Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

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catweazel
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by catweazel »

Faust wrote:Yes
No
Could you repeat the question ?

Sorry , don't mean to be flippant , but I'm a former distro hopper
.... now in recovery !
:mrgreen:
Linux Mint just created a flock of distro-hoppers by announcing it's dropping KDE.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Moem
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Moem »

catweazel wrote:Linux Mint just created a flock of distro-hoppers by announcing it's dropping KDE.
That's right. Just like Ubuntu did the same by adopting Unity. So it goes.

Distro hopping is not pointless per se, and also not necessary per se; it's like ending a relationship and starting a new one. If you're happy, there's no reason; if your needs are not being met, it makes sense to get out and look for something that suits you better.
If the first OS you run into is a perfect fit, more power to you! And if not, you're not hurting anyone by switching it up (and in this case, it won't ruin your reputation either :wink: )
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catweazel
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by catweazel »

Moem wrote:
catweazel wrote:Linux Mint just created a flock of distro-hoppers by announcing it's dropping KDE.
That's right. Just like Ubuntu did the same by adopting Unity. So it goes.
As an aside, I'm pleased to see that so far there's been no screaming, pouting and foot-stomping from fellow Mint KDE users.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Faust
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Faust »

catweazel wrote: Linux Mint just created a flock of distro-hoppers by announcing it's dropping KDE.
What's wrong with you fella ?

That's not the kind of thing one should say to someone in recovery !

[ .... all said in jest of course , it's Saturday , it's raining and I want to go cycling ]

But more seriously , I really never got that whole desktop thing .
In those dark times when I was " on the hop " , I just took whatever default DE that was handed to me in the package ,
the only thing I really paid any attention to was " does sir dress to the right or to the left " ....
ie. M$ style with window control buttons to the right , or lefty like Apple , the rest was just window dressing to me , froth even .

I'm old-timey .... starting with coding in FORTRAN and handing over a deck of cards ( the human bean equivalent of the "run" command :D )
then UNIX , then all of that GUI stuff came along , like Fairyland , and I tried Linux because they said it was safe , and I'd be OK
if I didn't make a habit of it .... they lied to me !
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Pjotr »

Faust wrote:it's Saturday , it's raining and I want to go cycling
Rain is for walking, not for cycling. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Moem »

Faust wrote:then all of that GUI stuff came along , like Fairyland , and I tried Linux because they said it was safe , and I'd be OK
if I didn't make a habit of it .... they lied to me !
Typical! I bet your first hit was free, too... that's how they get you hooked.
... what, it's still free? Goes to show how tricksy they are! 8)
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Aleron Ives »

Lysander666 wrote:the user can always be tempted to move on to find "the perfect distro" when there is no perfect distro
...unless, of course, the user is so motivated as to create a new distro to try to achieve that goal. This is essentially the reason why so many distros exist; once a programmer becomes enough of an expert in Linux to know that no current distro suits his needs, he may decide to start his own in order to ensure that his needs are met.

While the sheer number of distros can be overwhelming for people trying to decide which one to install as their first distro, I don't think enough emphasis is put on what a strength the diversity of distros is. For the most part, each distro exists to fill the needs of the person or group who created it, and that diversity greatly increases the chance that individual users can find distros that will suit their needs, too. You just need to research the priorities of some of the well known distros and then try the ones whose goals align most closely with your own. Hobbyists may distro hop solely to have fun trying new things, but people just looking for a useable OS shouldn't need to try too many distros to find a good fit if they do their homework beforehand.

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by catweazel »

Faust wrote: I'm old-timey .... starting with coding in FORTRAN and handing over a deck of cards ( the human bean equivalent of the "run" command :D )
Been there, done that. Punched card COBOL on an NCR mainframe in the 1970's. The terminal was a heat-sensitive paper printer, 40 characters wide. 16k of thin-film rod memory, and 4MB hard disk packs operating at a blistering 110KB/s, needing two people to lift them.
then UNIX , then all of that GUI stuff came along , like Fairyland , and I tried Linux because they said it was safe , and I'd be OK
if I didn't make a habit of it .... they lied to me !
I moved with the times. IT has been very, very good to me throughout my career.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Faust »

catweazel wrote:.....
I moved with the times. IT has been very, very good to me throughout my career.
And the same for me also .

But please don't start me off on COBOL .... what a gigantic unwieldy lump of a language .
And PL/1 annoyed me even more , not least because of the arrogant name that IBM chose
.... and we talk about Frankendistros !

COBOL was my first paid coding job , part-time and in vacations as a student .
I couldn't count the number of times I got the run-time error " Environment Division missing " ...
... because I couldn't spell !
It makes me wonder why they hired me .... they must have been desperate :)
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Hoser Rob »

CaseyMarie wrote:.... I recently spoke to someone over Facebook who poo-pooed me for using mint instead of Arch. I asked him please tell me what Arch can do that mint under absolutely no circumstances can do. I didn't really get a reply to that and I am starting to think that the kind of people who act elitist about distros are perhaps not as genius about Linux as they like to think they are. ....
Depends. If they actually installed Arch and got it running the way they wanted then they had to be pretty knowledgeable. Users who aren't are not going to have much luck there or with Debian. The fact you didn't get a satisfactory answer doesn't mean that much. WHat you do get with something like Arch is blazing speed and the newest software.

True, there are a lot of Linuxs users dying to tell you about their great CLI skills, which no one else gives a flying frak about. But they can be ignored.

But is distro hopping pointless? I used to do it with my netbook but not for a while. I think that describes everyone I know of who's done it. So probably yes, it's pointless.

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by CaseyMarie »

Hoser Rob wrote: Depends. If they actually installed Arch and got it running the way they wanted then they had to be pretty knowledgeable. Users who aren't are not going to have much luck there or with Debian.
Well maybe! But if it isn't slackware compiled from source or openBSD then it's not as geeky for geekyness sake as it could be!

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by bridnour »

To put my 2 coins into the discussion:

Is distro hopping ultimately pointless? Yes and No.

Yes: Linux Mint is the distro that works best on my laptop and has a UI that I personally prefer. So there's no point in using other distros.

No: I wouldn't have found out that Linux Mint is the distro that works best on my laptop and has a UI that I personally prefer if I hadn't tried several distros.

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by phd21 »

Hi "CaseyMarie",

I just read your post and the all the good and interesting replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

+1 for no, distro hopping is not pointless. It is how I found Linux Mint.

The computer is an extremely useful tool if it has a stable operating system on it and can do what most people want to do with a computer. If you distro hop for a long time without settling on a particular operating system, then you loose productivity. If you want to learn Linux, and to help others with Linux, then that is different.

When I switched from MS Windows, I had to find a stable free operating system and Linux Mint was by far the best for me. Still is. As a "power user" I wanted to be able to do all that I could do in MS Windows in Linux, and although it took some time to find alternative Linux applications and utilities to their MS Windows counterparts, I did find them. Linux Mint already comes with most commonly requested or required applications already installed.

Support is another super important aspect of an operating system. I have been in the computer field for many years, I have never found a support forum as wonderful as the Linux Mint forum.

As others have stated, being able to install and update other applications easily is also very important and Linux Mint, especially Ubuntu based versions, have many options for that, starting with their excellent Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). And the Mint Update Manager is superb. Compiling software should be your last choice unless there are no other options to install an application, or you just want to learn how to compile from source code.


Hope this helps ...
Last edited by phd21 on Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Phd21: Mint 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Xfce) & KDE Neon 64-bit Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 2 in 1, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics. I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by stormryder »

catweazel wrote: CaseyMarie wrote:
could you install 4.8 and 4.9 at the same time


Yes.
Well synaptic "installed" 4.9 but I didn't know the proper command to use it instead of 4.8, simply issuing the make command still gave me errors about 4.8.
I figured there was a way to set up multiple build environments but I haven't been able to find much information about it.

lmintnewb2

Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by lmintnewb2 »

Pointless second go round at this thread. Having reflected a bit more and must be in the mood for typing practice. The diversification and fact that anyone who puts in the effort can circulate a gnu/Linux distro, the competition and the niche's they cater to is one of the things that have made gnu/Linux so dang amazing. Many cater to a certain niche and are designed and config'ed from the floor up for a specific usecase. Some for security, penn testing and hacking, some for rapid deployment onto vm's, some for science, math and education, some for outdated hardware or minimalism (Puppy Linux, Tinycore, Anti-X, Bunsenlabs Linux, Vector Linux etc etc), some for brand spanking new ... cutting edge hardware (and packages out-of-box ie: Arch), some to be tiny (Slitaz), some for drop in window$ replacement and nix-newb friendliness (Linux Mint), some for uber-geeks only (Gentoo), some for portable devices (usb thumb-drives), some because people are too scared and/or lazy to learn to use systemd (Devuan ... lol, I had to do it) and it goes on and on.

My personal fave ... Debian netinstall, I can try to config it to be whatever I want it to be.

The way each is designed and config'ed makes all the difference in the world. Any great distro ie: Linux Mint is going to excel at it's purpose. With the interest, aptitude, time and effort someone builds up the knowledge to understand the how's and why's of the ways each distro of interest does it's thing and thus can appreciate it. While sure all gnu/Linux has much in common, the choices made, the config decisions and etc etc etc can amount to the difference between night and day and yeppers any distro provided the user has the aptitude and know-how can be drastically altered to whatever extent than how it came out-of-box.

Many have something really amazing to offer and tried many that imo not so much. For one reason or another. Though tons that are amazing examples of what gnu/Linux can do or what a computer operating system can be.

* Bows ... getz off soapbox, before people start throwing stuff at me. :D

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Jim Hauser »

catweazel wrote:
Moem wrote:
catweazel wrote:Linux Mint just created a flock of distro-hoppers by announcing it's dropping KDE.
That's right. Just like Ubuntu did the same by adopting Unity. So it goes.
As an aside, I'm pleased to see that so far there's been no screaming, pouting and foot-stomping from fellow Mint KDE users.
:-)

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Hoser Rob »

Aleron Ives wrote:... once a programmer becomes enough of an expert in Linux to know that no current distro suits his needs, he may decide to start his own in order to ensure that his needs are met.....
I WISH all those guys were real programmers ...

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by revian »

Moem wrote:
catweazel wrote:Linux Mint just created a flock of distro-hoppers by announcing it's dropping KDE.
That's right. Just like Ubuntu did the same by adopting Unity...
Yep, I moved over to Mint (Mate edition) after Ubuntu adopted the Unity desktop. It's a good thing I did too, because I ended up on the Cinnamon edition (out of sheer curiosity) and am very happy I found it. So, you could say Canonical's adoption of Ubuntu is the reason for me finding a wonderful new home. Thank you, Canonical, I love Linux Mint!
Operating within normal parameters

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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by Portreve »

Hey CaseyMarie!
CaseyMarie wrote:Something I've often been curious about is really just how different is Mint to a harder to use distro like say arch?
First, I'd like to say I agree fundamentally with the basic theme of responses above. You absolutely should try different distros, if for no other reason than the experience of installation as well as the per-distro experience of it.
As a result every distro is highly similar to every other distro because the base parts are consistent between all of them. What the percentage is I don't know but is it the high 80s? Maybe 90s? Indeed I've heard that one of the advantages is that if a piece of software isn't in your local repository you can just grab the source and compile it and it will work (learning how to compile is something very near the top of my to-do list btw :) I'm hoping to take a look at the code for date, mess with it a little bit and compile it, I think that will be awesome!).
Honestly, that's a bit of a yes and no because, on the one hand, the entire point of making "yet another distro" is to make something more in the way you believe would be suitable, and on the other, there are also a number of specialty distros which serve a variety of needs, from musician-oriented ones to graphics design professionals to coders, and also things like servers, etc.
I recently spoke to someone over Facebook who poo-pooed me for using mint instead of Arch. I asked him please tell me what Arch can do that mint under absolutely no circumstances can do. I didn't really get a reply to that and I am starting to think that the kind of people who act elitist about distros are perhaps not as genius about Linux as they like to think they are.
The anonymity afforded by the Internet is a breeding ground for what already exists in the real world: a**holes. I know it's not most polite thing to say on a message board like this one, but it's the truth. Moreover, the sort of demographic attracted to GNU+Linux tend toward those with limited social skills. Again, not the nicest thing to say, but hey, it is what it is.

(Naturally, LinuxMint folk are an exception to this. :wink: )
But if mint really is the easiest to use and it's got all the same base stuff as any other distro, wouldn't it be better to just compile the "missing" parts that you need and keep the nicer easier experience?
I think the term "easy to use" is a misnomer. There's really two things that come into play here because they are the points of interface between the user and the OS. The first is really more of a conceptual thing than something concrete you can point to, and that's how the distro creator decided to handle how utility and maintenance tasks are performed and, sort of to a lesser degree, how they think the things under their control should take care of themselves. The other, and by far more in your face thing, is the desktop environment. Cinnamon is a derivative, basically, of Gnome 2. I like it because, as with Gnome 2 before it, it inherits the best bits from Classic Mac OS, Mac OS X (10.3 - 10.6), and Windows 9x/2k. In fact, I daresay a traditional Mac OS user would have relatively little trouble adapting to Cinnamon.
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Re: Is distro hopping ultimately pointless?

Post by linux-dummie »

Distro hopping was A LOT(!) of fun for several years. But then real life kicked in. From my adventures I had come to realize that one could actually use Linux for serious work. Then I found that I needed the dreaded Killer of Distro Hopping---rock-solid stability. So my final destination became Mint (and MX, depending on the machine). There are other rock-solid distros, but these have been my go-to's for years. So life's good with or without distro-hopping, as long as Linux is a major part of that life!

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