Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

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catweazel
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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by catweazel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:09 am

frc_kde wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:29 pm
My hardware is old (mostly from 2008). It seems that Kernel 4.4 is the last one that works really fine, here ─ although using 4.9 ~ 4.18 in recently installed distros.

But now I have a problem, in the case of KDE Neon ─ because no Kubuntu worked so fine, here, after Xenial, and no Mint has been so perfect, here, after “Sarah”.
Any distro based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS can be expected to either not work at all or not work correctly on old hardware. While there are some people who have managed to get the two to play together nicely, they seem to be few and far between. There have been many changes to the kernel, especially the removal of old code, and this removal is in full swing so it's only going to get worse. The best that can be advised for people struggling to get either Ubuntu 18.04 or one of its derivates working on old hardware is to look for a distro that is explicitly geared toward old hardware. Oddly enough, some of those distros are based on Ubuntu 18.04.
frc_kde wrote:... No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018! "Ain't nobody got time for this!"
Sure they do. I use Ubuntu 18.04 server, which is 'No GUI, no LiveCD. Text-only installation, in 2018', to install to two 3.2Gb/s NVMe drives in software RAID 0. It's one command in a terminal to then install the KDE desktop. SMOKIN!
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

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Spearmint2
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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Spearmint2 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:06 am

I enjoyed reading his experiences. Same in sports, proud of our little leaguers, even if they aren't in the pros yet. Everyone grows in stages and should be respected for the efforts in doing so.
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

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MurphCID
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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:54 am

Spearmint2 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:06 am
I enjoyed reading his experiences. Same in sports, proud of our little leaguers, even if they aren't in the pros yet. Everyone grows in stages and should be respected for the efforts in doing so.
Me too, I really like reading about various people's experiences in linux.

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by frc_kde » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:53 pm

catweazel wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:09 am

Any distro based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS can be expected to either not work at all or not work correctly on old hardware. While there are some people who have managed to get the two to play together nicely, they seem to be few and far between. There have been many changes to the kernel, especially the removal of old code, and this removal is in full swing so it's only going to get worse. The best that can be advised for people struggling to get either Ubuntu 18.04 or one of its derivates working on old hardware is to look for a distro that is explicitly geared toward old hardware. Oddly enough, some of those distros are based on Ubuntu 18.04.
Thanks, catweazel. I suspected something like that, but I was not sure.

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by frc_kde » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:56 pm

Spearmint2 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:06 am
I enjoyed reading his experiences. Same in sports, proud of our little leaguers, even if they aren't in the pros yet. Everyone grows in stages and should be respected for the efforts in doing so.
Reading experiences is a nice thing, and I thank to jaymot by the initiative to make his report

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:01 am

While I do not distro hop (I like Mint, it just works), I love reading the reviews of folks who have tried other distros, especially the classic ones like Slackware, Debian, Red Hat, etc.

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Lysander666 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:48 am

I’ll add my experiences here too as an aide-memoir. Over time I have tried probably about twenty distros, a mixture of in-depth use and fleeting trials. Here is a rundown of what I can remember from my experiences.

Ubuntu – this was my first foray into Linux and I absolutely loved it. Very clean, swish, easy, I loved the Humanity colours and Unity. I was with Ubuntu for about six weeks and really enjoyed it. However, I left it because I wanted to discover more about Linux and I felt I had plateaued rather quickly. Additionally, there were problems with ATI drivers not working on the 16.04 release. As I recall, there were open-source drivers – they may have been fine for gaming – but the consensus at the time was that if one were on Ubuntu it was far better to be with nVidia than ATI.

Solus – Budgie is great, the whole OS feels modern and installing software is easy. But I couldn’t get my head around what the point of the OS was when there are so many more established ones out there. I think I was with Solus for a day, if that. I remember feeling out of my comfort zone and going back to Ubuntu briefly.

Mint – I was with Mint for a week and haven’t run it for over a year now, yet I still occasionally post in these forums. I loved Cinnamon, but again, I felt I wasn’t learning much. This was the last distro I used a graphical package manager in. I was getting interested in Debian and wanted to move onto it but couldn’t make it work in a VM until...

Debian – After I managed to install the necessary graphics drivers for Debian when testing it out, I knew I had cracked it. It was a great feeling. There followed a fortnight-long learning curve on Jessie than necessitated my having to sort out all kinds of issues from sound card problems, Spotify problems, issues with Libre office etc. It was pretty intense. Once I had got everything sorted out I could relax and I stayed with Debian for a while. I was with Debian [stable] for over a year on my primary machine. Apt is great to use in the CLI. I left it because systemd would sometimes fail to boot the OS, the quality of comment and advice in the community severely deteriorated and I wanted a distro that challenged me more. Overall it's a very good OS.

Slackware – Without a doubt the hardest Linux experience I’ve had and a very steep learning curve for me. My first installation attempts failed several times and there was a lot of research to do. As someone else said on another forum “the installation is the easy part”.

I have three internal hard disks and normally unplug all but my primary disk when doing an OS install, then plugging the other ones back in. Ubuntu, Mint and Debian were fine with this and saw the two new ones straight away. Slackware was not fine with it. When I plugged the other two drives in after installation, the OS threw a kernel panic. Confused, and seeing that the solution entailed a lot of learning, I went back to Debian before forcing myself to learn about persistent naming of hard drives. Once I had learned about that, on top of my already acquired learning on how to build packages, upgrade the kernel and manage dependencies, everything was OK. Slackware is extremely robust and reliable and now all my machines run it. I have never had a failed boot. Once you know what you’re doing and your system’s set up it will just leave you alone, you can get on with your work or experiment at your leisure. You’ll never stop learning with it.

Others I experimented with:

Arch – I toyed with Arch a little in a VM, installation is relatively straightforward, you just have to follow the wiki. After install I expected to be dropped into a desktop but I found that, no, I had to install that myself. Seeing as Arch runs systemd and is not the most stable OS, I couldn’t be bothered.

Salix – easy to install and great if you’re interested in Slackware. After a short while I felt it was Slackware but ‘cheating’, so I went onto the real thing, though it would be a great distro for those looking for a comfortable stepping stone.

KDE Neon – Looks nice but Plasma has always been unstable for me. As well as that, I care more about functionality and stability. Give me Xfce any day.

MX Linux – Briefly had a go with it but was more interested in Debian at the time. However, it’s great to know it exists. A possible ‘backup’ distro for me with a good community.

There were others I tried out – e.g. Manjaro and Parrot, but I tested them for less than an hour before deciding they weren’t for me.

It’s been a fascinating ride, but I’m pleased to have settled down because a] distro-hopping turned into a time sink and b] the more one stays with a distro, the more one learns about it – especially if it's running on multiple machines. I now have the stability and continual learning experience I wanted.
Debian 9.4 / Slackware 14.2

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:57 am

Wow, a real live Slackware user! Back in my old Mandrake 7 days, I was in awe of the guys who could get Slackware up and running. They were REAL gurus who could handle anything.

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by MurphCID » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:14 am

Plus back in the day (late 90's, early 2000's) the Slackware guys were cool on the net unlike the Debian and Red Hat guys who were generally elitist douches, who screamed RFTM on any question, and were into the APT vs RPM holy wars. The Slackware guys just sat back, and knew they were the real elite, and did not need to show off compared to the Red Hat and Debian guys. I was actually banned from a board (in my Mandrake days) for daring to suggest that GUIs were not bad things, and the Linux needed to emulate Windows/Apple in easy to use GUI tools, and programs. The Slackware guys were like..."Dude, you need to learn the command line, and chill".

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by rambo919 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:27 am

I can see where the slack comes in slackware.....

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Re: Distro-hopping: my results and impressions

Post by Lysander666 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:50 am

MurphCID wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:14 am
Plus back in the day (late 90's, early 2000's) the Slackware guys were cool on the net unlike the Debian and Red Hat guys who were generally elitist douches, who screamed RFTM on any question, and were into the APT vs RPM holy wars. The Slackware guys just sat back, and knew they were the real elite, and did not need to show off compared to the Red Hat and Debian guys. I was actually banned from a board (in my Mandrake days) for daring to suggest that GUIs were not bad things, and the Linux needed to emulate Windows/Apple in easy to use GUI tools, and programs. The Slackware guys were like..."Dude, you need to learn the command line, and chill".
I can make a similar correlation between artists in the music world, having spent years as a promoter. The newer/intermediately famous bands were generally the most arrogant. The newer bands would think that they were cool merely because they were a band, whereas the intermediately famous bands would be snobby but less arrogant. The bands who had been in the game for years or decades, and had reached a certain point of notoriety and influence were more chilled out and down to earth. Some of the best conversations I had were with long-term, influental artists who were very nice poeople.

The same can be said, to an extent, in Linux. Ubuntu users [and Mint, is has to be said] can be very much of the mindset that they are cool and better than Windows users. In the intermediate side, I have spent quite a bit of time on the Debian forums, which have a reputation for being very rude to new users. The mindset of those forums - which I have adopted myself at times - is very much "if you can't read around, don't bother coming here, we won't help, go back to Ubuntu". I do not necessarily disagree with this mindset, but that's how it is there [less so these days since the post-systemd flight].

When it comes to Slackware, the community is very helpful, knowledgeable, patient and laid back. The reason for this, I can only say from my own personal experience, is that I know that there is plenty I don't know [I'm sure Plato said that the wise man knows that he knows nothing]. The more I delve into the OS, the more there is to put into practice and I probably will never be an expert - but I am glad to be a part of it [note that the defintion of 'expert' is relative, not absolute].

That's not to say that I don't get annoyed with certain mindsets among newbies, which is part of the reason I hardly ever post in the Mint forums. There are certain attitudes that I find are damaging - for the user, their machine and the community. However, I am mostly of the opinion that if it just works for you, just use it. For me, it is a permanent road of learning and self-discovery from those with more knowledge. Humility comes with experience.
Debian 9.4 / Slackware 14.2

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