Linux Junkey

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Est. Contributor
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Over the last year or two I have found myself using Linux more and more. Now I cant seem to pull myself away from it. I spend many of my nights downloading different distro and testing them out.

I was a very heavy user of CrunchBang linux until the plug got pulled on it. Now I have fallen in love with WattOS.

Do any of you use linux everyday? If so what is your fav. distro?
Pinguy is one of my fav. Ubuntu forks. Ready to roll right out the box. I mostly use the internet and download stuff so linux works great for me most of the time. For program that have to run in Windows I just use virtual box. The only reason I still have a windows 7 partition is for work. They don't allow WorkBooth to operate inside a VM.
Been using Linux for well over a decade now. Started on Slackware, then got involved with Gentoo back around 2002 to 2003 (shortly after it came out). I've experimented with other distros (I used Debian for about a year, and tried arch for awhile) but I always inevitably come back to Gentoo. Also used a variety of UNIX-likes and derivitives, particularily Solaris (from 2.5 to about 8), and FreeBSD (I've played with NetBSD and OpenBSD but very briefly).

I'd recommend doing the linuxfromscratch thing at least once. It's not practical for day to day use, but it's a really fun experience getting it going.

And because may as well get this flamewar started:

Slackware: Beacon of light, still gives me warm fuzzy feelings, and definitely the most pure of the options, but just too high maintenance as a daily OS.
Gentoo: As said, it's been my go-to for a long time.. so I'm quite biased. Definitely a learning curve and somewhat fragile (although over the last several years it's gotten a lot more stable and polished.. the days of something breaking with every update are gone.
Arch: Didn't like it. Way too fragile, pacman is lunacy, AUR is terrifying, requires way too much diligence on the part of the user to avoid trashing the system on an update. Basically it feels like Gentoo from old in that regard... except it's binary based so you don't get the main advantage of Gentoo.
Debian: Never been fond of it. It's a good stable distro but they monkey way too much with upstream packages, everything is wrapped in layers of symlinks and wrapper scripts, and the community politics (especially of late) remind me of work.
LFS: Great fun, best done in a VM...
Redhat/Centos: Boring and dull and I'd never use it on my desktop, but great distros for running a business on. Very stable and built with large scale deployment in mind.
Solaris: Powerful but using it is like pulling teeth, especially without gnu tools installed. Not worth learning at this point, it's on it's way out, but if you already have experience with it you are somewhat valuable.
FreeBSD: Still not quite practical on a Desktop if you want to do certain things, but great on a server. Rock solid, a lot more stable (both runtime wise and update wise), great for setting something up like a fileserver or webserver where you don't want to be mucking with it every 3 months because the debian devs decided to re-think something.
OpenBSD: A lot of the great security stuff comes from them, but as a distro you actually would use it's not that practical. Great for appliances and the like, but would be horrible on a desktop (though some do this).
NetBSD: Don't know much about it to be honest. Theoretically more portable, but that hasn't really been a big talking point for awhile given how few architectures are in mainstream use.
Linux Mint is what I have been using. It comes basically ready to go and works decent enough.
I've been using Linux as my main OS for several years now. I always found distros too bloated, too complicated, or not flexible enough until I discovered Arch Linux. Before then, I quite liked Slackware and ZenWalk, and SuSE was nice as a "heavy" desktop. I tried dozens of other distros but never really got to grips with any of them.

Arch is for computer-literate people who want to control every aspect of the OS in a simple, modular way. It's probably a bit like Marmite (you either love it or hate it), but I think I'd quit using Linux altogether if Arch disappeared.

Installing it takes longer than other distros because you start with a minimalist system and install and configure the components you want. This makes it incredibly flexible, and by following the installation/configuration guides, by the time your system is up-and-running, you are already familiar with much of how it works.

It uses a rolling-release model so there's never a "major upgrade" and reinstall, and since I installed it 8 years ago, it's been more-or-less rock solid. It's lightning-quick as an installation just gives you a simple text shell and you install the packages you need. Package management works much better than other distros.

Inevitably something will go wrong, but because nothing is unnecessarily overcomplicated in Arch, and the Wiki is so comprehensive, fixing problems is relatively easy. The forums are great too, but there is little tolerance for asking stupid questions where you haven't fully investigated (and explained) the issue as best you can. This does make posting a little intimidating, but it also means that you are forced to outline what you have done to fix the problem... which often leads you to the solution before you hit "submit", and it also means that the forums aren't clogged up with repeated questions or vague rambling.

I'd go as far as saying that using Arch makes me just a little bit excited every day! It's exactly what I want in an OS. (But I've talked it up too much now!) :smile1:

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Jeremiah said:
Linux Mint is what I have been using. It comes basically ready to go and works decent enough.

Coming "ready to go" is the complete opposite of Arch! :smile1: That's what I like about GNU/Linux -- there's a distro for everyone's tastes.
I toyed with them for a long time my favorite combo was Ubuntu with backtrack as secondary, now that backtrack has been scrapped and Kali Linux in its place I got rid of Ubuntu and run solely kali because it's a more refined backtrack with all the modern amenities of Ubuntu.
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