Poll

Which Linux distro do you use (mostly)?

MX Linux
2 (1.9%)
Manjaro
5 (4.7%)
Mint
21 (19.6%)
Elementary
0 (0%)
Ubuntu
30 (28%)
Debian
19 (17.8%)
Fedora
4 (3.7%)
CentOS
5 (4.7%)
Arch
7 (6.5%)
openSUSE
5 (4.7%)
Other
9 (8.4%)

Total Members Voted: 107

Author Topic: Which Linux distro do you use?  (Read 7334 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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Which Linux distro do you use?
« on: September 16, 2019, 10:05:21 am »
There has been a lot of talk about Linux (particularly as a replacement to Windows 10). I'm curious as to what people here use and why.

Personally, I'm running Arch Linux as my daily driver. But have previously used Mint, Ubuntu Desktop, Fedora Workstation and CentOS. All have their strengths and weaknesses. Ampera (on the forum) helped me set up Arch (as it doesn't have a GUI installer) but it's very powerful.

More recently I've been considering Manjaro (which is based on Arch) as it seems quite popular; 2nd most popular on Distrowatch in the previous 12 months.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 11:49:40 am »
I'm the only (first) other... Slackware

But anything is better than windows 10.  Wife and daughter have windows 10 and we switched ISP and both of theirs will randomly say 'no internet' when connected, despite every other device in the house working fine.  Thats just the latest issue with 10.
 
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 12:22:04 pm »
Manjaro isn't really useful if you already run Arch with no problems. If there's a specific feature it has, like the graphical pacman frontend, then you can always just install that on normal Arch Linux.

Manjaro tries to be Ubuntu with Arch, in that it packages up simplification tools so that it's easier for non-linux people to use. My few moans with it are the desktop environments available to choose from (which is fine, they're easy to change, but it's packaging high weight environments, which I personally am not a fan of), their using separate repos for packages (somewhat understandable, as Arch has strict guidelines as to what ends up on their repos), and just not lining up with my personal theory that Linux is best used when you understand how it works, not when you're relying on someone else to understand how it works.

I obviously use Arch, and I think it's one of the best Linux distros for people who want to learn Linux. It has one of the best implementations of modularity in the Linux world, with an efficient and pretty hard to screw up package manager (let's not talk about the AUR though). It has better out of the box hardware support than most other distributions, given that it does not come with X, and the Linux kernel supports terminal modes going back to pre-VESA BIOS modes if you really needed it. This means it's possible to better understand your hardware and get the right drivers while you're installing X. It encourages people to keep it simple, stupid, and understand how your machine works so you can get the best out of it.

In my opinion the only possible switch I would make is to FreeBSD, which has much cleaner implementations of a lot of things, and it already runs on my server. Its only sin is that it has no usable linux binary support (doesn't support latest glibc). If it did, I'd love to have hybrid pacman/pkg package management (or both in the style of PacBSD) for Linux/BSD binary package management. If I can get all my Linux stuff, and all of my BSD stuff in one place, I would be in heaven.
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Offline edy

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 01:54:13 pm »
The poll asks obviously some basic distro questions but it is important to note that there are sub-flavors for each of them. It would be impossible to list them all, so I understand why the poll has to be more general. As far as I know, Ubuntu is branch of Debian. However, even within Ubuntu there are a bunch of different types which I use depending on the situation....

- Lubuntu for my older laptops, light-weight and fast
- Ubuntu Studio for my main working productivity machine

I try not to use the regular Ubuntu "GNOME" type distro because the UI is too graphic/processor intensive for most of my older machines. I like the interface but I don't need all those bells and whistles. I know you can install other GUI's on top of standard Ubuntu but I just go straight for the distro that is already either bundled with XFCE or LXDE.
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Offline legacy

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 01:55:49 pm »
Our hobby-projects at DTB are based on Gentoo Linux/GNU. We do support Gentoo/PPC, Gentoo/HPPA, and Gentoo/MIPS on EOL hardware { Apple/PowerMac-G4, HPPA-C3xxx and C8xxx, SGI/MIPS-IP30 and Atheros5-9 routers}, while our dev computers run Ubuntu, simply because it does what we need and it's ready out of the box without the need to dig deep into dependencies, broken packages, and all the problems that emerge with Gentoo.

Our Windriver dev-machines are based on Ubuntu for the same reason, but some are based on Debian due to our customers' preference.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 03:08:52 pm »
Arch.

Note: I run a small server mainly used as a NAS, which is on CentOS, the only Linux machine I own that isn't on Arch. I had set it up before I even started using Arch, and CentOS seemed appropriate for this use back then.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 03:32:02 pm by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 03:26:37 pm »
Debian for standard server & workstation stuff. And ubuntu for other people's machines that I sorta-kinda-support. Mainly because that way the standard answer for support questions like "How do I XYZ?" then becomes "Well, google ubuntu XYZ";D

I try not to use the regular Ubuntu "GNOME" type distro because the UI is too graphic/processor intensive for most of my older machines. I like the interface but I don't need all those bells and whistles. I know you can install other GUI's on top of standard Ubuntu but I just go straight for the distro that is already either bundled with XFCE or LXDE.

On that note, every once in a while I try out a new window manager to see if it's any good. Most recent trial being LXDE. While it's nice enough, I miss all sorts of handy features. So it is back to fvwm2 for me! About the only thing that I miss in fvwm2 is good RandR integration.
 

Offline krish2487

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 08:44:37 am »
Ubuntu with i3 wm.


Simply because of the sheer amount of information available for it as mrfibble said... It is one of the most common/newbie/user friendly distros out there.. So it seems like it would also have a higher number of common problems and solutions.. And I am kinda used to its quirks by now.. having spent well over a decade +.


oh and Centos for servers. rock solid, stable and easy to use.
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Online bd139

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2019, 10:02:12 am »
CentOS but I only run it on servers rather than clients. Rationale: it's RHEL really, well tested, reliable over more than a decade of usage, trustworthy and well documented. Have run hundreds of nodes with it and can't really fault it.

If I had to go desktop linux it'd be Ubuntu though. I like my conveniences
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 10:09:46 am »
For the next laptop (Lenovo? Carbon? I have "hope"  :D) I will for sure make a second particion for Arch.

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- What is that?
- that? what?
- That thing!
- Ah, my japanese PDA ...
- is it a pocket computer?
- Yep, running Linux.




Lesson learned: the Captain HardLock flag stuck on the top shell is so nice and funny but doesn't help to pass the check-in because when agents see a skull they wonder bad things (is it a bomb? is him a terrorist? let's check out)
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 10:21:35 am »
Oh that's cute. I want one  :-DD
 

Offline AngusBeef

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2019, 10:30:48 am »


Manjaro isn't really useful if you already run Arch with no problems. If there's a specific feature it has, like the graphical pacman frontend, then you can always just install that on normal Arch Linux.

Manjaro tries to be Ubuntu with Arch, in that it packages up simplification tools so that it's easier for non-linux people to use. My few moans with it are the desktop environments available to choose from (which is fine, they're easy to change, but it's packaging high weight environments, which I personally am not a fan of), their using separate repos for packages (somewhat understandable, as Arch has strict guidelines as to what ends up on their repos), and just not lining up with my personal theory that Linux is best used when you understand how it works, not when you're relying on someone else to understand how it works.

I'm currently using Manjaro - I fucked up my Arch install so it's a nice halfway there sort of thing. I will go to Arch eventually when I have more time to sit down and fully understand it. That said, I still needed to do configuring to solve about 10 issues that remained specific to my hardware combo and I still can't get my damn user to have rights to access USB devices as a serial interface without accessing the command line every time I unplug something and plug it back in, nor get it to remember my XINPUT mouse acceleration settings.

I think your personal theory can be said for anything, but at the end of the day in most cases I'm using a computer to accomplish other tasks, not for the sake of understanding how it works. If I can speed up or otherwise automate those tasks I have to do, then maybe the understanding of how it works becomes useful. But if I'm using a computer to write documents and browse the internet and other 'day-to-day' things, I just want something that works.

My only gripe about Arch is the lack of 32bit support. I've got a Motion Computing LE1600 tablet PC from way back (ok not so far) that has a Wacom tablet built into the display. But it's 32 bit and so Arch and Manjaro are out. It's running Mint right now because of the out-of-the-box functionality. I do believe there is some kind of modification I could do to the kernel in order to run on 32 bit but returning to my previous paragraph I use my devices for other purposes and don't always have the time to sit through a 6 hour command-line and wiki-reading session to be able to prove my turbo-autism on the alter of the UNIX god just to get the damn thing installed. One day soon I will, just not yet.

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Offline AngusBeef

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2019, 10:38:26 am »


Manjaro isn't really useful if you already run Arch with no problems. If there's a specific feature it has, like the graphical pacman frontend, then you can always just install that on normal Arch Linux.


I'll second you on that - if you can use Arch to its full capacity then Manjaro doesn't add much to the mix.

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Offline legacy

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2019, 11:09:31 am »
But if I'm using a computer to write documents and browse the internet and other 'day-to-day' things, I just want something that works

Then buy a second hand Apple Laptop, even the script-writer of Sex And The City wrote on a Mac(1)  :D
(kidding, but well, it's true that those products are made for day-to-day things. It's Apple Business)


(1) The PowerMac G3 Wallstress was used by Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie sex and the city.
So, from the script-writers to the actresses, they all wrote on a mac :o :o :o
 

Offline AngusBeef

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2019, 11:11:14 am »
But if I'm using a computer to write documents and browse the internet and other 'day-to-day' things, I just want something that works

Then buy a second hand Apple Laptop, even the script-writer of Sex And The City wrote on a Mac(1)  :D
(kidding, but well, it's true that those products are made for day-to-day things. It's Apple Business)


(1) The PowerMac G3 Wallstress was used by Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie sex and the city.
So, from the script-writers to the actresses, they all wrote on a mac :o :o :o
I actually dislike Macs, primarily for their cost and their forced obsolescence.

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Offline BravoV

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2019, 11:16:12 am »
Noob question, is there any distro, that capable of emergency boot mode like windows "safe mode" by default ?

What I mean "safe mode" in windows is, even at crappy resolution 640x480 and no hardware acceleration at all, still, for noob like me that is scared of command prompt, can still alive, kicking and probably do some GUI style fixing using GUI-ed system configuration tools.  :P

Its not like we're still using Hercules vs CGA era anymore right ?  ::)

Offline AngusBeef

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2019, 11:18:33 am »
Noob question, is there any distro, that capable of emergency boot mode like windows "safe mode" by default ?

What I mean "safe mode" in windows is, even at crappy resolution 640x480 and no hardware acceleration at all, still, for noob like me that is scared of command prompt, can still alive, kicking and probably do some GUI style fixing using GUI-ed system configuration tools.  [emoji14]
Just install it from a USB stick and keep it around. If you ever need to go into a "safe mode" you've got a version that will run off the stick that you can solve everything with. Manjaro and Mint will both run everything off USB and include drivers for Wireless and all of that. Even my Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse work running off the stick

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Offline taydin

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2019, 11:18:45 am »
I was a long time Gentoo Linux user, but eventually I got tired of fixing breakage after updating the OS.

Switched to Arch Linux for a while and liked it a lot. But I'm doing yocto linux work on my linux desktop and with Arch, I have noticed very frequent breakage of the yocto build process. This is because everything in Arch is cutting edge. Arch switches to a newer perl, and yocto build craps out. Arch switches to a new make, yocto craps.

So I eventually installed Debian and now I can focus on yocto without worrying about the OS breaking it. I still want to use Arch, but first I need to find a way to work on yocto in a docker container so that it is shielded from what's happening in Arch. Once I have that in place, I will go back to Arch.
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Offline BravoV

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2019, 11:37:14 am »
Noob question, is there any distro, that capable of emergency boot mode like windows "safe mode" by default ?

What I mean "safe mode" in windows is, even at crappy resolution 640x480 and no hardware acceleration at all, still, for noob like me that is scared of command prompt, can still alive, kicking and probably do some GUI style fixing using GUI-ed system configuration tools.  [emoji14]
Just install it from a USB stick and keep it around. If you ever need to go into a "safe mode" you've got a version that will run off the stick that you can solve everything with. Manjaro and Mint will both run everything off USB and include drivers for Wireless and all of that. Even my Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse work running off the stick

Ok, thanks, but when booted thru this USB, is there a "GUI" style system configuration tools that is "adequate" to fix common system problems right ?

What I mean common problems are, the type of problems at noob's computer.

Few years ago when AMD released new Ryzen, bought a new spanking mobo + Ryzen cpu, with the naive thought its time to migrate to Linux as I believed at that time Linux was matured enough even for noob, I was wrong. As I didn't want to dual boot with my Win7, just want to have a full single boot disk solely for the linux and have a self motivational kick to start to get use linux.

Downloaded latest & "stable" Fedora at that time, installation went smoothly, and Ryzen was still very new at that time, the standard package probably didn't have the latest or complete system chip-set driver. Everything went fine, and then the system suddenly suggested and notified that there was an updated system/chipset driver for the Ryzen, downloaded, installed and rebooted, and BANG !!!, the system booted with tons of errors and left me at "text mode" command prompt screen waiting for the root to log-in, and no clue nor hint what to do next.

Thats it, I decided to postpone the migration, as its too much trouble just to have a stable basic OS to boot up even I didn't screw up.

Is it still the same situation for today's distro ?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 11:40:33 am by BravoV »
 

Offline AngusBeef

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2019, 01:57:41 pm »
As long as you stay away from Arch linux. Both Manjaro (my current favorite, based on Arch but without the masochism) and Linux Mint (basically what Ubuntu should be but isn't) work out of the box. The only issue I've had so far on four different devices was that on one old tablet PC it didn't have wireless drivers installed so I had to use ethernet (I copied the drivers over now, so now it will have them if I have to go onto the live usb). But the other 3 configured off the live USB perfectly, including external HDMI devices, wifi, bluetooth, logitech wireless keyboard and mouse, etc. Plus, since they're user-friendly versions of linux they include GUIs for everything you need

Felt the need to add this point... So I first used Linux like 15 years ago when I was still a kid. It was fucking hard as shit and I was only 13 at the time so it's fairly normal. Also, I had dialup so I downloaded Fedora for about 2 weeks at night when nobody was calling. Later, I found out that Ubuntu would ship CDs to your house, so I got one of those guys (still have it) and it worked much easier for me. But comparing my first Linux excursion to what I recently (I mean literally 2 weeks ago) started again is a night and day difference. Everything is easy, nice, neat, clean, etc. I have a lot of older hardware and everything is running Linux now except my one Windows device because I need Windows for work. I don't know why I waited this long to come back.

TLDR: Yes and I recommend Manjaro followed by Linux Mint.

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« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 02:03:35 pm by AngusBeef »
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2019, 02:02:38 pm »
Lesson learned: the Captain HardLock flag stuck on the top shell is so nice and funny but doesn't help to pass the check-in because when agents see a skull they wonder bad things (is it a bomb? is him a terrorist? let's check out)

 :-DD

Of course, it's very close to the symbol used for acute toxicity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GHS_hazard_pictograms
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Offline edy

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2019, 11:02:37 pm »
Is that a Sharp Zaurus PDA ? Like this one:



They are cute, although very tiny. How does it compare to say a cheap budget 11" screen laptop that you wipe clean and install Linux on? I see some for under $200 new, and you can probably pick up some refurbs off lease for less than $100-150 these days. I gave up on trying to make a RasPi-based laptop.... will never make it as compact as I want. I'll save the RasPi for the Arcade project. :-)
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2019, 12:09:04 am »
Gentoo on my main PC (was my OS of choice when I built it, couldn't be bothered to redo everything), Arch on my laptop (now my OS of choice for a machine to tweak for daily use), Ubuntu for most test machines (except when I need a specific distro for certain tasks), Debian on my mini home server (referred to as "LilDebby"), Raspbian on Raspberry Pis, and OpenWRT or DD-WRT on routers and similar small network appliances.

On the topic of PDAs with hardware keyboards, there are some new(er) ones but the specs aren't exactly impressive even accounting for the small size. I would really want to see one with the latest Tegra.
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Offline BravoV

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2019, 06:12:54 am »
Plus, since they're user-friendly versions of linux they include GUIs for everything you need

Do those GUI system fixing tools can do it's job at the already installed broken OS , such as my case above ?

Thanks for the suggestion, I guess Mint will be my next adventure.

Online bd139

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Re: Which Linux distro do you use?
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2019, 08:48:28 am »
Even as someone certified to fix that shit, if the boot process fails I just reinstall the whole node. The whole Linux boot process is a complete piece of shit from end to end. It's a gigantic rube goldberg machine.

When I deal with a linux machine, I tend to create one or more separate logical volumes at /vol/N and then link /home and the bits of /var I care about to it. Then if anything goes wrong I can spew a new OS onto it, relink and deploy config (via ansible usually) onto the machine and bring it up. It's not impossible to entirely replace a whole hosed node in AWS or on your desktop in under 20 minutes then.

The BSDs get the boot process spot on. Which is ironic as from a conceptual level it looks like windows  :-DD
 


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