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Linux: my desperate search for the right distro

Christian Kruse,

As I recently switched back to Linux, for me a Holy Quest for the One Right Distro began. I used to use Gentoo, but maintaining a Gentoo system is a whole bunch of work. You have to fiddle and twiddle again and again to keep it running. So I began to look for something new:

  • First of all, I tried Debian. Debian is the favoured distro of many of my friends, so I decided to give it a chance. And of course I hit the common problem of Debian: old software. My NIC was not supported, because of the old kernel version Debian Squeeze uses.
  • Second choice was Ubuntu. Ubuntu recently switched to Unity, which made me kind of curious. But I couldn't change anything at all, I could not even move the fucking bar on the left to the bottom. So… mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda3
  • Next I gave Fedora a try. Fedora uses GNOME3, which in fact has the same problem as Unity: you cannot change anything. They basically removed nearly all configuration options in GNOME3.
  • Next I tried Arch Linux. Basically, archlinux is binary rolling release distribution, so exactly what I was looking for. In fact, I like archlinux. It brings a ports-like system (the AUR) for non-supported software. It misses just one thing: packet versioning. You are not able to install an older version of a software. You are only able to say „no, I don't want to update this software now.“ But this function is a feature I really need, e.g. because I don't want to upgrade to GNOME3 or KDE4.7.

This all leads to one conclusion: back to Gentoo. It may be more work to maintain a Gentoo system, but with this work you gain the freedom to explicitely choose what software and which version should be installed. Gentoo is still simply the system which fullfills most of my needs.