Random thoughts on distro hopping

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dave1953
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Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by dave1953 »

Just thinking about my newbie experiences with distro hopping. As a curious individual I've tried all the offered flavours of Linux Mint, Ubuntu Gnome, Mate, Debian Gnome, Manjaro, Feren, Elementary, Zorin etc etc etc. Some of these were professed to be utterly brilliant in the eyes of the reviewer, but as a newbie I wasn't experienced enough to appreciate the subtleties - which led to me thinking, how many disappointed tryers of Linux whichever distro there are who are expecting instant wonderfulness and haven't wanted to or been able to spend time configuring the offered distro to get it "perfect for them"? I am guilty of this crime.
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

dave1953 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:52 am
Just thinking about my newbie experiences with distro hopping. As a curious individual I've tried all the offered flavours of Linux Mint, Ubuntu Gnome, Mate, Debian Gnome, Manjaro, Feren, Elementary, Zorin etc etc etc. Some of these were professed to be utterly brilliant in the eyes of the reviewer, but as a newbie I wasn't experienced enough to appreciate the subtleties - which led to me thinking, how many disappointed tryers of Linux whichever distro there are who are expecting instant wonderfulness and haven't wanted to or been able to spend time configuring the offered distro to get it "perfect for them"? I am guilty of this crime.
I don't think that it applies only to newcomers. For some of us, the time to configure another distro is expensive. It certainly puts me off, unless I'm deathly bored.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by antikythera »

I tend to try them in VM rather than mess with working bare metal installs I am happy with. There's a phrase "The grass is always greener". It rarely is but if you don't try the alternatives you will never know what if anything you are missing.

If you aren't experiencing hardware issues that are unsolvable with one and therefore looking for something better matched to your PC, the reality is that if you are looking to switch to another distribution and only end up using it in exactly the same desktop environment with exactly the same user profile settings tailored to your tastes then there's no real point switching.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by kc1di »

I've found over the years that the longer you stick with one distro (Mint of course) the more knowledgeable you become in those little things that make it work for you and the better able you will be to help the newbie with problems. Distro hopping is a good thing for a bit. But it's better and you'll become more and more comfortable when you settle on that one and get into it's workings to make it your own. Then things become almost automatic and you know how to configure it's power to be used in your hands. So try many and settle on one for the long haul.
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dave1953
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by dave1953 »

Funnily enough I found different issues with different distros. For example ubuntu would not see my ancient Ricoh laser printer although strangely Debian, Mint and all of the other debian based distros did. Also found personal dislikes of some of the ways the mate and xfce desktops worked. Purely subjective of course as these are excellent systems.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by bob466 »

Been there done that...I've found Linux Mint the best...Distros promise so much but after a while you know which one's for you. :D
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Barbados99
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Barbados99 »

I enjoy checking out other distros for fun. But I have kept Mint as my everyday "get the work done" distro throughout the years. I do agree that the more time you stick with a particular distro the more you get out of it (assuming it is in fact a decent distro). When I first transitioned to Linux I did accept the fact that I would have to put in the work to harvest something good out of the experience. This is true for any new operating system. Some folks expect instant gratification with minimal effort. So they are quick to give up, rather than putting in the work necessary to succeed at things. I'm too much the other way. I probably SHOULD give up on more things but I get so pigheaded that I can't. That's not good either.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by ajgringo619 »

You're so right, Barbados99. I had been away from the tech support world for awhile, so when I first got back into Linux I tried Fedora (last major experience was RHEL). I figured same company, so they should be similar, right? I was so used to the slow-and-steady pace of upgrades/releases of RHEL that the rolling-release nature of Fedora was overwhelming. It took some time before I finally settled on Mint...and I've never looked back.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Barbados99 »

ajgringo619 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:35 pm
You're so right, Barbados99. I had been away from the tech support world for awhile, so when I first got back into Linux I tried Fedora (last major experience was RHEL). I figured same company, so they should be similar, right? I was so used to the slow-and-steady pace of upgrades/releases of RHEL that the rolling-release nature of Fedora was overwhelming. It took some time before I finally settled on Mint...and I've never looked back.
My very first experience with Linux was with Red Hat around 1995 or so. For me the learning curve was so overwhelming. All the software was foreign to me, and I really struggled with Linux. LOL, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

But the opportunity to have free software was a big motivator for me to put in the work to learn. I had a young family and a modest job. We were on a tight budget back then. LOL, so it was "Linux or bust" for me. They didn't have all of the countless distros like today. I stayed with Red Hat and then Fedora, eventually trying Mint when it was out. Mint just seemed like a nice fit for me from the very beginning. I'm mighty thankful for it.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by dave1953 »

Think when trying to gain knowledge of Linux it's probably a case of "the grass is always greener", but I have gained knowledge through 'playing' with different distros. Have to say that Mint is very straightforward once you use it a while but of course the preferred distro is always subjective and based on the expectations and needs of the individual concerned. That's what makes it so much fun!!!!!
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Minux1 »

Narrowed it down to 3 distros that run good with my hardware; namely Linux Mint XFCE 19.3 and MX Linux 19.2 (XFCE desktop environment), Peppermint Linux v10. If the hardware changes in the future the distros might change. Tried Debian, Ubuntu, antiX, Linux Lite, Puppy Linux ... either I didn't like the aesthetic aspects or driver problems ... the acid test is wifi functionality ... if the wifi doesn't work I'm off to the next distro quick like a bunny ... I run mostly Lenovo ThinkPads and Acers with 1 Panasonic CF-19 tougbook :mrgreen:
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Hoser Rob »

dave1953 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:52 am
... how many disappointed tryers of Linux whichever distro there are who are expecting instant wonderfulness and haven't wanted to or been able to spend time configuring the offered distro to get it "perfect for them"?....
A few I guess. They probably don't realize that while there are just tons of Linux distros, they're virtually all based on a small number of distro code bases. And all linux distros revolve around the Linux Kernel Project, which is separate from any distro. There are also a limited number of DEs.

I haven't distro hopped for years, the main thing I learned is that I'll probably always use a Debian based distro for the packaging system. I just couldn't live without Synaptic Package Manager.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by antikythera »

ajgringo619 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:35 pm
You're so right, Barbados99. I had been away from the tech support world for awhile, so when I first got back into Linux I tried Fedora (last major experience was RHEL). I figured same company, so they should be similar, right? I was so used to the slow-and-steady pace of upgrades/releases of RHEL that the rolling-release nature of Fedora was overwhelming. It took some time before I finally settled on Mint...and I've never looked back.
If you found Fedora's update pace overwhelming, never try Arch or anything arch based :wink:
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by ajgringo619 »

antikythera wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:52 am
If you found Fedora's update pace overwhelming, never try Arch or anything arch based :wink:
Been there, done that (VMs only). I built Arch just for the experience (never planned to keep it). I liked Antergos a lot, but it was discontinued. Manjaro never worked as advertised. ArcoLinux is probably my favorite of the Arch distros.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Minux1 »

When you can buy a computer off eBay for less than $200, download and try 3 or 4 free distros and pick the one that's best and have a PC that satisfies all your computing needs life is good. Equally great is getting away from that nonsense which is MS Windows. The modern Linux distros come with a lot of drivers and dependencies in tow and finding a distro match for most hardware without a lot of configuring grief is easy. If I can do it anybody can.
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antikythera
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by antikythera »

ajgringo619 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:56 am
antikythera wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:52 am
If you found Fedora's update pace overwhelming, never try Arch or anything arch based :wink:
Been there, done that (VMs only). I built Arch just for the experience (never planned to keep it). I liked Antergos a lot, but it was discontinued. Manjaro never worked as advertised. ArcoLinux is probably my favorite of the Arch distros.
I never got manjaro working properly in VM but it was fine for bare metal. I just got bored of dealing with updates and KDE Project's policy changes.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by MartyMint »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:55 am
For some of us, the time to configure another distro is expensive.
I'm with you on that. My days of installing distros "for fun" was 13-14 years ago. As Linux is my "daily driver" and only workstation, I just need something stable and reliable so I can get on with my business. That includes sticking with a rock solid kernel on an LTS styled distro.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Minux1 »

The fact that you can run distros "live" in RAM from a USB drive or CD/DVD pretty well eliminates the risk factor.
I tried several distros on my Lenovo ThinkPad X201T before finding one (MX Linux v19.2/64 bit) that ran everything perfectly including touchscreen out of box so to speak.
I can hop thru a dozen distros a day on a dozen machines without changing a single thing on any HDD/SSD.
When I find the "match made in Heaven" then and only then do I install.
Again ... cost of O/S - $ZERO ... hard to beat that :mrgreen:
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by Hoser Rob »

antikythera wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:52 am
... If you found Fedora's update pace overwhelming ...
I installed Fedora once, forget the release #. The packaging system didn't work. On the Fedora user's forum I was told it was MY fault because if I had read the changelogs before installing I would have known their package manager was broken. Note that they released it like that. ANd you'd have to nbe a complete moron to install an OS knowing it was broken like that. I will never touch Fedora again.

Bottom lijne, Fedora users are really nothing more than beta testers for Red Hat.
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Re: Random thoughts on distro hopping

Post by dave1953 »

Thanks for all the interesting comments and feedback
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