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I've used Mandrake for about 2 1/2 years. Following my favorite distro ho (you know who you are :P) I decided to give other distros a try. SuSe and Fedora I found nice but a bit boring. I had tried to install Gentoo about 2 years ago and it literally kicked my butt so I gave up. Then about 10 months ago I decided to try it again. So I printed out the 41 pages installation guide and started installing. Apparantly I got a bad tar.bz2 and the install was a disaster. bvc remembers that one I'm sure! Then with the help of some people in the irc (HJ you're a life saver) I kept at it and managed to get it installed. Then I removed it and reinstalled about 6 more times just for the practice. Yes I am insane considering that I have a 733 mhz processor. :lol: But I found gentoo to be challenging and interesting. It was the first tiime I'd ever compiled my own kernel which was an experience in itself. And IMO emerge simply rocks. I love the fact that I don't run into dep hell like I did in Mandrake cause if I emerge something the deps are in portage and are automatically installed for me. I don't mind the compiling which turns a lot of people off for gentoo. I also found that I could install gentoo from within Mandrake so I have no down time. I find gentoo to be easy to use in a lot of ways tho. So I'm now a Gentoo convert even tho cybr keeps bugging me to try Ubuntu! :D

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Just follow you favorite HO and say these 3 words.



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I've been using Arch for about a month now and it's a really really really really good distro too. For me a lot of people call me a newbie and all , and say that I should not be using such complex distro. But for me I was able to click with Arch very very quick and everyday I learn something new. The installation was a litte hard at first but now since I re-install so damn much I can pretty much do it in my sleep :P . Anyhow I've been able to get used to Arch very quickly, also I love the way that it's up to date on almost everything which is kind of cool. Pacman is also awesome just like mysti said emerge was...... :cheeky: I might give Mandrake 10.1 OE for some games, since I find it a lot easier to make my video card run decent in it than any other distro..... I kinda liked Ubuntu but for some reason I found it a little hard for me.... I don't know if it was because there was sooo many steps to install java or something, but I don't know just wasn't "feeling" it...if ya know what I mean :P

Besides that I think just about all the distros I have tried out so far as absolutely great. I might give Ubuntu a try in the future.... I have about 7 GB of free space to try out another distro :D


anyhow time to go :banana: (party) and have some :beer: (jk) going out to have some fun, later all!




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okay, i will give some fast reviews/opinions on some distros i tested.


mandrake: logical to begin with mandrake. mandy was a good distro from the beginning, much like suse when i was a noob. sure, there were certain things that i didn't like that much but you find these things everywhere. what i did like about mandrake was

1) easyurpmi. a rocking tool for keeping the system up to date.

2) hardware detection was very good.

3) the community is grade A. :)

what i didn't like:

1) some things are definitely different in mandrake as in other distros, so you have to learn a lot again once you switch to other distros.

2) networking was not as good as i always thought in mandrake.

3) too many network-troubles that never got worked out with broadband and routers. i am forced to abandon mandrake due to router problems. :sad:

4) lots of bugs at the beginning. getting stable only at the end of its "development" pase as OE-version.

my opinion: if you want to learn something about linux without getting your hands "too dirty", mandrake is a great distro. the first step into a new world.


ubuntu: if you are keen on trying debian, give ubuntu a look. based on a stable debian-unstable (and quite compatible with it (never had problems mixing ubuntu with debian stuff)), it is very interesting. only one cd to download, then thousands of packages available via apt-get. much like urpmi in mandrake. what i do like in ubuntu is:

1) look and feel (gnome 2.8), fast reactions

2) hardware detection was superb

3) a good core of apps to start with

what i don't like:

1) installer is not good enough for total noobs (but usable for someone who managed to set up one linux system with graphical partitioning)

2) some user rights need to be fixed by root (e.g. scanner) manually

3) did not detect windows os for grub boot

4) automounting of partitions not enabled by default

my opinion: ubuntu is a wonderful distro for those who want to test something more "interesting" than mandrake or suse but still do not want to compile everything. nearly a "must" for the intermediate linux user. and some kinda cult for those who are already linux-veterans *dancing the ubuntu dance* ;)


vidalinux: some users want to have gentoo. that is fine. but do they want to wait one or two days for compiling everything? some don't want to (or don't have the time to do that). so welcome to the world of vidalinux. vidalinux is a gentoo and gnome based linux distro from puerto rico. still in beta-testing phase but nonetheless an interesting thing. it installs with redhats graphical anaconda installer, so no commandline-input necessary. click and install. sure, it takes longer to install than mandrake or ubuntu but that is due to emerging some stuff while installing. nonetheless, once installed, you get a fully functional and beautiful working desktop that has gdesklets installed by default (a real extra eye-candy that no other distro offers by default). it is very fast and so far very stable.

if you want to configure everything the way you need it, you have to edit some config files, but as long as you know what you are doing (editing fstab, grub, permissions etc.), no problem there. big plus: it has emerge (from gentoo and uses same mirrors) and it has LOTS of media-stuff included. java, flash, dvd... all working instantly. no need to recompile everything.

what i like especially:

1) easy to get gentoo system that is lightning fast (a lot faster than mandrake on my boxes)

2) with emerge, there is a powerful tool (a bit like urpmi or apt-get) available

3) lots of mediasupport stuff for those who "need" it.

what i don't like:

1) some annoying "bugs" when trying to log in as root on normal user dektop. i am sure this will get sorted out.

2) hardware detection is not as good as in ubuntu. some manual fixing needs to be done, expecially for cdrw-drives

3) not very much administration tools. nothing that should scare a proven linux user but as vidalinux claims to be a userfriendly distro, suited for the noob, something like yast or mandrake control center would be nice. on the other hand: it would make vidalinux another "not puristic linux" distro.

my opinion: vidalinux is a good and easy way to get yourself involved with gentoo-linux. it is preconfigured in a usable way, although there is no installation-package selection as in gentoo itself. you get a gnome-gentoo surrounding that looks nice, responds to your commands in a hurry and it is definitely worth a look.


yoper: Yoper is somehow the opposite to ubuntu and vidalinux. it is kde-centric and uses one cd to install (just like the two distros before). installation is painless. why? because you can't select anything except partitioning and language stuff. everything else is done automatically. what do you get then? the fastest kde-environment of any distro (currently kde 3.3) with some useful apps by default. you can add further stuff with apt-get from debian.

what i like:

1) speed. yes, it is very fast, even for something bloated like kde. many programmers wonder how they achieved this.

2) installation will take only 5, maximum 15 minutes on a normal pc.

3) it has a good control-center, much like mac osx.

what i don't like:

1) ugly lilo bootloader (yes, it is a pain in the a****. never seen something more ugly. :P)

2) first desktop-look is again a pain in the a****. needs dramatic cleaning!

3) again permission stuff. (seems to be the major problem on all linux-distros :P)

my opinion: yoper is great for those who do are sick of a rather slow kde-environment but still want to use kde. it is an intermediate distro. it has some gui tools for administration but is still more of a "getting your hands dirty" distro than mandrake.


as you might have noticed, all of the above mentioned distros (except mandrake) are relatively new. nonetheless they are an excellent collection of lesser known distros who get the job done. they are not as buggy as some other distros i got to know and might be a good choice for those who want to take the next step after mandrake, suse or fedora.



Edited by arctic

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