Distros I Like
I’ve used quit a few different distros, and I’ve found there is no one distro for all people and all jobs. Unlike that other lagacy OS, Linux has so many different distros, one must do some thinking as to which one to use.
There is nearly 400 distros listed on DistroWatch, but I’m sure that’s not all of them. But still when one is choosing a distro to use it proves to be a big task. I have found a few sites that help.
One is the site listed above, it’s a great place to just browse around and wet your appetite for what’s out there. There is also an online tool to help you choose a distro. Linux Distribution Chooser is a nice means of making the choice if you can’t make it on your own. But it doesn’t take into account the hardware you have. And I’ve found that some distros work better on some hardware than other distros do.
In my experience, the best way is just dive in and try which ever distro you like. You’ll find some have better support for hardware, some have better support communities, But some that have little support are often fine distros, built for a small group of people and hardware, but fine tuned to that niche group.
So here I’ll list the distros I’ve used and my experience with them.
I’ve found debian to be an all around good distro. It has a few draw backs though. Frist of all it really has to to connected to the internet to install properly. Or you have to down 14 disks. But since most PCs are used online that’s not much of a draw back. The other is most support forums for debian are not that user friendly to newbies. Newbie to debian yes, but newbie to Linux no.
The major draw back that most Linux users claim about debian is it’s rather dated. Meaning their stable distro is a little behind other distros. And That is true! But It is by far the most stable distro I’ve ever used. Even though I use many different distros, I always keep at least one install of debian around at all times.
So in my humble estimation Debian ranks Number 1!
There are quite a few branches off of Debain some are worth mentioning. Knoppix is another one I believe is a great distro, even though it’s a live CD, It has it’s uses. I always keep one around in my toolbox for system repair and recovery. Although Knoppix has a hard drive install method, it’s not supported by the developers. But I still use it often both as a live CD and HD install.
Damn Small Linux is another branch off of Debian, it has a small foot print. It can be installed in 50mb, and does a great job of supporting legacy hardware. I’ve found it’s a great distro for older smaller boxes. I’ve used it some what and find it to be quit stable and the community is very helpful.
There are many distros based on Debian, I’ve tried some number of them, most aren’t worth my time mentioning them to other people. There is one that I’m sure you’ll run across, and it’ll come highly recommended. But I’m not convinced. That’s Ubuntu, I’ve tried it several times, and have found it to be really bloated, and buggy. The main reason I think it’s so is because they try to be all things to all people, and all hardware. Sort of like that Legacy OS. And they have become like that legacy OS in the bloat and bugs also.
Slackware is a little harder to install, configure, and maintain. But it’s well worth the learning. You’ll have a stable, strong, sleak system. I try to keep one install of Slackware around just for the pure pleasure of running a premium OS. Like Debian, Slackware has a lot of branches off of it. Some of them are quit nice.
I now have Slackware 12.1 installed on 3 boxes and is currently my base OS, even though I still have Debian installed on those same boxes, I haven’t booted into it since I installed Slack 12.1.
Since I’m a Gnome desktop user, Slackware took the back burner until I learned about GSB! Now I can install Slackware which uses KDE as the default desktop and then add Gnome quit easily. Which brings Slackware back into a usable system for me.
Vector is a branch off of Slackware, It’s one I really like.