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Murray P
23-05-2008, 12:24 AM
Handle RAID; and,

has good hardware detection and/or recognises modern-ish video cards (8800GTS) and wide screen LCDs,

The usual apps, but isn't weighed down, fast is nice,

A reasonably busy life cycle, but I'm not sure I like the hold the bug fixes then chuck it out and start again cycle Ubuntu uses,

Preferably uses Grub,

Perhaps has a live CD option,

64 bit would be nice.

So what's out there, what are the pros & cons, what do you use your fav distro for, is it stable or a bit flakey ?

Fan boys and girls are welcome, but please try not to gush too much over the thread.

jwil1
23-05-2008, 09:41 AM
I'm not sure if Ubuntu supports 64-bit or RAID, but otherwise it would be a good option.

It has a live CD, good hardware detection (if the device is supported in the community), has a nice GUI and is quite fast.

What do you mean by
A reasonably busy life cycle, but I'm not sure I like the hold the bug fixes then chuck it out and start again cycle Ubuntu uses,

Murray P
23-05-2008, 11:31 AM
I'm not sure if it's still valid, but there has been criticism of Ubuntu's regular but fixed cycle/upgrade path that ignores changes in the interim, some of them vital.

I downloaded Ubuntu last noght for another look.

Will do Fedora today or tonight.

Chilling_Silence
23-05-2008, 11:49 AM
Another vote for Ubuntu, especially 8.04, so much faster even on my EeePC than 7.10!

64-bit is quite good compared with some of the others Ive done too

Erayd
23-05-2008, 11:58 AM
Handle RAID; and,That would be almost all modern distros, although the installer may not always be capable of setting it up - if you're using something with a crap installer, you may need to bootstrap the system rather than using the installer.


has good hardware detection and/or recognises modern-ish video cards (8800GTS) and wide screen LCDs,Do you mean out of the box? Ubuntu does pretty well at this. Most other distros will work perfectly once the binary nvidia drivers are installed.


The usual apps, but isn't weighed down, fast is nice,Define usual. And what kind of DE are you looking for? I'd usually recommend KDE 3.5.x. Stay well away from KDE 4, it's nowhere near ready yet.


A reasonably busy life cycle, but I'm not sure I like the hold the bug fixes then chuck it out and start again cycle Ubuntu uses, Sounds like you need Debian or Fedora.


Preferably uses Grub,Almost all of them do.


Perhaps has a live CD option,How important is this to you? If you plan to install to HDD, why do you need it?


64 bit would be nice.Most major distros have had a 64bit version for ages.


So what's out there, what are the pros & cons, what do you use your fav distro for, is it stable or a bit flakey ?I would strongly recommend Debian Testing/Lenny (this is *not* the same thing as Debian Unstable/Sid!). It's usually extremely stable, but is constantly updated with new packages. All packages go through extensive testing and bugfixing in the unstable branch before they are introduced to testing. It fits the bill for every requirement you have posted in this thread except having a live cd version.


Fan boys and girls are welcome, but please try not to gush too much over the thread.I definitely have an opinion that may qualify me in this category (Debian), and I have a ton of facts to support this. Let me know if I'm allowed to have a rant about it, otherwise I'll hold my tongue as requested.

One other thing I will say is avoid Ubuntu, unless you are very new to Linux. It's brilliant for new users, but in my opinion it has far too many problems and limitations once you get beyond the basics.

Murray P
23-05-2008, 12:26 PM
Sorry Bletch, but I'm going to give Ubuntu a crack this weekend, probably Fedora too. There just ain't no helping some people eh!

Rant away too, I like a good rant. Just one prerequisite, make it entertaining.

Deb ain't exactly got a lively life cycle, a thorough one yes, an active one if you count sid and testing, but hardly lively. Not a bad thing in many respects.

Re the RAID, Mepis, my fav distro to this point, just will not do RAID on certain chipsets and/or/with certain implementations of RAID (JBOD [sic] for one) grrrrr. I find that sort of behaviour from an otherwise reasonably up to date distro unacceptable in todays hardware market.

The reason I like the idea of a live CD is I can have a wee look before I do any damage. They are also useful as repair CDs for the less able amongst us. Me. Be that as it may, it's not a must have.


Chill, the drawbacks on using 64 bit as apposed to 32 bit are what, basically the same for any other consumer 64 bit OS, i.e. scarcity of apps that run natively and drivers?


Great stuff so far. Keep it up.

Erayd
23-05-2008, 04:48 PM
Sorry Bletch, but I'm going to give Ubuntu a crack this weekend, probably Fedora too. There just ain't no helping some people eh!:D Fedora is good - just ask Jen.


Deb ain't exactly got a lively life cycle, a thorough one yes, an active one if you count sid and testing, but hardly lively. Not a bad thing in many respects.Huh? That makes no sense.... Debian has a more lively cycle than most - care to qualify your argument?


Chill, the drawbacks on using 64 bit as apposed to 32 bit are what, basically the same for any other consumer 64 bit OS, i.e. scarcity of apps that run natively and drivers?Remember that this is opensource stuff - almost everything you can get in a 32bit version also comes in a 64bit one. Pretty much the only thing you'll miss is Sun Java. Flash is also 32bit-only, but nspluginwrapper does a wonderful job of shoehorning it into a 64bit browser :D.

Murray P
23-05-2008, 05:29 PM
Huh? That makes no sense.... Debian has a more lively cycle than most - care to qualify your argument?

Deb is thoroughly tested at each phase before release to the stable version, right. So, unless you're willing to delve into the testing and unstable repositories, you're not exactly going to be dealing with an up to the minute distro are you. You will, however, have more chance of having a stable, bug free, distro. Correct?

Erayd
23-05-2008, 05:48 PM
Deb is thoroughly tested at each phase before release to the stable version, right. So, unless you're willing to delve into the testing and unstable repositories, you're not exactly going to be dealing with an up to the minute distro are you. You will, however, have more chance of having a stable, bug free, distro. Correct?

Aaaah.... the most common misconception about Debian. You don't need to run the stable distro - the 'testing' branch is the one generally recommended for desktop use.

When things are first added to Debian, they go into the unstable branch. There they stay until all major bugs have been resolved, and things are reasonably stable. At this point they are moved into the 'testing' branch. The result is a very stable system, but still with very up-to-date packages. The whole testing branch is kind of a 'rolling' release. Testing is the branch I would usually recommend to someone running Debian on a desktop (as opposed to a server).

Contrast this with Ubuntu. Ubuntu forks Debian unstable every 6 months, patches the hell out of it, then releases it, usually with more bugs than you'd find in the testing branch of Debian.

The point I'm trying to get at here is that the stable branch is seriously, rediculously stable - far more so than the average user needs. Testing is usually easily on a par with everybody else's 'final' releases (the exception being RHEL/CentOS, that's Redhat's equivalent of Debian stable).

Agent_24
23-05-2008, 05:59 PM
I like Kubuntu myself - because KDE feels more like windows than Gnome! :)

Murray P
23-05-2008, 06:03 PM
We're in agreement then.

May I point out that you did not qualify your initial recommendation with Debian 'testing'? No, oh well. Mind, I should have twigged to that sooner.

I'm actually a fan of Deb based distros (not previously of Ubuntu though), and have, on occasions, ended up with more Deb testing - unstable by delving into the repositories than the original distro apart from the fašade.

You almost have me convinced that I should go to the source rather than fiddle around with the pretenders.

Murray P
23-05-2008, 06:04 PM
Haven't been much of a Gnomey myself Agent.

Erayd
23-05-2008, 07:50 PM
We're in agreement then.

May I point out that you did not qualify your initial recommendation with Debian 'testing'? No, oh well. Mind, I should have twigged to that sooner.Aah, but I did (http://pressf1.co.nz/showpost.php?p=676613&postcount=5), in my first post :p.


I'm actually a fan of Deb based distros (not previously of Ubuntu though), and have, on occasions, ended up with more Deb testing - unstable by delving into the repositories than the original distro apart from the fašade.

You almost have me convinced that I should go to the source rather than fiddle around with the pretenders.What would it take to turn 'almost' into 'actually'? :rolleyes:

johnd
23-05-2008, 10:22 PM
What about PCLinuxOS? It seems to be a fine distro with very few problems - my main issue is that my 1440x900 AOC screen seems to disappear from view occasionally and requires re-setting up with XFdrake. Before using PCLOS I used Fedora and Redhat since about 1998. PCLOS is much better at finding hardware in my experience.

Chilling_Silence
24-05-2008, 01:07 AM
64 bit in Linux has been a TON better than any other Doze (Vista / XP) OS for so long now.. Even if you take a 64-bit Linux system from like 2 years ago its still probably less likely to have half the problems you get.

Driver support in x64 is pretty damn fine!
The amount of software that runs as a native x64 app is also superb!

I dunno about you, but on a Windows system, half the stuff doesnt end up being 64-bit right (Well for me at least)? Pretty much the *whole* experience with a Linux system ends up being x64, aside from the occasional playback of wmv files which can drop back to 32-binaries of mplayer (Optional) for increased support.. :D

Murray P
24-05-2008, 02:35 AM
Bletch. so you did, please accept my most abject apologies, which BTW, don't happen to be particularly abject or apologetic, but at least I made an effort.

And, I'm going to grab a copy of Deb testing x64, once I figure out how to get the piece of **** that is Jigdo to work - installation instructions appear to be a bit scarce at the mo, it uses a batch file to initiate, but that falls over, possibly because is won't/can't run on XP x64.


I also intend to grab Fedora, then might have a look at one of the enterprise distros for the hell of it.

Thanks for that info Chill, that's very comforting to learn.

Cheers Johnd, I'll have a read up on it.

Erayd
24-05-2008, 12:21 PM
Aaah - don't use jigdo, you'll end up downloading tons more than you need. Download the businesscard (netinstall) disk from here (http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/lenny_di_beta1/amd64/iso-cd/debian-testing-amd64-businesscard.iso), it's usually around 35MB. It will then download only the packages you need, during the install process - this will save you a TON of bandwidth.

Oh and abjectness scares me, so it's probably a good thing... :rolleyes:

Edit: One other note, the main NZ mirror for debian is utterly crap at the moment (not updated correctly), use http://debian.orcon.net.nz/debian/ as the main mirror instead.

Murray P
24-05-2008, 03:16 PM
Have already downloaded the 1st DVD via ftp - Lenny amd64 nightly build.

Will install this arvo and then check out what else I may want from the other discs/repositories.

.

Jen
25-05-2008, 10:18 AM
...
has good hardware detection and/or recognises modern-ish video cards (8800GTS)


So, unless you're willing to delve into the testing and unstable repositories, you're not exactly going to be dealing with an up to the minute distro are you.


I also intend to grab Fedora, then might have a look at one of the enterprise distros for the hell of it.Well I'm glad you said you like up to the minute distros, because Fedora 9 is going to make you bleed with that nVidia graphic card.

Fedora 9 has shipped with a bleeding edge X version that isn't supported by nVidia yet - eg no nVidia drivers available. I haven't found out yet when they will be available.

I got my fingers cut on this as I was unaware of that wee issue. I initially upgraded (dirty upgrade) from Fedora 8 and the system was busted with many of the non-KDE/non-Gnome apps eg Firefox, Thunderbird, Yumex failing to start due to "The error was 'BadName (named color or font does not exist)'." glitches. I even downgraded X to the Fedora 8 version but the issue wasn't resolved. Rather than muck around more, I formatted / and did a clean install (yay for having /home on a separate partition).

Fedora 9 also ships with Firefox 3 Beta 5 which is poorly supported with extensions and themes.

If you waited for the first re-spin of Fedora 9, I imagine things should be a lot smoother.

Apart from that KDE4 on Fedora 9 looks fab! :thumbs:

Jen
25-05-2008, 06:33 PM
Apart from that KDE4 on Fedora 9 looks fab! :thumbs:Hmm ... well it may look all candied up and glossy, but it surely has driven me nuts trying to set up the taskbar with my fav application icons and other erratic/flakey behaviour. So much so I've switched to Gnome :eek: for the time being. And this is coming from a hardcore KDE user. :xmouth:

johnd
25-05-2008, 06:42 PM
Hmm ... well it may look all candied up and glossy, but it surely has driven me nuts trying to set up the taskbar with my fav application icons and other erratic/flakey behaviour. So much so I've switched to Gnome :eek: for the time being. And this is coming from a hardcore KDE user. :xmouth:

Makes PCLOS sound like a good choice to me!!

Erayd
25-05-2008, 11:51 PM
Hmm ... well it may look all candied up and glossy, but it surely has driven me nuts trying to set up the taskbar with my fav application icons and other erratic/flakey behaviour. So much so I've switched to Gnome :eek: for the time being. And this is coming from a hardcore KDE user. :xmouth:Switch back to 3.5.8 or 3.5.9. KDE 4 is nowhere ready for general use yet; releasing version 4 was intended as a wakeup call to slow devs rather than a finished release. There is a very good reason that most distros don't package it by default yet. I assume kde3 will be in the FC9 reps, they'd be nuts not to have it easily available.

Chilling_Silence
26-05-2008, 12:55 AM
...So much so I've switched to Gnome :eek:...

Welcome... To the dark side of the force!


;)

Erayd
26-05-2008, 02:04 AM
Welcome... To the dark side of the force!


;)Uselessly limited, the dark side is :badpc:.

Stick with KDE, it's tons better. Gnome is a seriously deficient DE (unless you *like* having all your options confiscated by devs who think they know better than you do how you want your system to behave).