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DTW 07-20-2010 01:42 PM

Best rolling distros geared towards noobs-novice?
 
Hello everyone. Wondering which rolling release distros are recommended for noobs to novices. Ease of installation and stability would be key features. Pros and cons for each would be appreciated. Thanks!

kilgoretrout 07-20-2010 01:46 PM

Probably PCLinuxOS:

http://pclinuxos.com/?option=com_smf&Itemid=58

By and large the words "rolling release" and "stability" don't go together but PCLinuxOS is the exception that proves the rule IMHO.

DTW 07-20-2010 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilgoretrout (Post 4039799)
Probably PCLinuxOS

Is PCLOS a true rolling release? I've heard different explanations on this one.

Quote:

By and large the words "rolling release" and "stability" don't go together
LOL, I've been hearing that. What about Sidux? It seems to be touted as a very stable rolling distro.

pixellany 07-20-2010 02:14 PM

Quote:

By and large the words "rolling release" and "stability" don't go together
I have Arch in routine use on both of my systems: Office laptop and home with 3 users. There are some idiosynscracies but things have been quite stable.

I normally do not recommend Arch for beginners, but anyone with reasonable computer aptitude can handle it with some patience. If you have never installed any kind of OS, then I would not start with Arch.

SalmonEater 07-20-2010 02:23 PM

"LOL, I've been hearing that. What about Sidux? It seems to be touted as a very stable rolling distro."

Just try using sidux repos on another Debian-based distro to see how stable it is. I like sidux. Try it.

snowpine 07-21-2010 09:57 AM

Let's back up a minute... are you sure you actually need a rolling release distro? In my experience, a lot of people who think they do would actually be better served by a stable system with the latest versions of a few key applications (Firefox, OpenOffice, etc). This is easy to accomplish with any distro (for example, many Ubuntu users use "PPA" repositories for specific applications) and there are also a few distros where this is the default behavior (for example Mepis).

"Rolling release" distros are not typically "geared towards noobs" and by definition they cannot be "stable" since they are constantly in a state of flux. Imagine a boulder "rolling" down a hill, kicking up dust and flattening everything in its path... now tell me, is that rolling stone "stable" or "unstable"? :)

That being said, I have nothing but good things to say about sidux. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to carefully read their manual and follow it step by step you will likely have a good experience.

http://manual.sidux.com

kilgoretrout 07-21-2010 10:07 AM

I don't mean to trash either sidux or arch; both are excellent rolling releases. However, neither sidux or arch or any other rolling release can completely overcome the instability inherent in a rolling release of constantly changing bleeding edge software. There's a good reason why both of their forums have entire sections dealing with upgrade issues:

http://sidux.com/index.php?name=PNph...fe486c4c2f7411

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewforum.php?id=44

If you blindly do regular full system upgrades of either, sooner or later you will bork your system. It's the nature of the beast. If you are knowledgeable enough, you can usually see trouble coming and hold off on upgrading certain packages to avoid problems or correct problems as they occur. Most noobs don't have that knowledge.

Pclos is a little different. The base system is based on mandriva and changes little but unlike mandriva, the userland apps that most noobs would be interested in are frequently updated, eg kde, multimedia and graphics apps, etc. This gives pclos more stability and allows the users to get the latest and greatest of the apps they are most interested in. The downside is about every 3 to 5 years, the base system gets too dated and a new pclos is released based on a fresher version of mandriva which requires a fresh install.

wingman358 07-21-2010 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DTW (Post 4039793)
Hello everyone. Wondering which rolling release distros are recommended for noobs to novices. Ease of installation and stability would be key features. Pros and cons for each would be appreciated. Thanks!

Ubuntu sure is easy to install and is very stable, but not a rolling release.

I've never personally used Arch, but I hear it's great (fast, stable, and rolling release).

It really doesn't matter that much which distro you pick. As long as you're patient and willing to learn, you'll love it.

dugan 07-22-2010 10:12 AM

Gentoo.

Installation is a matter of following step-by-step instructions. Once installed, it's one of the easiest distros to maintain.

Upgrades causing major breakages is not generally a problem on Gentoo.

DTW 03-21-2011 01:39 AM

I'm back and still looking for a RR distro with KDE.


Quote:

Originally Posted by pixellany (Post 4039837)
I have Arch in routine use on both of my systems: Office laptop and home with 3 users. There are some idiosynscracies but things have been quite stable.

I normally do not recommend Arch for beginners, but anyone with reasonable computer aptitude can handle it with some patience. If you have never installed any kind of OS, then I would not start with Arch.

How do novices like Arch after the initial setup? I don't mind a little upkeep. I keep hearing great things about the distro.

How does Arch compare with Debian Testing, or is Arch more compared with Debian Sid?

k3lt01 03-21-2011 02:25 AM

If you have your heart set on a "rolling release" then I'd try Debian Testing which is currently Wheezy, or maybe even LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) which is based on Debian Testing. Be forwarned though that the nature of a rolling release like LMDE and Debian Testing is they can, and Debian itself admits this, break for a couple of weeks at a time.

Having said all that I use Debian Sid/Experimental which is 1 (Sid) and 2 (Experimental) levels further than Testing and haven't come across any great issue that I couldn't fix within 10 minutes.

Last but not least my advice to you would be that until you learn your way around a Linux system I'd use either Debian Squeeze which is Debian's current stable and put backports in the sources.list or use Ubuntu 10.10 also the current version and enable backports by default. Doing this will give you, when they come through, new and updated versions from a testing release such as Wheezy or 11.04.

DTW 03-21-2011 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k3lt01 (Post 4297755)
If you have your heart set on a "rolling release" then I'd try Debian Testing which is currently Wheezy, or maybe even LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) which is based on Debian Testing.

If LMDE had a KDE version, I'd probably choose that. Looks like their not going to make a KDE version anytime soon.

For that reason, Debian Testing KDE is on the top of my list. Here's one's I'm contemplating in order:

1) Debian Testing KDE
2) Arch
3) Chakra
4) Aptosid
5) Sabayon


I've always used Debian-based distro since using Linux, but I tried Chakra and liked it the little I've toyed with it, but worried their "resistance" to GTK apps will be too limiting. But it's the first time I messed with an Arch-based distro, so want to give Arch a whirl.

posixculprit 03-21-2011 02:01 PM

I've used Arch Linux for years and have not had any major instability issues. It is a bit like the lottery. You can go months / years at a time and never have issues or you can have issues every other month. It all depends on what software you have installed (some utilities break but if you're not using them you won't be affected) and how you are using said software (certain features might break but if they're not important to you you might not even notice). I did have problems with bash configuration files. I don't know why people like to move everything to ~ especially on personal computers. I was duplicating effort between configuration files in ~/posixculprit and /root, so I decided to move things to /etc/. Apparently this isn't something many people do (configure /etc/profile, /etc/bash*, etc.) and this caused me some grief every now and then when bash got updated.

As I've said, I found the system quite stable and rather up-to-date, much more so than Debian's Unstable (where you run the risk of not getting any help because you went asking for it by not running the stable branch - and for good reason, it being called unstable isn't supposed to be a sick joke) and Fedora rawhide (despite its claiming of "First" to be one of its core principles.. and of being the up-to-date distribution of the Linux world).

Should I desire to go back to a rolling-release distribution it would surely be Arch. The officially suggested and supported version is up-to-date by nature (unlike Debian unstable, Fedora rawhide, Mandriva cooker, whatever), relatively stable and (as advertised) simple. Lovely package manager and init system.. a very.. "stay out of the user's way" system on the whole.

P.S.: I don't use rolling release distributions anymore, having recently switched to RHEL 6 on my home computers, because I simply can't afford the gamble. I'm a computer programmer, I don't need the latest firefox. I need reliability.

DTW 03-21-2011 02:41 PM

Glancing over the Arch install wiki, it looks like a daunting task! Not only the actually installation, but then fine-tuning everything afterward, like Audio and fonts. Does it look worse than it is? I'm using Mint right now, where everything is nice and polished out of the box. It's why I started looking at Chakra, but their distro is probably too Alpha for me and think I'll run into problems with the lack of GTK apps.

snowpine 03-21-2011 02:49 PM

Arch is the best rolling-release distro for new users, in my opinion, because the detailed install process teaches you the ins-and-outs of the system. If you make a pot of coffee and work through the Beginners Guide step by step, it shouldn't take you more than an afternoon. I am wary of projects like Chakra that attempt to "simplify" the Arch install process. (However I have not used personally Chakra; maybe it is fantastic!)

Personally I steer clear of rolling release distros these days, but if I needed one, I would probably choose Arch.


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