[nSLUG] Suggestions for Distro

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat May 30 08:09:29 ADT 2009

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 1:14 PM, derek mahoney <derekmahoe at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hello Again All.
> I know asking this question is like asking which religion is better or do
> you if you believe in god, but I was just looking for feedback on Linux
> Distro's. I have been using Kubuntu for quite some time and have always
> updated when the new one was released. However, upon doing so when kubuntu
> 9.04 was released I have run in to some problems with basic functionality. I
> am also using KDE4 which I know has it's share of problems but I like KDE
> and what it offers. I made the switch to kde4 shortly after it was released
> and upon monitoring the progress I like the improvements made thus far.

I've had some problems with Ubuntu 9.04 as well -- video glitches, keyboard
stops responding.

> Anyway, like i said I am thinking about installing another distro and
> because the choice can be overwhelming I figure I would get some suggestions
> first. I am thinking about SUSE 11 because I hear good things.

Don't switch, fix.  The way you pay back for Ubuntu is by contributing to
fixing the problems you encounter.   You don't have to be a guru -- a good
bug report (all the facts and nothing but the facts) is a huge help to the
developers, who tend have access to a limited range of hardware.  If you
learn how to apply patches and rebuild a package from source for tests
you will be able to make a real contribution, but you may find you want
to switch to debian where many of the developers are found.

> What I am looking for in a distro is nothing too complicated. I would lIke
> to use KDE desktop. I know this can be installed after the fact but would
> pefer to have it run natively. I would Like a good selection of tools and a
> nice out of the box functionality and usability.

Ubuntu has done well in part because of Debian roots but also because it has
a big and diverse user community so problems are found.  At work one of our
goals is to promote greater use of remote sensing around the globe, and Ubuntu
has a geographically broad user base.   Other distros tend to be popular in
particular areas, but don't get the global reach debian/Ubuntu does.

> What are some suggestions for Distro and maybe some user experiences? What
> is it that you really like about your distro of choice.

If I was only running linux for myself, I'd probably use debian,
although I like the
openpkg system.  One of my biggest issues with linux distros is that
big packages
like TeX and R end up having "root" doing admin tasks.  Root needs to spend her
time dealing with hardware problems and security patches, not
installing TeX fonts.
My ideal distro would not have any end user packages -- those would be managed
by users using multiple separate package manager systems.  Openpkg does this.
Some other efforts (macports might be able to do this if you avoid packages like
apache that need to install daemons), but I guess many sites are moving to VM's
for this.

> Thanks in advance for the feedback.
> Derek.
> _______________________________________________
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

More information about the nSLUG mailing list