Sell me your distro...

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Sell me your distro...

Postby heiowge » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Ok. Not actually sell it. Not in the financial sense.

What I mean is tell us what's so great about your distro of choice compared with others I could install.

btw, this thread isn't designed to start a flame war. I just want to know why people choose the distro they do. What they find best about the one they use most.
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Postby Spangwiches » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:43 am

I'm obviously new, hope you don't mind me chipping in.

It's interesting because once you've got a distro installed and working how you like it the only really major point of difference, in most cases, is the package manager. WMs are the same, apps are the same, structure is close enough as to not matter.

And yet they all feel so different. They have different personalities and it's very hard to convey that verbally.

So:

Fedora

I have reservations about it being a bit too easy for what I currently want, but I've discussed those at length elsewhere.

Installation was easy and super fast, I suspect it just copies an image to disk because it was actually worryingly fast. One gripe was that the option to install (when in a live environment) was tucked away in the gnome menu rather than being prominent somewhere. I actually had to google to check I hadn't downloaded just a live disc.

A nice touch during the install is that it asks which OS to make the default in Grub. I don't think Ubuntu does this (the option may be there if you dig for it, I'm not sure) and I suspect it's really ofputting to a lot of new users. If they're coming from windows then of course they're going to want to boot windows most of the time, and they're going to have to google how to do that (and it's not a trivial thing to do) after their first boot. I suspect that's hugely offputting to a lot of new users, it's at best thoughtless and at worst arrogant. That's indicative of a sort of consideration which permeates Fedora.

In use, it's just very very easy and quite light feeling. It doesn't feel loaded down with unnecessary shit but everything an average user needs is either there or within easy reach.

Installing Nvidia drivers wasn't quite as simple as in Ubuntu/Mint, but it was just a couple of shell commands so that's easy enough. Codecs and stuff I installed through an app called autoten, which I recommend.

Gnome Shell is lovely and well implemented. I've had no problems with it after changing the word 'Activities' to 'hello' on the launcher thing. 'Activities' is far too strident, I don't want my computer shouting at me, I want it welcoming me politely. Like a butler.

Yum is lovely too. At least as lovely as apt (if slower), Installing things like KDE is easy via the yum groupinstall thing, though not as tidy as dummy deb packages seem to be - groupremoving KDE left holes in Gnome where there were shared packages, which seems like a dumbass choice. Adding extra repos is easier than dealing with PPAs. I still don't understand PPAs. Overall I find yum friendlier than apt. And typing 'yum' is always funny.

Fedora feels very nicely put together. There's an aesthetic consistency and things just fit together nicely. I can't really comment on hardware support as everything 'just works' in all recent distros I've tried (aside from my onboard emulated IDE which doesn't work on any of them).

To my mind, Fedora is a far better candidate for a distro to recommend to new users than the usual suspects (Ubuntu, Mint (can't comment on SUSE or Mand-whateverit'scallednow)). I always had to do far more fiddling and googling to get things set up on Ubuntus than I have on Fedora. So yes, it's supplanted Mint for me as what I recommend to friends who want to try out this Linux thing they've heard so much about.

Ok, that's more of a badly-written review than it is a sales pitch. Sorry about that.

The sales Pitch:

Fedora: It's like Ubuntu only a little bit harder to install drivers and codecs but with less **** installed and buttons in the right places. And blue instead of orange.
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Postby M-Saunders » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:55 am

Xubuntu.

1) Loads of packages from the Debian/Ubuntu repos

2) A desktop that doesn't have over 9,000 settings or tries to be a tablet UI

Do I win?

M
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Postby heiowge » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:14 am

You did on my daughter's new (ish) laptop. :lol:
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Postby heiowge » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:16 am

Kubuntu for me.

I was very much a Gnome fan, until Ubuntu moved to Unity. I tried it a few times, along with the alternative of Gnome 3 and didn't like either.

KDE was now stable enough to be workable again, so I tried Kubuntu and stuck with it. Sure I miss Gnome 2, but until a stable fork of it appears, it does me nicely. Plus I quite like the plasmids.
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Postby ajgreeny » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:20 pm

As a current, and very happy ubuntu 10.04 user, I think Xubuntu will be my choice when 10.04 loses support.

Unity is totally unusable as far as I'm concerned with the way I use my computer. I have used it and tried it in both the 3d and 2d versions, but it is far too unwieldy in my opinion.

I started with kde when I first used linux, then moved to gnome when I first saw and liked Ubuntu, though I added the kubuntu-desktop until about 2 or 3 years ago, to have the best of both worlds. Now I'm in gnome2 only, except for my netbook which runs Lubuntu (LXDE) extremely well. Xubuntu with XFCE-4.8 seems the nearest I will be able to get when gnome2 finally disappears.
Xubuntu 12.04 user, and loving it!
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Postby Ram » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:56 pm

I'm with AJ, started with KDE (still use it on my openSUSE server for now) Started to use gnome2 with Ubuntu.

So currently have ubuntu 10.04 LTS, on my Desktop and Laptop.
Running Mint on my netbook with gnome2 menu system.

lubuntu LXDE 13.10 running on AMD Phenom II*4; ASUS Crosshair III Formula MB; 4 GB Ram.....
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Postby paulm » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:58 am

My current favourites:

Salix (Slackware compatible, but with a few user friendly bits, such as dep tracking in the package manager, easy setup tools). Clean, fast, available with a numuber of different desktops, though my choice is Xfce.

SalineOS (Debian stable-based). Quick install, loads of software so long as you don't need the most recent versions of things. Xfce desktop again.

Both have good community support, both are stable and low maintenance. I prefer Salix overall, but find the breadth of software available in SalineOS tempting.

I've used most of the current desktop environments around, but always end up going back to Xfce - it provides a happy medium between Gnome (do it our way or don't do it at all) and KDE (adjust everything you want, just don't expect any of it to make any sense). :-) Not that I'm biased, or anything.....

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Postby pfnorris » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:01 pm

Arch - Easy to setup - with the guide if you're new to it. No bloat, your own choice of packages and nothing else. Latest and greatest software, yet still solid as a rock. Absolutely the best (in my experience/opinion) documentation. What's not to like?

P.S With gnome-shell.
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