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Top Four Alternatives To Ubuntu Linux

I can't sleep, so what do I do? Hit the Google Machine, and begin wasting time, hoping I'll get sleepy, and go back to bed. During my time wasting, I come across an old article (5 months old) about the top four alternatives to Ubuntu Linux. Of course, everyone who reads the article are going to have differing opinions, and I don't know anything about Matt Hartley, the journalist behind the piece. However, I have disagreements with the distributions he picked.

The first choice, openSUSE (it's not "openSuSE"), wouldn't be my first pick- maybe second or third, but it would still make the list. However, PCLinuxOS I thought was an odd choice. PCLinuxOS is based on Mandriva, the company with a failing business model. The only thing PCLinuxOS has going for it, is the plethora of non-Free Software applications they bundle, making the transition from Windows a breeze. Other than that, it's just a run-of-the-mill-everyday-linux-distro. Nothing special. Certainly nothing on par with Ubuntu. It had its rise to popularity just about half a year ago, but it seems to be slipping, as packages aren't fully tested, and the common experience overall is an unstable one.

What would have been my second choice? Fedora. Although I too am a heavy Debian/Ubuntu fan, and prefer DPKG to RPM, Fedora is an innovative distribution. In fact, I would reorder the list, and put Fedora first. Its only drawback is the focus on system administration over the desktop. However, they haven't neglected the desktop, and have turned out an overall pleasant experience. Fedora is more bleeding edge than Ubuntu, which could also be seen as a good and bad thing. Good, in that you'll be able to test newer software before others, bad in that this newer software will probably break something, and you get to figure out how to fix it. But hey, you're learning your operating system, right?

The other choice I found really odd was Freespire. I think the author chose this distribution, because he didn't want to put Debian on the list, but couldn't find a good enough Debian desktop replacement other than Freespire. Freespire is a dead distro. They haven't seen a release since September of 2007, and their parent distro, Linspire has had a bumpy road in the past, such as getting into a court battle with Microsoft over their previous name "Lindows". Kevin Carmony also was president and CEO up until June 2007, where he abandoned ship, and joined the Ubuntu community. In fact, Carmony himself, has noticed that Linspire is dead, after being sold to Xandros. Freespire was a very poor choice to put on the list, mainly for the fact that the users won't be able to find updates or support for this desktop choice.

Rather, he should have stuck with his gut feeling, and picked Debian. Debian has always been a rock-solid desktop, and from the looks of the upcoming release of Lenny, will continue to be so. The Debian developers do all they can to package the software in a manner that is most compatible with the majority of hardware out there. I've personally run Debian on my laptop and on my desktop, as well as countless VMs. There are so many advantages to Debian as a desktop, it's really quite silly that it didn't make the list. Plus, because of the Ubuntu community, Debian is growing, whether it be disgruntled Ubuntu users that switch to Debian, or Ubuntu working with upstream Debian to make it more popular, Debian is becoming a top choice among users. However, Debian has a few scars, and even a couple open wounds. Debian holds true to the Free Software ideals, which means they don't believe in shipping proprietary software. This results in Debian not working with as much hardware as distributions that do ship with it. It also means a lighter selection of software applications and codecs. Now, Debian has remained practical, and you can enable the non-free repositories to get access to that software, but it's not enabled for you, which means a new user is unlikely to know about it.

Lastly, Linux Mint was a good choice. I'll agree with this one as well. Linux Mint is a fork of Ubuntu Linux, where greater usability is top priority. DVD playback, Win32 codecs, browser plugins, Java, Flash, and other software is bundled by default, and makes for a good comfortable choice for someone coming from the Windows camp, and wishing to not do a lot of work.

So, those would be my picks, in order of first Fedora, then Debian, then openSUSE and then lastly Linux Mint. it also seems that Distrowatch agrees with me, although our orders might be a bit mixed.

{ 51 } Comments

  1. ikkefc3 | January 31, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I would go for OpenSUSE on the first or second place. Their build service repo's really add something for me ( Here I can have a "stable" distro with some bleeding edge program's (e.g. Gnome + KDE4. It's so good, that is has become my main distro and I rarely use ubuntu now. Fedora Core feels like a step backwards compared to openSUSE or Ubuntu I think, wich is maybe because Fedora is doing a lot with underlying technologies, while OpenSUSE and Ubuntu are innovating on the desktop.

  2. jyp | January 31, 2009 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    My pick would have been a bit different: in descending order, sidux, Debian, Mepis, Linux Mint.

    sidux is top for me and running flawlessy on all my machines including an old Dell laptop for most than a year, in fact since I discovered it. But one must agree to learn a little bit about their system as they are not afraid to propose and use the command line; btw what is so horrible about using it? The community provides great and very knowledgeable support: the sidux team is on the forum and the irc regurlarly, they know what they are talking about and they are not afraid to put the record straight. The sidux manual is fabulous.

    And no openSUSE for me; no mono will run on my machines!

  3. Markus | January 31, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    My top 5 are
    1. Kubuntu
    2. Fedora
    3. Arch
    4. openSuSE
    5. Gentoo

  4. Aaron | January 31, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I would comment on Gentoo, if their developers weren't driving the distribution into the ground. When Daniel Robbins left the project in 2005, it's been going straight down hill since. I love Gentoo, and would love to see it succeed however. I hope the developers can get some of the knots worked out. Now, Sabayon is a desktop I could get behind.

  5. nixternal | January 31, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    One question, how do you pick Linux Mint and not PC Linux OS? You kind of shot down PCLOS because of the non-free stuff, but Linux Mint does the same thing and you say it was a good choice because it concentrates on usability. If that is the case, then doesn't PCLOS do the same?

  6. nixternal | January 31, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Dude, shoot down my last reply, I am blind or can't read, or both. You said Mandriva is the bad thing there and not the non-free :p

  7. Aaron | January 31, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it's not the non-free. It's the fact that Mandriva doesn't know the direction they're headed. Also, PCLinuxOS isn't a stable distro, Linux Mint is.

  8. Jim Campbell | January 31, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Foresight Linux is a solid distro, too. Stable, up-to-date, and very user-friendly (particularly because it is a rolling release).

  9. Aaron | January 31, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Foresight is good, but not quite there yet to be recommended as a desktop operating system. They also have stability problems, due to over patching everything to make everything else work.

  10. makosol | January 31, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    "PCLinuxOS is based on Mandriva, the company with a failing business model"
    So, what is Ubuntu's (or rather Canonical's) business model ? receiving money from Mark Shuttleworth ?

  11. Aaron | January 31, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    That's cute.

    The money Mark Shuttleworth put into Canonical, is an emergency fund, if needed. It hasn't been dipped into yet. Also, Canonical makes a cool $30 million annually from support contracts and OEM.

    As far as Mandriva is concerned, they don't know which direction they're headed as a company, and they're struggling to get users behind them. They're solid in France and parts of Europe, but that's about it, and it's dwindling as it is.

  12. Adam Williamson | February 1, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I'm cautious to revive this old chestnut, but I can't let that go unchallenged.

    "The money Mark Shuttleworth put into Canonical, is an emergency fund, if needed. It hasn’t been dipped into yet. Also, Canonical makes a cool $30 million annually from support contracts and OEM."

    This is just flat wrong. Shuttleworth's input is not an 'emergency fund', it's the money Canonical lives on. Yes, they have income - though as far as I'm aware they've never made any numbers public, and you just pulled $30m out of the air (if not, please do cite the source) - but their expenses are higher. Canonical has not yet made a profit, something Shuttleworth has said repeatedly in public. It runs at a loss, which is funded by Shuttleworth's input. None of this is in dispute, it's all been publicly stated by Mark.

  13. Aaron | February 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    No, it's not flat wrong. Mark Shuttleworth set aside $10 million as an emergency fund, if needed. From what I have been told, it has not been accessed. I don't have citation for this, nor am I a Canonical employee, but I've heard from those close to the source that this is still the case.

    Further, spending just 10 seconds on Google, shows an article on Wikipedia about the annual revenue of Canonical. What's the revenue? $30 million.

    Lastly, we don't know if Canonical has made a profit or not. Those numbers haven't been reported to us. All we know is the money that is coming in, is $30 mill. Not on par with Red Hat or Novell by any means, but not bad for 4 years of business, don't you think?

  14. daniele | January 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you 😉

  15. Debianero | January 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    My options are Debian 32 bits, Debian 64 bits, Debian ... 😉

  16. Zac | January 31, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I think Ubuntu has been really good for Debian. If I didn't start using Ubuntu I would of probably tried a RPM based distro, hmmm....I wonder if many people would of done the same. I like my Ubuntu, so if it no longer existed, I would go with fedora, opensuse, debian. But, I really want something that has goal of tackling Microsoft's dominance on the desktop. This is one of the main reasons I use Linux, so it is a big factor for me. Nevertheless, any of the distros mentioned on this page are fantastic.

  17. Rambo Tribble | February 1, 2009 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Whether by expanding the list to five, or bumping one of the aforementioned distros off, Sabayon should be mentioned in any serious consideration of the Linux desktop.

  18. Ed Berntsen | February 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Why bashing on PCLinuxOS ?? its working stable since the release date in 2007, still happy with it.
    Tried Kubuntu, after two days a big delete,
    OpenSolaris, I can't get it installed.
    I think it is me
    but: everyone who is happy with another distro, go for it.
    Now I did a Big Update on PCLos, still happy......

    Happy Linuxer,

  19. Tomislav Ruzicic | February 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I agree. PCLOS is great distro, easy and inituitive for a beginner. In my opinion (and experience), far better than *buntu. I've used it for one year, and was satisfied.
    Swiched to Slack for programming reasons...

  20. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I've had a couple contacts that couldn't keep PCLOS running well on laptops. They ended up switching to another distro. I've also read plenty of posts on mailing lists and forums about the the instability of PCLOS. I have no personal experience with it, only read and heard from others.

  21. Brooko | February 2, 2009 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    "I have no personal experience with it, only read and heard from others"

    You might want to at least try it then - even in a VM - then make a judgement call? Making comments like you've made re PCLOS stability (and I don't use it but I have tried it) - does nothing for your credibility.

  22. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I may give it a try sometime. I admit my concern might be hearsay, but I've heard and read it enough to comment on it.

    Also, laptops have their issues, no doubt. I know I've had my share. However, in my personal experience (yes, I've run these natively on my laptops), openSUSE, Fedora and Debian were all rock solid stable, where Mandriva and Slackware weren't.

  23. Don Zeigler | February 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    How can you pass judgment on a distro that you've never attempted to run? I've got news for you, a quick check of the Linux Mint forums, or the Ubuntu forums, of the forums of any major distro is going to demonstrate that people are having problems with that particular one. The current release of Linux Mint has a major Flash bugaboo, for example.

    I currently use Ubuntu but have used PCLinuxOS for several years, and plan to install the new release on at least one home machine. It's ANYTHING but unstable.

    Speaking of which, "unstable" is a pretty broad term. What specific problems did your buddies have with it?

    In parting, here's a clue: when you write reviews in the future, try actually running the distro, so you don't appear to be a complete idiot.

  24. Hawkeye | February 1, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    My top four:

    1. PCLinuxOS -- Unstable? Where exactly have you been. Although the distro hasn't had a major upgrade in about a year and a half, it has been running on one of my desktops flawlessly for over 3 years. The repositories are virtually unbreakable -- one of it's high point features. Its administrative management facility, PCC, is a major improvement over its forebearer, Mandriva, and some variant of it is found in all up-and-coming 'user friendly' OSs. It has slowed down because its founder, Texstar, has been away from the distro for several months, due to personal issues. As a sign of its internal strength, the volunteer devs just finished a major upgrade, where approximately 1400 apps were updated and/or added, through an automated, multi-step process orchestrated through Synaptic. Take a closer look, after you have your reading glasses and outlook brought up to date.
    2. simplyMEPIS -- debian done for the common person. An under-appreciated distro that has a nice set of custom admin tools, and an unbeatable users forum, They are in the process of upgrading there distro with Lenny, and at RC2, I would consider it stable enough for production use. It, too, has an absentee owner/leader, who spends most of his time on the road, making a living as a computer consultant, and rolling code at night and on weekends. A real keeper for anyone who wants the strength of debian in an accessible format, with Forum Moderators who refuse to insult noobies with a RTFM attitude.
    3. Sabayon -- A fast rising distro that is making Gentoo accessible to the masses. The distro is slick, well organized, responsive, and visionary. There are two versions of Sabayon 4 -- depending on a person's needs and preferences. Their custom designed package manager keeps end users from grinding through the Gentoo build process by providing pre-packaged apps through their repositories.
    4. PC/OS -- a very new distro that is climbing the Distrowatch ladder quickly. Its trademarks are a) an XFCE window manager, with the default look of the old BeOS OS, b) founded on Ubuntu repositories, c) a commitment to provide 'out of the box' use of all those codecs and libraries that make surfing the internet an easy, enjoyable experience, d) a strong dedication to incorporating user wants and needs to both current and future offerings (for a small distro, they do A LOT of user group testing rather than beta distros to test what they are going to do), and e) the ability to use either 'free' or purchased versions of the OS, depending on your needs. A distro that deserves consideration and attention.

    As for Fedora and openSUSE, I find those offerings 'over-processed'. To look at their websites and forums is an exercise in confusing complexity; it almost looks like they have so many people working on the distro, they must find something for them to do. There is something uncomfortably 'Microsoftian' about what they offer. I have used them both, as a matter of fact, my first distro was openSUSE, when you could buy a packaged copy at the now defunct compUSA. Using Fedora and openSUSE were object lessons in what the term 'dependency hell' means; they may have derivative distros that belong on the 'top four' list, but Mama and Popa bear don't belong there.

    From one who politely but firmly disagree with your selections and rationale.


  25. Shylan | February 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    "I can’t sleep, so what do I do? Hit the Google Machine, and begin wasting time,..."

    I think you should take sedatives instead of wasting people's time with this tripe.

    As a self-confessed Ubuntu fanboy and cult member(LDS) it's not surprising that you would try to cut the legs out from under the distro that had Ubuntu knocked off the top spot of distrowatch for months. I've tried to run many flavours of *buntu and given them fair testing but overall they come up lacking.

    Mandriva (the OS) buries *buntu, so does Arch and Sabayon.

  26. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I'm not wasting aynone's time other than myself. You don't have to read this "tripe" if it bothers you so. Further, you don't have to comment.

    Also, I always find it entertaining that people think the LDS church is a cult. However, I'm not cutting the legs out of PCLOS. I mentioned it in a critical, non-emotional manner, giving it fair review. I've read on mailing lists, forums posts and even had a few students of mine mention the instability of PCLOS. I've personally run Mandriva, and didn't care for the OS much. It just didn't bring anything to the table in the way of innovation or something new. It was just a standard run-of-the-mill Linux based OS, and PCLOS is no different.

    I've heard great things about Arch and Sabayon both. In fact, I've got Arch installed in a VM, so I can see how that distro operates. I've got 3 friends running Arch, and all recommend it over Ubuntu. So, I'm giving it a shot. Also, I've heard good things about Sabayon, that it's "Gentoo done right". I would be interested in giving that a test drive as well.

    But no need for the hate.

  27. Nikkels | February 2, 2009 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Next time you have a sleepness night, take a sleeping pill, instead writing rubbish as you did

  28. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Interesting comment. Sure does add a lot to the conversation. So, mind expanding your comment a bit on what is rubbish?

  29. drakshug | February 2, 2009 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    What do you base your assumption that pclos is unstable?
    My comps using it have no issues. Also it is diverging from mandy and it is not advisable to use mandy packages on pclos.
    With all due respect, your piece just comes across as ubuntu fanboyism with no hard facts to justify your sweeping statements. I'd like to see you back up your claims to the stability of pclos 2007 insofar that stability doesn't seem to be an issue for pclos users.

  30. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Students of mine telling me of the instability on laptops as well as reading mailing list and and forums posts.

  31. drakshug | February 2, 2009 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Can't say I've noticed posts on the pclos forum with regard to stability.
    As for laptops, show me a distro that has no problems with laptops. They are notorious for wireless and hibernation problems across the board. I still feel it is unmerited criticism. Maybe you should bung pclos on a spare partition and try it yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  32. Brooko | February 2, 2009 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Actually Aaron, perhaps a little more time on Google would help then ....
    As recent as Oct 2008, Mark said in an interview that "he is prepared to bankroll the company for three to five more years". Also "Canonical Ltd., the commercial backer of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, is not yet turning a profit". Here's the link - and this is one of many on the subject ... - I'd suggest a little more research might be in order.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Canonical, Mark or Ubuntu - but if you're going to blog on something, and then refute other's comments - it might just pay to get a little more informed.

  33. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I never said Canonical is turning a profit. Re-read my comment. I said Canonical is bringing in a $30 million per annum revenue. This is documented. Revenue does not always equate to profit.

  34. Brooko | February 2, 2009 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Yep - cute yourself. Adam called you on a couple of comments & then your reply started "No, it’s not flat wrong" followed by "we don’t know if Canonical has made a profit or not". I think it's blatantly obvious that if Mark's still bankrolling it, then it's not running a profit yet. I have no doubts it will - Ubuntu is a good distro (not my cup of tea, but each to their own).
    The reason I posted was because of the inference from you that the 10m had not been touched, that it was self supporting etc. Adam was right in his post - you should acknowledge the fact. Sign of the bigger man and all that .....
    Of course it's your blog - so do what you want.

  35. Gemini | February 2, 2009 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    The biggest fact of this matter, would be to point out that since Ubuntu is a heavily, corporately, financially backed distro, so... it should be far, far ahead of most as development goes.... but, it's not. PCLinuxOS and others have been giving them a run for their money for quite some time now... without any backing, but from users.
    I hate seeing any of this "that distro is better than that one" flame wars among the Linux community... and I have noticed, it has been mostly ubuntu users as the ones initiating these types of wars for a while now. This is why many in the community don't really care for ubuntu users... it's not the OS we don't like ubuntu is a decent OS... it's the majority of it's obnoxious users that is the problem.

  36. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Yes, and I'm glad the PCLOS, Debian, Linux Mint, and other community based distributions are doing well. It means overall growth for the Linux ecosystem in general.

    I disagree with your comment about the Ubuntu community driving flame wars. I would reword that, stating the flame wars come out of anyone seriously passionate about a technology, especially in our arena. I hope this post doesn't come across as a flame war, but merely educational. I found a couple of his posts misplaced, and commented on them. Flame wars come about when logic and reason are set aside, and emotion enters. I hope I've kept emotion out of the post.

  37. Windtalker | February 2, 2009 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    PCLinuxOS isn't on a par with Ubuntu?
    Nothing special?
    Let me guess,,, you discovered Linux the same way a certain young lady did not long ago.
    You got a new Dell and don't know squat about the alien operating system on it or how it got ordered that way.
    Your blog has the distinctive stink of fanboy written all over it.
    You may wish to consider actually educating yourself on a topic before commenting on said topic.

  38. Aaron | February 2, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Uh, no. I came into Linux from Sun Solaris 8. I was a Solaris administrator of 2 servers and about 30 Solaris workstations. I wanted to put Solaris on my then laptop. This was back in 1998. A friend convinced me to run Slackware instead, and I've been running Linux since, mostly of the Debian variety, although I've run Mandrake (when it was Mandrake), SuSE (before Novell purchased them), Fedora, Red Hat (before RHEL released), and many others. I joined the Ubuntu community when 'Warty Warthog' 4.10 released, coming from Debian, and I've been with Ubuntu since. My last job, I taught system administrators for a living, teaching RHEL and SLES courses. Now, I'm a RHEL, Solaris and HP-UX system administrator, in charge of about 40 servers.

    Now, the burden of proof is on you: show me what PCLinuxOS has brought to the table, that no other Linux distro has. What makes PCLinuxOS above par? What makes it stand out from the others? Where is the innovation? Convince me that PCLinuxOS isn't a run-of-the-mill distro.

  39. drakshug | February 2, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I didn't see anyone taking issue with the run of the mill distro comment so why bring that up. Your article didn't specifically mention pclos contributions and as I'm not a pclos dev I can't tell you what they have contributed back to the kernel.
    However....doesn't every decent distro contribute something to Linux just by delivering a good user experience?
    All this, my distro is better than yours stuff isn't helping anyone and, before you reply, take note that I have not said that pclos is better but that it deserves a fair hearing.

  40. lynx | February 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    PCLOS is neither the most stable distro, nor the most easily configurable, but provides a good combination of the above with a rolling upgrade philosophy.
    I believe it is one of the best meta-distros out there if not the best.

  41. Windtalker | February 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    As I state later here in the the thread, if it's an English based distro and listed on Distrowatch, I've very probably installed and ran it at some point in time.
    You show you're running Ubuntu and say so.
    I'm typing this from Arch which I've ran for off and on around two years.
    I've ran various flavors of the 'buntu's, with little success.
    I've ran PCLOS as my main for around 2 years as well.
    There are 5 pc's in my home, 3 of which I use for my needs/wants/whims, so don't hold your breath on what will be on two of them tomorrow.
    My going in a circle stab at a point here is, I'm speaking from experience and you admit you aren't regarding stability between whatever flavor of Ubuntu you choose and PCLOS.
    Ubuntu, pick a flavor, does fine with my hardware, yet every single time I've ran it, it was busted within six months from an update.
    Imagine that, a six month release cycle and my system is busted within six months.
    Because Ubuntu has a deadline to meet.
    With PCLOS, updates seldom hurt me and if the did, it was easily rectified, with the exception of my printer/scanner to be totally fair.
    Few people who have a printer/scanner and use Linux DON'T have a problem at some point in time no matter what they run.
    What's the difference?
    PCLOS has no deadline and they aren't bashful about telling users, "we'll release it when we know it's ready to be released and not before then."
    Don't let others tell you what's good and what isn't.
    Make your own mind up by finding out yourself.
    An experienced Linux user should already know this as an experienced Linux user would know, no two users will have identical needs and hardware.
    As an aside, I just recently purchased a new pc.
    Dual core processor, sata hd and an Nvidia card.
    It took a week to find a Linux system that was compatible with the hardware.
    "Instability" may be an excuse for a users ignorance of Linux.
    Dunno who said it but there was also a statement somewhere along the lines that it's hard to configure PCLOS.
    It's Linux,,, it's configurable.
    No one did like Bill did and wave a magic EULA wand over it and chant the mystical words,"Thall shalt not reconfigure over the .iso."
    End of subject.

  42. Crow | February 2, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    - WOW Aaron, your critics on the Mandriva business model are awesome. Do you have a better business than Mandriva? I don't think so.

    - Brooko gave a link to support what he is saying, where is your support?

    - "show me what PCLinuxOS has brought to the table" What do you brought to the table? (aside of rants)

    - I had Kubuntu for a year and it had many problems, fortunately I found PCLOS and has been my distro of choice for two years now, want to make a critic? it's not cuting edge, it don't have the last packages, but is the most stable distro out there.

    - You're talking without knowledge, I'm sure you never installed PCLinuxOS, but what am I saying? you said that already "Students of mine telling me of the instability on laptops as well as reading mailing list and and forums posts"

    - Do you want Debian without troubles? use SimplyMEPIS, Ubuntu is ustable by definition, do you knew that is based on Debian unstable?

    Nikkels is right "Next time you have a sleepness night, take a sleeping pill, instead writing rubbish as you did" no it do not "add a lot to the conversation" but it could be usefull for you.

  43. bones113 | February 2, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Man. Where to start. Your statement saying that PCLinuxOs is a run of the mill distro and that it is not stable is based on comments of a few people who may or may not have tried it to it's fullest extent and those comments are also based on assuming that the comments of those few were correct. Well you know what they say about assuming don't you?. PCLinuxOS is among the most stable of all desktop based distro's. Bar none. I find ubuntu to be among the most unstable of all the distro's I have tried (and I have tried them all). I base this on actual usage and not on hearsay and comments from others like you did. That in itself represents a half hearted attempt to either start a flame war or it shows complete disdane for other people's hard work. I find it really no more than your personal opinion based on non factual assumption. If people like ubuntu then more power to them. If they like PCLinuxOS then that is fine also. It is linux isn't it?. After all isn't that the most important thing?. You should be ashamed of your self. Let people use what they want to and stop trying to shoot other distro's down based on pure B.S. Here is another idea....Don't write on a subject that you either no nothing about or have not even experienced. It makes you look like a total fool. When the new 2009 release of PCLinuxOS comes out why don't you give it a go. You might be suprise. Go ahead. I dare you.

  44. Crow | February 2, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    By the way, you're always welcome to the PCLOS forums, people is very friendly. PCLinuxOS 2009 is near, wait and give it a try, you may find that's good for you.

    Good luck

  45. bones113 | February 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Well said crow. An excellent suggestion.

  46. parnote | February 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Your assertions about PCLinuxOS 2007 on laptops is just flat out "nucking futz." I've installed PCLinuxOS on a dozen or so laptops, and have found it to be far superior and far more stable when compared with ANY *buntu derivative. While it's true that laptops pose a special category of problems for Linux, they are problems for Linux as a whole (wireless (blame the wireless mfgr's for not releasing open source drivers) and hibernation).

    You rely on reports from "students of mine?" That implies that you are in a position of an educator. As an educator, you should know best to do your OWN research. Any educator who relies only on the words and testimony of his/her students, isn't much of an educator. You should, by any and all accounts, try PCLinuxOS for yourself. Only then can you be in a position to make the misguided and mistaken observations you have made against (IMHO) the best and most stable Linux distro in existence.

  47. Windtalker | February 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Saw your posts in the PCLOS forum and now understand your original intent so here goes...
    I only have 3 top picks, 2 Linux and 1 BSD for various reasons.
    ARCH, PCLinuxOS and DesktopBSD.
    I use ARCH because it's the friendliest to my hardware, it's reliable and gives me not only what I need, but what I want in a Desktop.
    I use the KDEMod3.5 desktop with that distro.
    The only drawback to ARCH is unless you have experience enough behind you, you may not be able to get it installed properly without help.
    With PCLinuxOS, it's pretty much the easiest distro to install, it's reliable, there is more than enough packages for my wants/needs and there is always someone around to help fix a snafu without the arrogance I find in some forums.
    The only hardware issue is my printer/scanner.
    Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
    I'll either use PCLinuxOS Main which is KDE or MiniMe, which is also KDE.
    I like DesktopBSD because it also has the KDE Desktop.
    It's reliability would be hard to rival and there is pretty much any conceivable package anyone could want,,,, except a decent Flash.
    Flash and the learning curve is the only drawback I've ever found for DesktopBSD.
    If they ever get decent Flash, I would very probably use DesktopBSD full time.
    I'm not going to name other distro's but my reasons for not using them are varied.
    They range from my not caring for Gnome to having to reinstall to upgrade or breakage from updates be they auto-updates or manual updates.
    I've also installed systems that just didn't like my hardware.
    If there is an English version of a Desktop Linux distro listed on Distrowatch,,,, I've very probably installed and ran it at some point in time, provided it was free of course.

  48. Nenad Radulovic | February 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I pretty much agree on your list, nice one!

  49. Shannon | February 5, 2009 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Aaron, I have to say that while unlike some here I am not angered by your comments about PCLinuxOS (which I have been using for almost 6 years now), you do make yourself look foolish with what you say.

    First of all, you're going on pure hearsay (what your students, etc. told you). Then you're making assumptions (which don't hold up - that Mandriva and PCLinuxOS are the same thing). After that you state that PCLinuxOS isn't very stable, which couldn't be further from the truth - and then you say that it's "run of the mill" and ask what it has that no other Linux distro has, thus demonstrating faulty logic. (Implying that "A Linux distro ois run of the mill if it does not offer something unique", which by the way would CERTAINLY brand Ubuntu as run-of-the-mill.) Finally you demand to have someone else prove to you that PCLinuxOS is worth something.

    No. If you want to know about a distro, you download it, you burn it, and YOU TRY IT. YOU have the burden of proving you're not a fool for posting opinions based on hearsay. YOU have the burden of proving we should listen to anything you say after making such a bunch of ridiculous statements. YOU have the burden of proof that anything you have said about PCLOS is true! We, apparently, all know better.

    I have tried Ubuntu, even though my first efforts with it turned me off enough for me to decide it was garbage, back in 2006 I think it was. But I didn't stop there - I tried it again, nd again, and again as new releases came out. I have used Ubuntu as my sole operating system, and I have put it through it's paces - and I can tell you that Ubuntu can't hold a candle to PCLOS except for having more users, a bigger budget and more packages available (many of which don't work).

    I have "tried them all" and more than once, and I keep coming back to PCLinuxOS because for most hardware it "just works" (running it from PCLinuxOS 2009 "Big Update" on a laptop right now, by the way... and I'm here to tell you it runs my laptop better than Vista does in almost every direction). That, and because it's stable as hell, and because the dev team focuses on quality and getting it right over everything else - which is why we all waited patiently for almost a year for the updates to 2009. No updates for months while a small team worked diligently, and nobody had any problems, because they do such a good job.

    Updates and upgrades almost never break anything... I just reinstalled today for the first time since 2007, and was unable to break the install with all those rolling updates. Ubuntu has never been able to last more than a few weeks on my macines without self destructing. It reminds me a lot of Windows in that regard, actually, but I know that doesn't happen for everyone.

    Anyway, next time, you should talk about what you are knowledgeable about, not what you have hearsay about.

    And by the way, who cares if Mandriva doesn't know what it's doing as a company? Mandriva Linux still beats the pants off most other distros I have tried.

  50. deta | April 13, 2010 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I want to switch from Ubuntu because of a bunch of new bugs every release. 9.04 was good, but 9.10 was a diseaster, and I believe they'll ship that load of bugs in 10.04 too.

    Why Fedora is on the list, I don't know: it's a debug playground for RH enterprise, in other words just the same buggy stuff in RPM.

    Any strong reasons for openSUSE?

  51. Aaron | April 13, 2010 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I listed the reasons why I chose Fedora as high as I did. Fedora is a solid operating system designed for system administrators. As you mentioned, it's a playground for all things RHEL, so you get a sneak peek so to speak (see what I did there?) on how to properly administrate the next version of RHEL when it releases.

    Arguments for openSUSE can be many. It's largely based on much more stable software, but as a result, the software is much older too. You don't get the bleeding edge stuff. The team has been spending its entire time focusing on the desktop. It's engineered very well, and has a robust nature about it that some distros lack. In fact, I would likely run openSUSE as my desktop before running Fedora, because Fedora doesn't seem to care much for their desktop.

    But, overall, Debian is still my choice. I do run it as my desktop, server and on my laptop and netbook. It's well suited for the desktop. It's well suited for laptops and netbooks. It's well suited for servers. Debian accomplishes everything important for me. And, if you're already familiar with Ubuntu, you'll likely feel at home with Debian.

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