Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please
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sammiev
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by sammiev » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:20 am

Have more laptops than Linux OS so as to use a VM is not an option any more. I want to see the true OS.
That said, I usually test each one for a month or two if not longer.
I'm having fun. :lol:

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mrjimphelps
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by mrjimphelps » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:11 pm

Harfud wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:10 pm
I guess it depends what you're looking for in a distro.

I run five PCs at home and for most of them I want easiest use, I don't mind a bit more involvement on my main laptop but even there I'm not looking for too much work.

I've tried a number of distros and continue to try new ones now and then, but I always quickly float back to Mint for the easy life of it.

Four PCs here run Mint, my main laptop runs LMDE2, that suits me fine but I can see how those looking for more hands on involvement might find that not enough.
What I'm looking for is something that is very light-weight, because my computer is old and slow; also, something that will not crash my computer -- Puppy Linux was continually crashing my computer. I will need to be able to browse the web and use something like Libre Office.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Harfud » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:57 am

mrjimphelps wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:11 pm
What I'm looking for is something that is very light-weight, because my computer is old and slow; also, something that will not crash my computer -- Puppy Linux was continually crashing my computer. I will need to be able to browse the web and use something like Libre Office.
I don't run particularly new PCs, my main laptop is a Core2 Duo, I've got a couple of Core2 Quad desktops, an AMD A4 netbook, a Celeron N laptop is about the newest... They run Mint 18.3 Mate with the exception of the Core2 Duo laptop which runs LMDE2

I was running LMDE2 Mate on an old Pentium 4 until a few months back and it was doing fine until the board died.

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Moem
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Moem » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:02 am

mrjimphelps wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:11 pm
What I'm looking for is something that is very light-weight, because my computer is old and slow; also, something that will not crash my computer -- Puppy Linux was continually crashing my computer. I will need to be able to browse the web and use something like Libre Office.
MX-17 with AbiWord.
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Petermint » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:42 pm

my computer is old and slow
More information needed to find people with experience on comparable machines.
Puppy Linux was continually crashing my computer
That could be any distribution of Linux on unknown hardware. Your computer might have a known problem with video drivers or specific Linux kernels. Your best approach might be to load up the lightest version of Linux Mint, fix any compatibility problems, note the drivers and kernel version, then experiment with Puppy, Pixel, etc, using the same kernel and drivers.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by br1anstorm » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:40 pm

Moem wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:02 am
mrjimphelps wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:11 pm
What I'm looking for is something that is very light-weight, because my computer is old and slow; also, something that will not crash my computer -- Puppy Linux was continually crashing my computer. I will need to be able to browse the web and use something like Libre Office.
MX-17 with AbiWord.
+ 1 on that reply from Moem. Can't really comment on AbiWord vs LibreOffice, but it's definitely worth giving MX-17, or indeed MX-16, a try on an older, slower computer. Reliability and stability of any distro might still be affected by specific hardware or driver issues, but trial (and error....) is one way to find out.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by sdibaja » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:07 pm

jameskga wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:09 pm
I have taken a strong interest in Mint over the past year, so I have taken to watching Joe Collins and Chris Were on youtube, both of whom are well versed in Linux and seem to like talking about Mint. And I watch others, too. But there's something that bothers me about these youtubers who compare and contrast linux distros each week: They only talk about the themes and the variants on which programs come preinstalled on which particular distribution, and they all kinda say the same things over and over as they walk you through the interface, which is usually just a theme changer or maybe they take you on a tour of the preinstalled applications. I think appearances and preinstalled programs are trivial differences that do little to improve the function of any one distribution over the other, and at a certain point I'm starting to wonder why are so many people concentrating on these little details like color schemes and font sizes? Applications are not hard to install, so beyond the shapes and colors of UI elements, what else really is there? Is this what happens when there are too many forks or if efforts are too thinly decentralized? Or am I maybe just watching too much youtube about the same subject...

I will say, though, that Linux Mint jumps out ahead of other distributions with its Software Center and Update Manager. That is good stuff.
installers
out of the box usability
ease of customization
security
reliability
stability
amount of maintenance required
support for bleeding edge hardware
bling
--
there are huge differences between the hundreds of distros on all of the above

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Termy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:10 pm

Interesting thread, which I didn't realise existed.

I get frustrated with the same videos you described. I try to look a bit deeper, as I did with Ubuntu 18.04, and will continue to do so, although the latest video isn't so in-depth, but it's not just me looking at the menu and theming. :lol:

I think you're watching too much YouTube, when the answers are there right in-front of you.

Here are some typical differences between distributions, with focus on those within the Ubuntu family:
  • Different packages installed, compared to the base, which in this case is of course Ubuntu, preceded by Debian.
  • Different core system configurations, such as a different way in which sudo is used.
  • Additional software created for the distribution, such as ICE in Peppermint, X programs in Mint, and Lite Tweaks in Linux Lite.
  • Different themes pre-installed, such as for icons, mouse cursors, notifications, GTK*, Qt, etc.
  • A different policy or philosophy to that of the base.
  • A different target audience, such as Kali Linux for penetration testers. (akin to first bullet-point)
  • Different approaches to package management, such as pacman in Arch and apt-get in Debian and Ubuntu.
  • Differences in the versions, patches, and/or types of the Linux kernel made available to the user.
  • Some distributions are focused on newer software, such as Feren OS (based on Mint) insisting on a ton of PPAs.
  • Desktop environment choices, such as how Manjaro offers even an i3-wm (although technically not a DE) variant.
  • Community type and strength, and the support system, such as this newbie-friendly community, and RHEL's paid support.
There are many more differences, some very subtle, but this should give you an idea.
Here to help.

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I'm also terminalforlife (TFL) on GitHub: https://github.com/terminalforlife

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Hoser Rob » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:01 am

Termy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:10 pm
... I think you're watching too much YouTube, when the answers are there right in-front of you.....
:lol: Ain't that the truth. There's no vetting at all in YT.

Also, for many Mint users the most important difference is the level of user support. There are some excellent distros like Debian or Arch that I'd never recommend to novices. Their user support sites are also excellent, but they're aimed at experts and they aren't going to hold your hand if you're a beginner.

Some others are aimed more at beginners but they have small user bases and very poor tech support.

Either way, a beginner can end up with an excellent yet non functional Linux because something doesn't work and there's no help available.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by jameskga » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 am

Those are great points.

The philosophy of Linux Mint fits what I have come to expect from an operating system. They keep improving everything a noob would need, while adhering to world class privacy and security priorities, with a focus on stability for widespread adoption.

No matter how much more I might learn about other linux distributions, I have yet to see a distribution with the same clarity of focus on providing an accessible, stable, functional and secure OS. The update manager is a shining achievement
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Alpha_sh » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:16 pm

if you compare something like mint, ubuntu, and debian, they are going to be similar, however, if you compare mint to something else, like manjaro or arch, for example, much of the software isnt remotely cross-compatible and the distros are very different.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by whm1974 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:56 pm

Alpha_sh wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:16 pm
if you compare something like mint, ubuntu, and debian, they are going to be similar, however, if you compare mint to something else, like manjaro or arch, for example, much of the software isnt remotely cross-compatible and the distros are very different.
Yes Arch based distros like Manjaro are very different then Ubuntu/Debian based ones such as Mint.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by maurizio » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:10 pm

I also noticed that distributions differ from each other, it is better to try several distributions to choose the one that suits you best, and personally I prefer Mint.


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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by sdibaja » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:30 pm

I prefer Debian based, heck I actually prefer just plain Debian.
Solid, reliable, fast.

It was well worth the effort to learn the installer (super powerful, do it Your way) and what works for me.

It is best for noobs like my wife, no breakages and zip for maintenance.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by all41 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:58 pm

Moem wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:02 am
mrjimphelps wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:11 pm
What I'm looking for is something that is very light-weight, because my computer is old and slow; also, something that will not crash my computer -- Puppy Linux was continually crashing my computer. I will need to be able to browse the web and use something like Libre Office.
MX-17 with AbiWord.
Back in the days entire corporations ran on DOS, and I think people had a more accurate conception of filesystems and operations.
imho GUI dumbed us down regarding this.

People with powerhouse computers overlook resource efficient operating systems.
imho they are missing the fun..even Puppy, DSL, etc.
Proud to be a supporter and monthly contributor to Mint.

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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Moem » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:38 am

all41 wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:58 pm
Moem wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:02 am
MX-17 with AbiWord.
Back in the days entire corporations ran on DOS, and I think people had a more accurate conception of filesystems and operations.
imho GUI dumbed us down regarding this.

People with powerhouse computers overlook resource efficient operating systems.
imho they are missing the fun..even Puppy, DSL, etc.
How does that relate to my recommendation of MX-17 with AbiWord?
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by Fred Barclay » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:47 pm

Alpha_sh wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:16 pm
if you compare something like mint, ubuntu, and debian, they are going to be similar, however, if you compare mint to something else, like manjaro or arch, for example, much of the software isnt remotely cross-compatible and the distros are very different.
I disagree a bit on the software. My Arch box has just about everything my Mint box did -- MATE, the X-apps, Atom and RStudio, Firefox and Chrome, Gpredict and Stellarium, Mintstick (the USB writing/formatting program), DOSBox, LibreOffice, Python, Spotify, VLC...

The packaging is different, of course (.deb for Mint, .pkg.tar for Arch) but the software itself is the same.

The exceptions I can think of are distro-specific things like Mint's Update Manager, which isn't needed in Arch, or yaourt, which isn't needed in Mint. :)
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Re: Are Linux distributions really so different from one another?

Post by snowflake » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:55 pm

jameskga wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:09 pm
They only talk about the themes and the variants on which programs come preinstalled on which particular distribution, and over as they walk you through the interface, which is usually just a theme changer or maybe they take you on a tour of the preinstalled applications. I think appearances and preinstalled programs are trivial differences that do little to improve the function of any one distribution over the other
for me, its less about what "programs/ themes", and more to do with: does program "X" & DE/theme "Y" run better on this distro when compared to that distro, truth is; it always come down to 2 horses- obvious example: chrome vs firefox- because lets face it, whatever it is you do while on your Linux, you probably have a bunch of preferred programs & you don’t want to settle for a lesser version that’s renamed & reconfig'd just to feel different do ya?..maybe you do, i mean.. if distro "Y" fiddled with program "X", it better run the way i prefer else i'd move to the next distro...
The message "preinstalled programs" ,implies :
it runs "flawlessly" here,oh what's that? you wanna try other programs that aren't preinstalled? ;;sure you can go-ahead & install what you want, chances are they'l run, sometimes you need to get your hands dirty thou, BUT hey. you dont have to worry about "preinstalled programs" they run "flawlessly" here.

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