Distro's.. whats the point ??? (no realy, tell me)
Linux - DistributionsThis forum is for Distribution specific questions.
Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Novell, LFS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora - the list goes on and on...
Note: An (*) indicates there is no official participation from that distribution here at LQ.
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
Distro's.. whats the point ??? (no realy, tell me)
Hi, although i have only ever used one distro, and am no noob,
what really is the point in different distro's ?
what am i missing ? am i not getting the point ?
the way i see it linux is.....
a kernel, not too important aslong as you have one (2.4.x) which all distro's do
a load of library's glibc (a recent version) all recent distro's have.
a load of programs like mozilla or mplayer (which can be installed onto any distro)
the X server, which comes with all distro's
and a windows manager / desktop environment, any WM or DE can be installed onto any dirstro...
so, the way linux looks depends on the windows manager and themes i install, not the distro (although diff distro's come with diff ones pre-installed, but we all have modems right ?)
the only thing on my redhat machine than maes it special to a slackaware or debian distro is a very small group of programs like
RH patches their kernels, ships broken compilers, panders to corporations and leaves regular users out in the cold. They use SysV init scripts and stick things in goofy places and rely on their own special tools that mostly don't work in any other distro. Certain other distros don't do these things, or only do some. There are a *lot* of similarities between distros but crucial differences as well.
Your description of the OS is a bit abbreviated, too. For instance, there are zillions of libraries. A distro with *all* of them would be ridiculously bloated. One with a handful wouldn't run a wide variety of apps and compiling (or programming) would suck. Getting it just right is hard to do and most distros vary in the middle regions. Stuff like that.
And I'm not sure of the details but some kind of kernel patch in Mandrake 9.2 coincided with a flaw in LG drives and broke them. Stuff like that can vary from distro to distro.
And package management, and install routines, and so on and so forth.
-- Oh, and currency. Debian ships ancient stuff by default, Gentoo emerges the latest and greatest (or unstablest if your unlucky). And there are auxilary apps. Like Bastille works in several things but is happiest with Debian, I think, whereas Dropline Gnome is designed for Slackware. Things like that. Sometimes the distro does idiosyncratic things with their apps and sometimes app producers do idiosyncratic things with their distros.
I don't see uniformity at all in the distros. To me as a newer user, it has a lot to do with a certain style and reputation, as well as what's important to my needs. To me the idea of a distro completely compiled for my hardware, like Gentoo is a real draw. It means speed and control over my system. It's a difficult distro to install though, so it's got a reputation as being pretty geeky, which to me is a challenge to learn and excel at...which is my style. Slackware would be a close 2nd to that type of aesthetic for me.
Debian would have been up there too, but they are too stability oriented for my tastes. In a workstation, I like some bleeding edge. For a server, sure, I'd use Debian. But for servers I use OpenBSD, and for my needs, that's plenty.
If I wanted a more bloated do-everything-for-me-like-Microsoft-did distro, then I would stick with Redhat (my current main workstation and laptop distro). Or I'd use Mandrake. But they make me feel too much like I'm dealing with Microsoft. Most of the other distros didn't distinguish themselves to me as much as the ones I've mentioned.
Though when I was having trouble with a stage1 tarball install of Gentoo, I was seriously considering FreeBSD as a workstation. If things don't work out with me and Gentoo, I will likely use FreeBSD as my main workstation OS.
Since Linux is open source, and GNU programs are open source, anyone can go with their idea of what is best and make a distro.
Be it Tom's, Serial Linux, or Coyote (not similar at all) on floppy; Knoppix or Damn Small Linux on a run-from-CD, or a full blown ready made or source distro.
You may be happy (or not) with what you have. That is fine. But, no point?
so.. is there realy any point in putting any thought into what distro to use next ?
There may only be a handful of programmes that are specific to any given distro, but if those programmes are used alot and/or they have many functions, then there may be more differences in how you could do something. For example, Mandrake Control Centre and YaST do similar things (in similar ways) to LinuxConf, but someone that has never used Linuxconf might find it a little confusing.
My point is that although the underlying technologies, and indeed the major programmes/'packages', are the same regardless of the distro, there are some differences that are taylor made to suit the target audience. I would certainly advocate a complete newbie using Mandrake Control Center or YaST over Linuxconf, at least until they are a little more familiar with the way things work, and then they can do things however they like.
Other than that different patches here and there less or more obvious and documented.Some work out of the box with this others with that,some don't work at all,some go fast with gnome and take forever with kde,some are the other way around,some make spring thru loops to get 'nonfree' apps installed others don't.
Can't speak for qwijibow but it seems to me that compiling a whole distro might beyond the skills or patience of some and, while there are a lot of debs and rpms and things, *no* package archive has as many packages are there are source tarballs. Besides which, you might just want a particular app with (or without) a particular feature or want to make sure it goes a particular place. For me, it simplifies things - I don't have to hunt for or wait on packages - just grab the source and go. Checkinstall gives me the convenience of an integrated /var/log/packages listing and an easy uninstall if I change my mind, with a solid Slackware base. Still, LFS *is* on the horizon.