Desperate now: Which distro shoud I use?

Story: Updating Ubuntu 5.10 for Current Versions of OpenOffice and FireFoxTotal Replies: 13
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Feb 06, 2006
12:59 PM EDT
Just build my new PC, and thought I might stop using Gentoo, because I don't like compiling anymore (just like Tom don't have that much time for fiddling anymore, just want to get my work done). I was downloading Kubuntu when I read this story.

It boils down to this: I like the ports system Gentoo and FreeBSD offer, since it makes sure I can always update my system to the newest software. As I understand, this isn't possible for Debian systems (or am I wrong here?), as they work with 'stable' branches, and it is difficult to mix that stable branche with testing branches, because of the library-problem. On the other hand, I like the 'ready for use' Ubuntu-mentality, everything integrated, and working out of the box, especially streaming media etc..

So, which distro provides me a ports system to update all my software to the newest (stable) versions available, the option to choose how to configure all stuff like EVMS (á la Gentoo), and offers me the 'works out of the box' / integrated experience (á la Ubuntu), without the need to compile?

Or doesn't this distro exist (I know it does, but Genux costs money, and their site is offline)?

Feb 06, 2006
1:13 PM EDT
You can mix the repositories in Debian. You can put the various repositories in your /etc/apt/sources.list file. You can get what you want. Also, enough unofficial repositories exist out there.

I'm plenty happy with Ubuntu now that I nailled these two issues.

Here's the only rub. I don't know if any Linux person can be 100% happy with any distribution after they've learned how to use Gentoo - I mean really learned it. I think it's a pain, but once it's built, it's marvelous.

Like you, I don't have the time any more.

I like Debian distros because of the strength of the community. So, I run debian on my server and Ubuntu on my desktop.

Ultimately, they're all Linux and the community supports you. This article got the LXer treatment and people who wondered and didn't know how to find these upgrades now have someone reaching out saying, here's the solution.

If you're a working man, you'll probably like Ubuntu.

Feb 06, 2006
1:36 PM EDT
I'll concur. I used Fedora and Red Hat for several years but in the end got sick of having to tie up loose ends after upgrading a Fedora Distro. There was always 20 odd annoying things that needed putting right. I guess you learn a bit about linux chasing these things down but a lot of it is pretty useless knowledge.

Ubuntu had maybe one quarter the problems out of the box and what wasn't set up could be fixed by looking in the Ubuntu forum and wiki where there is a virtual ton of info.

I have upgraded the distro twice without any serious issues. If you can't find the latest and greatest, source compilation and package installation with checkinstall works pretty well for me.

My only complaint is that cd-burning has always been a hassle. I have odd hardware (scsi burner) so this may be exceptional.

Feb 06, 2006
5:01 PM EDT
> ... source compilation and package installation with checkinstall works pretty well...

Which should be true for pretty much any distribution which checkinstall supports. I believe it supports debian based distros, rpm based distro's, and Slackware based distro's. I don't know if it supports any others.

Feb 07, 2006
5:53 AM EDT
If you like mandrake/redhat/fedora but hat the update without apt then give PCLinuxOS a try.

I've updated from .71 to current (4 releases) with zero problems (save for an alsa problem at .91 that I solved with a touch).

Overall, I think Ubuntu is much does nothing that you can't do with Debian. So for myself, I try things that are a mix of the

Feb 08, 2006
7:21 AM EDT
DesktopBSD because it has the benefit of the freebsd ports collection, it works out of the box a la ubuntu and of course KDE.

Feb 08, 2006
8:18 AM EDT
Banjax: I suggets you give Gentoo a try. It's a great desktop operating system. I think you would like it. You'll find a lot of freebsd software included. You just need the drive, motivation and some time.

I've used OpenBSD for web servers in the past and found Gentoo has a similar concept with regard to upgrades. Of course, it's Linux.

Feb 08, 2006
8:49 AM EDT
RR4 ( and the 64-bit RR64) Linux is a good way to try out gentoo on your equipment.

Gentoo has a liv cd, but it is not as fully featured as rr4. rr4 is gentoo based, but with more desktop goodies.

If you like rr4, you follow the gentoo instructions for installation.

You like ports and are familliar with BSD, so I would say stick with BSD, or use a gentoo based Linux. After that I would suggest a debian based linux. Apt is not ports, but it is good and handles dependancies well.

have fun.

Feb 08, 2006
3:04 PM EDT
Slackware? Slackware's a distro for desperate people!

(deem G/D/R implied)

Feb 08, 2006
4:21 PM EDT
> Slackware's a distro for desperate people!

Yes. Those desperately seeking speed and stability, that is.

Feb 08, 2006
7:18 PM EDT
> Slackware's a distro for desperate people!

And those with a lot of time on their hands. Hours and hours of compilation before you get to actually use anything :)

Feb 09, 2006
7:29 AM EDT
Er, you mean Gentoo surely? Last time I installed slackware there was no compiling required. On the other hand Slackware is ferocious. Either you know how to set it up or it doesn't work. No wizards, no nice gui's, just .conf files. Great to learn on, if you like banging your head against a wall. If you want your computer to work with as little hacking as possible (and there's nothing wrong with that) then either SuSE, Mandriva or K/Ubuntu is the way to go.

The distro you use doesn't have to be hard or difficult. Mandriva is as much Linux as Debian is. The hardcore will snort in derision at anyone who uses anything that has a GUI tool box. Personally, I just smile to myself and carry on.

It's enough to use Linux.


Feb 09, 2006
8:54 AM EDT
Quoting:It's enough to use Linux.

That's it in a nutshell.

Feb 09, 2006
10:12 AM EDT
hkwint: got to agree with tadelste and salparadise, just "use linux". Preference is preference. I have some weird Linux system I built myself. I am probably one of the only people out here, who actually uses a LSB based linker...... :)

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