Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Chat about Linux in general
Post Reply
jaymot
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:22 pm

Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by jaymot » Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am

I've spent the past several weeks testing out various Linux distros. My requirements are support for full-disk encrypted installation, the availability of certain packages in the repository, GUI system management tools including updates and package installation, and having it boot up, run and install.

I have two computers I was using to test: an older BIOS 64-bit AMD dual coredesktop with an onboard AMD GPU and a 1368x768px 17 inch montor, and a newer UEFI 64-bit Intel Core i7 laptop with both Intel and Nvidia GPUs and a 3200x1800px 13 inch montor. As an aside, I'm 60 years old and have been using (or at least playing with) Linux since the early 1990s. I no longer have patience to deal with fixing problems: I used to support computers for a living, and now I just want to be able to use mine and not have to work on it all day every day.

I am not trying to bad-mouth any Linux distros in any way, I'm just telling you my impressions of them.

Here are some of my notes:

PCLinuxOS 2017.11 KDE, LXDE, Mate and other community releases: Setting up a full-disk encryption (FDE) installation using an encrypted Linux Logical Volume Manager had to be done by hand in a custom installation. Installation fails unless the file /etc/default/grub in the LiveCD system was first edited to add the line "GRUB_ENABLE_CRYPTODISK=y"

I got it working on the laptop once, ONLY after I first restored the OEM Windows 10 installation (I created an image of it with CloneZilla before I put Linux on it, just in case I decide to sell it) and kept the Windows UEFI partition. Creating an EFI partition in PCLOS and mounting it to /boot or /boot/EFI causes PCLOS not to be able to boot. Even then, upgrading the kernel would render the system unbootable with a kernel panic when I tried booting to the new kernel. I found the system to be very fragile and easy to break, which is not the case in an installation with root (/) left unencrypted.

I never did get it working on the old desktop. At reboot after installation I always got an error, "device mapper: table: 2530: crypt: Error allocating cryptotfm. device mapper: reload ioctl on failed: No such file or directory. Failed to setup dm-crypt key mapping for device /dev/sda7. Check that kernel supports aes-xts-benbi cypher" with an unencrypted ext4 partition mounted as /boot and the remaining disk space made into an encrypted LLVM containing an LVM which in turn contains unencrypted swap and root partitions. I spent several days trying to get FDE working on both computers, and working reliably enough that I could reinstall and replicate a successful installation at will. Failure!

My request for help on the forum returned just *crickets* (no replies.) Apparently security is a very low priority in this distribution, which is a shame because it's great otherwise: 99.9% of the packages in its repository "just work" with minimal or no tweaking or fiddling. This is the distro that I've been using for the past decade, more or less, too. I did use it for several days on the laptop by leaving root unencrypted and just encrypting swap and home, but as it's a laptop and attractive to thieves, and as I live in a country where cybercrime is practised, the security ramifications of leaving my operating system's directory wide open worried me.

Kubuntu (latest): Encrypted installation was a breeze. The OS looked good. I thought I had a keeper, until I went to install the apps that I need or have gotten used to using. The repository is full of old, outdated and buggy apps that I had to spend hours to try to get working. Some of the apps I needed were missing and the instructions on the official Ubuntu website instructed me to install other, foreign repositories in Synaptic to get them! So much for stability: I soon found that I couldn't tell the third-party packages from Ubuntu ones in Synaptic and ended up hosing my system after just a few days, merely from installing application software, or trying to.

Mint KDE: Again, FDE installation was easy. I found the same issues with outdated or missing apps in the repository (though not nearly as bad as the *ubuntus as Mint also has its own repositories which contain apps of a higher level of quality), but by manually installing updated .deb binaries provided by the apps' developers, or carefully installing a PPA or two from trusted sources (app devs again), or in one or two cases installing pre-compiled portable versions of the app just by copying the app's folder to /usr/local/sbin (as sudo) and creating my own menu launcher for it, I was able to work around most of those issues.

Being used to a distribution with separate root user I found sudo to be quite annoying, asking me for my password over and over again instead of just asking me for root's password once per transaction. I still find it annoying, though I understand why sudo's more secure than running an app as root. At least it forced me to memorise my new diceware-generated password, so I guess that's one advantage.

KDE Plasma was, well, Plasma. I'd gotten used to it in PCLOS. Display scaling didn't work that well so I ended up just setting my monitor's resolution to 1920x1080 on the laptop (I wanted to see if I could keep the 3200x1800 resolution for watching wide-screen movies but if all else fails, lower your expectations.) A show-stopper was, after using Mint for several days and deciding it was a keeper, installing bumblebee-nvidia and Nvidia's driver to try to get Optimus working caused the system to crash upon rebooting. (For those that don't know, Optimus is a system where a computer, usually a laptop, has two video cards: an onboard GPU that uses shared system RAM and consumes low power and a discrete higher-performance GPU with dedicated VRAM and its own fan which all consumes more juice, and Optimus automatically switches between the two GPUs according to demand such as if you're playing a game. Bumblebee is the Linux version of that Optimus auto-GPU-switcher.)

Solus MATE and Budgie: FDE installation: easy. I found that I didn't care for the Budgie desktop environment for reasons that I didn't write down so I tried the Mate version which I liked better. Problem: Mate didn't offer 1920x1080 resolution and neither supported video scaling. Also the Solus package manager could only install one app at a time, forcing you to sit in front of the computer for hours installing your stuff, and entering your password for sudo each and every time, instead of just queueing everything up, clicking Apply, then going and doing something else for an hour or so. Otherwise it's kind of a nice distro. It's a "curated rolling release" meaning that once installed it theoretically never reaches end-of-life or end-of-support and all packages in its repository have been thoroughly tested and vetted before being made available to the public. (PCLOS is that way too.) Lack of a visible desktop environment due to the high resolution with no scaling and the one-at-a-time package manager were the show-stoppers, though I could live with the package manager as once the computer was initially set up I wouldn't be installing all that many more apps.

OpenSUSE (both Leap and Tumbleweed): FDE installation of both of these failed. The installer was rather odd and it took longer to figure it out and partition my disk. Then it prompted me to install several required packages including cryptsetup, none of which were on the list of available packages at that point of the installation! Catch-22: "Please pry open this crate using the crowbar that's included inside."

Mageia: Like PCLOS it was originally a fork of Mandriva, so it was a lot like what I was already used to. Again, a FDE installation using LLVM/LVM had to be done manually in a custom disk partitioning scenario, but unlike PCLOS it worked with no problems. One odd thing (which I also noticed in PCLOS the one time I managed to do a FDE installation on the laptop) was that it prompted me for the encryption passphrase twice: once on a command line before the GUI started and again at a GUI password prompt before GRUB loaded.

It was nice but the show-stopper was that there was no Zulucrypt, and its Veracrypt package required that sudo was installed (which it didn't automatically install as a dependency.) Installing sudo broke root access to everything, probably due to a conflict between genuine root and sudo, and sudo wouldn't work because I wasn't listed in /etc/sudoers which I was now unable to edit as root. (I found out later that all I needed to do was add my user to a group named "wheel" then log out/in: that's a nice descriptive name for what that group is for, huh? "Wheel".)

Another minor issue was that prior to installation it made you agree to the Mageia Committee's licensing terms! I read them and they said most of Mageia is GPL'd but some of it is nonetheless copyrighted by the Mageia Board, and that you waive all right to sue the for anything (they must have their own legal team.) That's something I've never seen in a Linux distro, having to click "I agree" on a license. Usually there's just a text file somewhere. It made me uncomfortable. Too much of a corporate vibe to it.

Slackware: No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018! "Ain't nobody got time for this!"

Arch: No GUI or LiveCD. Stops at "root automatic login" and a shell prompt. The only available file is Install.txt. Attempts to cat that file to read it gave me "no such file or directory". I am not wiling to jump through hoops or time-travel back to the 1980s to install your OS. Bye-bye!

CentOS KDE: FDE installation was smooth and easy. After it booted I found no GUI package manager, update tool, or information on how to do the initial post-installation update. Their forum would never let me perform a search, always saying I don't have permission, try again after X seconds. Apparently they don't allow guest accounts to search for help and I wasn't going to take the trouble to register unless I decided to keep using CentOS. If they're that unhelpful to newbies that they won't even allow someone to search for a solution, how so later? I decided this didn't bode well.

Sabayon KDE 18.04: Their website says this distro is supposed to be easy to use and everything's supposed to work. Installation went smoothly. Again, there was no GUI update tool or package manager. However, the little welcome screen did have a "what to do first" link on it which took me to a blog post explaining step-by-step how to do the initial update from the command line then install a GUI package tool (which it recommended against using for your first update due to issues with it.) All of the mirrors were in Europe and I'm in Asia. It took OVER SIX HOURS! After a reboot I was finally able to test it only to find out that almost none of the apps I regularly use were in its repository. An attempt to register on its forum while the updates were running and I was bored failed as its registration page includes an outdated version of recaptcha and a note to please report that to the webmaster. Apparently no one is maintaining the forum. Again, it didn't bode well, although were I able to sign into the forum I'm sure that at least one of it's dozen users would have been happy to try to help me. I wasted most of an entire sunny day on this thing.

Mint LMDE2: I thought that being based on the Debian Unstable branch instead of Ubunto this would solve the issue of outdated packages in the repository so I decided to try it The LiveCD would only boot in video compatibility mode at 640x480 resolution on the laptop. Which meant that in the installer the Next and OK buttons were off-screen at the bottom, preventing installation. This was with the laptop's bog-standard Intel GPU.

Debian and Fedora: I tried both on the desktop PC, back before I'd bought the laptop. I wasn't keeping notes then so I forget what was wrong with Fedora. I recall that Debian's LiveCD didn't support a 768 pixel high resolution so, again, the installer's buttons were off-screen. It had some other problem with my 8-year-old hardware too, which I can't remember. Anyway, it wouldn't even install.

PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar (another community version of PCLOS): On the desktop PC the LiveCD wouldn't boot unless I booted it with no splash screen. It has the same problems with FDE installations as all the other variants of PCLOS (hey, I gave it a chance, thinking maybe the "community" fixed the installer in their version.)

Parrot Linux from ParrotSEC: Parrot Linux is designed for network and server penetration testing but they offer a home version with many of the original's security features but designed for day-to-day desktop or laptop computer use. FDE installation was great, though I was surprised that the installer was text-based: I think it was a python script. One thing I especially appreciated was that the installer offered to wipe the disk with random data prior to creating the partitions: that was a nice touch. Another was that it let you choose where you wanted the boot partition to be created and one of the drives listed was the USB flash drive I was installing from, meaning that it would have been easy to set up a system that could only boot from a flash drive that you always carried with you, giving the computer true full disk encryption with no part of its hard drive unencrypted. Again, I thought I'd found a keeper.

However, it was so secure that it refused to let me open any system folders such as /etc or /user even as root nor would it let me edit any files as root. It prevented me from using my own computer. Security's all well and good but let's not keep authorized users from getting their work done, shall we? I mean, the ultimate in security would be to encase the machine in a block of titanium or something, but how useful would the computer be? If it wasn't for their overzealousness in locking down the OS I'd probably still be using Parrot.

Mint Sylvia 64, Cinnamon edition: I decided enough was enough and after not being able to use my computer all weekend long I decided to go back to Mint, but this time bite the bullet and use Cinnamon as KDE versions of Mint will no longer be offered after this current release. I figured that since Cinnamon is Mint's recommended and preferred version I may as well start getting used to it if I'm going to keep using Mint in the long term.

I don't like the fact that Mint's not a rolling release so every so often I'll have to reformat and reinstall to keep current (although that's actually not a bad idea to do that every two or three years anyway, or else all the cruft left behind by packages you've installed, tested and removed (libraries and such) ends up causing weird, random problems that go away on a reformat/reinstall.) As with all Ubuntu-based distros it also uses sudo, which is a pain as I mentioned earlier: sudo asks me to re-enter my password way too often. (Enter password to launch Synaptic, enter password to install a package, enter password to install dependencies, lather, rinse, repeat.)

First, the speed at which the LiveCD desktop appeared was amazeballs! I actually sat there staring at the screen for a moment in shock. Whoa! Cinnamon is FAST (compared to Plasma, anyway.) This was from a bootable USB flash drive, so the speed probably wouldn't have been noticeable if I was installing from an optical disk.

FDE installation was par for the course for any Mint version: easy, no problems. Install, reboot, enter passphrase, log in at GRUB's prompt, and up pops the desktop in jig time. This installation was on the laptop as I can no longer use the desktop as its mouse died.

The second thing I noticed after the start-up speed was that I could already see and read everything without having to mess with display settings. SCALING THAT WORKS!! Scaling is set to automatic by default and it detected that I have an HDPI monitor and scaled the display accordingly. Nice! I even double-checked what resolution it was set to: 3200x1800. FYI the encryption passphrase prompt on the splash screen is still small but the GRUB user login screen is OK, so apparently scaling is already working by the time the OS gets to the (multi)user login stage. However, GTK2, QT and JFX GUI apps are all still too small to use, so unlike in Windows 10 Cinnamon's scaling throughout the OS isn't universal. (I resolved the GTK2 apps issue thanks to a particular theme but the others are still too small at this time.)

I checked for nearby mirrors before running the initial post-installation updates and found an Ubuntu mirror in Taiwan and a Mint mirror right here in the Philippines. After choosing these the updates were all finished in about 20 minutes or so. Sweet!

When installing my apps I had the usual issues with outdated or missing packages, but by now I know exactly what to do and had everything sorted in just a few minutes. It took about 2 hours from booting the live media to having a working system with probably 2/3 or 3/4 of the apps I need: enough to get going with, anyway. I ended up staying up until almost 2AM using my computer to get caught up on some forums and email after having been offline for 2 or 3 days.

I haven't tried installing Bumblebee Nvidia again yet. I want to wait until after I've made a CloneZilla image in case it hoses the system again, and meanwhile I want to use the machine for a few days and not work on it anymore for awhile.

Conclusion: There are a great many Linux distros out there. Some are OK. Most of them suck. The two best ones IMO are Mint and PCLinuxOS. Both of these distros would be absolutely outstanding if A) Mint could either convince Canonical to clean up the old junk in its repository, upgrade the packages to the newest version and start maintaining them properly; or B) move everything to its own Mint repository, stop using Ubuntu repos and do the package clean-ups, upgrades and maintenance themselves, and if C) PCLOS would either fix their installer and their live CD to allow encrypted LVM installations to work or ditch that Mandriva installdrake installer and use another such as Ubuntu's (and still fix the underlying problems with booting into, and upgrading kernels in, encrypted installations.)

(Sorry about any misspellings and typos. I proofread and edited before posting but I may have missed some. This laptop's keyboard has a low key travel so is kind of hard to type on, plus accidentally bumping the monitor, which is a touchscreen, causes unexpected things to happen.)
Last edited by jaymot on Tue May 22, 2018 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

User avatar
administrollaattori
Level 13
Level 13
Posts: 4989
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:51 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by administrollaattori » Tue May 22, 2018 4:05 am

jaymot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am
Slackware: No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018! "Ain't nobody got time for this!"
You have not realized Slackware's idea. :wink:

Hoser Rob
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3973
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Hoser Rob » Tue May 22, 2018 8:28 am

jaymot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am
... ]PCLinuxOS 2017.11 ... My request for help on the forum returned just *crickets* (no replies.) Apparently security is a very low priority in this distribution ...
Most distros have crappy support forums. The only ones that have good ones, and are suitable for beginners, are ubuntu and mint. Nothing to do with their views on security.

User avatar
Spearmint2
Level 15
Level 15
Posts: 5710
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 1:41 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Spearmint2 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:20 pm

Like you, in my 60's and having recently had to hack a windows computer of a deceased relative and gather data from it for his family members, I decided to never run full disk encryption on anything. If there's something I want private, I prefer to just put in an encrypted file and leave my loved ones the passwords for what they need to access if I should die suddenly, as he did. It's something to keep in mind. I've recently tried to help someone in these forums to recover an encrypted full drive system that he'd managed to get locked out of, the password no longer working for access. He's not been back to the thread so I have no idea if he recovered it or not. If one's HDD is failing, and the header information is corrupted, with no backup of the header area, it's very difficult to impossible recover the data.
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

jaymot
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:22 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by jaymot » Wed May 23, 2018 8:38 pm

administrollaattori wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:05 am
jaymot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am
Slackware: No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018! "Ain't nobody got time for this!"
You have not realized Slackware's idea. :wink:
Which seems to be to deliver an open-source version of AT&T System V Unix from the 1980s-1990s. It would be OK on a server, maybe, or in an all-Unix shop (are there still such things?) but it doesn't have a place on my home computer. It would do nothing but hinder me from getting anything done.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

User avatar
trytip
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1623
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by trytip » Wed May 23, 2018 9:22 pm

OP word count 3244 ? "Ain't nobody got time for that!" :mrgreen:

for some reason Deepin Linux the official debian release had great scaling if you managed to somehow to install graphic drivers correctly. in my case i couldn't since every time i used the driver manager to install nvidia i still got a black screen rebooting so my distro-hop into deepin lasted until the black screen which was usually within the first few minutes cause if i have nvidia and can't use it it's no worth it.

i had good experience with pclinuxos until late 2016 when xorg was updated and we had the same black screen as arch linux is going through this last week. such a shame because i had kde4 themes just perfect, but then pclos dropped kde4 and that pissed a lot of users including me

most distros look good until you try to use it as a daily driver and then i guess it's only a matter of "you want to keep your sanity" ? and even today with bleeding edge technology we still have non-bootable systems after updates. (didn't anyone test these before uploading to repos?)

very in depth short review on these linuxes, we should now also beware that some apps and systems may invoke somekind of crypto tracking and more END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT that you have to say yes
Image

jaymot
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:22 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by jaymot » Thu May 24, 2018 6:46 pm

I forgot, I also tried Manjaro on the BIOS desktop. I kind of liked its retro look-and-feel, with its lack of a boot splash screen and its simple, flat desktop and menus. But it couldn't read the partitions on my external hard drive where my backups were, telling me the partition table and/or partitions of that drive was/were damaged and I had to reformat. (There was nothing wrong with the disk.)

It seems like about half of the distros out there won't even boot, run and install properly, and about 3/4 of those that do have display issues, unmaintained repositories, or other major issues. That's not counting all the abandoned distros that are still out there on various mirrors. There doesn't seem to be such a thing as a Linux for the desktop and laptop that just works "out of the box", as it were. Either there's some issue with the installer but everything else works great, or else it installs and runs fine except the video scaling doesn't work (or there isn't any), or else everything works OK but then you find out that half your work configuring your new system will have to be done interactively and/or from the command-line, or that half of the apps in the repository are outdated versions containing bugs that their devs fixed months before, or else the live CD itself won't detect your video card and runs in VGA mode, or the programs that you need aren't available for it. There's always something!

Linux is never going to take enough of Windows' market share to, for one thing, induce companies into writing and updating Linux drivers for their hardware if people can't even make their distro run, install, update and boot without crashing or having major issues. Besides the fundamental problems that so many distros have (which makes Lunux a small niche market), there are just too darn many varieties of Linuxes: there are Fedora-based ones, Arch-based, Debian-based, Mandriva-based, Slackware-based plus others including a few custom ones. Any drivers or helper apps that manufacturers provide have to be packaged for all or at least many of those different types of distros, unless they just release everything as source and let the users see if it will compile and install on their system. The small Linux niche has been fragmented into several sub-niches. Lack of manufacturer support for Linux also drives down its popularity, and so it goes.
Mint 18.3 Sylvia Cinnamon, Asus Zenbook UX303UB, 12GiB 1.6GHz DDR3 RAM, 1TiB HD, Intel Skylake & GeForce 940M GPUs

User avatar
MurphCID
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Thu May 24, 2018 9:07 pm

Thank you for doing the work on the reviews. I found your insight valuable, and professional.

lmuserx4849
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:55 am

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by lmuserx4849 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:48 am

administrollaattori wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:05 am
jaymot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am
Slackware: No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018! "Ain't nobody got time for this!"
You have not realized Slackware's idea. :wink:
Agree :-) imho Slackware is the truest linux distribution and the oldest. Patrick Volkerding has been working on it since 1992, and it remains one of the few distros that uses sysvinit. As the saying goes: “If you know Red Hat, you know Red Hat. If you know Slackware, you know Linux.”

User avatar
MurphCID
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:35 am

lmuserx4849 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:48 am
administrollaattori wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:05 am
jaymot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am
Slackware: No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018! "Ain't nobody got time for this!"
You have not realized Slackware's idea. :wink:
Agree :-) imho Slackware is the truest linux distribution and the oldest. Patrick Volkerding has been working on it since 1992, and it remains one of the few distros that uses sysvinit. As the saying goes: “If you know Red Hat, you know Red Hat. If you know Slackware, you know Linux.”
So true, So very true.

Hoser Rob
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3973
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Hoser Rob » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:32 am

jaymot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:50 am
...Mint LMDE2: I thought that being based on the Debian Unstable branch instead of Ubunto this would solve the issue of outdated packages in the repository so I decided to try it ...
That statement invalidates the whole thing. Debian doesn't do true rolling releases and you probably should avoid those.

bjmh46
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 6:44 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by bjmh46 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:39 pm

My experience with Manjaro was very different from the OP. If I were to switch to a rolling release model distro, Manjaro would be it. With the AUR, there isn't much you can't successfully install and run. Printers, and scanner work (with some digging). I keep a fully configured load of Manjaro on an external hdd.

User avatar
MurphCID
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:28 pm

Jaymot please keep the updates on your adventures in Linux coming, I really enjoyed reading that.

Hoser Rob
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3973
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Hoser Rob » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:25 am

jaymot wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 6:46 pm
... It seems like about half of the distros out there won't even boot, run and install properly, and about 3/4 of those that do have display issues, unmaintained repositories, or other major issues. ....
Seems to me that there were issues you couldn't solve, not surprising since most distros have useless support sites.

User avatar
sdibaja
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 532
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 12:57 pm
Location: Baja California, Mexico

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by sdibaja » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:00 pm

Hoser Rob wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:25 am
jaymot wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 6:46 pm
... It seems like about half of the distros out there won't even boot, run and install properly, and about 3/4 of those that do have display issues, unmaintained repositories, or other major issues. ....
Seems to me that there were issues you couldn't solve, not surprising since most distros have useless support sites.
on top of that Not all distros are intended for the same audience.
Some are crafted to make it super easy to install, and then run basic operations.
Others are intended for production.They must be super stable, set it and forget it. An extra skill set, and more time invested, is expected to set them up initially.
Another set would be those that want full control without built-in road blocks (or loose security).
Then there are those that are not highly skilled/experienced but want to try all of the new shiny things.
to me it is clear you can not have all of them in the same system... maybe two, but not more.

I continue to search for that sweet spot...

KBD47
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1526
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:03 am

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by KBD47 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:22 pm

What you found is that no Linux distro is perfect :)
I look for the one that comes closest to my needs. If you want rolling--Arch or Debian Sid. Fast moving but not rolling--Fedora. If like myself, and I suspect many folks here, you want stability and great support--Mint. I would also add MX as great for support and stability. And Debian Stable for stability, but their forum is less friendly in some respects.
But I would put any of these Linux distros up against Windows which when it breaks, and it likely will, you may find support somewhere, but unlike Linux, you don't have another version of Windows to move to if you get dissatisfied with what you are using. With Linux, if Ubuntu puts you off, you have many many more versions of Linux to try, as you found out :)

User avatar
MurphCID
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 470
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:40 am

More please. Love this thread.

Post Reply

Return to “Chat about Linux”