What Linux distribution do you use as a desktop?

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 171
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Feb 04, 2006
2:38 PM EDT
I keep reading these figures for Linux desktops and I just don't get it. Why would a technologist pay for UNIX or Windows when they could have a Linux desktop for free? I keep asking myself the question and I don't get any answers.

I tried the one about, well I've always used Microsoft and I don't mind paying $600 for the OS and the applications I need. That might apply to the 2% of the population that have household incomes over $75,000 annually and $100,000 in credit card debt, a $200,000 mortgage on a house worth $155,000.

But, people starting out, people programming, managing web sites, etc. I see them as having to make economic decisions.

I use Ubuntu 5.10 right now. I have since it came out. I like it.

I used to have Fedora Core 4 running on a second machine and SUSE 10 on another. But, Ubuntu is now my primary desktop. I converted the other two boxes to servers and they don't have X on them. One runs my web site and the other runs a secondary DNS server.

Am I 100% happy with Ubuntu 5.10? No, I'm not. It works for my needs, but I have little annoyances with it. Compared to the time I had to run Windows to get an Internet connection http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/44050/ I'm very happy with Ubuntu.

I would like a management tool like yast and I think it would be cool if Ubuntu ported Yast. I'd like the Ubuntu developers to support existing versions of applications like Fedora and SUSE do. For example, I'd like to get a full patch to Openoffce.org 2.0 and I would like to get FF upgraded. I downloaded 1.5 and installed it myself, which isn't a big deal for me. But, I would have preferred getting one built by the developers for the Ubuntu desktop.

I'm staying with Ubuntu for now.

What do you use?

Feb 04, 2006
3:01 PM EDT
I personally use Slackware 10.0 and 10.1 on the machines I have control over (machines at my house). At work, I have to suffer with Windows XP, because I work for a soulless corporation, and it's more important to them to control their employees than it is to have their employees get stuff done.

Feb 04, 2006
3:07 PM EDT
"I would like a management tool like yast and I think it would be cool if Ubuntu ported Yast. I'd like the Ubuntu developers to support existing versions of applications like Fedora and SUSE do. For example, I'd like to get a full patch to Openoffce.org 2.0 and I would like to get FF upgraded. I downloaded 1.5 and installed it myself, which isn't a big deal for me. But, I would have preferred getting one built by the developers for the Ubuntu desktop"

I prefer straight Debian myself, but Ubuntu is (pretty much) Debian. I don't see why you aren't just adding a repo with OO or FF??? They are out there. What do you think apt and synaptic are for?

yast indeed .. eech ;-) Use the tools you already have.

Feb 04, 2006
3:16 PM EDT
My main desktop is based off Damn Small Linux 1.5, with the GNU utils installed, and upgraded from source, to support my main tasks of hacking code, writing documents, generating documentation, playing frozen bubble, and testing/hacking on different components. For that, it performs quite well on an older (556MHz Celeron, 4 GB HD, 32 MB RAM) computer. Due to my position, and interests, this is all I want from the system. I also have a much more modern computer which runs Ubuntu 5.10.

Feb 04, 2006
3:20 PM EDT
Suse.I started with Suse (8.1) At the time I had dial up and downloading a distro wasn't something I wanted to do.My local Best Buy had Suse and Red Hat,I went with Suse.I've since tried many other distro's but I'm most at ease with Suse. I've never really had any problems that would maake me want to switch.Getting DVD to work was a few RPM's installed.I know that alot of people have a complaint with this,but I'm not one of them. Currently,Suse 10 is the only thing I use at home.I'm part owner/estimator/IT guy for a construction co. in Orlando.I still have two machines running win 2000k for some window's apps that we need.Everything else is linux.My hope is to have everything running linux within the next year. I'm staying with Suse for now.

Feb 04, 2006
3:35 PM EDT
I switched a couple of months ago from Kanotix (great Debian based distro BTW) to SUSE 10.0. I got frustrated with Kanotix because I couldn't upgrade 2005-03 (the Debian repo problems) and they were up to about RC22 of 2005-04, but I had problems with the RCs. So I tried SUSE and *love* it.

The only problem so far is that it is a little boring because it just works and things don't break. :-)

Feb 04, 2006
3:40 PM EDT
My desktop OS is Debian Sarge. Yeah, I know that Ubuntu is a bit more trendy but just plain Debian works for me. Infinitely customizable, huge repository of software, and a really cool stance about Freedom.

Feb 04, 2006
3:40 PM EDT
I'm enjoying Suse 10 on the desktop, at work and at home - I haven't run windoze at home for years. I pretty much live in linux for work and play. (On the server side, I use Suse 10 also. I generally recommend SLES 9 server for high end clients, Suse 10 for small businesses.)

I started out with linux in 1993, and I've run SLS, slack, debian, redhat, fedora, mandrake, ubuntu/kubuntu and others. I settled on Suse a couple years ago, because it has caused me the least grief of any OS I've used, and "just works" out of the box.

For the multimedia stuff, a few extra packages from the right repo does the trick.

Feb 04, 2006
3:43 PM EDT
My main desktop is Fedora Core 4 with Gnome but I am also starting to use a an Arch box with KDE. I use Fedora mostly because I have used RedHat for several years, RedHat was always the distro I recommended to clients when I did consulting so I guess I just got used to it. My biggest annoyance is probably just that RedHat created an unsupport community edition in the first place but I haven't had any real problems.

Feb 04, 2006
3:50 PM EDT
I use Gentoo because it is very fast and customizable while being not that hard to use. I also *LOVE* portage because of its sheer power, the packages are all python scripts which make it easy to do different things than a standard package manager like Debian would let you do like the ability to install Doom 3 and Quake 4 with it (after paying for it of course). It also has the least breakage of anything I've tried (a lot) while still being the most up-to-date. I don't like how long it takes to install but I only have to do it once. Compiling can be a pain but I don't mind it, its a price I'm willing to pay for having a fast, up-to-date distrobution.

Feb 04, 2006
4:00 PM EDT
Ubuntu for my home and work PC's plus my Partner uses Ubuntu and My mother as well (http://www.modmeup.net/?page_id=2). (I also use it for my server)

Ubuntu is perfect for nearly _any_ desktop user.

Feb 04, 2006
4:05 PM EDT
I have 3 desktops running Kanotix and for my older laptop Damn Small Linux (frugal install).

I had been Windows free for many years but when VMWare released their player for free, I couldn't resist dusting off an old Win98SE CD and creating a 500meg virtual image. Unsurprisingly this VM98SE has sat unused since it was created, but it's there if I decide to run Astrology software or something else that's rare and marginal. ;-)

Cheers rob

Feb 04, 2006
4:08 PM EDT
I have been using SimplyMepis for a little more than six months. I used to use Mandrake and I have tried many other distros but I keep coming back to SimplyMepis because it is simply the fastest way to install a ready to use linux desktop. I like having access to the debian repositories.

I have tried Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I thought that Ubuntu was one of the best Gnome distros I have seen, but I really like KDE better. Kubuntu is nice but it felt like I was back to doing Mandrake install and then you have to go and download and install all fof the other stuff you need like nvidia drivers, java, and flash. I am not sure I like the fact that k/ubuntu doesn't use standard debian packages. I tried Xandros and I like all the functionality that it has (brings back good memories of Corel Linux) has but, again, I would rather use standard debian package repositories.

Of all the RPM distros that I have tried, Suse comes across as the most complete and polished. It would be my choice for a non-Debian distro.

Feb 04, 2006
4:31 PM EDT
SUSE for me! However, I do tend to go back and forth between SUSE and Fedora. Back in 97 when I was first introduced to Linux, I was loyal to Redhat. As years passed, I tried many different distros but kept going back to Redhat and later, Fedora. With that said, believe it or not, the SUSE box at our local Borders eventually caught my eye. That was a few years ago and I still prefer SUSE to this day. I use SUSE for one simple reason, It just works! :) Although I enjoy OS 'tinkering', and getting my hardware to work with the different distros, if I am in the mood for an 'out of the box' experience I turn to SUSE.

The distro of choice discussion makes me wonder though, do people settle on a distro based on the deskop suite/environment such as KDE/Gnome? I question this because I have also enjoyed Ubuntu and it also 'just works'.... but I ended up back in the SUSE camp because of KDE (Kubuntu came along after I experimented with Ubuntu and went back to SUSE).

Feb 04, 2006
4:31 PM EDT
SimplyMepis is simply the best! I believe in Debian. And yes, i do suffer from portage envy, but Simply Mepis is the only distro to pass the "my wife the Realtor" test. The test is to first install a Linux distro with a typical Windows look and Windows application layer, and do so in under twenty minutes. Then log in, get on the Internet , find eMail, open a fully functional Office Suite, and open up existing documents, power point presentations, and spreadsheets - and do this all without assistance and without realizing that she is not in Windows. In fact, my wife the Realtor asked me if i could upgrade her notebook to this new version of Windows.

Of course many cynics will say that SimplyMepis is just a Windows knockoff. But that's an incredible value to someone like my wife. No training required. It works the way she expects it to work. A better Windows than Windows.

I also like the latest version of SUSE running on VMWARE. I think it would be a very good thing for Warren and the SimplyMepis crew to create a similar VMWARE install. SUSE on VMWARE is very cool.


Feb 04, 2006
4:41 PM EDT
I'm currently using Suse 10 on my thinkpad T42 dual-booting with XP. I switched to Suse from Ubuntu Breezy about a month ago. I like both distros quite a bit. My only complaints are that the gui is noticeably slower then XP and the trackpoint, for some reason, is incredibly slow; even with acceleration turned all the way up.

Overall, the positives outway the negatives (in comparison to XP). I am concerned that Linux being held back by the lack of a universal packaging system. I think the guys at PC-BSD might have the right idea. Once they have a larger catalog of applications, I'll probably give it a try.

Feb 04, 2006
4:44 PM EDT
I use Fedora 4. Surprisingly I really like yum for doing updating and the large number of available repositories for Fedora. I know some people think that you can't get multimedia to work on Fedora, but I just follow the steps on fedorafaq.org and fedoranews.org and within 1 hr I can play videos on music.yahoo.com. The only thing that has changed recently is that I am wavering about switching to KDE, I used Gnome for a long time but started getting frustrated wth the oversimplication of options in Gnome, I was finding that when I needed to do advanced file manager in a gui I was just using konqueror. So lately I have been using KDE all the time.

Feb 04, 2006
4:47 PM EDT
I use SuSE 10.0 and NOT going back to Windows.


Feb 04, 2006
4:53 PM EDT
I use SimplyMepis on my main desktop PC. I love the support at MepisLovers.com. I would love it if it had better support for webcams like my other favorite, PCLinuxOS.

For my servers, I use nothing but Slackware. I have absolutely ZERO complaints about Slack!

Feb 04, 2006
4:57 PM EDT
I use Debian Sarge on my desktop. It's been the most stable, though I use the kernel from Ubuntu-Hoary(2.6.10). I like the stability of Debian. I have had good sucess with Suse, however I like Debian better. I changed my four year old laptop from Suse as the later versions seemed to ask more of my laptop than what it could provide. I'm using Ubuntu Breezy on my laptop as it works well. I like the vast repositories of Debian. Whether real or imagined, Debian seems to have better performance than Suse. I think Suse or Debian are both hard to beat. Ubuntu is very user friendly.

Feb 04, 2006
5:00 PM EDT
I am tearfully converting from Libranet 3.0, which may be defunct - the verdict isn't quite in. So I am using Kubuntu 5.10 which after 'sudo passwd' and a lot of synaptic work is quite nice. I am also using PCLinuxOS 0.92 which has promise. I haven't used MS products for at least 10 years so I really don't know what I'm missing.


Feb 04, 2006
5:10 PM EDT
Slackware, currently at 10.2. It meets all my needs.

Feb 04, 2006
5:10 PM EDT
Firstly I don't think this pool should ask for a login registration when posting, lots of people just won't do it (and I did it also to ask for a more "wide open" online pool, it's a good idea indeed).

I have 11 PC's running Slackware Linux 10.x (some at home some at work). 2 for Router/Firewall/VPN (FWBuilder/OpenVPN) 1 Mail server (courier+clamav) 1 Proxy (Squid) 1 Samba/NFS Storage using Software Raid5 on IDE-HD's 1 Laptop (for work and personal usage) 1 Multimedia (VGA connected to a TV and SB-Live digital-out to an external 5.1 receiver) 2 Workstation (one at work, one at home) 2 for testing

Why Slackware? check it here: http://www.slackware-advocacy.org/whyuse.html

I also have 2 ipaq PDA's running familiar linux if it counts ;)

Feb 04, 2006
5:15 PM EDT
Currently I have 4 main machines being used at home(work at home. I use Fedora Core 4 ( dual monitors and triple boot FC4 Mandriva 2006 and XP), Fedora Core 3 (dual monitors), Mandriva 2006, and Slackware 10. I have nothing but good things to say about them all. I started out with Redhat 5 and slack. I used Debian and Corel Linux for a number of years and was very happy with them as well. Personally I think is just a matter of preference and experience or maybe its just a question of the desktop manager not the distribution. I mainly use Fluxbox or XFCE4 (more and more). But I do use GNOME, KDE and a few others.

I am self-employed and almost all my work can be done with software running on Linux, mainly OpenOffice, but I do run AutoCad 14/2000 on Linux with Wine. The XP is for needed software that has no alternative, yet. Soon I hope that will change. Of course I also watch DVDs, listen to music, watch TV, play games, surf the net, do photo and video editing, burn CD/DVDs and much more with these 4 machines.

On a similar note as mentioned before, why would anyone pay for an OS inferior or otherwise, with no choice of distribution or desktop manager, when you can get something much better with many more choices for free? Boggles the mind.

Feb 04, 2006
5:22 PM EDT
I use Debian Etch/Demudi. I wanted laptop based music production. Previously I used Ubuntu (with XFCE, now called xubuntu), however I found that I had to add so many non standard repositories. Plus, Demudi has a prebuilt multimedia kernel.

Debian is very flexible and pretty much works for me.

Feb 04, 2006
5:23 PM EDT
"On a similar note as mentioned before, why would anyone pay for an OS inferior or otherwise, with no choice of distribution or desktop manager, when you can get something much better with many more choices for free? Boggles the mind." ~ aaries Ignorance, when you say the word "Linux" to people the cock their eyebrow and look at you like your Big Foot. They need to be educated on what it is and why it is better. Spread the word. I have converted at least 10 people to it and showed at least 20 what it is (most if not all of the 20 deeply considered it).

Feb 04, 2006
5:28 PM EDT
At home; it's Ubuntu 5.10. I've been using Ubuntu on my laptop for a year now and will not go back to WXP. At work; it's the usual corporate dogma. I'm hacking together C# .Net desktop apps in WXP. Too many "must have" Windows applications. Someday we might migrate a few database servers but I doubt the desktop situation will change anytime soon.

Feb 04, 2006
5:40 PM EDT
At home have 4 Ubuntu 5.10 boxes. One of them is dual boot with XP for a game I haven't yet got running under Wine. Once I've got that sussed it will be LInux all the way.

I like Ubuntu because it's user friendly. I like Debian too but for some reason it wasn't very stable when I was using it (which surprised me considering other folks views that its strength is it's stability). Anyway, since I was also converting my missus from XP to Ubuntu at around the same time, the fact that I had no problems with Ubuntu swayed it for me.

And yeah my work has the usual corporate M$ dogma too.

Feb 04, 2006
5:57 PM EDT
I'll only discuss Linux although I have used a variety of unices as workstations. The first Linux dist I ever used was slackware (about 11 years ago). Over the years I have tried out a lot of distributions (too many to list here). I settled on using Debian-testing (taken from the netinst snapshot) and periodically updating it - and here is why; I prefer to go from a small install base with an expansive and powerful software management tool - ala apt. I also [re]built pieces from source for a variety of reasons (drivers, xorg etc.). I only have 1 desktop, a laptop I use at work and home with an extended display: (http://systhread.net/pics/mason_office/).

Feb 04, 2006
5:59 PM EDT
PCLinuxOS runs 13 desktops at the local community college and operates as email/internet machines. I converted my 54 year old mother in law to PCLinuxOS last year. My sister runs PCLinuxOS on her desktop as well. My wife was converted last year during my blog experiment. So, we're big PCLinuxOS fans here.

SuSe has a lot of buzz around it though so I may give it a go when the next version comes out.

Feb 04, 2006
6:07 PM EDT
Gentoo Linux is my choice for workstations and servers. Between rsync and portage they are just simple to keep up to date. True installing takes for ever, but once you have one or two computers running, distcc and ccache makes for fast compile times, and the more boxes I have the faster it all runs.

I currently run three desktop computers in my home with Gentoo, and one headless server. I also manage two more servers 8000 miles away, and they both have desktops (KDE) installed so the users can fire them up and use them as workstations as well if need be.

I read alot about Ubuntu/Kubuntu and I did jump on that band wagon for a few weeks, but I really don't like apt or it's gui front ends. Debian seem to be a fine distro, it's just not for me.


Feb 04, 2006
6:15 PM EDT
Arch Linux, here.

Feb 04, 2006
6:16 PM EDT
I have two machines that have alternated as my desktop: a tower with differing internals with swapped out components and a laptop. Both got Linux sometime in 2002 or earlier, starting with tower: Red Hat 7.x that refused to print, that lasted very briefly by moving into a then current version of Mandrake through all of 8.x, most if not all of 9.x and 10.x ending with the Spring 2005.

On the laptop, either much later in 2002 or early 2003, began with a mostly with a broken installation Mandrake 9.1 Pro. Upon discovering how badly broken that system was replacements from source was instigated, which resulted in steady improved desktop. Nonetheless, some source installations failed and other flakiness was observed, which just seems to be a Mandrake characteristic. With trepidation, in early 2005 the Mandrake was wiped and a new installation of Fedora Core 3 proceeded seemingly flawlessly. It became my default desktop until late this past year when Debian Sarge was loaded followed by packages from mainly Testing and a few from Unstable on the tower. This machine, the laptop, retains it OEM installation of Windows 2000, but is run just to search for missing emails.

At that point I ceased to even use the laptop, all was fine on Debian. Upon getting a second larger hard drive I installed a copy of Ubuntu 05.04 and even spent some time there, however, I always returned to Debian, where I was more comfortable. All was well until I attempted a dist upgrade on Debian due to the possibility that not all the needed security updates had been installed. That went badly awry. Moreover, full new installations on a mostly reformatted disc were even worse. Finally I have a semi broken Debian Testing with too many missing features as my temporary desktop. While I was able to upgrade the Ubuntu successfully to 05.10 previous to the Debian upgrade, I have since lost access due to my problems with Debian. Hence, I think I will be back looking a Ubuntu as my default desktop with a fresh installation. Perhaps later when Fedora Core 5 comes out, I may upgrade the laptop and then decide which to keep. I am used to problematic systems. If they do mostly what I wish and are fairly stable I learn to live with them.

Feb 04, 2006
6:25 PM EDT

Feb 04, 2006
6:42 PM EDT
I use Xandros 3.0.2 on my desktop to do all my day to day tasks. If I need to run Windows, I have Windows 2000 running under VMware 4.5. I fell in love with Xandros when they came out with their free version at 2.1. It is simple, stable, effective desktop. It does not have 1000s of packages that you get with all other free distros, it is cut out with the applications you really "need" to work as a desktop than "want".

It is extremely simple to install and works awesome as a desktop.

For my server, I run RHEL 3.0. I think RH is good for servers only.

The only annoyance I have with Xandros is that, they are/have NOT partnered with major 3rd party vendors like Nortel or Apani, so I cannot install their VPN soft on my desktop. Apani and Nortel support only RH and SuSe. RH really is a bad OS for a desktop. SuSE, there are just too many pkgs and is not as mature as Xandros for a desktop.

Yes I know what you guys are thinking. I can do a selective install of the apps I need. But think about it, I have download all 4 or 5 CDs of SuSE to really install even just the bare minimum. So its wasteful for me. For me, I want to be able to install an OS in 30 or 60 minutes and get on it and start working, I dont want to spend hours patching it like Windows or medling with the conf files to fix video or audio or some kernel module for 3D graphics. I have done that enough in the last 8 years while working on Linux. Now, in a desktop OS, I expect it to just work right off the CDROM and Xandros provides this for me.

Xandros comes on 1 CDROM and has all the things we need to work effectively or do our work. Office -> OpenOffice, Browser -> Mozilla, CDROM/DVD Burner -> Built into File Manager. Package installation -> Debian and via Gui (Xandros Network) also comes built in with RPM installer right off the menu. Updates to the whole system is one click away and you come back after 20/30 minutes and it is done. Kernel upgrades are also 1 click away, but Kernel source, we have to do couple of things once downloaded from their site. It has awesome crash recovery menus. Install CDROM comes with a menu to restore Xandros if you messed up the install by installing bad libraires to break the os.

If you have not tried it, please do, it is an awesome Desktop OS.

-GGR Rajiv G Gunja

Feb 04, 2006
6:44 PM EDT
I have two compy's that I run SuSE 10.0 on, one is a P-3 450mhz and the other is a AMD 1.4g.

I have tried to keep the size of the install base as small as I can and both of them run at least 25% faster then they ever did running Microsoft.

I have tried out many different flavors of Linux but I keep coming back to SuSE. The size of the community and the minimum amount of tweaking it took to get the way I wanted it, has made me very reluctant to switch to something else.

YaST alone, has done more for my admin skills than I have. :-)

Feb 04, 2006
6:57 PM EDT
CentOS-4 is the Desktop of choice in my office and at home.

Feb 04, 2006
6:59 PM EDT
I currently have Yellow Dog 3.0 running on a PowerMac 6500/250 as well as a PowerBook 3500/180, Kannotix(latest) running on one desktop and two laptops, Mandrake 10.0 on a desktop, and Fedora core 3 on machine at work. I have well over 200 (!) flavors of linux, I just need more machines for them all. ;) Oh, and that's not counting multiple versions of the same flavor....

Feb 04, 2006
7:12 PM EDT
I use Linspire and SUSE v10... just like both...

Feb 04, 2006
7:39 PM EDT
IDS has no credibility with me.

Kanotix -- laptop (KDE) CentOS -- server (Gnome)

I help maintain a remote RHEL ES system so I use the CentOS system as a test/dev platform to minimize the possibility that I'll screw up the RH box. But the more I use it, the more I like it.

Ya gotta love the Penguin!

Feb 04, 2006
8:01 PM EDT
Mandriva Discovery.

I started with Mandrake 9.1, as that was touted as having a fairly easy-to-use installer, and have just kept up with it. Currently, I'm on 2005LE, and will consider upgrading in the fall.

I have to dual boot for one reason: I do tax returns, and NOBODY makes a Canadian tax prep software set for Linux just yet (and I've had no joy installing the package under WINE). I'm considering getting a new PC this summer, and if I do so I'll try using Crossover/Win98.

Feb 04, 2006
8:06 PM EDT
I use Slackware for the hack value of it. For example, I've rewritten all the rc scripts myself and had them starting and running the system in less than a day. And I've never been stuck in package dependency hell like I have been a few times with Red Hat. But I'm also more of a download pristine source, configure for Linux, and compile my own kind of guy.

And I always run a kernel I custom configure (no modules) and compile for myself.

That said, I'm now looking at using Ubuntu as a 2nd desktop and not hacking it too much. This is so I can fully understand the maintenance needs of a distribution I think finally gets Linux to the point where the average non-geek can use it. Now it's time to ween my friends off the long teets from Redmond.

Feb 04, 2006
9:11 PM EDT
I am using FC4. Satisfied with it. Gives me a lot of choices . Primarily i use KDE. I have the realized the power of my computer with FC4. I also use knoppix in the off times. I am amazed by the way they have packed KDE into it with a lot of hardware support. Now i have minimized the use of windows and i use FC4 most of the time.

Feb 04, 2006
9:27 PM EDT
debian unstable - Lots of packages and lots of them are are fairly "fresh" ( example: KDE is already 3.5.1 in debian unstable ) Other distros seem to lag behind in Kernels, desktops, and software. I look at other distros on a regular basis...but debian unstable has been "home" for the last 3 years.

Feb 04, 2006
9:34 PM EDT
I use Simply Mepis 3.3.1 for 90% of everything I do. It just flat out works for me, and comes with everything but a music studio, which is why windows is still here......

SLAX is one to watch, it is my live CD choice, I use it a lot also.

Xandros OCE 3 is nice, and I run it on a 2nd machine at work. I had the Full Biz 2.5 & 3 version of Xandros, and it was great also, but a pain to load anything on.

Don't like Gnome.

Started with Red Hat 6, went to Mandrake 6.1, Lycoris, Peanut, DSL, Feather, Puppy. Suse, Slackware, Debian installs from the ground up. A ton more that I can not think of at the moment.

Linux is almost a n00b install now. It is usable for everyday tasks and more. I am past the "play with it and then load 1.2gig of extras" phase, I just want it to load and work. I'll get under the hood only to fix something I broke........

And Simply Mepis is that OS, it just works for me and my systems.

Feb 04, 2006
10:31 PM EDT
Hmmmm, the question that's hard to answer. At home I have several boxes, the main one runs Debian Sarge with KDE 3.4 from the Testing repositiries and dual boots with Simply Mepis 3.4. The box next to that runs Suse 10. My tablet pc runs Kubuntu and GnuLinex Extreme Gaming Edition. At work I tend to use Blag, Debian, Suse, Fedora and we install a Slackware with Freerock Gnome desktop "out on site".

Out of them all, Debian is King with Simply Mepis coming a close 2nd (and Simply Mepis 3.4 is SO much better than 3.3 that I'd be worried if I were Canonical).


Feb 04, 2006
10:58 PM EDT
I use SimplyMepis at home on my desktop and on my laptop. I am not a linux guru and so I was looking for a distribution that was easy to install and update. Another thing that I like about SimplyMepis is how well the Firefox browser is configured for use. I tried Linspire (Lindows) and it was easy to install and update, but I had trouble paying for the right to access the updates. I tried Ubuntu and liked it , but didn't find it as easy to update and use. That was primarily due to the desktop used with Ubuntu(ie: it wasn't KDE). I have tried to stick to distributions that are based on Debian. I really like the apt update interface and how it handles dependencies.

Feb 04, 2006
11:35 PM EDT
Mandriva, and I manage two other machines for other individuals who I put on Suse, and an institution with multiple machines that is also on Mandriva.

Suse is fine, quite stable, but it seems that any time you want to install anything not in the distro itself, you end up in dependency hell. Mandriva is free of that, but the previous versions (I'm using 2006) were less than stable 10.x simply would not install on some hardware, couldn't figure why. I am also having some problems with 2006. I would be on Debian or a Debian based system except for irritations about automount.

Linux is far and away better than the alternatives (we also have macs and windows) but it is not irritation free by any means.

Feb 05, 2006
12:12 AM EDT
Debian! What else?

At home. ------------- I run a small server with Debian Woody (I upgraded it from Potato, but I am not planning to upgrade it to Sarge by now, as it works OK). As to date it shows an uptime of "21:34:53 up 236 days, 7:50, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00".

It has been 4 years since I installed Debian on this Pentium III running at 750 MHz (no brand). Main uses for this server are (in no particular order): - File and printer sharing via Samba. - Dial-up internet sharing for my wife, my son and daughter, and me. - Apache, Mysql and PHP, test system for my office work. - Music repository where my sons save their (paid for) CDs. - Automatic backup to CD for all members' info, which reside in a spare disk mounted as "home". CD is swapped every night in order to have a 6 day backup system.

Last time this server was down it was due to a Hard disk failure. But when the IDE CD recorder failed by last Christmass, I decided to try to replace it without bringing power down and, guess what? It worked! (Obviously, I took a series of steps in preparation for something going wrong).

I Use a Dell Latitude carrying a Pentium 3 500 MHz with 128 MB RAM and a 12 GB hard disk for work. It came with win2k preinstalled, so I shrank the windows partition to 2 GB and left the rest for Debian Sarge. I installed Icewm as my windows manager, and OpenOffice,Org plus Netscape 7.2 and Firefox 1.5. I use Vim for most of my programming (PHP, Perl, Bash), and I enjoy it very much. This machine also runs Apache, PHP, MySql and Samba, as I use it as a server in presentations for potential customers.

The rest of my family work with windows 98 and 2k in their machines, which I have managed to keep working for some years with almost no hassle. They use OpenOffice.Org 2.0 and Firefox 1.5.

At work. ----------- Well, I own a small IT service providing shop and, to my satisfaction, I have set up over 20 servers running Debian with an assortment of services on top of it, from file sharing to database handling (MySql of course), and supporting somewhere between 6 and 120 users. They are very stable and applications never fail. Failures are always on the side of hardware. They don't require a lot of attention to keep working. Two of them are some 200 miles away from my location, and I pay them only two or three visits a year, in order to check everything is working OK. I always teach my customers to do maintenance tasks, such as software upgrades, by themselves.

By all means, I have refused to install, or even support windows servers (ok, that's what they call them, but for me, they are just malware distribution systems.) when my customers ask me to. I'd rather hide my customers all important data in a furnace, than trust it to microsoft. If I can't convince them to try Linux, I turn them to other service providers.

It has only been very recently that I started installing Linux for desktops. As of today, they account for no more than a dozen PCs. But, as often as I can, I give my friends and customers' employees copies of two of my favourite distros: Puppy Linux and Knoppix.

My experience with Linux dates from as recent as 4 years, so I still consider myself a newbie. Surely, there is always a lot to learn.

Feb 05, 2006
12:20 AM EDT
I use SuSE 9.3, 10 and Ubuntu 5.10

SuSE 9.3 (Home Desktop) with KDE are doing the hard and important work on running Cedega with World of Warcraft on it and it is also my mediaplayer.

I use Ubuntu 5.10 (Gnome) on my home Laptop for doing email,surfing,gaim,OpenOffice etc...

I have replaced (hmmm...Dual Boot atleast...) the corporate install of Windows with SuSE 10 on my work Laptop. I'm using Gnome and Evolution with Exchange connector, Terminal Service Client, Crossover Office wih I.E, Word/Excel 2003 to be a able to do my work.

Even if my heart beats for both SuSE and Ubuntu, my choice is SuSE when it comes to getting the work done. For me the answer is simple YaST2 when it comes to getting stuff to work instead of reading and googling for hours to figure things out. I use both KDE and Gnome, I like the clean look of Gnome but they need to add functionality not remove it in the name of "easy to use". Heard that KDE 4 would have a much cleaner interface, hope so :D

Feb 05, 2006
12:29 AM EDT
Debian Sarge on a laptop at home, Debian Sarge / Ubuntu / DeMuDi (triple boot) on our main machine at home, Debian Sarge / Debian Sid on my production machine at work, Win XP (I have to) / Ubuntu / Debian Sarge on that new Dell at work. OpenWrt on the Linksys at home.

I gave up on RPM-based distributions long ago. They're simply too much work. Plus I just like Debian's freedom.

cheers, wjl aka Wolfgang Lonien

Feb 05, 2006
12:41 AM EDT
>let me know what you use

Ubuntu :)

>also tell me why you use that distribution

It was recommended to me by my brother-in-law as a good distro for a Linux newbie with relatively new hardware. I liked what I saw and so had no need to switch :)

>if you have any annoyances with it

I've run into the occasional glitch here and there, but if there's one thing that I would have to point out as an annoyance, its Totem. I can see why they would like to have a Gnome app that can play all sorts of media, but Totem has behaved badly on my system in several ways. Mplayer and XMMS make a much better replacement :)

>if you'd like something added.

I think what's missing from Ubuntu is some sort of tutorial for newbies sitting right on the desktop when they first start (even if just an HTML file), Preferably with three sections, one for people used to Windows, to Mac OS and to other Linux distros, explaining the differences between Ubuntu and those (the Linux section should be small ;). Synaptic (or equivalent) and the sources.list file needs to be mentioned. Once you have a handle on that, you can pretty much figure everything else out (and if not, that's what the forums are for ;)

Feb 05, 2006
1:25 AM EDT
I run Debian (the testing branch).

Why? Synaptic and the very large package base plus the politics of the distro is quite nice---they stick to the open source movement more than the other distros.

What I don't like:

The stock Debian kernels do not have a lot of the bells and whistles by default so in order to have a kernel that will run my TVcard and allow DMA on my drives, I must roll me own custom kernel---which isn't such a big deal, I suppose.

Feb 05, 2006
1:30 AM EDT
Well still using XP, but getting the hang of Mandrake 10.1 Picked up a copy of Breezy yesterday. Have been wanting to try Ubuntu for a while. Still looking for a copy of SUSE, I hear good things about it. So Windows at work seem stuck there for a while. I think the apps for computer diagnostic software for digital satellite receivers is only available for Windows. The Mandrake box I use at work for music and checking private E-mail and finding my feet with Linux. It is running nice and stable now. When I get time I will install Breezy at home. Dapper due out in a few months.

Feb 05, 2006
1:50 AM EDT
I'm still using windows but strictly for gaming. for EVERYTHING else I use Ubuntu. I'm still quite new to linux, but I've tried Red Hat and SuSe and some other distros but for ease of use and "user-friendlyness" Ubuntu comes out on top. I use fluxbox rather than KDE of GNOME however, simply because I like to keep thing simple. GNOME and KDE seem over-bloated so I like Fluxbox.

Feb 05, 2006
2:07 AM EDT
Slackware & IceWM

Feb 05, 2006
2:12 AM EDT
Kubuntu been with it for a while now. Previously mepis, suse, RH7.2!.

Feb 05, 2006
2:21 AM EDT
FreeBSD, it's free and it's UNIX!

Feb 05, 2006
2:38 AM EDT
I was using Suse 10.0 on my Laptop and I just installed Ubuntu 5.10. From what I've seen so far, I think I'm going to enjoy Ubuntu more due to package install controls. Unfortnuately, I'm also maintaining a Windows partition so that I can use iTunes with my iPod. Annoyances with Ubuntu? I can't get my touchpad to act like I want it. If I follow the advice I've found so far for disabling "tap" gestures, I find that the pointer moves to way too slow.

Feb 05, 2006
2:47 AM EDT
I was fed up with Windows XP. I tried Fedora Core 2 & 3 and suse. I bought a Powerbook and love OS X. My desktop PC is a Ubuntu/Windows XP dual boot. Ubuntu is nice because so many people use it. Almost any problem can be solved with a google search. I wish Ubuntu gave the option to use KDE instead of gnome and I wish it used the latest version of firefox (1.5), but it is still my favorite distro so far.

Feb 05, 2006
2:53 AM EDT
I use Fedora Core 4 on my every day working desktop. I started out with Mandrake 8 and migrated through every major distro, sometimes several times. I liked Red Hat and went to FC1 when Red Hat split it off.

My experimental box is now an old Ebay'ed laptop for which I swap _three_ harddrives. Currently, the drives hold Ubuntu 5.10, Suse 10 and...Fedora Core 4! I think when you get accustomed to the way a distro works and updates, urpmi, yast, yum, etc., it's easy to stick with what you know.

Incidentally, I get a chuckle when I hear that Linux "...is not you grandmother's operating system." My wife and I are both in our 60's and grandparents. She has no trouble negotiating her KDE desktop to check email, surf the web and play a few games. She also has no worries about viruses and other security worries. Of course, I do what little administration is necessary. I ssh into the machine and do a weekly yum -y update. I think more grandmas would be happier with a simple Fedora or Ubuntu with KDE than they are now with spyware and virus-ridden XP.

Feb 05, 2006
2:58 AM EDT
SUSE for me and Linspire for my 8 year old.

I started off on Slackware in early 1996, switched to Caldera and then Red Hat in 1997. Once KDE improved, I switched to Mandrake in 1998 because of KDE but then switched back to Red Hat in 2000. Stayed with Red Hat until version 9 and then had to start looking for alternatives. Reluctantly tried out SUSE 9.1 and was amazed at how good it was. I've stayed with SUSE since then. I have two desktop machines, one running SUSE 9.3 Pro (patched by apt/synaptic) and the other running SUSE 10 (also patched by synaptic). My 8 year old has a dual boot machine running XP Pro and Linspire 5 (which he maintains using CNR).

Feb 05, 2006
3:14 AM EDT
I have been running Mandrake since 5.2 and always kept a Platinum membership in their exclusive "ring-knockers" club...but I finally got fed up with rpm's and having to rebuild my desktop for every release....what a pain...and a stock install just like all other distro stock installs gives you nothing...nada...zilch when it comes to browser multimedia plug-ins....so I switch to SimplyMepis....I have installed their 3.3.1-1 stable on so many prior windoze boxes and walked away leaving smiling ex-windoze users...that I have lost count...hehehe.... A Debian based stable....really all set to go right outta the box distro.... The only distro I've EVER FOUND that can go straight to https://webapps.ou.edu/it/browser/ and light em all up.....except adobe and it's there just isnt sensed by the website..


Feb 05, 2006
3:36 AM EDT
I use suse 10 and so does the another family member. It is on the several PCs on a home network. I used suse as a total newbie starting nearly two years ago because 1) Suse distro seemed to have the slightly corporate 'big box' flavour which I thought I would find useful to depend upon without becoming too tech skillled initially, getting more skilled with time. 2) Suse then used KDE as default which as a long time 'dozy user I was most comfortable with. (Yes I know there is plenty of choice of WM, but I did not know that then!) 3) I was happy to purchase a retail box, and the ability to also download for free as traditional reassured me of its community credentials sufficiently. I now download mostly but will purchase occasionally. 4) Suse related usenet groups seemed most useful and for me are appreciated and invaluable. I also contribute as much as possible. Also now in novell suse groups.

I am a committed Suse user, although try other distros too.

Feb 05, 2006
3:42 AM EDT
I used to try out different Linux desktops (RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu), and finally ended up running Debian Sarge. Its the optimal combination of freedom in terms of flexibility and handy environment, of cause after some impetuous period of learning.

The existence of backports.org eases the burdening use of pretty outdated software in Sarge. Coupled with good security support Sarge turned out to be the most employable desktop environment for me. I even gave Ubuntu a shot, but this turned out to be a bad idea due to weird desktop dependencies issues (Evolution, Gnome desktop meta-package ). I was strongly in disgrace with these burdensome guidelines,

Debian gives me much more freedom to setup the desktop my way. That's how I like to do things . Of cause at the same time I do have to accept that installing, configuring Debian is much more of a challenge than to set up other distros, especially Ubuntu. This may be subject to change in future, but if I'd rather like to see flexibility kept, though.

Feb 05, 2006
3:46 AM EDT
Centos4 for its stability as a home server and ubuntu 5.10 on 3 boxen plus a laptop. It just works and my lady (never heard of linux) is using ubuntu with very little instructions.

Feb 05, 2006
3:53 AM EDT
I use Gentoo. I like compiling stuff (for me, it's the much more user friendly version of LFS, the last "distro" I used...). I also like the huge package repository.

What's wrong is that sometimes things break, or some upgrades are particularly hard. But who cares, it's the desktop at home, it's for playing with.

At work, we all use Debian stable, both for desktops and servers. That's the boring-just-works alternative.

Feb 05, 2006
3:54 AM EDT
Ubuntu on my main workstation and Gentoo on both of my laptops. My company and personal servers are Debian Sarge and my clients servers are Suse. I work hard and long on my servers, so I don't want to have to do the same with my desktops. KISS is the order of the day for desktop Linux whilst stability and ease of upgrade is what I what I want for my servers.

Feb 05, 2006
4:00 AM EDT
Hi tadelste, I think i've seen you about the ubuntu forums. I'm a member of staff in there, so yes, I use the Dapper Drake 6.04 Development release of Ubuntu. It is still a little unstable, but now includes kernel 2.6.15 and xorg 7.0.0, and has the latest nvidia drivers available to it, so is handling compositing on the desktops very well. I am happy with it.

Feb 05, 2006
4:01 AM EDT
Started with RedHat 5.1 but quickly switched to Mandrake 5.? can't remember.

Flirted with Suse, Slackware, Mepis, pclinuxos, and keep coming back to Mandriva because:

of its completeness and config tools which are important where I work and I alone am the IT dept. For example, having supermount is a MUST - my people can not be made to understand mounting/unmounting - I have tried. (also need multilingual support on the install - no good internet access so I can't add it later)

They really support FLOSS and that is important to me.

Annoyances: Upgrades usually break installations and I have to install over the upgrade

Mandriva Store - too expensive and I don't know what - incompetent maybe, e.g., they recently added T-shirts but you have to buy a 5-pack! for nearly 80 bucks! I will never buy anything non-downloadable from them.

Adding online repositories should be easier and more accurate. Urpmi is great and handles dependencies very well but when you use their tools to add one, 3 out of 4 times the information is wrong (file tree completely bogus) and it doesn't work. They need to make this better.

Personally prefer xfce and would like to see this a part of the distro - not an extra.


Feb 05, 2006
4:49 AM EDT
I'm confortable with debian or debian based distros ...

Feb 05, 2006
4:57 AM EDT
Right now I have Debian Sarge running on my desktop (emachine 600Mhz) and my laptop (Dell Inspiron 1100). I've used a number of other distros. I started out 3 years ago with RedHat 9. Then I installed Mandrake 9.?. I tried to install Debian Woody on my desktop but I couldn't get the sound to work so I abandoned it at that time. I upgraded to Mandrake 10 and tried out Fedora Core 1 and 2. Some time around this time someone suggested I try Slackware. I was amazed how easy slackware 9.1 was to install. I stuck with slackware 9.1 and 10.0 for about a year. I installed ubuntu warty and upgraded to hoary. I went back to slackware 10.0 and then installed ubuntu breezy when that was released. I installed slacware 10.2 but for some reason couldn't get the hardware acceleration to work. Recently I tried Blag 30001, a fedora based distro that I was very impressed with and then decided to try Debian Sarge. I liked it so much on my desktop that I tried it on my laptop. After fiddling with XF86Config-4 I have got it running nicely and have fallen in love with it. But I do have a roving eye, so I can't predict that this will be my last distro ;) I like debian because it is solid, highly configurable, and I love apt-get. It runs significantly faster on both my machines than ubuntu or any other distro I've tried except slackware. But it's certainly not slower than slackware. Running gnome on debian (or slackware) is faster than xfce on other distros. At least that's been my experience.

Feb 05, 2006
5:25 AM EDT
My main desktop right now is Debian Sarge, because in no small part I could never resolve the DSL connection on my Slackware 10.3 installation.

I also have a Fedora Core 1 dual-boot Windoze 98 computer I use when I want to listen to things (the sound card on this computer has defeated even Knoppix). I'm not that technical but I'm pretty happy with what I've got.

Feb 05, 2006
5:41 AM EDT
I use Xandros 3 currently, and I've used this distro since it was Corel 1.0. Back then, it was surely the easiest way to get Debian installed. (Prior to this, I'd used Red Hat but got tired of their radical changes and the way my third-party "Red Hat Compatible" apps kept breaking with each upgrade. So I ran them on Xandros instead.)

IMO it always had the best overall hardware detection (it was the first to automatically configure USB devices). It was also the first to support Windows Domains out of the box. I like that Xandros comes with VPN client and home-folder encryption.

These features have helped me get-by at home AND in large, demanding corporate environments.

All this is managed fairly seamlessly though well-organized configuration modules in the KDE control panel. There is no second or third control panel... nor are there 5 different paths to the control panel modules; nor are there alternate utilities to similar functions in the control panel (one user-manager is enough for me, PCLOS).

Having CD ripping and DVD burning built into the file manager also doesn't hurt! Since very early on, Xandros came with Realplayer, Acrobat Reader, and Flash installed.

I can't say I 'love' this distro. Since I got one last year I've fallen in love with my Mac... but not Linux. The latter is purveyed by people who caterwail about MS not adhering to standards, while they simultaneously avoid providing a standard for desktop users; they want to show-off their skills to their leet peers and expert sysadmins, but not commit to providing a GUI and ABI as proper stable interfaces (remember-- in IT an interface it a CONTRACT) that mere mortals can cope with. So its no wonder to me that ISVs find it near impossible to target and independantly package/distribute their apps to end-users.

Xandros is based on Debian, and Debian's APT + repositories is a nice halfway house for people looking for ease of installation. But even with Ubuntu in the picture Linux still doesn't have a standard that would allow users and ISVs to escape wrestling with dependency databases.

When I install an application on Mac OS X, it usually checks ONE thing: The OS version. Others may also check for Java and Quicktime. That's it! When LSB Desktop is ratified later this year, I would expect ISVs to be able to create single RPMs for each of their applications with most of them having only ONE dependency "LSB Desktop".

If this does NOT happen.. if the community fails to rally around this standard sufficiently to meet end-user expectations (and needs) then fuggeddabboudditt; the Linux desktop ain't ever gonna arrive. Users will feel trapped because they can't install apps (and drivers) from a web download or a CD-ROM; ISVs will continue to balk at all the different packages they must produce for each of their own releases MULTIPLIED by each release of each distro!

In the face of all this, what would prevent this whole thread from becoming a moot point? What would allow Linux to begin to compete?

Here are the major ingredients:

1. LSB DESKTOP 3.1 ( http://www.linuxbase.org ) ...... no there aren't any prior versions. This will be the first desktop spec. Mainly it will take already-common desktop tech and define it under a single standard.

2. PROJECT PORTLAND ( http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/PortlandIntegrationTasks ) ...... the to-do list to fill in the remaining gaps of desktop integration (i.e. a standard way for installers to add program icons to the launch menu). Yes these people are in cahoots with #1 above.

3. HARDWARE COMPATIBILITY LIST ...... a web-based list of all known hardware devices and their Linux compatibility status. The HCL should be maintained by a consortium of distro vendors, and should be a simple reference for users while they shop for hardware. Linuxdevices.org has an ad-hoc, outdated and somewhat frightening msgboard-as-database. There is no serious effort for an HCL that I know of.

4. The Unix-y conceit that everyuser is either a helpless 'grandma' / data-entry clerk, or a jaded sysadmin who dictates the options available to the former hasn't been true since the early 1980s; Time to drop it. The PC revolution has taught us that users will build networks out of floppy disks and sneakers to route around your stuff if the latter doesn't offer flexible tools they can manipulate. Remember: Users ditched mainframes AND Unix thin-clients and the spread of the Internet is no excuse to always rely primarily on centralized schemes like APT and web application portals. This is the step where the Linux community adjusts not so much its rules or its code, but it's attitude.

Feb 05, 2006
5:46 AM EDT
I currently use Fedora Core 5 test 2 - Rawhide at home, and Fedora Core 4 at work. I use Rawhide because I enjoy participating in the process of creating a new distro. It's facinating, even if there is regular breakage involved. FC4 at work simply because I work on a number of Red Hat servers, and I like to know where Red Hat is taking their Enterprise Linux distros. I'd be happy with Open SuSE, Ubuntu, Debian, etc. I don't really care. I moved away from Mandrake to Red Hat about four years ago, as at the time I preferred Gnome to KDE. I still do, but at the end of the day, I'll take either.

Feb 05, 2006
5:53 AM EDT
Linux Distro : Fedora Core 3.

Reason :Great software and easy install.

Annoyances : The same PACKAGE DEPENDENCY hell.

Feb 05, 2006
5:54 AM EDT
I am planning for a Windows/Linux dualboot when I get an new hard disk.

At the moment, I have wiped Windows from my current HD, and have two partitions. The other houses SUSE 10 with GNOME and KDE, the other will soon house Xubuntu 5.10. The better one will stay when I get the new disk.

Feb 05, 2006
5:55 AM EDT
I use Gentoo on two laptops, a workstation and a headless server. My daughter uses it on her college laptop and my son uses the worksation for his highschool homework, games and web browsing.

Beside that fact that I love portage, the main reason that I use Gentoo is the excellent support forums. No matter how difficult the problem, I always receive a timely, accurate response to my problem.

I like to try bleeding-edge software, so I keep my laptop synced with the unstable ebuilds. The server uses only stable ebuilds to keep updates to a minimum.

Feb 05, 2006
5:55 AM EDT
My primary desktop atm is Kubuntu 5.10. I have tried Suse, Madriva, and Damn Small Linux. I like Kubuntu because of the excellent hardware recognition. It provides a mosty 'just works' setup with GUI interfaces for most task. Alternatively, I can still pop open a command line and get neck deep in the OS if I choose. I also love the package managers.

One thing I don't like is the fairly limited repositories that are syandard on Kubuntu. However, it is relatively simple to expand your repositories to include almost anything you would ever need. Another thing is that Ubuntu seems to be somewhat slower and bloated upon install; however, after installing a 686 kernel (comes with 386) and getting rid of some unnecessary processes that can be pretty much alleviated. Also, some things I can just not for the life of me find any sort of repository for; merging RPM's and even binary installs into the current package manager would be excellent... though I'm not sure if it's technically possible.

Overall I am very happy with Kubuntu and don't see myself leaving soon.

Feb 05, 2006
6:01 AM EDT
I use Ubuntu 5.10

Feb 05, 2006
6:16 AM EDT
Gentoo for the past 3-4 years, on both a desktop and laptop.

SuSE prior to that, Redhat prior to SuSE.

Feb 05, 2006
6:20 AM EDT
Our whole office infrastructure runs Debian. The servers are all Debian Stable. The desktops run a locally forked version of Debian Unstable which we sync back up to the unstable branch about twice a year or when some major component like KDE or OpenOffice.org is upgraded.

We have several preconfigured, preseeded install process for our server and client loads. On many modern systems, if you hit [F12] during the system boot process you will load the preboot execution environment (PXE) to boot from the network. Using the tools in Debian we constructed a network boot menu from which you can reload any system directly from our network installer and target different profile (i.e. client/server/etc) installation targets. It uses the *wonderful* modular Debian installer developed during the sarge prerelease period (which is still being improved through today).

We also have a central administration server that has a simple scripted system to push out changes to packages or system configurations to all systems on the network in between major upgrades. We have used essentially this same approach to system automation and configuration control since 2001 and have never had to re-install any of our productions systems except in cases of hardware failures. Some of our core servers have been running continuously since 2001 except for hardware upgrades, kernel security patches and the Debian upgrades from potato->woody->sarge.

Choosing a Linux distro is more than how pretty it looks or how nice the installer is. Frankly, I use the installer once and then rely on the distribution's tools to maintain and upgrade the system from there. At least under Debian, I really don't care what the installer looks like because the last time I ran it interactively was about 2 years ago. :)


Feb 05, 2006
6:23 AM EDT
I'm so glad you asked!

I use Underground linux (http://www.ludos.org), which is an Arch based linux distribution.

I use it for a few reasons:

1) pacman, the command line package manager used by Underground. Want those Windows media codecs? Type #pacman -S win32codecs -- Want xine? #pacman -S xine

2) It installs from a single CD, but manages to include enough of the libs so that one can installsome of the more obscure programs without having to go looking for obscure libraries.

3) The documentation page is comprised of these links, with short and to-the-point instructions on how to set up each feature:

1. About 2. Network 3. Wireless 4. Software installation 5. Codecs 6. Non-free fonts 7. Flash plugin 8. Java 9. Nvidia drivers 10. Skype

Using these it took me approximately 10 minutes to get wireless support on my laptop, java, windows codes, flash and skype working. I've never had that experience with a linux distro before. Maybe I'm just getting better at this.

But there it is, Underground linux in a nutshell. You should really check it out.

Feb 05, 2006
6:43 AM EDT
I use Deep Style Linux 1.1, which is actually Slackware 10.02 (100% Slackware compatible distro), fine-polished for Ukrainian and Russian-speaking users with some nice additional packages. I was using pure Slackware since 8.1. Slack rocks!!! I use Deep/Slack both at home and at the office.

Feb 05, 2006
6:48 AM EDT
Kanotix - Just plain kicks butt.

Feb 05, 2006
6:51 AM EDT
Desktop/Laptop: Kubuntu/Ubuntu and Fedora Server: CentOS

I always enjoy trying out new distros on a test machine though.

Feb 05, 2006
6:53 AM EDT
I keep windows on for the sake of the parents, but i use Slackware 10.2 and Gentoo alongside it for my main desktop. I use both for different jobs. Slackware is great for a desktop, while gentoo lets me get EVERY program i need, compiled for MY system.

Feb 05, 2006
6:59 AM EDT
I use Debian/Unstable for my workstation and all my home servers. I love bleeding edge software and Debian gets it before Ubuntu does. I love the way Debian works, APT is incredible.

For my clients I recommend Debian/Stable. I can get a base install done with only 500mb and no extra crud.

Feb 05, 2006
7:08 AM EDT
Four months ago i made my full switch to linux at the age of 17 with Ubuntu (previously i messed around with floppix, a predecessor to the now popular live-cd distros). I enjoyed how new-user friendly it was and the community has the nicest people I've ever met. However, a month passed and I was a little tired in how "in your face" aptitude was with it's slow, old, or broken (in some cases all three) packages and I felt that I needed something a bit more complex. So to try other linux distros and enjoyed various aspects of each one. It came to a point where i could not decide what distro i want to use for my stable! I liked slackware's minimalism, debian/ubuntu's support, arch's small size, and gentoo's portage system. Thus I decided to make my own distro I call g0st on my main box. I picked up a copy of LFS from the LFS website and got to work. On my NFS server i run ubuntu. However, when someone ask me for a good stable system I usually suggest slackware (if they're brave) or ubuntu (if they're more of a casual user). I did not really like RPM based distros because for some reason (I dont mean to offened any RPM-based-distro users) RPM builds were slow, buggy, clunky, or if stable, old and slow.

Feb 05, 2006
7:26 AM EDT
I use Ubuntu.

It's the first distro that everything just works on my laptop. Wireless drivers, acpi, etc. I love it.


Feb 05, 2006
7:36 AM EDT
I use Linspire because it's easy to support and lets me concentrate on doing a job rather than futzing with the OS. Granted, there is literally a price to pay for the ability to keep the OS updated and use the "1 click install", but when you have a 78 year old father who uses the OS, it's easier to tell him to click on the green icon in the tray and pick out the new program than it is to have him drop into terminal and sudo apt-get .

Since the license terms are liberal, I can also use the update feature for all my personal machines.

When I travel, I use the DVD edition of Knoppix. Granted, Ubuntu is the current favorite among most but in a fragmented market, I like to stick with what I know and not change distros to further divide the marketplace.

Just a description, not an endorsement.

Feb 05, 2006
7:48 AM EDT
I have been using GNU/Linux for my desktop since the beginning of GNU/Linux. I started with Yggdrasil, switched to Slackware, then early Red Hat, SuSE, Fedora, back to SuSE, and now Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a winner! It just plain f@%king works on my Thinkpad. It replaced SuSE, which never managed to do everything right. And, I think I am now clear of RPM hell.


Feb 05, 2006
7:48 AM EDT
At work i use OS X as a desktop, at home i was using Ubuntu 5.10 since its release and i was pretty happy with it until i upgraded my hardware.. and installed XP but i'll wait for next release which is Dapper to revert.

For linux-based servers i really like the DCC core (http://www.dccalliance.org/releasenotes.html) as well as any Debian-based distro or Debian itself.

Feb 05, 2006
7:49 AM EDT
I have messed around with redhat 8, fc2 and 3 and suse 9.1 over the last number of years. I am now a full ubuntu 5.10 convert. I run it as my main desktop, on two webservers and another machine at the grad lab (I am a CS grad student). I keep a windows machine around for some things but really rarely us it.

I really like ubuntu. I think it is the best distro so far. It is not perfect (yet), but I am very encouraged by the momentum it now has. I am really looking forward to the Dapper release scheduled for April.

Feb 05, 2006
7:52 AM EDT
I use Slackware exclusively, and have for over 8 years. Slackware 10.1 is my primary desktop/development machine at work. I have experimented with RedHat before, and did not like the dependency problems of RPM's, nor did I care for the startup mechanisms (scripts, etc...) I really like the straightforward-ness of Slackware, and the transparency. I also like the simplicity of packaging.

Feb 05, 2006
7:56 AM EDT
Mandriva 2006.0 on my laptop and my work laptop, Mandriva 2006.0 x86_64 on my desktop and Mandriva Cooker on my development desktop.

Feb 05, 2006
8:06 AM EDT
I've more than dabbled in many RPM and Slack based distros however nothing really tickled my fancy until Ubuntu. Clean, easy to use, difficult to break, and the best part...KDE isn't its native XWM.

Feb 05, 2006
8:25 AM EDT
Ubuntu 5.1, it's easy for beginners and offers plenty for serious users

Feb 05, 2006
8:27 AM EDT
I'm a long time 'on and off' user of the linux desktop, but currently (and probably more permanently) I'm using Gentoo. The thing I love about Gentoo is it's portage system which is updated VERY often and downloads and compiles the source for whatever your looking for quickly and easily. If you don't want to compile some things that might take a while *cough*kde*cough* you are more than welcome to use a GRP cd to install packages that are pre-built. Don't get me wrong, I've tried APT based distro's as well, I just like this method better. Definately gives you the clean install feeling all over. Gentoo is for those who love the bleeding edge and full control over their distro. Oh ya, and I'm using the CVS e17 that was easily emerged (and easy to update) with Gentoo. Works great!

Feb 05, 2006
8:33 AM EDT
I used Ubuntu since this project started, (Mandrake before) and now I've installed a Ubuntu-minimal, and configured my own XUbuntu desktop with xfce as a desktop manager !

I played with numerous of distributions! the only one that offer me serious usability, robust package management, plenty of these packages and the ability to learn what linux is and to benefit from my laptop features is Ubuntu. BTW Xubuntu is lighter and enables you to boot with only 60Mo of RAM used wheras Ubuntu needs 200Mo ... that's why I use it ;)

Feb 05, 2006
8:40 AM EDT
I use SUSE, because it's a longtime KDE-centric distro (I preffer KDE over GNOME) and have had time to make it's management tools integrate very nicely with the KDE desktop, also I'm hooked on YaST, to me it's just a joy to use to for setting up a monitor and graphics card.... I've had very little annoyances with SUSE, I think the only one is that they ship a crippled version of Xine out of the box, which is because of the ridiculous patent- and copyright laws in the US. Of course, I just use some community created packages for Xine and MPlayer, and that takes like 3 mins. to install after you've added a few YaST repositories. Also another thing I like about SUSE is it's small KDE- extentions and theming out of the box, and also the overall polish of the distribution. Also, I havn't had a single dependency issue since SUSE 9.2.

Feb 05, 2006
8:43 AM EDT
Started with Suse 8.0 and then changed to Slackware. Tried a lot of other distros, but keep coming back to Slack. It's simple and .. fast and fullfills all my needs

Feb 05, 2006
8:48 AM EDT
I gave up on Windows a while back... I've run HP-UX, Solaris on Sparc, RedHat 7/8, FreeBSD, Solaris X86, and BSDI, and most lately, Mandrake 10.0 and Mandriva 2006 on my server boxen. I've experimented with Debian (but never got the hang of it), played with running FreeBSD on my desktop a while back, but ultimately decided that desktop Linux simply wasn't there yet for someone like me who didn't want to tinker all the time. I started to play with desktop Linux, sometime before killing Windows, via Knoppix "Live" Linux CDs (and variants). I ultimately wound up running Knoppix for a number of months, first off CD, then off DVD (got access to the DVD version they release at a show in Germany, months before the official web release, via BitTorrent)... ultimately, when I installed Mandriva 2006 on my server, I decided I needed to eat my own dog food, and installed it on my desktop too (instead of running Knoppix). Had Xandros installed there for a while too, but the "Open Distribution" version was too limited for my purposes. So far, so good... only problem was when I borked by 3D HW acceleration with an unconsidered upgrade of my kernal source (wound up temporarily killing X altogether), but ultimately got it working again (Crack Attack! - Solo rules with 4300 fps). Dual processor 2.8 ghz Xeon with 2 gigs of memory. Nice box. :)

Feb 05, 2006
8:58 AM EDT
I've been using Gentoo as a desktop for about 5 years now. Easy to keep up-to-date (only time I reformatted was when moving from the 2.4 to the 2.6 kernel, and even that wasn't necessary - there were a few things in the install process I wanted to test, so I did.), easy to either test new software or run a perfectly stable system. Fast and clean. I love the system.

Feb 05, 2006
9:02 AM EDT
I don't see the big thing with slow linux desktops like Suse, FC, etc. Many people want a awsome package manger and a slim install. So why not check out Frugalware .4pre2. It is the fastest desktop I have ever used and anyone I know who has tried it agrees. I have even ran into gentoo users who installed it just to see what was going on and reported that for the time it takes to install gentoo and its speed frugalware is just right there. Its 1 cd or dvd to install and you also get pacman for package mangement. They also support there own repo and have just about everything you need and if they don't just ask or sumbit a feature request and you will be surprised how fast you get a reponse saying its been added. I tried Ubuntu, Mandriva, Suse, etc out and they where all to slow and bloated for my taste personally so I will stick with frugalware.

Feb 05, 2006
9:12 AM EDT
At the moment, my laptop runs Suse 10 (dual-boots Windows); it was a pain to have 5 install CDs, but other than that pretty painless. Previously, I had Fedore Core 3 on it; I just felt like trying something new. I also tried OpenBSD 3.8 on it, but KDE wasn't too happy, and I couldn't get Java to work. Overall, hardware support and ease of installing packages is most important to me - when initially installing distro.s lack of support for the video card weeded a bunch out (but it was brand new, so no surprise); now support for wireless narrowed it down.

My server runs OpenBSD 3.8, and does the job well (headless). Packages/ports are nice; no complaints there (for server application) except for difficulty of getting Java to run on BSD.

Feb 05, 2006
9:13 AM EDT
Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger. It just works.

Feb 05, 2006
9:16 AM EDT
I use straight Debian. I've heard good things about Gentoo though, but I'm still stuck on dial-up for the moment and downloading sources a lot on dialup doesnt sound fun.

Feb 05, 2006
9:42 AM EDT
Libranet 3.0 updated to Debian sarge, supplemented with backports and marillat and some other small repositories. Works perfectly. Rock solid. In addition kde-look.org made it beautyful.

The "playground-partition" contains a Kanotix (and sid broke my udev, bad boy, but thats life ;-)

Found Mepis quite appealing, too.

SuSE10 didn't work for me (had a hard struggle to let the system do what I want, fell over some annoying bugs ...)

Mandriva 2006 had WLAN woes with my PCMCIA (ndiswrapper) card and I broke it with Cooker packages (trying to get rid of the draktool bugs I discovered). My bad.

So Libranet stood tall and still does (although the distros future is ... questionable). It took everything I threw at it. Everything. Really amazing.

Ben -- LN 3.0, Debian sarge/backports

Feb 05, 2006
10:44 AM EDT
I started 3 or 4 years ago with Red Hat 7.1. I'm sure we can all guess how that went. That was my learning box and very little "worked" how I wanted it out of the box. So there were several months of playing, breaking, reformatting, and reinstalling. I worked with RH 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 until I really felt comfortable using another distro.

I then discovered Mandrake 9.0 Beta 1. It was an amazing distro, to be honest. The wine that it shipped with actually ran more windows programs than the wine's I use today. The CD burning quality I got out of it far surpassed the Red Hat quality.

Then I farted around for a year or so with Mandrake 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, and quit while trying to use 9.3 (it was very crappy). I then discovered Texstar's Mandrake RPM's that made my 9.1 and 9.2 systems awesome. I followed everything he did, and when re released PCLinuxOS, I used it faithfully for over a year. I never had to reformat and reinstall, I just installed the preview 5 of his distro and kept upgrading. I upgraded to #9.1 successfully (I couldn't believe it myself) and started to need more from my distro. I'm using an AMD Athlon XP 2000 and have 512MB DDR, but there was a latency involved with EVERYTHING on PCLOS that I jus couldn't live with. I then tried UBUNTU and KUBUNTU, but staying bleeding edge always broke something BIG. Manual compile's and install's would break something. I started then to know what I truley wanted from a distro:

(Stability is a given, and I find it in most well maintained distros...) Bleeding edge at least possible without severe breakage(I'm a developer too...) Athlon XP or i686 optimization (figured it'd kill the latency issues) A VERY SANE compiler (I had SO MANY compilation issues on ALL the previously mentioned distros) Source Based Packages would be nice A nice, easy, and smart package manager A large community A large set of packages The ability to create my own packages and receive useful feedback A beautiful desktop

I went from Debian Sarge to OneBase linux and accidentally ended up with Arch Linux.

Accidentally? Yeah, I was told Ark linux was a good one to try. Figured it was a new red Hat, but I couldn't bash it until I tried it. So I go to http://www.archlinux.org (I'm a bad speller. I'm sure there are examples in this post) and downloaded what was there. After I download, I go to install and...son of a bat...a cli installer! I was in love all ready. A binary install with the source included, well packaged and well explained...more love! After the base install, it was pretty easy to do a pacman -S kde. I admit, I had to play around with some of the startup scripts to get the distro where I truly want it to be, but it was so easy. Everything is so well explained at the website. The community is loud and friendly. Any package you want, someone will try to make it, and everyone will help you to make it yourself.

I will say the upgrade process broke my machine twice now, but that was due to the bleeding edge software I crave so much and not reading releasenotes. There were specific instructions on what NOT to do when upgrading and what to be prepared for. I did what I wasn't supposed to, and I didn't prepare my box for the upgrades, but it was actually really easy to fix. The fix was in the WIKI 1 day after this happened to me! It had happened to others.

Unlike other distro's, the community didn't bash me/us for not reading instructions. I felt some love when I admitted I had made a mistake and got given a direct link to where it could be fixed, topped off with a "It really does happen to everyone every now and then". It happens to everyone! I suspected that was the case, but according to the elitist I had asked for help in the past, NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES, EVER, IN PERTAINING TO LINUX.

At this point, I'm rambling...but know this: Arch Linux feels like home to me. I have used it for about 5 months now and I have no plans to stop using it. I do not see anything happening to this distro or it's followers that could ruin what it has. I actually have no complaints about it at this point. It is the strongest desktop I've had using Linux. It will compile ANYTHING! The packagers are right on 99% of the time. The speed increase alone is worth it compared, at least, to ubuntu or mandriva or red hat or PCLOS or Mepis or...you get the picture...

I hope there are others out there who choose to post about it's greatness here.


Feb 05, 2006
11:11 AM EDT
I have tried a few distributions and the one I use the most is Fedora core. Right now that would be fedora core 4. I have used suse, mandrake aka mandrive, gentoo, kubuntu. I like Fedora because it is always on the bleeding edge and keeps up with kernel patches better than some of the other distro's.

Feb 05, 2006
11:11 AM EDT
Kanotix: slick install, KDE, tons of good stuff installed.

Gripes: Common to all distros I've seen based on 2.6.x, lots of hardware lost in the shuffle. Modems and scanners that used to work on 2.4.x, now are hopeless on these newer distros. Keeps me having to go back to the other OS to use my scanner.

Feb 05, 2006
11:45 AM EDT
I am currently using (and very happy with) Ubuntu 5.10 on my personal home workstation and my workstation at work.

I have used each Ubuntu release since 4.10 (Warty). Ubuntu was my first foray into Debian based distros.

I've been running linux at home as my day-to-day desktop for ~3 years now. Started with Mandrake 9.0 (a few weeks before 9.1 came out) - then upgraded to 9.1. Ended up in Redhat 9 a couple of months later and stayed with that long time. Tried the first couple of FC releases but they wouldn't even install so went back to RH9. Moved to Suse 9 when they were giving it away free - but always wanted to end up running debian - or a debian based distro.

I've only ever had one PC at home (queue violins now *grin*) and the whole time my wife has used linux and loved it - she's not techy - she just switches the machine on, logs in, starts her browser and email client and prints stuff. No worries.

Still have a dual-boot configuration for the kids educational type stuff that we have for homeschooling - and for CorelDRAW while I was making our church newsletter in it for a time. (About to start a new one using Inkscape - yay!)

Feb 05, 2006
11:50 AM EDT
I've been using Linux on the desktop for about 2+ years. My path was: RedHat --> Debian --> Gentoo. My prefered Window Manager was Fluxbox. I was quite happy with Gentoo/Fluxbox for quite a long time, but a few month ago got a bit fed up with having to compile packages (and frustrated that I couldn't get a good ebuild for mod_perl2). After looking around I discovered Arch Linux which I think is the best distro out there. Very straight-forward. I have been using FreeBSD on another box and have liked that quite a lot. Arch Linux feels to me like the best of FreeBSD and Gentoo combined. And it is fast. I've started using KDE and it seems to suit me just fine. Everything just works.

I HIGHLY recommend Arch Linux.

Feb 05, 2006
12:48 PM EDT
my first real contact with linux was suse 8.0. then looked at red hat 8 and then 9, and then got a copy of suse 9.0, and have been with suse ever since. i run it on all my boxes... 2 laptops, 2 desktops and a server. ubuntu is nice (played with it on another laptop) but overall i still prefer suse with kde.

Feb 05, 2006
1:01 PM EDT
On the desktop, at home and at work, I have Debian testing.

Feb 05, 2006
1:33 PM EDT
I use Mandriva...because it is the first one I tried and I'm used to it, as well as it is an easy install. I love KDE, so I don't want to switch that...but I've tried ubuntu and kubuntu and they are definately quality distros. I might switch in the future.

I also have a server running debian, but that isn't a desktop.

Feb 05, 2006
2:14 PM EDT
I use Gentoo 64bit on an AMD64. I switched after getting fed up with Fedora's socking package maintaince... there were no Fedora Extras for a whole release cycle!!

Gentoo is good but I would recommend 32 bit mode over 64. My annoyance(s) related to the packages... gnome is too slow to come into stable and you have to do too much work to get it installed properly when in unstable. This is the reason Im thinking of going to Gentoo 32bit or Ubuntu 32bit, as there are more users & maintainers than Gentoo 64, and thus the packages are looked after in a more timely manner.

Feb 05, 2006
2:24 PM EDT
I've been a Redhat fan since 7.0, currently running Fedora Core 4. At home, I run a mail server, web server, dns, dhcp (for the kids' gaming computers, Xbox Live and visitors), ssh, ftp, vnc, (well, you get the picture), as well as all my desktop applications, all on one computer. I get magnificent community support and timely updates, indeed, I usually hear about a security issue after my computer has been patched, not before. I have stability on a cutting edge platform and if I keep that platform running on my computer after it's no longer supported, well, I just move over to Fedora Legacy until I'm ready to upgrade. RPM hell is a thing of the past now with YUM, and multimedia on Fedora is close to Windows standards (lots of tweaking involved, to be sure, but the Fedora Community has lots of documentation on how to do it). I am convinced that Linux can be made to do anything, all you need is the time, desire and knowledge. Fedora for me has proven its ability to "get the knowledge out" and make it available to duffers like me in a much better way than Redhat was ever able to and for that alone I will continue to be a loyal user.

Feb 05, 2006
2:51 PM EDT
at home: Fedora Core (FC4) at work: Ubuntu (5.10)

Feb 05, 2006
3:37 PM EDT
SUSE10 (boxed version)

I like the SUSE distro for a variety of reason, including the excellent KDE desktop. Also I use SUSE because I have been a Novell partner for quite awhile, and find that the synergies are strong when I talk to Netware customers about moving towards linux, either on server or the desktop. These customers just like the idea of continuity.

One of my major concerns is how to deal with the gnome aspects of desktop development. I am very interested in the "new stuff" being show-cased byt NLD10, but I worry that all the cool stuff is gnome. I just have not gotten comfortable with Gnome, even though I like it's graphics look better. It just seems aimed at users and not techs ... I wonder if the good new stuff will work with KDE, or if gnome will get better?

Feb 05, 2006
4:40 PM EDT
I use "Linspire" Very good and CNR warehouse make it eazy to download and automatic install software.

Feb 05, 2006
5:17 PM EDT
PCLinuxOS for everyday use. It's the only distro that has installed without error on all my systems. The update system works flawlessly and it has all the software I really want/need, including all the multimedia codecs working from the install.

Linspire occasionally; it's kinda fun, but it doesn't really have all the newest software I want. I also have SuSE installed, but it's not fully "decked out" when installed, so I have to do a lot of configuring after the install.

Feb 05, 2006
6:10 PM EDT
I use Gentoo.

Feb 05, 2006
6:12 PM EDT
I use Linspire about 80% of the time and Kubuntu 20%. Linspire just works and make my life easy(CNR is heaven). As I am studying Networking at school I'm trying to slowly move away from being spoon fed by Linspire and get some more "command line" and perhaps more "hardcore" linux experience with Kubuntu (not Ubuntu, don't like Gnome)!

Feb 05, 2006
7:55 PM EDT
I use Mandriva 2006 on my main (95% usage) computer. I also have a Windows 2000 box for jobs that pay me and require Windows. I use an ancient Toshiba 2515CDS laptop as an Xterminal, it runs Knoppix installed from a live CD onto the hard disk. The laptop Knoppix was the only distro that I could get to work with both the lame video and the PCMCIA network NIC, no Mandrake/Mandriva or Fedora would work at all.

I used to use Mandrake 10.1 on my desktop. I switched to 2006 because support was getting hard on the old one, and it didn't handle USB thumb drives properly. 2006 is much better.

I started using Mandriva because a friend liked it. He helped me over some startup problems. I really like MCC/urpmi

But I make no claims that Mandriva is the best in general, or the best for me. It works, is easy to administrate and so I'm not going to change.

I also use Mandriva on two servers, one with Apache/php, a commercal and several vanity sites, the other purely internal.

Feb 05, 2006
11:34 PM EDT
At work I am forced to use Suse Linux 9.3 (we are all using the same image; we're a small SW dev. house of 25 people). Some servers here run under RedHat.

At home I use: Debian (SPARC), Libranet (as long as it still works for me), Ubuntu probably soon.

Greetings from Germany. Multics

Feb 06, 2006
4:54 AM EDT
I use SuSELinux 10.0 as my desktop, i started out with version 8, and liked it, then i upgraded to 9.3 and when 10.0 was released i quickly upgraded again.

i've also used Mandrake and RedHat...........i think i wil stick with SuSE it seems to work best for me

Feb 06, 2006
5:12 AM EDT
I use Ubuntu 5.10 on home machines (desktop plus 2 laptops).

Red Hat 8 on a work PC (current uptime=411 days).

RHEL3 on a work cluster (24 cpus).

Feb 06, 2006
5:25 AM EDT
I use Gentoo. I switched from Debian when I built a dual Opteron. At the time there were only a few Linux distros that were ready to run in 64bit with dual ( 32/64 bit ) binary support. I tried them all and ended up trying Gentoo last. I was missing Debian for the first 3 weeks after my install of Gentoo, and after that I migrated ALL of my machines to Gentoo. I have tried more distributions than I can count. I have worked for 2 of the largest Linux clustering manufacturers and currently work for IBM. I love Linux, however Gentoo is my favorite distro. There are many reasons to use Gentoo, but lets cover the basics:

I. Compile Optimisations Or Features Such As SSP Gentoo, like any source based distribution gives you the ability to change your compile optimisatins. This allows many nice features. For example, say that you have a machine which has a small cache size...like a VIA EPIA CL, etc. You can use -Os and have smaller binaries which do not flood your cache. Of course you can compile every binary on your system with optimisations for your CPU. Lets say you are using x86 then you get optimisations for your CPU instead of i386 which is what most distros have. They do that so it will run on the widest possible range of x86 hardware . You can also add things like SSP, etc. So this may be trivial to some of you...however you have more options available and this is where Gentoo shines. With "USE Flags" ... you can of add or remove certain support from binaries that support it. For example if you use do not use KDE or Gnome, then you can have support for QT and GTK without having support for KDE or GNOME in all the binaries that support it on your entire system. These are some of the best reasons to use Gentoo, but are also quite easy to mess up.

II. The Best Source Based "Package Management" Emerge is a very robust tool. You can emerge source-only items such as djbdns, qmail, you can also emerge the nvidia drivers and glx. There are lots of things that make this nice. Also keeping a machine up-to-date, adding and removing items are easy and well done. Also, Gentoo takes patchwork out of the way....I use qmail ( with greylisting ) and instead of applying the 70+ patches manually, Gentoo makes it a non-issue. Of course, you do not have to compile everyting. You can use precompiled binaries and packages that are compile for the best general situations like other distros.

III. Easy Fixes Of Security Advisories glsa-check -f Makes Security Updates A Snap You can update all packages against the security advisories. This is a nice tool.

IV. Excelent BSD-Like Feel It is the most BSD-like structure that I have found in a Linux system. It just feels right.

V. No Locked Down Installer Limiting Your Options It doesn't give you an installer per say ... which really gives you the most fine grained control of how you want things. You can install with ease via a remote ssh session. :-)

VI. Great Way To Handle init Scripts init scrips are setup the way they should be and are easily maintained using rc-update

rc-update -a sshd default

for example would add sshd to your startups

I know that Debian has something similar, but Gentoo has done it right. I did not particulary like the way Debian had done it.

VII. Extremely High Availability Of "Packages" There are LOTS of "packages" available in Gentoo. You can also make your system as stable or bleeding edge as you want.

VIII. Documentation And User Community Gentoo by far has the best online documentation and howtos that I have seen. Also the user community on freenode.net in #gentoo, #gentoo-hardened, #gentoo-server, #gentoo-sparc, #gentoo-amd64, #gentoo-desktop, etc. Are great helpful people. Gentoo may be more difficult at first, but the documentation and community make it easy.

IX. Secure Gentoo allows you to choose between many security camps. RSBAC, GrSecurity, SeLinux, PAX, etc. You can obtain a ultra-secure machine using Gentoo.

X. Gentoo focuses on options. Their entire philosophy is to give the user choices. Your box will be how you want it. Not how someone else thinks it should be done. You can also use existing binaries and packages if you like so you do not have to compile everyting.

--- Wishes ---

I wish that Gentoo would take the same measures of download integrity confirmation that Adamantix has done...with everything being cryptographically signed and of course having md5sums on it as well. This wish howver, hasn't been done ( that I know of ) in any other distro except for Adamantix.


-- "Then Turambar summoned all his will and courage and climbed the cliff alone, and came beneath the dragon. Then he drew Gurthang, and with all the might of his arm, and of his hate, he thrust it into the soft belly of the Worm, even up to his hilts."


Feb 06, 2006
5:38 AM EDT
Have used many, many distros (from all the major players to the obscure) and I really like something about all of them, but I have settled on Debian for servers for the most part. My laptop runs what used to be Libranet 2.8 but has gradually morphed into a combination of Debian Testing and a few packages from Unstable over the years (through the wonder of "apt-get upgrade").

Feb 06, 2006
5:41 AM EDT
I have Ubuntu running on two boxes at home. One is my primary desktop machine, the other one (Xubuntu, actually) acts as the server for a radio station I built using Icecast.

I also use Debian on the media player for that station, only because I built that before discovering Ubuntu. I will probably migrate that to Ubuntu some weekend when I have nothing to do.

Additionally, I use Ubuntu on my laptop at work.

No complaints at all. Ubuntu has provided everything I've needed on all three boxes.

Feb 06, 2006
11:38 AM EDT
Kanotix. I've tried a whole lot of distros, but Kanotix is the only thing I can rely on to consistently do whatever I want it to do. It's full Debian compatibility gives me access to the largest software repository on the planet, and it has some of the best hardware detection I have ever seen (for a long while, it was the only distro willing to work with my ancient Okipage 6W printer).

Feb 06, 2006
12:17 PM EDT
I use Kubuntu on all my systems as of late. I used to be a staunch SuSE Professional user. I still miss a few things about SuSE Pro.

Positives about Kubuntu: * Free and Free and Free... * APT-GET/DEB with a Debian base (Major bigtime plus!) * Well selected packaging for base installs * Friendly out of the box * Friendly community (and active and fun) * Commitment to regular releases. * Of course, KDE! * Most everything I want is already a package. I have yet to compile anything from source on my desktops. Servers I've only had to compile certain specialized packages like my PBX FXO driver * Particularly, never had to roll my own NVidia driver installation. My last SuSE Desktop, I had to reinstall the driver after each new kernel upgrade! * Package stability: Rarely have major version shifts without upgrading to another platform.

Negatives about Kubuntu: * Not quite Debian. However close, there are Debian packages I can't get from native Ubuntu repos. * Not as polished as SuSE. On SuSE things just worked. But not until they had released a 8.2. So Kubuntu's still doing quite well in their first two releases.

Feb 06, 2006
2:11 PM EDT
I use to use Caldera Linux but always found the installation to be nothing but a hair pulling experience. I stumbled across Lindow 3.0 now called Linspire and gave it a try. Every computer in the house (except my wife's ibook and a Debian box I use to play/test with). Its an easy to use/install distro. I like CNR it makes installing software a snap, though I must admit it not always the bleeding edge stuff but then that's why I have a Debian Box to play with. The truth be told though, I'll take stability over bleeding edge any day.

I would have no problem recommending Linspire to a linux noob, or a lazy ass like myself that's just wants the OS to work.


Feb 06, 2006
4:34 PM EDT
Hi all! Being a newbie both here and in the Linux world in general, I am happy to see us non-techie "desktop-only" folks getting more attention... about time, I guess. Anyway, out of a bit over 18 months that I've used Linux, more than a year has been Mandrake/Mandriva (Mandriva 2006 now, with just some upgrades). It's a distro I recommend to anyone thinking about saying goodbye to... you know. First, it's a piece of cake to install (well, at least on my nothing-fancy hardware). Everything works just out of the box - they way it must. Next, you get LOTS of software - in fact, so much that it may feel overwhelming. Besides, Mandriva Control Center is a great tool - I know, some red-eyed purists may jeer at it, but it helps a newbie a lot. It takes a while to get accustomed to CLI, in case someone forgot. For example, installing/removing software in MCC is very easy - how else can you find what and how you can do on your system without trying it? As for the things I didn't quite like... Well, definitely it has its rough sides. For example, mounting/unmounting devices could be more consistent. Sometimes, for no obvious reason, my camera becomes /dev/sdb instead of /dev/sda1. Things like that. I dunno, maybe those troubles are not distro-specific, but they definitely need some more polishing. Otherwise, it's a great replacement for Windows. Alex, aka Trueash

Feb 06, 2006
4:58 PM EDT
Well at home, I have a Kubuntu 5.10 box, a winXP box, a laptop that runs chubby puppy linux, a frankenstein box that was running redhat, but is currently dead, and a laptop that is duel boot Suse9.3 and XP

I have worked a lot with Suse, but my current favorite is Kubuntu...

Feb 06, 2006
6:26 PM EDT
Ubuntu 5.10. Very Happy.

Feb 07, 2006
3:04 AM EDT
Arch Linux. Sometimes Ubuntu and Fedora

Feb 07, 2006
3:35 AM EDT
It depends on my mood. 18 months ago it was Fedora Core. Later on I switched to (K)Ubuntu, then Debian Etch, then Fedora Core again, then (K)Ubuntu again and now I'm back to Debian, but Sid this time. I like all of these distros. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. But if forced to choose, I'd probably go with Debian Sid. I'm rather fond of the latest and greatest.

Feb 07, 2006
4:46 AM EDT
I currently use a much updated version of mepis/debian as my main desktop. I was a long time SuSE user until I switched to debian. Libranet (and now mepis) is an easy way to install debian.

I use Icewm for its speed and simplicity. I started using xfce about a month ago. I'm not proficient with it yet, but I'll stick with it till I am. It is more up yo date than Ice, and reminds me of Unix style wm's (NeXT, WM, etc)

I keep trying the Ubuntu family, but it just has too many quirks for me. I find vanilla debian easier to use than Ubuntu. Ubuntu is easy to install, but so is almost every other distro on the planet. The Ubuntu community is helpfull. Most of the time my debian experience is a plus in using Ubuntu, until I get to some issue where Ubuntu does it different.

Different isn't bad, its just that my experience becomes a stumbling block. I will keep checking out each new release, and expect to come around to liking Ubuntu more some day.

But for now its debian stable/testing from a Mepis install Icewm/xfce desktop. (debian stable for servers)

(updated) According to this post by Warren over at Mepis. http://www.mepis.org/node/8942 The DCC based debian distros may be switching to the Ubuntu kernel. This could be better for both the DCC members and Ubuntu. Ian Murdock and the DCC, and Mark Shuttleworth/cannonical/Ubuntu have differed in their methods of dealing with some debian shortcomings. If they all get on the same page, everything debian should benefit.

That Ian Murdock is quite a leader, and does not let ego get in the way of progress.

Feb 07, 2006
1:24 PM EDT
I'm using Slackware 10.2 with Fluxbox, though freerock gnome is nice on slack too.

Slack's bsd style init is clean and easy to manage, while also providing support for sys v applications (http://www.slackware.com/config/init.php). This made it initially my choice just for servers I manage, but once I tried it as a desktop system, I was hooked as well.

Slackware's package management is often criticized, but it too is quite straight forward and easy to use. When coupled with slapt-get/gslapt and additional pkgs from linuxpackages.net, the system is wonderfully easy to keep updated.

Feb 08, 2006
2:43 AM EDT
I currently use Ubuntu both on home and as a secondsemi-primary job desktop (through vmware) and I too have my issues with it, especially on the subject of performance which I find is lacking.

However the wealth of documentation and helpful scripts is what keeps me happy.

I used to be a Gentoo user a while back but what prompted my change was a hardware failure. I plan to check out Open SuSe 10 when it comes out of Beta as well.

Feb 08, 2006
5:12 AM EDT
I'm an environmental modeling software engineer (over 100,000 LOC ion GPL and LGPL modeling software-see http://www.baronams.com/products/ioapi/

Home desktop: Mandriva 2006

Office desktip: Mandriva 10.2 (2005 Limited Ed.)

I have to deal with several other systems, Linux or not (the former mostly SGI Altix IA64 servers). Most of the other Linux systems are running RedHat Enterprise 4 (a few running Fedora Core 3 or Core 4), and find that I don't like them nearly as well: they don't have tools that are mission critical for my job, and that are difficult to build on these systems ("dependency hell"). ;-(

And fwiw I found Mandriva network printer setup *much* easier than it is with the RH/Fedora machines.

Feb 10, 2006
3:10 PM EDT
My main home desktop is CentOS 4.2. My 2nd desktop (I use a KVM switch) runs Gentoo. Then I have an old desktop (bought in '99) at the edge of my desk running XP Pro, which I occasionally use for development.

At work, I use XP Home :). And we have 4 CentOS Linux servers (plus one spare) and 2 Windows servers.

Feb 10, 2006
10:08 PM EDT
As a migrating OS/2 user, I have tried scores of the cheap/free distro's in the last few months since I finally gave up on OS/2's future. I keep coming back to good ole Mandy as my favorite. Currently the 2006 DVD Free edition. I have used the free/download versions of Mandrake/Mandriva on & off since v6.x and have always found it to be the most cutting edge, polished, complete and easiest install of the free/cheap distro's. Even with a bit of experience now I still like it, and have found new user's like my wife 'get' it well enough pretty quick for general user needs.

I also have Fedora Core4 - pretty nice but somewhat rough around the edges and Xandros 3, I'm not that impressed with it, currently installed on a box that I use somewhat as a test box. I intend to try Suse 10 and Debian Sarge soon. ELive was reallyyy pretty, the unstable one anyway, but looked like a lot of trouble for me to learn to use productively right now. Helix Live and the Fedora based System Rescue looked very handy as utilitys and have helped me a couple times.

I am currently setting up AmarokLive on an old PII300 as an audio center with a cheap wireless MicroInovations kb/mouse and use audio--> lineout to a great sounding older Pioneer Reciever/Amp/Advent BabyGrads. Just need a new 15sub compatible TV now instead of the old CRT in the corner. Then I intend to network it for more content ...........

I have similar ideas for MovixLive/mplayer which I used a while back in a crunch to play some Windows CODEC VCD's that did not want to play on anything else at the time. I had trouble getting mplayer setup with Mandy 2005LE or DE10.2, Xandros3 or FedoraCore4. Note: those VCD's do fine under Mandy2006/mplayer.

I like the premise and crispness of Zen & even more so Morphix and I am also intrigued with the idea of Symphony and it's heavy use of Perl and CGI apps, which I have some experience with, for interface design. I intend to check these out with the intent of playing with the development of specific purpose distros such like CMS packages or DVR/mediacenters. All this damn EULA, DRM and DCSS mess is simply stiffling things don't you think?

On another note I tried Solaris10 a while back. The install was close to a trip to the dentist, the whole disk my ass, what a pain. The default GUI app/tool selection was abismal. Their implementation of CDE sux, but the Java Desktop was nice, pretty and responsive and of course Solaris was solid as a rock, but then I never really got anything installed to load it up before Fedora replaced it. Have'nt loaded OpenSolaris yet. LookingGLass3D sounds neat but the LiveCD dies on finding my Nvida Riva TNT server, anybody got Linux video card suggestions/favorites to share? I think I'm ready to dump the Nvida unless anyones got some good tips for it.

All in all I think I really like Linux and the GNU world!



Feb 10, 2006
10:30 PM EDT
Hey while I am here, the NvidaRivaTNT does not like Mandy2006, any attempt to use OpenGL kills X and the console session. Mandy2005LE/10.2 did fine with the OpenGL apps. I haven't took the time yet to dig out the Xserver/driver diffs, any ideas? Since I upgraded over 2005LE I may try a clean install yet, just hated to reinstall several apps and most else seems fine. Ditto trouble with my Olympus 3000Z camera, Mandy 2005 did but 2006 don't see it via USB. I have a card reader on the way to try in place of that though, would prefer to use it anyways. Another thing missing with 2006 is ability to select for a new Xsession/console via the popup menu, that was handy. Sigh, will just have to learn the hard way, I guess :)


Feb 11, 2006
5:23 AM EDT
My flavour of choice is Fedora in it various iterations. My main desktop is FC 4, my webserver runs FC4, my test/play station (no pun intended) runs FC3, my laptop runs FC2. I've tried many a distro: debian, LFS (Linux from scratch), Arch Linux, Mandrake, Slackware, Knoppix, Mepis, Dineabloics, Movix, but always settle back to my comfort zone with RedHat and now Fedora. The only other flavour I'v deployed and stuck with is for my home made router/firewall which is Coyote linux. GNU/Linux has taught me more than I ever learned booting Windows. No more walking on glass for me.

Feb 13, 2006
12:32 AM EDT
I've been running SuSE 9.0 on this box (iCube) since Jan 2004, with Crossover enabling me to run GoldWave, Diamond Cut 5 and 6, TeleChart 2005, and (yep) Windows Media Player 6.4 (easiest way to listen to the CBS all-news radio stations from across the country). I do a lot of audio manipulation (Old Time Radio, CD ripping, etc), and it's nice to see those apps run fast and stable! There *are* a few quirks one has to put up with, but not having to baby a flaky shambles of an OS, or fend off spyware (much etc) is Just Plain Good. I also have Linspire 5.0 on my 4-yr old HP laptop, and both Linspire 5.0 and SuSE on the box back in the closet, which is primarily used for archival duties for my music, OTR, and so forth. I downloaded the beta of SuSE 10.0 last year, but have yet to try it out. It would be nice to have some way to record my records through my C-Port AD/DA box without resorting to Win98 though! I have not found a distro yet which properly directs the audio from that thing.... This means I am stuck with Win98 when transferring records to digital. I have been bending everyone's ear for years now, trying to get them to See The Light, and escape the clutches of the Redmond Gang. To date, it seems the only way to get them to change is to do the whole thing for them, presenting them with a complete setup!

Feb 17, 2006
4:58 PM EDT
I am from India and I started with Mandrake long back to learn programming. But after joining a job, I didn't used it for a considerable period. Now back in school, saw Suse 9.1 one fine day, since then I am using Suse. Now I use Suse both on my school machine and on my laptop. Till Suse 9.3, wireless on laptop was an issue. But with v.10.0 on my Compaq X6000, wireless issue was solved and I nearly stopped using Windows. It was elegant, polished and had every application I needed (though g77 is an issue with eval DVD). But recently with my laptop stolen, I borrowed my friend's Dell Inspiron 9100. I need linux for my research work. But with Dell's lack of support for linux (wireless hardly works whatever drivers I use, ndiswrapper, linuxant both don't work), I am stuck with windows and ssh client. I decided never to buy a Dell because of near zero support for linux. Also I wish linux has better wireless support. Thats the primary thing stopping me from making a complete migration to Linux. Also another issue (very very important for me and people from my region) is I can't read online newspapers (3 in no.) published in my native language. In windows, after storing the fonts in the fonts folder, firefox interprets them correctly. But in linux, it never does. fc-cache never worked.

Feb 18, 2006
7:19 PM EDT
Started on Slackware Then switched to Ubuntu Warty Then upgraded to Ubuntu Hoary And now using Ubuntu Breezy

Feb 18, 2006
9:50 PM EDT
Quoting:Hey while I am here, the NvidaRivaTNT does not like Mandy2006, any attempt to use OpenGL kills X and the console session.

IIRC There's some sort of incompatibility with the Riva TNT card and the more recent versions of the NVIDIA driver. Try an older version or better still have a look for an nvidia-legacy package for your distro.

Feb 21, 2006
7:07 AM EDT
Well is February and it's time to report in again about desktops:

Well the upgrade (required new installation) to Debian mostly Testing and some Unstable was a mini disaster. Many things did not work, e.g. sound, second monitor or were not equivalent in functionality: GKrellM (system monitor), etc. Nonetheless, other parts functioned: video application, albeit with no audio. What got on my nerves was having to take unverified updates, which got pretty bad when updates to Firefox seemed to inexplicably fail (files actually went in home directory, when I thought they should be in /usr/local/Firefox- - later saw same thing in Ubuntu). So the search began for an application to burn a fresh cd for Ubuntu 05.10. The reason I thought I needed the disc was a fresh Debian on hda lost the memory of Ubuntu on hdb in grub.

Earlier when I had ready access to both Debian and Ubuntu I had upgraded the latter from 05.04 to 05.10. Moreover, I had access to all the files via Debian by mounting the Ubuntu drive. With the new cd efforts failing I looked up the manual for grub and using the notes of the older version I found on the Ubuntu directories, I just revised grub and I had Ubuntu back.

So Ubuntu 05.10 - Breezy is my default, current desktop. What I liked, workable, have both sound and the printer back. What I wasn't as fond of is that many of the applications I prefer were not part of the default set. Well have Thunderbird 1.5, which I did not like that much initially due to its differing behaviour handling junk mail - now with the built in spell check all is forgiven, Firefox is in, but I did not follow the directions so I lost a bit of Ubuntu, GKrellM is back and great. Now for the perplexing: I have Xemacs, but not plain FSF GNU/emacs. Still working on getting both monitors functioning the way I had under Debian. One other thing is both nice and questionable under Ubuntu: sudo - nice no open terminals running as root in sessions while away or forgotten. Too little detail on the system logs. See odd activity on the system monitor that does not correlate with any entries on the syslog.

Ok, not quite done, fired up the laptop with Fedora Core 3 - while I will never go back to anything that does not support apt-get and dpkg, I love the shot of earth from space, so I just might upgrade to FC-5 when it comes out. However, just the laptop.

While Ubuntu is nice, I will not promise I will not stray on the morrow, I probably will try 06.04 first.

Desktop Summary: Feb., 2006 Default Ubuntu 05.10, laptop (backup) Fedora Core 3.

Feb 23, 2006
9:43 PM EDT

Mar 17, 2006
11:27 PM EDT
My whole family uses Debian Sarge. I lost patience long ago with distros that required reinstallation. None of that silliness required here since Debian Potato.

Went through several versions of Slackware, Red Hat, Mandrake and SuSE that seemed constantly to need replacement with the latest version. I just got tired of the churn. A desktop should be stable and easy to maintain.

One of my computers started out with Slink and is now running Sarge and the only time it has been rebooted is when the electricity cut outlasts the battery or the times I've changed the kernel. The archived Debian Release Notes says Slink 2.1.11 was released 28 Aug 1999. I don't think I installed it that long ago. It may have been late in 2000. The oldest sources.list file on that computer is dated Jul 15 2000. 'apt-get dist-upgrade' handled each version upgrade since.

The worst thing about Debian has been its installer, which has been very tedious in the past and prone to terrifying newbies. Thankfully it was a gantlet you only had to run once, barring hardware failure.

In case there are those who are unfamiliar with Debian's slightly strange naming scheme, the order of named releases:

Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge

Etch is the current testing release and Sid is always unstable. (Sid will deliberately break your toys).

Mar 19, 2006
12:11 AM EDT
Grouch, first, I admire your contribs to this board. Secondly, I wholeheartedly agree that I got SICK of having to reload an OS from scratch to upgrade. I, too, was terribly intimidated by the Debian installer. A fact that kept me away from the distro for way too long. Debian is my first choice today. I could not consider a production platform on any other distro (save the BSD's, which I am still somewhat green in). RedHat fell out of my favor with 9, just for baisc PHP upgrade issues. Left a VERY sour taste in my mouth. Fedora is nothing more than a RedHat "get my development-for-free outfit.', as I see it. I outgrew RedHat, and everyone I know who "knows" Linux uses Debain or one of its increasingly fine derivatives.

My opinion, exclusively.....though I know I'm not alone.

Mar 19, 2006
2:45 AM EDT

Thank you for the kind words!

When my daughter was 13, she wanted to "be initiated", saying that she had been using Linux but didn't feel right because she had never installed it. She preserved the instructions I gave her at the start of the experiment:

a. "the CD contains documentation" b. "here's the monitor manual" c. "you know where to find HOWTOs" d. "do not touch drive hda, you're free to use hdb in any way" e. "it's ready to boot" (bwahaha!) f. "you are about to fall into the Debian slink multi-CD trap"

It took her more than a weekend and several aborted attempts to reach the goal of having X running and being connected to our home LAN. When she finished, I handed her a (then current) Mandrake CD and told her to try again. A few clicks and about half an hour later she was done. She asked, "Why didn't you give me that the first time?!" My answer was, "You wanted to be initiated."

I always point out that she _asked_ to install Slink just to head off any accusations of child abuse. I'm glad the Debian installer is no longer that tortuous. She's still running Debian and is a CS major now.

Mar 29, 2006
5:13 AM EDT
Debian Stable (Sarge).

But I just got a laptop, and the first one to try there will be Ubuntu.

May 24, 2006
8:03 PM EDT
Just got myself into dapper release of ubuntu, loving it, the only pain is I can't seem to synchronise with my IPAQ other than that, thumbs up for the team, as I am able to do everything else, but that.

May 25, 2006
6:29 AM EDT
I use Ubuntu at home, on a family machine and on my personal laptop.

I just switched the Linux partition on my work machine from Gentoo to SuSE. (But, for the most part, I'm forced to use a piece of crap OS at work ***cough***XP***cough***.)

Also, I rebuild old discarded PCs, usually with Puppy Linux, and give them away to charities.

Jun 27, 2006
9:40 AM EDT
Home: Slackware 10.2 w/Freerock Gnome (desktop) Mutagenix Linux (Slack/FRG derivative) (laptop) XP (wife's laptop)

Work: Slackware 8.0 (no GUI server) Slackware 9.1 (no GUI pos terminal 1) Slackware 10.0 (no GUI pos terminal 2) Slackware 10.1/Dropline Gnome + Win98 (shipping) Slackware 10.2/Freerock Gnome (coworker desktop) Mutagenix (my desktop w/2 monitors) Windows XP (counter laptop) Mac Mini w/OSX 10.2 (boss)

Slackware Linux [http://www.slackware.com] Mutagenix LiveCD suite [http://mutagenix.org] Freerock Gnome desktop [http://gsb.freerock.org]

Jun 27, 2006
10:20 AM EDT
Gentoo, on about two desktops and one 300 Mhz server now. Small chance of switching to Suse.

Jun 28, 2006
1:57 AM EDT
Mandriva 2006.0 (hang on, now I have 2007.0 available), not perfect but well-equipped and makes most things obvious enough for even my non-tech 5yod to drive such a machine unsassisted.

MS-Windows will cost you AUD$2 per minute and much grumbling. I don't use it if I can avoid it (which for home and dev works out at "always").

Jun 28, 2006
2:48 AM EDT
Home: Ubuntu 6.06 on the desktop and Debian testing on the server.

Work: Suse 9 on the server and Ubuntu 6.06 on the desktop (laptop actually).

My work laptop came with Windows XP pre-installed from our IT department. I asked if I could install software (and double-checked the contract) and I could, as long as I have the licenses. They were probably expecting me to install something like a Nokia communicator and PuTTy or something, but I repartitioned the drive and make it a dual-boot machine. It took some time to make my Ubuntu play nice with our supposedly all-MS corporate network but it works great now. I've never booted the XP partition since.

Jun 28, 2006
4:15 AM EDT
Amazing how long a thread like this can live! And the answers are still as interesting as on the first day.

I just pointed to here from my own site, asking more people to contribute:


cheers, wjl

Jun 29, 2006
7:38 AM EDT
My desktop of choice just changed -

As of today it's SLED 10 - installing and using it for the first time was a delightful romp. It's the first linux distro ever where I was able to get everything set up - wireless networking, xgl, etc - without ever using a command line. All the things I was was able to get set up with some effort in other distros, if at all, were trivial mouse clicks, and it *did the right thing* in every case, without any extra tweaking.

I think this distro will make some real headway.

Jun 29, 2006
10:09 PM EDT
Ahh, SLED10, I've just downloaded the RC3 release. My boss at work saw it at a Novell show and is rather keen on it, so I get to play and investigate. Haven't really looked at it on a main box, but on my Satellite Pro L20 laptop it's NICE. It even made the wireless work (though it did take some fiddling to get the ATI graphics chip to work and it won't work in anything other than 16bit mode and won't work in 3d accelerated mode (if anyone has a fix for this I'd be well happy), but other than that I'm oddly impressed. I say "oddly" as my experience with SuSE 9.x wasn't so good.

Jun 29, 2006
11:36 PM EDT
For me Debian Etch/KDE and Mandriva 2006/KDE. Very very nice to have such good ditributions around.

Jun 30, 2006
3:56 AM EDT
No complaints from me. I use Ubuntu 5.10 (breezy) on my PC, my wife's PC, my young 4th grader son's PC, and at my office as my default desktop. One of my direct reports now uses it for all his occasional Linux tasks and to listen to shoutcast while he works. Unfortunately I can't get my Myspacehead teenage daughter to convert because she's stuck with proprietary multimedia formats. If I enable Automatix on an Ubuntu PC for her, then she could end up downloading illegal stuff to run through illegal codecs and CSS. It's been extremely hard to fortify her Win2K PC and set groundrules for her that she does not break. Her friends want her to break these rules all the time.

Sure, I'd love to have easier stuff on Linux like an instant mail server, instant failover cluster, etc., but that's no fault of Ubuntu -- it's a Linux community thing.

I also am in the camp that I'd like to see a command-line Yast-like tool for Ubuntu Server, however.

I have no incentive yet to upgrade to Dapper. Everything works for me as is now and I have projects where I need to stick with PHP4 rather than PHP5. I saw no new huge featureset to encourage me to switch yet. Plus, the press and Linux forums have buzzed about glaring problems in Dapper.

Jun 30, 2006
4:36 AM EDT
@tracer: As I suggested in this thread: http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/22983/ get a paid distro for her. Part of the cost for paid distro's are the legally paid for and licensed codecs for proprietary multimedia formats.

Jul 06, 2006
12:30 AM EDT
Update: I just got a pre-owned Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop (craigslist, baby!!!!), and the winner is Ubuntu...Kubuntu, actually (I'm a KDE guy). My trusty old MEPIS was a little bloated for what I wanted there and didn't get everything right at first...might experiement a bit more. Dapper was SEAMLESS, screen resolution, wifi and all. (To be fair, I didn't try the modem or SD card reader, but I don't use either.)

I downloaded Suse 10.1, but haven't bothered to burn it yet. I was going to go pure Debian, but read about some PITA snags with kernel versions and the Inspiron's SATA. I wanted to drive the thing, not wrench on it. Even hard-core debian people were recommending Ubuntu sources, etc. I predict Debuntu before too long.

Still love MEPIS, but it is in a bit of flux right now. Oh...I go DSL on all my old stuff...like a PI-133 IBM Thinkpad with 32 MB RAM. DSL is the bomb for that old stuff.

Ubuntu isn't perfect, and a whole lot of the old guard is very jealous of it, but it is an amazing distro IMHO. It will be interesting to watch it mature.


Jul 18, 2006
1:06 PM EDT
Gentoo running on:

Firewall/Router/Web filter box (Duron 700) Fileserver (k6-2/450) Web/IRC/Teamspeak/etc. server (PIII-866) Primary Desktop (Sempron 64 2600+ - Boots Gentoo/Gentoo64/W2k for some games - mostly use Gentoo64) Work Laptop (Mobile Sempron 3300+ - Boots Gentoo/WXP) Secondary linux games/torrent box (Athlon XP2600+ or something on that order - not home right now to check)

I remember starting out by trying slack years ago, then used mainly mandrake for several years, but switched to gentoo when it became stable enough for me (1.4 I think it was). I was so glad to get away from the rpm mess.

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