27 January 2008

Thinking 'bout a distrolution

Debian 4.0 "Etch" is growing stale on my laptop. I can live with KDE and OpenOffice being backported only after a few months, but the amount of recent packages breaking on libc6 version (2.3.6, with 2.7 only available in the unstable "Sid" branch) is growing by the day. I basically can't update or add anything released in the last 6-to-12 months, which in linux-time is a lot; and God knows when the newer version ("Lenny") will be released.

I'm seriously thinking about giving Ubuntu another spin; maybe I could install LinuxMint, a polished Ubuntu clone which ships with media codecs/flashplugin/java out-of-the-box; I was positively impressed by the liveCD version, and being Ubuntu-compatible (and hence almost-Debian-compatible) it should have pretty much everything I need. Did anybody try other user-friendly distros, recently?

3 comments:

stesha said...

I had an opportunity to try Kubuntu 7.10 and Mint 3.0 Cassandra, and although these distros look well furnished, polished and up-to-date, I had an impression that they were not so stable as they should be. So I switched to Debian 4.0 with KDE, and I'm very pleased with my choice. Etch is not user friendly (neither is the Windows XP having no java and flash plugins, good CD/DVD burning software, hardware drivers...), but for begginers like me, it is ideal choice, because everything you have to configure is by the average Linux book (you don't need distro specialised edition). For example, you install nvidia graphics card drivers with nvidia installer and everything is cool in Debian, but if you want to install it on your Ubuntu machine in the Ubuntu specific way, you get many X.Org problems(very annoying monitor flickering, for example). Not to mention that you get the same result with nvidia-installer on Ubuntu. What's the bigger hussle: to learn something that is common to all Linux distros or distro-specific way that doesn't work well? Mint is based on Ubuntu so... I think I'll stick to Etch and wait for the Lenny to come...

GiacomoL said...

Your experience with graphic cards is opposite to mine, probably because my laptop has an ATI card and it's an absolute pain to configure in Debian :)

You are correct about everything being more or less "standard" and documented somewhere in Debian, that's one of the reasons for which I don't want to use something like SuSE (it's a very good distro, but with lots of "nonstandard" things); after all Ubuntu is also based on Debian :)

stesha said...

I agree with on SUSE. because I had much difficulties with this distro. Only distro for beginners that never gave me headaches is PCLinuxOS (note that I'm not an advanced user:)).
My first Linux ever was Ubuntu 6.06, and I used all newer releases of it ever since, hoping that the next release is going to be better than the previous. But Ubuntu, being Debian unstable, always dissapoints me in small things. Like, if you put more than two USB flash drives in your computer, you'll be able to unmount only one from your favorite WM; for the others you'll have to use the terminal. That small bugs (with nvidia bugs - the big ones) make me feel uncomfortable with Ubuntu. Nevertheless, I don't have to mention that I'll pre-order Hardy Heron from Canonical. Just to see if it got better...:)