View Full Version : Have you tried a new distro lately?

May 30th, 2009, 07:26 AM
Have you tried a new distro lately?...if so how was your experience?

May 30th, 2009, 07:32 AM
Old laptop, tried out about 40 distros. None put all the hardware in place on it except for puppy (wasn't stable on it) and xubuntu. Xubuntu won out. All the others either failed to install or had hardware not recognized. Slitaz would have made the cut if the network card had worked, IT IS FAST>

May 30th, 2009, 07:37 AM
Old laptop, tried out about 40 distros. None put all the hardware in place on it except for puppy (wasn't stable on it) and xubuntu. Xubuntu won out. All the others either failed to install or had hardware not recognized. Slitaz would have made the cut if the network card had worked, IT IS FAST>Nice to hear your experience so Xubuntu won out with Puppy in a close second? Just curious, what were the other distros you tried out? Could you list the ones that failed for you and your laptop?

May 30th, 2009, 07:44 AM
I recently put Puppy on an old machine that previously had Win98SE and that by today's standards would be extremely low spec. The installation went relatively smoothly, a lot better than my efforts to put Debian or Ubuntu on it. (I almost managed to get Debian on it but the silly thing froze not long before writing grub)

I haven't done much of a test drive of Puppy yet but I'm left with an impression of the machine running very slowly and that Win98 seems to run better on it. Perhaps I've gotten too used to machines whose speeds are measured in gigahertz instead of megahertz and with somewhat more ram and HDD space......

May 30th, 2009, 07:45 AM
Tried Antix on an old P3 box which I use as a music jukebox, worked fairly well but I'll be keeping W2kProSP4 on it.

May 30th, 2009, 07:50 AM
I just downloaded PCLinuxOS 2009.1 in both Gnome and KDE flavors. Very impressive and slick stuff there. Also #! Crunchbang Linux is particularly awesome. They're both Debian based and polished in different ways. Crunchbang uses Openbox which is sweet and is the epitome of Linux while PCLinuxOS is a lot more Windows like, especially the KDE version. I burnt them all to a USB flash drive with USB Creator and they were fast and flawless. But none of them beat out Ubuntu because I'm so used to it and attached because of all the hard work I have put into learning it and making it my own. Thats the best thing about Linux for me. Windows boxes are all alike...

May 30th, 2009, 01:56 PM
I played with Crunchbang Linux (http://crunchbanglinux.org) on a low-spec 'puter and it's just awesome. I tried making it "more graphical" by adding the uber-lightweight LXDE desktop to it and it was sweet and fast, but a little buggy (sound muted on startup, other li'l minor things). I highly recommend Crunchbang for low-spec machines, or people who just want a very minimalist "Ubuntu."

I played with Slax a little too on the low-spec machine. Looks like Windows, light and fast.

Played with U-Lite (formerly Ubuntulite) but found it frustrating and badly outdated, but "born again U-Lite" will live on and achieve greatness as "Lubuntu."

On my "regular" 'puter I'm playing with Linux Mint (http://linuxmint.com) and really enjoying it. None of the ndiswrapper hassle to get wireless drivers working, none of the usual tweaking I had to do after every fresh Ubuntu install, other than wallpaper and screensaver.

I just started using Linux in March, so I'm only a three-month newbie. But I've learned a lot and had a lot of fun so far. I was never this geeky three months ago!


May 30th, 2009, 02:23 PM
I tried

- on the Desktop:
Debian Lenny, Fedora 10, openSuse 11.1, Kubuntu Jaunty

Kubuntu Jaunty has won the "contest" and I will stick with it until the Koala is released.
Debian is really fast and stable. But you have to install lots of programs to reach the scale of programs and features which ship with Ubuntu

Fedora 10 is bleeding edge and therefore a little bit unreliable but also quite nice

openSuse 11.1 is a little bit strange to me and I did not get into it.

on the Laptop:
- Kubuntu Jaunty, Mandriva 2009.1

the goal was: getting KDE 4.2 on the Laptop. Mandriva has won, as Kubuntu Jaunty failed setting up Wlan (the Knetworkmanager seems to be broken in these terms). Mandriva is really nice. If someone looks for another comfortable Distro beside Ubuntu, Mandriva is first choice!

on the old Compy:
Ubuntu Jaunty Server Edition 32 bit
runs, what else? :D

May 30th, 2009, 02:26 PM
I've installed Zenwalk on another partition on my laptop. I like it, it's fast but the fan keeps blowing very loud and I'm not sure how to fix that.


May 30th, 2009, 02:39 PM
Fedora 10, openSuse 11.1, Mandriva 2009.1 and an Arch LiveCD. Kubuntu seems to work better than any of the others for me.

May 30th, 2009, 03:51 PM
I just try the LiveCD's of Linux Mint, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva. Have no intention of moving from Ubuntu.

May 30th, 2009, 03:55 PM
debian -> love it because i can keep kde3 and its incredibly stable (i run an update script when i remember, but it rarely needs to do anything (hell /usr is mounted ro most of the time))

fedora F11b -> still a bit unstable (im sharing my ~ but that is no excuse for X lockups :( ) but otherwise nice a better kde base install (well more admin tools that i use anyway) [filelight & lvm]

before that i tried:
arch -> lightweight by default( though tbh no more so than starting from a light debian/ubuntu base and installing everything yourself) but a pain to setup/maintain. Community where friendly but couldn't solve my prelink problem so i gave up :(
gentoo -> Didn't have the time to set it up, it wasn't too tough just compilation takes a while and i got board. Their wiki died so resources to set stuff up were a bit scattered but when i found the right pages they were very useful.

arch & gentoo can easily install from inside ubuntu, and can be left running in the background while you do otherstuff.

May 30th, 2009, 04:07 PM
I have been slowly trying all the most popular distros on distrowatch.com, to see which one suits me the best, so far i keep coming back to some variant of Ubuntu, just because it's laid out quite nicely and for the most part if something goes wrong I can come here and get help with in a few days if not a few hours or minutes. I was going to see how archlinux is, but apparently the live cd is just an installer CD? I don't know so I am going to hold of on that since it seems a bit more in depth in linux than I am ready for. lol,

on a side note, I use to use openSuSE, a while back, and I tried it out again recently, and it was a lot like ubuntu in some ways, but different enough from what I remember it being that I couldn't stick to it.

May 30th, 2009, 04:09 PM
I just downloaded the new Mint, and ran it from live CD -- very nice (although (I'm not entirely convinced about the menu choice, nor the lack of virtual desktops by default). If I had a second machine, I would probably run Mint or Crunchbang on it, but for primary OS, I have yet to find anything as robust as Ubuntu (even if Synaptic only works once a month, when I can get a true high-speed connection as opposed to my lowly 256k).

June 2nd, 2009, 03:09 PM

jaunty broke my box! first the JAck Audio server teamed up with the audacity beta to run rings around me; followed by the nvidia 96 driver ruining my kernel and left me desperately looking for help with lynx, and half a gallon of coffee...

and the worst of it was it was all triggered by trying to install windows xp on a spare partition - it took total control of my boot sector; even f10 from a live disk coundn't rescue it... and it just went on and on for days...

back on 8,10 studio...

June 2nd, 2009, 05:09 PM
I have played around a bit with Fedora 10 on the laptop. The machine was stable and all of the hardware was recognized, but it didn't handle being put in and out of the dock very well.

I ran CentOS 5.2 and 5.3 on a desktop machine and was pretty satisfied with it. We run it on a number of servers, so I am comfortable with the interface and package management.

I have a couple of versions of FreeNAS running for home. It does a great job for being light weight and providing a number of connection options.

Ubuntu won a place on the laptop when I found that I could run dual monitors in the docking station and still have the ability to run it with the single, native screen. I did an install of 8.10 and then moved over to 9.04. I use this for work and run a VM of Windows for some applications that won't run reliably on WINE.

I just put UNR on a USB drive for the netbook last night. All of the hardware was picked up and the netbook ran as expected, but I don't know if the interface is for me.

June 2nd, 2009, 05:16 PM
Decided to give Foresight a little spin just the other day.

The LiveCD wouldn't cooperate and the install CD balked about what I think was a missing hardware driver (the error message was unclear) - but wouldn't tell what hardware - and then gave me an impossibly long list of what appeared to be all sorts of hardware drivers to choose from... WTH???

I have neither the time nor the inclination to ferret out such things. So yeah, so much for that experiment.

June 2nd, 2009, 05:18 PM
I tried one of the unstable versions of E-live. I liked how it was mac-like but it didnt play well with my laptop. I also tried out mandriva 2009, Debian Lenny, and the new fedora. I really liked Debian and Mandriva best. Fedora had a thing about crashing alot. I hope the guys at redhat fix that soon. I know one thing from all of this, if I get mad at ubuntu I've got Debian and Mandriva. Its just depending on if i want .RPM or .DEB . I love ubuntu too much to switch now. I just hope that wifi support keeps geting better in the linux world.

June 2nd, 2009, 05:46 PM
No. I feel pretty satisfied with Debian. I have had thoughts about testing Slackware (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slackware), though. Maybe next year? I'll see what happens.

June 2nd, 2009, 06:21 PM
Jaunty - It gave me loads of problems, so I just swapped back to 8.10.

Debian - Already used it before, now my primary OS on the desktop.

Gentoo - Soon to give this a try on the desktop.

June 2nd, 2009, 06:45 PM
Had a look at Open Solaris today, but there seems to be very few applications available for it.

June 2nd, 2009, 08:37 PM
i tried installing arch in a virtual machine. and i have installed xubuntu on hardware.(which ran the virtual machine) other than that i stick to the distributions i know more and more now.

i use and switch a bit between debian etch/lenny , crunch bang ,ubuntu and open solaris.
these are almost always installed on a pc for them self . i have five older but still usable computers with different specs and one of them being not that old can run open solaris.

when i could see better i would distro hop and betatest until i was confused enough to mindlessly resintall what ever was on the cd i first got a hold on but i dont do that anymore.

i think i am just getting to like the systems i mentioned and rather use time learning to use them instead of finding other distributions to do the same thing as the ones i already use does perfectly fine.

i planned for a long time to do a research on BSD and i will get around to it when i get my computer for it fixed and set up again.

June 2nd, 2009, 08:54 PM
I've converted completely to Mint... it just looks and feels way better then ubuntu/kubuntu... plus the software it comes packed with is more convenient and the way the menu is set up make me more productive.Pople complain it doesnt have enough virtual desktops... they are there just enable em in compiz and tab over too them... just cause you cant see which on your in in your taskbar doesnt mena its not there! plus gnome-do built in is simply wonderful...


June 2nd, 2009, 08:57 PM
Usually I try one distro per week but exams have just been taking up all of my time these last few weeks. Hopefully with a newly acquired laptop I want to install Slackware + pkgsrc which to me has always been an interesting mix that I've wanted to try out.

June 2nd, 2009, 09:42 PM
Recently I've tried Mint -was OK, didn't see a need to switch from Ubuntu.

I've also downloaded countless live CDs to try to find a flavour that will install on my laptop (OpenSuse, endless variations on Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva, Puppy) The only one that would install was Puppy. Wasn't that keen so I've left it as WXP -which the Mrs is very happy about I'm sure!


June 17th, 2009, 06:45 PM
Just dropped Fedora 11 on my Lenovo and pretty much everything worked out of the box! I've always liked Fedora's features and look but this is the first time I've ran it for more then a week without it crashing or bugging out on me. Now if only my Lenovo's screen hinge didn't brake I would be on it a lot more.

June 17th, 2009, 08:16 PM
I try every major release, and have tried 60 or so altogether.

June 17th, 2009, 08:30 PM
I have not really tried any Linux distributions lately, but I have been trying out Windows 7 the last two weeks (I am back on Linux now though).

June 17th, 2009, 08:40 PM
I tried the latest Mandriva, gOS, and several flavors of ubuntu. I like the idea of lxde. I had some problems with my wi-fi with jaunty so that's why I was looking around. I was waiting for fedora 11 to come out, but then one night there was an update in hal, and suddenly my wireless works flawlessly, so I've stayed with jaunty, and probaly won't try anything else for a while. It's Ubuntu for me.

July 7th, 2009, 06:49 AM
I have not really tried any Linux distributions lately, but I have been trying out Windows 7 the last two weeks (I am back on Linux now though).
What did you think of Windows 7? I have been thinking about trying it.

July 7th, 2009, 06:56 AM

I posted my experience trying Fedora there, too bad my Fedora VM doesn't start anymore...

July 7th, 2009, 07:41 AM
2.5 years ago I've tried Debian, then SuSe, and then Ubuntu. Since then i see no reason to look around anymore.

July 7th, 2009, 08:10 AM
I try all from time to time, keep coming back to Ubuntu, don't mean Ubuntu is pristine, just that it works and works well, others may have latest fastest snappiest, Ubuntu just has the right stuff in the right place and no suprises. I recently tried out Sidux, the speed seduced me and the overall experience was far better than Fedora 11, I upgraded the kernel with smxi and everything ran fast, however it just couldn't replace Ubuntu in terms of usability.

July 7th, 2009, 08:12 AM
Tried out Gentoo in Virtualbox, compiling everything from source takes too long.

July 7th, 2009, 08:31 AM
Tried out Gentoo in Virtualbox, compiling everything from source takes too long.

The system speed afterward compensates.

July 25th, 2009, 11:47 PM
Tried out Gentoo in Virtualbox, compiling everything from source takes too long.Yeah I never had the patience for Gentoo.

July 25th, 2009, 11:52 PM
I tried DSL on my old Compaq, but it doesn't support refresh rates over 60 MHz. I had to drop it before I went blind.

July 26th, 2009, 01:01 AM
Debian Testing.

Install is painless and fairly easy, software is both reasonably stable but also reasonably up-to-date and it is very easy to use.

July 26th, 2009, 02:08 AM
Mandriva, Ubuntu (kubuntu and xubuntu also), Mint, CrunchBang, DSL, Puppy and Fedora.

Basically, Ubuntu is always been on my laptop, probably always will be. Desktop chops and changes, I have windows 7 with Crunchbang as the default boot on there atm, thinking of trying Arch. Also wanna try Debian. Other laptop has DSL, was gonna try puppy as I like it more, but I'm afraid of breaking somthing, it's very tempremental. HTPC has vista, consider Mythbuntu, but my current Media Portal setup is so nice - so I don't have the urge. Also considering putting PS3 Media Centre on the PS3.

July 26th, 2009, 02:40 AM
I have Kuki on my Aspire One. I really like it as you can see.

On my desktop I tried fedora11 but that wanted to format one of my drives and there was no way to convince it not to so it did not get installed, Studio64 replaced my MBR grub without asking and did not even do that properly so I kicked it to the curb. SUSE10 is nice but will no longer accept my root password. The latest Mandriva is good but I have not spent a lot of time with it. I just got three monitors on 2 gpus working with xinerama on Jaunty but now compiz will not work.

Every distro has something that bugs me.

July 26th, 2009, 03:06 AM
Debian Testing.

Install is painless and fairly easy, software is both reasonably stable but also reasonably up-to-date and it is very easy to use.
Upgraded yesterday from Lenny to Squeeze and it completely broke xorg, by the time I got that fixed I realised I couldn't run Compiz and Metacity at the same time. After a search on google it seems there's a few other people experiencing the same problem... hence why Jaunty is now on my laptop.

July 26th, 2009, 04:03 AM
I recently tried mint 7, and although it's ubuntu based, I found it to be very different. I liked the "out of the box" functionality and the layout, but I literally broke the OS twice in a four day period (Which is extremely frequently considering I have never broken ubuntu).

July 26th, 2009, 07:13 AM
I've been using Arch for the past few months, and despite what some people say it's not significantly better than Ubuntu or any other distribution that I've tried.

Arch isn't difficult to install, the beginners guide actually makes it sound more complicated than necessary. Editing a few configuration files during install is quite simple, as is installing xorg and a DE once you know what you want. One thing I didn't like about the forum was the number of regulars who think they're very clever because they're using Arch.

The major difference is that it's rolling release, there are quite large updates sometimes on a daily basis. It's always fun restarting your machine after a large update and seeing whether you still have a bootable OS, every day there are posts in the Arch forum that begin 'pacman -Syu broke my system...', pacman itself isn't any better that apt-get.

I decided to try the new Ubuntu 9.04, my last one was 8.10, and I actually found it more responsive and quicker to boot and shutdown than Arch, so I'm now a Ubuntu user again. :)

July 26th, 2009, 07:28 AM
I just got back from trying Arch. I found it simple to setup, though long. In the end, it wasn't for me, though. Now I'm back to Ubuntu.

July 26th, 2009, 07:31 AM
Just in the passed week I have tried and retried these distros -



Debain Testing

Mint 7

Mister LinOx
July 26th, 2009, 07:35 AM
I haven't really tried too many. I have tried Arch, Gentoo, and the *buntus. I didn't spend too long with Gentoo and Arch so I can't say on that one, but I do like Xubuntu and Ubuntu a lot better that Kubuntu.

July 26th, 2009, 07:58 AM
I've installed and used every distribution in the top 30 on distrowatch, my favorites of which are Arch, Lunar Linux, and Gentoo.