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Thread: Rambling about distros ...

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Rambling about distros ...

    Thanks to all for the comments.
    A short disclaimer: I did not mean, in any way, to 'complain' about the multitude of distros. On the contrary: it's just another of the great ways for Linux 'experts' to help others.

    This said, I'll over simplify a bit my point with an example: imagine two 'independent' distros both based on Gnome.
    I typically customize the desktop, no matter which OS/distro it is. There's a very good chance that both gnome-based distros will end up looking exactly identical.
    So the remaining differences would be in the 'engine' (if I can use this term to refer to the various settings, modules and what not that actually constitutes the OS) and some of the tools (package manager, to name one). Am I right?

    mkvnmtr commented that he/she's trying out 2/3 distros a week on virtual machines.
    dixiedancer took one year's time to try out many of them.
    Is it 'only' fiddling with the inner config settings that one gets to appreciate the differences?
    Packages are different, yes, but I can install, for example, the latest version of Openoffice even on an old Ubuntu. In the end, a debian 'should' be able to run packages designed for it, no matter which distro it is.

    Just in case you wonder: I have a relatively new PC, which I would consider rather zippy (nothing fancy: Atholn II X2 240, 4Gb of Ram, integrated GF8100) nevertheless, by nature, I prefer 'skinny' OS to bloated (come to think of it, it's probably an 'allergic' reaction from years of Windows).
    I'm definitely not knowledgeable enough for something like Arch, and for an everyday use I like something a bit more comfortable than DamnSmallL. I am currently enjoying Linux Mint and my only complaint (if I really have to name one) is the ... slightly overweight feeling to it.
    That got me wondering ... is it Gnome? Is it Ubuntu (which is the base for Mint)? Do I need to go to a different distro if I want something that feels 'zippier' (I don't think it's a real word, but I'm quite sure you all know what I mean)?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    1,427
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Rambling about distros ...

    Distros all use the same common environment. Even something as different as Darwin, Solaris and BSD use Gnome/KDE/Xfce. The changes are all related to the aim of the OS underneath.

    As a new user, you won't really get what I mean. Give it a few years of using Linux in various forms, and you'll start to say "Oh, this is much better than Ubuntu for my server" or things like that.

    Edit: If you want to get a bit more hands-on, Wolvix is a wonderful distro. It uses XFCE though. Very speedy and aimed towards multimedia.

    Another is Debian. Again, not as out of the box as Ubuntu, but it's quite fast and essentially the same thing underneath. If you took an hour or 2 to research your new Debian installation, I think you'd be all set. It comes in 3 flavours. Stable (only the most stable software, even if outdated), testing (candidates to turn into a stable release) and unstable (rolling release, new software). Should be good for everyday use.

    If you want to get really hands-on... go Gentoo or Slackware

    Good luck!
    Last edited by kaldor; March 7th, 2010 at 09:07 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Rambling about distros ...

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeeDDL View Post

    Packages are different, yes, but I can install, for example, the latest version of Openoffice even on an old Ubuntu. In the end, a debian 'should' be able to run packages designed for it, no matter which distro it is.
    i can't speak for debian, but on ubuntu i have the latest openoffice installed even though it isn't in the repositories for karmic.
    perhaps i should have said different packages in the repositories.
    on debian, if a package is in the official repositories, you can expect it to be pretty much bug free and very stable.
    the same may not always be true in the likes of the arch repositories, where their focus is to have the most up to date software they can at the expense of the odd bug.

    of course, you can install any new software you want yourself, but i was talking about the "official" software versions

  4. #14
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Rambling about distros ...

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeeDDL View Post
    TI am currently enjoying Linux Mint and my only complaint (if I really have to name one) is the ... slightly overweight feeling to it.
    That got me wondering ... is it Gnome? Is it Ubuntu (which is the base for Mint)? Do I need to go to a different distro if I want something that feels 'zippier' (I don't think it's a real word, but I'm quite sure you all know what I mean)?
    I think it's Gnome, but like you, I'm just playing around to see what I like and learn the limitations of one distro or environment or package handler.

    I have read in several Linux forums that the Xfce Community Edition of Linux Mint is one of the snappiest and best Xfce distros around. I even ordered a CD (bandwidth limitations here, can't download much) to try it out (not here yet). Xfce in my Debian Testing is much snappier than Gnome on Debian Testing - on my machine (your mileage may vary). It looks kinda sorta like "Gnome Lite," and I've heard it referred to in exactly those terms. It's less noticeable in Ubuntu, but in Debian there's a ginormous difference.... I hear it is similar in Linux Mint as well. I'm anxious to find out for myself, but why not give the Xfce edition a try? Xubuntu Karmic is also really fast and very nice looking as well. I think Xubuntu has been on a diet since Jaunty... Karmic Xubuntu is quick and seems a lot lighter in spite of it's features. And, if it matters to you, Xubuntu Karmic doesn't ship with PulseAdio which has been kinda troublesome for Ubuntu users. Dunno if my Mint Xfce will include it or not (but I hope not).

    -R

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