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Early 2007 Fav Distro

26% (1436 votes)
15% (812 votes)
25% (1396 votes)
7% (403 votes)
5% (277 votes)
4% (196 votes)
6% (331 votes)
4% (228 votes)
1% (80 votes)
6% (340 votes)
Total votes: 5499

Sceptical of the lot so far

I've tried 7 or 8. PCLOS is in front and there's daylight after the runner-up.

I think another poster hit the nail on the head. The major problem is that programmers and developers have too much say when we need leadership that says "Why not?" instead of why not. The trouble with "software for humanity" is that the leader says "Why not?" and the developers/programmers don't seem to know how.

I'm currently downloading KateOS which impresses me with the amount of information it makes available about package content and the fact that it has an update-OS tool. Lunar Linux also provides an impressive amount of information.

Debian Etch

Etch is my favorite. It is stable and very fast. Booting on my amd64 machine, from GRUB to the KDE login menu, takes 20 seconds. Installation is simple and easy now. And because it's Debian, there are more than 15,000 software packages in the Debian repositories. Those of us in the Linux, free software community enjoy many fine distributions and IMHO, Etch is one of the very best.

re: Debian Etch

I'm seriously considering switching my server over to Debian.

re: Etch

srlinuxx wrote:
I'm seriously considering switching my server over to Debian.

I agree with vonskippy's comment--CentOS or Debian on the server. I've pretty much settled on PCLOS on the Desktop, but I will be taking a long look at both Debian and CentOS this coming Summer when I have the time. I'm leaning toward Debian, but since CentOS is based on RHL, it's got to be solid as a server--after all, server land is Red Hat's Bread & Butter. Also, Red Hat's extensive documentation is a factor.

There are many who claim to use Gentoo effectively in server roles, but I think they are mainly full time tech industry folk. For those who maintain servers in their spare time, CentOS and Debian have to be easier work with.

Experimenting with one of the BSD flavors has always been a vague and distant ambition of mine, but I've never quite found the time or inclination to actually pursue it.

For me, anything with the letters SUSE in it is beyond consideration.

re: Debian

Rock stable, great net install, and you gotta love APT.

But the never ending release date mess, the dunc-tank debacle, developer bickering (and whining about how Ubuntu is stealing their thunder), the whole Ice Weasle hoo-ha, and the fact that support is available only from it's shall we say "wacky" community (i.e. no corp. sponsor), makes Debian hard to love, and certainly does a good job at scaring the suits (i.e. people who make the money decisions) away from warming up to it.

re: Debian


Rock stable, great net install, and you gotta love APT.

I'm really wanting a binary distro I think. I'm getting a bit burnt out with all the gentoo hassles on the server. I can deal with wonky portage problems on the desktop, but I don't need broken stuff on the server.

I setup Debian last year when I was trying out some off-site hosts, and it seemed fairly simple and straight forward. I guess that's why I was leaning towards it.

A *bsd would require lots of new learning. Big Grin

re: Debian

CentOS and Debian would be on my short list for a good LAMP server distro. Both have good track records of security and stability. Both have a sufficient choice of server type packages (although CentOS is more like Sarge then Etch when it comes to package versions).

Since I'm guessing you don't have to worry about the politics of your choice, it pretty much boils down to your preference of APT vs YUM and rc.d vs service.

Source distro's seemed to make a lot more sense back in the days of mediocre hardware, but now you can (cheaply) just throw more clock cycles at it to overcome most binary vs custom compiled speed advantages.

Even for a quick study, I think the "time to learn/master/be comfortable" cost for *bsd would be higher then the payoff (especially for something as basic as a LAMP server).

I'm not sure where I'm going yet

I was a very happy Kanotix user until its lead developer, Kano, suddenly decided that basing a distro on Debian Unstable wasn't worth the effort. (Someone also said he wasn't able to support himself doing it like he wanted to.)

Within days, Kanotix's co-developer, SLH, and many of the other former Kanotix devs announced a new distro named Sidux, also based on Debian Unstable (Sid).

This was good because it allowed an easy upgrade path from Kanotix.

On the other hand, I don't particularly like a couple of Sidux's founders, and at this point it feels more like joining a religion than using an operating system.

I really like Debian's package management system, and the more you use it, the more you understand how it works. I'm not terribly interested in using a Debian derivative like *buntu, so I may just end up installing stock Debian Testing.

Distro hopping and evaluation

You've got to try different distros at times--even if it only reaffirms your current choice. But, installing and configuring trial distros can eat up enormous amounts of time. It's why I got involved here at Tuxmachines to start with--I needed to know what distros were worth trying. Of course, Tuxmachines has become a good Linux/OSS news/discussion site as well.

When you hit that sweet spot with a distro, and get your box(es) highly tuned with it, you then encounter those periods with maximum productivity (and entertainment). But software and hardware progress (except for the glaring exception of Vista), and things change. New wants and needs surface. And, sometimes, you try a different distro just for the adventure.

Eye candy is important. Good fonts, backgrounds, images and visual effects make the machine easier and more pleasurable to use, and result in better productivity. People have asked me, "How can you use Windows at work all day, and then, when you get home, the first thing you do is get on your computers at home?" The simple fact is that I use Linux exclusively at home, and I get a genuine sense of pleasure when I sit down to use my Linux machines. They look better, function better, and contribute toward my getting more work done.

Red Hat and Fedora works best for me.

My distro of choice has always been Redhat/Fedora. I use RHEL/CentOS/Fedora on almost all my server projects (mainly cluster farms doing molecular topography rendering). I never saw the advantage of distro-hopping, thinking it's better to dig in and master one, then hop around and be mediocre at many.

Until recently, never really worried about desktop linux - always used (gasp!) windows. As a business, the price of licensing is not even a blip on the spreadsheet when compared to interoperability between vendors and clients, application availability, and user learning curve costs. Now with Vista (what a major piece of suck that OS is) we're looking down the road to what our long term options are.

Unfortunately, Fedora has a lot of weak spots when it comes to the desktop. I tried PCLinuxOS, but they're pretty serious about being a desktop only distro, and since we do dev work on our desktops, they had way to much desktop-only inertia to overcome. I tried OpenSUSE, but wow, that was soooooo different from how RedHat/Fedora works, and I just couldn't learn to love YAST. Ubuntu always just rubbed me the wrong way with their "you're too stupid to trust with root" mentality.

So I'm either stuck with FC6, while waiting for FC7 to be released (end of April), or..... I might be learning to love Linux Mint. Like PCLinuxOS, it's a boutique distro with some very nice eye candy, multimedia ready out of the box, and a nice menu and control panel (wireless wth wpa-psk is even pretty painless to get working). Unlike PCLinuxOS it's fully capable of doing dev work on, or even running server apps using the vast library of Ubuntu applications and support. It still has that major sucky "no root" thing going on, but it's easy enough to setup a real root account so it's a minor whine.

So although I've always been a die hard RedHat/Fedora fan, and never into Distro hopping, I think I'll be taking FC6 off my laptop and replacing it with Linux Mint v2.2beta014. I haven't gone completely mental (at least not today) as I have no plans to dumping RHEL/CentOS from out server farms in favor of Debian/Ubuntu/Minty/Whatever.

My choice's Mandriva...

I've tried so many distros that i cannot even remember them Smile But every time i returned to my first love, Mandriva. I don't know why... Maybe it's because i've been using this distro since version 7.3, because i find it the easiest to use, because the Mandriva Linux community from Romania is really active and can provide answer to many questions, because i'm used to rpm/urpmi package management... Mandriva has lost the first place it had some years ago, and it seems like it is in great financial trouble, but it still is my choice. And will allways be, i guess. I'm waiting for PCLinuxOS 2007 final to see if it can change my opinion... But it's unlikely.

re: My choice's Mandriva...

Yeah, they're a sentimental favorite here too. They were the ones who rescued me from the evil empire, at version 7.2. I had a coupla near misses with 7.0 and 7.1, but 7.2 did it. I was hooked. I stuck with them until switching to Gentoo in Nov of 2003. I've been using that as my main desktop ever since. Portage used to work like clockwork, but it's becoming more and more buggy the last year or so. I'm not thinking of switching or anything, but the honeymoon is definitely over. Big Grin

I've been enjoying the testing releases of PCLOS 2007 on my laptop since they've been available. I ran openSUSE on it for a while, but never could get the fonts to purty up. Fonts look so gorgeous in PCLOS.

Tried many, ended up with Slackware

Prior to Slackware, I tried many distros but could not find any that did it all (at least for my wants). All I really need is desktop system that runs Kino (new baby = much raw dv), MPlayer and plugin for video, samba for printer and file sharing, and most any basic home applications. I also run a development server with php/mysql that I turn on when needed.

Tried PcLos once and thought I finally found the one, but after some use it seemed somewhat bloated. Tried MiniMe, but on building my system, I found that got somewhat buggy -- my guess it didn't handle dependencies correctly.

Then despite a frustrating experience with Slack in my early Linux days, I thought I'd give it another try. Turned out great. A bit time-consuming in the initial configuration that included compiling a 2.6 kernel. Ever since I got my system built, it's run like a dream -- never buggy, always fast and just as rock solid as its reputation. Basically a machine that I don't have to screw around until the next release, and if that release doesn't have any "gotta haves", I probably won't even worry about that.

As long as it's Linux

I prefer to consider this the fun part on the distro war ... a conflict that will eventually put Linux where Microsoft is.

As for my personal preference, I got happily stuck with PCLinuxOS after years of trying out (and still is) most of the Linux distros that are released. And now that PCLinuxOS 2007 Final is just around the bend, I hope it can give Ubuntu a run for its money.

Registered Linux User No. 401868

My favorite distribution for 2007

I used to use SuSE, Mandriva and Ubuntu in 2004/2005 but in 2006, I discovered ArchLinux. I'm still using it now in 2007 and I haven't looked back. My only regret is that I didn't discover this excellent distribution earlier. Smile

There's no real contest in my book

I've just installed Vector 5.8 and I have good memories of Zenwalk but PCLOS still wins. Now that I've dropped the nVidia driver, everything is looking good and proportional again. It's nice to be back.

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