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Old 02-14-2019, 07:48 PM   #1
Sofia-M
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Beyond debian


Hello everybody,

this is shooting just the bull, OK?
I'm a Debian Testing user, very happy with it and constantly trying to learn how to use it better.
However, a bit of distro hopping is sometimes a way to learn new tricks and stuff about Linux.
Since the spare partition I keep to try new stuff is presently vacant, I'd like to hear suggestions about possible distros I could try in order to
get a different perspective.
Right now, I have 3 possible candidates, each of which I have tried some time ago.

Alpine Linux.
Possibly the most original and refreshing distro I have tried. However, being conceived to be a server makes it tricky to use as a desktop.
+ I love the minimalistic and radical approach. musl is very promising. Spare but good wiki. Amazingly fast.
- Lacks some packages which are important to me, namely python and qt5 stuff. Community kinda quiet, not easy to get some questions answered.

Nutyx.
Unconventional blend of traditional and modern concepts. Trés chic.
+ Didactic. Flexible. Good howto's. Stimulates one to do things differently.
- Lacks a few packages for i686 (my cpu). Not very active forum.

Void Linux
Possibly the most usable of the three in the long term.
+ Good choice of packages. i686 musl version, albeit still kinda spare. Good wiki.
- Erratic community. Overly ambitious concept but not yet mature.

I'd like to hear opinions, suggestions and informed feedback.

Cheers.
 
Old 02-15-2019, 01:01 PM   #2
273
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When I dual-boot Linux I dual-boot Slackware. It's just, well, different and interesting. No "apt-get" ing things and no assumption installing something will activate it.
I've not felt the need to move to it but it's a great distro and isn't all that hard to get working if you can follow instructions.
 
Old 02-15-2019, 02:09 PM   #3
hazel
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NutyX is a derivative of Linux From Scratch, so you might want to consider that too. Slackware has the merit of great simplicity and gives maximum power to the system administrator. I've only recently started using it and I like it a lot. But it definitely isn't for newbies. You need to be comfortable with using the command line and writing some of your own configuration files.

Slackware is also very stable. But if you prefer bleeding edge, you might want to try Arch (binary)or Gentoo (source-based). Both of these will teach you a lot.
 
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:30 PM   #4
Sofia-M
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I agree with everything you say.
I have tried Slack (it was my first distro), Arch (which I like yet resent for dropping i686 support, both packages AND the forum - I tried Arch32 and also Manjaro32, but I had problems with the quality of some packages), Gentoo (loved the install process but compiling everything on my old laptop is insane).
LFS... someday.

Last night I've installed SliTaz.
Mind-blowing little distro!
I haven't had time to play very much with it, but so far it's amazing.
Anyone here has used it?
 
Old 02-16-2019, 05:27 AM   #5
fatmac
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Maybe try out one of the BSD rather than just another Linux distro.

I started out using Slack, but quickly found I preferred Debian, & have used Debian based systems, (without systemd), until this year.

I now mainly use OpenBSD.
 
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:46 PM   #6
Sofia-M
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fatmac:

could you mention some of the reasons why you dig OpenBSD in comparison to Debian?
 
Old 02-16-2019, 12:55 PM   #7
black-clover
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slitaz is very cool.
 
Old 02-16-2019, 01:52 PM   #8
JWJones
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Move to Debian sid?

But seriously, how about CRUX or a BSD? I agree with fatmac on OpenBSD. As to OpenBSD in comparison to Debian, there's really not much comparison, other than being UNIX and UNIX-like, and having dependency resolving package managers. Although when I used Debian (sid), I always built lean, light WM systems with netinstall, which reminds me of a default installation of OpenBSD. OpenBSD is really simple to install, and very clean and minimal, much like Alpine (which I love, btw). X works out of the box, as does pretty much everything. Works great on ThinkPads, too (my preferred laptops).

One nice thing about the BSDs: they feel more like a unified, whole system, whereas Linux is more like a messy collection of parts (I'm generalizing, I know). And of course the BSDs are true UNIX systems.

Enjoy!
 
Old 02-17-2019, 05:01 AM   #9
fatmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofia-M View Post
fatmac:

could you mention some of the reasons why you dig OpenBSD in comparison to Debian?
Secure out of the box is one of its claims, but when you add in 3rd party software, that isn't quite the same, but they have been built carefully, with regard to working specifically with OpenBSD.

Another plus, for me, is that how I set up my system takes up less space on disk, than Linux, which I think is better, (less to go wrong).

And, of course, it doesn't use systemd - I don't like the way that works - too much like MS Registry.

(I know I can install Debian without, but never liked it being the default - I even went to Devuan for a while to avoid it.)

By being a different O/S, not so many people can hack it, which also gives a bit of peace of mind.

But mainly just a personal preference, now that I have got used to how it works, it just suits me better.
 
Old 02-17-2019, 02:36 PM   #10
Sofia-M
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Again, I agree with all your reasons.
I too favor minimal, uncluttered systems.
I put together my own Debian install, doing away with just about everything that did not suit me, with a very small kernel and it works wonderfully on my old box.
Debian net install is a good starting point, I used to just install the core base and build up from there.
Short of Gentoo, Alpine seems to me the ideal install process, ultra fast and minimal.
After reading your commentaries, NetBsd definitely intrigues me.
It seems a good way to learn more about Unix philosophy seen from another angle.
I have mixed feeling about systemd.
When it works it works, but I never know when some strange issue is going to pop up, which is not very good.
 
Old 02-17-2019, 03:40 PM   #11
sevendogsbsd
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I really like Debian. I ran Void for a few weeks/months a couple of years ago and it worked very well, but, the project is run by 1 dude with a small team, what if they run out of $ and the repos are no more. This is what keeps me away from distros written by one guy/gal in a cave in Tibet. That's a joke, I have an unusual sense of humor...

I am running FreeBSD on my server and have been running it on my desktop for a few months. On the desktop it works well, but is a bit of work to get everything working. There are some things I would like to do on my desktop that I cannot on FreeBSD, easily anyway, like Steam, or run some apps that have not been ported. I am currently back to hopping and it drives me crazy.

Even gave OpenBSD a go, but it is slower than grease in a North Dakota winter on my hardware. Graphics issue: it doesn't like running at 4k resolution on my 4k monitor. Might be fine on a 15 inch laptop, but no can do on a 34" monitor.

I even tried Slack last night (I know, I said I never would), install went well, package updates went well, startx did not go well. Desktop won't fully draw (half) and it was very unhappy. At least I gave it a shot.

I too have mixed feelings about systemd but in the end, it works. Yes, it's complicated, but software evolves so maybe I don't care. I go back and forth.

So, installing OpenSuse again because that is my go to distro that always works. I am going to try xfce4 with it - KDE just always seems to sh*t the bed frequently so need something solid that just works.
 
Old 02-17-2019, 05:46 PM   #12
JWJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
I am currently back to hopping and it drives me crazy.

Even gave OpenBSD a go, but it is slower than grease in a North Dakota winter on my hardware.

I too have mixed feelings about systemd but in the end, it works. Yes, it's complicated, but software evolves so maybe I don't care. I go back and forth.

KDE just always seems to sh*t the bed frequently so need something solid that just works.
Dang, I could have written all of the above.
 
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:57 PM   #13
sevendogsbsd
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Well, that was a crazy weekend...my hopping is done and as is typical of me, I am back on FreeBSD. I honestly could not find anything I liked better. At least I learned a few things.
 
Old 02-21-2019, 07:42 PM   #14
Sofia-M
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From a user perspective, what are the main differences between NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD in terms of practical use and performance?
 
Old 03-01-2019, 05:23 PM   #15
sidzen
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Old thread, but the new porteus is worth exploring, as well.

For any slackware-based distro, I either wipe the drives with zeroes (usually only if it had ntfs on it) or formatting the desired partition with a non-journaling fs like ext2, deleting it and then formatting to most any journaled fs I want.
Don't ask me why -- it just works better for me with slackware distros. It also gets rid of EFI and GPT BS I do not want.

If you know Debian's APT, salixos or slackel should be the ones to start your mental upgrade to Slack with because they both make use of slapt-get out-of-the-box and it should prove to be second nature to a seasoned Debianite. (BTW, I was one until systemd.)

I began with Jaunty Jackalope. It took me ten years to get to Slack, so I dare you to get there quicker!

Best wishes and have fun!
 
  


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