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scanmetender 12-15-2006 04:04 PM

Searching for bleeding edge and stable distro.
 
Hi there,

I have been using GNU/Linux for over three years. My first distro was RedHat Linux 8.0. Currently I am using Debian as my primary distro, Gentoo as testing. Both of them are very nice distros. Anyway I decided to move to a bleeding edge distro and tried one more time all current available linuxes, e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora Core 6 and so on. From all the distros my favourites are:
Debian/GNU Linux SID
Gentoo Linux

Now my question: Which of them is better in following aspects:
- Stability
- Bleeding edge
- Package archive
- Package management
- Hardware detection

I am searching for a distro, which does not cost a lot of time. I need a fast distro, because I am a time critical user and do not want to spend hours on fixing or tweaking my OS.

Please share your experience!

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards

weibullguy 12-15-2006 04:38 PM

I use Gentoo as my day-to-day distro without any problems. I use mostly packages from the stable branch of portage. About 10% of the packages on my system are from the testing branch or an overlay.

Stability - I don't feel that I have any problems with stability.
Bleeding Edge - You can browse Gentoo's repository and judge for yourself. Use the testing branch 100% if you want the most up-to-date packages.
Package Mgmnt - I've used apt, yum, and portage. Personally, I like portage the best. But I like the control I have over the configuration of the final build.
Hardware Detection - I haven't had any problems with this that were Gentoo specific. Either on older machines or a brand new machine.
Time - The amount of time you NEED to spend tweaking Gentoo is minimal after the initial setup. The amount of time you COULD spend tweaking is limited only by your biological functions. Point is, Gentoo can be an everyday distro if you have the restraint.

However, all that being said, I am using my CLFS build more and more for everyday use as I build more applications. It's time consuming to get setup, but if you're looking for bleeding edge CLFS is worth a look, IMHO.

Stability - In my experience, stability hasn't been an issue. You're probably not going to get a more personalized and customized OS than building your own.
Bleeding Edge - CLFS is one of the best ways to be bleeding edge. Sign up for e-mail alerts to new releases of your favorite packages. No waiting for someone else to commit the release to a distro's repository.
Package Mgmnt - I use a text file that lists every package, its version, dependencies, etc. installed on my system. Package management is what you make it on a CLFS system. You could install apt, portage, or yum. Or CVS, subversion, and git if you want to be really bleeding edge.;)
Hardware Detection - Ditto my Gentoo response.
Time - Ditto my Gentoo response.

I've used Debian in the past, but didn't like any of the three branches available at the time. This was several years ago, but I'm ethically required to disclose that information.

scanmetender 12-15-2006 04:46 PM

Thanks for your review Arow. Yeah Gentoo is also imho a good choice, but the big compile times are frustrating: I have a new Core 2 Duo with " Gigs of RAM and it still takes about 3 hours to emerge kdebase. I also had problems to install NVidia drivers, because I have used genkernel.

craigevil 12-15-2006 05:36 PM

Why not just stick with Debian Sid? It combines bleeding edgs apps with the power of Debian.

I have ran it for 2 yrs with few to no problems.

aerdt 12-15-2006 07:12 PM

While Gentoo is certainly bleeding edge and just plain "fun", it is tedious and tends to become unstable sooner than you can say "emerge". Most biggest distributions are more or less up-to-date. Ubuntu and Arch seem to have the best user community, so my choice would be either one.

PingFloyd 12-15-2006 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scanmetender
Hi there,

I have been using GNU/Linux for over three years. My first distro was RedHat Linux 8.0. Currently I am using Debian as my primary distro, Gentoo as testing. Both of them are very nice distros. Anyway I decided to move to a bleeding edge distro and tried one more time all current available linuxes, e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora Core 6 and so on. From all the distros my favourites are:
Debian/GNU Linux SID
Gentoo Linux

Now my question: Which of them is better in following aspects:
- Stability
- Bleeding edge
- Package archive
- Package management
- Hardware detection

I am searching for a distro, which does not cost a lot of time. I need a fast distro, because I am a time critical user and do not want to spend hours on fixing or tweaking my OS.

Please share your experience!

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards

You don't ask much :)

Since I got the impression that bleeding edge was a high priority, I was going to suggest Gentoo, but it looks like you've already tried it out.

I guess it seems more the case that you want something that is bleeding edge like Gentoo, but requires less time and micro-management. For that criteria, I would suggest Arch, based upon the distros I've tried. I'm sure there are probably alot of others out there that fit the bill as well, that I am unfamiliar with.

I found Arch to be pretty good about being current with it's software. It tends to take some of the strengths of alot of distros (For instance, it has a decent sized repo full of a pretty good selection of binary packages, but also has it's AUR repos that have build scripts to make compiling of software where has been a chance for there to be a binary of it in the distro yet. Sort of the best of both worlds in some ways.). It of course, isn't without it share of downsides (All of this is of course a matter of perspective. A pro to one is a con to another and vice-versa).

As for stability, for the time where I was using it, it seemed that it was pretty stable for the most part and had good performance to boot (I find that performance generally seems to be an issue of how much bloat a system has and dependant upon which programs one has installed and uses etc.). Since it's a rolling release, it does tend to have the issues of growing pains that one should expect with the territory. For instance, you're likely to have everything screaming along without a single problem for a long time, but then one day after an update, something is ends up broken. At least for a little awhile until upstream has had a chance to work out the kinks in their latest and greatest version. Of course, you may get lucky and dodge the grenade entirely due to having the right hardware at the right time.

An example of what I am talking about:
My arch installation was screaming along flawlessly until Xorg 7.1 became a part of the distro (Xorg still had alot of kinks at that times). My misfortune was that I had a video card that has some serious issues with it's drivers for that version. I see this as something that happens and should be expected with any distro that uses a rolling release strategy and stays very current though.

As a side note, I think one of the reasons it's so hard to really recommend any distro to anyone, is that most distros have their upsides and downsides that are really a matter of perspective. What may be a big deal or an issue to one person, may be trivial, or perhaps even a good thing in their eyes, to another.

So essentially I would suggest you try out Arch if you haven't already. You may like, you may hate it, or you may comes to have all sorts of mixed feelings about it (this is probably the most likely thing).

Also, it seems that Slackware may be another one to check out, if you haven't already.

scanmetender 12-16-2006 04:56 AM

Thanks for your advices, PinkFloyd. Well Arch is maybe one thing I will try, Slackware not, because I do not like its package management system. It is not as strong as APT.

tallman19 12-16-2006 09:49 AM

on Slackware you can install slapt-get or swaret, they are as powerful as APT. The system is rock solid and the packages are bleeding edge, although not as many as in gentoo or debian. Slackware is also faster then these. Then, you can install the SlackIns, a fronend for swaret, slapt-get and other system configuration.

Then, there is no such thing as bleeding edge and stable at the same time. If it's bleeding edge - it's most of times buggy and unstable. imho

scanmetender 12-16-2006 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tallman19
on Slackware you can install slapt-get or swaret, they are as powerful as APT. The system is rock solid and the packages are bleeding edge, although not as many as in gentoo or debian. Slackware is also faster then these. Then, you can install the SlackIns, a fronend for swaret, slapt-get and other system configuration.

Well as a matter of fact I do not want to install a distro, where I must add an APT clone afterwards.
Quote:

Originally Posted by tallman19
Then, there is no such thing as bleeding edge and stable at the same time. If it's bleeding edge - it's most of times buggy and unstable. imho

And exactly this is what I am looking for. It does not have to be tooooooo stable as Debian Stable branch, but I do not want as system which has lots of dep problems or bugs.

jacook 12-16-2006 06:52 PM

Kubuntu
http://www.kubuntu.org/

Uses KDE desktop, one CD install works both as a live and Install CD. Be wary it is a bit bloated.

Mandriva
http://frontal2.mandriva.com/en/downloads/mirrors

This is what PCLinuxOS is based on it is a BIG distrobution with all you will ever need


PCLinuxOS .92
http://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/metalab/dist...glish/preview/
ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/metalab/distr...glish/preview/

This is the distro I use and recommend, Why because it works right out of the box. No need to configure Everything, everything just works. It also comes as a 1 CD install that is a live CD that you can install later if you wish.

BeatrIX
http://www.watsky.net/download.html

Mephis
http://www.mepis.org/

Jake

FredGSanford 12-17-2006 12:49 AM

I vote debian sid...pretty much offer what you're suggesting! One thing to keep an eye on is just pay close attention to apt-get dist-upgrade wants to remove.

I've been running it awhile now with no problems.

farslayer 12-17-2006 12:58 AM

Debian sid gets my vote as well for stability and being pretty up to date. just make sure you install apt-listbugs so you can avoid doing an update that would cause known breakage.

scanmetender 12-17-2006 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jacook
Kubuntu
http://www.kubuntu.org/

Uses KDE desktop, one CD install works both as a live and Install CD. Be wary it is a bit bloated.

Mandriva
http://frontal2.mandriva.com/en/downloads/mirrors

This is what PCLinuxOS is based on it is a BIG distrobution with all you will ever need


PCLinuxOS .92
http://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/metalab/dist...glish/preview/
ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/metalab/distr...glish/preview/

This is the distro I use and recommend, Why because it works right out of the box. No need to configure Everything, everything just works. It also comes as a 1 CD install that is a live CD that you can install later if you wish.

BeatrIX
http://www.watsky.net/download.html

Mephis
http://www.mepis.org/

Jake

Thanks for your advices, but most of the distros are beginners distros, based upon a release system ergo they are not bleeding edge just as SID or Gentoo.

As alaready said I am already Debian SID user, but I am thinking of migrating to Gentoo because it is probably more stable, isnt it? Debian is also mostly a release based OS, so developers are working to get things in a release and use unstable and testing as "testbeds for new technology". Gentoo is not release based. This is the thing I like there.

farslayer 12-17-2006 11:56 AM

Another bleedig edge distro is sabayon linux.. Gentoo based with all the XGL Beryl goodness out of the box.
http://www.sabayonlinux.org/

Screenshots
review of Sabayon Linux

Quote:


That aside, if you had AIXGL or XGL enabled during the initial boot off the Live DVD, you will have it enabled for your regular installation. Overtop of this is Beryl which offers even more special features, or toys you could say. Yes, these special affects really can make you waste time when you should be working, but it's way too fun to ignore. So overall, the entire distro is a real visual treat, but amazingly still retains some incredible speed.

Thanks to Beryl on top, there is a lot of customization and extra functionality. By far my favorite would have to be the blur feature, which essentially blurs everything you are doing on the PC. So, after a while of opening programs, minimizing them and closing them, you will wind up with a desktop like this.

Of course, one of the most interesting, and fun features of XGL are the wobbly windows and the method to cascade them on your screen.

Because XGL has the potential to bog your system down, this version of Beryl includes a benchmarking tool to see if your FPS are up to snuff.

As I mentioned earlier, Sabayon is not a regular distro. It includes many, if not all of the programs that users will need. Of course things can be installed manually later, but there is a robust selection here. Thanks to this, a lot of things you wish to do works out of the box, such as ripping an audio CD or working on a spreadsheet.

I've downloaded the iso for Sabayon but haven't got around to trying it our yet.... it does look interesting.


If you are still using Debian stable I certainly can understand why you feel it's not 'bleeding edge' which is why most of us don't bother with the stable releases except for server use. running etch(testing) or sid (unstable) is wonderful for keeping the distro current. Sarge (stable) on my desktop would drive me nuts.. sid on the otherhand has proven to be very stable and very current.

mipia 12-23-2006 08:26 PM

Pick one. Stable or bleeding edge?


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