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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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 Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Best Linux distro
by chithanh on Wed 24th Oct 2012 14:16 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 Parent Score: 2