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View Poll Results: Desktop Distribution of the Year
I must however make a remark. On desktops it is my choice because I also use it for servers, so maint is much easier. "zypper" rules and makes administration over ssh a breeze. I have done admin on quite a few distributions the past year, and I most hate Ubuntu, because there is no *single* command line utility for system administration and one has to learn a lot of those. All instructions on the internet start with "click her" and "click there": quite useless in xterm over ssh.
For a laptop, I still do not really like the way KDE (OpenSUSE's default choice for WM and I like that) now prefers kscreen over krandr/krandrtray. I don't know who to blame SUSE or KDE, but connecting to a beamer suddenly becomes quite a burden. No popups, nu easy applets in the taskbar. OpenSUSE 12 already was pretty easy in the upgrades/updates, but a "zypper dup" to 13.1 went flawless!
A special reward for "Worst distribution" IMHO may be awarded to "Oracle Linux" on which even installing a recentish java is hard to do, even if java is distributed by Oracle itself. HATE!
There are many distros I've been impressed by over the last year; Sabayon, PCLOS, the awesome package handling by Debian's gdebi; but ultimately, Manjaro's ease of harnessing Arch's speed and stability, along with its clean Openbox desktop won me over. Besides, I like the concept of a rolling release.
First thing first : pacman. It is something that i waited for using linux (Slackware, Ubuntu with its clones (Mint, Kubuntu, Xbuntu, Lubuntu), Bodhi, Chakra, Sabayon etc). Pacman is one thing that made me switch from Ubuntu (that i really liked and used from 11.04 to 12.10). Also, wihile upgrading, while downloading pacman shows me "bar" with file being downloaded, and what's more - when there are several, dozens of packages in "package" i can select only the one that i want, not all of them (placing numbers). I haven't seen somethingf like this on other distros (that are not based on Arch).
Second thing is feeling that i have control over everything (just like in Slackware, when i used it, and still use it since 13.37). No matther how many apps i would like to install, i have total control over booting process, over starting them (i found on Ubuntu one funny thing: with lots of apps installed, system booted slower and slower, it looked to me like apps are being started automatically after installation when i did not wanted it or permitted it). If i activate process - it is avtivated. If i deactivate it - it is deactivated, switched off.
Third thing : it just fast and lightweight, so much that i can have it also on my Intel Atom notebook with Atom N2600 (two cores with HT and GMA 3600 graphic from PoverVR). It just fast, fast, and fast! Responsivness is great.
Fourth thing is realted to pacman. Arch is not based on metapackages. When i wan't to delete package, remove it, i can safely remove it with or without dependancies and config files. I'm not concerned that when i delete, remove something, i will lose half of the system (i still don't understand why removing Lightdm from Ubuntu cause LibreOffice apps to being removed with it...geez!).
Arch is distro that i searched for a long time (i started my journey with Linux from Slackware, and in fact, i still have it, still like it but i wanted to have better package manager - pacman is just great, i don't have it on Slackware - and one more thing, Arch has good dependancy menager built in pacman. Maybe if i could how to do something similar on Slackware (slackpkg was not just like it) i would stick to it because it is really fast, and something more - rock solid and stable, but it has no dependancy manager so if i would like to install it again, on a different machines, installing apps that i use would take too much time: dependancies for dependancies for dependancies...i don't have time to compile it from slackbuilds.org). What is worth mentioning, now there is something similar to Arch - Manjaro and Anteregos , tried it but i prefer Arch because it is Arch.