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Old 01-21-2014, 10:35 PM   #46
sag47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
So Im curious. Since you list Kubuntu, RHEL, Fedora, FreeBSD, and Windows as your systems, which is the one that "gets you to the terminal the fastest" and if you know why that is so, could you explain please.
Skip to bottom for TL;DR version.
  • Kubuntu - Is my main driver workstation of which I do the majority of my scripting and development. I use bash, coreutils, openssl, vim, screen, irssi, cluster ssh, git, and other apps to interact with my development/sysadmin workflow. I prefer Kubuntu over other distributions because it has the ease of installation of Ubuntu but is running KDE. KDE, with Kontact as a central point, offers me the best integration with my enterprise applications that Windows colleagues use (Mail, Calendar, Todo list, RSS, etc). Drivers just get out of the way with Ubuntu hardware detection and recommendations for drivers. If I ever kicked Kubuntu to the curb it would be in search of another quick-install KDE based distro. Since I already know how a large portion of Linux works "under the hood" I don't experience issues often that others in this thread have mentioned (i.e. didn't compile it so don't know how to fix it syndrome). I'd also like to mention since it is based on Ubuntu a wide variety of development packages are easily available when resolving prerequisites. I'd rather just "apt-get install" or "yum install" to quickly resolve dependencies and get on with my work life. I don't use RHEL as a workstation because packages on it are not bleeding edge enough for me to rely upon (ancient!). I don't use Fedora (even though it is more bleeding edge) because it requires me to completely reinstall my OS with a new version every 6 months. That's sad because I prefer yum/rpm over apt/dpkg in CLI package management for ease of use. I go with Kubuntu LTS because it gives me a nice balance of long term support (5 years of updates) with software that is "close enough" to bleeding edge. When packages aren't bleeding edge enough for me I simply install build-essential et al and compile the packages from source installing them in /usr/local/.
  • RHEL - The server OS used by my place of work. We don't use derivatives and by policy don't allow other Linux distributions for the sake of consistency (we are about a 50-50 RHEL-Windows shop with some old Solaris lumbering up the rear waiting to be retired). We automate installs with cobbler and make use of always having SELinux enabled and iptables firewalling (as well as a number of other security tips/tricks regularly implemented on apps such as SSL, pam_tally2, or anything requiring PCI compliance changes/insert standards body). To be clear I'm a Linux sysadmin so I don't manage Windows servers at this place of work.
  • Fedora 16 headless - My home media server uses this. I built a home server in MicroITX form factor using a Lian Li case which can hold 7 3.5" HDDs and a few 2.5" HDDs. It's pretty much as many hard drives as I could fit into a small space as possible without purchasing/building a backblaze. I use it for backups and media. It contains a 2TB single disk for backup which gets rsync'd to 12TB RAID5; RAID5 array is used to house my media where my most important data is on both 2TB and RAID5. I also use my home server to serve VPN into my network, DNS, DHCP, SSH, and Samba for file sharing. It also hosts a large number of applications which I provide myself secure access to by running my own Certificate Authority. Services it provides me include: Icinga for real time monitoring (email and text messaging alerts), PNP4Nagios for system performance trending, Openfire for XMPP chat and using it as a SSL secured chat gateway for AIM/Yahoo/MSN/GChat signed with my certificate authority certificates (essentially it is a chat tunnel using the Kraken plugin). I use my home server for many other things (I won't list for sake of brevity) and it is convenient because I can create a reverse SSH tunnel and mount my samba shares on localhost via cifs to access my shares anywhere in the world without the need for VPN as if the shares were local. I only started using Fedora because for the longest time I used Amahi Home Server which, at the time, only supported Fedora. I now manually configure all of those services and will, going forward, start using configuration management and linux containers to configure and manage many of those services. Sidenote: I know I mentioned that I don't like Fedora due to it's short lifetime. My home server is still on Fedora 16 with SELinux/iptables firewall/fail2ban enabled for security with the latest updates when it was still being patched. I haven't had time to update it and it works so I'll leave it for now. This is a prime example of my gripes with the fast Fedora development cycle and me not having time to do a completely new install every Fedora release. I'll likely switch to Ubuntu server 14.04 LTS when it becomes available.
  • FreeBSD - I used it when I worked as a lab tech for a University for a file server shuttling files across departments. I also hosted Nagios monitoring on this system which helped me to automate the maintenance of my more mundane tasks (e.g. keeping an eye on printer ink levels across departments, checking uptime of routers, etc). I supported a pathology lab at the time, primarily. I didn't enjoy the long process of using ports package manager but as a system it wasn't so bad. I don't actively use it any longer but list it for my own enjoyment.
  • Windows 7 x64 - Video games... that's about all I use it for. I'm excited that Steam has come to Linux and AAA titles such as Metro Last Light are available on Linux. Not enough of the games I enjoy are available for Linux for me to kick the habit. Other than that I mostly use open source applications on my Windows system at home like GIMP for example.

Hopefully that's not too long winded. Long story short KUbuntu is my fastest installation -> terminal. I mostly leave it default with exception for configuration of applications with services. Since it became stable KDE is beautiful. I've used KDE in the 3.x days too and find 4.x a vast improvement. Linus voices my sentiments exactly. I don't care to configure and customize my Linux distro into oblivion I just want it to get out of the way so I can get real work done. Time for big boy pants .

SAM

Last edited by sag47; 01-21-2014 at 11:54 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 09:34 AM   #47
enorbet
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Greetz
Well it wasn't too long-winded for me. I rather enjoyed it and found it informative as to what others seek in a distro. Hopefully OP found it interesting as well since he too must have some concerns for how up to date his platform of choice can be. His needs seem somewhat different since terminal is of little interest to him but anyone doing server work needs terminal and little else. That said, although I dearly loved KDE 3.5 for SOHO desktop, once it was solid, v4 provides an integration of services that is far more useful in an enterprise workstation, IMHO. So I agree with you that the KDE team team "done good". At home where I use Steam and Wine, I like Xfce4 set to load KDE services on Startup. Nice compromise.

As my sig says, Slackware is my old reliable, but even though I must wear those "big boy pants" a lot and focus on working on top of the system rather than on the system itself, I still like to play with other distros to see what's around. Slackware is sufficiently updated where I need it to be and cautious where I prefer, but I like to see where things are headed closer to the edge.

While I totally agree that KDE utterly changes the "Ubuntu Experience" and it has become more solid over time, it annoys me that I don't readily have an option to boot directly to multi-user, fully functional Cli. For this I am grateful that OpenSuse does provide this option right from the "get go". It is important to me to get to full Cli fast and have the option to pop up into GUI and back again whenever I need or desire. Maybe it is because I haven't worked with it enough, but I find Ubuntu limiting in this and several other ways, and I wondered, with your need to get to Cli fast, how you get around this? Or is this a tradeoff for you? Perhaps you don't like the Yast PM?

Since maxreason, OP, stated that he one day wanted to know more about how his system runs, perhaps this will affect his choices now for how they will affect his future. I imagine he would like to pick a platform from which he isn't having to constantly seek a "switch and start over" solution.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #48
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
As my sig says, Slackware is my old reliable, but even though I must wear those "big boy pants" a lot and focus on working on top of the system rather than on the system itself, I still like to play with other distros to see what's around. Slackware is sufficiently updated where I need it to be and cautious where I prefer, but I like to see where things are headed closer to the edge.
What sig?
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:46 PM   #49
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
What sig?
Yup. You are correct, Sir. Bad nomenclature. I used "sig" in a functional way and not "according to Hoyle". I suppose here I should have said "public profile extension header, over there, on the left, under my name" or some such. "Sig" was some 3 dozen (not Baker's Dozen, but regular, normal, everyday, layman's dozen) characters less but I guess not explicit enough.

Last edited by enorbet; 01-22-2014 at 05:49 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 06:05 PM   #50
k3lt01
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Lol, I was looking for a signature and thought you must be writing one up to put there for us all to see.
 
Old 01-22-2014, 09:02 PM   #51
maxreason
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Okay, here is a question.

What if someone writes a 2, 3, 5, ??? page PDF document that tells noob-types (eh, ubuntu/mint-types) everything they'll need to know and do to be happy switching to "distro xyz".

It occurs to me that I might choose a less noob-oriented distro if short documents like this existed.

Unless that document would need to be 1000 pages, in which case my reply would be "too much hassle" and/or "maybe someday".

Last edited by maxreason; 01-22-2014 at 09:05 PM.
 
Old 01-23-2014, 05:09 AM   #52
enorbet
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Hi Max
Seems to me the "distro-chooser" already accommodates that to some degree. It also seems wise to me to stick to the "main names" (Arch, Debian, Fedora, Slackware, and SuSe) if expecting to do more than play around, since these have the best support and largest and/or most active/knowledgeable communities. (BTW, friends, I left out Gentoo and LFS for various reasons but not the least of which is they seem polar opposite to what Max wants).

Also, I included Debian as a single entity when actually there is considerable difference between stable, testing, and unstable. I included Arch even though I'm not convinced that all programmers need a rolling release, bleeding edge platform but apparently, some do. I included Slackware because of how solid and compatible it is, adhering more to a BSD-like environment and sticking to text streams instead of rushing headlong down the "binary road".

Beyond the controversial init wars, the main difference in the experience of one distro as compared to another is choice of package manager. That's why you, Max, found it to have a large impact on your "distro-chooser" entry. That said, they are all functionally very much alike with one major difference.

All have packages and repositories and similar ways to get them. The only difference of any major impact is dependency resolving. This has far-reaching effects since the dependency issue can and used to regularly break apps and even systems. To stop this unwanted behavior much stricter rules had to be created that are becoming sacrosanct, never to be altered by the user/owner except at extreme risk.

The only distro I know of that doesn't even attempt to resolve dependencies is Slackware, which assumes you will want to control that yourself. The downside is that it can take more time to install new packages. Not always, but sometimes. The upside is there are fewer limitations on what user/owner can do without serious repercussions.

Basically, distros provide some balance between convenience and power. The more it does for you, the less you can do (some might add, "or want to" ). Each person has to find his comfort zone. No amount of writing about it will help you much to decide. Those with any real interest should just install one and try it out. A couple of hours each day for a few weeks is usually enough for the lights to go on, or off, and for most, those hours are a good investment since to some extent all Linux is the same and much of what works in one distro will work in another. This is especially true of commandline.

Max, since you apparently do some fairly heavy programming, I have been curious if you always use IDEs or sometimes use text editors? Those, of course, are the same on every distro, other than what is considered default.

Anyway, hard drive space is cheap. It's time that is expensive, but a few hours a week trying distros can ultimately save you time. These forums are full of people finding they've been locked into a platform that either will cease being supported (or some key element of it) or, like you, is headed in a direction that is just untenable. Some distros don't presuppose what you want to do with them. Try some.
 
Old 01-25-2014, 02:58 AM   #53
patrick295767
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Debian is very probably the best for you, it sounds like.

You won't regret. I use Debian since its very fist beginning. Potato Debian for instance was a great revolution at that time.
 
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:41 AM   #54
rng
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I found Debian with KDE better than Kubuntu in terms of freedom to change many settings. However, single password of Ubuntu family distributions is an important user-friendly feature. In Debian the user needs to remember when to use root password and when to use user password.
 
Old 01-25-2014, 06:53 AM   #55
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rng View Post
I found Debian with KDE better than Kubuntu in terms of freedom to change many settings. However, single password of Ubuntu family distributions is an important user-friendly feature. In Debian the user needs to remember when to use root password and when to use user password.
There's nothing stopping you from installing and using sudo in Debian or just setting the passwords to the same thing.
 
Old 01-25-2014, 07:16 AM   #56
rng
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
There's nothing stopping you from installing and using sudo in Debian
Even if sudo is installed, root password is still sometimes required, e.g. for accessing other partitions in file managers, if they are not listed in fstab.
 
Old 01-25-2014, 07:53 AM   #57
jamison20000e
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If *buntu is built upon Debian? You do the math...

"What is best distro to switch to from Ubuntu?"
Any.
 
Old 01-25-2014, 04:08 PM   #58
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rng View Post
Even if sudo is installed, root password is still sometimes required, e.g. for accessing other partitions in file managers, if they are not listed in fstab.
Then use the same password if you want to, as 273 said there is nothing stopping you doing this.
 
Old 01-25-2014, 08:31 PM   #59
Sumguy
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Another vote for Debian.

I abandoned Ubuntu after 10.04. I'm almost computer-illiterate, but I found that switching to Debian was seamless. If you're familiar with Ubuntu, you'll get along with Debian without missing a beat. So many of the distros are based on it, why not just use the real thing? That being said, I use Crunchbang as my main OS- It is essentially a minimalist version of Debian, and I love it because it doesn't have all the bloat; lets you just put what you want/need on your 'puter; trouble-free; and makes my 7 year-old computer work better and faster than it ever has in it's life since the day it was new. It works with all of the Debian packages, and also has some of it's own; also offers the stable/testing/unstable choices.

Darn shame about Ubuntu- it's like they've brought Microsoft BS to the Linux world (I don't know why anyone who is interested in Linux would want a Linux distro that mimics Windurs....but apparently, some people do.)
 
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:37 PM   #60
rng
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Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Then use the same password if you want to, as 273 said there is nothing stopping you doing this.
Absolutely. Now I cannot find any major benefit of using *buntu over Debian. But credits to Ubuntu for bringing linux to many average computer users.
 
  


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