Which Linux Distribution Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Linux OS and Software Assistance' started by Floppyman, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Floppyman

    Floppyman Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking to switch one of my desktop systems over to Linux within the next couple weeks and I'm looking for some recommendations in terms of which distribution to install. The hardware I'm using is fairly recent (i.e. less than 5 years old). From my research it looks like Ubuntu and Linux Mint are two of the most popular distributions right now. Ubuntu is based on Debian and Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu LTS - so they are all related. It seems some of the main differences are aesthetic - i.e. whether one likes Ubuntu's Unity desktop environment or Linux Mint's Cinnamon, for instance. The upgrade path on Ubuntu is also a bit smoother than Linux Mint from what I've been reading. Right now I'm leaning to either one of these as I know they'll be supported and updated regularly. However, I'm also open to other suggestions (as there are many distributions out there). What do you guys recommend?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    I use Linux Mint Xfce. Upgrade path is very smooth, I've never had an issue.
     
  3. Floppyman

    Floppyman Administrator Staff Member

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    For minor releases I hear that's true - how about when upgrading to a new major release?
     
  4. RJS2

    RJS2

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    I prefer Debian as a desktop OS myself for better stability and I use a window manager (i3wm) only.

    Most Linux distributions today have a package manager to handle all 'updates/upgrades/dist-upgrades' and app/package installs, in a rolling release fashion, hence apt-get/apt in those Debian based. So long as a user doesn't have too many compiled from source appications installed, the upgrade process is fairly straight forward. Most users will use specific installation media for their personal choice for a desktop environment; however, having the specific "desktop environment media" isn't necessary to roll with that type of desktop and once you have a Linux install complete it's quite easy to switch around from Gnome to XFCE or Cinnamon to LXDE or any other of the numerous desktop options. Some distributions give you one general media source for installation and you pick which enviroment you want during the install. Also, support for Unity has been dropped from Ubuntu and they will soon be shipping future releases with Gnome again.
     
  5. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Major releases are also straightforward. It's all done through the package manager. I will say that you should make your root partition considerably larger than recommended, every time you upgrade the kernel it saves the old kernel. If you don't keep an eye on it and periodically uninstall old kernels, it will fill up and crash. I use a 40gb root.

    The good thing about this is you can use advanced options in the grub bootloader to boot to any installed kernel, not just the latest active one.
     
  6. Floppyman

    Floppyman Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info! I have considered going with just Debian vs. a derivative, however I was concerned about the time it would take to setup and get working properly. It's been a few years since I've used Linux seriously so maybe all this has become much easier and straightforward. Realistically speaking, how easy it is to install and configure Debian and upgrade between different versions/releases of Debian? In any case, I suppose it probably makes a lot of sense to try one or more of the Live Install images (probably the one with KDE and the one with Cinnamon):

    Debian -- Live install images


    Thanks g, that is good to know.

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    Thanks again for all your help guys, I really appreciate it.