I needed a new distro

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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:27 pm

bthylafh wrote:I was bored and decided to give Arch another chance. That lasted about fifteen minutes once I started going down the list of how to install completely manually. Partitioning is no big deal, nor mkfs or installing the bootstrap packages, but once I got to setting up grub manually I decided I wasn't that bored.

Arch is a good example of a distro I'd probably use if I didn't require utmost stability. Bleeding edge doesn't appeal to me as I'm not exactly a Linux hobbyist or light desktop user. I need something near enterprise workstation grade and I find I get that out of CentOS. Plus I don't dual boot into Windows. I've exclusively been a Linux user since 2000 and enjoy keeping it that way.

If I was way more of a casual user, I could probably get away with using anything that uses the latest and greatest without too much concern.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:19 am

Answering someone else's question, going on a tangent, and having that tangent be the OP's point: My body is ready.

I administrate a half dozen Linux machines, I am strictly small fry, but hoping to hear more from a new position where I'll touch about a hundred, but less often.

Tangent/original thread idea: I've been continually distro-dabbling since first post, and I have finally gotten an Arch derivative under my belt. My solid fallback is currently Linux Mint 17 (because Ubuntu LTS base is pretty solid), but I'm spending more and more time in Manjaro lately. I think the underlying truth everyone has been either trying to explain or trying to understand is that there are two parts to distro selection. The first part is what packages are available, how well they are tested, etc. This would determine between, say, something in the Debian stable/testing/unstable, the Ubuntu LTS or non-LTS, Arch, etc. This determines how long between upstream kicking out UberSoftPackage 1.2.0 and your distro having it available.

For example purpose, I like to stay very close to the edge, as close as I can get without having constant breakage. In my case, this means I'd run Debian unstable, or Ubuntu non-LTS, or Arch.

After you've determined the distro family you're drawing from, everything else is technically optional. You can take just about any distro and twist it around to the way you like things, adding and removing desktop environments, adding and removing packages, changing defaults, etc. On the other hand, the further you are from the defaults, the harder it is to maintain, since you're moving against the upstream defaults, it's more things you have to reset/reconfigure on a reinstall or new install. For that reason, you should generally find a variant or sub-distro that matches your chosen layout as best you can.

For example, I'm currently switching from Linux Mint to Manjaro as my base distro. Now I don't have to have as many overlays/PPAs/etc to get the packages I want. Manjaro tracks upstream Nvidia drivers more closely, which I like, since there's really not a lot of distro-level changes to the Nvidia binary-only drivers possible, and also Manjaro has optimus support baked in, which is one less thing for me to track/monitor/fix.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:50 pm

I'm about to try installing gentoo again, right now, simply because it's meant to be customized. I'm going to investigate using it as a personalized server OS.

I still like RHEL and the clones, but it's a lot of work to shoehorn things for newer development onto it.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:36 pm

I'm trying out PC-BSD because of all the Sturm und Drang over systemd. More impressed with it than I expected to be so far. The UI's pretty well thought-out, for instance, and the package management seems nice.

Still not a fan of KDE, but it's pretty OK with Xfce.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:39 pm

bthylafh wrote:Still not a fan of KDE, but it's pretty OK with Xfce.

At least KDE is very tweakable. The defaults for many of the UI settings drive me nuts too, but it's all configurable.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:41 pm

Mostly I really hate the default "start menu" and PC-BSD 10.1's implementation doesn't give me an easy way to have a KDE 3.5-style menu instead.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:57 pm

I just dock a really narrow panel up the left side of the screen with little launcher icons for all the stuff I use semi-regularly. I rarely need to open the menu. The Unity-haters will go "Blechh, that silly launcher bar is one of the reasons I don't like Unity!" but with today's widescreen format monitors it actually makes sense -- I think it is a good use of screen real estate. Anyhow, IMO the real dain bramage with Unity is the way it puts the menu bar for the application up at the top of the screen (and other annoying behaviors), not the location of the launcher bar... most of KDE's behaviors seem reasonably sane (or can at least be made so with a bit of tweaking).

It *is* a bit of a resource pig though.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:03 pm

% sudo pkg install cinnamon cinnamon-desktop

I'll give that a try; I've gotten pretty used to Cinnamon on my laptop.

edit: aaaaaaand crash. Well, never mind.
edit 2: seems to be a bad interaction with VirtualBox. C'est la vie.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:48 pm

I'm a staid, boring Ubuntu user of many years. I stick to LTS releases only on my desktop and laptop, and really don't want anything more than a stable, pleasant desktop user experience. I even think Unity is just fine (no, really).

So of course, I need something else to tinker with. Enter OpenWRT on a TP-Link TL-WR703N - it's a lot of fun messing around with a CLI in a very limited system (400 MHz MIPS, 4 MB of Flash, 32 MB RAM). Figure it never hurts to have a good, cheap setup to play and learn with.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:49 pm

Odd, I have Cinnamon, VBox, and VMware, all at once, no problems. It's not endemic, at least.

Btrfs was, however, a bridge too far. Maybe next time.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:14 pm

Forge wrote:Odd, I have Cinnamon, VBox, and VMware, all at once, no problems. It's not endemic, at least.


Something with Cinnamon's 3D acceleration, FreeBSD/PC-BSD's Gallium driver, and VirtualBox interacting in a not-good way, from what I've read. Probably it'd be fine on hardware, or whenever *BSD gets a newer driver.

Btrfs was, however, a bridge too far. Maybe next time.


PC-BSD gets ZFS for free, fwiw.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:22 pm

Well, I've got btrfs working fine now, so pbtbtbt.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:31 am

Ubuntu LTS for me with gnome-session-fallback to get rid of that horrible Unity thing.
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Re: I needed a new distro

Postposted on Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:34 pm

Unity isn't bad. It still has problems, but I don't hate it as much as Gnome3.
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