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Ubuntu may be popular, but it's certainly NOT a best one out there in terms of usability, ease of use, available software, openness [in terms of freedom - libre].
Besides - it is based on Debian. I don't see Debian here. Without Debian Ubuntu would probobly exist in different shape and form - maybe with RPM as its underlying package management [and that would be - potentially - tragedy]. Pay some respect to Debian, it really deserves it.
Debian itself is pretty decent OS [at least testing]. It beats Ubuntu on the fields of performance, modularity, customizability. It's also community oriented project, so it DOES RESPECT YOUR FREEDOM [unlike Ubuntu - which only gives you gratis product].
It means you are not forced to use anything you don't like and you always have choice. You are not presented with some crappy UI in the first place. You choose your working environment that suits you best.
Besides - Debian was one of the first distros out there. Don't know about you, but I trust it to be good, stable and fast and it does the job right.
Arch is also cool, but it takes too much attention of the user. It makes you a constant tinkerer, and upgrades are in fact PITA, because it requires you to merge some *.pacnews everytime you got any change. Some things should be done automatically, otherwise you can - as well - use LFS, which probobly does not make any sense for most users.
I don't understand why people praise Puppy Linux so much. It is ugly, it is chaotic, it is clumsy and unintuitive. To me it's a 'punk rocker's distro in a clean IT scene'.
I also don't get it why PIV must be described as an old cpu ... come on. I run it for many years without any problems. I got full-blown XFCE4 desktop with many widgets, apps, and tasks in the backgroud and it works just fine. It's true that I don't consume mass media, videos, etc, but it workds just fine. It certainly doesn't require me to run some specially crafted "linux distro for old/ancient PCs". The only thing it actually lacks is a VT extension, but I got it on my other machines, so I use it if I virtualize server instances, etc.
Grub config is almost always handled automatically in Debian. There's regular grub configuration [which is dynamically generated everytime there's a change in kernel number, etc], and there's /etc/default/grub file which contains custom option that user wants to automatically add to default grub configs everytime they're being generated. That solves the problem. Occasionaly you'll get a merge window [diff], and that's what I call reasonable config file management.
I just think Arch's way of handling config files is kinda ... irritating at least to me. Some things should be automated. There are more important things that needs our attention.
Why is RPM a bad format?
What does "respecting your freedoms" mean exactly? If you don't want to use Unity in Ubuntu you can always use something else.
Debian maintains put in the bug that was spotted for years that broke SSL for thousands of sites.
Pentium 4s are now over ten years old, even the newest are 7 years old ... this is ancient.
RPM's are not bad per say, its just that yum or apt for rpm gives to deadrat sorry I mean redhat the exact same functionality that Debian has had from the start. Red Hat and Debian both need to man up and sit down and form a new package management system which combines both of their systems into 1.
1 Debian maintainer made a mistake for seeding random data, a mistake that had actually been raised to openssl devs who didn't catch the issue and when the bug was found it was rectified pretty quickly. Why do you bring this up ?
Some believe security through obscurity is great, that hiding your security flaws magically makes them disappear, that has never been the case.