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Old 06-15-2009, 05:12 PM   #1
YaHu
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Question Desktop Distro to avoid mono, transition from Debian


Well, it appears that Debian has decided to include mono as a requirement to install Gnome, and KDE 4 is a profound downgrade from KDE3 (my prior preference). Currently I've switched to Gnome, and the current Gnome appears acceptable (I haven't been using it long). Unfortunately, it seems to have become official that the Debian version of Gnome is going to have mono as a prerequisite. I'm sure I could get around this, but I don't like fighting City Hall.

So it looks like it's time to start planning a distro switch. But to what? This is intended to be for desktop use, and for my wife as well as for myself. So it needs to be kind to non-technical people (at least as long as they have a technical backup). Since the purpose is to avoid mono, Ubuntu doesn't seem like a good choice. What are the recommendations?
 
Old 06-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #2
kilgoretrout
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The current version of Debian, a/k/a "Lenny", is still shipping with kde 3.5.10. You can safely stay with that for the next year IMHO, by which time kde 4.x should be in pretty good shape.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
YaHu
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It's design decisions, not bugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout View Post
The current version of Debian, a/k/a "Lenny", is still shipping with kde 3.5.10. You can safely stay with that for the next year IMHO, by which time kde 4.x should be in pretty good shape.
I really don't like many of the design decisions that have been made in KDE4. Sorry. Bugs aren't the problem. The usability has just substantially decreased. Even when I select classic menus the menu usability has degraded, and I'm not talking about speed (which isn't a big problem, as my computer's pretty fast). And THIS isn't about Debian specific choices, as Ubuntu is, if anything, worse.

Yes, it's pretty. Yes, it's got lots of glitter. That's just about the opposite of what I want in a desktop. A desktop should lay placidly in the background and NOT INTERFERE. KDE3 had it about right.

FWIW, I'm using Debian testing. Occasional bugs I can live with. These are design decisions, and I don't expect them to be fixed, because when others have complained they've essentially been told to shut up. Well, the developers have the right to run their program the way they choose, but my choice is to get out. (Yes, it was a current bug that was the last straw...but it was only the last straw. I haven't even mentioned it, because I'm rather certain it WAS a bug, that will soon be fixed.)

FWIW, I preferred KDE3 to EITHER KDE4 or to the current Gnome. But that's going to be abandoned, and for various reasons I need to use current libraries. So I'm trying to do some forwards planning. (And I'm going to hope that the Gnome update isn't as much of a disaster as was the KDE one.)
 
Old 06-15-2009, 06:50 PM   #4
kilgoretrout
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Take a look at XFCE. You can pretty easily strip mono out of that without losing functionality. See a discussion along those lines here:

http://meandubuntu.wordpress.com/200...taste-of-xfce/

Also, I believe Fedora 11 is shipping without mono apps being installed by default so that's worth a look as well. Just don't install any mono apps after the initial installtion; f-spot and tomboy are the ones people seem to miss.

Last edited by kilgoretrout; 06-15-2009 at 06:51 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
craigevil
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Take a look at LXDE, I had the same feelings about KDE4 when it hit Sid. And I have never liked Gnome. I switched to lxde with no issues. The only kde apps I used all the time were kaffeine, kpdf and ktorrent,and k3b; smplayer works as well or better than kaffeine, evince-gtk works as well as kpdf and deluge as well as ktorrent. k3b is the only kde app I haven't replaced.
 
Old 06-16-2009, 01:07 AM   #6
YaHu
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re: XFCE and Fedora

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout View Post
Take a look at XFCE. You can pretty easily strip mono out of that without losing functionality. See a discussion along those lines here:

http://meandubuntu.wordpress.com/200...taste-of-xfce/

Also, I believe Fedora 11 is shipping without mono apps being installed by default so that's worth a look as well. Just don't install any mono apps after the initial installtion; f-spot and tomboy are the ones people seem to miss.
Fedora is, indeed, worth considering, if Red Hat has stopped treating it like RawHide. I don't mind testing, but unstable it too shakey. (And the last time I looked at Fedora it was missing too many packages that I depend on. Also, I prefer debs to rpms...but that wouldn't be enough to determine the decision on its own.)

XFCE isn't exactly non-tech friendly...or it wasn't the last time I looked at it (a year or so ago). I'd prefer something that kept KDE3 or Gnome, but didn't accept mono into the default install.

It's not that I wouldn't be able to strip mono out after it was installed, it's that I don't want to fight with the default configuration of the system. That's generally a bad idea. It's better if you can find a distro that supports what you want.
 
Old 06-16-2009, 02:43 PM   #7
kilgoretrout
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Centos might fill the bill for you. It's an RHEL clone that doesn't install mono by default from what I can see. Here's a summary listing of the packages it comes with:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=centos

It's normally thought of as a server OS but it does ship with gnome. Ought to be rock solid stable.
 
Old 06-16-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
YaHu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout View Post
Centos might fill the bill for you. It's an RHEL clone that doesn't install mono by default from what I can see. Here's a summary listing of the packages it comes with:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=centos

It's normally thought of as a server OS but it does ship with gnome. Ought to be rock solid stable.
You're right, I should consider them. Since they're basically a Red Hat Enterprise clone they ought to be both stable and have a reasonable number of packages...I'm just not sure how many desktop applications, but I won't know if I don't look. And since Red Hat isn't going to be including mono in the default, that means that CentOS won't either. It's a bit behind what I normally use (Debian testing), but the system has now gotten mature enough that that's no longer as important as it once was.
 
Old 06-16-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
craigevil
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Debian doesn't have defaults, install the base system then install what you want.

Even gnome-core or nautilus do not require mono. A few apps like f-spot and tomboy do but there are better replacements anyway.

Package: gnome-desktop-environment
Priority: optional
Section: gnome
Installed-Size: 20
Maintainer: Debian GNOME Maintainers <pkg-gnome-maintainers@lists.alioth.debian.org>
Architecture: all
Source: meta-gnome2
Version: 1:2.24.3~3
Depends: gnome-core (= 1:2.24.3~3), alacarte (>= 0.11.6), cheese (>= 2.24.3), deskbar-applet (>= 2.24.3), dmz-cursor-theme, ekiga, empathy (>= 2.24.1), epiphany-browser (>= 2.24.3) | gnome-www-browser, evince (>= 2.24.2), evolution (>= 2.24.3), evolution-data-server (>= 2.24.3), fast-user-switch-applet (>= 2.24.0), file-roller (>= 2.24.3), gcalctool (>= 5.24.3), gconf-editor (>= 2.24.1), gdm (>= 2.20.9), gnome-backgrounds (>= 2.24.0), gnome-about (>= 2.24.3), gnome-keyring (>= 2.24.1), gnome-media (>= 2.24.0.1), gnome-netstatus-applet (>= 2.12.2), gnome-nettool (>= 2.22.1), gnome-power-manager (>= 2.24.2), gnome-screensaver (>= 2.24.1), gnome-system-monitor (>= 2.24.3), gnome-system-tools (>= 2.22.1), gnome-themes (>= 2.24.3), gnome-user-guide (>= 2.24.2), gnome-utils (>= 2.24.1), gnome-volume-manager (>= 2.24.0), gstreamer0.10-alsa (>= 0.10.21), gstreamer0.10-plugins-base (>= 0.10.21), gstreamer0.10-plugins-good (>= 0.10.10), gstreamer0.10-tools (>= 0.10.21), gtk2-engines (>= 1:2.16.1), gucharmap (>= 1:2.24.3), gvfs-backends (>= 1.0.3), gvfs-bin (>= 1.0.3), hamster-applet (>= 2.24.3), nautilus-cd-burner (>= 2.24.0), seahorse (>= 2.24.1), seahorse-plugins (>= 2.24.1), sound-juicer (>= 2.24.0), swfdec-gnome (>= 2.24.0), totem-gstreamer (>= 2.24.3) | totem-xine (>= 2.24.3), totem-plugins (>= 2.24.3), vinagre (>= 2.24.2), vino (>= 2.24.1), zenity (>= 2.24.1), libgnomevfs2-extra (>= 1:2.24.0), libgnome2-perl (>= 1.042), desktop-base, gnome-mount (>= 0.8), gksu
Recommends: gnome-accessibility, gnome-games (>= 1:2.24.3)
Suggests: gnome-dbg


Package: nautilus
Priority: optional
Section: gnome
Installed-Size: 3032
Maintainer: Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>
Architecture: i386
Version: 2.26.3-1
Replaces: libnautilus2-2
Provides: nautilus-extensions-2.0
Depends: libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.20.0), libbeagle1 (>= 0.3.9), libc6 (>= 2.3.6-6~), libcairo2 (>= 1.2.4), libdbus-glib-1-2 (>= 0.78), libexempi3 (>= 2.1.0), libexif12, libgail18 (>= 1.18.0), libgconf2-4 (>= 2.23.2), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.20.0), libgnome-desktop-2-11, libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.16.0), libice6 (>= 1:1.0.0), libnautilus-extension1 (>= 2.26.2), libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.20.0), libselinux1 (>= 2.0.59), libsm6, libtrackerclient0 (>= 0.6.2), libunique-1.0-0 (>= 1.0.0), libx11-6, libxml2 (>= 2.6.27), libxrender1, nautilus-data (>= 2.26), nautilus-data (<< 2.27), shared-mime-info (>= 0.50), desktop-file-utils (>= 0.7), gvfs (>= 1.0.2)
Recommends: desktop-base (>= 0.2), eject, nautilus-cd-burner | brasero (>= 2.26), librsvg2-common, synaptic, app-install-data, gvfs-backends, gnome-mount, consolekit
Suggests: eog, evince | pdf-viewer, totem | mp3-decoder, xdg-user-dirs, tracker
Conflicts: libnautilus2-2, libnautilus2-dev

Package: gnome-core
Priority: optional
Section: gnome
Installed-Size: 20
Maintainer: Debian GNOME Maintainers <pkg-gnome-maintainers@lists.alioth.debian.org>
Architecture: all
Source: meta-gnome2
Version: 1:2.24.3~3
Depends: eog (>= 2.24.3.1), gedit (>= 2.24.3), gnome-applets (>= 2.24.3.1), gnome-control-center (>= 1:2.24.0.1), gnome-icon-theme (>= 2.24.0), gnome-menus (>= 2.24.2), gnome-panel (>= 2.24.3), gnome-session (>= 2.22.3), gnome-settings-daemon (>= 2.24.1), gnome-terminal (>= 2.24.3), gvfs (>= 1.0.3), metacity (>= 1:2.24.0) | compiz-gnome, nautilus (>= 2.24.2), yelp (>= 2.24.0)
Suggests: gnome-desktop-environment
 
Old 06-16-2009, 10:17 PM   #10
YaHu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigevil View Post
Debian doesn't have defaults, install the base system then install what you want.

Even gnome-core or nautilus do not require mono. A few apps like f-spot and tomboy do but there are better replacements anyway.

P...
Yes. It's the gnome desktop that they are planning to have require mono. This isn't good. Unfortunately, the KDE4 desktop is nearly unusably bad. This isn't bugs, this is lousy design. That lets out both of the major desktops that Debian supports. There are minor ones that will continue to not require mono, or I could just install most of gnome, and not the package gnome-desktop. But that's what I call "swimming against the tide" (Or stream or flow...what I call it varies, the concept's the same.) This is something that I'm reluctant to do. If I had to, I could do it, but I don't need to. If nothing else I could switch to Fedora, and stick with versions that are near their End-Of-Life. I was hoping that someone had a better suggestion. Somebody suggested CentOS, and that might be a better suggestion. Today I put in an order for around 5 different distros to try out. One's Fedora (so I'll see if Red Hat's still treating it like Raw Hide). One's CentOS (so I'll see what an enterprise style server system is like, when it's got the desktop packages installed. There are a few others that I picked on a whim, without knowing whether or not they're going to install mono by default. I considered Gentoo, but that appears moribund. (The latest CD I could find was 2007. [This could be the particular vendor I was using.])

I *REALLY* don't like either a system that install mono by default, or KDE4. (And it's not just Debian's KDE4. Ubuntu's is, if anything, worse. [OK. I need to concede that the packages are related. But each did their own tweaking.]) I sure hope the new Gnome doesn't hash things up as badly. (And I wonder which is the new version that has people nervous. 2.6 doesn't seem that bad. I haven't been able to test 2,8, but the images look reasonable when I look at them on the web page.)
 
  


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