Time for a new flavour of linux

Discussion in 'Offtopic Discussions' started by WizardStan, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    I've been running Arch linux for years, as long as I can remember, but I'm beyond frustrated now.
    I've spent the last hour trying to do an update: I can't update X because Y depends on a specific version of it. I can't update Y because it depends on a later version of X. I can't remove Y because a whole host of things depends on it. I've accepted this before, other updates have required I remove a minor package or two temporarily, then install them again once everything is stable, no problem: this time I need to remove ffmpeg in order to update a dependency. Like, half of my system depends on ffmpeg, if I uninstall it and every dependency of it then I may as well be starting from scratch.
    So instead I force the update, ignore the errors, I'll clean up later.
    Nope. Like I suppose I could, but there's so many missing packages and dangling files I'll spend hours trying to fix it and still no guarantee I'm not leaving anything useless behind. Can't even get Firefox to start. Fortunately I didn't close Chromium, I guess. There's probably some small browser that doesn't depend on ffmpeg I could've tried, but whatever.
    May as well start from scratch. So I'm going to spend the weekend doing some research but I figured I'd ask you guys to weigh in as well. Like I say, I've been using Arch for years, prior to that I was using Mint: I may just go back to that, but I liked the idea of more regular (even occasionally breaking) updates, I just hate when those updates aren't fully thought through.
     
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  2. canseco

    canseco Very Active Member

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    I did use Antergos, very close to Arch, for 6 years and i got frustated with some updates breaking things.
    It did happen only 3 times, and easy to fix looking at the forums, but i got tired doing it.

    I would recommend Manjaro Linux. Their default stable branch is rock solid and well tested.
     
  3. Magic Sam

    Magic Sam Forever Homebrew

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  4. Elw3

    Elw3 ƐʍlƎ

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    All the big distros get worse and worse each year.
    I had more luck with small unknown ones so far, simply cause they have less ppl who produce problems.
     
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  5. Swordfish II

    Swordfish II Very Active Member

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    Debian 9 here, sure it isn't super uptodate, but it is stable and using testing repo helps... plus most major distros are based on it anyway.
     
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  6. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

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    You could give Gentoo a try! I used it for years and while occasionally package blocks did happen, it was always possible to get around them.
     
  7. FBnil

    FBnil What is laugh? Baby don't hurt me....

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    @WizardStan Fresh install everything. Backup your /home and /etc (for eventual configurations), dump the list of current software packages you use. And install again.
    Don't move from Arch, as that is what you are most comfortable with. It will work with a fresh install. DOCUMENT your steps. (which foomatic thingy you need for your printer, which fonts you need to install separately, the spellchecker in LibreOffice, etc)
    If you want to be adventurous, +1 for Manjaro. If you want stuff that just works and you have time to spend learning, go to the BSD's. If you do not mind old versions of software, then Debian. If you want to have Linux in your CV, install fedora (adventurous)/Centos(moretimid).

    TIP: next time you are tinkering with your system, use overlayroot to mess in, before doing it for real. (as root use OverlayFS to overlay / over /home/rootfs and then chroot to that to get a sandbox where you can tinker/pacman/apt/dnf/emerge in. Don't forget the xhost + to be able to launch stuff; Note: /home must be a separate FS for this to work)

    https://spin.atomicobject.com/2015/03/10/protecting-ubuntu-root-filesystem/
    https://github.com/chesty/overlayroot

    I have debian 8.1 myself. Had to fresh install because moving from 7 to 8 was a nightmare (systemd was new and Debian had a new X; after 4 days of tinkering I just reinstalled and it recognized my old partition and /home, so I was up and running within one hour).
     
  8. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    I don't have a pile of time to test every version. I have not even tried Arch, so I have no point of comparison to it.

    I run Debian on my primary workstation. Stable, no complaints for me on my 8 year old HP Z800 workstation with dual 4 core CPUs, 48GB of RAM, twin 500GB SSDs in RAID0 and an Nvidia 1070 card.

    However, I have found that installing Debian on laptops can be a pain. For those I had been using Mint. The most recent one I built for a family member, though, I put the latest LTS Ubuntu release on. It was a rescued Thinkpad T60p with 2GB RAM and a 120GB HDD. No complaints there.

    To me, Arch is a non-mainstream OS. Debian and Redhat, then their 1st tier derivatives are as far down that path as I have ever seen the need to go. Angstrom on the Pandora was the most exotic flavor I have tried, but that was necessity more than anything.
     
  9. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Hmm, never had to remove a package to update on my x64 machine, but then I run a pretty stock arch there with a few tools installed from packages, and maybe half a dozen things installed from AUR. I occasionally need to remove a file or a link under the instructions of a message from my arch rss feed, but that's usally only when switching from one package to another.

    I have found that more recent versions of mplayer in the ffmpeg package are broken on my x86 machine though, but I just rolled back to an earlier version in my cache for that.

    If you want a browser without dependencies on very much, I'd suggest using lynx or links. I've one of those installed on all of my machines (different on each I think - can't decide on which I prefer). It's worth having a second machine or a phone to research fixes though.
     
  10. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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    Slackware 15.0 is close to be a RC.
     
  11. NetBLOKS

    NetBLOKS Finally on-board

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    I have moved to Fedora and am very happy with it.
    Always state of the art software.
    Many flavors in desktops to choose from.
    Wayland support in the Gnome and KDE flavor.
    DNF package manager is robust and fast.
    Dependencies are solved correctly.
    Good repo management like in Debian.
    Documentation and community support is enormous.
    For servers I use BSD, Debian and CentOS but on a desktop, especially laptops, I favor Fedora.
     
  12. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    I am very thankful for their services to the world, but it has always fascinated me that there are so many individuals who care so much about what I see as very minor differences in nearly identical distributions that they devote thousands of person-hours to the effort of maintaining each of hundreds of different distributions.

    Apparently these subtle differences are highly important to some. Personally, I'm generally good with a plain old Debian install. Last time I even installed all of the DEs that ship with it (just for fun).

    A lot of the fragmentation is good for Linux in general - more eyes being picky about more things means more upstream submissions around bug fixes. Some of it, though, gets into a bit of silly overkill.

    [​IMG]
    https://linuxhere.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/lintimeline1.png
     
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  13. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    SELinux frustrated me when I used to use Fedora. Hopefully that's better these days though.
     
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  14. NetBLOKS

    NetBLOKS Finally on-board

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    Yeah, it was frustrating but is much better.
    In normal conditions, you won't even notice it.
    But if you use or configure something quite out of the ordinary and want to get rid of it, you can just disable it in the config file.
    I believe it was /etc/selinux/config and set it to permissive or disabled.
     
  15. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    I use Debian stable on servers and Ubuntu Mate on desktops.

    Debian stable is very low maintenance and just works but doesn't have recent software.

    Ubuntu is convenient because most applications that require frequent updating provide 3rd party repos that are well tested. Mate flavour because Gnome 2 is functionnaly complete, light enough, works and doesn't get in the way.
     
  16. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Yes, me too. If I look at it from a distance it seems like many distros could be eliminated by having several aggregate packages in your package manager (much like e.g. the kubuntu-full or kubuntu-desktop packages). A system for selection of an aggregate package and default setting would eliminate many of the less interesting distributions.

    However, different distributions breed different communities, ways of working, culture etc.. That is perhaps a more important aspect than the underlying technology and applications utilised in the distribution itself.
     
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  17. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    So far it looks like Manjaro is the distro for me: Arch without the system breaking updates. I'd never even heard of it until mentioned here, so thanks for that.
    I managed to get my system more or less stable. I plan on buying a new hard drive this weekend and trying some installs early next week.
     
  18. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Oh, I wasn't aware that Manjaro had stable repos as well. That seems to be the main difference to arch in terms of packaging. I'm not convinced it'll save you your dependency troubles entirely, since the packages and how they depend on each other is a clone of arch I think, but if they don't update as often at least you won't have to tackle that quite as often.

    I was under the impression that Manjiro is just Arch with an installer. Seems it's more that that, at least these days.
     
  19. FBnil

    FBnil What is laugh? Baby don't hurt me....

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    SELinux is very gentle now. In permissive mode it is enabled, but not enforcing. All permission errors still get logged, and with a single command you can convert this logfile to a portable rules file you can then apply into SELinux...
     
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  20. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I think it may have been trying to install the nvidia blobs because the machine I was using had one of those cards installed. IIRC back in the day I needed to shift the system to runlevel 3 before SELinux would let me run the installer. Good to hear it's less tricky these days.
     

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