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Thread: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

  1. #1
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    How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    A couple of years ago back sometime in 2009, I tried GNU/Linux for the first time and I chose Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit GNU/Linux at that time. Since then, I have tried almost all of the major and popular GNU/Linux and BSD UNIX distributions, but I found myself going back to Ubuntu. Today, I stopped distro hopping because I don't like reinstalling my desktop operating system repeatedly. The reason why I stopped distro hopping is due to my opinion that Linux is Linux and the different desktop environments and windows managers are nice to play with, but nothing comes as close to near perfect as Ubuntu Unity. It's mature, stable, and well polished and it just works and it gets out of my way. GNOME, KDE, Pantheon, XFCE, LXDE, etc. are all nice and I can see why they have their supporters, but Ubuntu and Unity together are magical. Ubuntu is the most user friendly distribution that avoids a lot of the pain associated with GNU/Linux. It makes smart decisions and it makes the right compromises that balance the desktop user experience with a strong focus on usability and simplicity. There are fewer hoops to jump through in installing, setting up, configuring, and using Ubuntu as my daily driver. Red Hat Fedora is too bleeding edge. CentOS isn't for me. OpenSuSE is a close competitor, but I don't like the RPM system and adding and managing multiple software repositories can be tricky especially for novices. OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is ideal for power users that are experienced in package management. Elementary OS is pretty, but it is only skin deep. I don't like the irregular release cycles that are somewhat unpredictable and it's a bit too focused on the Apple Macintosh OS X like desktop experience for me. Arch is a pain in the butt. Majaro doesn't make much sense to me either. Mageia failed to boot on my PCs. Linux Mint is pretty good, but the Cinnamon and MATE desktop environment are not mature and stable enough compared to Ubuntu Unity and the Linux kernel is kind of locked into place which leaves bugs and security vulnerabilities along with future PC hardware support to be lacking for me.

    Now that I've alienated just about all of the other GNU/Linux users, I'll focus on PC-BSD. I find it to be excellent, but it's too small of a community compared to Ubuntu and not all of my PC hardware components and software applications are compatible. Otherwise, I would use it now.

    Distro hopping is nice to do, but I'd rather use my legally purchased copy of VMWare Workstation 64 bit to test competing desktop operating systems. The good thing about VMWare is that it keeps Workstation up to date and relatively free of security bugs and vulnerabilities, but is a closed source and commercial software product that is quite expensive. However, the features are worth it for me. This is now my preferred way of testing alternative desktop operating systems. I don't multi-boot. What I noticed about distro hopping is growing confusion and dissatisfaction with specific gotchas in terms of PC hardware or software compatibility issues. I'd find something not to my liking and I would throw away all of my work and switch back to Ubuntu.

    I'd be interested in knowing how many members here stopped distro hopping and why along with which distribution you are using now. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    I stopped distro hopping with LMDE 2 Cinnamon. You can't get any more stable than with a Debian base and I really like the direction Cinnamon is going. Cinnamon 2.6 is the best release yet! Everything has a nice new interface now with modern looking toggle switches, Nemo ques copy operations and runs them in sequence, screen savers are back and in a nice new interface, Nemo has a new plug-ins manager, etc. Cinnamon has really matured with the 2.6 release! Performance is outstanding, so much so that it is about as light on resources as Xfce now.

    I have nothing to gain distro hopping now!

  3. #3
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    I never started distro hopping. I did not see any need to do that. All computer operating systems do the same things. They may look differently and have different ways of doing things but underneath it all they do the same things.

    I started using Ubuntu in 2007 and I was glad that it was possible to convert my private projects that I started in Windows onto Linux/Ubuntu. I did not find it at all difficult to convert from Gnome 2 panel to Unity. Humans have an ability to adapt.

    I satisfy my curiosity by using the development version of Ubuntu and by installing the development versions of the Ubuntu family of distributions and from each of them I can work on my private projects.

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  4. #4
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    I done quite a bit of distro hopping over the years, but over last few years, and even more recently, I've been sticing with Ubuntu. Every 6 months, I upgrade to the next development version. If there is a new distrobution that looks promising, I'll give it a try in vbox, but I usually only install it to see what it looks like, then very rarely visit again.

    AS for trying distros on my laptop or main desktop system, it it won't boot in UEFI mode, I give it a pass.

  5. #5
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    How many here like to research and read about other GNU/Linux or BSD UNIX distributions more than actually trying it out bare metal in a multi-boot setup on their PCs? The thrill is gone with distro hopping for me, but the curiosity is eternal. I like reading articles about the latest desktop environments and window managers just as much as I like reading about the latest release of a competing distribution, but I am very wary about trying it out bare metal. Today, I use VMWare Workstation 11.1.0 64 bit, but I have not downloaded, installed, setup, configured, or used any guest virtual machines yet. I just don't see the need to try out something and pine for it only to be back using the latest Ubuntu 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux again.

    The closest I ever considered switching was OpenSuSE Tumbleweed 64 bit GNU/Linux. I really do like the YaST2 tool that is unique to it and I like the OpenSuSE community as well. It appeals to me as a former system administrator quite a bit. Yet, it is largely an enterprise user tool kit and control panel that is largely useless to me as a retired middle aged man today. I also like the Tumbleweed project because it only uses the latest stable software packages, libraries, and dependencies, but once in a while there is an update that breaks the desktop operating system. This is why I don't use OpenSuSE especially Tumbleweed any longer. Besides, I had problems installing it and getting my Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P to work with UEFI and Secure Boot with a previous version.

    I have been using almost all of the major and minor GNU/Linux and BSD UNIX distributions and my advice to members here especially for new members is to dabble as much as you would like to do so while using a software product like VMWare Workstation 64 bit and get it out of your system. Let the curiosity for FLOSS technologies burn brightly, but do not stray too far from home. Be especially careful about your own decision making process in choosing your daily driver and remember each reason why you chose it in the first place and let that be your north star that guides you. Distro hopping is interesting and it can be fun at times, but it comes with a double edged sword of stepping out of your own comfort zone and stepping into the unknown.

    The more that I continue to use the latest Ubuntu 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux distribution, the more that it continues to grow on me and I have a fond place in my heart for it. It is such an easy breeze to install and use daily. Using my two Ubuntu 14.04.2 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux certified PCs is a pure pleasure daily. I get straight to the purchased premium software applications or content that I own and there is no fiddling around using Ubuntu. I save more time and money by sticking with Ubuntu 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux rather than using Apple Macintosh OS X or iOS and Microsoft Windows combined. The feeling of freedom, liberty, and community here is gratifying so long as I remember to review the forum rules from time to time and I continue to get medical treatment for my diagnosis which is critical. Ubuntu frees me to do what I want without wondering if my PC is betraying my trust with my identity, personal or health identifiable information, and my privacy.

    Find out where the masses are going. Go in the opposite direction. Your chances are better.

  6. #6
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    Xubuntu

    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    I've stopped for the most part.

    When I first started, I had a teacher mis-burn a copy of Linspire. (Burned the ISO as a file to disc instead of an image.)
    Went from that to Mandrake, to having someone recommend Slax/Slackware.

    Used Redhat to Fedora Core to PC-BSD. Absolutely hated setting up Fedora ports in PC-BSD.

    Finally got a reliable introduction manual that came with a copy of MEPIS.
    Learned MEPIS with KDE3/3.5 until the developer decided he'd switch from Debian sources to Ubuntu sources.

    I figured, then, if he was going to use Ubuntu sources, I'd just as well use Ubuntu.


    Stayed with Vanilla Ubuntu for a while until Gnome was dropped for Unity.
    Then jumped ship to XUbuntu because of its resemblance to Gnome 2.

    After all, if the underlying base of apt/dpkg works, why throw out everything you know to spite the DE?

    One of the big reasons I stick to Ubuntu and its derivatives is the availability of a LTS edition.
    I was getting tired of having to re-setup my system every six months.

    Ran g/OS when that was a thing. Then, it disappeared from the face of the Earth.

    Have a machine with a GMA500 card that got moved around a lot when it was in heavy use.
    --Ubuntu / Mandriva / Fedora. Any time one got a stable-ish video driver, it got tacked onto a 6-month edition instead of a LTS edition.


    For a brief while, it ran Linux Mint Debian Edition, until I found I was locked from adding search engines in their custom-packed FireFox.
    The machine is now my sole remaining Debian install after I had my desktop install fail.

    I still prefer Ubuntu to Debian when I can get it. Debian still feels rather strict in what it allows or how to go about things. Between that and packages being older... You know. Except when you need older.

    I look forward to rolling-releases of Ubuntu in the future and having FFMPEG return in place of libav in the next LTS.
    Last edited by Adam_GUI; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:02 AM.
    And, isn't sanity really just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick: "rational thinking."
    But, when you're good and crazy? Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! The sky is the limit!

  7. #7
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    I don't use the standard Ubuntu 64 bit GNU/Linux releases. I stick with Ubuntu 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux for long term reliability, stability, maturity, and especially support. I can not be bothered with a botched upgrade every six months. If I really want to try a standard Ubuntu 64 bit GNU/Linux release cycle, then I will use VMWare Workstation 64 bit and I will make sure that I keep it up to date for the latest Ubuntu 64 bit GNU/Linux distribution that I plan to install and use in a guest virtual machine. The beauty of 64 bit LTS releases is that it's entirely predictable and expected to just work right out of the box for up to five years of support from Canonical. I like to purchase and own the latest and greatest high end GNU/Linux PCs and electronics, but my desktop operating system which is my daily driver has to be rock solid day in and day out.

    Distro hopping teaches you to be good at investigating, researching, critical thinking skills, and self-dependency along with fostering good social and communication skills to know when to reach out for help and support. It just gets a little bit crazy when switching distributions every six to eight months for me. When you know a specific distribution, you know only that one. Don't generalize it to the GNU/Linux and don't mistake it for BSD UNIX either. Every device and operating system has its' own idiosyncrasies just like people in your lives. Distro hopping is like meeting new people and going to new places like travelling abroad, but don't forget where your home is.

    I have made the latest Ubuntu 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux my home. This is what I use daily on all of my PCs past, present, and future. It grounds me and it gives me my identity as a computer user in this chaotic and dangerous world. I have retrained my mindset to that of Canonical's strategy for its' future. There is a reason why most people that know even a little bit about GNU/Linux have at least heard of Ubuntu. This is how I got my start into the FLOSS ecosystem and this is where I will stay until the end of my days. Canonical and Ubuntu are forging the future of GNU/Linux like it or not. They have achieved Linux for Human Beings.

  8. #8
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    I have only used ubuntu for the last several years but I do test other distros on virtualbox, but I have not found any that I like more then ubuntu setup with gnome flashback and the awn launcher.

  9. #9
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    This is the beauty of GNU/Linux and Ubuntu. Almost everything is 99.9% customizable. GNU/Linux users can customize, optimize, and tweak almost everything under the sun. The great thing about Ubuntu is that it is a well known quantity which serves as its' foundation and it is the leading GNU/Linux distribution with the widest and deepest levels of standardization and support. When a major hardware manufacturer or software vendor wants to make or port something to GNU/Linux, Ubuntu is almost always one of the top supported platforms. The ability to customize your desktop to suit your digital work flow is astounding and scary combined. For me, Ubuntu Unity remains my top pick because I don't have to worry about the other desktop environments and window managers along with their pros and cons. I have tried almost all of the major ones and Ubuntu Unity is my favorite because it is fairly similar to Apple Macintosh OS X yet it is very Ubuntu in its' own right. The apt package management system is state of the art and it reduces the pain of package management for its' users. The click and snappy package system is transactional based and it is innovative while being a big game changer for Ubuntu's history. Imagine a future Ubuntu that is nearly 99.9% guaranteed to just work and it is faster and more secure as well! Click and snappy package management system is going to be the most important fundamental change and only Ubuntu is doing it right. Ubuntu's switch to systemd was a controversial decision so let's not get bogged down in its' pros and cons here, but I will say that more standardization across major GNU/Linux distributions is looking more appealing for independent software vendors that have been skittish to embrace GNU/Linux in the past several years. Now, there is an incentive to port more software products to GNU/Linux and it is a bit easier. Ubuntu Mir is going to be another major game changer because the decades old X.Org display server and client are being phased out gradually over time. Modern 3D graphics hardware accelerated integrated and discrete GPUs will finally be fully supported natively allowing for faster performance, better compatibility, greatly improved security over X.Org, and more features and capabilities are coming in the future. The Vulkan API is going to give SteamOS + GNU/Linux a shot in the arm and it will be the FLOSS answer to Microsoft's DirectX 12 and AMD's Mantle APIs that allow the GPUs to access more of the bare metal with fewer overheads and inefficiencies. This will put 3D graphics applications at the forefront which allows for more GPU computationally advanced calculations to perform at greater performance and efficiencies at lower power consumption and less drain on notebook PCs' batteries.

    This is why I am an Ubuntu user permanently and forever. I just don't see any other major GNU/Linux distribution with the guts to tackle these technical challenges with the same clout and resources that Canonical has with its' worldwide team. Canonical is making the right decisions to balance the ideals of FLOSS with the crass pragmatism of proprietary technologies without abandoning its' identity and core values. It's a tight rope walk for sure, but they got the chops to do it right.

  10. #10
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    Re: How many here have stopped distro hopping?

    These days, I basically run four distros: Debian, Arch, openSUSE, and Ubuntu LTS. On a given day, I might be booted into any one of those four. I like them all.

    I'll use a different DE/WM on different days, too. Mostly: KDE, Xfce, GNOME Shell, Unity, Openbox, or Fluxbox. I don't have a favorite.

    Yet, I've never really thought of myself as a "distro-hopper." I just don't like using only one distro. Ever since I learned to multi-boot, I've enjoyed having a handful of distros installed. I've dropped some distros from the group, for various reasons. The ones I'm running right now, I've never really stopped using since the first time I installed them.

    Almost all of the different distros I've used here have been fine. Some, like MEPIS and SalineOS, are no longer being developed (yes, I do know about the antiX MX project). I ran Fedora through four or five releases, then got tired of it.

    I tend to prefer the "bigger" projects, with larger dev teams, deep repos, excellent documentation, and longer periods between releases.

    I've got one computer that seems kinda sluggish no matter what distro I try on it, so every now and again I'll try something different on that one. Right now it holds LMDE 2 and Lubuntu LTS. But I don't use that computer much.

    Ubuntu's great, but I think of Debian as my main distro. openSUSE, once installed and set up, doesn't give me any problems. My Arch system, with Xfce, is excellent, quite a pleasure to use. I plan to continue running all four distros for as long as they each continue to work out well for me. I haven't seen anything else out there that I want to add at this time, or that I want to replace any of those four with.

    To each their own...

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