Other Distros (NOT A FLAMEWAR TOPIC!!)

Miles Lane miles.lane at gmail.com
Sun Apr 9 06:29:07 UTC 2006

Distros I have used:

Redhat (pre-Fedora) -- Good at the time

Fedora Core 4 -- Pretty solid, but issues with wireless networking

Fedora Core 5 -- Very solid.  Like yum (package manager). 
NetworkManager is great.

Fedora Development (rawhide) -- I really like the latest Fedora stuff.
 It is quite similar to Ubuntu Dapper.  It shares Ubuntu's restriction
to fully open packages in the core set.  Ubuntu has a much broader set
of stuff in Universe and Multiverse than Fedora has in Livna, etc. 
Getting all multimedia formats working in Dapper is much easier in
Fedora Development.  I find Apt and Yum to be equally good package
management systems.  I kinda like that "yum update" is functionally
equivalent to "apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade".  The Fedora
community seems pretty vital and strong.  Developers seem pretty
responsive.  I think Fedora's bug database is better than Launchpad. 
I find it a lot more straightforward to use.  Plus, as an experienced
software tester, bugzilla is similar to other systems I have used.  In
this thread, I have noticed some complaints about Fedora's default
desktop look and feel.  I find that I have no problem getting both
Ubuntu and Fedora to display nearly identical customized looks.  I
have no problems with the defaults.  Fedora has a couple of custom
gnome-screensaver hacks that are pretty cool.  I am currently having a
problem with suspend under Fedora Development.  When I resume, my
"82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device" is all messed up (stuff
doesn't refresh properly, forcing me to reboot).

SUSE (old releases) -- SUSE has always given me various problems.  I
hear very good things about the upcoming SLED 10.1.  I will give it a
try when it comes out.

OpenSUSE -- For a while this looked very promising, but I found loads
of problems with the community/Novell interactions.  The developers
seemed to be easily annoyed by users (of course, we can be very
annoying.  :-)  There have been loads of problems with the OpenSUSE
repositories (extremely long update times, confusing configuration,
etc).  I found Yast2 and the KDE control center to have redundant and
conflicting functionality.  This was confusing and led to problems for
me with power management, network configuration, etc.  For years I
have oscillated between Gnome and KDE.  Gnome has _almost_ reached the
state where I no longer feel infuriated by the tendency to over-limit
the options made available for users to configure their desktops.  I
am still very bothered by certain limits in gnome-screensaver and the
lack of an easy-to-use and easily accessible menu configuration tool. 
Oh yeah, Yelp sucks as a Help system (broken/useless search
functionality, etc).  KDE, on the other hand, while it has loads of
configurability, still feels a little less clean than the latest Gnome
releases.  So, I gave up on OpenSUSE because of its
community/developer and system management issues.

Ubuntu Breezy -- I liked Breezy a lot.  I found it's lack of good
support for wireless connection management frustrating.  I liked
gtk-wifi, but it was limited to WEP support.  I built and installed
wpa_supplicant, but wasn't crazy about having to issue commands from a
command shell to set up connections.

Kubuntu Breezy -- The problems with KDE are same as for OpenSUSE. 
Better community than OpenSUSE.  More responsive developers.  Absence
of Yast2 simplifies management.  Much faster package management and

Ubuntu Dapper -- My current favorite (neck and neck with Fedora Development).

Knoppix -- I fell in love with the LiveCD.  Ubuntu's LiveCD is my
current favorite demo CD.

Debian Sid (unstable) -- I have Sid installed on my deskside tower
machine.  I like Sid a lot, but Dapper is actually very close to my
Sid configuration and package set.  I am looking forward to testing
Ubuntu on this machine (I want to see how the new open Broadcom driver
works).  Also, this machine has an NVidia NForce2 chipset.  I'll be
interested to see how well this works.

Yellowdog -- I used Yellowdog years ago on my Titanium PowerBook G4. 
I liked it okay, but I gave up on Linux on PowerPC because it was
always trailing very far behind on driver support and availability of
bleeding edge packages.  I haven't tried Ubuntu for PPC.  I should
probably give it a shot.  Still, YaBoot and all that was always a
pain.  PCs have a little easier to use partitioning.  (I wish someone
would create an open source equivilent of Symantech's PartitionMagic! 
PartitionMagic kicks fanny.)

Mandrake for PPC -- Same as Yellowdog.

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