2008 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice AwardsThis forum is for the 2008 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.
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That award is mostly for historical reasons, cause most distributions come as live CDs today. I liked parted magic the most from those i tried. grml will always be my favourite if i need something more complete than parted magic.
I always go back to knoppix if I need a reliable robust recovery CD. I like Slax for it's modularity and user friendly apps. I did test out a fedora live CD this year just to test out some apps that I couldnt get working on my CentOS desktop and ended up installing mythdora because of the success I had with the fedora live cd.
Knoppix was the first live distro I used, and it left me with a positive impression that few other live distros have been able to make. I primarily use it as a system recovery tool, or as a quick demo to friends of the capabilities of Linux.
I always keep a Mepis CD around and install if I have an extra partition. I use Mepis as an All-in-one swiss army knife distro. It automounts partitions when using g-parted. You can repair grub easily. It has the best wireless connection script if I am using a laptop without drivers available, especially on the road and a wired connection is not possible. It has most of the software I use on my Debian system on the CD, and it loads and runs pretty darn fast for a KDE live distro. Another handy option is the ability to login as the root user when I am only using it for administrator needs. Not many distros allow that anymore, and it does make a difference not having to continually enter the administrator password for root priveledges. For the installed packages, and the apllications available from the Mepis repositories, I have had no crashes. The only problems arise when running testing packages from the Debian repositories. Absolutely the most stable LIVE distro....therefore, the best LIVE distro!
Location: In the Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand
Distribution: Mepis8, AntiX, Sidux
Mepis for me too.
Much the same reasons as wificraigs. Aside from what you have listed, the Mepis tools are one of its strongest points and it was one of the first (note, not the first) to include a utility to create a Live-USB that worked. Add to that the ability to remaster the Mepis Live-CD through a script, plus the AntiX project with the same benefits for older computers, I couldn't find a better solution that provides real ease of use for first time users, especially with the full manual on the desktop and the availability of a full toolset for advanced Linux enthusiasts, bundled in a rock solid, fast and stable kit with the fantastic debian packaging system. I used to like kde rpm based distros, but once I tasted the debian way and saw the speed with which it operates, rpm's just didn't taste so good any more. Tried Knoppix, very impressive, but a little heavy in the menu and I don't do German too well, Tried ubuntu and kubuntu, but too unstable and clunky, tried a few others, mini-cd, maxi-DVD's proprietary and free, nothing comes close to Mepis, though AntiX and Sidux do take a 2nd equal placing IMHO.
I'm glad to hear others see MEPIS as repair/rescue CD. Last time I had to repair a commercial server, I took MEPIS & Knoppix & wound up using MEPIS -- because it had the tools I needed & in a layout I was familiar w/ (it was & still is my normal desktop).
One great feature neither of you mentioned is the repair wizard ability. The MEPIS System Assistant has "Repair System Root" & "Repair Partition" tabs; the MEPIS User Assistant has a "Repair" tab, as does the MEPIS X-Window Assistant. The last copies a, presumably working, XConfig from one partition to another, whose XConfig is presumably broken. It's especially handy if you've trashed X on an installed system -- just boot a live CD & copy its XConfig to the drive.
BTW, the great thing about these poll threads is the "What is is." & "Why I like it" posts -- they give us a chance to broaden our views & knowledge. "I don't like ... because <rationale>" posts are useful too; what I can live w/o are the "Ubuntu looks like sh't -- it's brown" type sentiments.
I voted for sidux, one of the best if not the best imho, installed or live.
sidux is running on all my machines for almost a year now: homemade workstations, thinkpad x61 and even an old Dell Inspiron 8200.
Rock solid and really fast.
Three of the distributions mentioned so far are my three personal favorites, for more than three reasons:
1. SimplyMEPIS is my favorite easy to use distribution. I always keep lots of SimplyMEPIS CDs around because it is an extremely stable distribution, it handles wireless connections very well, it works well as a Live CD, and it provides all of the Debian stability in an easy to install and use package, plus it provides many easy to use tools. I also use it as a recovery CD.
2, I use AntiX as well for many of the same reasons, but when I want a smaller, faster image, somewhat more current software, yet sacrificing very little in stability, I go with the MEPIS derivative, AntiX. It is one of the smaller distributions that I still find to be a full featured system, just without the heavy desktop environment. AntiX can also morph itself (optionally) into a cutting edge system - you can change it to get its updates from Sid instead of testing and you can use sidux' smxi tools - if you want - to transform AntiX into whatever you want. Still solid and simple, but very easy to modify to your particular tastes - but only if you want to do so.
3. When I want to use cutting edge software, sidux is the way I choose to get an effective, very usable cutting edge system. It is incredible how you can get the latest software with sidux, yet still manage to have a working system. You might not want to bother if all that you want is a stable system - in which case, SimplyMEPIS is the way to go. If you want both, as I do, keep a version of both sidux and SimplyMEPIS around, or - as I do - versions of SimplyMEPIS, AntiX, and sidux, and in so doing, have a stable, easy to use desktop system (SimplyMEPIS), a fast, flexible system (AntiX), and a cutting edge system (sidux).