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Old 09-10-2019, 09:49 PM   #1
Voied
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Post Reliable distro for My daily use..


Hello, I need some recommendations for a distribution, I'll try to get straight to the point. Posted this on a subreddit, didn't get responses.

Seeking: Lightweight daily driver

Daily Use:

- Programming (software and gamedev > sunvox + krita)

- web browsing via pale moon (I barely use the internet, only for reading and torrents)

- Virt via kvm (win7, Nixos, plan9 and possibly macos if i can get it working)

- factorio

I'm on a T420, with 8gb ram and I only use the win7 VM for school so I plan to use DWM as my WM to keep the host as light as possible, and also cause I find the abundance of choice in DEs to be overwhelming, since i care little for customization.

Linux knowledge: average

I find there to be too many variables and opinionated distributions, so I'm having some trouble picking one. Figured since I will be treating this system like a workstation, I'd want something reliable regardless of its release schedule. With regards to my interaction with others, it will be through the win7 VM or host web browser, so my host system itself is rather unconstrained in terms of choices.

I have previously used arch, but not long enough to evaluate its reliability over time as the updates roll in. Besides, I did not touch the AUR at all. Arch packages tend to combine the dev packages with the lib itself as compared to debian so I find myself unable to uninstall what I don't need, to keep the host light.

Used debian too. The age of the packages don't really bother me, I mean at its core it does the same thing, but what stood out was the custom patches applied within debian. Compared to arch, they were just somehow different, touched and I'm not too sure about whether I'd be using the raw package/lib or the debian patched version that is edited to work on debian.. I did not investigate it. Yet I wonder if that really is a valid variable as majority of the linux binaries out there work fine on debian just as they do on other distributions. Also debian tends exclude certain packages, and so it does seem a bit unrealiable in that sense. Apt seems a little weird in how it does not really remove all that was installed when I remove or purge a package..

I recently looked at void but its a rather liminal distro.. Most of the packages I need are there but the community seems underpowered and the distribution seems rather experimental so I'm not sure how reliable it is over time and as updates roll in.. yet its rather unbiased and one of the more efficient distributions ( in my opinion ).

The above are just my experience with distributions I am considering but I don't really want to populate the post with more of my biased views so I would appreciate some advice and recommendations for my use case. I've spent quite some time thinking about this, I could possibly be paralyzed (unable to make a choice) due to a lack of objectivity.

Last edited by Voied; 09-10-2019 at 10:28 PM.
 
Old 09-10-2019, 11:27 PM   #2
jamison20000e
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Thumbs up Hi.

sid netinst was last on my T420 before it went to my nephew, for his 16th birthday a few months ago; he's a gamer so I put Windows on it...

sid netinst is now on my Dell G15 5 and still on my IBM T20. I do have Xfce installed but I rarely startx into that.

A sid netinst is now, over the years, my go-to for anything and everything!

Have fun!
 
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
jsbjsb001
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Location: Earth? I would say I hope so but I'm not so sure about that... I could just be a figment of your imagination too.
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As far as your criteria is concerned; almost any Linux distribution can do what you're after. In regards to programming, most distributions and any I've ever used offer packages for things like gcc, make, Qt, GTK, and whatever other development tools and libraries/API's you need. The mainstream distributions are probably your best choices there.

As this sticky thread explains, the main things to consider when deciding beyond your criteria and/or use case, are things like the hardware your intending to run Linux on, your experience level, and your personal preferences regarding which graphical environment you wish to use. So beyond your use case requirements, and your machine's hardware limitations, then it's really your experience level, and a matter of personal preference more than anything. You'll find the deeper you go, the more similar distributions become to a large extent, and the fewer differences there are - at the end of the day, and while some distributions are more different "under the hood" than others, it's still a system build around the Linux kernel either way. As the same sticky thread explains, it's best to try and narrow down a list of suitable candidates and try each suitable candidate running them as "live systems" to both see if you like said distribution, and particularly, how well it works on your machine's hardware.

The problem with asking people for suggestions is that, and first of all, only you know what you really like/don't like/want/don't want, we can't really tell you that. For seconds, what works well for someone else, might not be the best solution for yourself, and/or your needs. And as a result, you'll just get people suggesting their favorite distribution because they think everyone should be using it, regardless of whether or not it's right for you and your experience level.

I'd strongly suggest you read the sticky thread linked above, and go from there. Best of luck with it.
 
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:51 AM   #4
jamison20000e
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Location: ...uncanny valley... infinity\1975; (randomly born:) Milwaukee, WI, US( + travel,) Earth( I wish,) END BORDER$!◣◢┌∩┐ Fe26-E,e...
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And, don't be afraid to ask questions; that is the name of the site.
 
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:07 AM   #5
Samsonite2010
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A few months back, I was really unsure on Desktop Environments, so I tried Debian 10 in a VM and selected all DEs, so that I could switch between them and evaluate them. This was really useful and I also gave Debian a good test as a daily - now switched over permanently. I tend to use xfce on machines where I want plenty of speed and good ease of use - occasionally it has some glitches, but they very minor. My chosen DE is Cinnamon though, which I had never tried previously and although not as light as xfce, it seems snappy and is so much better in every way than Gnome IMHO.
 
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #6
jamison20000e
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Location: ...uncanny valley... infinity\1975; (randomly born:) Milwaukee, WI, US( + travel,) Earth( I wish,) END BORDER$!◣◢┌∩┐ Fe26-E,e...
Distribution: any GPL that works well on my cheapest; has been KDE or CLI but open... http://goo.gl/NqgqJx &c ;-)
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Thumbs up

On the T20 KDE won't fly but on the T420 and most with few gigabytes of RAM or more, it's my go-to.

If the T20 had more room I'd put Window Maker on there: https://www.windowmaker.org
In fact after posting this I think I'll take Xfce out. Window Maker is a little weird at first but once you get use to it, it's great; nowhere near as bad as Rat Poison DE,,, also great!

Last edited by jamison20000e; 09-11-2019 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Clarifying that Rat Poison is it desktop environment
 
Old 09-11-2019, 12:58 PM   #7
273
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Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
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I'll start by explaining that I use Isd because it's not old and seems, to me, to be fixed quicker than testing. To my my OS is something I have to trust but not something I have to rely upon -- if it messes up I'll reinstall and it's only an hour of my life.
That said, if you can "get" Slackware it could be good as it's not so focused on the distro itself.
Really, though, I say just use a few and remember that your data must be backed up and the OS should be interchangeable. A computer is a computer and a UI, or not, is a way to work with it. Keep your data safe and have fun!
 
Old 09-11-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
jamison20000e
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Registered: Nov 2005
Location: ...uncanny valley... infinity\1975; (randomly born:) Milwaukee, WI, US( + travel,) Earth( I wish,) END BORDER$!◣◢┌∩┐ Fe26-E,e...
Distribution: any GPL that works well on my cheapest; has been KDE or CLI but open... http://goo.gl/NqgqJx &c ;-)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I'll start by explaining that I use lsd because it's not old and seems, to me, to be fixed quicker than testing. To my my OS is something I have to trust but not something I have to rely upon -- if it messes up I'll reinstall and it's only an hour of my life.
That said, if you can "get" Slackware it could be good as it's not so focused on the distro itself.
Really, though, I say just use a few and remember that your data must be backed up and the OS should be interchangeable. A computer is a computer and a UI, or not, is a way to work with it. Keep your data safe and have fun!
LSD I know it's a typo (LTS?) but you have you safely tried Salvia it's non-toxic and we know the ground made it not anybody (just have someone watching you so don't think you can fly off a top of the building)!

I still love testing as in sid, if I can't fix it they fix it faster than me and because were working on it they do...

Last edited by jamison20000e; 09-11-2019 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Another typo ;)
 
Old 09-12-2019, 01:40 PM   #9
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamison20000e View Post
LSD I know it's a typo (LTS?) but you have you safely tried Salvia it's non-toxic and we know the ground made it not anybody (just have someone watching you so don't think you can fly off a top of the building)!

I still love testing as in sid, if I can't fix it they fix it faster than me and because were working on it they do...
Yes, typo as I meant Sid.
Still, ermn salvia and the like are very illegal here now but I take notes lest I travel somewhere else.
 
Old 09-12-2019, 02:42 PM   #10
jamison20000e
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Location: ...uncanny valley... infinity\1975; (randomly born:) Milwaukee, WI, US( + travel,) Earth( I wish,) END BORDER$!◣◢┌∩┐ Fe26-E,e...
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Talking Off topic:

LOL It's illegal here to but not in all the states so as long as the postal office thanks it's going to the right state they really only looks at the ZIP code and street address...

Add: which I should say would also be illegal.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 09-12-2019 at 02:44 PM.
 
  


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