Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts on Linux Distributions

I've been trying out different Linux distributions for years now. Have always wanted to try different ones, sometimes lose interest and so on. Here are some thoughts on the major distributions I've had a chance to give a shot.

Just downloaded openSUSE 11.2 and gave it a go in VirtualBox using GNOME. True enough, it's not a totally fair test, but it seemed to run much slower than all the other distros I've tried virtually. Not sure why. It seemed to be a bit of a resource hog, demanding more than the typical 256 MB I allocate for a virtual machine. Had a very clean interface, didn't get a chance to enable 3D support though to see the full UI effects. I liked that it gave me stuff to read during the installation. Fair to say I haven't tested this distro very thoroughly yet. Will have to try it natively sometime to see if it really is a resource hog, even though it claims to have improved laptop power management and performance.

Tried Fedora 10 in April 2009 for a while. Had a few wireless issues, getting aircrack-ng and wicd to work properly. Liked it otherwise. Not really used to the whole RPM package management thing. I'll say right now that I'm a GNOME fan. Can't stand KDE and don't even know why.

Gave Slackware a go for a short while. Got KDE running on it, and some basic configuration. It's a little more work than your out-of-the-box newbie distros. Don't think I'm proficient enough in Linux yet to try Slackware fully, but getting there. Mainly had trouble getting my wireless to work.

The two main distros I seem to keep coming back to are Debian and Ubuntu. Debian makes a great server, tons of documentation and support, and even an extensive security manual. I'm most used to a Debian-layout system. I've used Ubuntu quite a bit for general purpose desktop/laptop everyday use. Yeah it's nice to claim you're a Linux genious and anything that "Just Works" is for newbs, but it's even nicer to install, and get to it. Little to zero configuration time. Excellent support forum for Ubuntu. I'd have to say that if there are two distros I'll stick with, it will be these.

Tried Gentoo once back in high school. Hah! Was I ever in over my head. Lol.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Onward and Upward


It's been about 7 months since my last post! What have I been doing? Continuing on with my degree in computer science. Here are some links to cool stuff I've been learning about lately: