planning to go back into Linux, what distro do you recommend?

Lennart Sorensen lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at
Wed Nov 9 14:55:58 UTC 2005

On Tue, Nov 08, 2005 at 05:05:37PM -0500, Fernando Duran wrote:
> - actually I forgot one big thing: the default
> software packages that they come with. If the user has
> broadband then it's not that important.

Also how many packages (at least that you care about) are available with
the distribution, or at least for the distribution certainly can make a
difference in how enjoyable and easy it is to do things.

> - how many bugs they come with: and how do we know
> that? I don't think new users care about bugs they
> don't suffer, and they are not going to make a distro
> reliability comparison study.

If things crash a lot for many people, there are too many bugs.  When
existing users upgrade to a new release and promptly revert to the
previous release until a pile of patches come out, there are too many

> - security: again, how do we know which distros are
> more secure? with some configuration and care all can
> be hardened in a similar way. Jeff Vaughn mentioned
> last night that Ubuntu came ahead in a security study
> or something and I wouldn't be surprised that's mostly
> because it doesn't open any server ports by default at
> installation. The "msec" security tool of Mandriva is
> very nice by the way.

Well what services the distribution installs by default and how they
configure things by default matter for that.  Also how easy they make it
to get and install security fixes matters for that.

> - community support: one of the things I mention below
> I'm going to burn in Debian hell but Ubuntu = debian
> for newbies (and more)

Ubuntu is debian with a much shorter release cycle, a lot less packages
(which helps the release cycle) included, and a lot less architectures
supported (which helps the release cycle).  It is probably the most
debian like of all the debian derivatives, and easily the most
compatible.  The debian and ubuntu developers have a lot of overlap and
a lot is being shared between them.  If you want a frequently updated
debian and don't want quite the pain of testing/unstable, ubuntu is a
good choice (if it works on your architecture).

> you can try both like I said but you're going to like
> one over the other and it doesn't make much sense to
> be switching all the time. Every new release of
> Gnome|KDE it seems that Gnome|KDE is ahead in features
> etc. Besides some distributions that include both
> really are meant to be used (or have greater support)
> with one of them, like Red Hat and Gnome.

Well on debian both kde and gnome are fully ready to be used when
installed, since there seems to be a team of developers supporting each
one (and who probably think their choice is the best).

Lennart Sorensen
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
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