| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 796, 7 January 2019
Welcome to this year's 1st issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
We are happy to be back after being on holiday last week and are pleased to see the open source community has continued to develop new and interesting software while we were away. In our News section this week we talk about an update to Peppermint OS which fixes some issues with the distribution's live disc. We also link to Dedoimedo's favourite distributions of 2018 and share a roundtable interview with developers from Debian, elementary OS and Fedora. First though we kick off the new year with a review of FreeBSD 12.0, the project's latest release which offers robust and powerful technology under the hood. Plus we take a longer view of some major distributions, commenting on impressions projects can give after years of use. In our Opinion Poll we continue to think long-term and would like to find out what is the longest time you have used a single distribution. We are also happy to welcome the Septor distribution to our database and, following requests from some readers, we have set up a new Patreon account for people who would like to help us keep things running. As usual we share a list of recent releases and provide links to the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a a wonderful new year and happy reading!
- Review: FreeBSD 12.0
- News: Peppermint releases ISO update, the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, elementary OS and Fedora leaders
- Opinion: Musings on distros after prolonged use (2019)
- Released last week: antiX 17.3, KaOS 2018.12, Calculate 18.12
- Torrent corner: antiX, CAELinux, Calculate, Chakra, GhostBSD, Grml, KaOS, Nitrux, OLPC, OviOS, Peppermint, Q4OS, RancherOS, Septor, Slackel, SwagArch
- Opinion poll: Longest use of a single Linux distro
- DistroWatch.com news: Patreon account for donations, searching for distros that run from RAM
- New additions: Septor
- New distributions: EmuTOS, FluXuan Linux, Skywave Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (28MB) and MP3 (21MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
FreeBSD is a member of the UNIX family of operating systems and probably the most widely used member of the major BSD flavours. FreeBSD offers a famously stable and high performance core which has resulted in the operating system being used by Netflix to stream content and by Sony as a basis for their PlayStation operating system. FreeBSD tends to be especially popular on servers where long term reliability is required. Though FreeBSD can function as a desktop operating system, its market share on the desktop remains low and people who want to run a FreeBSD-based desktop are likely to use a related project such as GhostBSD where the graphical configuration has been done for us.
FreeBSD 12.0 was released in the middle of December and the new version contains mostly a series of updates (such as to the Clang compiler, OpenSSH and OpenSSL components) and performance improvements (the vt driver is reportedly four to six times faster). TRIM support was improved on the UFS file system and a few tools, such as the bhyve hypervisor and pf firewall, can now be used from inside FreeBSD jails. One major change which was expected in FreeBSD 12.0 was the consolidation of package managers. In the past FreeBSD used separate tools to manage updates in the core operating system and third-party software, and it was thought FreeBSD would shift to updating all components through pkg, the manager for third-party packages. This change did not happen in 12.0, but may appear in a future release.
FreeBSD runs on several architectures, including 32-bit and 64-bit x86, Sparc64, ARMv6, ARMv7, ARM64, PowerPC and PowerPC64. This allows FreeBSD to run on many devices, from Raspberry Pi computers, to workstations, to a variety of servers. It is worth noting that the project offers different downloads for USB thumb drives and optical media, like DVDs. The optical media file does not gracefully transfer to a USB drive the way most Linux install media does. I downloaded the ISO for 64-bit x86 machines which was 851MB and the USB thumb drive image which was 930MB. There are other download options, including a full DVD-sized ISO and a compressed USB image - the FreeBSD project has download flavours for all occasions.
Booting from the FreeBSD media brings up a menu asking if we would like to run the system installer, access a shell or use the Live CD. The Live CD option just drops us to a command line where we can sign in as the root user.
The installer is presented as a series of text-based menus. We are walked through selecting a keymap and which packages we wish to install. The list of packages is short and offers such big-picture items as: kernel debugging, the ports framework, 32-bit compatibility, and source code for the operating system. Next we can choose an approach to disk partitioning. The installer will handle automatically setting up UFS or ZFS volumes, or we can manually partition the disk. I went with the guided ZFS option. This let me select which disk (or disks) would be used and gave me the chance to enable RAID, set swap size and enable encryption. We can also encrypt swap space.
The installer then copied its files to my hard drive and continued with a few more questions. We are asked to create a password for the root account and enable networking with optional IPv4, IPv6 and DHCP support. Then we can select our time zone from a list. The next screen asks which services we would like to enable, with the list including such items as OpenSSH and network time synchronization. Another screen gives us access to optional security features. These include clearing /tmp at boot time, hiding processes from other users, using random process IDs and disabling the Sendmail e-mail service. We are given the chance to create a non-root account for ourselves and then the installer offers to reboot the computer. The whole process, while it involves a lot of screens, goes quickly and took about ten minutes.
FreeBSD boots to a text console where we can sign in to the root account or our regular user account, assuming we created one during the install process. By default there is no graphical environment. In fact, by default, FreeBSD is minimal. We have access to common UNIX command line tools, manual pages, and the Clang compiler, but little more. The operating system is very light, running about 15 processes and using 18MB of Active memory (and 250MB of Wired memory with ZFS enabled). The entire operating system takes up about 500MB of disk space. By design, FreeBSD gives us a base to build on, but leaves the shaping and customization of the operating system entirely in our hands. For this reason I highly recommend reading the FreeBSD Handbook to people who are new to the project.
FreeBSD 12.0 -- Reading the FreeBSD Handbook in Falkon
(full image size: 187kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
FreeBSD worked well for me when run in VirtualBox. The system ran quickly and smoothly without any serious issues. By default, FreeBSD does not integrate with the virtual environment and cannot make full use of the host's screen resolution. VirtualBox guest modules are available through FreeBSD's package manager and, once those are installed, the system can use the full range of display resolutions.
Usually, in the past, FreeBSD has not worked with my desktop computer's hardware. Either the system would not boot at all, or would boot with restricted video resolution. This time around I was pleased to discover FreeBSD 12.0 could boot on my workstation, in both UEFI and legacy BIOS modes. FreeBSD played well with my physical hardware and my only limitation was that the operating system could not detect either of the USB wireless devices I plugged into the system.
This is definitely a step forward for FreeBSD where my test hardware is concerned and reflects the recent success I had with the related GhostBSD project.
FreeBSD 12.0 -- Adjusting the look of the desktop with the Xfce settings panel
(full image size: 293kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Since FreeBSD is a minimal operating system, to do almost anything useful with the platform we will need to install additional software. There are two approaches to installing third-party packages on FreeBSD. Most users will likely want to use the binary package manager, called pkg. The pkg program is a command line utility which works a lot like APT on the Debian family of distributions or DNF on Fedora, and the syntax is similar across all three package managers. By default no packages are installed.
Another approach people can use is to build software from source code using the FreeBSD ports framework. The ports collection gives us access to the same software pkg does, but allows for build-time customizations and patching if we have special requirements. Building software from source code is slower, but does offer some flexibility for people who want to further customize their systems.
FreeBSD 12.0 -- Running Thunar and LibreOffice
(full image size: 194kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
FreeBSD treats the core of the operating system as separate from software developed by third-parties. While pkg and the ports collection deal with third-party software, updates from the official FreeBSD team can be installed using another tool called freebsd-update. Running this tool will fetch and, optionally, install updates for the core system. Using freebsd-update we can also upgrade to future versions of the operating system, transitioning from 12.0 to 12.1 or to a future 13.0 release.
One tool that is useful to have when performing upgrades is boot environments. When FreeBSD is installed on a ZFS volume, it automatically includes support for booting from ZFS snapshots of the operating system. This means we can use a tool such as beadm to take a snapshot of the operating system prior to making any big changes. Then, if anything goes wrong, such as an upgrade breaking the system, we can reboot and select an older environment from the boot menu. I tested boot environments a couple of times during my week with FreeBSD and found they worked as expected and I like that beadm can create, delete and list snapshots instantly.
One nice benefit to working with boot environments is the operating system is kept separate from the data in users' home directories. This means, if the administrator needs to rollback a change, our data files and personal settings are not affected. It is also possible to snapshot user files for recovery purposes, but these snapshots are separate from boot environments.
FreeBSD 12.0 -- Listing boot environments with beadm
(full image size: 350kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
FreeBSD with a desktop environment
By default, FreeBSD does not include any desktop environment or graphical tools. This allows the system to be lean and is well suited to FreeBSD's popular role as a server operating system. Still, I wanted to see how much effort it would take to make plain FreeBSD operate the way GhostBSD did when I tried it last year.
The project's Handbook has a section dedicated to installing the X display software, enabling a login screen and installing one of three desktop environments: GNOME, KDE and Xfce. I decided to go with Xfce. The whole process went quickly, taking just a few minutes and required the editing of three configuration files.
The resulting graphical user interface was functional, though not particularly polished. Installing Xfce gave me the desktop, its default panel and menus, a virtual terminal and the Thunar file manager, but little else. For the most part I did not mind installing additional applications, such as a web browser, LibreOffice and other common tools. However, there were issues I did need to work around. For example, my user could not reboot or shutdown the system from within the desktop environment, I could only logout. There was no volume control and I soon found that media (both streaming and local files) would not play. YouTube videos, for example, would not play in any of my web browsers. VLC and MPV were both unable to play either video or audio files and would simply freeze when opening a file.
These problems were, on their own, relatively minor things and there are workarounds, but it highlights the difference between using a desktop-oriented member of the FreeBSD family, like GhostBSD, versus setting up FreeBSD from scratch following the steps in the Handbook.
Earlier I mentioned the system uses about 500MB of disk with a fresh install. But each major collection of software I added downloaded around another gigabyte of packages. After setting up Xfce, LibreOffice, and a web browser over 3GB had been consumed. Once I was finished installing common desktop programs, I was using about 5GB of disk space. Memory usage when running Xfce 4.12 took about 140MB Active and 250MB Wired memory, about 120MB more than when running the minimal command line environment.
By default, any users we create on the system cannot perform administrator actions. We can perform admin actions by logging in as the root user directly, or we can add a user to the wheel group to give them the ability to switch (su) to the root user account. Alternatively we can install either the sudo or doas utilities which grant specified users special access.
Compared to most Linux distributions, FreeBSD takes a passive role. The system rarely volunteers information or help. There is no "first-run" wizard or welcome screen. I saw perhaps one notification during my time running Xfce. FreeBSD offers us a bare platform and we are expected to read the Handbook if we need help or, if that fails, proactively visit the project's forum. The operating system itself tries to remain minimal and out of the way.
Something I tended to find, after a few days of setting up and tinkering with FreeBSD to get it running the way I wanted, was that I was becoming more productive. Not because the system was particularly fast (though it was fast) or efficient (though the environment was nicely streamlined), but because the applications I use for work all functioned well while entertainment programs did not. On FreeBSD I could easily install and use Firefox, LibreOffice, Thunderbird, text editors, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and command line tools. However, I struggled to get multimedia programs working, Steam doesn't run natively on FreeBSD, Netflix won't play on the platform, and performance for native 3-D games was poor. Basically, FreeBSD gently forced me to use my computer for work instead of for play. It didn't always make me happy, but it did make me productive.
Playing with FreeBSD with past week I don't feel as though there were any big surprises or changes in this release compared to FreeBSD 11. In typical FreeBSD fashion, progress tends to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and this release feels like a polished and improved incremental step forward. I like that the installer handles both UFS and ZFS guided partitioning now and in a friendly manner. In the past I had trouble getting FreeBSD's boot menu to work with boot environments, but that has been fixed for this release.
I like the security options in the installer too. These are not new, but I think worth mentioning. FreeBSD, unlike most Linux distributions, offers several low-level security options (like hiding other users' processes and randomizing PIDs) and I like having these presented at install time. It's harder for people to attack what they cannot see, or predict, and FreeBSD optionally makes these little adjustment for us.
Something which stands out about FreeBSD, compared to most Linux distributions I run, is that FreeBSD rarely holds the user's hand, but also rarely surprises the user. This means there is more reading to do up front and new users may struggle to get used to editing configuration files in a text editor. But FreeBSD rarely does anything unless told to do it. Updates rarely change the system's behaviour, working technology rarely gets swapped out for something new, the system and its applications never crashed during my trial. Everything was rock solid. The operating system may seem like a minimal, blank slate to new users, but it's wonderfully dependable and predictable in my experience.
I probably wouldn't recommend FreeBSD for desktop use. It's close relative, GhostBSD, ships with a friendly desktop and does special work to make end user applications run smoothly. But for people who want to run servers, possible for years without change or issues, FreeBSD is a great option. It's also an attractive choice, in my opinion, for people who like to build their system from the ground up, like you would with Debian's server install or Arch Linux. Apart from the base tools and documentation, there is nothing on a FreeBSD system apart from what we put on it.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
* * * * *
Visitor supplied rating
FreeBSD has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9/10 from 81 review(s).
Have you used FreeBSD? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Peppermint releases ISO update, the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, elementary OS and Fedora leaders
The Peppermint OS team has released an updated ISO for the distribution's version 9 release. This refreshed ISO contains a few important fixes for install time issues found in project's last update in December: "Peppermint 9 Respin-2 (Peppermint-9-20190102) bug fixes: Fixed an issue where 64-bit UEFI installs would fail to properly install the signed GRUB boot loader without an active Internet connection. Fixed missing Chinese / Japanese / Korean fonts in the installer. Fixed the 'OEM Install' option. All other changes remain the same as those for the original Peppermint 9 Respin, which can be seen here." The project's blog offers further details.
* * * * *
Linux Journal has an interesting look at the current status of multiple distributions as we conclude 2018 and head into 2019. The Journal looks at a number of statistics for a handful of distributions, including download size, RAM usage, longevity and supported architectures. The article then interviews Chris Lamb (Debian's Project Leader), Daniel Fore (elementary's Founder) and Matthew Miller (Fedora's Project Leader). When asked how many Linux distributions would be "too many", Lamb responded: "If I may be so bold as to interpret this more widely, whilst it might look like we have 'too many' distributions, I fear this might be misunderstanding the reasons why people are creating these newer offerings in the first place. Apart from the aforementioned distros created for technical experimentation, someone spinning up their own distribution might be (subconsciously!) doing it for the delight and satisfaction in building something themselves and having their name attached to it - something entirely reasonable and justifiable IMHO. To then read this creation through a lens of not being ideal for new users or even some silly 'Linux worldwide domination' metric could therefore even be missing the point and some of the sheer delight of free software to begin with. Besides, the 'market' for distributions seems to be doing a pretty good job of correcting itself." The rest of the roundtable interview can be found in the Linux Journal article.
* * * * *
Many people have opinions on which distribution is the best and there are almost as many answers to this question as there are Linux distributions. Dedoimedo took a look back at the releases of 2018 and presented some thoughts on which projects offered the best desktop experience. Interestingly enough, Kubuntu made the list twice: "You are probably surprised that I've not nudged Bionic to the first place. After all, it is my new production Linux operating system. I rarely make big changes in my serious, big-pants environment, and when I do, the changes have to last. Hence, a lot of deliberation, and finally, the choice to go forth with Kubuntu 18.04 as the first candidate for my Slimbook Pro2 adventure. That ought to qualify, right? Well, yes and no. Imagine for a second you aren't me, and you're only testing a system. That first impression has to count. It took a handful of months for Bionic to get rid of its early woes and become really usable, and I can't ignore those when writing this end-of-the-year manifesto."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
Musings on distros after prolonged use (2019)
One of the side effects of writing weekly reviews is I only get to share my thoughts on the first week of using a distribution. After that, I'm off to the next project on my list and it typically prevents me from experiencing (and sharing) what it is like to run a distribution long-term. The first week of using an operating system will reveal a lot about a project - its strengths, some weaknesses, a few weird quirks - but it does not let the user know what benefits or drawbacks will be experienced after a year, or two years.
That being said, there are some projects which I do end up using on a more long-term basis. Sometimes for work, sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes because I have friends & family who run Linux distributions and they ask me to answer questions or help them with upgrades. For all sorts of reasons, there are some distributions I end up using on a longer time-line and I would like to share my opinions on what strengths and problems these operating systems have demonstrated after running continuously for a few years.
* * * * *
Debian, or projects very closely related to Debian like Raspbian, tend to be the ones I use at home the most these days. If I get my hands on a Raspberry Pi, or need to set up a web server in a hurry, Debian is typically my go-to choice. One of the main reasons for this is Debian doesn't change much, either during one release's life time or from one version to the next. Debian's LTS support gives server administrators five pleasantly boring years between versions. Debian has a slow release cycle and its software is always outdated in the Stable branch, but it is well worth it when running a server you just want to set up and forget about.
In my opinion, vanilla Debian is not all that well geared toward desktop usage. It takes an unusually long series of steps to set up, the software is out of date and there are a bunch of configuration steps to get through to get Debian really working well as a workstation operating system. I think that is one reason why there are so many Debian-based desktop projects: they take Debian's excellent base and add the polish and little tweaks to make Debian desktop-friendly.
Debian 9 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 520kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Upgrades from one version to another have typically gone well for me on Debian. I can only remember one upgrade across versions not going smoothly. Otherwise, at least on servers, I have found Debian version upgrades to be pleasantly straight forward. And, as I mentioned before, upgrades only need to happen about once every five years.
* * * * *
Fedora probably holds the distinction of being the distribution I have run for the longest period of time. The distribution deserves a reward for being the one this distro-hopper has stuck with across so many versions. On the other hand, running a distribution for so long reveals a lot of its quirks and little annoyances - there is some truth in the old saying "familiarity breeds contempt."
On the positive side, Fedora is always trying something new. If you want to experience the latest technology, whether it is compilers, init software, desktop environments or Wayland, chances are Fedora has it. The Fedora team does an excellent job of packaging new software, documenting it and making it available in the next stable release.
Fedora 28 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Fedora's cutting edge nature and fast pace is also one of my biggest issues with the distribution. Fedora typically publishes new releases twice per year and, while support duration changes occasionally, each release tends to be supported for around just one year. This makes for a rapid upgrade cycle. When we add into the mix the range of new technologies often presented in new versions, it means our Fedora install is going to look, and possibly act, different about every six months. It's an upgrade pace not for the faint of heart.
Up until fairly recently I found Fedora upgrades rarely went well. This has changed in recent years with new upgrade tools making the process smoother, but I still find Fedora tends to need a little sorting out after each upgrade. I am more inclined to get a list of software I have on the system and perform a fresh install to avoid surprises.
Fedora does not package software that has a restrictive license or that may be patent encumbered. This means desktop users usually need to pull in software from third-party repositories and this can introduce complications during upgrades too, as the third-party repositories might not be up to speed when a new Fedora version launches.
I will say Fedora has a few additional strong points in its favour. One is it tends to be stable. Despite its cutting edge nature, applications packaged for Fedora tend to be well tested by release day. Also, Fedora, because of its close ties with Red Hat, tends to be supported by third-party software vendors. It has not been uncommon for me to encounter vendors who claim to only support the Red Hat and Fedora platforms.
* * * * *
FreeBSD is probably my favourite server-oriented operating system, mostly because it never surprises me. FreeBSD tends to do what you tell it to do, and just do what you tell it to do. It doesn't do much hand holding, it doesn't do much automatically, it pretty much only does what the administrator commands. This may make FreeBSD less newcomer friendly, but it means I always have a very smooth, trouble-free ride with the operating system.
FreeBSD is a pleasantly easy system to install and upgrade software on, it is fairly easy to enable new services (though there is some manual work) and most common tasks are covered in the project's handbook.
I have never used plain FreeBSD for any significant amount of time in a desktop role, it does not seem geared to such an environment, but it is my preferred operating system for work servers when I need to set up a web, audio streaming or e-mail platform.
One of the points both in FreeBSD's favour and against it is upgrading across versions. FreeBSD maintains a small, separate base which is quite stable and fairly easy to upgrade. I don't think I've ever had FreeBSD fail to upgrade cross major versions because the base is compact and separate from the rest of the services on the system. However, while FreeBSD offers five years of support for major versions (10.x or 11.x, for example) what administrators should know is they need to perform minor upgrades within the major series. For example, the administrator will probably need to upgrade around once a year from 11.0 to 11.1, and from 11.1 to 11.2. These are fairly minor updates, but ones which need to be performed carefully (and probably with backups).
Ultimately, FreeBSD has required the most hands-on work to set up and maintain since it automates very little. However, it also gives me the fewest issues of the operating systems I use regularly.
* * * * *
Over the years I have used both of Linux Mint's major options (its Ubuntu-based and Debian-based branches). While I enjoyed both and generally found Mint to be one of the most easy and user friendly desktop distribution to use, I would say that the Ubuntu-based branch was generally a better experience.
Linux Mint 19 -- Running the Cinnamon desktop
(full image size: 554kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The Debian branch of Mint (Linux Mint Debian Edition) was relatively light and fast, but it has some problems. Specifically its software is older, it can't use personal package archives (PPAs), its installer (while good) is not as polished, and it cannot run Ubuntu-specific software that has not been ported back to Debian.
However, with that being said, both branches of Mint are, in my opinion, very well put together. I've used multiple versions of each branch and generally found Mint offers the most capable out of the box experience, it is probably the easiest desktop distribution for Linux beginners, and I like how straight forward a lot of its tools (like the software centre and update manager) are. Mint's new focus on Timeshift is also welcome in my opinion as it makes it easier to rollback potential problems.
The only real problem I have run into with Mint is some friends have found the Cinnamon desktop becomes unstable if run for longer periods of time. I don't think this problem comes up when running the MATE desktop, but occasional lock-ups in Cinnamon seem to be the one complaint I hear from the friends I support who run Mint.
* * * * *
MX Linux is the desktop distribution I have been using the most lately. It has a nice, reliable base provided by Debian Stable. The distribution does a good job of finding a sweet spot between having useful features and offering good performance. The MX distribution is very forgiving when run on older hardware, but still manages to look nice and ship with lots of convenient tools.
For the most part, MX Linux can be described as pleasantly boring and I like that it rarely surprises me and, to my memory, has never crashed or become unusable due to a software update. I'm not sure I'd recommend MX to a complete Linux newcomer, some of its tools are geared more toward technical users, but I think it's excellent for people with a little Linux experience who want a system that they can install and forget about for several years.
MX Linux 17.1 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 584kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
One point I think worth noting is that MX Linux will sometimes backport desktop applications. Some software, such as LibreOffice, gets updated to new major versions. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it provides users with the latest stable versions of desktop software without impacting the core operating system. On the other hand, people accustomed to a more conservative approach may not want to see new versions of tools and applications get introduced to an otherwise fixed release.
For me, I like running MX as it perhaps best suits my desire for new applications and a fixed core OS, along with my want to for a lightweight system with a lot of conveniences.
* * * * *
Red Hat Enterprise Linux / CentOS
The Red Hat and CentOS distributions are platforms which I rarely encounter in my personal life, but usually find in offices where someone else has set up the servers. Red Hat seems to find its way onto many business' web, e-mail and accounting servers. And with good reason. Red Hat servers get commercial support and are probably the most reliable, stable platforms available in the Linux ecosystem. A Red Hat or CentOS server can be set up and run for around ten years without maintenance.
Red Hat systems are, in my experience, just about fault proof, but if you want to run them on workstations then you will probably need to add third-party software repositories in order to fill in functionality gaps or introduce modern software packages. Like Fedora, Red Hat avoids shipping non-free software and (unlike Fedora) its repositories hold older versions of packages.
One of my only concerns when dealing with Red Hat systems is more of a procedural issue than anything to do with the distribution itself. Since there are several years between major releases and organizations tend to run Red Hat versions for up to ten years, it means software can change quite a bit between releases. The administrator will want to test new versions and see what configuration changes will be required prior to putting an upgrade into production.
* * * * *
TrueOS (aka PC-BSD)
TrueOS, which was previously called PC-BSD, is a platform I have run on both servers and on workstations. The project basically acts like an add-on, or friendly layer, for FreeBSD. This gives the user a friendly installer, a pre-configured desktop environment and some nice administrator tools on top of a stable FreeBSD base.
What I like about TrueOS is that it puts a friendly face on FreeBSD. Managing jails, performing network configuration and setting up ZFS pools are typically point-n-click experiences on TrueOS and that lowers the bar to experimenting with these technologies. TrueOS also gave birth to the Lumina desktop, a highly portable desktop that runs on most BSD and Linux flavours with few dependencies, and I like having that consistent desktop experience as I bounce between open source operating systems.
TrueOS 18.03 -- Running the Lumina desktop
(full image size: 984kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
My main complaint about TrueOS is that the project changes rapidly and what it introduces in one version may not carry over to future versions, so it is best not to get invested in any specific tools. The project's Push Button Installer (PBI) packages, focus on KDE, 32-bit support, Warden tools, and even name have come and gone over the past decade. These days TrueOS is based on FreeBSD's development (CURRENT) branch which, in my experience, makes upgrades risky as a driver or package change can introduce new issues.
TrueOS is going to be the basis for Project Trident and future versions of GhostBSD. I am hoping this means TrueOS will become an experimental workshop and the projects based on it will provide a more stable, fixed base.
* * * * *
Ubuntu & its community editions
I have spent a lot of the past ten years using Ubuntu and its many community editions. Sometimes I've been running Ubuntu on my own machines, other times I have been supporting it on other people's computers, as Ubuntu seems to be a popular choice for people running Linux at home.
On the positive side, I think Ubuntu does a better job than almost any other distribution when it comes to being beginner friendly. A new user can nearly perform a fresh install of Ubuntu with their eyes closed. I also appreciate how much work the people behind Ubuntu have done to get their distribution working with (and certified on) a wide range of hardware. It is not only possible to run Ubuntu on most computers, it is also fairly easy to discover which servers, workstations and laptops are known to work with the distribution.
When I have been running the distribution I have appreciated that users can switch between getting the latest features (through a six-month release cycle) or take a more conservative route with the project's long term support releases that receive five years of support. This lets me try out the latest and greatest features while the people I support can stay on LTS versions.
Ubuntu 18.04 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 307kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
My main issue with using Ubuntu on an ongoing basis is the same issue I have faced with TrueOS: features are introduced and disappear quickly. Off the top of my head, the sub-projects I have tried and enjoyed on Ubuntu in the past eight years that were soon dropped include: Unity 2D, Unity 7 & 8, Ubuntu One Storage, Ubuntu Touch for mobile devices (now maintained by UBports), the Ubuntu One music streaming service, Click packages, and Upstart. I will give the Ubuntu team credit for their willingness to experiment, but it does not pay to get too attached to the technologies they produce.
I think where the Ubuntu community tends to shine is in the community editions, such as Ubuntu MATE and Kubuntu. These distributions have the same support cycles and benefit from the same core technologies and hardware compatibility, but tend to experiment (and change) less, making them a more stable platform, ideal for less technical users.
In my experience upgrading Ubuntu has been a bit risky, perhaps because of the churn in features. I prefer to perform fresh installs of the Ubuntu family of distributions to avoid any potential complications.
* * * * *
Those are my thoughts on the open source operating systems I have used over the span of multiple years and have become familiar with. What are some projects you have used for multiple years and feel you know well, both the good parts and the bad? Please share your hard-won wisdom in the comments.
|Released Last Week
antiX is a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install Linux live CD distribution based on Debian's "Stable" branch for x86 systems. The project's latest release is antiX 17.3 which includes new kernel fixes. "This is primarily a point-release upgrade of antiX-17.2 'Helen Keller' with a newer L1TF/Foreshadow and Meltdown/Spectre patched kernel, a few bug fixes, updated translations and some upgraded and new packages. The major change is that we now offer options for LUKS encrypted root, home, and swap partition at installation. So what has changed since antiX 17.2 release? New 4.9.146 kernel patched for L1TF/Foreshadow and Meltdown/Spectre exploits; all packages upgraded to Debian 9.6; LUKS encryption options on GUI installer (not yet available on the cli-installer); Firefox ESR upgraded to 60.4 (Quantum); removal of PulseAudio and Pavucontrol; Newsboat replaces Newsbeute; improved localization of applications; a few more languages were added to the F2 live boot menu." The distribution is available in four editions (Full, Base, Core and Net) with the first two offering graphical environments and the latter two providing command line interfaces. The release announcement offers further details.
A new version of KaOS, a rolling-release Linux distribution with KDE Plasma as the preferred desktop environment, has been released. Version 2018.12 comes with the very latest that the KDE and Qt projects have on offer, including Plasma 5.14.4, KDE Applications 18.12.0 and Qt 5.12.0: " KaOS is proud to announce the December release of a new stable ISO image. Two years after initially starting the move to OpenSSL 1.1 has this update become possible. All downstream libraries and applications have caught up, so the move was now smooth, without the need to have a mix of OpenSSL versions in the repositories. This move required a very large rebuild and combined with a move to Perl 5.28.1, FFmpeg 4.1, LLVM/Clang 7.0.1 and Qt 5.12.0, it is clear a new ISO was needed. The artwork saw an update to the Midna SDDM theme, gone are the QML sliding effects, instead a cleaner and simpler layout with the addition of several warnings when numlock or capslock are activated. Online Package Viewer has undergone a complete rewrite; the backend is now a very modern Go-based API, with JSON files getting the needed output, thus all loads much faster. This include the mirror status page." Read the detailed release announcement for further information.
Calculate Linux 18.12
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 18.12, an updated build of the project's Gentoo-based distribution for desktops and servers. This release updates the Linux kernel to version 4.19.9 and it also brings a new "Education" edition: "Calculate Linux 18.12 released. We have a bunch of news for this final 2018 release. We have added support for installation on Btrfs with zstd compression. All server editions have been optimized for size. Software can now be transferred when re-installing the system. Our ISO images are packed in the zstd format to speed up the start-up times for the live image, applications and system installation. Software: 32-bit and 64-bit builds moved to Linux kernel 4.19.9, KDE Applications updated to 18.08.3, KDE Plasma updated to 5.14.3, Cinnamon updated to 4.0.3. We also released a new Calculate flavour for educational purposes (Calculate Linux Desktop Xfce Education, or CLDXE for short)." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Nitrux Latinoamericana S.C. has announced the release of Nitrux 1.1.2, an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution featuring the "Nomad" desktop which is developed in-house and which extends KDE's Plasma with a mix of aesthetics and functionality: "We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.1.2. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements and ready-to-use hardware support. What's new? The third release of Nitrux 1.1.x series; updated Linux kernel to mainline version 4.20; updated Plasma 5 (5.14.4), KDE Applications (18.12.0), KF5 (5.54.0). Updated znx: don't add the menu entry if no images were found; test if URL points to a local file before trying to copy it; append the release type to the file name; fixed file name for upload; use print for writing to stdout; fixed list command; for the sake of brevity, cd to/during the clean command; use %s when printing user-provided positional parameters. Update MauiKit, Index, Pix, Buho, VVave; added Nota text editor; updated Chromium and LibreOffice AppImages; updated NVIDIA binary X.Org driver...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Nitrux 1.1.2 -- Running the Nomad desktop
(full image size: 869kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Rancher Labs has published the release of RancherOS 1.5.0, an updated build of the company's minimalist Linux distribution designed for running Docker containers. This release brings a large number of new features, as well as bug fixes: "Release 1.5.0. Versions: Linux 4.14.85, Buildroot 2018.02.7, Docker 18.06.1-ce by default, RPi64 - Linux 4.9.80; Console - Alpine 3.8, CentOS 7.5.1804, Debian 9, Fedora 28, Ubuntu 18.04. Major features and enhancements: support for LUKS; support for WiFi and 4G/LTE; support for custom rootfs of os initrd; support for Hyper-V; support for VMDK images; support for disabling access to the system from the console - added the ability to disable auto-login, added the ability to ignore rancher.password; support for multiple user-docker daemons; support for ARM server (experimental); support for built-in other consoles; support for vSphere network protocol profiles; enhancements for faster boot speed and lower memory footprint - disabled repeated system image loading, added the ability to disable cloud-init, used gzip compression initrd instead of xz; enhancement for consoles - docker top is now available for all consoles, scp is now available for CentOS and Fedora consoles...." Continue to the full press release notes for a complete changelog.
OLPC OS 13.2.10
James Cameron has announced the release of OLPC OS 13.2.10, an updated build of the project's specialist distribution developed under the initiative of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to provide children in developing countries with low-cost laptops. This version, still based on Fedora 18, is mostly a bug-fix release with updated "activities": "We're pleased to announce the release of OLPC OS 13.2.10 for XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 and XO-4. It is Sugar 0.112 on Fedora 18, with updated activities Clock-20, GetBooks-18.1, ImageViewer-64, Implode-19, Jukebox-34, Log-39, Maze-28, Memorize-55, Paint-68, Physics-34, Pippy-72, Record-103, StopWatch-20.1, Terminal-45.4, TurtleBlocks-218 and Write-99.1. Fixes: activity journal title - save on enter, clear selection and close toolbar on enter; fix Gtk.SpinButton styling; update the favourite icon when there is only one journal object; fix copy-from-journal utility - undefined name error, DBusGMainLoop; fix for activities that do not properly stop; increase icon LRU cache sizes; new translations. Clock-20: ticking clock and accurate second hand; improve documentation; simplify time translation; declare license metadata, GPLv3+ and Public Domain; update POT file...." Here is the brief release announcement, with much more details provided in the release notes.
Slackel 7.1 "Openbox"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 7.1 "Openbox", the latest version of this distribution based on Slackware and Salix. The new version is available in 64-bit builds only and features several application updates and a new icon theme. Persistent file encryption is also supported: "Persistent file encryption is supported. Running the above script you will be asked if you want to encrypt the persistent file. Then just boot with persistent option from menus. System will understand that the persistent file is encrypted and ask to type the encrypt passphrase to unlock it. You can use the persistent file "persistent" for /home encryption. You can use this feature by changing the parameter changes=persistent to home=persistent You can rename the persistent file "persistent" to "whatever_you_like" and use it by changing the parameter changes=whatever_you_like or home=whatever_you_like. Tip: You can create a persistent file (its name is always persistent). Then rename it to e.g. home. Create again a persistent file for whole system. So you can boot with persistent option from menus to have persistent encryption for whole system or boot by changing the parameter changes=persistent to home=home to have only /home encryption." Further information, including default passwords, can be found in the project's release announcement.
Q4OS is a Debian-based desktop distribution featuring the Trinity desktop, a lightweight environment forked from KDE 3. The project's latest stable release is Q4OS 2.7 which improves scaling for high resolution screens. The release announcement states: "A significant update to the Q4OS 2 Scorpion stable LTS is immediately available for download. The new 2.7 series brings some important improvements for the Trinity desktop. An essential change is much improved scaling ability for hi-dpi screens, making this operating system better adapted for modern computers. Desktop profiler, Software centre, Welcome screen, Setup utility, and other Q4OS specific tools have been updated to be rendered correctly for higher screen resolutions. Apart from the scaling capabilities, Q4OS 2.7 brings numerous improvements and fixes, for example better GTK3 themes integration, fixes to XDG standard implementation and others. Current users only need to perform regular update of their systems to activate scaling capabilities, however we recommend for new users to download and make a fresh Q4OS 2.7 installation. Other changes include Q4OS installer improvements, Firefox 64 and LibreOffice 6.1.3 installers, important security and bug fixes as well as cumulative upgrade covering all changes since the previous Q4OS 2 Scorpion stable release."
OviOS Linux 3.00
OviOS Linux is a storage operating systems based on the Linux kernel, with open-source software needed to create a fully functional, high-performance storage server. A major new update, version 3.00 (code name 'Arcturus'), was released yesterday: "OviOS Linux 3 comes with a few package upgrades, bug fixes and new features. Upgrades: Linux kernel 4.9.144, NFS Utils 2.3.3, Samba 4.9.3, glibc 2.28, GCC 8.2.0, iSCSI Target 1.0.74, ZFS on Linux 0.7.12, ovios-shell 3.00. New features: smbjoindc is now smbovios and has new features, to join, get info and leave a domain controller, usage - smbovios --info | --join | --unjoin; new option exclude.pools - this allows the administrator to specify one or more storage pools that will not be started or stopped by ovios (HA cluster included), this is useful for the docker image where an admin can decide to manage some pools outside of the ovios environment and use ovios for some pools; nfs_export and smb_export have been enhanced to provide better logging in ovilogs; documentation has been improved; HA cluster hardened, use the HA Cluster guide from the documentation page...." Read the release notes for further details and some basic getting-started information.
Michael Prokop has announced the release of Grml 2018.12, a new version of the project's Debian-based Linux distribution focusing on the needs of system administrators: "So we did it again - we just released Grml 2018.12 'Gnackwatschn'. This Grml release provides fresh software packages from Debian 'Testing' which will be released as a stable Debian 'Buster' in 2019. As usual, it also incorporates current hardware support and fixes known bugs from previous Grml releases. Important changes: when using the 'ssh' boot option, Grml automatically starts haveged, a userspace entropy daemon which uses HAVEGE (HArdware Volatile Entropy Gathering and Expansion); the cpufrequtils package with its loadcpufreq handling has been dropped. New features: netcardconfig - added support for VLAN configuration + non-interactive mode; grml-chroot - mount /dev/pts as devpts inside chroot; grml2usb - added support for Secure Boot...." Read the release announcement and release notes for a full list of new features.
Grml 2018.12 -- Running the Fluxbox window manager
(full image size: 95kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
GhostBSD is a rolling release desktop operating system which is based on TrueOS, which is in turn based on FreeBSD's development (-CURRENT) branch. The project has published an update to GhostBSD 18.10, GhostBSD 18.12, which includes a number of updates and replaces the graphical software manager. "GhostBSD 18.12 is an updated ISO of GhostBSD 18.10 with some little changes to the live DVD/USB and with updated packages. What has changed since 18.10: Removed default call of kernel modules for AMD and Intel. Replaced Octopkg by Software-Station. Added back gop hacks to the live system. Added ghostbsd-drivers and ghostbsd-utils. We updated the packages to the latest build." The project's release announcement offers upgrade instructions for existing users along with screenshots of the operating system's MATE desktop environment.
The first announcement of the year 2019 comes courtesy of Septor, a new distribution in the DistroWatch database. It is part of the growing number of projects that focus on preserving the anonymity and privacy of the user while browsing the Internet. Septor is based on Debian's "Testing" branch and it uses KDE Plasma as the default desktop environment. The latest release, version 2019, was announced yesterday (here is the release announcement in Serbian, with screenshots); it comes with Linux kernel 4.19.12, KDE Plasma 5.14.3, LibreOffice 6.1.3, GIMP 2.10.8, VLC 3.0.5, as well as several privacy-enhancing software applications, such as a launcher for downloading the latest Tor Browser, OnionShare 1.3.2 (an anonymous file sharing utility) and Ricochet 1.1.4 (an instant messaging client developed by the Invisible.im group). Thunderbird 60.3.1, HexChat 2.14.2 and QuiteRSS 0.18.12 are all pre-configured to connect to the Internet via the Tor network. The distribution can be used in "live" mode or it can be installed to hard disk via the standard Debian installer. Please visit the project's home page for further information.
Joël Cugnoni has announced the release of CAELinux 2018, a new version of the project's Xubuntu-based Linux distribution with a collection of tools designed for computer-aided engineering: "We are proud to announce the new release of CAELinux 2018, which is based on Xubuntu 16.04 and which contains a full suite of open-source simulation tools for FEA, CFD or multi-physics simulation, but also a large panel of other engineering software for CAD-CAM and 3D printing, electronics, mathematics and programming. CAELinux 2018 represents a complete rebuild of the distribution that started in 2017 with up-to-date software and we hope that you will enjoy it. This release is available as usual in the form of an live DVD image for AMD/Intel 64-bit CPUs that can be burned on a DVD or installed on a USB key for 'mobile' use and testing and then installed on hard-disk for best performance. Features: CAD/CAM and 3D printing - Freecad, OpenSCAD, LibreCad, Pycam, Camotics, dxf2gcode and Slic3r; FEA, CFD and multi-physic simulation - Code-Aster, Code-Saturne, OpenFOAM, Elmer FEM, Calculix, Impact FEM, MBDyn...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 1,192
- Total data uploaded: 23.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Longest use of a single Linux distro
This week we talked about running various operating systems for longer periods of time and impressions from those extended experiences. We would like to hear what is the longest you have used a single distribution and, from that time, what are some lasting impressions you had, good or bad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using a Pinebook in the previous edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Longest use of a single Linux distro
|Less than six months: ||122 (3%)|
| Six months to a year: ||201 (5%)|
| One to two years: ||385 (10%)|
| Between two and five years: ||2282 (57%)|
| Between five and ten years: ||590 (15%)|
| More than ten years: ||394 (10%)|
Patreon account for donations, searching for distros that run from RAM
Following requests from some of our readers, we have set up a Patreon account to receive monthly donations from people who would generously like to help us keep DistroWatch running. The link to our Patreon account will appear at the bottom of each Weekly and can be found on our Donations page. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us, either through translations, writing articles, financially or advising us of new developments. We appreciate all of your contributions and encouragement.
Funds hat we receive from tips or Patreon donations will help us pay guest writers, cover hosting costs and make it easier for us to dedicate time to working on the website.
A feature we introduced during the break is the ability to search for distributions which are designed to be run from RAM. The new Distribution Category flag is called From RAM and will list projects we know of that have a boot option to load the operating system into RAM.
Did we miss a distribution with a boot option to run from RAM? If so, please let us know.
* * * * *
New projects added to database
Septor is a Linux distribution which provides users with a pre-configured computing environment for surfing the Internet anonymously. It is based on Debian's "Testing" branch and it uses Privoxy, a privacy-enhancing proxy, together with the Tor anonymity network to modify web page data and HTTP headers before the page is rendered by the browser. The distribution uses KDE Plasma as the preferred desktop environment and it also includes a launcher for downloading the latest Tor Browser, OnionShare for anonymous file sharing, and Ricochet for anonymous instant messaging.
Septor 2019 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- EmuTOS. EmuTOS is a free operating system for computers based on Motorola 68000 or ColdFire microprocessors. It features functionality similar to TOS, which powered the Atari ST and its successors between 1985 and 1994. EmuTOS can run on real hardware, either as ROM replacement or from floppy.
- FluXuan Linux. FluXuan Linux is a lightweight distribution based on Devuan and featuring the Fluxbox window manager.
- Skywave Linux. Skywave Linux is a 64-bit live system based on Ubuntu which provides installed and configured software for accessing software defined radio servers locally and on the Internet. With this operating system, a person may tune shortwave broadcasts, amateur radio, aeronautical, maritime, or other signals received at remote servers around the world. SDR software is configured for popular devices, such as the RTL-SDR dongles, Softrocks, Hermes, and other radios.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 January 2019. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Mint KDE (by ElcasetIt's unfortunate that on 2019-01-07 00:21:43 GMT from United States) |
The KDE version of GNU?Linux Mint is the distro I've used for the longest time (10 years now). It's unfortunate that Mint has stopped making new versions of Mint KDE. Mint KDE 17.3 was particularly nice to use.
2 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by brad on 2019-01-07 00:32:53 GMT from United States)
I have used two Linux distros (serially) about the same amount of time (>2 and <5 years); Linux Mint, and Manjaro.
I used Mint when I abandoned Ubuntu for good, around 2009. I kept using Mint until about 2014, when I got bored with the lack of innovation. I distro-hopped for a year, until I tried Manjaro, at the prompting of J. A. Watson at ZDNet. Haven't looked back since.
Desktops went from Ubunto, to Cinnamon, to XFCE, to KDE, where I am the most comfortable now. I recently started testing LMDE with Cinnamon, because I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Cinnamon, but I will stick with Manjaro for the foreseeable future.
3 • Distro use (by Ted on 2019-01-07 01:09:59 GMT from Australia)
I still tend to change distro every 12 months, I will get tired of small annoyances and be attracted by some shiny new feature my current distro doesn't have yet.
Still looking for the perfect distro for me.
4 • Longest Distros (by Dan Duby on 2019-01-07 01:10:38 GMT from United States)
Two of my favorites, and I use them all the time are Bodhi Linux, and Tiny Core. Love the Moksha desktop in Bodhi Linux, but Tiny Core is the fastest distro I ever used. For the most part, Tiny Core has what I need, but when I need something more, I go to Bodhi. Don't need all the bells and whistles of more featured distros like MX Linux, to me there is too much bloatware, and I don't use most of the programs in them anyway. I like minimalism in my distros, and Bodhi Linux, and Tiny Core are my distros of choice.
5 • Longest use distro (by DaveW on 2019-01-07 01:14:23 GMT from United States)
Presumably the question is about the distro irrespective of specific versions. I've been a linux user for 12 years, more or less. I have only used two distros for my daily driver in that time. Ubuntu was the first. Linux Mint Mate has been my go to for the last 8 plus years, from 9 Isadora to 18.3 Sylvia.
At this point I am happy with how I have 18.3 set up, and don't want to mess with a good thing. Everything I need works, so I will probably stick with it until the LTS expires.
6 • Longest use distro (by Roger on 2019-01-07 01:28:43 GMT from Belgium)
Usung Linux from 1999, started with BeOS, than came Redhat which became Fedora and at the same time Suse, than got Ubuntu.
From Linux Mint 9 Isadora to now 19.1 with Mate I am a Mint guy.
Test some other ones like, Zorin, Peppermint, PCLinuxOS, but always go back to Mint.
Yes I really like it and for that reason I started to donate regular.
I will stay with Linux Mint Mate, never liked Cinnamon, almost every desktop and laptop is running it, from the + 100 PC's I have only 5 have Windows.
7 • longest used distribution (by Bobbie Sellers on 2019-01-07 01:41:10 GMT from United States)
The longest I used a distro was Mandriva from 2006-2012.
Then Mandriva failed and I tried PCLinuxOS which worked fine.
then the computer died, then I used Mageia on the new
notebook for about 3 years then found out that PCLinux64
had learned to deal with UEFI and I went back to PCLinus64 for
the last 4 years or so.
People who know the history know that Mandrake was the original
easy to use Linux with KDE, but it was forced to give up the name
of the master (comic book) magician and join Connectiva and
became Mandriva. But PCLinusOS had forked already.
Mandriva collapsed and new forks including Mageia and Open
Mandriva came into being. PCLinuxOS was more interesting
and complete before UEFI showed up on new computers.
bliss - who has tried out a ton of Linux OSes and even some
8 • Longest used (by Zorf on 2019-01-07 01:52:55 GMT from United States)
Red Hat, 1999-2001
Debian since 2001, I am always a release behind so right now its Jessie, once Buster is released I'll upgrade to Stretch.
9 • Longest distro use (by Romane on 2019-01-07 01:58:38 GMT from Australia)
After an earlier time of trying different desktop distribution, I settled on Debian, at around the time that Lenny became testing. I have consistently used, not stable, but testing. The reasons have been simple. Stability, consistency, availability of tools and applications that I use, and as expected after a longer time of use, familiarity. Apart from the very occasional glitch (expected for testing) Debian has proven rock solid.
I do still try other distros from time to time (dual/triple etc. boot), but there is always "something" that causes me to relegate them behind Debian, whether it be availability of certain packages I use, quirks in the installer, comfort to use and etc. It is rare that any of these other distro's last more than a few days to a couple of weeks before being wiped.
I know, after all this time, what to expect from Debian, whether after a period of long-term running, or when I may do a complete wipe and reinstall (simply because I can, and I feel like doing an install).
10 • Longest (by User2 on 2019-01-07 02:05:39 GMT from France)
Used Linux Mint since Barbara in 2006 until sometime in 2016. Tried Cinnamon when it came out but always had some hiccups, so switched to Mate. Using Kubuntu and/or KDE Neon for the last 18 months or so.
11 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by LiuYan on 2019-01-07 02:06:36 GMT from China)
On the server side, it's CentOS. I have several servers running CentOS for 8+ years.
On the desktop side, it's Fedora. I have made Fedora as my full time work environment for more than 6 years (when Windows XP is about to EOL).
12 • longest use of a distro (by mandog on 2019-01-07 02:46:05 GMT from Peru)
Arch Linux since 2005.
13 • Longest used distro (by Friar Tux on 2019-01-07 02:53:25 GMT from Canada)
Linux Mint/Cinnamon for three years, now. I have tried over a hundred distros and always come back to Linux Mint. It is the ONLY one that, until recently, has worked consistently out of box. Recently, I tried Q4os and it seemed to work just fine with no issues. Re:- Mint, I totally agree with Jesse's evaluation. The only thing I disagree with is the finding that Cinnamon tends to have issues when run long term. So far, after three years, it's still running great. I did try Mint/Mate but found it too limited - both in customization and desktop apps/widgets/programmes. (I love the desklets and applets in Cinnamon.)
14 • longest (by wolsonjr on 2019-01-07 03:21:58 GMT from United States)
Debian - at least 14 years; records unclear before that; I remember an enormous Slackware dial-up download (10 or 14 CDs?) as my first linux, hurts just to think of it.
Many others concurrently and prior but Deb has always remained my primary.
15 • the poll question... (by tom joad on 2019-01-07 03:32:59 GMT from United States)
For me it has been Linux Mint. I run either Mate or Cinnamon. I have several computers too. I am running MX Linux on those and had been for several years.
Like so many others have stated I want, crave, stability and predictability. I get that with Mint and MX Linux, revision after revision. I can get done what I have to get done or I can play. And all of it with OS just quietly doing what it does.
When I am out in the world so to speak and I have to get on the internet I use Tails or Tor. I stay off the internet with Mint or MX as much as possible when I am out.
Sure, I download this and that to play. I did that with Septor in the last week. (E-gads, that was dreadful!) I like to try new stuff. But when it comes to work and stuff...it is Linux Mint or MX Linux.
Both are 'Steady Eddies' so to speak.
16 • longest (by Gary W on 2019-01-07 03:59:41 GMT from Australia)
Possibly Debian, or PCLinuxOS... I can't remember exactly (that would be going back at least 15 years).
But currently, have MX for over 3 years. It's finely packaged, suits me. Starting to get into antiX for ultimate flexibility.
Note in passing: non systemd distros.
17 • longest use distro (by Stu on 2019-01-07 04:00:15 GMT from United States)
Slackware, since about 1995. Super stable. Configuration close to classic UNIX, a big plus for me.
18 • Longest distro use--without ever re-nstalling. (by R. Cain on 2019-01-07 04:24:35 GMT from United States)
I bought an Acer Aspire netbook with WinXP in 2010; immediately installed Ubuntu 9.04; switched to Mint 9, and then to Mint 13 Maya in 2012. Machine has been running Maya ever since--one of the best versions of Mint, ever, and it was a download of ≈ 850 MB. Has never been touched since. It is precisely the same as any 'modern' distro, and the machine--along with this Linux distribution--is more than the equal of any modern low-end Win10 4G/32G machine.
Installed Mint 17.3 (1400 MB) on a Lenovo Thinkpad in December, 2015. Never re-installed; use it every day just as it was installed 3 years ago. Wouldn't think of touching it for fear of 'messing up a good thing'.
[By the way, dedoimedo proclaimed both of these distros to be of 'the best'. I discovered this after I had installed them. He was, and still is, correct.]
19 • Longest distro (by GreginNc on 2019-01-07 04:25:43 GMT from Canada)
Been using Slackware as my main system since 2009. Started with Linux with the PcLinuxOS beta in 2006 and was happy with it for the most part and stayed with it until the switch to kde4. since then I've multi-booted many versions of Linux alongside Slackware but never used them for much outside of testing and giving others a glimpse into the Linux world. I recently installed MXLinux onto my side system, seems nice so far so I may keep it for a while.
All non systemd also.
20 • Longest use distro (by A Reyes on 2019-01-07 04:26:36 GMT from United States)
I have used pclinux as my main distro over 10 years. Have other computers to try other distro distro. Mint Mate is very nice and would be my second choice
21 • Linux distro & OS usage (by TheTKS on 2019-01-07 04:35:58 GMT from Canada)
Started on Linux and in late 2016 and BSDs in 2017, so voted 2 - 5 years.
2+ years for:
- If I count the *buntu family as one, Xubuntu and/or Kubuntu and/or Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04. Xubuntu the longest at ~2 years, currently only Ubuntu, but I aim to switch back to Xubuntu by 20.04.
- Puppies Tahr/Xenial and Slacko
- TinyCore / CorePlus
- elementary 0.4.1 / 5.0
I started on Slackware after that list, and OpenBSD after that. Those are 1-2 years.
I've tried many others, including non-Linux and non-BSD, and will keep trying others, but at this point, using Slackware the most, then Ubuntu, tied for 3rd are elementary and OpenBSD, then Puppies, then Tiny Core.
DOS/Windows 35 years or so, but now almost only at work. I was late to the Linux party. For personal use, it's Linux and BSD except for tax software.
22 • Distro Used the Longest (by Randy van Heusden on 2019-01-07 05:23:29 GMT from United States)
I have been a distro explorer and having been around the bench and for a long time always looking for what the next best thing is coming in the Linux world. Once I discovered Linux Mint in 2006, I have not looked back nor changed even though I had found others I liked and thought I might change to, but none of them were quite like my smooth experience I had with Linux Mint and now the Mate desktop. There were a few hiccups along the way, but always manged to find a solution to getting it to work on most every machine. I am still a Linux Mint lover. What will be next, who knows, but Mint is my every day desktop and OS of choice.
23 • Linux distros (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2019-01-07 06:15:07 GMT from United States)
I've been using Linux desktops for almost 20 years now. I've tried all of the major ones, and I usually stick with one until I have a requirement that another does better. But there are some principles most Linux users would do well to keep in mind.
1. Third-party support: only the very wealthiest of third parties will support anything besides Ubuntu LTS and RHEL/CentOS. GPUs are especially problematic with this. One of the reasons I stopped using Fedora was that I couldn't get my AMD GPU to function at full capacity with Fedora. And no, Linux Mint is *not* Ubuntu. It just isn't.
2. Keeping a desktop up to date: here there are two options. You can pick a distro with a six-month cycle like Fedora or Ubuntu or you can go with a rolling release. I prefer rolling releases. There are essentially three usable rolling releases: openSUSE Tumbleweed, Gentoo and Arch. Gentoo and Arch are difficult to set up;, but there are derivative distros with Live DVD installers.
I ended up on Antergos, an Arch derivative that supports all the major desktops and makes using the Arch User Repository (AUR) painless. The AUR is important because the community packages many tools that would otherwise need to be built from source, like the GPU drivers, deep learning software and RStudio.
24 • Longest used distro (by Robin on 2019-01-07 06:44:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
1998 - 2000 SUSE - why I don't know - it was awful!
2000-2002ish Slackware then stuff like Peanut, and all sorts of other fun stuff.
Switched to Ubuntu with Warty Warthog and then various 'buntu derivations till 2016. Was a big fan of Mint from day one but it got too stodgy. Xenial arrived and had a few issues like all the LTS versions and it had to go.
Shifted to Debian Q4OS 1.8xx series based on Debian Jessie. Sadly my elderly Inspiron 1501 (2006) chokes on the later stock Debian kernels after 3.16 and so back to 'buntu base.
Always had a soft spot for LXLE which I had run for 2 years 14.04 and tried the 16.04 version which was OK but just took up too much space on my 90gb SSD - something like 8gb seemed excessive.
Went back to Linux Lite which I had used around 2012 a lot. Got hold of XFCE based version 3.0 - first of the 16.04 based releases. Having learned a lot about LXDE/Openbox with LXLE I installed LXDE and have spent a few weeks kicking it around getting rid of SAMBA and other resource hogging daemons that I don't need. Sorted out the GTK3 fading scrollbar and a few other little tweaks and now it's all go.
Result is a fast boot - 15 seconds on 13 year old hardware with 7 year old SSD - tickover RAM at 183mb - as opposed to 300-400 in mint land etc.
Built installer with SytemBack and it is now my long term system.
25 • Linux Distro's (by Terry on 2019-01-07 06:45:18 GMT from United States)
I started using Linux since 1996. The only disto's I was aware of back then was Debian, Redhat and Slackware. These were loaded from floppy disk and you could only operate the system at command line level. This provided solid command line experience learning basic linux. Then around 2006 I first saw Mepis Linux. I liked the distro so much I stayed with it until it was no longer managed and kept up. That was when I really started disto hopping hoping to find the same as it was. Then I came across Mandrake/Mandriva, I liked that distro too and when Linux Mint first came out, I tried it and that one I stayed with for many years. Now days it seems most distros have the most of the basic essentials there does not seem anything new to want to hop to another. Only when your distro becomes out of date and not kept up then its time to find another that is being maintained regularly.
As of now, I have 4 linux distros running so that there will be at least one that is keeping current. I heard some one say that linux some time in the future may come down to only have Debian as the major core distro and that others like Ubuntu will slowly dwindle down and discontinue. So, two of my distress are Debian derivatives just in case and the other 2 are Ubuntu derivatives.
26 • Lonest used Linux distro (by Kamlesh Sheth on 2019-01-07 07:09:24 GMT from India)
I ma using Fedora since Fedora 4
27 • Distrowatch readers, compared to the official Distrowatch views? (by Gregory Zeng on 2019-01-07 08:08:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
Distrowatch readers, compared to the official Distrowatch: very interesting. So far, none verifying the Distrowatch "scores", where Manjaro is by far the "leader". Jesse's preferences seem unusual, compared to most (all?) comments.
Readers are not carefully confusing the one "official" Ubuntu (ex-Unity Desktop), with both the official Ubuntu family, and the "extended" Ubuntu families. Mint is favored by many users, as usual, without most (all?) noticing that it is part of the extended Ubuntu family.
In my case, with four (4) Windows-10 and up to ten (10) Linux operating systems, on my 2013 Dell notebook, it is easy to compare the many operating systems, on the same hardware. Linux operating systems can be installed & customized within 30 minutes, using the GUI-operating systems from Linux. So distro hopping is very easy within Linux.
For maximum task (fun & work) achievements, I prefer an operating system that stays invisible. Boring, dull and invisible is my mark of a good operating system, regardless of the hardware. So Mint-based systems are my preferred safe work-centered systems. Code-hackers are welcome to avoid real non-computing tasks, by choosing other CLI-friendly systems (Arch, Slackware, etc), in my opinion.
28 • Longest Used Distro (by Beeza on 2019-01-07 08:38:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have 4 laptops which are used for different work and home purposes. While my daily driver is now Mint Xfce, I've been using Xubuntu on one of my secondary work machines since 8.04.
It gets used every weekday and has always been rock solid, and the only problems I've ever had with it have been those I've caused myself (dodgy PPAs, for example).
The original default appearance of Xubuntu was dreadful but it's always been possible to greatly improve it by playing with the settings. Thankfully things are much better now, and xfce-look.org gives you even more options.
The reason I use Mint on my primary machine is that the whole family use it so that extra little bit of polish smooths their path, otherwise I'd probably have just standardised on Xubuntu for all my machines.
The only thing I really don't like about Xfce is the Thunar file manager. The last few years I've been using Caja, which runs great on Xfce and is in the Mint and Xubuntu repos.
29 • My favorite Linux distros (by Microlinux on 2019-01-07 08:44:44 GMT from France)
I'm using CentOS 7 on all my servers and OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 KDE on all my desktop installations. I've worked with pretty much every Linux distribution under the sun since Slackware 7.1, and this is currently the best choice for my company.
30 • Longest Used Distro (by A van der Tweel on 2019-01-07 09:45:32 GMT from Netherlands)
That 'll be Debian. I am using Debian 8 since 2015, before that debian 7. Linux user since 2008. I started with Ubuntu 8, but dropped Ubuntu when 12 did not really functioned on my PC.
31 • Longest Used Distro (by anticapitalista on 2019-01-07 10:21:05 GMT from Greece)
antiX since 2007.
32 • Longest used distro (by dimitri p on 2019-01-07 10:21:14 GMT from Greece)
debian of course
I loved both Deborah and Ian
I also love him (debian) cause of the moods
Sometimes mood Stable
Sometimes mood Testing
Sometimes mood Unstable ...
33 • Longest Used Distro (by DaveT on 2019-01-07 10:34:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Debian since Lenny. Moved on to debian unstable (sid) many years ago. Despite the name it is stable enough for desktop use. The changeover from grub1 to grub2 was an exciting time though!
I have used and installed other distros such as Red Hat and Slackware but much prefer debian at work and at home.
Devuan is coming along nicely but systemd has me trying the BSDs, OpenBSD is working well enough on my laptop but it would be a steep learning curve for newbies!
34 • Longest Distro (by Alexandru on 2019-01-07 10:45:30 GMT from Romania)
My Linux travel started with Mandrake 8.0 in 2002 (not really liked it), then it was SuSE releases 7.0 - 9.1 when I discovered Debian in 2004. Still then I always use Debian from 3.1 release, now 9 and am awaiting 10. I also tried several dozens of Linux distributions but still use Debian. So I am with Debian for almost 15 years.
35 • @31, kudos (by User3 on 2019-01-07 10:55:22 GMT from France)
I see your efforts are bearing fruit. I don't use antiX, but always keep MX on a USB stick. Success!
36 • longest runningf distro (by alotov on 2019-01-07 11:10:21 GMT from Russia)
Would have to be Slackware - from 9.1 to 14.2. I have experimented with other distros as a side line but always come back to Slack.
RE:Freebsd Media - You should try smplayer; I have trouble myself with VLC - it plays so much of a film then freezes, unlocks after a short period, then freezes etc
37 • Long Use Distro Mint (by Kev T Brown on 2019-01-07 11:12:43 GMT from Isle of Man)
I have used Mint since I switched over from Windows nearly two years ago. I am now using Tessa version. I use Cinnamon DE and use it every day. I have never had a problem with Cinnamon in all that time, nor with anything else, apart from one upgrade issue with grub2 which was easily solved and not the fault of Mint.
I have heard of others having problems, but then if you look on line I think you'll find that someone will complain about something in all distros which makes you think it could be the user rather than the distro.
If we are honest what we all really want is our main distro to just get on and do everything in the back ground and be stable so we can do our stuff without worrying about it. Oh yes, we can try others to see if we like them better, but if not then we still have our nice reliable one to use.
38 • Longest Used Distro (by Bert on 2019-01-07 11:28:11 GMT from Germany)
A very long time I used Fedora/CentOS/Scientific Linux. Mad by the Desktop and going back to
KDE (4.0) I am using Kubuntu/Linux Mint since 12.04. Since the declaration to cut KDE from the LM distro I am using LM19 with an own configuered KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS. I need much time to use apt, but now I don't miss yum and rpm. Because I like to use ppa's I will use an ubuntu distro in the next 5 to 10 years. Now as I told it is LM19 plus KDE. I am experimenting if it is better to use KDEneon and minting it by the repos. I have done this in a different partition, and I was astonished as after an upgrade it was relabeled as LM19. It seams this way is better. But in these times LM19 KDE runs very stable on my machine, and I like to use it till EOL in 2022. So I hope Canonical will put his energy into the ubuntu distro for a long time. If not I like to switch to Debian. Debian was my first contact (2.2) nearly twenty years ago. And in these decades I tested around 40 to 100 distros and worked with seven of them. But since 12.04 as Canonical optimized the ubuntu way I am glad to use an apt based distro. So many thanks to the Debian community for paving the way for effective tooling a distro which is very important for me. The tools and the community. I'm glad to be one of them.
39 • Longest Used Distro (by ethan on 2019-01-07 11:44:06 GMT from Germany)
I started with slackware in 1999 then Debian from 2001 to 2005.
Then I had to change my PC and I went for an iMac as a result I haven't ran Linux as my main OS for nearly 4 years (I was only playing with it in VMs).
In 2009 I returned to Linux as my main OS with #! on my laptop, Lubuntu on my PC, and regular debian on my server.
40 • Longest Distro (by Jymm on 2019-01-07 12:08:13 GMT from United States)
Well I have only been using Linux for 5 years. Zorin was my first and I probably used that for 3 years. Switched to the first Solus and that went defunct in a few months. Then tried Point, and that fell apart soon after. Then I ran Debian for about three years, before switching to Ubuntu Mate, which I have ran for 3 years also. Used all with the Mate desktop, except the original Solus which used Gnome 2. I am sold on Ubuntu Mate LTS now and it will remain my main distro as long as it exists. I also dual boot Parrot, but only for a couple of months now, if I need increased security.
41 • About Debian (by debianxfce on 2019-01-07 12:10:46 GMT from Finland)
Debian testing/Sid is best for desktops. It is a rolling release OS, has compatibility with Ubuntu ppas (over 95% of Ubuntu packages are directly from Debian Sid like Mesa packages). When it is Ubuntu compatible, Steam games works very well. Debian is the only distribution that has the fluidsynth-dssi plugin for the Rosegraden sequencer.
You can use Oipaf ppa Mesa git with Debian testing/Sid. It is essential for the AMD graphics users to use latest drivers.
Debian packaging mechanism is the best, you can make your own custom AMD wip kernel package easily. Creating your own distribution is easy with the simple-cdd package.
42 • Longest used distro... (by Ostro on 2019-01-07 12:15:42 GMT from Poland)
The longest used distro would be Ubuntu since 4.10, and the longest used DE is Unity, even today with 19.04 development release. Never used the default configuration, always tweaking with the best apps from other distros. Have tried all kinds of distros, even PC-BSD, but Ubuntu had been there all the time any one of my laptops. Earlier, of course, it was a desktop, now I have only laptops.
43 • Redhat/Centos 10 years (by Mark on 2019-01-07 12:49:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
You only get 10 years of support if you install when the release is fresh. I'm eagerly awaiting Centos 8 so I can re-install some servers and enjoy 10 more years of no upgrades!
44 • Most used distro (by Roy Davies on 2019-01-07 13:18:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
In the five years of using Linux distros I have tried most of what has been available. I keep coming back to three, MX, Mint xfce, and Xubuntu. Fedora comes a close fourth, with the rest either not meeting my taste, too long between introducing updated packages, or too much like others using tweaks that I could meke myself, even with my limited knowledge.
I find Debian, Sparky and Manjaro to be unreliable and inconsistent installers and have given up on them.
Linux is like life in general, we all have our wants and needs, our likes and dislikes. It's what makes us human. The only advice I would give anyone new to Linux is try before you 'buy'. Find the distro that suits you and you will enjoy Linux.
45 • Distro madness (by noar on 2019-01-07 13:47:23 GMT from United States)
First dipped my toes into Linux with Slackware around 1995. Fumbled around for a while then slid back to MS after running O/S2 for a year or 2. When I again decided to give things a fresh look, I returned to Slackware (early 'aughts) as the base, moving to the derivatives of Slax, Kate, Wolvix, Zenwalk, and the one I ran the longest, NimbleX. Then one day I ran across Mepis (Debian derivative, and MX co-foundation). I have been pretty much Debian since then (though now am on a Devuan derivative), and up until late this past year, there had always been a Mepis or MX distro on my machine that I used as a home while fooling around with the various 'mistresses' on other partitions. None of those other temtresses grabbed my attention enough to stray until I stumbled across a tiny 1 man spin called MIYO. Maybe it's a middle-age crisis, but I hitched my wagon to a new star, but I still found time to give MX18 a whirl around the dance floor, and find I still have feelings for her, but ...
46 • Longest Used Linux Distro (by Kevin on 2019-01-07 14:59:14 GMT from United States)
That's a tough one. I've done a lot of distro hopping. I'm not really sure exactly what the longest time span that I've used a single Linux distro is. I'm currently running Gentoo on my home desktop. I think I've been running this install since 2014. I had also used Gentoo once or twice int he past. So I voted for the two to five year range as I'm pretty sure I've run a single distro at least that long. I started using Linux somewhere around the mid 90s, back in the 1.xx kernel days before there were loadable kernel modules. The first distro I tried was Slackware. Now, if BSDs were included in the poll, the answer would be easy. I've been running FreeBSD on my web/mail server since 2007.
47 • Distro (by Any on 2019-01-07 15:34:23 GMT from Netherlands)
Always have a Slackware install on one partition of my main desktop. For my laptops I prefer Debian or Ubuntu derivatives - MX, Mint, Lite, Xubuntu, whichone suites better the laptop and my needs. Waiting for the Slackware 15 to try it on a laptop.
I dream for a Mandrake-like installer - during installation you can chose which package to install and the installer takes care for the dependencies and you have a message that a packages is going to be installed.
48 • Longest used distro (by Mike on 2019-01-07 15:56:50 GMT from Kenya)
The distros I've used the longest are Slackware and Debian (14 years, to be precise). Both are very stable and fast. My concern with Slackware though is that it is a one-man show while Debian with its thousands of developers and package maintainers isn't!
49 • My Distro @47 there is such installer (by Eureka on 2019-01-07 16:00:16 GMT from Switzerland)
My first Linux distro war Ubuntu which I used for 8 years (2009-2017), always upgrading to the next LTS release. Last year, after Canonical made its famous decisions, i began distro hopping and trying other distributions. Now, i use OpenSuse Leap KDE on my laptop and Ubuntu Mate on my older desktop. Very happy with both.
@47 Your dream is reality, if you install OpenSuse. Slackware? Well, that`s another story.
50 • I can't remember (by Jordan on 2019-01-07 16:17:47 GMT from United States)
I distro hopped very much over the years, beginning in 1996, from RedHat to Mandrake to Yoper to some whose names I can't recall.
But since around 2015 I seem to have more "narrowly" distro hopped, going back and forth between MX and Manjaro and PCLinuxOS.
Oh, wait, Solus has been on this machine, too.
To heck with it I don't know. I'm on Manjaro now.
51 • Linux route (by NoShadow on 2019-01-07 16:37:06 GMT from Spain)
Xubuntu --> Mint XFCE --> MXLinux
52 • Longest use of a single distro (by Kazlu on 2019-01-07 17:42:11 GMT from France)
Ubuntu holds the record for me with 9 years, but I quit using it with last year with the death of my last computer. At first it was because I attended an install party and it was the distribution that was featured, then after a few years when I started experimenting myself I always came back to Ubuntu, then Xubuntu, for lack of competition. Xubuntu was more usable, required less work to maintain and had better hardware support. The resource hogging bothered me more and more though, which is why I kept distro-hopping. Especially the need to manually clean old kernels on a long-living installation that I kept upgrading for about 6 years. The computer was a bit old though, Xubuntu is still great on a machine with more resources. Debian almost caught me, but in the end I stopped distro hopping when I met MX Linux. I've been using it for a few years and it's a marvel, I have no desire to change, even when I look at news on Distrowatch!
(X)ubuntu also holds my record for longest living installation (upgraded in-place, no fresh install), but this record may fall this year with my MX Linux installation based on Debian Jesse (if the computer does not die itself first).
53 • Longest distro on machine (by Trevor on 2019-01-07 18:41:27 GMT from Canada)
That depends how long it takes to download the most recent reviewed version - and install it! ;)
I used to use Fedora as my main OS - right until they aligned themselves with GNOME (a Mac desktop wanna be - IMHO). Then I started distro hopping - until Distrowatch reviewed AcroLinux (that's where I stopped distro hopping). I always wanted a reliable rolling release distro which AcroLinux truly is. I do have as a backup Manjaro Deepin though. Unless things drastically change with ArcoLinux, I really don't see myself distro hopping anytime soon.
54 • Distro size increase--and decrease--over time. (by R. Cain on 2019-01-07 18:53:29 GMT from United States)
Because I use Mint 13 and 17.3 (the two very best) long-term, I have kept statistics on their size. Notice the *DECREASE* in size of Mint 13 (Maya; and rated as one of the very best) relative to its predecessor; and the small size of ver. 17.3--rated the BEST LINUX DISTRO of 2016--relative to its successor; AND when Mint dropped out of 1st place on DistroWatch with its next (more bloated) version.
Thought you might be interested; Hope this provides some food for thought.
Mint 11, 32 bit: 867 MB
12/32 (-bit): 1GB: + 15.3 % (increase over previous version)
13 Xfce/32: 811 MB - 18.9 %
14 Xfce/32: 872 MB + 7.5 %
15 Xfce/32: 946 MB + 8.5 %
16 Xfce/32: 1.1 GB +16.3 %
17.3 Xfce/32: 1.3 GB + 18.2 %
18.3 Xfce/32: 1.7 GB + 30.8 %
--[based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS; adopted use of 'systemd' because of Ubuntu's adoption]
19.1 Xfce/32: 1.8 GB + 5.9 %
55 • Longest Used Distro (by dragonmouth on 2019-01-07 19:48:06 GMT from United States)
I used SimplyMEPIS until Woody Woodward decided to end his effort. From then on, it's PCLinuxOS.
56 • Longest Used Distro (by Simon Plaistowe on 2019-01-07 20:00:19 GMT from New Zealand)
Linux Mint has been my daily-driver desktop OS since 2010. Over the years I've experimented with many others but have yet to find anything that "just works" as well as Mint, while supporting a wide range of hardware and making it easy to install whatever software I require. I use Cinnamon for newer machines and XFCE for older ones. Did use MATE for a while but found the more recent versions too heavy on RAM.
57 • Longest Used Distro (by PMcCartney on 2019-01-07 20:09:28 GMT from United States)
For me, it's a mixed bag. At work, I have one Debian server and one FreeBSD server that have been in operation for over three years. The longest running distro I had for everyday use was Arch, I had it installed on a laptop and ran it for over two years. If the hardware didn't crap out on me, who knows.
I recently built a new desktop with a 500GB NVMe SSD for my OS, three 4TB HDs to configure with ZFS, an 8GB Radeon graphics card, and 64GB RAM.
I tried Debian (since that's what I'm most comfortable with), FreeBSD, Fedora, Arch, Xubuntu, Manjaro, and Mint. I ended up settling on Mint, because it recognized all my hardware, was the easiest to install, just about every application I use is the latest version in the Flatpaks, and the graphics run the smoothest (when compared to any of the other distros).
Xubuntu was a close 2nd. My biggest problem with any of the Ubuntu family of distros was with the graphics card. Video just isn't as smooth as it is with Mint.
58 • Longest use distro (by lincoln on 2019-01-07 21:55:01 GMT from Brazil)
I've used Debian since Squeeze (it was love at first sight), now the Stretch and for the foreseeable future. I want stability and predictability, to set up and forget. Many thanks to the Debian community.
59 • Musings on distros after prolonged use (2019) (by jeffrydada on 2019-01-07 22:15:28 GMT from United States)
I too am a notorious distro hopper. I have 2 machines. I use a desktop, and a laptop. My laptop is my distro hopping machine, with 2tb hdd I have three partitions, and they often change. I love trying new Oses, I regularly test for Mageia, Fedora, Makulu and Feren, Providing bug reports as I encounter them. My desktop though I use as a recording studio, it has 2 oses on it 16 tb of storage and 16tb redundant backup. My studio of choice is KXstudio I have been using it for almost 6 years. it is stable and allows me to run current versions of software that I need to record with. (Ardour, Tracktion, Hydrogen etc.) Being Ubuntu based upgrades are cake.(currently running 18.10) Recording audio is all it does though. No Browsers, not word processing and no games, for that I use my newest love. KDE Neon. It keeps me happy with the latest cutting edge KDE apps but still gives me a solid base to work from. Our family ditched OSX in 2014. My wife has used Peppermint ever since then. She loves it, uses it for photo editing and daily tasks. She runs her eBay business and her photography studio on her Acer laptop. She asked me recently why her computer doesn't slow down over time as her Macs used to. I just smile and keep her system updated.
60 • Longest used Distro (by Peter086 on 2019-01-07 22:17:42 GMT from France)
I tested Slackware 3.4 on a 486SX33 around 1997, but it was unbearably slow. My next contact was with Red Hat 5.4 (before the "Enterprise" days), but on a Celeron at 466 Mhz, and everything worked. Then I tried Mandrake succesfully on my hardware, even though it was bit of a hassle to get dependencies to work with my DSL hardware (since then I have never been a RPM lover).
The Live-CD technology permited me to test some Debian distros (Kanopix, Sidux, Aptosid, etc) that did work, and I discovered the ".Deb" package system. After a brief stint with PCLinuxOS (a VERY solid system, if your hardware agrees with it), around the year 2003 I made the switch to Linux as my main system, and then Ubuntu appeared. Even though having been unfaithfull to Canonical a few years with a Mint 8 to 14 affaire, I returned to Kubuntu (in spite of all the warnings about KDE4), mainly because it was my best liked DE from the old KDE2 days. I can say I have been using Kubuntu for around 10 years.
Is it perfect? No, but it gets very high scores on all areas, and KDE5 is proving to be a winner. Why a mainline system? Because I'm lazy: I like finding solutions on the forums (I'm not a programmer or a script junkie), and when it comes to Linux hardware support, it's either DEB or RPM systems.
61 • Longest used distro (by Dxvid on 2019-01-08 00:31:26 GMT from Sweden)
SUSE/OpenSUSE is the distro I've used the longest, since around 2000-2002 on both desktops and servers thanks to it's balance between user friendliness where "everything just works" while still providing power-user tools for those who wants to customize or increase security. They have wide support for hardware for servers, desktops and laptops and they focus on the two main WMs KDE & Gnome. I also like that they offer Gnome by default in SLES, it makes it easier for Windows sysadmins or beginner Linux sysadmins to do maintenance on SLES with the help of graphical tools, no need to copy and paste 30+ bash commands from forums with the risk of doing all kinds of beginner mistakes like in Ubuntu, CentOS or Debian. The possibility to rollback to a previous state before the maintenance has also saved me countless hours of work (snapper rollback with BTRFS) and increased up-time for servers.
In 18 years I've only found one flaw of OpenSUSE and SUSE, it's that they by pure principle don't provide info on how to get or install some software that is restricted in various ways, like Java JDK, MySQL, codecs in legal gray zone, Skype, Chrome, always favoring the truly free and open source stuff instead like MariaDB, Chromium, OpenJDK or Nouveau. Of course the solution is just a google search away, and you find VLC with all codecs in no time. The latest years however they have lifted their moral embargo a bit providing good information about how to install proprietary graphics drivers from Nvidia and AMD, and Steam works well too so gaming is pretty great these days compared to 15 years ago.
Ubuntu comes in second place, used since 2012 on servers, but I've also tried the various desktop versions.
They are only beaten by the Windows operating system which I've also used in parallel but started using already 1993, mostly desktop versions.
Apart from these three I've tried:40+ Linux distros, 4 BSD variants, a few different Mac OS versions pre X and X, OS/2, various Unix variants, MS-DOS, and "pre OS" computers where the BIOS/firmware simply made it possible to read a disk or cassette which loaded software directly. My first contact with Linux was through Debian in 1996-1997, but I didn't feel it was on par with Windows at all, so I switched to RedHat, then later to Mandrake.
Mandrake was in my opinion the first Linux distro that won over Windows in user friendliness for desktops. Since then the best Linux distros have been both easier to install and easier to use for normal office use. Linux is already biggest in servers and phones, I wonder how long time it will take before it becomes the most popular desktop/laptop OS too?
62 • Longest used distro (by Martin on 2019-01-08 00:51:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
AntiX since about 2008. Slim, fast and very stable.
63 • Linux use (by Meta on 2019-01-08 00:50:37 GMT from United States)
I have been using Linux Mint since 2012 in my last year of high school. I First tried out Linux Mint 10 on my Windows Vista Computer and then Linux Mint 13 ran on my moms laptop for 2/3 years until I put Zorin on it. I stoped and put mint on it do to Zorin using Gnome 3 with the 16.04 distro instead of XFCE. There version of XFCE is the worst and is no better then there Gnome 3 piece of trash. We NEED a Zorin BSD Fork.
I have tried other distros and OS"S and most of them don't fit my needs. Mint has been the best at every thing until Solus came along. The only issue is that like GhostBSD the thing does not boot. Can't get the thing to even install in a VM. Just shows that both projects have lazy programers.
I like Linux Mint because they make things just work unlike Ubuntu that just breaks things. I like for example mint includes all the Ubuntu repos and there own working out of the box. Take that Debian and Ubuntu you suck. I like how they do drivers and packages. I hate on Ubuntu they don't have an inipengant driver program like mint does. That makes it such a pain in the ass to get closed source drivers on Ubuntu. Also they use the software store instead of Gdebi! WTF. Mints way is better as they follow the way of KISS not the crap Ubuntu does. I love there version of XFCE. I hate how bare bones most other distros XFCE is. I like how on Mint they give you just enough XFCE stuff to get you going. I don't use Cinnamon at all so the locking up thing does not effect me.
I have tried the BSD's, but they suck hard. The only good one was Debian BSD.
64 • Linux user (by Argent on 2019-01-08 01:08:08 GMT from United States)
Been with Linux going on 7 years, left Windows XP for Debian CrunchBang after a few weeks distro hopping. About a year or so later found a minimalist distro called STAR, fast, truly lightweight and easy on system resources. Have since left Debian along with STAR moving to Devuan over the last few years. Very smart move!
STAR is on one of my laptops and one of my main machines, super impressed with the developer attention to detail and minimalism, just works. Fluxbox, JWM and Openbox window managers are my primary desktops choice over running a full desktop enviroment (DE).
65 • FreeBSD 12, longest used distro (by bones on 2019-01-08 02:07:31 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the excellent review of FreeBSD 12. My BSD usage has been primarily focused on OpenBSD, but I am now leaving the Linux world to focus on BSD, so it's time to give FreeBSD a thorough evaluation. Your review was very encouraging.
As far as longest Linux distro used, that would be Slackware, the only one of a handful of distros left that are really worth considering at all (including Alpine, CRUX, Gentoo/Funtoo, Devuan, and Void).
66 • Longest used distro (by Saleem Khan on 2019-01-08 02:42:52 GMT from Pakistan)
PCLinuxOS since version 0.92 and Arch Linux since 2009 . Recently installed witchOS as a triple boot along with the earlier mentioned and windows 10 on second machine.
67 • Linux use (by nick on 2019-01-08 05:40:03 GMT from United States)
I started in the late 90's with Linux and purchased Mandrake 8 (maybe it was 7) in a box. It was easy to use and for someone that didn't know anything at all it made the introduction gentle and enjoyable. I helped a friend install Fedora core 4 and OpenSuse on his laptop. I just remember being overwhelmed that the installer for Suse was 4 whole CD's that I had to burn. (Not to mention tying up the phone downloading all those ISOs).
As Mandrake moved on so did I. Landed on arch for a while in its early days and got fed up with a couple updates gone sideways (also had a difficult time figuring out LUKS + DMCrypt and partitions with no nice tools to walk through). Eventually found my way back to Suse. I remember checking Arch's website only to find a "do not update!" warning, with instructions on how to manually recover or intervene. It's fine a couple times but got tedious quickly.
I discovered Crunchbang way too late. It was already dead a month into me using it. Should have taken notice earlier.
Used Tumbleweed for some time until I just found that it wasn't quite as stable as I like (much better in recent years). I loved the idea of Yast though, and have yet to find another distribution with full configuration management centralized like that. I can't fully explain but I always felt like Suse was a bit laggy on the desktop and not as lightweight as some of the others.
I did revisit Debian and Ubuntu, but I never felt like I enjoyed how they laid stuff out. It was just odd quirks that were frustrating to me. (Non standard location of folders or tossing binaries in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin that were usually elsewhere) Ubuntu seemed focused on just working which was nice, but I always felt like it came at the cost of other features. Or sometimes the features were not what I felt like needed improvement. Unity, MIR, upstart, etc...
I now have settled on Fedora and have been happy for the most part. The mix of new + stable seem to mesh well and I feel like they pushing Linux foreward (rather than respinning an existing distro with some flashy wallpaper). SELinux sometime will frustratingly get in the way, but I suppose that is worth it.
Always eager to check out new distros and as of now Void is looking pretty interesting. I'd love to see them get a nice installer and gain some traction
68 • FreeBSD on a Desktop (by Dave on 2019-01-08 08:08:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
There is a great Youtube review that shows FreeBSD is very much capable of being a desktop OS:.
69 • longest used distros (by Francois on 2019-01-08 10:17:25 GMT from France)
TinyCoreLInux, since its first version, (outperformed other RamOnly distros for my needs, fastest, and very lght on Ram too).
PuppyLinux Or Knoppix; (for ramonly too, depends on hardware).
Ubuntu, installed on hard disk by OEM, and kept in parallel to TinyCoreLinux; (because I was lazy to tweak).
( And... Windows..., in the shadows of all the Linux distros, stiking there, like a pain in the back, has to be present on each and every computer,eventhough was never ever started ....)
70 • Longest used distros (by Flavio R. Cavalcanti on 2019-01-08 11:31:14 GMT from Brazil)
I am using Kubuntu since 2009
Dualbooting with Mint since January 2016
Dualbooting also KDE Neon since April 2016
71 • Longest used distros (by Fox on 2019-01-08 12:38:43 GMT from Canada)
I am a former Mac user; I switched over to Linux 5 or 6 years ago and had been playing with Linux distros for a few years prior to this. My longest used distro would be Ubuntu hands-down and I am still using it. Others I have used secondarily include openSUSE, Crunchbang, BunsenLabs, Pop_OS, Fedora and most recently, MX Linux. I am now using Mint Cinnamon on my office computer (2015 iMac). I had a lot of trouble finding a distro that would boot up quickly on that machine, and Mint was the only one when I originally bought it. The newer kernels of Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 now work well, but I've stuck with Mint (now 19) on that computer so far. Ubuntu is my regular for my home computer (2011 iMac) and laptop (Dell xps 13). I really liked the Unity desktop and thought I would stick with that when Ubuntu switched to Gnome, but I really like their implementation of Gnome and have switched to it. The 18.10 desktop with Yaru (communitheme) is quite nice, and I'm now using it with almost no modifications.
I really hope Canonical doesn't sell out to a bigger company like Red Hat did. That would be the one thing that would make me switch from Ubuntu.
72 • @27 (by brad on 2019-01-08 14:14:33 GMT from United States)
Of course, you know that the rankings merely mean that a distro has been "visited" - I suspect that the reason that Manjaro gets little love in this thread, is because folks see the word "Arch" associated with it, and think, "Nope to the nope-y nope nope..."
73 • Longest Used Distro (by Argo on 2019-01-08 14:22:19 GMT from Canada)
Skipped around a little bit when I first started, and mostly began using Mint KDE and Netrunner back in the 17.X days. Once Netrunner switched to base Debian, I moved to Maui, and used that for a couple years until Mint decided not to go forward with KDE and the Maui team began to move back toward Netrunner. At that point, I picked up KDE Neon and haven't looked back; it's been a couple years on Neon so far, and almost no complaints!
74 • Longest used distros (by Igor on 2019-01-08 15:15:41 GMT from Croatia)
I am an ex slave (Windows until 2000 EOS, MacOs X until Tiger). Tried Mandrake for a while, but Windows updates kept on breaking double boot back then. Next, tried Slackware and it was fine (and still is), but I needed true GUI DE for the most things I do. So I did thorough research and found openSUSE matches my needs best. It was some six years ago, and I am still with it, for good or bad times.
I survived transition from KDE 4 to 5, with some scars, though SUSE did their best to mitigate it. Valuing stability high, I choose Leap and clean install every few years. Like any other distro living long enough, it had its ups and downs, but at its best it is a classy OS. My loudest complaint goes to modern but ugly 2D Plasma graphics.
Then, maybe a year later, we bought Acer Aspire Revo 3610, low-pow nettop to serve humble computing needs of my mother in law. So I did a research again to find a replacement for makeshift Limpus Linux that came preloaded, and to avoid Windows that already proved too complicated for the old lady (82, yo!). After initial failure with PCLinuxOS that kept on misidentifying nVidia ION SoC and installing wrong video driver that was breaking the system, I found Mageia. Of this distro I have only nice words to tell, and I am recommending it to anyone accepting KDE.
Then, a little longer than a year ago I was presented with old Lenovo laptop, with a Core2Duo hearth, that can not seriously sustain modern 64 bit computing, so I looked for a suitable 32-bit distro, not too heavy on resources, and surprising choice was Debian Stretch. It took some time before I completed the installation, but so far I like it very much. Again, complaint goes not to the distro, but to the DE. Believing that there is a good reason for a distro to have preferred DE, I am sticking with Gnome3, with its idiosyncratic shell. But I do recognize there are excellent gears under this repulsive hood. Only, the Gnome folks are reasoning the way Apple does: we have found the right way, don't look elsewhere, just follow. And I believe I have my own ideas about my computing.
Finally, I need an Ubuntu based distro to communicate with my government. It is going to be Bodhi that I already tried, and is closest to what I see as a beautiful GUI (which is important to me), besides being light, not bloated, and (surprisingly again) friendly.
So far, it seems that most of my first choices were good and potentially long term choices, which is telling more about the way Linux distros are these days, than about me.
75 • Longest Used Distro (by Lancre on 2019-01-08 15:17:27 GMT from United States)
I used MEPIS until Warren Woodford decided to bow out. From then on, it's SolydK.
76 • Longest Distro (by kc1di on 2019-01-08 16:34:29 GMT from United States)
For me it's Mint xfce Been using it forever and it's never failed me. It's my Go to distro.. I try others but always come back to mint.
77 • Longest Used Distro (by MaxHeadroom on 2019-01-08 18:07:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
First dabbled with Linux when Windows 95 was the latest thing but back then the GUI was optional as far as I can recall and Linux just required too much effort including compiling hardware specific kernels and hand editing xfconfig. At least that's my recollection - not so much easily accessible internet support in those days!
Tried again over the years: Suse (loved it until they sold out), Ubuntu (until Unity which I hated) but often got more done in Windows to be honest.
After much distro hopping discovered Mint 18.3 and it works well for my general (home) needs and configures well out of the box on my hardware. Now on 19.1. Works well (except bluetooth). I use it as my default.
Have tried other distros including Manjaro but I tend to judge success by how much hardware works. Having to use Xrandr and failure to install an Nvidia driver killed that distro which is a shame because it was responsive and looked good but too much didn't work (I'm still a Newbie in terms of sorting out the difficult configuration issues).
Can't currently to see a reason to move away from Mint, but keep a separate HD with Win 10 for stuff which just doesn't work on Linux.
78 • Okay I counted it up (by Jordan on 2019-01-08 18:35:57 GMT from United States)
Is this about longest time continually using a distro? If so then I honestly can't remember but I think it might be PCLinuxOS several years ago when I had "settled" on it for about 2 years. Then I had an issue and was yelled at in their forums for not doing a search before asking, so I got mad and began another era of distro hopping.
If ti's about how much time overall I've spent on a particular distro, then Manjaro wins; off and on for years.. I'd say a total of two to three years and it's what I have now for several months.
Manjaro really is the best, in my opinion. No update breakage. No need for their forums but maybe I will go have a look.
79 • FreeBSD 12 thoughts. (by Meta on 2019-01-08 19:24:33 GMT from United States)
"There is a great Youtube review that shows FreeBSD is very much capable of being a desktop OS:."
Have you sceen his videos on GhostBSD and Nomad BSD. IN those videos he admits that FreeBSD is not ready for Linux users because things "just don't work" out of the box. I tried to give GhostBSD a chance on my HP Stream 2014 and it did not boot do to the OS not being able to unload the compressed UFS file system into RAM. Debain BSD did boot and did install and it was from 2015. IT did not see the local storage (flash SSD) or work with the track pad, put it could have been installed.
The Best shot for any one taking the BSD desktop seriously was with Debian BSD. Now that it is gone so is the chance that FreeBSD will get any where near the desktop. I just watched the latest epiosde of FreeBSD and they are more focused on the unusable ZFS then getting GhostBSD working.
I have tried to give it a fair shake back since around 2012 and it still has not gotten better. The FreeBSD OS focuses to much on servers to be a good desktop OS for real work or as a desktop. IN this week of Distrowatch weekly they also came to as much. This hurts things like GhostBSD do to them haveing a base that is as good as sour spoiled milk. I like the idea of FreeBSD, but in the real world the thing just does not work. i have had better hardware support out of Haiku OS B1 then FreeBSD 12. I only use X86 hardware for School and work, but my Personal computers are all PowerPC Macs until I can get enough money for an Amiga x5000 from Acube systems or Amiga on the Lake. FreeBSD is the only OS that cares other then OpenBSD. Even then there PowerPC iso's don't work do to the PS3. This shows that they don't test the software for PowerPC and it is just source code ports. That means you have to recompile the intire iso and for a guy who can't figure out cmake that is to big of a task.
I like my OS to work as I want to play with games not the OS. My version of fun is not compiling pacakges, but plaing video games or watching hot chicks in Anime. Thus crap like FreeBSD where I have to mess with the system every 5 years and have to do it from a terminal or not interesting. With Ubuntu all you have to do is back up your themes, games, settings, and ppa's. The last can be done now with no fuss with Y-ppa-manager and there is nothing similar on FreeBSD. Even GhostBSD package mangment was not as good as PC-BSD's with octopkg.
FreeBSD 12 still does not have BeFS support even though it is released under the MIT and has many features of Et3 with out the GPL issues. I get why the BSD guys don't like the GPL, but there stuff is offten worse then the GNU Programs. This is why I chose Debian BSD over FreeBSD and wanted to see it grow and why I can't wait for the fork called LongHorn BSD to replace it and just hope it does not die like UbuntuBSD do to legal crap with the LongHorn Linux project on SourceForge.
80 • Hopping to find perfection (by Nick on 2019-01-08 23:33:13 GMT from Australia)
An interesting read. As I read through it I was hoping my personal favorite would make the list, but with the large variety of options we have it was not to be.
I first tried Ubuntu but almost immediately I was put off by Unity. So I tried Linux Mint (it was quite new at the time) and I liked it (apart from Cinnamon, I had the very same issue Jesse described, so I quickly switched to Xfce which I still use almost exclusively to this day). However at this point I'd caught the distro hopping bug and I was hooked... I tried all of the popular ones and several smaller ones as well and gradually worked out what I liked and what I didn't.
Eventually I tried settling down but this proved to be quite tricky. The two near successful attempts were Debian and Manjaro, I liked Debian's stability but wanted newer software, which Manjaro had but it also had some bugs.
Then I found openSUSE. It ticked all my boxes. At the time it required just the right amount of tinkering for me, it needed a little work done to perfect it but not so much so as to put me off. The documentation and forums had all the info I needed, and every tweak I wanted was possible and indeed not overly difficult. The package manager is fantastic as indeed are the rest of the comprehensive tool set. And all the while it was stable.
Of course like all teams they have made a few odd choices at release time. A few major releases ago they chose not to remove the Live-CD session though every other popular distro had one at the time (they put it back in 2 years later) and they made an odd leap in their versioning system (pun intended). Luckily neither of these things had any impact on day to day usage.
81 • desktop OS (by Trihexagonal on 2019-01-09 04:34:15 GMT from United States)
FreeBSD as a desktop OS for 13 years. I currently have eight laptops, seven are running FreeBSD and one running OpenBSD.
82 • Long used distros (by Kevin O'Brien on 2019-01-09 04:43:14 GMT from New Zealand)
Puppy goes back to 1.1 and remains useful as it usually boots and is a good hardware tester.
PCLinuxOS had a an early cousin which morphed int Mandriva. The 0.92 version has continued upgraded to recent versions. For some years PCLInuxOS was on most of family computers. My wife still uses it. Mint v12 was on active service until recently when it became a victim of Windows games.
Recently I have put two laptops on MX Linux. One is 10 years old and the other a newish Lenovo with a dual core Celeron. It is very agreeablle with MX. Slightly techy in its style but very well appointed with software. Virtual BOx runs well in the 1.7Gb workspace available and it is fast enough to keep the files in the Linux system and work with them in Windows 7 Pro.
Slowly retiring from Windows completely.
83 • Desktop Linux (by donald on 2019-01-09 06:34:54 GMT from Finland)
@67 "Fedora pushing Linux forward "
Fedora its sever oriented software puts desktop Linux backwards. They are wasting resources by reinvent wheel again with gnome3 and wayland with less features than X software have. Pulseaudio, systemd and networkmanager are buggy too and all redhat actions causes people to use win10.
84 • long used distro (by Titus_Groan on 2019-01-09 07:31:46 GMT from New Zealand)
since Mandake 5.1 have been in the Mandrake / Mandriva / Mageia camp, so coming up 20 years.
hardware support is great, video: intel, ati radeon and nvidia graphics display without issue
wifi: intel, atheros, broadcom, always correctly identified, never drop out.
printing / scanners / bluetooth: always just works
3g network: just choose the country/ISP/plan & connect with a phone simcard.
32 bit support for older hardware, multiple desktop environments available to run as stand alone or mixed and matched DEs.
install is a breeze and then forget about the O/S. (except for a steady supply of updates)
Use the computer for what it is meant for: work or play.
NOT FIXING every LITTLE ANNOYING PROBLEM that can sap your enjoyment in life as I find in other distros. no PPAs to needlessly worry about- are they safe and secure? is AUR safe? really! always.
I do have about 40 VMs of various distros (inc flavours of Windows) that I keep up to date, just to see what the competition is up to ;)
85 • Long used distro, and reply to @83 (by far2fish on 2019-01-09 08:11:32 GMT from Netherlands)
I was using Fedora in dual boot with Windows from about 2003 until 2011. Since I was spending more time playing FPS games on Windows than booting into Fedora, I won't count that as my longest running distro.
Since 2011 I have exclusively been running Linux on the desktop with Fedora, Antergos and Ubuntu being the primary ones. I have been running Fedora since August 2016, so that is what I regards as my longest running distro.
@83, I'd have to disagree with you that Fedora is server oriented. Fedora Workstation, is in my use case as a software developer, an excellent desktop IMHO. Despite various valid concerns over systemd, it is actually working great. That Gnome 3 is a resource hog is a fair statement though. Then it is good we have plenty of choice for using an other DE or WM. Personally I am using openbox with a tint2 panel to have a lightweight WM on Fedora.
86 • @84 (by Angel on 2019-01-09 10:24:12 GMT from Philippines)
I guess we all have favorites, but I've had little if any problems with drivers in most distros in years. Also, the use of PPAs and AUR in Ubuntu or Arch and derivatives is not mandatory., so where's the danger and worry? As some American lady once said: Just say no!
Me, I use Arch and Ubuntu precisely because I like PPAs and AUR. Hey, I live large and risky! Just the other day in a fit of nostalgia I fired up a VM of a highly customized Windows XP, started up K-Goanna browser and went slumming, looking for trouble. A ho-hum experience so far, but I know one of these days there will be the proverbial knock at the door. (Shudder!)
87 • #86 You Made Me Laugh Out Loud (by Paul on 2019-01-09 12:54:30 GMT from United States)
#86, I cracked up when you stated that you started the customized VM with XP and went "slumming!"
I am still laughing!
88 • My linux odyssey over time from TH in Minnesota (by Ted H in Minnesota on 2019-01-09 15:29:11 GMT from United States)
I started out in linux with Ubuntu 9.x, as I recall. Stayed with Ubuntu until Version 11.4 or thereabouts, when they switched over to Unity. (Gnome 2 or equivalent, forever!) I tried Solus for a while, and liked it, especially their blue sun with solar flares logo (!) but stopped using it when they went on hiatus. Then I found Point Linux which I liked very much (much fewer menus and menu-depth than many other linuxes and Windoze.) - In Windoze, you might stumble onto something, and it would be 6 months later again before you accidentally stumbled onto it again! - In Point Linux, which was pretty much just like XP, you'd find it again very, very quickly! - it had few menus and short menu-depth/burrowing! I got away from Point Linux after a few years, when with subsequent newer versions, they kept dropping features I liked. I then went to Ubuntu Mate, which I still like, but I am now mostly using MX Linux 17.1, which I like even better (and am now trying out just-released 18.0). Most linuxes enable you to search for a file or for an app, but not both. MX linux enables you to search for both! MX linux also enables you, which I like even better, to save a persistent version of your customization of it to a stick drive! Nice! Why don't all linuxes enable you to save them persistently??! (Hint, BIG hint to other OS developers...)
Oh, and one thing I insist on that a linux OS has - Synaptic. I have NEVER HAD ANY LUCK with using any other package manager! With other package managers, I've gotten messages something like "repository not downloaded, you need to upgrade it", and then when trying to upgrade it, a message something to the effect that "cannot find/access upgraded repository").
If I try out a linux and it doesn't have Synaptic, it goes right straight into the garbage can! (Another hint, hint to OS developers who don't use Synaptic - Use Synaptic as your package manager - It's straightforward!, and IT WORKS!)
Ted H in Minnesota
Personal Computer user since 1985
(Starting with an Atari ST, "The Poor Man's Macintosh", as I liked to call it)
P.S. I like Debian .deb files because I can physically dl (download) them to my computer and install them with gDebi, and not have to, unlike many other distro file apps which exist only in the distro's repository "cloud", HOPE that the app will be there again next year should I need it again! (It may or may not be there in future..., while on saved on my hard disk, it and other favorite .deb apps ARE THERE and will ALWAYS be available!!!)
89 • @88 Synaptic (by Ostro on 2019-01-09 17:22:36 GMT from Poland)
"If I try out a linux and it doesn't have Synaptic, it goes right straight into the garbage can! "
Well, most (or all) Ubuntu distros would go that way. Those devs are pretty worried that some user might find out a better set of "default" apps, so they simply make it hard for Synaptic to be installed.
90 • Longest Distro Use (by Rev_Don on 2019-01-09 17:23:00 GMT from United States)
I've been using Knoppix continuously since ver 2.1 in 2002. A USB drive with it is always on my person when I leave home and have had it installed on hard drives at various times as well. It may not be my daily driver (that's Windows for software reasons), it is my main Linux Distro and will be as long as it remains available.
91 • @88&89 Synaptic (by Eureka on 2019-01-09 17:53:47 GMT from Switzerland)
None of the Ubuntu flavours has the Synaptic by default and main Ubuntu uses the Gnome Sofware Center. But why be so limited? sudo apt-get install synaptic - and there you go! Synaptic is a package menagement tool for Debian and Debian based distros. Many other distros does not use it at all and are still quite usable. Also, on Debian. Mint, Ubuntu and other Debian based distros: sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get upgrade: and sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (if needed) works fine. I do not understand your problem.
92 • @91 (by Fox on 2019-01-09 18:14:32 GMT from Canada)
I couldn't agree more. I am a regular Ubuntu user, but after installing any Debian-based distro, the first thing I download is synaptic. I always use it in preference to a Software Center-type app for finding and installing new software. One of the reasons for this is that the Software Centers often don't have access to the full range of software available from synaptic; I don't know why.
93 • @91 Eureka: (by dragonmouth on 2019-01-09 18:28:01 GMT from United States)
Not everyone is comfortable using apt or apt-get. Some people do prefer using GUI. Synaptic is a vast improvement over any of the so-called "Software Managers" that the *buntu distros try to foist on their users.
94 • &93 (by Eureka on 2019-01-09 18:36:32 GMT from Switzerland)
Ok, so just înstall it and use it. It is just one line in the terminal: sudo apt-get install synaptic, press Enter and then type your password and press again Enter and that's it. In Ubuntu Mate you can install Synaptic from the Mate Software Center. Probably you can also find it in Gnome Software Center, but I have to check. Install it and use it. Don't complain about nothing.
95 • Musings on distros after prolonged use (2019).. (by Az4x4 on 2019-01-09 19:29:14 GMT from United States)
Enjoyed Jesse's review of 8 different Linux & BSD desktop offerings tremendously. Didn't find much if anything to argue with, and most that I agreed with. In particular I found his comments regarding Linux Mint matched my own experience with that distro over the past 12 years.
I've tried them all, as any good distro hopper will, yet after all is said and done Linux Mint, originally with the Gnome 2.x desktop, now with Mate', remains my go-to distro of choice, basically for the very reasons Jesse pointed out in his review.
Of late MX Linux has likewise grabbed my attention, my reasons once again running parallel to what Jesse's review of that distro had to say. Have it running in a Virtualbox on my main Linux Mint machine, and find myself trying different setups with it including substituting Mate' for the default Xfce desktop. Haven't yet hit what I'd call the 'sweet spot' with that particular configuration, but it shows promise!
96 • FreeBSD and Linux distros (by Simon on 2019-01-09 20:56:00 GMT from New Zealand)
Thank you for the FreeBSD review: after twenty years on Linux I've always found the learning curve (different tools, or differences in the way some tools work, etc.) enough of a nuisance that I've abandoned my BSD installs and gone back to the familiarity of GNU/Linux. The way you've described FreeBSD however, as an operating system that "rarely does anything unless told to do it", has convinced me to stick with it in future, and spend enough time with it to get a proper sense of the pros and cons of switching to it permanently.
Google searches are an obvious example of how today's software is designed for incompetence and so deliberately ignores what users actually tell it to do, doing instead what it decides we would really prefer it to do if we were competent enough to say so, despite the instructions we gave it. In the Linux world, systemd is another example of that trend: the endless drift away from good design for competent users and towards usability for idiots. If FreeBSD still cares enough about competence to be a trustworthy OS rather than another try-to-guess-what-this-occasionally-documented-constantly-changing-pile-of-automation-might-do-now circus, it's better than most modern Linux distros.
97 • Libranet introduced me to Debian, my longest used distribution (by Matt on 2019-01-09 21:14:36 GMT from United States)
I began getting interested in Linux after the horrendous Windows Millennium edition was causing my computer to crash daily back in 2001. After jumping around trying distributions, I purchased the commercial Libranet distribution as a way to help me get Debian installed. After the demise of Libranet, I switched to Debian proper.
Now I have been using Debian on my main workstation for 15 years. I now also use Debian on my laptop and home computer as well. As others said, Debian testing makes a nice rolling-release desktop OS that you can keep using for years.
In my opinion, Debian has become much easier to use over the years. Ubuntu and Mint made Debian easier, but they don't really hold that much advantage any more over using plain Debian testing for a desktop OS.
98 • Debian, nonsystemd (by Dimitris on 2019-01-09 21:37:12 GMT from Greece)
into linux for the past 14-15 years..
first years changing between distros (knoppix, mepis, kanotix, sidux)
then came pure debian unstable for almost 9 years, till systemd became too much to bare..
tried antix, MX & devuan after debian, and must confess they all worked very nicely.
gave LMDE2 a shot too before those, but didn't stay there much.
settled down currently, with a mix of devuan beowulf/ceres along with some ascii packages.. (not an ideal setup, but ironically, it's a temporary measure for stability..)
99 • Longest Use of a SIngle Distro (by djhyland on 2019-01-10 01:36:53 GMT from United States)
I've been running Gentoo since 2008 or so, and just gave up on an install that I'd had since March 2009 and across two computers. Unfortunately, it was a bit too crufty to make the leap to my new computer, but I've got a new install working and aim to keep this one for another nine years or more.
I've tried other distros during this time, and I keep a Mint or Ubuntu partition around so I can use it to fix my Gentoo install if I mess something up, but I don't see moving away from Gentoo any time soon.
100 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by Bob McConnell on 2019-01-10 03:40:54 GMT from United States)
Frustrated with Microsoft's bumbling attempts to convert the face of MS-DOS into a GUI, I began to search for alternatives in 1991. XINU was cute, but not at all what I needed. MINIX had possibilities, but Dr. Tannenbaum's avowed goal to keep it as an educational experience insured that it would not be that useful as a day to day environment. Then in the spring of '92 I stumbled across Soft Landing Systems. I downloaded about eight diskettes worth of files over a 9600 bps modem, and Linux 0.99PL12 was off and running. It looked and felt so much like the Unix systems I had been using that it was a natural. Unfortunately, SLS was about a decade ahead of the market, trying to be what Red Hat would later become. After they folded their tent, in the summer of '93 I switched to Slackware, a fork of the SLS package. I have never found any reason to look at anything else. I currently have three workstations and two servers running Slackware 14.x.
101 • MIYO - Devuan: Longest use of single distro (by Orig on 2019-01-10 08:41:13 GMT from Switzerland)
Got into Linux in first half of 2018 to run on an old, slow, RAM-deprived machine. Spent a couple of weeks trying various distros in a virtual machine. Early on in the process I decided I would limit myself to non-Systemd distros (what's the point of moving away from corporate Microsoft to corporate Systemd?). After much digging and researching the Linux distros available I discovered and settled on the obscure MIYO Linux (a sub-version of Devuan). Minimalist, easy to tweak, beautiful aesthetics, runs fast on my old, slow machine. I initiaIly gave Salix (Slackware derivative) a go but it didn't last longer than a week, after good first impressions you then discover that installing software is problematic to say the least.
102 • linux distros used (by meanpt on 2019-01-10 08:41:15 GMT from Portugal)
I always start my tasks with bodhi. If things don't run as expected, I turn to lxle. If lxle can't cope with it I turn to my old Ubuntu 16.04, which I upgraded from 12.04 and still runs all the desktops then provided for ubuntu, including the "classic" variation. I keep this "triade" aligned on the same ubuntu base, while testing their new releases. Nonetheless I still gauge new releases from other distros and still try new distros, but just for curiosity, not for distro hopping.
103 • Synaptic (by Rev_Don on 2019-01-10 15:42:55 GMT from United States)
"If I try out a linux and it doesn't have Synaptic, it goes right straight into the garbage can! (Another hint, hint to OS developers who don't use Synaptic - Use Synaptic as your package manager - It's straightforward!, and IT WORKS!)"
I think you guys are missing the point he was trying to make. I could be wrong, but based on the preceding paragraph I believe his point is that he wants a distro that uses the Synaptic/Apt eco system. I doubt very seriously that he has a problem installing Synaptic on a distro that comes with Apt as the default package manager. He just doesn't want a distro that comes with any other package manager.
The preceding paragraph: "Oh, and one thing I insist on that a linux OS has - Synaptic. I have NEVER HAD ANY LUCK with using any other package manager! With other package managers, I've gotten messages something like "repository not downloaded, you need to upgrade it", and then when trying to upgrade it, a message something to the effect that "cannot find/access upgraded repository"). Fooey!"
104 • Linux distributions. (by R. Cain on 2019-01-10 16:17:20 GMT from United States)
"Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa - Adrift..."
"...Mint seems to have lost its edge. It does what most other distros do and little else besides.There's no supreme quality factor as once upon time, where Mint did things no other system could..."
"...Mint used to be...the friendliest distro around. Not anymore. I can't name even a single distinct killer feature that it has, plus the...innovation and fun is gone...This is a change, and not a good one, with a steady, gradually increasing loss of quality....Overall grade, 6/10. On a sad note, here goes the first review of 2019..."
105 • @104 (by Eureka on 2019-01-10 17:08:18 GMT from Switzerland)
Why do you quote Dedoimedo? Any reason? Distrowatch reviewed FreeBSD not Linux Mint.
106 • Reading, reading comprehension, and too-quick comments... (by R. Cain on 2019-01-10 18:36:43 GMT from United States)
"Why do you quote Dedoimedo? Any reason?..."
I thought (incorrectly? You tell me...) that if Jesse Smith did it, it would not be improper for me to do so.
Have you sent Mr. Smith a query asking him why HE referenced dedoimedo?
For your enlightenment and education--an *extremely* valuable benefit of reading DistroWatch--, you might try reading ALL of DistroWatch before commenting...
From DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 796, 7 January 2019 (THE ONE you're reading now)--
“...We also link to Dedoimedo's favourite distributions of 2018 ...”--Jesse Smith
“...Dedoimedo took a look back at the releases of 2018 and presented some thoughts on which projects offered the best desktop experience...”--Jesse Smith.
107 • @106 (by Eureka on 2019-01-10 18:43:09 GMT from Switzerland)
Well, posting a quote without any comment and explication does not make much sense. Is this an invitation to read Dedoimedo, do you agree or disagree with him or anything else? Be clear.
108 • Reading, reading COMPREHENSION, and TOO-QUICK comments... (by R. Cain on 2019-01-10 21:03:26 GMT from United States)
"Well, posting a quote without any comment and explication does not make much sense..."
Not 'making much sense' oftentimes--no; make that, "almost always"--reflects negatively upon the person complaining about "...not making much sense..."
Once again--"Have you sent Mr. Smith a query asking him why HE referenced dedoimedo?"
"For your enlightenment and education--an *extremely* valuable benefit of reading DistroWatch--, you might try reading ALL of DistroWatch before commenting..."
*"Reading comprehension is a big problem in open-source"*--DEDOIMEDO,
Updated: February 24, 2016--
"Houston, we have a problem. Linux users can't read good [sic]..."
*"More reading comprehension issues in Linux"*--DEDOIMEDO,
Updated: August 15, 2016--
"...What really shocked me, like OMG WOW WTF like is the level of reading comprehension difficulties, yet again. We are talking _Distrowatch_ comments, Reddit comments, organic article comments..."
109 • antiX Removes Pulse Audio (by Justin on 2019-01-10 22:06:08 GMT from United States)
The above release announcement says antiX 17.3 removed pulseaudio. Does that mean that Firefox for that platform does not have sound? I was thinking about migrating there once Mint 17.3 hits EOL (numbers must be a coincidence), but no browser sound support isn't so appealing. Can any antiX users comment about this?
110 • @108 (by Eureka on 2019-01-10 22:13:50 GMT from Switzerland)
Mr. Smith referenced Dodoimedo because in this issue of Distrowatch Weekly we are talking about our favourite distributions, and Dedoimedo just made a list of, in his opinion, the best Linux distributions for 2018. Mr, Smith explained why he linked to this list and I understand very well his explanation. What I do not understand is why are you copy paste from Dedoimedo´s article without any explanation or comment. And you still do not give any explanation.
111 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by Fernando on 2019-01-10 22:43:19 GMT from Brazil)
I started using Linux as my main OS since just last year and quickly became a distro-hopper. I already know all the DE's and the most popular distro and still didn't quite found my home. I always get stuck between my fallback "just works" distro - Linux Mint - but i always wanted an arch based one so i could feed my hopes that every mesa and kernel update would squeeze some FPS for my dota.
112 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-01-10 23:41:37 GMT from Brazil)
The longest was LMDE (Mate) from the beginning (2014?) here, until systemd...
Now is MX18 (Xfce). Superb.
With AntiX 17.3.1 (iceWM) in the pendrive and other partition. Amazing.
For internet banking Mint 19.1 Tessa (Xfce) in another partition.
One machine. The thrill is here...
113 • #109 • antiX Removes Pulse Audio (by anticapitalista on 2019-01-11 00:03:45 GMT from Greece)
Sound should work fine in Firefox without pulseaudio. (thank goodness)!
114 • re Linux Mint 19.1 Dedoimedo review (by Morton on 2019-01-11 00:09:51 GMT from Ukraine)
Dedoimedo Linux Mint 19.1 review which is quoted in the comment #104 is a good sample of egocentric observations made on one piece of hardware which happen to be in the author's property. Defaults are not good (as always). You can respect OS defaults (and try to understand them) but change them all in two minutes if you wish. Or you can write an article about how bad defaults are, it's easy one. Also it seems that review conclusions are drawn mainly from the live session. Another example from review: "The CPU ticked like mad, with Xorg taking a constant 11-12%". OK, but that's nonconstructive observation which leads nowhere. Opposed to that, now I have Mint 19.1 working on four different PCs and notebooks (Intel, AMD, video nVidia, AMD and integrated) - no spikes at all, CPU at 1 to 6%. So the conclusion about Mint deteriorating resources for me is not trustworthy etc etc.
115 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by bruce dixon on 2019-01-11 05:58:51 GMT from United States)
I keep two computers, a laptop and a desktop.
The laptop is for distro hopping, with a data partition and 3 32G partitions suitable for installing whichever Linux distro strikes my fancy this month. Arch, Antergos, Debian, MX Linux, Mint Cinnamon, CrunchBang, Mint Debian, Bodhi, Robolinux, Kubuntu and some others have all had a turn. One of the partitions though always seems to have some version of Mint on it.
My desktop the last five years has been a built from scratch thing with 32G of RAM and a 2TB HD as data drive with the OS booting off a 256G SSD. Till this summer I ran one or another Ubuntu LTS on it, about four and a half years in all. Every six months or so, when it slowed inexplicably I just reinstalled on the SSD. And several times a week I sync the data drives using rsync.
But when Ubuntu 18.04 LTS came out they upgraded GIMP to version 2.10, which (only in Ubuntu, not Antergos or Arch which also comes with GIMP 2.10) only sees or saves files on its own partition. As GIMP is absolutely essential for the work that pays my bills, I switched to Kubuntu 18.04 which still uses GIMP 2.8 and has no problems seeing and saving files on my data drive.
116 • Arch (by Wayne Edward Boyd on 2019-01-11 14:27:46 GMT from United States)
I've been using Linux for over 20 years and have distro hopped a lot more than most. However, once I figured how to install Arch via a smartphone and YouTube (taking notes along the way) I don't believe I will need to hop any more. That being said, the longest I've used any distro was probably a couple of years with Mint, but on average about every couple of months.
117 • Follow-up on installing Synaptic (by Ted H in Minnesota on 2019-01-11 15:38:55 GMT from United States)
"None of the Ubuntu flavours has the Synaptic by default and main Ubuntu uses the Gnome
I immeditately thought, yes they do, but on thinking about it, I remembered - yes, you're right
- I did have to use the Software Center to find Synaptic and install it, but I knew it would be
there so I hunted for it.
You wrote: "Eureka Ok, so just install it and use it. It is just one line in the terminal: sudo apt-
get install synaptic"
That's fine if one KNOWS it can be done and how to do it. I didn't know that until I read your
post. (Thank you.) Not everyone knows what you know.
I am wondering if Synaptic can be installed and work in non-debian-based OS's ??
118 • Synaptic (by Jesse on 2019-01-11 15:49:42 GMT from Canada)
@117: "I am wondering if Synaptic can be installed and work in non-debian-based OS's ??"
It can, sometimes. Synaptic is pretty closely tied to Deb packages, so it's not going to be useful on most non-Debian systems. However, PCLinuxOS uses Synaptic with their RPM system due to an unusual package management approach.
119 • @ 103 • Re: Synaptic (by Rev_Don on 2019-01-11 17:00:30 GMT from United States)
Well, looks like I was wrong after all.
120 • Longest use of a single Linux distro (by keith stoneman on 2019-01-12 03:18:48 GMT from United States)
Late to the party but thought this was interesting. If it is limited to Linux only, then longest would be Mint at a couple of years, followed by Manjaro for the past year. Lots of distro-hopping in between.
If it is in the broader sense of "open source OS," then definitely OpenBSD at over 8 years now.
121 • long linux usage (by recognition of Linux lambs on 2019-01-13 02:20:04 GMT from Australia)
Tails is good for secure net use, Mint & MX are good for user-friendly desktop use.
Meanwhile: seems like some ppls have made New Year resolutions not to rant on systemd in 2019? Either that, or they're still on holidays :)
122 • This forum IS NOT about you; it never has been... (by R. Cain on 2019-01-13 02:22:38 GMT from United States)
Here's a major clue for all who use DistroWatch to advance a personal agenda: DistroWatch's ONLY driving force and *very* valid claim to credibility is statistics--"the mathematics of large numbers"--and NOT on PERSONAL opinion(s) and your ability to run certain OSs on specific hardware. AND...it seems that some are more interested in veiled personal attacks than in accepting information on operating systems **on a site which is dedicated TO, and built specifically on unbiased and objective information on operating systems**.
It's been my experience that there are two types of individuals who comment on a [TECHNICAL] forum such as this: those who have something technical to contribute, which adds to the conversation; and--unfortunately--those whose only 'contribution' is to *try* to display their erudition by disparaging the comments of others.
"...Dedoimedo Linux Mint 19.1 review which is quoted in the comment #104 is a good sample of [EGOCENTRIC] observations made on one piece of hardware which happen to be in the author's property..." *
"...Opposed to that, now *I* have Mint 19.1 working on four different PCs and notebooks...So the conclusion about Mint deteriorating resources for me is not trustworthy etc etc [sic]" *.--
**It's not about you...**
"...Mr. Smith referenced Dodoimedo because in this issue of Distrowatch Weekly we are talking about our favourite distributions..."--
And so am I. What's the problem...?
105 • @104 (by Eureka on 2019-01-10 17:08:18 GMT from Switzerland)
"Why do you quote Dedoimedo? Any reason? Distrowatch reviewed FreeBSD not Linux Mint."--
You are obviously laboring under the VERY false impression that one can only comment on an OS which DistroWatch *has just reviewed*. You get the Benefit Of The Doubt--SERIOUS problem...
"_And the best distro of 2018 is ..._", DEDOIMEDO *
"Updated: December 31, 2018"--
"...Year after year, MX Linux is getting better and better, climbing in me charts - and if you trust community reviews, then MY EXPERIENCE REFLECTS THE WIDER IMPRESSIONS ACROSS THE TUX SPHERE...Which only shows that care and attention and passion can do wonders. Whatever your take from this article is, I suggest you take the freshly coming MX-18 for a spin. And we're done."
dedoimedo; possibly one of the very few true, hard-working, objective*, long-term Linux reviewers whose techniques and strategy is the same as DistroWatch's: the use of statistics--and the 'controlled experiment'--in order to arrive at valid conclusions.
IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.
"Unfortunately, most people people will accept facts as being "the truth" only if those 'facts' agree with what they already believe."--unk
123 • Longest Used Distro (by Clarke Sideroad on 2019-01-13 03:49:26 GMT from Canada)
I started using Linux in 1997 with Redhat, then moved to Mandrake, SuSE and eventually in 2002 tried Debian and stuck with it until 2015 for a total of 13 years.
I then jumped ship to the Devuan fork and have been happily using that since.
I have tried many other distros and usually keep something different running for an extended period somewhere else, for example my bike shed computer runs AntiX and my accounting computer runs Win10 and Calculate.
124 • longest used distro (by dave esktorp on 2019-01-13 12:19:13 GMT from United States)
I have probably used Xubuntu more than any other distro, but AntiX is probably my current favorite, even if I'm not using it at this very moment. I also like Devuan but I had an easier time with AntiX, so it's a tossup in that regard. My Linux golden era was Ubuntu 10.04.. after which, I switched to Xubuntu. (because of Unity)
125 • An 8 MEGAbyte operating system? Boots in 10 seconds? (by R. Cain on 2019-01-13 18:38:36 GMT from United States)
From DistroWatch.com News:
"A feature we introduced during the break is the ability to search for distributions which are designed to be run from RAM. The new Distribution Category flag is called From RAM and will list projects we know of that have a boot option to load the operating system into RAM."
"Did we miss a distribution with a boot option to run from RAM? If so, please let us know."
An OS which I find extremely intriguing is one which is written entirely in Assembly Language, requires 5 MB (that's NOT a typo) of RAM, and boots in 3 seconds (that's not a typo, either); it is called 'kolibriOS'. Jesse Smith reviewed it in August, 2009 as "...a desktop operating system in under 3 MB."
I do not know whether or not it can be loaded into, and run from, RAM, but I intend to find out as soon as I can get a little (no pun intended) time.This OS features a monolithic, pre-emptive kernel.
From the kolibriOS website ( http://kolibrios.org/en/download ) dated 11 January 2019 (obviously, this is actively supported)--
"KolibriOS is an open source operating system for 32-bit x86 computers based on MenuetOS, written entirely in Assembler/FASM." It is stated that builds are available nightly, and that the OS now requires 8 MB of RAM, and ten (10) seconds to boot. Shucks!
[This article includes a 6-second flash movie demonstrating the 3-second boot time. You have to look VERY quickly.]
Number of Comments: 125
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
PLD Linux Distribution
PLD Linux Distribution is a free, RPM-based Linux distribution, aimed at the more advanced users and administrators, who accept the trade-offs of using a system that might require manual tweaking in exchange for flexibility. Simultaneous support for a wide variety of architectures and non-conservative approach to RPM usage provide the users with a consistent environment on almost all available architectures.