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Timothy Miller 05-11-2014 10:09 PM

Need help finding a distro
 
Not a newbie to linux. Been using Debian for about 8 years as my primary OS on my main desktop and laptop, and have LInux+ and RHCT (RHEL 5) and RHCSA (RHEL 5) certs.

However, I like to use different distros on my different laptops. This is where I'm having a problem. My #3 laptop I have Chakra and am quite happy. But I need to find a distro for my #2 laptop. I've done searches on distrowatch, but it's only so useful.

My needs are as follows:

1. I prefer independent distros, not a "spin-off" of something else.
2. Needs to have an AMD64 version without recompiling anything.
3. Needs to use a package management that has automatic dependency resolution (reason I don't use Slackware) with a decent amount of repositories (reason Slax doesn't work for me, also reason I want to dump OpenSuse off it, I've got 8 repositories just to have a basic desktop with multimedia capabilities, and I discovered that there's basically no games in any of them, so just DONE with OpenSuse now) and be able to control what gets installed. IE - if I want Korganizer, I don't want to be forced to install Kaddressbook, Konotact, Kmail just to use that one feature (Fedora).
4. Needs to be at least moderately stable (here's looking at Arch, which I used to love, but simply can't tolerate how often the devs break it any more)
5. Need to be able to install from USB (was really excited to try NixOS, but it won't boot from a USB key created with the ISO), as I don't buy CD's anymore.
6. Doesn't need to default to KDE, but I like it to be available as my machines are more than sufficiently powerful to run a full fledged desktop without feeling in the least bit sluggish, and I like having everything designed to work "seemlessly" together. OH, and Gnome3 is just BLEH IMO.

Yes, I know it's a long list, which is why randomly downloading distros from distrowatch isn't really a real-world option. I want first hand suggestions from people who've used them and have tried things I may have overlooked.

Thanks!

frankbell 05-11-2014 10:31 PM

Given your list of prefences, I'd suggest Mageia or OpenSuse.

Timothy Miller 05-11-2014 11:48 PM

I admit I really liked Mageia with 3. I might have to look at 4 again, I know it was a steaming pile of **** when it was first released. OpenSuse fails in having any software. No games in the repositories, can't do ANYTHING multimedia with the default repositories, very little selection of anything other than "core" KDE programs. It's pretty, and it's easy to install, but there's just way too much missing from it to be usable as a daily system to me.

TobiSGD 05-12-2014 01:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timothy Miller (Post 5169047)
1. I prefer independent distros, not a "spin-off" of something else.

Debian.
Quote:

2. Needs to have an AMD64 version without recompiling anything.
Debian.
Quote:

3. Needs to use a package management that has automatic dependency resolution (reason I don't use Slackware) with a decent amount of repositories (reason Slax doesn't work for me, also reason I want to dump OpenSuse off it, I've got 8 repositories just to have a basic desktop with multimedia capabilities, and I discovered that there's basically no games in any of them, so just DONE with OpenSuse now) and be able to control what gets installed. IE - if I want Korganizer, I don't want to be forced to install Kaddressbook, Konotact, Kmail just to use that one feature (Fedora).
Debian, though I am not sure about the dependencies of Korganizer. If you want to have fine grained control about dependencies you will have to use a source based distro, but that fits not really with your #2.
Quote:

4. Needs to be at least moderately stable (here's looking at Arch, which I used to love, but simply can't tolerate how often the devs break it any more)
Debian.
Quote:

5. Need to be able to install from USB (was really excited to try NixOS, but it won't boot from a USB key created with the ISO), as I don't buy CD's anymore.
Debian.
Quote:

6. Doesn't need to default to KDE, but I like it to be available as my machines are more than sufficiently powerful to run a full fledged desktop without feeling in the least bit sluggish, and I like having everything designed to work "seemlessly" together. OH, and Gnome3 is just BLEH IMO.
Debian.

DavidMcCann 05-12-2014 12:01 PM

If you want an independent distro (why?) and have ruled out Arch, Fedora, Mageia, SUSE, Slackware, and anything that needs a lot of compiling, that just leaves Debian, Frugalware, and PCLinuxOS. I'd steer clear of Frugalware, but PCLinuxOS is very good and uses KDE by default. Give it a go!

szboardstretcher 05-12-2014 12:49 PM

Quote:

1. I prefer independent distros, not a "spin-off" of something else.
2. Needs to have an AMD64 version without recompiling anything.
3. Needs to use a package management that has automatic dependency resolution (reason I don't use Slackware) with a decent amount of repositories (reason Slax doesn't work for me, also reason I want to dump OpenSuse off it, I've got 8 repositories just to have a basic desktop with multimedia capabilities, and I discovered that there's basically no games in any of them, so just DONE with OpenSuse now) and be able to control what gets installed. IE - if I want Korganizer, I don't want to be forced to install Kaddressbook, Konotact, Kmail just to use that one feature (Fedora).
4. Needs to be at least moderately stable (here's looking at Arch, which I used to love, but simply can't tolerate how often the devs break it any more)
5. Need to be able to install from USB (was really excited to try NixOS, but it won't boot from a USB key created with the ISO), as I don't buy CD's anymore.
6. Doesn't need to default to KDE, but I like it to be available as my machines are more than sufficiently powerful to run a full fledged desktop without feeling in the least bit sluggish, and I like having everything designed to work "seemlessly" together. OH, and Gnome3 is just BLEH IMO.
1. Centos (Not a spinoff. Just a free recompilation of redhat, with the logos removed for licensing reasons.)
2. Centos
3. Centos
4. Centos
5. Centos
6. Centos

Timothy Miller 05-12-2014 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMcCann (Post 5169407)
If you want an independent distro (why?)

Because to me there's no point in using a distro that's just distro-A with a few different defaults. I don't mind when it's like how Chakra is, that it WAS based off Arch, but now are totally independent just so happen to use the Arch tools still. But taking and making some changes to the defaults and maybe adding repositories to make something available, well, just no reason to bother to me.

Quote:

I'd steer clear of Frugalware, but PCLinuxOS is very good and uses KDE by default. Give it a go!
I do seem to recall trying PCLOS once...many, many moons ago. Hadn't thought of that anytime recently. Thanks for the suggestion, will have to try.

Timothy Miller 05-12-2014 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 5169112)
Debian.
Debian.
Debian, though I am not sure about the dependencies of Korganizer. If you want to have fine grained control about dependencies you will have to use a source based distro, but that fits not really with your #2.
Debian.
Debian.
Debian.

Well, yeah, but I'm already using Debian on 2/4 systems...I want something DIFFERENT. :D

TobiSGD 05-12-2014 06:10 PM

You asked which distros would fit the needs that you have described in your first post. What would be the point to use something different than those distros, just because they are different? An OS is nothing else but a tool. Would you go to use a hammer to screw something in, just because you have already a screwdriver and want something different?

Timothy Miller 05-12-2014 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 5169582)
You asked which distros would fit the needs that you have described in your first post. What would be the point to use something different than those distros, just because they are different? An OS is nothing else but a tool. Would you go to use a hammer to screw something in, just because you have already a screwdriver and want something different?

No, but I'd grab a multi-tool, or maybe a drill with a bit extender. :D

I like to try different things.

TobiSGD 05-12-2014 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timothy Miller (Post 5169588)
No, but I'd grab a multi-tool, or maybe a drill with a bit extender. :D

I like to try different things.

Fair enough, but then you will have to live with the fact that those alternatives you seek for may not be the best tool for the job, read: one or more points of your wishlist may not be fulfilled. In that case (and supported by your statement that you have fairly powerful machines) I would recommend to set back #2 and try a source based distribution.

Emerson 05-12-2014 07:31 PM

Why don't you give Gentoo a spin. Fun guaranteed. I was long time Debian user myself before I switched about 11 years ago, never looked back.

Edit: Installing Korganizer would add following deps to my system, I have QT installed.
Code:

kde-base/khelpcenter-4.13.0
kde-base/kdelibs-4.13.0
kde-base/ktimezoned-4.13.0
kde-base/korganizer-4.13.0


Timothy Miller 05-12-2014 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emerson (Post 5169624)
Why don't you give Gentoo a spin. Fun guaranteed. I was long time Debian user myself before I switched about 11 years ago, never looked back.

Edit: Installing Korganizer would add following deps to my system, I have QT installed.
Code:

kde-base/khelpcenter-4.13.0
kde-base/kdelibs-4.13.0
kde-base/ktimezoned-4.13.0
kde-base/korganizer-4.13.0


I can say I haven't tried gentoo in....well, a LONG time. Maybe 8 or 9 years even.

I remember last I tried it I wasn't impressed. You had to set a trillion different flags to even get it to install, it was all manual installation, etc. I assume they've made it simpler to get started nowadays (I won't say better, since some people prefer to be that complex, I'm just not one of them). I will say I've always liked the CONCEPT of Gentoo, just didn't like the execution.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 5169605)
Fair enough, but then you will have to live with the fact that those alternatives you seek for may not be the best tool for the job, read: one or more points of your wishlist may not be fulfilled. In that case (and supported by your statement that you have fairly powerful machines) I would recommend to set back #2 and try a source based distribution.

I don't need the best tool for the job always. If it's uuber important, I can jump on my desktop to get it accomplished (Debian). But sometimes, you want something different simply for the fact that it's different.

jailbait 05-12-2014 10:39 PM

You might consider FreeBSD. Long ago I ran FreeBSD as a secondary operating system and it worked very well. Since then KDE and a package manager have been ported to FreeBSD. I have no experience with how well KDE and the package manager work on FreeBSD but you might give it a try.

-------------------
Steve Stites

Timothy Miller 05-13-2014 12:39 AM

Just tried installing gentoo. Still way too involved for my interest. I like to use computers, no interest in taking 12 hours to install the OS. Doesn't seem any different than it used to be. Nice concept, but just takes too long to actually install it.


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