Open Ballot: Distro hopping


Distros are funny things. We love some, we love to hate others and we're pretty ambivalent about a few. However, underneath they're based on basically the same code base. Most distros have a similar choice of desktop environments and the same applications, so they should all be pretty similar right? What we want to know this fortnight is: what causes you to leave a distro and install a new flavour of Linux?

Is it that you just fancy a change; the digital equivalent of itch feet? Perhaps you find something lacking, or hardware support that's just not up to par. Has your distro of choice changed as you've gained more experience in Linux, or has a new distro appeared that eclipsed your previous favourite?

And a bonus question for any distro maintainers in the audience: What caused you to create your own distro?

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below and we'll read out the best in our podcast later in the week.

(Hat tip to devilment on IRC freenode channel linuxformat for the question)

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Your comments

finding the old glove

Decided Solaris was getting too big and cumbersome with v10 and linux was easy to put on the PC.

Started with Red Hat because it was easy to get hold of a distribution at the time.

Moved briefly to SUSE because the company adopted it for enterprise servers.

Moved to Debian because I couldn't get on with SUSE and Debian felt better. apt-get over yast any time.

Moved to Ubuntu because that felt even better. If I couldn't do it in CLI, I could find it in the menu.

Moved to Mint/Mate because of Unity (Unity on tablet makes sense, on desktop - no).

Thought about going back upstream to Debian again but then...

Moved to Crunchbang this week because of the picture in LXF of OpenBox on Crunchbang. It's uncluttered and has the right click menu in the workspace that reminds me of CDE on solaris.

Yes I could have put Openbox on Mint but I liked the idea of a simple distro that doesn't give me loads of packages I don't want.

Someday I'll try Arch to start off really primitive.

So looking back it seems one wishes to find the old glove that fits nicely.

Hopping away from Ubuntu

Somewhere at version 8.04 or thereabouts Ubuntu was the perfect Linux distribution. Everything worked right from first log in, and most tasks where more easily done in Ubuntu than any other operating system period. This advantage has been squandered.

I just tried to update my Ubuntu 12.04 on my laptop but the upgrade app indicated that mplayer was not verified. Did the app allow me the option to indicate that I trusted mplayer and go ahead and upgrade?? NO. Did the App give me the option to upgrade everything except mplayer ?? NO. It was a long time since I up graded and there was a huge list of stuff to do. Did the App go to the location on the list where mplayer was located and allow me to remove it ?? NO.
OK what I want to do could be done at a lower level but when a distribution comes along with a series of top of menu applications that are completely useless it is time to start hopping away.

Happy to hop

I started several years ago with Corel linux (yeah... Corel... I know). Tried several distros along the way, redhat, debian, xandros, got hooked up with gentoo for several years, simply loved such ease to fine tune every package I compiled.
Eventually I grew tired of always compiling everything, so went to fedora for a little while, then ubuntu, then as unicy came I switched to Mint. Now I'm happy with mint & xfce, but will keep hopping for good, maybe arch, just because I can ;)


Loyal When I Find the Right One

My first foray into Linux was with Mandrake. I still remember purchasing the set of disks, installing, and thinking, "What is all the hoopla about?"

When Ubuntu began to become popular, I gave that a whirl and really liked it. I spent a few weeks/months learning more about Linux, but eventually went back to exclusively using Windows.

I purchashed an ASUS netbook back in 2010. I can't remember how, but I came across a distro called CrunchBang Linux and installed it on the netbook. Wow, I was really impressed. Everything worked from the get go and I liked the minimalism of the Openbox window manager.

I went back to exclusively using Windows again until I saw the previews of Windows 8. I decided to give CrunchBang Linux another look and have been using it for over a year now.

I still multi-boot with Windows on one of my laptops due to hardware support and lack of some equivalent apps in Linux, but I plan to continue using and learning Linux.

I've recently created another partition using CrunchBang and tracking Debian Unstable because I prefer more up-to-date packages than what is offered in Debian Stable or the Backports repo.

For the most part, though, once I find something that I like, I tend to stick with it.

Not a hoper, but sometimes I do experiment :-)

I have changed for many reasons. One one hand impriving and growing as a user, I searched for better distributions regarding my needs. But I have tested many, many distros (live-CDs made it possible).
I'm in the Debian family, definitively, with exception of PCLinuxOS I also use.

Was fine till Unity came along!

I started off in Ubuntu 9.10 back in early 2010. Then ended up on Ubuntu 10.10. I loved it so much that I decided to stick with it until February of this year. I decided not to stick with Ubuntu, since I was growing fonder of Linux Mint and have been on Linux Mint 13 ever since. I have gone from using XFCE, to Cinnamon, to classic and I am not on Mate which I love.

Of course, in the past three years I have used plenty of Linux distros. Pinguy OS, I tried Ubuntu 12.04 and hated it, Puppy Linux, Debian, OpenSuse to name some of them.

Software, Firmware and Hardware Chase.

With circa 20 machines, none, less than 5 years old, distro hopping was just an exercise in getting them all to work for me. Mint 9 is about the pinnacle of past achievement which gave all I needed. Later versions of Mint and many other distros have failed to keep the "wheels" oiled for one reason or another. Debian (etch thro wheezy) is a close second, but much more work is necessary, although when successful the outcome is snappier with less resources. I find the Debian documentation a touch heavy with too many asides and internal references for my taste. My spectrum is now aptosid, Debian, Mint, Fedora, Scientific, Puppy. I started with Suse 8.0 and progressed thro to 12.3 but the edge has gone. A little pogoplug server running Debian Wheezy acts as a backup and twin USB camera server, DNSmasq for the local nameserver on ACER atom 3610 allows NFS and/or samba for file and print services in a mixed wired/wireless local net with several MS (XP, Vista. windows7) machines. Mint 9 has been KING.

Distro hopping is NORMAL

2013 must be one of the greatest Linux kernel changes ever, with so many updates. The only Linux which easily, rapidly updates are those based on Ubuntu: Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and Gnome-ubuntu - but not Unity Ubuntu.

Generally I favor Zorin (Gnome3 correction) and Net-Runner (Kubuntu for end-users). Because I need more real-time performance indicators, I use Net-Runner most of the time. I did find that the latest kernel seemed unreliable with the latest KDE desktop environment, so only the latest kernel is used with Zorin.

Release Candidate (RC)versions of distros, kernels and Desktop Envronments (DE) have not proved reliable enough for me. Over the decades, I have upgraded my hardware to the latest available, so it needs the latest software: SSD, Intel CPU & USB3 (and so on) friendly.


poor lame bastardts,
crying about distro`s,
linux is about configure it any way you want it to work or look.
If you canht do that youre not worth linux please buy the awesome windows 8 for suckers like youreself.

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