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Old 01-24-2008, 11:03 PM   #1
sundar22in
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Talking Rapid Distro change - Disease?


Hi,

I am a linux user who is interested in exploring more about the linux system. As like many other people, I do change distros frequently(Very frequently).

Distros I tried so far: Ubuntu 7.04, OpenSuse 10.1 & 10.3, Fedora 5 & 6, Knoppix, CentOS 5.0, Unbreakable Linux, Redhat 9 and many other distros & live CD's.

At least I have tried 20 distros so far. In my opinion the learning curve is steep when we try out many distros rather than hanging out with one distro for long time.

What do you feel?


~ Sundar ~
 
Old 01-24-2008, 11:13 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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I was once told that if you really want to learn about linux, pick one of the big three: Slackware, Gentoo, or Debian. Since then, I've also been told to try building your own linux with Linux from Scratch.
 
Old 01-24-2008, 11:26 PM   #3
Bruce Hill
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Sundar,

Your observation is correct. Perhaps if you install a distro that uses the Linux File System Standard, and learn about it for a while, you can get a good foundation.

We usually advise Slackware because it does follow these standards. If you do a full install you will have a lot of up-to-date software, as well as everything you need to compile new software from source. The Slackware community is very large, so most of your questions will already be answered. Additionally, there are some good sources (not LinuxPackages.net, slaptget or swaret) where you can get reliable, proven, Slackware packages of other software that you can install and use.

Slackware does not do everything for you, or hide everything behind some GUI image so you don't know what your system is actually doing.

If you install Slackware, then read http://tille.garrels.be/training/tldp/index.html, you will get a good Linux foundation. Then if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can later try building your system from source with LFS.
 
Old 01-24-2008, 11:55 PM   #4
sundar22in
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Hill View Post
Sundar,
We usually advise Slackware because it does follow these standards. If you do a full install you will have a lot of up-to-date software, as well as everything you need to compile new software from source. The Slackware community is very large, so most of your questions will already be answered. Additionally, there are some good sources (not LinuxPackages.net, slaptget or swaret) where you can get reliable, proven, Slackware packages of other software that you can install and use.

If you install Slackware, then read http://tille.garrels.be/training/tldp/index.html, you will get a good Linux foundation. Then if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can later try building your system from source with LFS.
Some day I would like to try slackware, but not before knowing the linux fundamentals clearly(Like building from source,managing dependencies etc).

Thanks.

~ Sundar ~
 
Old 01-25-2008, 05:05 AM   #5
brianL
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Rapid Distro Change disease, also known as distrohopping, isn't rare, you're not alone. I had a bad case of it. I've managed to hang on to Slackware for a few months, but I'm not sure if I'm completely cured yet.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 06:10 AM   #6
Bruce Hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundar22in View Post
Some day I would like to try slackware, but not before knowing the linux fundamentals clearly(Like building from source,managing dependencies etc).

Thanks.

~ Sundar ~
There's no better way to learn than to do a full install, and then read and work with it. You won't learn the basics any better on a system that doesn't have kernel source, a compiler (usually gcc), the appropriate libraries and a few other basic programs. But that's just my opinion ...
 
Old 01-25-2008, 07:32 AM   #7
salasi
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I feel that if you are changing distro more often than you feel comfortable with, you should try changing distro less often.

My usual advice is to stick with whatever you choose as your first distro for, say, six months and only then consider distrohopping. Of course, if there is something specific about, say, Red Hat that is unsuitable for your needs, then try something other than Red Hat. At least you would be able to say 'this specific thing is necessary for me, so I must choose a distro that has it'.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 08:48 AM   #8
kazuya1977
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I agree with the last comment. I too have this disease of distro hopping, but I always maintain a primary production OS.
Linux Mint {Ubuntu} is my primary OS for one of my PCs. I have other distros including XP installed on that machine, but use Linux Mint mainly. On my laptop, I tend to have Archlinux partition booted. It is more fitting to my new found fascination to learn more.
On my third and fourth machines, I rotate every two days with a new flavor of Linux just to test and see improvements versus my current Desktop OS, and most times for curiosity. Through this I have been wowed by so many distros like Sabayon, Mepis anti-X, PClinuxos, wolvix.

Distros that always seem to find a place on my machines due to their greatness are Mepis{Still rank the best and credit with my full transition from Windows to Linux}, Vectorlinux, Zenwalk, Ubuntu, & Linux Mint.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
indigo196
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My problem is finding the 'right' distro. I will stop 'swapping' when I find one that I truly like.

Debian right now is the one I have used the most -- it is on my work laptop, but my home box has yet to be converted.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 09:29 AM   #10
whitemice
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Distro hopping wastes your time

Quote:
Originally Posted by indigo196 View Post
My problem is finding the 'right' distro. I will stop 'swapping' when I find one that I truly like.
There is no such thing, you won't find it. That is just like trying to find the perfect mate / car / house / etc...

Find something good, and work with it - in the case of distros remember that it is all the same software anyway. Distributions are just packaging.

My advice is to pick one of the big three: RedHat (Fedora/CentOS), SuSe (SLED/openSuSE), or Debian (Ubuntu) and stop hopping around. Reinstalling is not a solution to problems, it just wastes time. Time you aren't learning how to actually fix things or how things actually work. You also won't get integrated into the distro's community (via lists / forums / whatever) where there are people who can help you.

As a l-o-n-g time Linux/UNIX admin I can assure you that the most experienced and helpful people in those communities are more inclined to help people who (a) show an initiative to fix their own issues [which distro hopping DOES NOT!] and (b) people who's names/e-mails they recognize [have been around awhile].

To be completely honest, again as a l-o-n-g time Linux/UNIX admin I see distro hoping, as extremely amatuerish and a turn off to helping someone. ["... or maybe I should just try installing Ubuntu?"] I know that I am absolutely NOT alone in this, I've heard many local admins and developers make the same kind of comment while having-a-beer. So if you want to keep this stupid habit at least keep it under the covers when you post to lists/forums.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 09:42 AM   #11
indigo196
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I agree. I do not want to distro hop, but I am trying to learn which one 'fits' me best.

I have to be honest -- at this point Debian is the one that seems to do the trick. I have been running on my work laptop for roughly four months now.

openSUSE, while shinny, just doesn't feel right, but I can't place my finger on it... I guess its because I feel more removed from the 'system' than with Debian.

Fedora, feels ok, but the package manager seems to be extremely sluggish.

If I had to choose today -- it would likely be Debian... though there is alot to be said about the Ubuntu forums and community.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 10:34 AM   #12
kazuya1977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by

To be completely honest, again as a l-o-n-g time Linux/UNIX admin I see distro hoping, as extremely amatuerish and a turn off to helping someone. ["... or maybe I should just try installing Ubuntu?"
I know that I am absolutely NOT alone in this, I've heard many local admins and developers make the same kind of comment while having-a-beer. So if you want to keep this stupid habit at least keep it under the covers when you post to lists/forums.
I agree and disagree more. It depends on your reason for hopping. if i were to use a distro that seems very good, I may become complacent and just accept that distros way of doing things blindly without being objective to new users or those that desire something else. Some newbie comes and says, hey, why isn't there a gui package manager or easy way to install apps; I can tell them try a distro A or B or these types as they have that.- In other words, I am more helpful to others who ask due my hopping and trying many other distros. While hopping, I always tend to return to my favorite distros. Saying do not hop is like saying use Gnome, but no Kde, or XFCE, or enlightenment. I change depending on my mood or what new feature trickles my fancy. This hopping is why users say, hey can't we have this here, I used to have this in distro B. The developers there sometimes get influenced to add those features and those users who are complacent either enjoy the new features or complains about it. In the end, the distros although different in their aims and methods, start to evolve or get left behind due to being complacent.

I use Linux Mint for example which is based on Ubuntu, but I go to Ubuntu Forums as it is more active and they answer any question asked as they are all essentially linux {same kernel}

Those who do not hop or explore other distros while using their favorite distros or OSes are the amateurish ones as they become like dinosaurs. What if your favorite distro now told you that they are so far behind, they may not be able to include xorg 7.3 and are still stuck with xorg 6 which means poor graphic card supports, etc., no compiz or beryl eye-candy, etc? How would you know these other cool projects existed in the open-source world if you never hopped or tried them. This is why I do alot of distro-hopping when there are things other distros offer that mine may not while still maintaining my fav distro until something else fully replaces it {may take two yrs or less}
I use Opensolaris to understand dtrace, DesktopBSD{easy to use BSD-based OS -very exciting and growing} and I am a memeber to all of these distros and more. Why close my boundary to other distros not yet known.

Sorry for my rant. I was not too glad with the subjective term of amateurish and hopping. Hopping is how information about exciting opensource projects happen.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #13
bigrigdriver
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Disease? No!

Passion, that's what it is. Just can't get enough of the good stuff. It's all so good, you just can't decide which to stick with.

Gotta look at the positive side of things, ya know.
 
Old 01-28-2008, 03:46 AM   #14
sundar22in
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Looking at the above posts I conclude the following:

* I got to continue my distro hopping, may be at a reduced pace
* I got to have my favorite distro and master it

Reason for above conclusion: Both the methods have their own strengths and weakness. Combining strengths of both the methods we gain more than the time invested in it(1 + 1 = 3).
 
  


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