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Old 10-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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Ubuntu User - Wondering if another Distro is better for me.

I just switched to Ubuntu a few weeks ago and have been really liking the Linux experience and learning new things about it. I think Ubuntu is a great OS compared to Windows XP, but I've seen that people often refer to Ubuntu as a "newbie" distribution which makes me wonder if there are other distributions out there that I would like more. I don't know much about the other distributions and I'm not sure if I'm even ready to move on to something more challenging or if it's worth it. Ubuntu's pretty good, I don't want to switch to something more difficult if it's not even worth the effort.

I don't mind a challenge and a bit of reading (to some extent, programming my own custom distro is a bit out of my league right now). I don't need shiny user-friendly graphics to impress me either. Typing things in by hand is fine with me.

Debian didn't interest me much because it seemed like a more stable but more out of date predecessor of Ubuntu though I could have the wrong impression of it. I saw Gentoo was good but completely opposite from Ubuntu so I didn't know what to think of that, how could it be the opposite? Hmm..

I don't know really, there are so many distributions it's hard to know which one is right for which type of people.
Old 10-05-2009, 06:25 PM   #2
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A good way to find out if you like something else better is to try it out. You can dual boot multiple linux distros just like you can dual boot with Windows. There's nothing wrong with Ubuntu for many people (even tech savvy ones). It just does more hand holding than other distros (i.e. has a lot more graphical tools and "wizards" to configure stuff). It may be you stick with it. As for Debian, you can run testing or unstable branch if you want newer packages. But you'll get updates often because they are always fluid. I like stable because my wife prefers that it works all the time.

Someone once told me that if you really want to experience the different flavors of linux, you should try each of the big three: Slackware, Gentoo, and Debian.

Try a bunch out and see if anything fits you. That's how I got to Debian. Started with Red Hat 7, moved to Mandrake, and then Debian Woody. It just "felt right".
Old 10-05-2009, 06:43 PM   #3
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Hi, and Welcome to LQ!

Originally Posted by Rob00 View Post
I think Ubuntu is a great OS compared to Windows XP, but I've seen that people often refer to Ubuntu as a "newbie" distribution which makes me wonder if there are other distributions out there that I would like more.
That depends entirely on you. Ubuntu has all the power of Linux. It gets referred to as a 'newbie' distro because it has a lot of GUIs already added to simplify just about everything. BTW- Ubuntu is based on Debian, so if Debian seemed archaic or outdated, you might want to stick with Ubuntu.

If you are interested in learning CLI, Slackware, Debian, and Gentoo are the three most common "traditional" distros. Your best bet is to dual-boot. Keep Ubuntu for now, but set up another partition for trying out other distros.

Old 10-05-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
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Try Arch. Most ubuntu users shift to arch.
Old 10-05-2009, 06:50 PM   #5
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Ubuntu is a well built and thought-out distribution, and the developers have put in a lot of effort to make it an enjoyable experience to just about anybody. However, they have also mooted the need to learn about the ins and outs of linux in general. The reason I left Ubuntu was that it started to feel inflexible, and a few things became impossible to do because some mechanism was blocking them (e.g. setting up a wireless network via command line) or because some configuration files were simply gone (like /etc/inittab, a file meant for editing runlevels and virtual terminals). So I sacrificed the sheer ease of use and settled for a much more traditional and powerful distribution: Slackware.

If you grab a more advanced distribution like Slackware or Gentoo, you'll have to go under the hood every now and then to set up, customize and/or optimize the system, ranging from manually partitioning your drive, to modifying boot scripts, compiling your own kernel, etc..

In other words: If you learn Ubuntu, you'll know Ubuntu. But if you learn (say) Slackware, you'll know linux.

Anyway, there are several good choices which could interest you. Check out the major distribution list of distrowatch:

Old 10-05-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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I say go multidistro
put as many as you wish on usb or hd

you can put many of them inside your existing Ubuntu partition without affexcting ubuntu
see pic here:

thats my Ubuntu partition with grml, pmagic, 3 puppies (Lpup lighthouse puppy , browserlinux-puppy, and PAW; photo-artists-workshop pupy) and canasmall, Hashbox and debian live

in my other ubuntu partition I have slax, tinycore, and some others too

they are all frugal boot,

you should try that
especially if you have usb, you can boot many of them


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