs.mwrinfosecurity.com/blog/2010/09/02/assessing-the-tux-s...
[3] http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7574/

Reply Score: 3

It changes with the tide.
by bryanv on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 17:35 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

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...

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 18:15 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

no-win situation. best worst desktop might be kubuntu though

Reply Score: 2

For a Linu Distro
by grumpyoldman on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 18:20 UTC
grumpyoldman
Member since:
2012-10-08

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

Reply Score: 1

"Which Linux Distro is Best?"
by l3v1 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 18:54 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Which Linux Distro is Best?


OK, I'll bite. It's Debian. If you know what you're doing, you can do anything with it, bend it to any use and purpose you can think of. Some derivatives are quite OK as well (e.g. LinuxMint), others you'd better forget.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by orestes
by orestes on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 18:58 UTC
orestes
Member since:
2005-07-06

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

Reply Score: 2

Fuduntu..
by fewt on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 19:16 UTC
fewt
Member since:
2010-06-09

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.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fuduntu..
by lucas_maximus on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 19:20 UTC in reply to "Fuduntu.."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Well personal politics seems to be a big part of what get accepted on OSNEWS.

Reply Score: 1

Freebsd hands down...
by J-freebsd_98 on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 20:48 UTC
J-freebsd_98
Member since:
2006-01-01

Some linux distros may be easier out of the box, but Freebsd (despite misgivings here about some of its recent directions[1]) 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.)
[1] not so trivial, IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Freebsd hands down...
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 24th Oct 2012 19:10 UTC in reply to "Freebsd hands down..."
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

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.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 21:10 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

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.

Reply Score: 4

Actually.... fragmentation is not good
by Jason Bourne on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 21:12 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

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.

Reply Score: 1

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

Reply Score: 2

Jason Bourne Member since:
2007-06-02

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

Reply Score: 1

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

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

Reply Score: 2

Jason Bourne Member since:
2007-06-02

If I was Red Hat CEO, I would fire GNOME designers, yesterday.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

If I was Red Hat CEO, I would fire GNOME designers, yesterday.

Actually, I'd get rid of Poettering first. He's the one who decided to turn the Linux audio situation from merely a pain in the ass into an incapable, high-latency farce. Then, as if he hadn't already done enough, he decides there's something wrong with the perfectly working init system and decides to screw that up by writing systemd, breaking every third-party product in the process.

Reply Score: 4

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

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.

Reply Score: 2

grumpyoldman Member since:
2012-10-08

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,...

Reply Score: 1

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

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,...

Android would only be the flagship linux on cell phones. It's not a desktop os. It's nothing more than a cell phone/tablet os at this point. Although there will eventually be an Android desktop version, it's going to take nothing short of a miracle for it to see even half the success on desktops.

If you're expecting to see hordes of Windows users jump ship for Android, I think you're going to be greatly disappointed.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

Android does take the top spot. But also...
http://stats.wikimedia.org/archive/squid_reports/2012-09/SquidRepor...
...Ubuntu seems to be the only one which really registers on the radar, with over a billion hits on all Wikimedia services in September stats (while for example Mint, the distro which supposedly stole droves of Ubuntu defectors, barely registers - 11.2 M, two orders of magnitude less)

Ah, but what about trends, you'll say? Let's check the beginning of the year: http://stats.wikimedia.org/archive/squid_reports/2012-01/SquidRepor... Ubuntu 947 M, Mint 18.9 M ...yeah, how about that?
In fact Ubuntu is almost the only non-Android distro which increased in that time (when the push to Unity got really under way), most of the other distros decreased. Ubuntu is the only one really growing - it seems that Unity becomes the desktop Linux UI ...you know, unifying the mess.

(or just go ahead and rely on some loud web "pundits" and their meaningless Distrowatch hits)

Edited 2012-10-27 19:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Best Free(dom) distro
by thesunnyk on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 00:20 UTC
thesunnyk
Member since:
2010-05-21

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.

Reply Score: 5

As A Developer...
by shinkou on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 00:46 UTC
shinkou
Member since:
2011-03-24

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.

Reply Score: 2

My Turn
by ze_jerkface on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 03:00 UTC
ze_jerkface
Member since:
2012-06-22

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

Reply Score: 1

RE: My Turn
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 24th Oct 2012 19:28 UTC in reply to "My Turn"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I do run RHEL/CentOS as a webserver.

It's too easy to hit rpm hell trying to get the latest version of some web framework or utility.


Here's you're problem: latest version.

RHEL is about stability. To get that stability, they sacrifice cutting edge packages for packages that are well tested, but a little out of date.

Stability vs. newness is a choice that has to be made. Ubuntu chooses newness, and the non-LTS Ubuntu may be a better fit for you. Debian (stable) chooses stability, and you would probably have complaints similar to the ones you have about RHEL/CentOS/SL.

Also, RHEL/CentOS/SL 6 is better about having newer packages then 5. The development cycle of 6 got a little out of hand, and that contributed to 5 being really stale. Red Hat has committed to a shorter release schedule in the future to keep that from happening again.

If you're using third party repos (EPEL, RPMForge, etc.), you're going to have problems unless you're very careful about what gets installed. Some repos are careful and some aren't. I've destroyed several test servers mixing repos, so it is dangerous.

Reply Score: 3

Handheld vs Desktop/laptop vs Server
by benali72 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 03:18 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

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.

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

For handheld, Android.


IMHO MeeGo deserves a mention. It isn't widely adopted and the software selection is lacking, but from everything I've read about it it seems like a really good mobile OS. You can't really find much bad about it on any of the reviews around the Internet.

Then again, I've never used MeeGo myself. I am hunting for an N9 so I could try it out and maybe even write about my personal opinion on it in here, but alas, N9s are really hard to come by.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

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.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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?)

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

IMHO MeeGo deserves a mention. It isn't widely adopted and the software selection is lacking, but from everything I've read about it it seems like a really good mobile OS. You can't really find much bad about it on any of the reviews around the Internet.
Then again, I've never used MeeGo myself.

Maybe many of those reviewers hardly used it as well, at most superficially/skin-deep. Because OTOH I happen to know one quite thorough review which isn't that complimentary: http://www.mobile-review.com/review/nokia-n9-2-en.shtml (and note that the site doesn't like the direction of Nokia under Elop; also worth noting is how in editorials they predicted, for 3+ years or so, a bleak future if Nokia doesn't change its course; and while EN version seems somehow neglected lately, I hear its generally the ~mobile site to go in our common Eastern neighbour ...a place which was also one of traditional Nokia strongholds, BTW). Meego, in its shipping N9 form, didn't seem as smooth as some people wish to believe, had issues they apparently don't want to remember.

As it stands, Meego exhibits some properties of vaporware - not the least because there's almost no way to use it (and how hard it is to get one flies right in the face of claims about healthy sales, of supposedly many N9 units sold), also WRT what the faithful want to believe about it.

Oh well, N9 Meego will probably become one of the next Amiga-like mythos...

Edited 2012-10-29 23:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Debian here
by Dirge on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 03:34 UTC
Dirge
Member since:
2005-07-14

My vote goes to Debian Stable with backports.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 04:40 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

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.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Casey99
by Casey99 on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 05:50 UTC
Casey99
Member since:
2011-07-14

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.

Reply Score: 2

Migrated to Mageia
by fukudasan on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 05:54 UTC
fukudasan
Member since:
2006-06-04

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! ;)

Reply Score: 2

Depends...
by rhavenn on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 06:50 UTC
rhavenn
Member since:
2006-05-12

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

Reply Score: 2

RE: Depends...
by ze_jerkface on Wed 24th Oct 2012 12:23 UTC in reply to "Depends..."
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Depends...
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 24th Oct 2012 19:41 UTC in reply to "Depends..."
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

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.


Of course, you don't trust the developers, and you don't trust Red Hat either. Only trust the results you get when testing the software and patches in your test environment.

Who deploys something with out testing and vetting it first? Seriously. Who does that in a production environment that isn't someone's bedroom?

I will gladly pay RH to QA the software before I QA the software.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by yoshi314@gmail.com
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 08:23 UTC
yoshi314@gmail.com
Member since:
2009-12-14

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.

Reply Score: 1

grsec
by netpython on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 10:56 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Any linux distro with a grsec kernel and xfce desktop.

Reply Score: 2

Best distro for linux connoisseurs wrong
by jdhore on Wed 24th Oct 2012 13:10 UTC
jdhore
Member since:
2012-10-24

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

Reply Score: 2

ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

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


What are you kidding me? Gentoo is also bleeding edge and they break shit all the time. The key is to not install X, wireless or audio. That's how you avoid 95% of breaks. Of course that means you can't run it as a desktop .... yep.


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


That doesn't bother me at all. I don't buy into the 'everything must be open' philosophy. Developers should be allowed to have private conversations without being castigated.

Anyways I'll take pacman and a fast install over what Gentoo offers. But sadly the occasional Linux work I do is usually on CENT. I've been spoiled by pacman and the Arch wiki. CENT documentation is awful for how common it is.

Reply Score: 2

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

CENT documentation is awful for how common it is.


This is true. RH/CentOS documentation is rather shallow and full of holes.

Edited 2012-10-24 19:59 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Stability, blindly following upstream


That's pretty much what Arch is about. Vanilla packages straight from the upstream projects, warts and all.

Build it, ship it, and let the user beware is pretty much why people like Arch. There are enough distros that patch stuff up so you're running their version of Apache, or whatever software you use.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Flatland_Spider
by Flatland_Spider on Thu 25th Oct 2012 03:32 UTC
Flatland_Spider
Member since:
2006-09-01

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.

Reply Score: 1

How about Corel Linux?
by Sabon on Thu 25th Oct 2012 17:27 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

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

Reply Score: 2

slackware
by 2501 on Fri 26th Oct 2012 21:48 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

slackware and slax.

Reply Score: 1

Form That Follows Function
by hoak on Sat 27th Oct 2012 08:09 UTC
hoak
Member since:
2007-12-17

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

Reply Score: 1