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Choosing a distro: Pros and Cons from real users

Link to this post 04 Mar 11

I started with the most common distributions like Debian, Suse, RedHat, Slackware and Mandrake. The problem was always this hunting for .rpm,.deb or tarballs from the developers website.
Some were packaging it as .rpm only some only .deb and others again only provided the source code in a tarball.
The apache1.2.blabla would only work with php version blabla and so on, there was no real version control.

Then came Gentoo and had the first really cool system to handle software installations (Portage), which was adapted from BSD system at that time. You could install, clean uninstall, handle config files and even had version control. You also always used the same tool to do it, "emerge".

The available software in the portage tree was always very big and if it is not there, write a bug report and or write the ebuild script yourself (not sooo hard, but barely documented).

Gentoo becomes a little like the unknown distribution behind other more fancy ones... like Debian is behind Ubuntu and CentOS is a "copy" of RedHat Enterprise and OpenSuse based on Suse, while Fedora is the testing ground for RedHat itself.

If you check http://oswatershed.org/ Gentoo is still one of the most up to date distribution to be able to report bugs upstream, rather than trying to fix the old versions of software to work with the rest of the distribution. (with the current ~unstable directly between Archlinux and Fedora).

In Gentoo, if I want to test or use something that is uncommon, I just do it. After all it's all about choice in Gentoo.
I do not have to wait until some developer builds a package or changes a setting for me. In reality every person who installs Gentoo is in some way [his|her] own developer, because only [he|she] knows what's going on in the system and what is installed in the first place. Gentoo is too flexible and customizeable to give generic support.

This is just some experienceof a Gentoo user :)

Link to this post 22 Mar 11

Distro Name: CrunchBang Linux or, short: #!

http://crunchbanglinux.org/

Version Used: 10 Statler

Pros:
Stable
Fast
Highly Configurable
Small memory footprint

Cons:
Read the disclaimer of this distribution on the website
"CrunchBang Linux is not recommended for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. CrunchBang Linux could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG! Therefore CrunchBang Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law.
CrunchBang Linux is an unofficial version of Debian GNU/Linux. Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. CrunchBang Linux is not affiliated with SPI."

Included Desktop Managers:
XFCE
OpenBox

Intended Users:
Experienced Linux Users

Personal Feelings/Opinion:
#! is fast, clear, lightweight, lean and with a desktop-environment like OpenBox the best way to dive deep into Linux and to learn the core stuff of Linux.

Screenshot:

Link to this post 13 Apr 11

I am quite new to Linux. Currently, I am running Ubuntu 10.10 on an old Presario. The only issue that I have had is one of support for a wireless USB adapter. However, a friend gave me a Belkin Wireless G adapter. Since then, I have not had any issues.

My words of advice:

1) Without installing, run Ubuntu from the CD. This allows you to see any hardware issues that you may have before doing an install. If there are too many issues, you might consider another flavor of Linux. Or at least, you will have a chance to research any conflicts or issues before you begin the install.

2) If and when a person chooses to do an install, it makes the process super easy if the system can connect to the Internet.

3) Enjoy!

I am blessed that I have not had any real issues that I could not repair. And believe me, I am not a guru, by any means.

Link to this post 29 Apr 11

Distro: Ubuntu (xubuntu)

Pros: Easy to understand, as Ubuntu/Xubuntu is so similar to windows that any noob can use it. Love the fact that Ubuntu software center is there, no clue what I would do without it.

Cons: None so far. As time goes on, I hope none come up.

I have the Xubuntu 10.04 LTS and the thing I like about it most is that I can run it on alot of computers that I come into contact with, especially the ancients. I have an older HP desktop that it works pretty well on. Hoping to sell it on Craigslist.

Link to this post 29 Apr 11

I've used/am using:

Red Hat: 4.x - 9.0
RHEL: 2.x - 5.x
CentOS: 4.x - 5.x
Fedora Core: 3 - 6
Fedora: 7 - 12
Ubuntu: 8.x - 10.x
Debian/PA-RISC: ???
Mandriva: ???
Various Debian-based embedded Linux Operating Systems (ARM/x86)

For me, it comes down to one thing, basically: package management. To me, everything else doesn't matter (b/c at the core it is mainly the Linux kernel and the GNU utilities) - as long as you're willing to spend the time to customize and learn. If you have a favorite app/desktop/widget/whatever, you can probably get it onto your Linux OS somehow - hopefully easily, but that is the real trick. I know that this philosophy doesn't work for n00bs, but that's okay, i'm just saying why it works for me. N00bs need an OS that "just works" and lots of people here can make good suggestions.

What I mean by package management is: how do you install some app, say ethereal? Do I have multiple ways to install it? (from one or more command line tools, from a GUI, etc.). Is it easy to query the package to get information about it? How do I check for package dependencies? Can I add a repository of software from some other (trusted) source?

I cut my teeth on Red Hat (and thus the RPM/Yum package system) in the beginning, and naturally migrated to CentOS and Fedora. I have not tried many other non-RPM-based Linux OSs, but I was impressed by Ubuntu's totally different but equally efficient package system. but in the end, yum install firefox, apt-get install firefox - whatev.

I also do a lot of my own packaging of software for RPM-based systems, and I'm very happy with the tools provided by the RPM developer suite - they are rather extensive and quite sufficient enough for my purposes.

Link to this post 08 Jun 11

This part confuses me, "Pos: Stability" "Con:Limited Stability" please elaborate.

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