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.
Thread beginning with comment 539491
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 15:05 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by chithanh on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 17:15 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcp
by sicofante on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 01:25 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcp
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 02:06 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by marcp
by ze_jerkface on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 03:14 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcp
by lucas_maximus on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 09:39 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by delta0.delta0 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 06:26 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 Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by zima on Sat 27th Oct 2012 20:01 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 Parent Score: 2