“We often hear from readers who want to track the development process of their favorite Linux distribution but don’t know where to start. Budding Linux enthusiasts frequently ask how the release cycles work, what the version numbers mean, and what options are available for end-user testing prior to official releases. The answers to those questions differ depending on the distribution, but we are going to attempt to address those questions for Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE – three of the most prominent desktop Linux distributions. We will also provide a brief visual comparison of upcoming versions with screenshots of the prereleases.”
Tracking Linux Prereleases: OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora
2008-03-24 Linux 4 Comments
Just have a look at the usual mailinglists of several projects.
I find the value of comparing pre-releases of Linux distro’s by visuals (screenshots, nonetheless) very doubtful.
For me, the value of a linux distro boils down to (a) how well it recognizes and configures all of my exotic hardware out of the box (most linux distro’s are getting quite good at this), and (b) how easily it allows you to update all of your software. (apt, pacman and FreeBSD ports score very high here).
It can get extra points for providing a useful configuration gui, and for not starting deamons I don’t want, but hey, what do I care about the default look of a distro. That’s the DE, I know I can select the DE of my choice (be it KDE, Gnome or Xfce), but everything below that (up to Xorg) needs to be set up perfectly well (I find it very frustrating to dig for problems with an improperly setup X or missing kernel module).
EDIT: (I’m not a linux power user. I’m still waiting for the day that I can do all I want on linux, but I do have a designated *nix box at home. Currently it’s running Xubuntu 7.10 which did everything I needed it to. The next distro I install anywhere will just be whatever works best out of the box, I’ll learn to live with it and tweak it the way I like)
Edited 2008-03-25 07:58 UTC