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Old 01-11-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2008
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Comparing Mandriva, Fedora, Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS in terms of stability


I'm interested in comparisons between major Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, PCLinuxOS) in terms of stability. I know there are a lot of people here who have experience with those distributions and are able to compare them to each other. I use Mandriva myself.

I will use this information in schoolwork and therefore I would be glad if you could use a scale from 1-9 to perform pairwise comparisons of all 4 distros and comment on your choice.

1 - both are equal
9 - one side is prevailingly better

The pairs are:

Mandriva vs PCLinuxOS
Mandriva vs Ubuntu
Mandriva vs Fedora
PCLinuxOS vs Ubuntu
PCLinuxOS vs Fedora
Ubuntu vs Fedora

For instance: Mandriva vs PCLinuxOS, 5 for Mandriva, because.....

All the feedback and comments are highly appreciated.
Old 01-11-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2004
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Before you delve into such a comprehensive comparison you need to consider several variables:

Which release of each distribution? Each new release for each distro introduces more features, bug fixes, and also bugs.

What software and versions are installed in each? One package with a buffer overflow vulnerability can cause the entire OS to become unstable.

Configurations? Some distros such as Fedora, enable all services by default. This is great for out of the box functionality but poor for host/network security.

I also suggest doing google searches for some of criteria I just mentioned. I don't really think anyone here is going to answer your homework assignment for you, but at least I can point you in the right direction.
Old 01-12-2008, 03:10 AM   #3
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My rating of the ones you mentioned: (least to most)
Fedora (very unstable), Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu

If you want more stability try these (all of which are more stable than any of the above):
Debian, Slackware (most stable that I've found)
Old 01-12-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
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When homework is presented in this way, I have no problem trying to help.

In this case, however, I have no data to offer. I would tend the think of the problem in terms of categories, rather than specific distros. For example, RedHat enterprise Linux (RHEL) is targeted at enterprise environments and is conservative in its configuration. When I used it at work (it is all they will support) I never had any stability issues. RHEL, SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop), and maybe others would fall in the category of "enterprise" distros, wherein the offeror integrates support with supplying the SW.

Another category might be called "free-range conservative". Examples would be Debian stable and Slackware--and mayb Gentoo. Here, there are a minimum of frills and eye-candy, with an emphasis on reliability. But you can't buy a package of SW+support the way you can with enterprise.

The biggest category is hard to name. It includes most of the names you hear most often: Mandriva, Fedora, Ubuntu, PCLOS, Mepis, etc, etc. Each has nuances, but I doubt there are huge differences in stability

Another category I would call "cosmetic". Take an established distro and give it some new graphics. Example: Mint or Sabayon. At best, they would perform the same as what they are based on.

The most stable would be the "enterprise" and "free-range conservative".
Old 01-12-2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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It might also be worth mentioning that Ubuntu has a long term support version. Currently Dapper Drake. The next one should be coming soon. Dapper Drake will likely beat all the others you listed in terms of stability.

Fedora is of course the least stable of the bunch, but stability is not the main focus of Fedora. If you squeeze in the last bleeding edge features in a distribution with 6 month release cycles, you expect your target audience to know how to troubleshoot their system.
Old 01-13-2008, 07:41 AM   #6
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Thank you all very much, especially pixellany for his thorough and informative reply! It made me look things from other points of view.

To PhenuxRizing: I had no intention of using the forum members to do my homework for me. I also wasn't going to present these opinions as mine. What I needed was an insight and different opinions from experienced Linux users.
Old 01-13-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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I had mandriva 2006 long time ago, it was a bit buggy, before that mandrake 10 was a thrill...So it sort of depends which version...Mandrake had always (even for free version) excellent support and help available on the forums. Ubuntu is always providing something really actual so the default is that if something runs (hardware or such) on linux at all it will almost certainly run on Ubuntu straight out of box. RedHat I do not know but since Centos is related it was a sort of grief with hardware support - and I am not even talking about something exotic...Ubuntu on the other hand is clearly suffering from its popularity. Forums are full of posts how someone can't change his desktop colour and such and if you have something more complex to ask it is in half a day on page 2 with no answers. On Gentoo the community is the best I've experienced...There are several factors to decide one way or another, mostly, however changing distros is not an ultimate solution to anything I think...
Old 10-12-2011, 11:06 AM   #8
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Mandriva, Fedora & Ubuntu - End User Prespective

I am neither a computer scholar nor an expert.
Yet as an end user who have used Mandriva 2010-02, Ubuntu 10-04 LTS, 10-10 & 11-04 and Fedora 15, I offer my feelings and comments on the three distributions.

Ubuntu - It is best OS when one wants ease of Use and more information in the net for various problems. It is the worst in terms of stability. Ubuntu's Gnome is not good. KDE is good, windows XP Users can use it with ease.

Mandriva -The elite look of its KDE Plasma Environment would attract any one to try. It is fairly stable compared with ubuntu. The difficulty is the information as to various problems is very less. Further, Grub Loader of Mandriva is weak.

Fedora - I admire both its Gnome and KDE Environment. The Look and Feel is good. There is a good forum support. Stability is an issue. kernal gets crashes frequently and one can't know what exactly is happening inside. Yet I find Fedora to be good for two reasons - Look & Feel and Forum Support.

My Rating:

Ubuntu - 2/5 (40%)

Mandriva - 2.5/5 (50%)

Fedora - 3/5 (60%)

Hope it helps
V. Narayanan


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