3. Although the OS automatically checks the file system after a number of boots, I'd appreciate it if I can do the checks whenever I choose. Perhaps this is possible but I don't know how.
It is. You can run **** yourself:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_check
5. Even if ext3 or ext4 avoids fragmenting files, there will come a time when so much data being written and deleted will eventually cause fragmentation, and that's when a defrag tool will come in handy.
I have never heard of anyone having issues with ext3 fragmentation. There is a strong possibility that you will die before this becomes a problem.
6. The biggest concern I'm now having, which I haven't included in my first post, is that Ubuntu doesn't work with all PCs. Even booting off the CD will cause the PC to just hang up with a blank screen that went off to sleep mode. I've tried alternative boot parameters but my desktop just doesn't run properly. This is true for Ubuntu and Kubuntu 10.04 and Linux Mint 9 KDE. My desktop uses an ATI HD5670 1GB video card. Perhaps it's the GPU or X, but I just couldn't figure it out. Canonical acknowledges this problem, and I hope they fix it because inviting people to use Ubuntu and then later finding out the OS doesn't work just makes them disappointed and paint a bad picture of the OS.
Try running System Rescue CD and executing startx at the commandline:http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
If you get a graphical environment, the issue is with those particular distributions and not Linux distributions in general. Gentoo Linux in particular rarely has issues with hardware compatibility provided that there exists a Linux distribution capable of running on the given hardware. System Rescue CD is a Gentoo Linux based distribution that exists solely as a LiveCD. My suggestion is that you try Sabayon Linux on such systems if System Rescue CD works. Sabayon Linux is also Gentoo Linux based.
Neither System Rescue CD have as good hardware support as Gentoo Linux itself, but unlike Gentoo Linux, they automate the process of getting hardware working. Gentoo Linux's strength in terms of hardware support comes from a combination of the fact that it has the latest software versions and also from the fact that the user is responsible for getting the hardware to work under it. Sabayon and System Rescue CD to some extent give up the excellent hardware support that you get when you as a professional take the task of getting the hardware to work into your own hands, but they do a very good job such basic tasks for you and being Gentoo Linux based, they make it easy for you to go into the system to fix things like you would on a Gentoo Linux system. In fact, System Rescue CD is meant primarily for fixing systems (e.g. Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etcetera) and not meant to be used as a permanent distribution because it is a LiveCD. On the other hand, Sabayon Linux is meant to be used as a permanent distribution, which is why I wholeheartedly recommend that you try it.
If you are willing to learn (and I have not scared you away), the best distribution that you can install on your system is Gentoo Linux. It empowers you to take matters into your own hands and automates a great deal of the drudge work involved in doing it. The only things it does not automate that you will miss is the configuration of your hard disk and kernel compilation and installation, but there is a good reason behind that, particularly the fact that it is considered impossible to get those things right for every single individual without having them do it themselves.
7. I still say Ubuntu (and other distros) should step out of the 6 month release cycle. If it ain't ready, don't let it out. It's that way for processors, video cards, Windows, games, etc. and Linux distros should be no different. If it needs to be delayed, delay it. I'd rather wait a bit longer for better peace of mind than get something that's available right now but messes my data up. I'm sure everyone agrees with that.
Not every distribution is on a 6-month release cycle. Gentoo Linux releases continuously. Debian Linux is on a 2-year release cycle, but it rarely keeps to it, so it could take 3 or 4 years between releases. RedHat Linux releases a new major OS version every 5 to 6 years.
There are also Linux alternatives such as FreeBSD, which is in some respects better designed than Linux. It has a more traditional release cycle.
I'm now trying Linux Mint 9 KDE and using ext4 (instead of ext3). Some concerns, such as the vsync issue, applying read-only attributes to the folder and all subfolders/files, touchpad not working, etc. appear to be a non-issue here, but I've been running this Linux distro for only a few days now so I'm still observing it. It has its fair share of bugs/annoyances such as.
By default, all folders should be set to 755, with all files set to 644. Why would you want to be any different?
By the way, if you do not like Linux Mint, I suggest that you try Sabayon Linux. Linux Mint is transitively Debian based while Sabayon Linux is directly Gentoo Linux based. The two distributions take significantly different approaches to package management, so any quirks that Linux Mint inherited from Debian are likely not present in Sabayon Linux.
1. During installation, I specified that I would be logged in automtically, but everytime the OS starts it asks for my password. Points for Ubuntu on this one.
That is probably a bug in the installer. I require password logins on all of my systems, so I do not know how to fix it, but I know that it can be done. I have OpenSUSE configured to do this on my mother's laptop.
2. I configured the wireless connection manager to log in automatically to our home network, but when the OS starts it still asks me everytime for my network password. Our network password is about 16 chars long so I find it a bit irritating. Another point for Ubuntu.
Wireless functionality has traditionally been buggy under Linux, although it has recently become much better. What wireless connection manager are you using? In my experience, the nm-applet which GNOME uses works well. Wicd is a solid alternative. KDE's KNetworkManager and more recently, the network management plasmoid that replaces the GUI in KNetworkManager only recently become usable to the point where they do not routinely lose network connection information. Since I use Gentoo's testing tree, I get the latest software fairly quickly and I am presently enjoying the improvements. Since you use Linux Mint, you will likely need to wait for the next release before you see these improvements, although you could switch wireless connection managers to workaround that. Alternatively, you could install Sabayon Linux, which is based on Gentoo Linux's testing tree and should see these improvements much sooner than Debian based distributions, although that is not necessary.
3. Changing the desktop effects used when switching desktkops (the cube animation is cool) causes the configuration screen (where you specify which graphical effect to use) to briefly display itself when I already closed it earlier. A bummer when showing off the OS's cool effects to other people.
That sounds like a known issue:https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=253041
Sign up for a KDE bugzilla account and vote for the bug to get the attention of KDE's developers. You could also post a bit about your own experiences with it. It is an annoying bug that I will be happy to see die. If I had time, I would try fixing it myself and submitting the patches to upstream. If you know C++, you could try your hand at that in addition to voting and possibly adding some feedback to the bug report.
This is actually a nice alternative to Ubuntu, on which it's based upon. I've always wanted to try Kubuntu but for some reason some annoyances/glitches prevent me from successfully achieving it. Some reviews say Linux Mint 9 KDE is what Kubuntu should have been all along. Will try this distro for a week or two. If I find it better to live with then maybe this is it. Otherwise, perhaps Ubuntu again for me. The new version, 10.10 looks enticing but maybe the LTS is a better choice.
Kubuntu is really Ubuntu with KDE packages installed instead of GNOME packages. That is a eccentricity of Canonical and no other distribution provider does that. Ubuntu/Kubuntu has a reputation for being a terribly done KDE distribution and I really do not advise using it with KDE.
OpenSUSE is the best Linux distribution for KDE. Slackware Linux, Gentoo Linux and Sabayon Linux are good as well. Every mainstream distribution of which I can fathom is better than Ubuntu at running KDE.
I've got some servers run ext3 file systems that have been running for 6 years and are still only 5% fragmented. Granted they aren't doing the kinds of tasks that create fragmented files (big database files are the usual cause as I understand it) but they do have GBs of data being written and deleted on them all the time. It just doesn't seem to be a problem that you need to worry about (hence no one has written a tool to deal with it)
Clearly Linux file systems live up to what has been said regarding fragmentation. I would still be concerned if my drives were maxed out space wise, but then I suppose it would be time for a bigger drive.
That is actually not the issue you would think it is unless you fill the drive as root. Linux file systems by default have 5% reserved space so that they reach 100% when they are only 95% full as a safety feature. Only root can write additional files after the 100% mark has been reached, assuming that there is available reserved space.
just brew it! wrote:
... If you want the "when it's bug free" release mentality, that's Debian; if you want the "get it done" mentality, that's Ubuntu.
I would even take that one step further: IMO the Ubuntu LTS (long term support) releases are a pretty good compromise between those two extremes. They are released at approximately the same frequency as Debian, but are nominally based on a snapshot of the Debian "testing" branch instead of the latest official Debian release. What this effectively means is that you get newer versions of everything than you'd get with the official Debian release, but fewer bugs than a regular (non-LTS) Ubuntu release.
As far as the spectrum of Linux distributions goes, Redhat Enterprise Linux and its clone CentOS are probably the best in terms of a "bug free" experience as far as Linux while Gentoo Linux's testing tree is probably the best in terms of get it done. No release of Ubuntu Linux is better than these distributions at either of these extremes. FreeBSD is a better option in my option than RHEL, but it is not a Linux distribution.
Disclaimer: I over-analyze everything, so try not to be offended if I over-analyze something you wrote.