How do you choose a distro?


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Thread: How do you choose a distro?

  1. #1

    How do you choose a distro?

    I suspect many make their choice based on wallpaper. First impressions count and some are easily seduced by a pretty face. Mess #7 from Redmond is one example but there are others too, like that OS with big burgers and fruit.

    Others I suspect make the choice based on their first experience. Once they find something that works they never stray from it. I picture them chanting about their “lucky distro” as they push the power button.

    Then there are those (like me) who value speed, functionality and ease of use above all else. These people eschew appearances and go for the jugular. Being pretty doesn’t even enter into the equation. Like me they could give could give rats a$$ less about wallpaper or shiny baubles, that’s why I use Puppy Linux.

    So what’s your story? How do you choose an OS? Is it wallpaper, shiny baubles, a pretty (inter)face, beginners luck or the need for speed and ergonomics?

  2. #2
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    Ease of managing my system pretty much cinched Debian as my choice. Seeing as how lazy I am, nothing beats Debian's package manager for that job. That and the fact that it's been around, and probably will be, for so long makes it the ideal distro for me.

    I've given up on distro hopping since Debian Etch was Testing. Debian is all I need.
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  3. #3
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    The Transparency of Slackware.
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  4. #4
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    I used Kubuntu because I had used it before. Let me say i am impressed with how it has improved. I chose it because I liked the package library and knew it would be a good choice. Not the fastest or the prettiest but overall pretty good.

  5. #5
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    I chose gentoo because I like to watch code compile for hours on end
    It gives me that "Matrix" feel...
    Need help in realtime? Visit us at #linuxnewbie on irc.libera.chat

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  6. #6
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    I originally chose Mandrake based on the balance of several reviews, found it was far too bloated and unstable for my liking, then found that (being Linux) it could be fixed, and fixed well - which was handy in a time when anything over 10MB came by mail order.

    Since then I've always liked the feel of Mandr(ake|iva) with Fluxbox, although it's gained weight in the last few versions - so now I've installed Debian, and if that doesn't work out I might just go crawling on back to Puppy. Or try Kolibrios.
    We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.
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  7. #7
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    Well I'm down to two distro's I use Debian as my primary OS, second to that would be Slackware. I agree with loopback48 for management, Debian stands at the top of the list for that. I may have to give Gentoo another try although at my age, life is getting to short so I may not live to see it finish compile. Sorry je_fro

  8. #8
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    It's truly a personal preference. I believe that to reach a real comfort level one should try a number of distros. Users are all different and every distro has a vision of what they wanted to be and/or add to the Linux community.

    We face choices like these everyday:
    1. Toyota or Honda
    2. Kawasaki or a Harley
    3. Sony or Toshiba
    4. Dell or Apple
    5. Slackware or Debian


    For me:
    1. Support
    2. Flexibilty
    3. Ease of use


    I kept coming back to Debian. I really like that I can run servers with Stable and desktops with Testing.

    I don't buy the bloat argument. Files don't bog done a system. The services you run and which desktop solution you choose has more to do with performance than the disto.

  9. #9
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    Why not have them all?

    There is no law against that.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    Why not have them all?

    There is no law against that.
    No law against it, true. But at my age - 62 - and smoking too much and drinking too much and eating frozen dinners every day and not working out enough, I've got to use my remaining time on earth wisely. I have no need nor desire to spend days and days tweaking a distro like Slackware or Gentoo. I feel they take too much effort and time. I've got things to do. And don't see the results. No offense to you adherents. None what so ever.

    Of course I've gone through the hopping from one distro to the next like most have. Even tried Slackware and Gentoo. But that's a thing of the past for me. Debian is so solid and easy to work with that I just can't bring myself to try another distro. Hell, even their Testing branch ( which I'm using ) is pretty damn solid. Quick instillation, stability, ease of management, long term support, longevity ; Those are Debian's strong suit. No sir, I'll stick with Debian as my main OS. As far as I'm concerned, nothing else is needed.

    Let me touch on longevity if I may. No one thought Conectiva would fade out. But it did. Bought up by Mandrake. And Mandrake/Mandriva almost bit the bullet. Wasn't it just a few years ago that the maintainer of Slackware almost died? And if he did, perhaps his beloved Slackware as well? Then there is Libranet. A distro that had a great following and much potential. It's now relegated to the Linux dust heaps. Any one still working with Lindows/Whatever it became? And lets not forget Xandros. Is DSL still active? Can't say that will happen to Ubuntu. Don't see it going down the tubes. But one never knows. For several reasons, I don't think Debian will. And that's why I'm sticking with Debian.

    Now I don't want anyone to get pissed at me. I'm telling the original poster why I choose the distro I'm using. And I guess its as good a reason as any other.

    Nothing like the passion of true love. Is there?
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  11. #11
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    loopback48,

    If there is any consolation I am only one year younger than you!

    Like Ubuntu, which originally based on Debian, Gentoo and Slackware have improved over the years.

    I think Slackware is one of the oldest distro that has remained solid throughout the years. I would have difficulty to norminate another major distro that still stick with a text installer. When suitably configured it is very efficient and fast.

    The more distros one installs the easier for one to see the common denorminators in Linux. It is true different distros died from time to time but that is due to lack of maintenance or the maintainers have switched their interest to something else. I believe Linux kernel will last a lot longer than many PC systems, including MS Winodws.

    If one can get by with a Linux terminal, where the major wonder lies IMO, one can operates any distro's desktop. Thus I don't think different distros are all that much different from each other. Some distros receive a lot more attention and this will show up in their consistency in performance.

    I don't think a user can go wrong with any of the major distros like Slackware, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu and Mandriva. In term of user friendliness Ubuntu has achieved more than the other families.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  12. #12
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by saikee View Post
    loopback48,

    If there is any consolation I am only one year younger than you!

    Like Ubuntu, which originally based on Debian, Gentoo and Slackware have improved over the years.

    I think Slackware is one of the oldest distro that has remained solid throughout the years. I would have difficulty to norminate another major distro that still stick with a text installer. When suitably configured it is very efficient and fast.

    The more distros one installs the easier for one to see the common denorminators in Linux. It is true different distros died from time to time but that is due to lack of maintenance or the maintainers have switched their interest to something else. I believe Linux kernel will last a lot longer than many PC systems, including MS Winodws.

    If one can get by with a Linux terminal, where the major wonder lies IMO, one can operates any distro's desktop. Thus I don't think different distros are all that much different from each other. Some distros receive a lot more attention and this will show up in their consistency in performance.

    I don't think a user can go wrong with any of the major distros like Slackware, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu and Mandriva. In term of user friendliness Ubuntu has achieved more than the other families.
    No, you being a year younger is of no consolation at all!

    But I will agree that learning how to use a terminal is of paramount importance. I started using Linux in mid/late '90. Couldn't do without it then. But that's not so today. While I feel confortable using a terminal, I find myself using less and less. And I like that very much. With that said, once again, working with Debain, even using a terminal, is so much easier that other distros.
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  13. #13
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    Critical in the choosing for me...

    ...was getting a second machine. (Now I have 4, mostly used. All sort of in the build.. some people jus' got no restraint ner discretion.)

    So, some room to experiment, to try Linux as
    an O.S. One I'd always wondered on and thought I must when I could.
    Without the angst that goes into screwing around with a (my) single box
    full of several years of acquisition and even some real work.

    VERY liberating...clueless as to which or where until I read...
    ------------------
    SimplyMEPIS 7.0
    13 reasons why Linux should be on your desktop
    .
    by Kim Brebach
    http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT5836989728.html

    Who said..
    "Of the distros designed for users who're not up to command line acrobatics, SimplyMepis impressed me the most. It crept up on me over time, since it's not as showy as Mandriva or as fast as LinuxMint or as well-upholstered as Novell's SLED."
    -------------
    So I did. And it's been good to me. Which is not in the least to denigrate ANY other. Just that it and K[U]buntu are the only with which I have any experience. And now that Mepis has committed to Debian I have both Debian and Ubuntu to follow.

    And now to an O.T. and why I even found this link and source.
    Which is that pretty damned soon, I'm going to have to move my XP to a new disk and have been treasuring saikee's terrific 2004 instructional.
    So, glad (fairly nervous about the undertaking-me) to find him(?) still at it.
    But later for that on the appropriate thread.

    Good to be here in the face & spite of my registrational issues....
    never was good at fine print.

  14. #14
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    The Command Line Interface is mainly the kernel itself so it is the common denominator of all Linux systems and some parts of it are common to Unix (BSD, SOlaris etc) too.

    The immense power of Linux lies with the CLI or the terminal mode. This is because Linux is open source and the user has the full owner's right to configure the system, a feature unavailable to any proprietary system.

    There are subtle differences between distros in removing and adding components to the kernel but when one works with one distro one should have no problem in coping with any other distro.

    One thing I found in Linux is the CLI seldom changes. The knowledge can last for a life time. The CLI is the best teacher too. If it doesn't work the user is always told why or a clue is provided.

    Therefore any distro is as good as the other except some are more actively maintained and supported. I found a lot of fun with the boot loaders because knowing a little bit of the basics is enough for me to install and try a large number of operating systems, including the proprietary ones. A Linux boot loader is in the main just a terminal mode command in Linux.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  15. #15
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    I found yoper really really confusing which is why I didn't choose it.

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