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Changing It Up

This may or may not be interesting to any of you, but I'm writing about it at any event. Earlier today, I was browsing around, and I came across the FAQ. The 2nd to last question in the FAQ is as follows:

You list so many distributions. Which one do you use:

In order to remain objective and up-to-date with the latest technologies, I switch my distribution every 6 months. Currently, my main production system runs on Sabayon Linux 3.4 (since April 2007), but it is scheduled to be replaced with Fedora 8 (in November 2007). Before Sabayon, I used Mandriva Linux 2007 (October 2006 - April 2007), Kubuntu (July 2005 - October 2006), Debian "sid" (July 2003 - July 2005), Sorcerer (January 2002 - July 2003) and Mandrake Linux (April 1999 - January 2002).

This has inspired me to do the same, with a twist. Rather than wipe my hard drive clean for every distro, however, I'm going to use the power of virtual machines to do the same thing. Using Debian Sid as my host, I'll be putting a new guest in a VM every 6 months as well, for the same reason: to remain objective, and to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. The guest OS will be the only OS used during this time. The only purpose of the Debian host is for a safety fall-back if something happens with the VM and I need to get something done. Data from the guest will also be stored on the host. This will make it easy to transition between guests without always backing up and restoring data.

So, with that said, the first distro on the list for January, is Foresight Linux following OpenSolaris most likely for July. Yes, not every "distro" will be Linux. The BSDs are in my sights as well.. 6 months is just enough time to learn about the guest in enough detail to find its strengths and weaknesses and keep an open mind towards all distros. Being a Linux instructor for Guru Labs, this could be very beneficial as well.

As far as the distros that I have used in my Linux career, I thought it would be fun to put just the logos of each distro in one image, in alphabetical order that I used for at least 6 months. So, without further ado, here's what I have used. Cheers! (Images from


{ 7 } Comments

  1. troll | December 31, 2007 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you should choose to stay with Foresight if your intent is to have the newest and finest technologies in use constantly as it updates when those update, and very well.

  2. Aaron | December 31, 2007 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    @troll- I hear that Foresight is a great distro, and I'm eager to get it installed. I have noticed, however, that it is missing a lot of packages compared to Debian Sid, which I'm running currently. That may take some getting used to.

  3. Paul Cutler | December 31, 2007 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Aaron - thanks for giving Foresight a chance. If you have any questions, drop by Freenode IRC #foresight and let us know. You're probably right in that we do have less packages than some of the larger distros, but Conary makes it pretty easy to package new ones, so if there's something you're looking for let us know.

    Paul Cutler
    Foresight Linux

  4. phoenyx | December 31, 2007 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Any particular reason for the 6 months? For example, if you switched every 4 months you'd be able to try more distros each year.

  5. Aaron | December 31, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    @Paul Cutler- I will let you know how things go as soon as I get the VM setup. I've heard a lot of great things about it, and I'm excited to give it a try.

    @phoenyx- The 6 months is so I can really get to know the distro on a personal level inside and out. I'm afraid 4 months just really wouldn't be enough time.

  6. Jason | December 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    This is a great idea.

    If/when I start, I'm starting with GoboLinux... I've always been interested in that Distribution, but after the joke that was SourceMage, I've not looked forward to re-doing a primary OS.

    Moving it to a VM and doing your best to use it primarily sounds fun, and pain free :).

  7. Clint Savage | January 1, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Even openSUSE?


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