[VERY Ot] Which Distro?


Still Fresh
Oct 11, 2009
Hello everyone,

I've never been a pro linux user. Mind me, I've been using linux since the beginning of time, and by beginning of times I'm saying like 9 years ago. Which is near the beginning of time if you believe in some weird religion about the Y2K bug.

However, after a little experimentation with Red Hat (Red Hat and then Fedora 1) I've switched to Gentoo, which was quite revolutionary for me at the time. So I was a noob, but a Gentoo noob it's used to more manuality and configuration than the average *buntu one. In the years I grew more and more unhappy on how things went for Gentoo. Config packages grew more confuse than helping and you had to check and tune EVERY update. In the end, with the draining of spare time due to College studies, my gentoo system imploded.

The concept itself of recompiling every package on the tuning of your choice were neat at the time were I had a PIII 800 Mhz, because I needed the Extra Juice grew into heavy recompiling with scarce gains of performance against continuous compile time. In the end I became bitter against this environment if I loved the unmaintained promise "you'll configure everything the first time and after that the system will be automatically tailor knit". I couldn't move to a more "userfriendly" distro like ubuntu because I lacked the chance of customization and I abandoned the *nix system.

Now I want to try again, but I've been out of the scene for 2-3 years. I don't what to try. What could suit my needs. I prepared an unformatted 20gb partition in my laptop, waiting for some love. Because, in the end, I come back out of love.

TL;DR: What would you advice as a new distro? Something not too small, because I like the existence of very large community doing tools and tutorial for me :-D Debian? Slackware? Or even something BSD? Curious to hear your replies :-D

Debian for the win ! ;)

but i hear good things about the BSD's. (now you can get a debian with bsd kernel too ! but i don't see the point of doing that ..)

one of these days i'll try freebsd in a virtualbox to see..

i'm using ubuntu these days on my main desktop, but i always have a soft spot for debian, and always go back to it cyclically.. (it is installed on virtually all my personal laptops)

Debian !!!


Debian 6 "squeeze" is the winner, it's stable & solid the space fun theme is a tad childish, but easily changed, I bought the installation disc from Raphael Hertzog, pretty cheap, arrived quickly and had the extra firmware needed to make the installation easy to use, failing that give "kubuntu" or fedora 15 a go both are very nice and let you "play" with the system, 'cos if you like to tinker with your os youre gonna hate ubuntu's unity
Archlinux seems popular in my pool of friends that want to control everything in their distro.

I'm using a *buntu flavor in a VM and on an old laptop, it's easy to setup and even my girlfriend understand how to work with it
I don't understand all the 'buntu hate you see in some places. It's Linux, and like every other distro, you can change it to suit your tastes. It's Debian without all the extra configuration needed. It just works, which is their goal. If you don't like Unity, it's easy to turn off. I'm still using 10.04. It's rock solid and suits my needs very well.

I would probably never use Gentoo because of what you said in the first post, Gempo. Too much configuration for me.
Frankly the problem I've seen with Gentoo is that the application were like twice slower than my gentoo compiled ones, because they were just compiled with EVERYTHING turned on. Or maybe it was the lack of tuning. I dunno

I want to tune, but Once, when setting up my system. Not every single time, not every single day of my life. Just because "some devs disagreed with that option or tool so we left it to the user to decide what they want" on every packet or policy
Religious Ubuntu user here, have used Debian for a while too. I like how many things you get out of the box.
Religious Ubuntu user here
You mean you run the Christian Edition? Or the Muslim Edition? Perhaps the Satanic one?

I prefer Debian. It's like Ubuntu without all the poop-colors.

And it doesn't break every time you upgrade.

But honestly, if you have all that past Linux experience: don't use Ubuntu.

I think it's great if you've never touched Linux before, but after about 1-2 years on my workstation I got so frustrated with the system breaking down after each upgrade that I switched to other distro's (first Gentoo, then Fedora, now Aptosid because I like bleeding edge rolling release ;) ).

Mint Debian Edition seems kind of nice too. It's a rolling release based on the Debian testing branch.
I tried yesterday the FreeBSD website, but was discouraged because everywhere it read "We are perfect for webservers!" "With 8 cores you make great SQL Servers!" Which is not my case :)

So for now I rolled back to linux... It's sad that the only inviting site is the ubuntu one. If you just hear "linux" and google it and try a few linux distro website... You just end in the Ubuntu one because it's the only I've found that's warm and inviting in explaining you what that distro is. Anyway I was captured by this documente... I could give it a try, it sounds nice, but I don't know if it could held to its premises and if it has a big enough community to fix everything (or maybe a good decision making system).

I've found out also that Gnome 3 is out :) Is it nice?
For you, Arch Linux. User centric, not user friendly. No recompiling (unless you want to).