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gr8geezer 01-05-2003 05:32 PM

Looking for my ideal distro
I've been a RedHat user for some time now but due to RedHat's efforts to combine KDE & Gnome and dropping apps like pico I've been looking for a new distro.

Just recently I added Mandrake 9.0 to my double boot system (XP & RH 7.3) and noticed to my dismay that Mandrake too is moving in the same direction as RedHat.

What I'm essentially looking for is a well supported distribution that's "keeping it real", i.e. comes with pure current versions of KDE and Gnome, a nice set of apps and compatability with a good package system. What's important there is that things like the kernel and default install paths for apps are standard compliant, i.e. that I can recompile the kernel at will without special procedures or having to find the source first and that I won't have to search for ages for an app's install path when installing add ons such as mod_perl.

Here are the distros I've added to my list of possible favorites with my current verdicts (based on some online research) of each:


Verdict: Very customizable, but hard to install.


Verdict: True to unix / standards, possibly somewhat out of date GUI wise.


Verdict: Loads of packages, social contract, large community. "pure(er)" distro

Which one of these would you recommend and why or which other distro would suit my needs better?

Thanks so much in advance. :)

Mephisto 01-05-2003 05:40 PM

Can't you get an RPM (for Mandrake or RH) for anything missing? I understand a lot of people don't like RHs direction for desktop... Do you typically use KDE, GNOME, or something else.

If Gnome, Slackware has drop-line gnome (too lazy to post a link but google for it), which is very up to date and has an easy to use updating service for Gnome and it's associated packages. Not sure what other distros have though...

gr8geezer 01-05-2003 06:13 PM


Originally posted by Mephisto
Can't you get an RPM (for Mandrake or RH) for anything missing? I understand a lot of people don't like RHs direction for desktop... Do you typically use KDE, GNOME, or something else.

I could get the missing apps, but my point is more that I'd prefer to have the pure WM from the start as opposed to having to rebuild it from scratch myself.

And I prefer KDE, at least layout wise despite the advantages of the Red Carpet variant.

Mephisto 01-05-2003 06:52 PM

Given you use KDE, you want it up to date, and you prefer it to be closer to "stock" how about Yoper? I never used it but it is sure climbing's charts quickly and seems to fit your needs.

gr8geezer 01-05-2003 07:58 PM

Yoper does look interesting despite its young age. Seeing as it's still at its first beta stage though and reviews like this one do mention some raw feautures that I'm wary of trying I was wondering how accurate this review of slackware is as sw could be the kind of distro I'm looking for.

Mephisto 01-05-2003 08:38 PM

The thing to remember if you have read any of my posts is that I am very pro Slackware. That said there is something to keep in mind about those two articles. The Yoper article was by an relatively impartial reviewer and it was generally favorable. The Slackware was by a Slackware fan (like me) so can be discounted for purposes of comparison.

I REALLY like Slackware, but I also customize the living heck out of it. I replace the kernel first thing, if it is a desktop machine I install fluxbox. So from the standpoint of a install and forget OS, my experience is not valid. Dropline Gnome gives Slack a mainstream, up to date desktop, but I don't know what version of KDE Slack 8.1 uses. Slack current is probably up to date but I would put that on par with Yoper for stability.

I would not be afraid of the little bugs in Yoper. I will probably give it a try myself, even though I do not like KDE. The best advice I can give you outside of my own meandering experience (Baz Lehrman) is to try both, or all three if you want to try Debian, and see which one works best for you.

yngwin 01-06-2003 06:22 PM

All three distros you preselected are great.

Gentoo is not as hard to install as some ppl make you believe. They have a very good install guide. Yes, you will need to edit some config files by hand. But that's not that hard, and a good learning experience. You install only the packages that you want, and they are compiled on your machine with your optimizations. That will take some time, but most of it goes automatically. You get up-to-date software and you can choose to run experimental/development versions or not.

Slackware is fine too. I can tell you it comes with KDE3.0.1 (in slak 8.1 that is). It's a pretty easy install too. Haven't worked much with it, so can't tell you more.

Debian is a somewhat harder install and has slightly outdated packages, but you can safely update to the testing ones. Very stable and once installed you have a great wealth of packages available, which are easily installed&updated by the power of apt-get. To make Debian easier to install and configure you could get Knoppix or Libranet, which use debian packages, so once installed you can install&update any debian software available through apt-get.

If you value stability: get Debian (or Slackware),
if you value latest versions: get Gentoo.

banana2 01-07-2003 10:16 PM

There are 2 types of distro.

one group is Mandrake RedHat Suse Knoppix....

easy to use.Do not have to spend hours or days to make they working...

second group is Debiam Slack Gentoo ...
hard to use.Have to spend sometimes hours of work to make something work...(sometimes for me just waisting time)

Ok generaly i am using 2 distros.

One is mandrake - becouse Kde looks nice and good support for office multimedia etc.

since 7.1

Second is debian- Working as server, it is perfect distro for servers. I do not have any office any kde or gnome...i do not even have keyboard or mouse plugged to my server.Just 2 cables network and power. Perfect distro!!! but not for Kde Gnome multimedia office etc for next i think 4 years...

since 2.0

to be honest with you, i newer used before RedHat,Slack,Gentoo
ditro at all.


it is better to have 2 favorites distro then, changing distro every week.

check web site for list of all distros.

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