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Slackware 14 is a terrific release. I found bugs in Slackware 13.37 that i thought would have been noticed and a different version of foo software used instead. Slackware 14 is solid and lacking many bugs, at least in the software i use. The only bugs i've found are in Amarok, but i dislike that music player anyway so it is no issue to me.
The intel drivers in xorg have issues with freezing my computer and i am not the only one with this issue, and Slackware for that matter is not the only distro with this issue. a new version of xorg can be compiled of course to over come this issue, but i just don't think the version should have been included. I guess i can't talk though since i did not participate in the rc's and betas.
Slackware 14 delivers stability overall and a very flexible system that is too my liking.
Good work to Pat and the rest of the devs, and also the community providing Slackbuilds scripts and third party utilities like Slackpkg and Sbopkg.
Slackware takes a little longer to setup than other distros, but it's worth it.
The flexibility in Slackware makes it my favorite distro.
I rated this a ten because of bhussein's stupidity, giving it an unfair '0' in #5; asking a question in the wrong place.
Realistically i would rate it an 9.
As a kde user, Debian 7 was much desired by me because of Debian's old and very unpolished kde 4.4. Debian 7 ships with 4.8 which was a great release to have chosen. It ships a bunch of updated software into the repos as expected and it doesn't disappoint.
I dislike Debian's package manager for reasons i don't want to go into, but if i look over this concept; Debian has once again delivered exactly what they advertise, a rock solid and well integrated system.
This is significant, because there are many other distros that advertise similar goals and instead deliver a mass of bugged up packages.
Systemd is not installed on the system by default, which is something i like, but what i like even more is that it is available in the repos to those that do desire it. Debian gets bonus points for making choice available.
Good work Debian devs for that, and good work for their hard efforts to make a top notch system.
Opensuse, one of, or my favorite Gnu/Linux distro.
This release was released over two months from the original release date. The decision to do so was based on the growth of developers turning the old release system redundant. I admire the Opensuse teams decision to push the release later, opposed to releasing on schedule a buggy distro. The release schedule is currently being reviewed and later versions may no longer follow the eight month system. I like that Opensuse has the guts to change which will lead them to eventually evolve.
Opensuse 12.2 doesn't offer anything phenomenal from the previous release, especially if you used open build service repos to receive updated selected software. Mantis is just a stable build with updates and over all, it's nice.
Opensuse offers many extra optional repos to get various things, such as updated kde, updated gnome, updated wine, ect. It makes Opensuse an absolute pleasure to use.
Opensuse uses the rpm package manager, and zypper for an automated package tool. I think zypper is possibly the best automated package tool around, pacman is the only other that comes close. For the graphical user, there is yast which is a very good tool too, but alas it does have a habit of over complicating some configuration files.
Opensuse 12.2 comes with Grub2 unlike previous releases. I do not like Grub2 very much, but it seems to be working fine, so i can't complain.
I very much enjoy Opensuse, and while there is a couple annoying things i have found; i have found a few or more annoying things in every other distro i've tried as well.
Another great release, and i predict Opensuse will only become better as the devs review there release system.
I have been eager to give Mageia a go for some time. I held off until version 2 was released. I constantly read how happy people were with it. It sounded great.
My limited experience with Mandriva was when i was first beginning Gnu/Linux last year, and i could not get my mobile broadband to work with the network managing gui. Mageia has continued to use the same program for managing networks. I can still not obtain a connection. I decided to remove it and install network manager instead. I downloaded all the rpms needed and got it going. I was able to connect. I was using kde. Once a connection was established, something very odd occurred. I could no longer open any new windows. If a terminal had been left open from before establishing a connection, and then a program was lauched from that, it would fail with X errors. Once the connection was closed down, things would work again. I tried the gnome applet and the kde applet, and the issue continued to occur. It is a known bug that was reported in the betas, but was never fixed. I decided to remove network manage and instead comile it from source. No build tools are insalled by default, so i installed them, but then found that checkinstall was not in the repos. That was it for me. I had a horrible experience and would like to rate this lower, but since i did not get the chance to see how well the rest of the product works, i've given it a generous 5.
If you require network manager, don't try Mageia.
to be fare I have not extensively tested this distro.
chakra uses pacman which is perhaps my favourite package manager. I like vanilla setups and while chakra reminds of arch because of pacman; it is not vanilla. I had to remove the xorg.conf file to get my Intel chipset recognised by the default open drivers.
my biggest gripe with chakra and the main reason I am not continuing use further is because of bundles. bundles are a unique idea to my knowledge. the theory is that by seperating 'inferior' gtk packages from the rest of the packages and base, you retain a clean system which is slightly faster.
bundles are a way to conform to this theory by installing gtk packages to your home directory.
I and others I've seen on the chakra forums have had issues installing bundles. Firefox refused to download and the gimp did not work correctly.v
bundles make things overly complicated in my view. I made a philosophical desision to move to chakra because I was sick of the modulization of rpm and deb based distros, and now I'm encountering worse fragmentation in chakra despite such a great plain package manager.
I've been using this distro for about a week now, and it is very nice. I have been so impressed, i've made Frugalware my main distro. The pacakage manager is pacman-g2. I have never used pacman at all, but am very impressed. It will automatically solve dependencies but will ignore them if requested. I appreciate this flexibility, which can't be achieved with apt/dpkg, which i used previously. I don't have many bad words to say about Frugalware. The installer has a few options and i chose the text mode, and it was buggy. It froze the first time and the second worked, but there is glitches that cause text to overlap selection boxes. Over all, a great distro and i'm suprised it doesn't have a larger user base.
Before i begin the review, i'd like to describe my setup ect and choice of installation.
My partitions are set up with a seperate boot partition which chainloads any distro i install, so any distro i install i always install it's bootloader to it's '/'. I have two primary partitions occupied and two logical; one for the opensuse install, and the other is a data partition i mount in my home folder of each distro.
I chose the kde desktop environment. and set a root user up instead of sudo, along with autologin. This Opensuse install is my first rpm based distro to seriously try out.
OK and now to the review.
I had tried opensuse once before in early last year when i was first experimenting with Linux; i installed it and didn't do much with it. I found the install overly complicated and could be made easier. I donít think the install has changed much since, and i still feel the same about it. I did the advance setup when it got to the partition setup as i do with all distros, and set my mount points for all my partitions, as detailed earlier, i mount a data partition in my home folder. Once the install was done, i found i could not log in, as my user and had to resort to root. I figured out the issue and it was something to do with the data partition in my home folder. I fixed it so i could login, but autologin was not enabled; trying to enable it the way i normally do in system settings didn't work either. For other reasons i did a reinstall deliberately not mounting the data partition and everything worked perfectly the way it should have, even auto login. After editing fstab to mount my data partition, it still worked great so yeah..
After the initial install was done, it rebooted, and bang, there was the opensuse grub splash screen; WTF, i told the bootloader to go to '/'. My bootloader has been overwritten and i honestly don't know why and haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. Either way i'm sure it won't be to hard, but that's something i really don't like to see. Kde 4.7 loaded up and it was very nice. I have used Yast and it seems very nice. It seems snappy and stable; the only bug i've found so far is in dolphin, the menubar is disabled by default and trying to enable it with the spanner icon in the top right corner crashes it, but it can be enabled with the key shortcut. Opensuse feels stable, unlike some other distros where i feel i have to tip toe around the stupid thing. despite all the initial screw ups, once everything is fixed, it seems like a nice release that i think i will be keeping on here for a fare bit longer.
Simply Mepis is based off of Debian stable, and is a true Debian based distro, unlike some other distros, most notably, Ubuntu. It focuses on ease of use, and stability, and does a damn good job. It is very focused on Kde, and although i prefer kde, i think it's still important to acknowledge that Mepis does not have a gnome edition ect. Gnome and other desktop environments can be installed with apt, but many people may find the noninclusive a put off. (gnome used to be equally supported, but people whom liked gnome weren't drawn to Mepis, so it got dropped). Simply Mepis is very stable, and it gets this feature from Debian stable. With this pro, comes the sacrifice of having slightly outdated packages, if this becomes a problem (such as older kernel not supporting newer hardware) this can be overcome, by using Debian backports, which although will reduce your stableness, you won't be dropping all the way down to say Debian Testing/sid.
I highly recommend Simply Mepis, and can honestly say that it is perhaps my third favorite distro; only behind Slackware and Debian.